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Episode 1150—Air Date: December 10, 2011

This week on National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about tracking tigers in India, who’s in charge of our brains, breaking the glass ceiling in surfing, nerd parties, the most influential cities, circumnavigating Ellesmere Island by kayak, changing lives with SMS, selling power to the powerless, and freezing on Lake Superior.

HOUR 1

• National Geographic photographer Steve Winter had a tough time catching tigers on camera for “A Cry for the Tiger,” an article in the December National Geographic magazine. Winter tells Boyd about the plight of the mightiest cat on Earth.

Dr. Michael Gazzaniga has explored the mysteries of the brain for much of his life. He finds that a person's experiences in life can inform their behaviors as much as their “hard wiring” can. He debunks brain myths and explains much more in his new book, Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain.

• At only 19 years old, Carissa Moore has taken the surfing world by storm. Her remarkable competitive surfing in 2011 led to her being the first woman invited to compete in the men’s Triple Crown of surfing and to being chosen as one of National Geographic’s 2012 Adventurers of the Year.

• Some of the best and brightest computer programmers are creating apps that are really good at helping us waste time. Jake Porway wondered what would happen if that same brain power was used in the service of humanity. So Porway created Data Without Borders to match data scientists with social change organizations.

• In the regular "Did You Know?" segment, Boyd talks about the most influential cities in the world.

HOUR 2

• 2012 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year Erik Boomer and Jon Turk spent 104 days in the arctic, skiing, walking, and kayaking 1,485 miles around Ellesmere Island. They fought off many polar bears, but survived to tell the tale of this harrowing endeavor.

Iain Couzin studies collective behavior, from insect swarms, to schools of fish, to groups of humans. His study of locust swarms surprisingly revealed that the insects are often more intent on devouring each other than on eating crops.

• BBC radio journalist Clare Salisbury went to Ethiopia and Kenya to understand the way cell phones have revolutionized how rural Africans communicate. The ability to quickly exchange ideas over long distances helps farmers plant better crops and raise hardier livestock.

Paul Needham is president and co-founder of Simpa Networks, an organization that works to make solar energy affordable and accessible to everyone. Needham tells Boyd how Simpa Networks is implementing a novel, pay-as-you-go pricing model for purchasing solar energy.

Boyd explains how cold weather can make any adventure more harrowing, especially a kayaking trip across frozen Lake Superior.

Listen to National Geographic Weekend

Episode 1150—Air Date: December 10, 2011

  • 00:11:00 Steve Winter

    National Geographic photographer Steve Winter had a tough time catching tigers on camera for “A Cry for the Tiger,” an article in the December National Geographic magazine, Winter tells Boyd about the plight of the mightiest cat on Earth.

  • Dr. Michael Gazzaniga has explored the mysteries of the brain for much of his life. He finds that a person's experiences in life can inform their behaviors as much as their “hard wiring” can. He debunks brain myths and explains much more in his new book, “Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain.

  • 00:06:00 Carissa Moore

    At only 19 years old, Carissa Moore has taken the surfing world by storm. Her remarkable competitive surfing in 2011 led to her being the first woman invited to compete in the men’s Triple Crown of surfing and to being chosen as one of National Geographic’s 2012 Adventurers of the Year.

  • 00:08:00 Jake Porway

    Some of the best and brightest computer programmers are creating apps that are really good at helping us waste time. Jake Porway wondered what would happen if that same brain power was used in the service of humanity. So Porway create Data Without Borders to match data scientists with social change organizations.

  • In the regular Did You Know segment, Boyd talks about the most influential cities in the world.

    • 2012 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year Erik Boomer and Jon Turk spent 104 days in the arctic, skiing, walking and kayaking 1,485 miles around Ellesmere Island. They fought off many polar bears, but survived to tell the tale of this harrowing endeavor.

    • 00:09:00 Iain Couzin

      Iain Couzin studies collective behavior, from insect swarms to schools of fish to groups of humans. His study of locust swarms surprisingly revealed that the insects are often more intent on devouring each other than on eating crops.

    • 00:06:00 Clare Salisbury

      BBC radio journalist Clare Salisbury went to Ethiopia and Kenya to understand the way cell phones have revolutionized the way rural Africans communicate. The ability to quickly exchange ideas over long distances helps farmers plant better crops and raise hardier livestock.

      • 00:08:00 Paul Needham

        Paul Needham is president and co-founder of Simpa Networks, an organization that works to make solar energy affordable and accessible to everyone. Needham tells Boyd how Simpa Networks is implementing a novel, pay-as-you-go pricing model for purchasing solar energy.

      • In the regular Did You Know segment, Boyd talks about the most influential cities in the world.

        • 00:08:00 Paul Needham

          Paul Needham is president and co-founder of Simpa Networks, an organization that works to make solar energy affordable and accessible to everyone. Needham tells Boyd how Simpa Networks is implementing a novel, pay-as-you-go pricing model for purchasing solar energy.

        • 2012 National Geographic Adventurers of the Year Erik Boomer and Jon Turk spent 104 days in the arctic, skiing, walking and kayaking 1,485 miles around Ellesmere Island. They fought off many polar bears, but survived to tell the tale of this harrowing endeavor.

        • Boyd explains how cold weather can make any adventure more harrowing, especially a kayaking trip across frozen Lake Superior.

        • 00:09:00 Iain Couzin

          Iain Couzin studies collective behavior, from insect swarms to schools of fish to groups of humans. His study of locust swarms surprisingly revealed that the insects are often more intent on devouring each other than on eating crops.

        • 00:06:00 Clare Salisbury

          BBC radio journalist Clare Salisbury went to Ethiopia and Kenya to understand the way cell phones have revolutionized the way rural Africans communicate. The ability to quickly exchange ideas over long distances helps farmers plant better crops and raise hardier livestock.

          • 00:08:00 Paul Needham

            Paul Needham is president and co-founder of Simpa Networks, an organization that works to make solar energy affordable and accessible to everyone. Needham tells Boyd how Simpa Networks is implementing a novel, pay-as-you-go pricing model for purchasing solar energy.

          • Boyd explains how cold weather can make any adventure more harrowing, especially a kayaking trip across frozen Lake Superior.

          • 00:11:00 Steve Winter

            National Geographic photographer Steve Winter had a tough time catching tigers on camera for “A Cry for the Tiger,” an article in the December National Geographic magazine, Winter tells Boyd about the plight of the mightiest cat on Earth.

          • Dr. Michael Gazzaniga has explored the mysteries of the brain for much of his life. He finds that a person's experiences in life can inform their behaviors as much as their “hard wiring” can. He debunks brain myths and explains much more in his new book, “Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain.

          • 00:06:00 Carissa Moore

            At only 19 years old, Carissa Moore has taken the surfing world by storm. Her remarkable competitive surfing in 2011 led to her being the first woman invited to compete in the men’s Triple Crown of surfing and to being chosen as one of National Geographic’s 2012 Adventurers of the Year.

          • 00:08:00 Jake Porway

            Some of the best and brightest computer programmers are creating apps that are really good at helping us waste time. Jake Porway wondered what would happen if that same brain power was used in the service of humanity. So Porway create Data Without Borders to match data scientists with social change organizations.