March 3, 2013: Everest Emergency, How to Train Your Cat, 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.

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!

Episode: 1309 – Air Date: March 3, 2013


Mount Everest, April 29, 2012 -- Sherpas walk a sick Cory Richards into Cap 1. Photo by Andy Bardon/Cory Richards Photography
Mount Everest, April 29, 2012 — Sherpas walk a sick Cory Richards into Cap 1. Photo by Andy Bardon/Cory Richards Photography

National Geographic 2012 Adventurer of the Year Cory Richards reflects on his trip to the roof of the world: an attempt to lead an expedition up Mt. Everest without supplemental oxygen while filming a documentary about the climb commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the first American ascent of the world’s tallest mountain. In part one of his interview, he tells Boyd about the climb up to 23,000 feet, where he began to have some difficulties.Listen here.

In part two of Cory Richards‘ interview, he tells Boyd about the difficult decision to pull out from his Everest summit attempt, but as he tells Boyd, with mountains of that height, “there is no such thing as a guaranteed ascent.” Listen here.

When a summer is warmer than usual in Montana or the hurricanes seem to be getting stronger in the Gulf of Mexico, people often talk about “climate,” but generally mean “weather.” In their Earth From Space documentary, NOVA zoomed out thousands of miles to see how all the planet’s systems are interconnected. Dr. Piers Sellers, Deputy Director of Science and Exploration at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, tells Boyd how sands from the Sahara provide much needed nutrients to the Amazon and how the land, oceans, and sun all interact to create the Earth’s atmosphere. Listen here.

Dogs are man’s best friend. They have evolved to be people pleasers, working alongside humans as their partners and they reap the benefits of our happiness. Cats, on the other hand, are solitary hunters. While they’ve accepted our offer to come inside our homes, they’ve retained some wild tendencies, hunting mice and any other animals that may happen into their domain. It is these wild urges that make cats difficult to train. But don’t lose hope: cat behaviorist Mieshelle Nagelschneider has some tips for the frazzled cat owner in her new book The Cat Whisperer: Why Cats Do What They Do — and How to Get Them to Do What You Want. Listen here.

David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, tells Boyd of a “monster” invasive species in Lake Tahoe–the common goldfish. The fish, either released by owners who don’t want to kill their former pets, or used as fishing bait and escaping unharmed, are thriving in the lake, due to its warm waters and abundance of algae. Listen here.


Relationships can be difficult enough, but Caroline Van Hemert and Patrick Farrell really tested their love when they trekked 4,000 miles from Bellingham, Washington to Kotzebue, Alaska over six months. The couple rowed, hiked, and skied as they climbed up mountains (only to climb back down the same side when they realized it wasn’t where they wanted to go), and survived Biblical swarms of mosquitoes en route, coming out tired but happy. Listen here.

By-catch is a term most used to describe fishing, where a fisherman accidentally catches a type of fish that he’s not targeting. But National Geographic Big Cats Initiative grantee Matt Becker uses it to describe what’s happening in Zambia’s bush. Poachers trying to catch antelope with snares around watering holes are snagging lions, elephants, and other thirsty animals. Matt runs the Zambian Carnivore Programme which tries to make the African landscape snare-free. Listen here.

Although the United States’ war in Afghanistan is beginning to wind down and the government continues to lower its troop numbers, the war definitely isn’t over for the Pararescuemen of National Geographic Channel’s “Inside Combat Rescue“. The six-part series features Staff Sgt. Matthew Blankenship, who has deployed twice to Afghanistan. He tells Boyd about the emotional roller coaster that these teams face everyday, rescuing American soldiers wounded in combat, but no longer being allowed to rescue Afghan children who need their help, as they turn over the fight to Afghanistan’s army. Listen here.

National Geographic grantee and marine biologist Ari Friedlaender has the inspiring and occasionally frustrating task of following humpback whales, blue whales, killer whales, and dolphins and trying to infer what they’re doing in the 90% of the time they spend under water. A few new pieces of technology, like National Geographic’s Crittercam, are making his job easier though, allowing him to better track the mammals and better understand their underwater habits. Listen here.

In this week’s Wild Chronicles segment, Boyd tells about his love for Namibia’s deserts. He recently spent time flying over the red sand dunes, the green “fairy circles,” and the black trees that refuse to decompose, despite being dead for hundreds of years. Listen here.


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.