National Geographic Magazine As An ‘Instrument Of Doom’

Vintage National Geographic Magazine CoverIt wasn’t long ago when you could visit the attic or basement of most any home in America and find stacks of yellow-spined back-issues of The National Geographic Magazine. Thanks (or no thanks) to digital advances, that scene isn’t as common today.

While there are still avid collectors of the esteemed magazine dedicated to history, science, nature, geography, travel and learning, there are far fewer than in 1974 when a science satire magazine, The Journal of Irreproducible Results, suggested that the sheer weight of all these collected periodicals would lead to the apocalypse.

In the March 1974 issue of The Journal of Irreproducible Results, George H. Kaub wrote the following:

This continent is in the gravest danger of following legendary Atlantis to the bottom of the sea. No natural disaster, no overpowering compounding of pollutions or cataclysmic nuclear war will cause the end. Instead, a seemingly innocent monster created by man, nurtured by man, however as yet unheeded by man, will doom this continent to the watery grave of oblivion.

But there is yet time to save ourselves if this warning is heeded.

PUBLICATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF THE NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE MUST BE IMMEDIATELY STOPPED AT ALL COSTS! This beautiful, educational, erudite, and thoroughly appreciated publication is the heretofore unrecognized instrument of doom which must be erased if we as a country or continent will survive. It is NOT TOO LATE if this warning is heeded!

With his tongue firmly in cheek, Kaub warned of “earthquakes, hurricanes, mud slides, fire, famine, and atomic war all rolled into one” due to the fact that “no copies have been discarded or destroyed since the beginning of publication.”

You can read Kaub’s original letter as well as the equally funny rebuttals from National Geographic readers on The Journal of Irreproducible Results website.

[Photo Flickr/roberthuffstutter]

New App Delivers National Geographic News To The iPad

The New National Geographic Today app for iPadFor decades the National Geographic Society has been on the cutting edge of exploration and science, and its iconic yellow-bordered magazine has delivered news from those fronts into American homes for nearly 125 years. With the advent of the Internet age, the organization brought that wealth of knowledge online at NationalGeographic.com and has delivered daily updates on topics that included everything from space travel and the environment to scientific expeditions and beyond. Yesterday, the Society launched a new app for the iPad that delivers that same award winning content in a new and beautiful way.

The new app is called National Geographic Today and it is designed from the ground up to deliver daily news, videos, articles and more directly from the Nat Geo site. It does an excellent job of formatting all of that content for the iPad’s screen and includes support for the Retina Display on the New iPad. That means the text is crisp and easy to read and the high-resolution photos – a trade mark of National Geographic – simply pop off the screen.

Launching the app brings up a dynamic columnar view that lists dates for the past week and provides a brief glimpse of a photo from each of those days. Tapping one of the columns causes the others to smoothly slide out of the way, revealing the full image underneath. A pop-up window provides information on the photo itself including when and where it was taken. That image is just the cover shot for the day, however, and readers can access all the daily news, videos and other interactive content through an unobtrusive and intuitive interface that falls along the right side of the screen.

Of course, this is the age of social media and the app has its bases well covered there as well. All of the articles, photos, videos and various other content can be shared via Facebook, Twitter and email, and readers can also “Like” stories and post comments quickly and easily.

If you’re a fan of National Geographic and own an iPad you’ll definitely want to add this app to your tablet. It is absolutely free and will likely provide you with hours of education and entertainment. Download it now by clicking here.