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Episode 1211—Air Date: March 11, 2012

This week on National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about snacking atop Mt. Everest, filmming native tribes in the Amazon, exploring Kazakhstan’s new capital city, searching for any sign of life in the Mediterranean Sea, tapping our toes with America’s musical ambassadors, counting a hummingbird’s calories, celebrating the saviors of unpopular animals, and ice skating in India.

HOUR 1

• The hardest part of climbing Mt. Everest? Other than the actual climbing, Conrad Anker says that melting enough snow to keep yourself hydrated can take up to five hours per day. His favorite mountain-top snack? Pringles. Anker looks forward to his next ascent of Everest, planned for this upcoming spring.

• The Amazon is a dangerous place. So many things can lead to a serious injury, from microscopic parasites to the jaguars. Filmmaker Ryan Killackey shares his experiences roughing it in the Ecuadorean Amazon while making Yasuni Man, documenting oil companies as they take advantage of the abundant natural resources, and development’s effects on plants, animals and the native tribes that call the jungle home.

• Individual leaders elected in democratic nations cannot unilaterally decide to uproot a country’s capital and build an entirely new city in a frozen steppe. Since this isn’t an issue in Kazakhstan, President Nazarbayev moved the capital from balmy Almaty to frigid Astana. John Lancaster wrote about the glitzy new city in the February 2012 issue of National Geographic magazine.

• National Geographic Explorer in Residence, Enric Sala discusses his recent findings from an exploration of the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. He discovered that humans have nearly eaten their way through the fish that once teemed through the waters, and invasive species are filling the void left behind.

David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to discuss methods of protecting whales and dolphins from underwater noise pollution. The answer: a curtain of bubbles.

HOUR 2

• American musical ambassadors Mountain Quickstep did a tour of Eastern Europe introducing musicians in Turkey, Bulgaria, Kosovo, and Moldova to bluegrass music. They tell Boyd about music’s ability to cross language lines and bridge disparate cultures.

• Grantee Ken Welch says that he feels like Wile E. Coyote when he’s sitting with a box-trap, waiting for a hummingbird to fly in for a meal. Unlike the cartoon coyote, Welch is able to catch the birds and microchip them to monitor their calorie count as they double their weight to prepare for their long migrations from eastern Canada to Mexico.

• Many animals are their own advocates when it comes to promoting conservation. An elephant’s expressive eyes, a jaguar’s beautiful coat or a dolphin’s playfulness speak for themselves. But in her book Wildlife Heroes, author Julie Scardina shares stories of dedicated conservationists who work to save less beloved animals like seahorses and pangolins.

• When most people think of India, tropical monsoons and humid jungles generally come to mind. But at the northern end of the country, there is an arid desert in the foothills of the Himalayas that struggles to get the water it needs. Grantee Amy Higgins studies the effects of artificial glaciers that are being built to help sustain the area’s farms.

• In his regular Wild Chronicles segment, Boyd shares the story about his time down on the bayous of Louisiana, speaking with American music legends Dewey Balfa and Sady Courville. A very young Boyd is featured in this archival footage shot on location with the Cajun fiddlers.

Listen to National Geographic Weekend

Episode 1211—Air Date: March 11, 2012

  • 00:11:00 Conrad Anker

    The hardest part of climbing Mt. Everest? Other than the actual climbing, Conrad Anker says that melting enough snow to keep yourself hydrated can take up to five hours per day. His favorite mountain-top snack? Pringles. Anker looks forward to his next ascent of Everest, planned for this upcoming spring.

  • 00:09:00 Ryan Killackey

    The Amazon is a dangerous place. So many things can lead to a serious injury, from microscopic parasites to the jaguars. Filmmaker Ryan Killackey shares his experiences roughing it in the Ecuadorean Amazon, documenting oil companies as they take advantage of the abundant natural resources, and development’s effects on plants, animals and the native tribes that call the jungle home.

  • 00:06:00 John Lancaster

    Individual leaders elected in democratic nations cannot unilaterally decide to uproot a country’s capital and build an entirely new city in a frozen steppe. Since this isn’t an issue in Kazakhstan, President Nazarbayev moved the capital from balmy Almaty to frigid Astana. John Lancaster wrote about the glitzy new city in the February issue of National Geographic magazine.

  • 00:08:00 Enric Sala

    National Geographic Explorer in Residence, Enric Sala discusses his recent findings from an exploration of the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. He discovered that humans have nearly eaten their way through the fish that once teemed through the waters and invasive species are filling the void left behind.

  • David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to discuss methods of protecting whales and dolphins from underwater noise pollution. The answer: a curtain of bubbles.

  • American musical ambassadors Mountain Quickstep did a tour of Eastern Europe introducing musicians in Turkey, Bulgaria, Kosovo, and Moldova to Bluegrass music. They tell Boyd about music’s ability to cross language lines and bridge disparate cultures.

  • 00:09:00 Ken Welch

    Grantee Ken Welch says that he feels like Wile E. Coyote when he’s sitting with a box-trap, waiting for a hummingbirdto fly in for a meal. Unlike the cartoon coyote, Welch is able to catch the birds and microchip them to monitor their calorie count as they double their weight to prepare for their long migrations from eastern Canada to Mexico.

  • 00:06:00 Julie Scardina

    Many animals are their own advocates when it comes to promoting conservation. An elephant’s expressive eyes, a jaguar’s beautiful coat or a dolphin’s playfulness speak for themselves. But in Wildlife Heroes, author Julie Scardina shares stories of dedicated conservationists who work to save less beloved animals like seahorses and pangolins.

  • 00:08:00 Amy Higgins

    When most people think of India, tropical monsoons and humid jungles generally come to mind. But at the northern end of the country, there is an arid desert in the foothills of the Himalayas that struggle to get the water it needs – grantee Amy Higgins studies the effects of artificial glaciers that are being built to help sustain the area’s farms.

  • In his regular Wild Chronicles segment, Boyd shares the story about his time down on the bayous of Louisiana, speaking with American music legends Dewey Balfa and Sady Courville. A very young Boyd Matson is featured in this archival footage shot on location with the Cajun fiddlers.