"Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put it on a fruit salad"
My love affair with National Geographic started in June 2002, they had a special edition on the D-Day landings, I saw the tattered American flag on the front cover and knew I had to have it, so I did, as it only cost £2.50. Months later I took the little envelope out of one of them, filled out the subscription and the rest, as they say is history, not interesting history mind you.
National Geographic is an institution, it covers such broad subjects, I've just sat on the floor and copied down five subjects at random that are printed on the spines, opium wars, glimpse of cosmos, clownfish, Blackpool and svaneti??? (I'll have to look that up, can't just take one of the back issues off the shelf, would never get the damned thing back again).
I did however, remove one that caught my eye, for this special occasion, as it had Singapore on the spine, I thought I'd wow you all with a tidbit of information about our home, unfortunatly p132 onwards of the January 2010 issue seems to have been cut out of my precious little piece of persuasive scientific panfliting. The article was called "tough love in Singapore", must have been about Geylang or something.
However, I have a bit of a confession to make, I hardly read them, I've got nearly every issue since my birth in 1979, some in pristine condition, some in "I just nicked that from the dental surgery coffee table" look. I have all the warm glow of somebody who feels superior having them on my book shelf, and I have that smug look, reading something on the internet and knowing that if I read the article that covered that particular subject in my National Geographic I would prove the internet piece to be absolute hogswaddle. But that could also just be because I'm English, backed up by an American publication, that's multiculturalism for you.
One of my favorite issues, that I did read, covered the war on science, climate change, evolution, the moon landings, vaccinations etc. Plus one area that I was a little surprised and immensely happy to see on the cover "genetically modified food", there is a great intro to a book entitled Fads and Fallacies by Martin Gardner, it covers Flying Saucers, Scientology, Homeopathy and many more. The first edition of the book prompted many letters from irate readers, all defending their own little beliefs, however they only objected to the attacks on them, thinking all the others chapters excellent. Please don’t associate me with THOSE people.
I could make a grand gesture now, say that I've seen the light and that I'm going to read every issue from my birth to this day cover to cover, but even while I was writing this I was continually interrupted, once I was actually called, yes called, on my phone to take daughters mermaid outfit and fins down to the pool, so I will read them all, but I think I'll have to save that joy for retirement. For now, when I read news/Facebook/twitter articles I know that if I need to, I can check back to my rows of yellow books and find a little bit of the truth.
I just looked, and to my surprise my collection starts in 1989, not 1979, so I've lost a decade, which is weird, as if there's a decade I should have lost surely it would have been my twenties.