National Geographic : 1978 Aug
"' UNK." The pointed comment scrawled in the margin of a page proof was that of a university professor whom we had asked to review the article on aluminum that appears in this issue. He obviously disagreed with a statement quoted by author Tom Canby, that aluminum is "friendly to food." The insides of aluminum cans, the professor noted, are coat ed with lacquer. True enough, for technical reasons. But as cans, cookware, or foil wrap ping, the metal is-as we note-"so chemically stable it doesn't react with most foods." The professor was one of no fewer than 80 experts and organizations our Research Divi sion consulted, in addition to 120 printed sources, to verify what Tom had written after six months and some 16,000 miles covering this major international industry. I know of no other publication that re searches what appears in print more thorough ly than does the GEOGRAPHIC. Our writers are among the best in journalism, and they gather the most complete documentation-but there is always the chance that what they have been told, or heard, or read, is not exact. Or is down right wrong, for one reason or another. Each manuscript is subjected to a long pro cess of checking facts and verifying infor mation. Like the mills of God, this process grinds exceeding small. When, for example, Tom came across the dramatic fact that a spiderweb-thin aluminum wire stretching around the world would weigh only a pound and a half, researcher Lesley Rogers took the matter up with Alcoa and the U. S. Bureau of Mines, which in turn consulted a spider expert at the Smithsonian Institution. Alas, spiders are dreadfully untypical in the webs they weave. However, all experts con cluded that a wire .002 inch in diameter, which seems a reasonably spidery sort of dimension, would, when belting the planet, weigh 484 pounds-still remarkable! The process also grinds exceeding large. One reviewer thought we should take note that "If it weren't for the huge government subsidies in the form of hydropower dams, we would not have such 'necessities' as aluminum beer cans today." Canby added the contention. Each article kicks up its own dust of strong pros and heated cons. We look ahead to what our researchers will meet in checking forth coming articles on Syria today, "talking" goril las, and natural gas. nAT ONAL GfEOGFAPHllC THE NATIONALGEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINEVOL. 154, NO. 2 COPYRIGHT© 1978 BY NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY WASHINGTON,D. C. INTERNATIONAL COPYRIGHT SECURED August 1978 Startling New Look at Dinosaurs 152 They ruled the earthfor 140 million years, then disappeared.Were some of them warm-blooded? Did some evolve into birds? PaleontologistJohn H. Ostrom discusses new ideas about those "terrible lizards," brought back to life by artist Roy Andersen. The Magic of Aluminum 186 Earth's most plentiful and versatile metal also takes prodigious energy to produce. Thomas Y. Canby and James L. Amos report on a phenomenon of the industrialage. Georgia, Unlimited 212 Still rich in peaches, pecans, andpeanuts, a forward-looking state is shouldering its way to industrialprosperity as well. Alice J. Hall and Bill Weems find little left of its poor-South past. New Zealand's High Country 246 Yva Momatiuk and John Eastcott tramp the Southern Alps, where ranchers endure the trials and enjoy the rewards of a rugged, lonely way of life. Spitsbergen, Norway's Arctic Hot Spot 267 Strategiclocation, a wealth of coal-and possibly oil-focus attention on a top-of the-world archipelagonamed Svalbard Land With Frozen Shores. Gordon Young and Martin Rogers visit islands once too unimportantfor any nation to claim. Mountain Goats Guardians of the Heights 284 Wildlife biologist Douglas H. Chadwick records the precarious life of regal, surefooted masters of shrinking mountainfastnesses. COVER: With a lethal battery of teeth, a six-ton Tyrannosaurus dispatches a duck billed dinosaur, Anatosaurus. Painting by Roy Andersen.