Archive for the ‘EXTRAS’ Category



At LAM, we often get questions about how we select the work that gets published in the magazine. Although there is no strategy beyond trying to find and publish the best work in the field, we also strive to do stories that represent a broad range of places. This map shows roughly (the projects are generally not geolocated, but represented by city) where projects we’ve published over the past year are located. It tells us how and where we are succeeding, and where we need to look more closely for stories. Readers who are interested in learning more about each project can click each point, which pops up a window with the project title, firm, location, and the article and issue it appeared in.

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As part of an ongoing effort to make content more accessible, LAM will be making select stories available to readers in Spanish. For a full list of translated articles, please click here.

Click above for a full PDF of the translated text with English text available below.



Among Southern California landscape architecture firms, Los Angeles-based Studio-MLA (formerly Mia Lehrer + Associates) is arguably highbrow. Known for public spaces like the 1,300-acre Orange County Great Park and Vista Hermosa Park in an underserved section of Los Angeles, and transformative master plans for infrastructuralized landscapes like the Los Angeles River and the Silver Lake Reservoir, the firm has a serious approach to the needs of Southern California and the services landscape architecture can provide. It’s complex, civic-minded work built out of decades of engagement in the community.

So it’s somewhat unexpected to see some of Studio-MLA’s recent work (more…)

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Dr. Tu Youyou during the 1950’s.

Artemisia annua, a common roadside weed, is one of the humblest of the several hundred Artemisia species found all around the world. It’s dull and ragged, but it is instrumental in bringing a Chinese scientist to Stockholm to receive a Nobel Prize this December. The species is a shabby version of Artemisia ‘Powis Castle,’ familiar to gardeners for its lacy silvery foliage. Back in the 1960s Dr. Tu Youyou screened 2,000 traditional Chinese remedies in search of a new treatment for malaria. The malaria-causing parasite had grown resistant to quinine and other earlier drugs. Ho Chi Minh, in desperation because his soldiers were dying, appealed to Mao Tse-tung for help, and Mao set Tu to work. She found the clue in a 1,700-year-old manuscript that advised sweet wormwood, Artemisia annua’s common name, for intermittent fevers, a common malaria symptom. She found that an extract of the herbivore-repellent sesquiterpenoid lactones that give Artemisia its distinctive bitter scent killed the malaria-causing parasite. Born in 1930, Tu is still at work at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing. You (you) go, girl.

Constance Casey, a former New York City Parks Department gardener, is a contributing editor to LAM.

Credit: By Xinhua News agency [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.

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Dedicated and patient arachnologists identified two more species of peacock spider this year. Most of us have never heard of these creatures, but the more the better. They are creatures with whom it’s a pleasure to share the world. Not because they eat flies, though that’s a service much appreciated in their native Australia, but because the male performs an intricate dance with an iridescent fan raised over his body. The performance, which includes percussion with his feet, is all the more impressive because a septet of these showy spiders could fit on a man’s thumbnail. A male peacock spider is four millimeters long; that’s about one sixth of an inch.

The two new spider species add to the 40 or so in the genus Maratus, part of the family Salticidae—jumping spiders. There is Maratus skeletus, named for the bold white markings on the male’s black body. It’s dramatic, but the charmer is Maratus jactatus, nicknamed “Sparklemuffin” by the University of California, Berkeley graduate student Madeline Girard, whose paper in the journal Cell describes its astounding courtship dance.

“Sparklemuffin” spiders have so far been collected only in the Wondul Range National Park in Queensland. Not surprisingly few people have (more…)

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