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Episode 1113—Air Date: March 26, 2011

This week on National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about hiking around Alaska for 176 days, running barefoot, zombie ants controlled by fungus, counterfeit cave paintings, climbing mountains in support of a revolution, visiting a lava lake inside a volcano, taking a long nap with a bear, the future of nuclear power in the United States, and the dangers of a tried and true piece of camping gear.

HOUR 1

Andrew Skurka, the 2007 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, hiked, skied, and rafted 4,679 miles through eight national parks, dozens of mountain ranges, and the length of the Yukon Territory. Skurka joins Boyd in the studio to talk about fending off bears, finding food and surviving the mental trials of his expedition. (National Geographic Article)

Steve Casimiro, the “gear guru,” joins Boyd to recommend gear for your next outdoor adventure, including innovative new sleeping bags and the latest trend in running shoes: almost no shoe at all. (Gear of the Year)

• Zombies are very real. A fungus that eats brains and takes control of bodies is on the attack, infecting ants and other insects in the Brazilian rain forest. Penn State entomologist David Hughes joins Boyd to talk about the bizarre yet real zombie fungus. (David Hughes' Photos)

• National Geographic's daily online news editor David Braun shares some of the week’s hottest stories, including counterfeit cave paintings. (National Geographic News)

HOUR 2

Omar Samra is the first Egyptian to climb Mount Everest. Now he is aiming to be the first Egyptian to climb the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. He recently finished climbing Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America. But while he was on the mountain, his world back home in Egypt was undergoing drastic change in the form of a revolution. Samra tells Boyd he was torn between finishing his expedition and returning home to support his countrymen. (Omar Samra's Web Site)

National Geographic photographer Carsten Peter descended to a fiery lake of lava inside a volcano to get pictures for the article “The Volcano Next Door,” in the April issue of National Geographic magazine. Peter tells Boyd how he survived a trip down to the 1800°F lava lake. (National Geographic Article)

• Stanford University biologist Craig Heller studies hibernating bears. And as Heller tells Boyd, this often means climbing into a den while trying not to wake the bear! Heller found that bears are able to slow their metabolism by decreasing their body temperature by only a few degrees. (New York Times Article)

• What does the recent disaster in Japan mean for the future of nuclear energy here in the United States? Marianne Lavelle, Energy Editor for National Geographic Digital Media, joins Boyd to answer this and other questions about the recent reactor meltdown. (National Geographic News)

Boyd explains why a pee bottle is an important piece of gear for camping, but can be dangerous if not used properly.

Listen to National Geographic Weekend

Episode 1113—March 26, 2011

  • National Geographic's daily online news editor David Braun shares some of the week’s hottest stories, including counterfeit cave paintings.

  • 00:03:50 Omar Samra

    Omar Samra is the first Egyptian to climb Mount Everest. Now he is aiming to be the first Egyptian to climb the highest peaks on each of the seven continents. He recently finished climbing Aconcagua, the highest mountain in South America. But while he was on the mountain, his world back home in Egypt was undergoing drastic change in the form of a revolution. Samra tells Boyd he was torn between finishing his expedition and returning home to support his countrymen.

  • 00:09:00 Carsten Peter

    National Geographic photographer Carsten Peter descended to a fiery lake of lava inside a volcano to get pictures for the article “The Volcano Next Door,” in the April issue of National Geographic magazine. Peter tells Boyd how he survived a trip down to the 1800°F lava lake.

  • 00:06:00 Craig Heller

    Stanford University biologist Craig Heller studies hibernating bears. And as Heller tells Boyd, this often means climbing into a den while trying not to wake the bear! Heller found that bears are able to slow their metabolism by decreasing their body temperature by only a few degrees.

  • 00:08:00 Marianne Lavelle

    What does the recent disaster in Japan mean for the future of nuclear energy here in the United States? Marianne Lavelle, Energy Editor for National Geographic Digital Media, joins Boyd to answer this and other questions about the recent reactor meltdown.

  • Boyd explains why a pee bottle is an important piece of gear for camping, but can be dangerous if not used properly.

  • 00:11:00 Andrew Skurka

    Andrew Skurka, the 2007 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, hiked, skied, and rafted 4,679 miles through eight national parks, dozens of mountain ranges, and the length of the Yukon Territory. Skurka joins Boyd in the studio to talk about fending off bears, finding food and surviving the mental trials of his expedition.

  • 00:09:00 Steve Casimiro

    Steve Casimiro, the “gear guru,” joins Boyd to recommend gear for your next outdoor adventure, including innovative new sleeping bags and the latest trend in running shoes: almost no shoe at all.

  • 00:05:59 David Hughes

    Zombies are very real. A fungus that eats brains and takes control of bodies is on the attack, infecting ants and other insects in the Brazilian rain forest. Penn State entomologist David Hughes joins Boyd to talk about the bizarre yet real zombie fungus.