NG Weekend Show #1250 - Air Date: December 9

This week on National Geographic Weekend, join host Boyd Matson as we ride reindeer in Mongolia, herd sheep with a different reindeer in the Falkland Islands, crush nuts with capuchin monkeys in Brazil, hunt cattle with lions in Kenya, ski two million vertical feet in just one year, walk from Cape Town to Cairo, smuggle guns with the Free Syrian Army, and trick lions into thinking we're still awake.

HOUR 1

  • Most people wouldn't dream of trekking to one of the most remote (and frozen) parts of the Earth to try to find a way to race upon reindeer across the frozen tundra. But Tom Morgan, creator of The Adventurists, sees cold, remote places as an opportunity for adventure. He then raced motorcycles up a frozen river in Siberia and decided that seemed like a better plan for his racing series, which strives "to make the world less boring."
  • All remote places have their quirks, and the Falkland Islands are no different. The islands, located in the south Atlantic Ocean, have just over 3,000 residents, and Vern Cummins and Jamie Gallant tell Boyd that the size of their community fosters unique types of collaboration: The pilot flies pigs and reindeer to the veterinarian, a lighthouse operator serves as a leader of military resistance, and reindeer play the role of sheep dogs—even saving lives. Cummins and Gallant are documenting the islands and the people who live on them in their short documentary series 51° South.
  • Large animal predators are known to work hard for their food. Lions chase down zebras and wildebeest. Polar bears wait hours on end for seals to show up at holes in the Arctic ice. But just because they aren't eating other animals doesn't mean capuchin monkeys aren't also working for their food. National Geographic Explorer Dorothy Fragaszy studies the primates in Brazil's Piaui state and says that the monkeys find rocks that weigh half as much as they do and use them to smash open nuts.
  • Approximately one hundred Kenyan lions are dying every year due to an ongoing difference in opinion with local farmers—the lions like to eat livestock; farmers don't agree that this is a good idea. Shivani Bhalla, a National Geographic explorer with the Big Cats Initiative, is working with locals to save the cats through community outreach and education. She has rebuilt the local lion population to 45 individuals, up from 15 cats after she lost nearly an entire pride due to conflict with locals.
  • David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, tells Boyd about storms on Uranus and speculates about how water arrived on Earth. The topics appear in his new book, National Geographic Tales of the Weird: Unbelievable True Stories.

HOUR 2

  • Skier and mountaineer Greg Hill spent last year hauling his skis up mountains and then riding them down. In his bid to ski two million feet in a single calendar year, he tells Boyd that he had to cover 5,500 feet per day. He chased winter all around the globe and finally finished his feat on December 30, 2011. Climbing is a challenge, he says, but skiing down the mountain he's just hiked is the reward. This past summer, while he attempted to climb Mount Manaslu, the world's eighth tallest peak, an avalanche nearly buried him on the mountain. He escaped, but several others weren't so lucky.
  • Many people have a vision of Africa as a wild, dangerous land filled with armed rebels and bloodthirsty predators. But, as Amy Russell tells Boyd, that's not the case. Russell, who was selected as one of National Geographic Traveler's "Travelers of the Year" for 2012, is walking from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt, to raise awareness for clean water. On her walk, Russell has been drinking local water from wells or rivers, which she purifies, as needed. She said that the biggest challenge has been educating people about the dangers of unsafe drinking water.
  • The current conflict in Syria pits an oppressive government regime against a group of rebels with various political and religious agendas. But one thing that unites the rebel forces is their need for weapons. Anna Therese Day is an American journalist covering the Syrian conflict, and she joined the Free Syrian Army while they ran arms across the Turkish border to rebel groups inside the country. She said that Syrians view the conflict with trepidation, as experienced fighters join the rebels from Afghanistan and Pakistan—but the rebels have different aims than simply toppling a despotic president.
  • To help celebrate Big Cat Week, we have another story about lions in Africa. National Geographic Emerging Explorer Paula Kahumbu tells Boyd the story of a young boy whose job it was to help protect his family's homestead at night from lions hoping to make a meal of their livestock. Initially, he had to prowl around the property with a flashlight to show the lions that he was there, vigilantly watching them. But needing more sleep, he devised a contraption that made flashing lights appear randomly around the property. This has the cats sufficiently baffled—so much so that in the two years since his invention, they haven't made a single meal of the family's livestock.
  • In this week's Wild Chronicles segment, producer Justin O'Neill fills in for Boyd and explains how a routine trip to a Washington, D.C. dog park earned him a four-day stay in the hospital.

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Listen to National Geographic Weekend

Episode 1250 - Air Date: December 9, 2012

  • 11:00 Tom Morgan

    Most people wouldn't dream of trekking to one of the most remote (and frozen) parts of the Earth to try to find a way to race upon reindeer across the frozen tundra. But Tom Morgan, creator of The Adventurists, sees cold, remote places as an opportunity for adventure. He then raced motorcycles up a frozen river in Siberia and decided that seemed like a better plan for his racing series, which strives "to make the world less boring."

  • All remote places have their quirks, and the Falkland Islands are no different. The islands, located in the south Atlantic Ocean, have just over 3,000 residents, and Vern Cummins and Jamie Gallant tell Boyd that the size of their community fosters unique types of collaboration: The pilot flies pigs and reindeer to the veterinarian, a lighthouse operator serves as a leader of military resistance, and reindeer play the role of sheep dogs—even saving lives. Cummins and Gallant are documenting the islands and the people who live on them in their short documentary series 51° South.

  • Large animal predators are known to work hard for their food. Lions chase down zebras and wildebeest. Polar bears wait hours on end for seals to show up at holes in the Arctic ice. But just because they aren't eating other animals doesn’t mean capuchin monkeys aren’t also working for their food. National Geographic Explorer Dorothy Fragaszy studies the primates in Brazil's Piaui state and says that the monkeys find rocks that weigh half as much as they do and use them to smash open nuts.

  • Approximately one hundred Kenyan lions are dying every year due to an ongoing difference in opinion with local farmers—the lions like to eat livestock; farmers don't agree that this is a good idea. Shivani Bhalla, a National Geographic explorer with the Big Cats Initiative, is working with locals to save the cats through community outreach and education. She has rebuilt the local lion population to 45 individuals, up from 15 cats after she lost nearly an entire pride due to conflict with locals.

  • David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, tells Boyd about storms on Uranus and speculates about how water arrived on Earth. The topics appear in his new book, National Geographic Tales of the Weird: Unbelievable True Stories.

  • 11:00 Greg Hill

    Skier and mountaineer Greg Hill spent last year hauling his skis up mountains and then riding them down. In his bid to ski two million feet in a single calendar year, he tells Boyd that he had to cover 5,500 feet per day. He chased winter all around the globe and finally finished his feat on December 30, 2011. Climbing is a challenge, he says, but skiing down the mountain he’s just hiked is the reward. This past summer, while he attempted to climb Mount Manaslu, the world's eighth tallest peak, an avalanche nearly buried him on the mountain. He escaped, but several others weren't so lucky.

  • 09:00 Amy Russell

    Many people have a vision of Africa as a wild, dangerous land filled with armed rebels and bloodthirsty predators. But, as Amy Russell tells Boyd, that's not the case. Russell, who was selected as one of National Geographic Traveler's “Travelers of the Year” for 2012, is walking from Cape Town, South Africa, to Cairo, Egypt, to raise awareness for clean water. On her walk, Russell has been drinking local water from wells or rivers, which she purifies, as needed. She said that the biggest challenge has been educating people about the dangers of unsafe drinking water.

  • The current conflict in Syria pits an oppressive government regime against a group of rebels with various political and religious agendas. But one thing that unites the rebel forces is their need for weapons. Anna Therese Day is an American journalist covering the Syrian conflict, and she joined the Free Syrian Army while they ran arms across the Turkish border to rebel groups inside the country. She said that Syrians view the conflict with trepidation, as experienced fighters join the rebels from Afghanistan and Pakistan—but the rebels have different aims than simply toppling a despotic president.

  • To help celebrate Big Cat Week, we have another story about lions in Africa. National Geographic Emerging Explorer Paula Kahumbu tells Boyd the story of a young boy whose job it was to help protect his family's homestead at night from lions hoping to make a meal of their livestock. Initially, he had to prowl around the property with a flashlight to show the lions that he was there, vigilantly watching them. But needing more sleep, he devised a contraption that made flashing lights appear randomly around the property. This has the cats sufficiently baffled—so much so that in the two years since his invention, they haven't made a single meal of the family's livestock.

  • In this week's Wild Chronicles segment, producer Justin O'Neill fills in for Boyd and explains how a routine trip to a Washington, D.C. dog park earned him a four-day stay in the hospital.