National Geographic : 2012 May
• LETTERS January 2012 Land Mines As an undergraduate, I spent time working at the Stanford University map library. For a map lover there were thousands to see and enjoy. One day a researcher pulled out a map I had never seen---a white sheet, its network of black roads and place-names covered in thousands of little red dots, many in large clumps, covering towns and regions. He explained that it was a map of land mines in part of Cambodia. I was struck, and that map has remained in my mind as the most powerful and heartbreaking I've seen. I'm so glad to hear that this map looks different today. TWILA MOON Big Sky, Montana feeling. This despite my having a graduate degree in mathemat- ics (a most rational discipline) and it being a good 17 years after the end of World War II. EZIO PIAGGI Pacific Palisades, California We Americans take for granted being able to walk on country roads and lanes, but Cambodi- ans---and people in other Southeast Asian countries--- are deprived of that simple pleasure. I hope better ways are discovered to locate land mines that destroy limbs and lives. Those weapons of past wars make peacetime hellish. HOSEA L. MARTIN Chicago, Illinois Twins I'm quite sure I am the minority vote, but while I love my brother and am closer to him than any other person except for my wife, I despise being a twin. I consider it the most unfortu- nate aspect of my life. In the common public perception I am not considered a unique individual, but merely half of a whole---as the second born, the lesser half. I thank you for helping to dispel this myth. BRUCE WHITE Wichita, Kansas I'm an identical twin. Geneti- cally, my brother's children and my children are not cousins, but half brothers and sisters. Had their mothers been identical twins, they would be true brothers and sisters. GORDON D. ROWE Millersville, Pennsylvania I lived through World War II in Italy as a child. At the end ofthewar,Iwastoldinno uncertain terms that I was not to go walking in an open field that had not been recently trampled upon. This idea was so inculcated in my head that when I moved to southern California to start work as an engineer at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in September 1962, I still could not walk in an untrampled field without having an uneasy FEEDBACK Twin readers and their parents took sides on the alike/not alike issue, strongly supporting both theories. EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org TWITTER @NatGeoMag WRITE National Geographic Magazine, PO Box 98199, Washington, DC 20090-8199. Include name, address, and daytime telephone. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. GRAPHIC: MATTHEW TWOMBLY, NGM STAFF "When one calls home, I can expect the other one to be calling within minutes." "My sister and I find it desperately hard to keep a civil tone and tolerate each other." "He is scientific, while I am artistic. Iamgayandheisnot." Twins experience "sympathetic pain and extrasensory perception. We were, after all, 'womb mates.' " "My brother is somewhat my 'Picture of Dorian Gray' in that he generally gets the ailment first." "Of our 'identical' sons, one is so extroverted and outgoing, while the other is so introverted and reserved."