National Geographic : 1993 May
This medium-of-exchange money, called M1, is part of M2 and totals about one trillion dollars. JOHN J. KLEIN Professorof Economics, GeorgiaState University Atlanta, Georgia The story implies that people on food stamps are often improvident and/or crooked. I and my family are on food stamps, as is between 10 and 12 percent of the population. We are a cross section of Ameri cans of all ages, races, and backgrounds. I am a 48-year-old mother of two young daughters, an ex Navy Wave. I keep a well-stocked pantry and have collected aluminum cans to get money to pay util ity bills. Food stamps are lifesavers, and I believe that our present economic woes would be much worse without this and other welfare programs. JANE ELLEN DUBOIS Greenville, Texas Colca Canyon Joe Kane's story on the Colca River of Peru is more than just a story about some unknown canyon. It's a story of thoughts and emotions that only a river runner can know - a story of going from the fear of dying to the exhilaration of living in seconds. A river trip has a way of scaring the hell out of you and still making you want to go back for more. JOSEPH J. JERKOVICH St. Cloud, Minnesota Last year I trekked in awe through the Kali Gan daki Gorge, west of Annapurna in central Nepal. This 7,200-foot-high valley splits Annapurna I (26,500 feet) from Dhaulagiri (26,800 feet). The spectacular river gorge plunges approximately 19,300 feet, vastly deeper than Colca's 10,517 feet. NORMA E. STAAF Salmon, Idaho Geographerssay that "canyons" are steeper sided than "valleys," while "gorges" are generally parts of canyons or valleys. We consider the Kali Gan daki Gorge a valley, because the drop from the AnnapurnalandDhaulagirisummits to the riveris broken by lower peaks. Thus the Colca is earth's deepest canyon, Kali Gandaki the deepest valley. While I have never river-rafted, I am enthralled by the power of moving water. After reading Kane's article, I remembered receiving his book, Running theAmazon, which I had never found time to read. Now I have read it in one sitting, and it was every bit as intriguing as his experience on the Colca. ERIC M. CHRISTIANSEN Lakeland, Florida Letters should be addressedto FORUM, National GeographicMagazine, Box 37448, Washington, D. C. 20013, and should include the sender's address and telephone number. Not all letters can be used. Those that are will often be edited and excerpted. Forum Ask one of the 3 million Americans who've survived cancer, if the money spent on research is worth it. We are winning. Please support the AMERICAN CANCER SSOCIETY® This space contributed as a public service.