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Episode 1216—Air Date: April 15, 2012

This week on National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about paddling down the Mississippi River, discovering a new species of bush baby in Senegal, remembering the history of travel with National Geographic, recounting Titanic's final hours, escaping from Malawi's secret police, visiting the least populated jurisdiction in the world, tasting frogs, and finding out how humans saved themselves from possible extinction.

HOUR 1

Brett Ciccotelli loves rivers. The National Geographic Grantee left Pittsburgh in March, 2011 to ride the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers from Pittsburgh to the Gulf of Mexico. He hoped to raise awareness for the rivers and the water quality, but ended up floating around hot tubs and over roads, as the rivers swelled to historic levels during spring flooding.

Simon Bearder has been studying bush babies, also known as galagos, for decades, and he says that they all look the same to him. But Bearder uses their very distinct calls to locate them in the dark jungles at night and to distinguish between individuals. He teaches Boyd to distinguish between the tiny nocturnal primates' various calls in this noisy interview.

• In the last 40 years, development has come to many previously wild places, unseen by many of us in the western world. But with the internet, communications and technology has made the world more accessible and easier to stay in touch. Lynn Abercrombie and her daughter, Mari, say that's the way National Geographic photographer Tom Abercrombie liked it. Lynn accompanied Tom on many of his trips and shares some stories of their travels together in her new book, Traveling the World for National Geographic.

• On April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic sunk two miles to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean after striking an iceberg, littering the ocean floor with debris from the ship and personal items of those on board. In National Geographic magazine's April cover story, "Unseen Titanic", Hampton Sides reconstructs the ship's final hours. He debates the merits of bringing up artifacts from the ocean floor, which some argue is a grave site not to be disturbed.

David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to discuss the possibility of harnessing energy released by lightning, tornadoes, and wildfires and using it as electric power.

HOUR 2

• National Geographic digital nomad Andrew Evans, hadn't been long in Malawi when President Bingu wa Mutharika suffered from a heart attack. The government officially stated that he was being flown to South Africa for medical help. Evans also heard that he was in a local hospital. He pieced together the conflicting stories and was the first to report news of Mutharika's death. Evans tells Boyd about being detained by the police and tweeting the entire thing to leave a digital trail, just in case.

• In April 1789, eighteen members on board the HMS Bounty mutinied and sunk the ship off the coast of Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific Ocean. Their descendants remain on the island today. National Geographic Explorer in Residence Enric Sala recently visited the island to examine the health of the coral reefs and ocean wildlife. He spoke with Boyd from Oeno Island, an uninhabited atoll with important bird populations.

• Frog expert and National Geographic grantee Valerie Clark discovered one way to tell which frogs are poisonous and how they acquire their toxic properties: by tasting them. She tells Boyd how they taste. (Hint: they aren't delicious.)

• 80,000 years ago there were only as many humans as there are rhinos today, but our human knack for cooperation helped bring us back from the brink of extinction. Mark Pagel wrote the book Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind to explain our human phenomenon of culture.

• In this week's Wild Chronicles segment, Boyd shares his own experiences of being out of contact with his family and office, and about how long into a conversation with your spouse you're allowed to ask about the outcome of a basketball game.

Listen to National Geographic Weekend

Episode 1216—Air Date: April 15, 2012

  • 00:11:00 Brett Ciccotelli

    Brett Ciccotelli loves rivers. The National Geographic Grantee left Pittsburgh in March, 2011 to ride the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers from Pittsburgh to the Gulf of Mexico. He hoped to raise awareness for the rivers and the water quality, but ended up floating around hot tubs and over roads, as the rivers swelled to historic levels during spring flooding.

  • 00:09:00 Simon Bearder

    Simon Bearder has been studying bush babies, also known as galagos, for decades and he says that they all look the same to him. But Bearder uses their very distinct calls to locate them in the dark jungles at night and to distinguish between individuals. He teaches Boyd to distinguish between the tiny nocturnal primates' various calls in this noisy interview.

  • 00:06:00 Lynn Abercrombie

    In the last 40 years, development has come to many previously wild places, unseen by many of us in the western world. But with the internet, communications and technology has made the world more accessible and easier to stay in touch. Lynn Abercrombie, and her daughter, Mari say that's the way National Geographic photographer Tom Abercrombie liked it. Lynn accompanied Tom on many of his trips and shared some stories of their travels together in her new book, Traveling the World for National Geographic.

  • 00:08:00 Hampton Sides

    On April 15, 1912, the RMS Titanic sunk two miles to the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean after striking an iceberg, littering the ocean floor with debris from the ship, as well as personal items of those on board. In National Geographic Magazine's April cover story, Hampton Sides reconstructs the ship's final hours. He debates the merits of bringing up artifacts from the ocean floor, which some argue is a grave site not to be disturbed.

  • 00:03:50 News - April 15

    David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to discuss the possibility of harnessing energy released by lightning, tornadoes and wildfires and using it as electric power.

  • 00:11:00 Andrew Evans

    National Geographic digital nomad, Andrew Evans, hadn't been long in Malawi when President Bingu wa Mutharika suffered from a heart attack. The government officially stated that he was being flown to South Africa for medical help. Evans also heard that he was in a local hospital. He pieced together the conflicting stories and was the first to report news of Mutharika's death. Evans tells Boyd about being detained by the police and tweeting the entire thing to leave a digital trail, just in case.

  • 00:09:00 Enric Sala

    In April 1789, eighteen members on board the HMS Bounty, mutinied and sunk the ship off the coast of Pitcairn Island, in the south Pacific Ocean. Their descendants remain on the island today. National Geographic Explorer in Residence Enric Sala recently visited the island to examine the health of the coral reefs and ocean wildlife. He spoke with Boyd from Oeno Island, an uninhabited atoll with important bird populations.

  • 00:06:00 Valerie Clark

    Frog expert and National Geographic grantee Valerie Clark discovered one way to tell which frogs are poisonous and how they acquire their toxic properties: by tasting them. She tells Boyd how they taste. (Hint: they aren't delicious.)

  • 00:08:00 Mark Pagel

    80,000 years ago, there were as many humans as there are rhinos today. But our human knack for cooperation helped bring us from the brink of extinction. Mark Pagel wrote Wired for Culture: Origins of the Human Social Mind to explain our human phenomenon of "culture".

  • In this week's Wild Chronicles segment, Boyd shares his own experiences of being out of contact with his family and office, and how long into a conversation with your spouse before you're allowed to ask about the outcome of a basketball game.