Pop Omnivore

“Wadjda” is believed to be the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia, and the first to have a female director. It’s also Saudi Arabia’s first submission to the Academy Awards. That’s quite a feat for a country with no movie theaters. Not only would men and women sitting next to each other in a...

By Sharon Jacobs, NGM staff I have a confession to make: I’m scared of bugs. I still routinely ask friends and family members to dispose of creepy crawlers for me. I got more than a little freaked out during the animated Pixar movie A Bug’s Life. And when I spotted my first cockroach outside of...

By Sharon Jacobs, NGM staff I have a confession to make: I’m scared of bugs. I still routinely ask friends and family members to dispose of creepy crawlers for me. I got more than a little freaked out during the animated Pixar movie A Bug’s Life. And when I spotted my first cockroach outside of...

Inspired by an Arctic assignment for National Geographic, photographer James Balog decided to chronicle the planet’s disappearing glaciers through a three-year, $3 million project called the Extreme Ice Survey. With the help of time-lapse cameras and scientists Dr. Tad Pfeffer and Dr. Jason Box, Balog recorded images of a rapidly changing landscape, which resulted in...

How do you bring the Dust Bowl back to life? Get Ken Burns to make a film about it. The preeminent documentarian’s latest act, The Dust Bowl, airing November 18 and 19 at 8 p.m. on PBS, is a two-part, four-hour look at “a decade-long natural catastrophe of biblical proportions.” In the 1930s, America’s agricultural...

Can you imagine spending your life encased in 750 pounds of iron? The new film The Sessions is based on the true story of Mark O’Brien, a poet who was largely confined to an iron lung—a massive “tin can” that pulled air in and out of his lungs with mechanical pumps—after childhood polio left him...

By Sasha Ingber It is now official: Gangnam Style has penetrated every nook and cranny of the Planet Earth and is probably rocketing out to Neptune and beyond. “Gangnam Style” is the name of a pop song by the South Korean singer Psy. He sings about “a guy whose heart bursts when the night comes.”...

  By Glenn Oeland There are some National Geographic photographers whose work never fails to dazzle even the most jaded eye. One of them is Paul Nicklen. Maybe it was his childhood among Arctic hunters in the far north of Canada, or perhaps it was his later training in wildlife science. Whatever its source, Paul...

By Catherine Zuckerman Frog: It’s what’s for dinner. Frog fallopian tubes, to be exact. On a recent episode of The Amazing Race, contestants jetted off to Shanghai and had to down a Chinese delicacy known as hasma. Described as “frog fallopian tubes,” the meal looked daunting—picture a mound of small, milky-white, jiggling blobs. To kick...

These days Paul Simon enjoys music from Mali, which he discovered two years ago in his continual lookout for new sounds. Twenty-five years ago, it was music from South Africa that caught the attention of the singer-songwriter, who reached international acclaim with his 1986 solo album, Graceland, the most commercially successful of his career. The...

If you’re in the DC area, stop by National Geographic headquarters this weekend for a cultural treat: The All Roads Film Festival (Sept. 27-30), featuring compelling stories from indigenous and minority cultures around the world. Here’s a preview compiled by NGM staffers. Busong (Palawan Fate) Screening: Thursday, September 27, 7 p.m. The Road Leads to:...

In The Amazing Spider-Man, Peter Parker’s well-known story feels like déjà vu all over again: Radioactive spider bites outcast teen. Powers grow. Tragedy befalls. Responsibility and heroism ensue. But Pop Omnivore would rather look at the spider than the man. No arachnid, no matter how special or nuclear-infused, will help a person scale walls and...

Pop phenom Rihanna took to Twitter on June 23 to share her new ink: a tattoo of an Egyptian Falcon perched on her right ankle. “Falcon: a light that shines in the darkness! Never close their eyes during sleep,” Rihanna tweeted with an image of the design. Which begs the question: Do falcons really sleep...

Disney’s John Carter is a wild interplanetary tale about a Civil War veteran who ends up on Mars, where he’s held captive by the Tharks, a tribe of tall green creatures. After rescuing a Martian princess, Carter finds himself falling for her and so he joins her city, Helium, in a war against another Martian...

Saving Face, which won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short, highlights the issue of acid attacks against women in Pakistan. About 150 cases are reported each year in that country, which is one of a dozen or so to experience this form of violence. But incidents are likely underreported. U.S. filmmaker Daniel Junge, 42, teamed...