February 23, 2013: Base Jumping off Mt. Bute, Surviving Butterfly Exploration and More

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. This week, join us as we revisit some of our favorite moments from the first half of 2012.

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!

Reaching speeds over 100 mph, Dean Potter flies in his newly designed wingsuit off of Mt. Bute, British Columbia (Photo by Jimmy Chin for National Geographic Television)

Dean Potter is the mellowest adrenaline junkie out there. The soft-spoken free soloing, line walking, base jumping 2009 Adventurer of the Year has perfected sky flying, and appears in a recent National Geographic TV show, The Man Who Can Fly. He tells Boyd about his experiences flying off British Columbia’s Mt. Bute. In the first part of his interview, Potter explains to Boyd his love of free solo climbing and explains that sometimes, the safest way down a mountain is to fly off it. Listen here.

In Part 2 of his chat with Boyd, Dean Potter shares his experiences flying off of Mt. Bute and explains what he looks for in a safe launch pad. He also explains how he stays fit for climbing without any ropes. Listen here.

Nate and his sister Mary Kate Tate have traveled all over China, eating their way through the nation’s various cuisines. Chinese food in the United States doesn’t exactly ring as “authentic,” but they wrote Feeding the Dragon. cookbook to bring China’s culinary secrets Stateside. But they omitted the recipes that included dog, which, as Nate explains, tastes like “gamey beef.” Listen here.

More often than not, when looking for new species the hardest thing is getting to them in one piece! John Tennent’s survival skills were put to a test when he got caught in a rainstorm off the coast of Papua New Guinea and had to rig up a sail. Luckily, he made it safely to land and found a new species of butterflies. Listen here.

David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to discuss the “yeti” crab. Listen here.

Hour 2

Baba Brinkman isn’t just the University of Tennessee’s Singer in Residence. He’s their rapper in residence. Brinkman, who pursued a Master’s degree in Literature so he could better remix Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales into rap format. While in Tennessee, he’s learning math to fuel future raps, and performing The Rap Guide to Evolution about Darwin’s Origin of the Species, which can be just as controversial as rap itself. Listen here.

Jon Ronson is an admitted hypochondriac. It’s not surprising that his newest project, finding psychopaths who live among us, nearly drove him crazy. He met CEO’s who described their psychopathic tendencies as “good business practices,” and at Boyd’s encouragement, gave a non-political analysis of the two most likely Presidential candidates: Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. His new book is called The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry.. Listen here.

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.) Listen here.

Cyborgs hold a special place in our cultural imagination. The Terminator, Robocop and Darth Vader are all examples of cyborgs in popular culture. But National Geographic Emerging Explorer and cyborg anthropologist Amber Case says that we are all cyborgs. She tells Boyd that smart phones are essentially “external brains,” that meld humans into a type of technology enhanced human-machine hybrid. Listen here.

In the weekly Wild Chronicles segment, Boyd tests just how well rhinoceros see, and nearly gets run over in the process. Listen here.

Human Journey

Meet the Author
Justin O'Neill produces the weekly radio program National Geographic Weekend with host Boyd Matson. Check it out on on SiriusXM satellite radio (XM channel 133 Sundays at noon), subscribe to the iTunes podcast, or stream it directly to your smartphone with Stitcher Radio.