National Geographic : 2000 Sep
Forum Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Is it acceptable to spend more than one-third the operating budget of Yellowstone National Park to move a pile of bricks one-half mile, while some of America's ecologically fragile parks are vandalized and left in disrepair for lack of funding? LINDA TERRELL Albuquerque, New Mexico As I approach retirement age, I am impressed that the unified jacking system used to push the lighthouse was designed by a 78-year-old. As an accountant I could not help but notice it cost about $1.20 a pound to move the lighthouse. GEORGE A. FIEBELKORN, JR. Falls Church, Virginia In Search of Vikings Probably the biggest mistake made by the Vikings was to upset the church, for it was the monks who had the supreme task of writing history. MARK FANTINO San Francisco,California There's no doubt that the Vikings were a strong and aggressive people, but I have read that they may have had a little assistance from a locally grown fungus. Bright red with white spots, the fly agaric mushroom was revered by Siberians and Vikings for its energizing and rejuvenating properties and its ability to "eliminate feelings of fatigue ... in an extremely harsh environment." ROBERT S. DURKEE Vashon Island, Washington The Vikings were no more or less brutal than the rest of their age. Yes, they kept slaves, but so did the Greeks, Romans, Per sians, Egyptians, and Chinese. It is unfair and inaccurate to filter a ninth-century culture through 20th-century morality. BARBARA L. CALLAHAN Lowell, Massachusetts The Vikings left a genetic legacy. Alpha 1-antitrypsin deficiency is an often fatal disease that can af fect the lungs and liver. A severe form is caused by a genetic vari ant that originated in Scandina via and spread during the Viking exploration throughout north ern and eastern Europe. Today this legacy, widely underdiag nosed, affects perhaps as many Americans as cystic fibrosis. BETTINA B. IRVINE Director,Alpha 1Association Minneapolis, Minnesota May 2000 A stack of old GEOGRAPHIC maga zines is a standardfixture in many homes aroundthe world. A reader from New York was glad he had kept his when he received the May issue. After readingour follow-up article on the eruption ofMount St. Helens, he picked up the originalstory, also written by Rowe Findley,from Janu ary 1981. "This is why people don't throw away old GEOGRAPHICS." NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * SEPTEMBER 2000 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY "Forthe increase and 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. HOFFMAN, President,Books and School PublishingGroup CHRISTOPHER A. LIEDEL, CFO ROBERT B. SIMS, President,Magazine Group BOARD OF TRUSTEES GILBERT M. GROSVENOR, Chairman REG MURPHY, Vice Chairman JOAN ABRAHAMSON, WILLIAM L. ALLEN, THOMAS E. BOLGER, LEWIS M. BRANSCOMB, J.CARTER BROWN, MARTHA E. CHURCH, MICHAEL COLLINS, JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., JAMES H. GILLIAM, JR., JOHN JAYISELIN, JAMES C. KAUTZ, J.WILLARD MARRIOTT, JR., FLORETTA DUKES MCKENZIE, PATRICK F. NOONAN, DENNIS R. PATRICK, NATHANIEL P. REED, WILLIAM K. REILLY, ROZANNE L. RIDGWAY, JAMES R. SASSER, B. FRANCIS SAUL II, GERD SCHULTE-HILLEN TRUSTEES EMERITUS Joe L. Allbritton, Owen R. Anderson, Frank Borman, Robert L. Breeden, Lloyd H. Elliott, George M. Elsey, William Graves, Caryl P. Haskins, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Laurance S. Rockefeller, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Frederick G. Vosburgh RESEARCH AND EXPLORATION COMMITTEE Peter H. Raven, Chairman;John M. Francis, Vice Chairman and Executive Director;Richard S. 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: P. Andrew van Duym, Gregory A. McGruder School Publishing: Ericka Markman, Vice President. International: Robert W. Hernandez, 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. Sabld. Law: Susan Borke, Angelo M. Grima, Suzanne R. McDowell NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VENTURES C. RICHARD ALLEN, Presidentand CEO Television: Timothy T. Kelly, President. National Geographic Channel: David Haslingden, President, International; Laureen Ong, President, U.S .; Andrew C. Wilk, Exec. Vice President, Programming. natlonalgeographlc.com: Mitchell Praver, President. Maps: William L. Stoehr, President:Allen Carroll, Chief Cartographer. Enterprises: Linda Berkeley, President; Lynn Cutter, Travel; John Dumbacher, Licensing. Finance: Frances A. Marshall Copyright © 2000 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved. NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC and Yellow Border: Registered Trademarks ® Marcas Registradas. NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials.