NG Weekend Show #1242-Air Date: October 14

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson as we find a shot-down fighter jet in the Mediterranean Sea, take a road trip around the universe, run across the world's deserts, discover the Monarch butterfly's winter home, race with a cheetah, crusade for animal rights in Asia, hike Glacier National Park's 700 miles of trails, and follow Victorian explorers into Africa's wilderness.

HOUR 1

  • National Geographic Explorer in Residence Bob Ballard was riding a horse in Wyoming this summer when his cellphone rang. It was the U.S. ambassador to Turkey offering him a special mission. A Turkish fighter jet was shot down in Syrian waters and they needed the bodies recovered. Just hours later, he met the Nautilus and began scouring the ocean floor.
  • Space represents the final frontier, where no man has gone before. But it's possible that no man has ventured deep into space because there wasn't a map. James Trefil has published such a map, that might help earthlings venture out of our solar system deep into the universe. But he warns Boyd that -- following our past misconceptions about the earth being the center of the solar system, and then our solar system being in the center of the galaxy (and so on) -- this map might prove insufficient if we discover the existence of multiple universes. The book is titled Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond.
  • If it takes a lot of planning and effort to run one marathon -- try running six marathons in a week. Across a desert. It sounds harrowing, but that's exactly what dozens of runners do every year. Mary Gadams, founder of Racing the Planet. Mary tells Boyd that most of the races feature water obstacles, including the race across the Antarctica's desert. The next race in the series is across the Sahara later in October.
  • Butterflies are a common species of insect that can easily be recognized by young and old. But the Monarch butterfly kept one secret well hidden until the 1970's: where they spend the winter following their cross-continent North American migration. Catalina Aguado was one of the "citizen scientists" who helped solve this mystery. She was famously celebrated on the August 1976 cover ofNational Geographicmagazine covered in the butterflies.
  • David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, tells Boyd that mice are helping scientists better understand Alzheimer's disease by providing brains that are perfect for studying. The scientists are able to soak mice brains in a solution that makes the organ transparent, so they can better see the plaque buildup.

HOUR 2

  • As one of the smallest species of big cat roaming Africa's savannas, the cheetah often gets pushed out of national parks and preserve areas by larger predators like lions and hyenas. Cheetah Conservation Fund founder and Big Cats Initiative grantee Laurie Marker says this makes cheetahs act the part of a pest in Namibia. They're forced to survive on private land, often hunting livestock animals, which puts them into conflict with farmers. Her solution? Hire big dogs to chase the big cats off.
  • Conservationists know they're fighting an uphill battle. But Cristian Samper, incoming president and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, is optimistic about a future in which animals and humans can coexist. However, he tells Boyd that some animals, like African elephants and Asian rhinos, have a tougher road to survival than most others.
  • The economy is tough for many young people recently graduated from university. Some move back home with their parents and pepper companies with their resume. Others go global in pursuit of their true passions, like Sarah Metzger. Boyd ran into her on a recent trip to Glacier National Park, where she is in her fifth year as a guide. In the offseason, she has spent time as a teacher in Thailand, a bus driver in Antarctica, and a volunteer laborer in Honduras.
  • Disillusioned with his chosen career, Julian Monroe Fisher decided to leave his job and reinvent himself as an adventurer. He spends much of his time chasing the ghosts of historical expeditions. His first trip took him across the top of the United States alongside Lewis and Clark's path. More recently, he is in Africa, recreating the original geographical surveys of that continent by Victorian-era explorers.
  • In this week's Wild Chronicles segment, Boyd laments the current state of this country's space program and the need for manned missions to push deeper into space.

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Listen to National Geographic Weekend

Episode 1242 - Air Date: October 12, 2012

  • 00:11:00 Bob Ballard

    National Geographic Explorer in Residence Bob Ballard was riding a horse in Wyoming this summer when his cellphone rang. It was the U.S. ambassador to Turkey offering him a special mission. A Turkish fighter jet was shot down in Syrian waters and they needed the bodies recovered. Just hours later, he met the Nautilus and began scouring the ocean floor.

  • 00:09:00 James Trefil

    Space represents the final frontier, where no man has gone before. But it's possible that no man has ventured deep into space because there wasn't a map. James Trefil has published such a map, that might help earthlings venture out of our solar system deep into the universe. But he warns Boyd that -- following our past misconceptions about the earth being the center of the solar system, and then our solar system being in the center of the galaxy (and so on) -- this map might prove insufficient if we discover the existence of multiple universes. The book is titled Space Atlas: Mapping the Universe and Beyond.

  • 00:06:00 Mary Gadams

    If it takes a lot of planning and effort to run one marathon -- try running six marathons in a week. Across a desert. It sounds harrowing, but that's exactly what dozens of runners do every year. Mary Gadams, founder of Racing the Planet. Mary tells Boyd that most of the races feature water obstacles, including the race across the Antarctica's desert. The next race in the series is across the Sahara later in October.

  • 00:08:00 Catalina Aguado

    Butterflies are a common species of insect that can easily be recognized by young and old. But the Monarch butterfly kept one secret well hidden until the 1970's: where they spend the winter following their cross-continent North American migration. Catalina Aguado was one of the "citizen scientists" who helped solve this mystery. She was famously celebrated on the August 1976 cover of National Geographic magazine covered in the butterflies.

  • David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, tells Boyd that mice are helping scientists better understand Alzheimer's disease by providing brains that are perfect for studying. The scientists are able to soak mice brains in a solution that makes the organ transparent, so they can better see the plaque buildup.

  • 00:11:00 Laurie Marker

    As one of the smallest species of big cat roaming Africa's savannas, the cheetah often gets pushed out of national parks and preserve areas by larger predators like lions and hyenas. Cheetah Conservation Fund founder and Big Cats Initiative grantee Laurie Marker says this makes cheetahs act the part of a pest in Namibia. They're forced to survive on private land, often hunting livestock animals, which puts them into conflict with farmers. Her solution? Hire big dogs to chase the big cats off.

  • 00:09:00 Cristian Samper

    Conservationists know they're fighting an uphill battle. But Cristian Samper, incoming president and CEO of the Wildlife Conservation Society, is optimistic about a future in which animals and humans can coexist. However, he tells Boyd that some animals, like African elephants and Asian rhinos, have a tougher road to survival than most others.

  • 00:06:00 Sarah Metzger

    The economy is tough for many young people recently graduated from university. Some move back home with their parents and pepper companies with their resume. Others go global in pursuit of their true passions, like Sarah Metzger. Boyd ran into her on a recent trip to Glacier National Park, where she is in her fifth year as a guide. In the offseason, she has spent time as a teacher in Thailand, a bus driver in Antarctica, and a volunteer laborer in Honduras.

  • Disillusioned with his chosen career, Julian Monroe Fisher decided to leave his job and reinvent himself as an adventurer. He spends much of his time chasing the ghosts of historical expeditions. His first trip took him across the top of the United States alongside Lewis and Clark's path. More recently, he is in Africa, recreating the original geographical surveys of that continent by Victorian-era explorers.

  • In this week's Wild Chronicles segment, Boyd laments the current state of this country's space program and the need for manned missions to push deeper into space.