Every week, embark with host Boyd Matson on an exploration of the latest discoveries and interviews with some of the most fascinating people on the planet, on National Geographic Weekend.
Please check listings near you to find the best way to listen to National Geographic Weekend, or pick your favorite segments and listen now below!
Guinness World Records requires 18,000 miles of a bicycle circumnavigation looking to be eligible as a record holder. Mike Hall finished his world record ride after 92 days of riding 18,175 miles unsupported through 20 countries, covering 200 miles per day. Hall rode from 5 am to midnight every day, except those he flew from one continent to another. He beat the previous record by 20 days. Listen here.
Snow leopards are endangered species because of their dwindling numbers in the wild, as well as the rugged terrain where they make their home. The cats sparsely populate the Himalayas in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, China and Nepal. This is all to say that they’re extremely difficult to find. Imagine John Goodrich‘s surprise when he and a team from the Wildlife Conservation Society set out to study the cats and trapped one in the first six hours of their search. He tells Boyd that despite Afghanistan’s civil difficulties, there are local conservationists dedicated to protecting the cats. Listen here.
Boyd recently traveled to Montana’s Glacier National Park, where he found a group of high schoolers dedicating their time to creating a radio show similar to National Geographic Weekend. Jungle Jack’s Zooniacs is a monthly show hosted by Rmi Strauser and Jeff Hyer geared toward a younger generation of animal lovers. Listen here.
The world is continuing to heat up. To quantify just how extensive the damage to the climate really is, Bill McKibben broke out his calculator to learn that global warming is no longer a future prediction. It is the present. He tells Boyd that more than 50% of American counties are in drought, in the midst of a record 327 consecutive months that exceeded the 20th Century average. Governments are hopeful that we can hold this change to 2 degrees Celsius, but fossil fuel companies have five times as much oil and natural gas in reserves to put us over that two degree target. Listen here.
Rusted Root has been around the block. They are set to release their seventh studio album later this month, but as always, it’s the oldies that keep fans coming back. The band’s ubiquitous “Send Me On My Way” appears everywhere, from jam band festivals to children’s movies, which have helped recruit a new generation of fans. They visited NG Weekend‘s studios to play some tunes and reflect on their 22 years together. Listen here.
North America’s west is known for its bigger wilderness and access to hiking from big cities. But Peter Potterfield points out that the eastern half of the continent has no shortage of great hikes in his new book Classic Hikes of North America. In addition to the predictably fantastic hikes in Utah, California and British Columbia, Potterfield highlights North Carolina, Newfoundland and Quebec as a great places to explore the eastern wild. Listen here.
After successfully navigating the South Pacific for 9 days without GPS, National Geographic Fellow Elizabeth Lindsey found her way back to National Geographic Weekend to tell Boyd about her travels. Her team’s biggest difficulty proved to be a lack of wind to plow the Pacific’s placid waters. Listen here.
Ancient humans’ remains talk to National Geographic Emerging Explorer Christine Lee. She tells Boyd that a very good way to learn about people from bones that are thousands of years old is to study their teeth. From looking at the roots, she is often able to deduce where a person is from. In China’s ethnically diverse past, these clues tell a lot about what they were doing where Lee found the remains. Listen here.
In this week’s Wild Chronicles segment, we bring Rusted Root back into the studio to play “Sun and Magic,” from their new album, due out in September. Listen here.