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Alyson Foster

Alyson Foster works in the National Geographic Library where she purchases books for the Library’s collection and assists NG staff with finding research materials.

A New Trick Discovered in Spiders’ Webs

If you’re like most people you probably find cobwebs to be a nuisance. But it turns out that these messy webs are actually small feats of engineering. Polymer scientists at the University of Akron have discovered that the common house spider can tailor the type of adhesive discs it uses to anchor its webs, making them stronger or weaker depending on where the cobwebs are positioned and the movements of its prey.

Scientists Discover New Super-Magnetic Star

A newly discovered star with an extremely strong magnetic field has caught the attention of scientists. Located about 20,000 light-years from Earth, NGC1624-2 is the most magnetic massive star discovered by astronomers to date.

“Hiram Bingham, Please Pick Up a White Paging Telephone . . . “

A new airport will soon be in the works in Chinchero, Peru. The plan is part of an effort to boost tourism to the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, according to Peru’s President Ollanta Humala. But questions have been raised about how much more traffic the ruins can accommodate.

High-Speed Spider Ambush Caught on Film

How do you film a net-casting spider catching its prey? Strap on your hiking boots, trek out into the the middle of the woods, get your camera ready, wait a long time, and then . . . don’t blink.

Kiyoshi Sakamoto: Portrait of a Photographer

On March 8, 1918, National Geographic editor, Gilbert Grosvenor received a letter from Arthur Hosking regarding several photographs the Society had recently purchased. Hosking was handling the transaction for the photographer, a Japanese schoolteacher named Kiyoshi Sakamoto, and he thought Sakamoto and National Geographic might be a good match. Editors at National Geographic did indeed find Sakamoto’s work worthwhile. The letter marked the beginning of what would be a decades-long relationship between the Society and the photographer.

Hot Enough For You? Here’s Why

For Americans sweating it out around the country, the news won’t come as much of a surprise: the first five months of 2012 have been the hottest on record in the continental United States. This past June 164 all-time heat records were broken or tied, and July is off to a sweltering start. What’s causing the latest heat wave?

Being Lonely May Be A Hazard To Your Health

Being alone doesn’t just feel bad. It’s bad for you. This is the conclusion of two recent studies that examined the link between feelings of loneliness the risk of mortality.

New Evidence Suggests that Amelia Earhart May Have Landed Plane, Lived as Castaway on Kiribati Island

When the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard failed to find any sign of Amelia Earhart after she vanished on July 2, 1937, it was assumed that the famous pilot and her navigator died when their plane ran out of fuel and crashed into the Pacific Ocean. However, new details have emerged that suggest the story of Earhart’s disappearance may be different — and more tragic – than originally thought.

What Happened To The Titanic Survivors? One Of Them Wrote For National Geographic Magazine

Helen Churchill Candee’s 1936 National Geographic article “Summering in an English Cottage” may not sound like the stuff of adventure, but its writer knew plenty about excitement. Journalist, Washington socialite, suffragette, globe-trotter, White House interior decorator — those were just a few of Candee’s accomplishments. And then there was that last-minute trip she booked on the RMS Titanic…

Should Robots Be Treated Like People? Kids Say “Yes” – Sort Of

As robots improve and develop the capability to perform social tasks, questions are raised about how humans view and interact with them. A new study examines children’s perceptions of robots as emotional and moral beings.

Tiny Libraries Give Readers a New Way to “Read Locally”

Libraries have always been based on the idea of “reuse and recycle”, but a community in Wisconsin took the idea to a whole new level — a tiny one!

Hawaii Named Happiest State in New Poll

Life getting you down? Maybe it’s time to go to Hawaii. According to the results of a recent poll by Gallup, Hawaii’s residents are the happiest people in the United States.

Simple Names Are Better When It Comes To Getting Ahead

What your parents choose to call you may influence your life long after grade school is over. A new study has found that people with simple names are more likely to be promoted at work than those with names that are more difficult to say

Scientists Study the Mystery of the Dung Beetle “Dance”

The dung beetle is an intriguing insect for more than one reason, but scientists have been particularly mystified by the “dance” the beetles perform while atop their balls of dung. In a recent study, a group of researchers set out to figure out what causes this unusual behavior.

Exposure to “Love Hormone” Increases Prosocial Behavior in Monkeys

Oxytocin may not sound like something warm and fuzzy, but the hormone can make monkeys be nicer to other monkeys, according to researchers at Duke University.