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Episode 1127—Air Date: July 2, 2011

This week on National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about walking to the North and South Poles, surfing in sewage, learning to love like a bonobo, flying great white sharks, visiting the Titanic with James Cameron, what lab rats can teach us, the plight of polar bears, finding space in India, and the 2011 National Geographic Explorers Symposium.

HOUR 1

• In 1911, Robert F. Scott and Roald Amundsen battled to be the first to reach the South Pole. A century later, Robert Swan has followed in their footsteps and beyond, battling extreme cold, injury, and utter frustration to reach not only the South Pole but the North Pole as well, all on foot. Swann talks with Boyd about his book Antarctica 2041, his expeditions, and the invaluable lessons he learned from these two daring polar adventures.

• Just beyond the sunshine and sands of San Diego’s beaches lies a dangerous threat, and it’s not a shark. Environmentalist, avid surfer, and Young Explorer grantee Shannon Switzer is looking into human waste that flows into the ocean, causing illness in surfers and threatening ocean wildlife. Switzer tells Boyd about her efforts to document the problem and what can be done to stop it.

• Primatologist and author Vanessa Woods joins Boyd to discuss her book The Bonobo Handshake. She talks about having to share her husband with a jealous bonobo and explains what we can learn from these rare primates, with whom we share 98.7% of our DNA.

• This week David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to talk about flying great white sharks.

HOUR 2

• For filmmaker and new National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron, a personal love for exploration spills over into his work, allowing films like Avatar to spark people’s awareness of real-world issues through dazzling visuals and powerful stories. Cameron joins Boyd in the studio and explains how his films have allowed him to fund his true passion for exploring the unknown places of our planet. He also shares his hopes for the future of conservation and his own future expeditions, including a potential journey to the deepest spot in the ocean.

• Don’t be fooled by their whiskers and naked tails, we may have more in common with rats then we realize. Kelly Lambert, author of The Lab Rat Chronicles: A Neuroscientist Reveals Life Lessons from the Planet’s Most Successful Mammals, talks about how the behavior of rats can teach us how to improve our own health and well-being.

Susan McGrath, author of the July National Geographic magazine article “On Thin Ice,” joins Boyd to discuss the plight of the polar bear. Higher temperatures and melting ice are making it harder for bears to capture seals, their main food source.

• Boyd travels to Bangalore, India, to speak with Jan Nijman, an urban geographer who studies population growth in Mumbai and Bangalore. Currently, India is the second most populous country and will soon surpass China to become number one. Nijman studies the levels of tolerance and stress as Indians seek a little space of their own in an increasingly crowded country.

Boyd explains why interesting things happen when dozens of National Geographic Explorers converge in Washington, D.C., for the annual Explorers Symposium.

Listen to National Geographic Weekend

Episode 1127—Air Date: July 2, 2011

  • In 1911, Robert F. Scott and Roald Amundsen battled to be the first to reach the South Pole. A century later, Robert Swan has followed in their footsteps and beyond, battling extreme cold, injury, and utter frustration to reach not only the South Pole but the North Pole as well, all on foot. Swann talks with Boyd about his book Antarctica 2041, his expeditions, and the invaluable lessons he learned from these two daring polar adventures.

  • 00:06:00 Shannon Switzer

    Just beyond the sunshine and sands of San Diego’s beaches lies a dangerous threat, and it’s not a shark. Environmentalist, avid surfer, and Young Explorer grantee Shannon Switzer is looking into human waste that flows into the ocean, causing illness in surfers and threatening ocean wildlife. Switzer tells Boyd about her efforts to document the problem and what can be done to stop it.

  • 08:00:00 Vanessa Woods

    Primatologist and author Vanessa Woods joins Boyd to discuss her book The Bonobo Handshake. She talks about having to share her husband with a jealous bonobo and explains what we can learn from these rare primates, with whom we share 98.7% of our DNA.

  • This week David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to talk about flying great white sharks.

  • 00:11:00 James Cameron

    For filmmaker and new National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron, a personal love for exploration spills over into his work, allowing films like “Avatar” to spark people’s awareness of real-world issues through dazzling visuals and powerful stories. Cameron joins Boyd in the studio and explains how his films have allowed him to fund his true passion for exploring the unknown places of our planet. He also shares his hopes for the future of conservation and his own future expeditions, including a potential journey to the deepest spot in the ocean.

  • 00:09:00 Kelly Lambert

    Don’t be fooled by their whiskers and naked tails, we may have more in common with rats then we realize. Kelly Lambert, author of The Lab Rat Chronicles: A Neuroscientist Reveals Life Lessons from the Planet’s Most Successful Mammals, talks about how the behavior of rats can teach us how to improve our own health and well-being.

  • 00:06:00 Susan McGrath

    Susan McGrath, author of the July National Geographic magazine article “On Thin Ice,” joins Boyd to discuss the plight of the polar bear. Higher temperatures and melting ice are making it harder for bears to capture seals, their main food source.

  • 00:08:00 Jan Nijman

    Boyd travels to Bangalore, India, to speak with Jan Nijman, an urban geographer who studies population growth in Mumbai and Bangalore. Currently, India is the second most populous country and will soon surpass China to become number one. Nijman studies the levels of tolerance and stress as Indians seek a little space of their own in an increasingly crowded country.

  • Boyd explains why interesting things happen when dozens of National Geographic Explorers converge in Washington, D.C., for the annual Explorers Symposium.