VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers


Anne Marie Houppert

Sentence Handed Down in Afghan Child Bride Case

The in-laws of Sahar Gul, a 15-year-old Afghan child bride, have been sentenced in an Afghan court to 10 years. Gul was imprisoned by her in-laws in a basement and then tortured, including being burned and having her fingernails pulled out, in an effort to force her to become a prostitute.

Muybridge and Photographic Milestones

  The Google Doodle today is in honor of Eadweard Muybridge’s 182nd birthday. Happy birthday to a photographic pioneer, who in 1878 proved through his motion photos that horses do indeed have all four hooves simultaneously off the ground at one time when running. In honor of his achievement, download free wallpaper of the famous running horse, then…

Peruvians Protest Gold Mine Construction

Peruvian President Ollanta Humala announced a state of emergency in parts of the country early in December in response to protests over the construction of a huge gold mine in Cajamarca, reported CNN; the state of emergency was lifted in mid-December. The protesters cite potential adverse environmental effects on water and agriculture. The U.S. Denver-based Newmont Mining Corp., which…

A Maya Doomsday Prophecy?

It has long been debated whether a Maya glyph refers to an apocalypse that will arrive in 2012, and now the Mexican Institute of Archaeology has acknowledged that there may be a second reference to the date on a brick discovered years ago at the Comalcalco ruin. With royal palaces, strategic alliances and bloodshed, the Maya civilization hardly needs doomsday prophecies to add drama, so revisit National Geographic content on the Maya and the Mayanists who study them. Then take an interactive 20-question quiz on the Maya.

Team Edward or Team Jacob?

    The latest movie in the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn–Part 1, was just released with the 5th-best opening weekend ever, according to an Entertainment Weekly report. The saga follows the love triangle of a human girl, Bella, and the vampire (Edward) and werewolf (Jacob) who are in love with her. The characters live in the small…

Search to Resume for Remains of U.S. Korean War Servicemen

The U.S. and North Korea have reached an agreement concerning the search for remains of approximately 5,500 U.S. servicemen who died during the Korean War and are thought to be buried in what is now North Korea. A look back at the history of the conflict as reported by National Geographic magazine.

A Royal Wedding in Bhutan

This past Thursday, Bhutanese King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck wed his long-time girlfriend, Jetsun Pema. Bhutan has been isolated until recent decades but is now in the process of evolving into a more modern nation. Read about the evolution of a country in National Geographic magazine and the unusual access granted National Geographic almost 50 years ago at another Bhutanese royal wedding.

California Bans Shark Fin Trade

A bill in California banning the trade of shark fins has passed, raising controversy in California’s Asian community. The group is the largest consumer of shark fins outside of Asia, and the fins are an ingredient in a soup many consider a delicacy.

Happy 40th, Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World opened forty years ago on October 1, 1971, in Orlando, Florida. The dream of Walter Elias Disney, it created a city out of orange groves and swamps. In his 2007 National Geographic article, T.D. Allman explores the concept of a theme-park nation and how Disney’s utopian dream convinced America to vacation and live in a buggy, swampy area still officially called the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

Violence in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico

In Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, two bodies were recently found with a note warning others about using social media to report on cartel drug activities. Blogs and twitter feeds have sprung up to facilitate anonymous reporting on cartel activities. Revisit National Geographic magazine articles on Nuevo Laredo and drug-related violence in Mexico for background on the area and issues.

Bolivian Indigenous Groups Protest Highway Construction

Indigenous groups in Bolivia have begun a march to protest the construction of a highway that will bisect a biodiverse rain forest region. For more background on the issues facing indigenous South Americans, revisit these articles from the National Geographic archives.

Famine in Somalia

The UN has declared a famine in southern Somalia. How did Somalia become a failed state, and are we facing a perpetual global food crisis? Revisit National Geographic articles for some answers.

A Real Planet of the Apes?

In “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” the apes become smart enough to revolt against humans. Just how smart are apes, and how apelike are humans? Take a look at what National Geographic magazine has to say on the subject.

Afghan Militants Hang 8-Year-Old

This past weekend, Helmand province, Afghanistan was the scene of the hanging of an 8-year-old boy by militants, although it’s unclear whether the hanging was carried out by the Taliban or another insurgent group. Anne Marie Houppert takes a look at a few National Geographic articles that offer some context on the Taliban influence in Afghanistan.

Pirates 2.0

“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” is currently in theaters. While the pirate character Jack Sparrow is a rather dashing and romantic figure, the pirates of today are seen as exactly the opposite. Are they different?