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Episode 1139—Air Date: September 24, 2011

This week on National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about surviving a leopard seal attack, living with monkeys, visiting hidden travel gems, riding a scooter across Egypt, creating a see-through brain, playing the no-holds-barred national sport of Afghanistan, raising an orphaned elephant, finding the next big idea, swimming with humpback whales, and scuba diving in freezing Antarctic waters.

HOUR 1

• When National Geographic CritterCam inventor Greg Marshall saw a leopard seal in the Antarctic Ocean, he wasn’t immediately worried. He figured he was a safe distance from the water’s edge. But the seal launched itself out of the water and flew through the air like a guided missile, mouth agape and teeth bared, ready to make a meal of Marshall. Marshall joins Boyd in the studio to share the story of his close call.

• Sometimes Agustín Fuentes’ work literally is a barrel full of monkeys. Fuentes, a biological anthropologist at the University of Notre Dame, studies the interactions of humans and primates in places where they live in close contact with one another, such as in Bali, Gibraltar, and Singapore.

Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine, reveals more insider travel know-how from Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Best Hidden Travel Gems. Bellows, who wrote the introduction to the book, joins Boyd to talk about some of his favorite secret places.

• The upcoming Cross Egypt Challenge is a nine-day, 1,700-kilometer (1,056-mile) endurance scooter ride across Egypt, from the Mediterranean Sea to the country’s southern border. Concerned about the drop in tourism following the recent Egyptian revolution, Ahmad Elzoghby and his colleagues created the event to prove that road travel in Egypt is safe.

• This week David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to talk about see-through brains.

HOUR 2

• The national sport of Afghanistan involves horses, men, a goat carcass, and whips. Writer Carl Hoffman tried the sport called buzkashi and writes about it in an ESPN magazine article titled “Rider in the Storm.” The game requires men on horseback to grab a goat from one chalk circle and drop it in another, and while it may sound simple, Hoffman tells Boyd it’s anything but.

• Raising an orphan elephant is a difficult task, says author Charles Siebert. In his article for the September National Geographic magazine “Orphans No More,” Siebert details the work being done at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the world’s most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation center.

• It might be nice to imagine scientific breakthroughs such as the World Wide Web and the Theory of Relativity springing fully formed from the minds of their creators. But behind every big idea there are other ideas. The new National Geographic book The Big Idea: How Breakthroughs of the Past Shape the Future looks back through the past, one idea at a time. James Trefil, a physics professor at George Mason University and the science adviser on the book, joins Boyd to talk about big ideas, past and present.

Dan Basta, director of the National Marine Sanctuaries program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, joins Boyd to talk about the joy of swimming with humpback whales and the growing international effort to save these endangered creatures.

Boyd recalls feeling a little weighed down during an Antarctic Ocean scuba dive.

Listen to National Geographic Weekend

Episode 1139—Air Date: September 24, 2011

  • 00:11:00 Greg Marshall

    When National Geographic CritterCam inventor Greg Marshall saw a leopard seal in the Antarctic Ocean, he wasn’t immediately worried. He figured he was a safe distance from the water’s edge. But the seal launched itself out of the water and flew through the air like a guided missile, mouth agape and teeth bared, ready to make a meal of Marshall. Marshall joins Boyd in the studio to share the story of his close call.

    • 00:09:00 Agustín Fuentes

      Sometimes Agustín Fuenteswork literally is a barrel full of monkeys. Fuentes, a biological anthropologist at the University of Notre Dame, studies the interactions of humans and primates in places where they live in close contact with one another, such as in Bali, Gibraltar, and Singapore.

    • 00:06:00 Keith Bellows

      Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine, reveals more Secret Journeys of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Best Hidden Travel Gems. Bellows, who wrote the introduction to the book, joins Boyd to talk about some of his favorite secret places.

    • 00:08:00 Ahmad Elzoghby

      The upcoming Cross Egypt Challenge is a nine-day, 1,700-kilometer (1,056-mile) endurance scooter ride across Egypt, from the Mediterranean Sea to the country’s southern border. Concerned about the drop in tourism following the recent Egyptian revolution, Ahmad Elzoghby and his colleagues created the event to prove that road travel in Egypt is safe.

    • This week David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to talk about see-through brains.

      • 00:11:00 Carl Hoffman

        The national sport of Afghanistan involves horses, men, a goat carcass, and whips. Writer Carl Hoffman tried the sport called buzkashi and writes about it in an ESPN magazine article titled “Rider in the Storm.” The game requires men on horseback to grab a goat from one chalk circle and drop it in another, and while it may sound simple, Hoffman tells Boyd it’s anything but.

        • 00:09:00 Charles Siebert

          Raising an orphan elephant is a difficult task, says author Charles Siebert. In his article for the September National Geographic magazine “Orphans No More,” Siebert details the work being done at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the world’s most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation center.

        • 00:06:00 James Trefil

          It might be nice to imagine scientific breakthroughs such as the World Wide Web and the Theory of Relativity springing fully formed from the minds of their creators. But behind every big idea there are other ideas. The new National Geographic book The Big Idea: How Breakthroughs of the Past Shape the Future looks back through the past, one idea at a time. James Trefil, a physics professor at George Mason University and the science adviser on the book, joins Boyd to talk about big ideas, past and present.

        • 00:08:00 Dan Basta

          Dan Basta, director of the National Marine Sanctuaries program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, joins Boyd to talk about the joy of swimming with humpback whales and the growing international effort to save these endangered creatures.

        • Boyd recalls feeling a little weighed down during an Antarctic Ocean scuba dive.