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Category archives for Pop Omnivore

Spoiler Alert: You Can’t Really Stay at the Real Grand Budapest Hotel (But We Can Tell You Everything About It)

Peeling back the wallpaper on Wes Anderson’s sets and locations. Wes Anderson’s latest movie, The Grand Budapest Hotel, is a fictional murder-mystery-adventure-love story set in a sumptuous pink Eastern European hotel on the eve of World War II. Unfortunately for moviegoers who’d like to visit, the Grand Budapest Hotel doesn’t actually exist. It’s a miniature…

March 24, 2014: Big Wave Crashes, Haitian Folk-Tunes, Babysitting Gorillas and More

Join radio host Boyd Matson every week for adventure, conservation and green science. This week they are held underwater until they blackout and are rescued, put Langston Hughes’ poetry to music, study bats in the living room, grow up with gorillas, survive a deadly Antarctic expedition, remind travelers to represent their nations, refuse to order bluefin tuna sushi, and create stronger laws to protect elephants.

Oscar Showdown: Who WIll Win the Battle of the Subtitled Foreign Films?

Film buffs who love subtitles were in heaven this month. National Geographic’s Global Glimpses program showed all five of the movies vying for the Oscar for best foreign film. Here’s a look at the stories behind the subtitles. Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium) What it’s about: Didier and Elise live out a bluegrass-tinged love story outside…

Fictional Nat Geo Photographer Gives His Regards to Broadway in “Bridges of Madison County” Musical

Meet Robert Kincaid. Plays guitar. Smokes Camels. Stuffs a knapsack full of equipment in his pick-up truck, and takes off for Iowa to shoot the covered bridges of Madison County for National Geographic. Falls deeply in love with Francesca Johnson, a farmer’s wife. But it’s not happily ever-after—at least not for Kincaid and Johnson. They…

Everything You Want to Know About Super Bowl Ads But Are Too Embarrassed to Ask

Super Bowl ads are often more entertaining than the game. And they always raise questions, many of which fall in National Geographic’s areas of expertise. Here are answers to burning questions you may have about Doberman-Chihuahua puppies, groin injuries, and more. Puppy Love Could a Doberman Pinscher and a Chihuahua really mate and produce a…

Mapping Out the Hidden World of Women Cartographers

“Oftentimes the world of women cartographers seems to be hidden, much like the so-called dark side of the moon,” says Will C. Van Den Hoonaard in Map Worlds: A History of Women in Cartography, newly published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press. As it turns, a woman—the Russian-born cartographer Kira Shingareva—was one of the first mapmakers…

How the Grammy Hat Worn by Pharrell Williams Fits into the History of Haberdashery

“Traditionally whatever is worn on the head, whether or not it grows there naturally, is a sign of the mind beneath it,” writes Alison Lurie in The Language of Clothes. What then is going on in the mind beneath the Dudley Do-Right camel-colored hat worn by singer Pharrell Williams at last night’s Grammy Awards? And…

‘American Hustle’ Didn’t Get Its Microwave Facts Straight

In the film “American Hustle,” which imaginatively retells the 1980 Abscam scandal, Long Island housewife Rosalyn Rosenfeld (played by Jennifer Lawrence) gets a brand new microwave oven as a gift. She calls it a “science oven.” She is warned: Do not put metal in it. Of course she puts in an aluminum dish covered with…

Travels in Belize: Eco-Tourism, Mayan Temples, Snakes That Chase You, Pasta with Coppola

Simon Worrall first traveled to Belize more than 20 years ago to do a travel guide for Fodor’s. “It was just as Belize was getting on people’s radar,” he says. “I knew it was one of those remote corners of the British Empire, and I was intrigued.” Now Worrall, who has written about Patagonia, a…

The Story Behind the Photo That Inspired Walter Mitty’s Journey

In the newly released film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Ben Stiller plays Walter, an introverted photo editor at a magazine who frequently daydreams of being somewhere else or someone else entirely. When he can’t find an important photo negative taken by an acclaimed photographer (played by Sean Penn) for the magazine, he decides…

December 29, 2013: Rescuing Crocs, Navy Seals in Zoos, Swimming with Great Whites, Blackfish and More

Join host National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson and his guests as they try to save man-eating crocs from angry villagers, meet a retired Navy seal at Washington’s National Zoo, find out the dark secrets of performing orcas at Sea World, swim face to face with great white sharks, and survive avalanches by avoiding them.

Do Vape Pens Trick Teens?

By Jenny Bolario Vape pens, or e-cigarettes, are often billed as a safer way for smokers to get their fix. The user breathes in water vapor infused with nicotine and exhales what looks like smoke. But with flavors like banana cream pie and alien blood, these pens are attracting a new generation of “smokers.” According…

Japanese Grandparents, Custom Harvesting, Airport Malaria: Elements in an Award-Winning Children’s Novel

Last month, Cynthia Kadohata won the National Book Award for her children’s novel “The Thing About Luck.” The book follows 12-year-old Summer as she travels with her Japanese grandparents for a season of harvesting work in the Midwest. We spoke with Kadohata about the book. “The Thing About Luck” is set among seasonal workers called…

What Comes Out of a Whale and Goes Into Perfume? Ambergris!

Literature is full of quests. Jason hunted for the golden fleece. Dorothy followed the yellow brick road to find her way home to Kansas. Christopher Kemp, you might say, went looking for a piece of whale poop, which in its most refined state is the worth-its-weight-in-gold substance known as ambergris. The material is used as…

A National Geographic Photo Inspired Pop Star Lorde to Write Her Hit “Royals”

Earlier this month, New Zealand singer-songwriter, Lorde (whose real name is Ella Yelich-O’Connor), cited a National Geographic image as the inspiration behind her chart topper, “Royals.” “I had this image from the National Geographic of this dude just signing baseballs,” Lorde said in an interview with VH1. “He was a baseball player and his shirt…