National Geographic : 2000 Dec
Forum . August 2000 After seeing our cover story on Sydney, Australia,a readerfrom Dallas,Texas, wrote: "I now know why there are not a lot ofAussies in the U.S.A. They would be crazy to leave such a beautiful country." Sydney You err in your comparison of Sydney and Melbourne in the late fifties. As a New Zealand cadet at Royal Australian Naval College then, I knew both cities and observed the intense rivalry between them. Sydneysiders chortled when Ava Gardner, in Melbourne in 1958 with Gregory Peck to film Nevil Shute's apoca lyptic On the Beach, gave her opinion of Melbourne. "This film is about the end of the world. They certainly came to the right place to make it." R. LEA CLOUGH Chatham Island,New Zealand The Melbournejournalistwho quoted the actress penned this sentiment himself, accordingto Cassell Companion to Quota tions by Nigel Rees. There is not one Aboriginal face in any of the photos accompany ing the article. Sydney may be a city of opportunity for many, but I'm not sure the Aborigines would think so. TANYA GREGSON Leeds, England While the Sydney Opera House is a widely recognized icon, it also proves my theory that award-winning architecture and functional design are mutually exclusive. The Opera House looks great from the outside, but inside the main theater is too small. The Australian Ballet has to specially design its sets to fit the stage, and orchestra members have to wear earplugs because the sound is too loud. SIMON NETTLETON Lavington, Australia People of Heaven You seem to find it strange that a Zulu king can be a "devout Anglican" and husband to five wives. But the king who founded Anglicanism also had five wives, not counting the wife he had before he launched his new career as a theologian. The Zulu king differs in that he has his five in concert, while Henry VIII had his serially, beheading or divorcing those who proved a disappointment. RICHARD WHITE East Lyme, Connecticut The British defeat at Isandlwana was helped by another mistake: a shortage of screwdrivers designed to open the ammu nition boxes. The boxes were wooden and bound with thick copper straps held together with heavy slot-head screws. When the British troops emptied their bandoliers, they were left with only bayonets to face an enemy equipped with spears and the discipline of a Roman legion. GEORGE K. GODLEWSKI Saratoga,California NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * DECEMBER 2000 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY "For the increaseand diffusion of geographicknowledge." The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C., as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 6,500 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., Presidentand CEO Executive Vice Presidents TERRENCE B. ADAMSON TERRY D. GARCIA, Mission Programs NINA D. 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Williams, Jr., Vice Chairman; Martha E. Church, H. J . de Blij, Linda Manzanilla, David Pimentel, Charles H. Southwick, John H. Steele, George E. Stuart, Hans-Dieter Sues, George E. Watson, Henry T. Wright EXPLORERS-IN-RESIDENCE Stephen Ambrose, Robert Ballard, Wade Davis, Sylvia Earle, Jane Goodall, Johan Reinhard, Paul Sereno MISSION PROGRAMS Education Foundation:Lanny M. Proffer. Exhibits: Susan S. Norton. Expeditions Council: Rebecca Martin. Geography Bee: Mary Lee Elden. Lectures: R Andrew van Duym. Gregory A. McGruder School Publishing: Ericka Markman, Vice President. International: Robert W. Hernbndez, Vice President ADMINISTRATION Finance: Michael J. Cole. Controller; H. Gregory Platts, Treasurer. Membership and Marketing Services: Mary P. Donohoe, Donna L. Hasslinger. Human Resources: Thomas A. Sabl6. Law: Susan Borke, Angelo M. Grima, Suzanne R. McDowell NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VENTURES C. RICHARD ALLEN, Presidentand CEO Television: Timothy T. Kelly, President. 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