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Tanya Basu

Tanya Basu is a news apprentice at National Geographic. She is a graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Previously, she studied economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Could Mockingjays From “The Hunger Games” Exist One Day?

Besides fire, the overwhelming symbol of this weekend’s blockbuster movie, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, is of a steel-colored, mohawked bird with a pointed, hummingbird-like bill who trills melodiously. Mockingjays are described as a cross between mockingbirds and “jabberjays,” a species developed by the Panem government to imitate human speech and spy on the rebels.…

What “Sleepy Hollow” Didn’t Tell Us About Roanoke’s Lost Colony

Fox’s new fantasy series “Sleepy Hollow” touched on one of the biggest mysteries of American history on Monday: What happened to the lost colony of Roanoke? The fate of the lost colony has stumped historians for centuries. In 1585, Queen Elizabeth I chartered Sir. Walter Raleigh to establish a colony in North America. The colony,…

As Seen in “Captain Phillips”: 5 Facts About Modern Piracy

The movie Captain Phillips, starring Tom Hanks, is based on a true story: In April 2009, Somali pirates boarded the cargo ship Maersk Alabama off the Somali coast. Captain Richard Phillips offered himself as a hostage in exchange for the crew’s safety. What followed were five harrowing days until Phillips was rescued by the U.S.…

Rihanna’s Controversial Photo Op with a Loris Might Actually Aid in Conservation Efforts

Rihanna—queen of selfies and songstress behind hits like “Umbrella” and “Diamonds”—has found herself and a cute critter in the midst of an international firestorm. On Friday, RiRi posted this shot of her cradling the endangered loris in Phuket, Thailand, on her shoulder with the caption: “Look who was talkin’ dirty to me! #Thailand #nightlife.” Local…