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Cover art: "Untitled #132," 2005. Photograph by Simen Johan, courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York.

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November/December 2011




read article The Reign of the One Percenters

by Christopher Ketcham

Income inequality is stunting cultural evolution and eroding the prospects for the future of humanity. So where is the outrage?

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read article Holy Water

Photographs by Francesco Zizola / NOOR, Text by Stephan Faris

In the conflict-torn desert around Israel, water does not necessarily flow downhill.
Web extra: audio slide show.

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read article Deep Intellect

by Sy Montgomery

When you gaze into the eye of a giant octopus, don't underestimate what's going on inside that big, squishy head.

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read article Freebirds

by Michael P. Branch

What to make of a nation that pardons turkeys while putting lots of other innocent beings in its crosshairs?
Web extra: audio of the author reading this essay.

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Five Modern Crusoes

by Nigel Pitman

Fiction: The urge to start over is a universal story, but how we approach the challenge is a matter of character.


The Rainmakers

by Kathryn Flagg

The urge to control the weather with outdated weaponry becomes a job-creation program in China.


An Unlikely Urban Garden

Paintings by Lisa Adams

Portfolio: An homage to nearby nature in downtown Los Angeles.



by Andrei Codrescu

A poet finds home in the Ozarks and discovers the folk artist within.
This article is not available on the web, but please enjoy this audio interview with the author.



Small Change

read article The Era of Small and Many

by Bill McKibben

We are living through a giant turning of the tide, away from the brittle and toward the resilient.

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Upping the Stakes

Bright Green Reality Check

by Derrick Jensen

Believing what you want to believe doesn't make it true.

Lay of the Land


From the Editors

From the Editors

Gratitude and despair...

The Place Where You Live

The Place Where You Live

In this department of the magazine, we offer a space for people to exercise their sixth sense and tell us about their place, their connection to it, its history and future and imaginary life, in words and pictures. It's an ongoing web feature as well. In this issue: Linda M. Hasselstrom, on Hermosa, South Dakota; Colin Williams, on The Wash, East Anglia, United Kingdom; Beth Surdut, on Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Rebecca Durham Whithed, on The Bitterroot Valley, Montana.

Media & The Arts

Glass Gardens

by Cecily Parks

Contemplating flowers that neither smell nor sway in the wind.


Remembering the Weather

by Nico Alvarado

"Byword for boredom, grist in the mill of the old and dull, weather is the great unmentionable of good conversation..."


go to review Last Man in Tower, by Aravind Adiga
go to review What's Gotten Into Us?, by McKay Jenkins
go to review Loving Animals, by Kathy Rudy
go to review Rat Island, by William Stolzenburg
go to review Come, Thief, by Jane Hirshfield
go to review The Tree, by John Fowles


go to poem Saturn's Rings, by Ellen Bass
go to poem Dear Suburb, by David Roderick
go to poem Way Out Where, by Eva Hooker
go to poem Bitter Lake, by William Wenthe