VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers


Pop Omnivore

Saudi Filmmaker Breaks New Ground With “Wadjda”

Haifaa al-Mansour, director of “Wadjda,” the first Saudi submission to the Academy Awards, talks about the challenges of working as a woman and a filmmaker in Saudi Arabia.

What Do Cicadas Taste Like? Adventures In Bug Eating

Ever wondered what cicadas, mealworms, or crickets taste like? Two National Geographic writers experimented with entomophagy, or bug eating, so you don’t have to.

Chasing Ice: Photographer James Balog on a Glacial Adventure

Inspired by an Arctic assignment for National Geographic, photographer James Balog chronicled disappearing glaciers through a three-year, three-million-dollar project called the Extreme Ice Survey that resulted in the new film Chasing Ice. He spoke to Pop Omnivore about the surprising drama and otherworldly beauty of glaciers—and about confronting the reality of climate change.

The Past of the Dust Bowl Is Very Present In Ken Burns’ New Documentary

How do you bring the Dust Bowl back to life? Get Ken Burns to make a film about it. The preeminent documentarian’s latest act, The Dust Bowl, airing November 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. on PBS, is a two-part, four-hour look at “a decade-long natural catastrophe of biblical proportions.” In the 1930s, America’s agricultural…

The Sessions: Life In An Iron Lung

Can you imagine spending your life encased in 750 pounds of iron? The new film The Sessions is based on the true story of Mark O’Brien, a poet who was largely confined to an iron lung. Learn more about the history of iron lungs…

Gangnam Style Isn’t Just a Video—Let’s Visit the Neighborhood!

As a magazine of geography, we were interested in finding out about Gangnam: Where (and what) is it? Gangnam means “south of the river” in Korean. It’s a ritzy district that lies just below the Han river in South Korea’s capital, Seoul. To gain more insights into Gangam style, we spoke with a few former residents of Seoul.

Penguin Photo Takes the Prize

There are some National Geographic photographers whose work never fails to dazzle even the most jaded eye. One of them is Paul Nicklen, just named 2012 Wildlife Photographer of the Year…

Were Those Really Frog Fallopian Tubes on the “Amazing Race” Dinner Plate?

By Catherine Zuckerman Frog: It’s what’s for dinner. Frog fallopian tubes, to be exact. On a recent episode of The Amazing Race, contestants jetted off to Shanghai and had to down a Chinese delicacy known as hasma. Described as “frog fallopian tubes,” the meal looked daunting—picture a mound of small, milky-white, jiggling blobs. To kick…

Paul Simon Looks Back on the Anniversary of the Amazing “Graceland”

This year, Paul Simon released a 25th anniversary album edition of Graceland in a boxed set. In honor of this special occasion, we spoke with Paul Simon about what has changed in the quarter of a century since he first set foot Under those African Skies…

The World of Eco-Comics: A Hapless Manatee, Self-aware Dogs, a Chain-Smoking Pig

Pop Omnivore visited the Small Press Expo (SPX) in Bethesda, Maryland, looking for environmentally minded comics. Here’s what we found…

Sneak Peek: All Roads Film Festival

If you’re in the DC area, stop by National Geographic headquarters this weekend for a cultural treat: The All Roads Film Festival (Sept. 27-30), featuring compelling stories from indigenous and minority cultures. The films take viewers around the world, from the rural Philippines and Tibet to South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

Hey Spiderman, Here’s What Really Happens When a Spider Bites You

Inspired by the movie The Amazing Spider-Man, Pop Omnivore wondered: What can a real spider bite do to a real human being? To find out, we asked Dana DeRoche, an arachnid specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, which spider species have the worst—and weirdest—bite.

Memo to Rihanna: Falcons DO Close Their Eyes When They Sleep

Pop phenom Rihanna took to Twitter on June 23 to share her new ink: a tattoo of an Egyptian Falcon perched on her right ankle. “Falcon: a light that shines in the darkness! Never close their eyes during sleep,” Rihanna tweeted. Which begs the question: Do falcons really sleep with their eyes open?

‘For Greater Glory’: Mexico’s War for Religious Freedom Is In a New Movie — and In Family Memories

The movie For Greater Glory depicts a war that many Americans have never heard of: Mexico’s Cristero War of 1926–1929, aka La Cristiada. The war began when president Plutarco Elias Calles started enforcing anti-religious sections of the country’s constitution. For NGM intern Antonia Rico, the war is familiar…

“21 Jump Street” Is Right: Environmentalists Are Now the Cool Kids in High School!

In the new movie 21 Jump Street, two young cops are sent back to high school as undercover police officers. The pair are shocked to find that in the few years they’ve been away, the social strata have been seismically restructured: Biking to school, recycling and otherwise showing concern for the environment makes you a Cool Kid. To find out whether this depiction of the new cool is accurate, Pop Omnivore spoke with National Geographic Emerging Explorer Juan Martinez.