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NG Weekend: Wounded Warrior Climb


National Geographic Weekend radio producer Ben Shaw sends word that this week, host Boyd Matson speaks with Marc Hoffmeister, Barney Long, Enric Sala, David Braun, Dean Potter, Josh Fischman, Steve Casimiro, and Wade Davis.

Hour 1

  • In 2007 while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq, Marc Hoffmeister’s left arm was badly wounded when an IED tore through his Humvee. While recovering at home, depression set in and he was at loose ends. Then, in 2008, Hoffmeister’s wife Gayle announced she was going to climb Denali, the highest peak in North America. “Not without me, you aren’t!” Hoffmeister responded. For his subsequent climb, Hoffmeister has been named an Adventurer of the Year honoree by National Geographic Adventure magazine. See video.
  • It is the Chinese year of the tiger. But it might be the last one, because there are only about 3,200 tigers left in the world. World Wildlife Fund senior program officer Barney Long is working to save tigers in Indonesia. Long joins Boyd in the studio to say there is hope for these big cats, if we act now.
  • Be the next Betsy (or Bill) Ross. National Geographic Kids online has partnered with some of the world’s best-known marine explorers on a contest to design the official flag for the next Ocean Now expedition. National Geographic Fellow Enric Sala, one of the judges for the contest, joins Boyd to talk about this opportunity.
  • National Geographic News editor David Braun joins Boyd to talk about newly found plants and new discoveries on our own planet.

Hour 2

  • Last summer, Dean Potter climbed into the Swiss Alps and jumped off a cliff. At first, he plunged toward a ledge 600 feet below, then air gathered in his wingsuit and he began to fly. Potter, a National Geographic Adventure magazine Adventurer of the Year honoree, joins Boyd to talk about his two minute and 50 second flight. (Watch video.)
  • The blind can see, the deaf can hear and a one armed woman can fold her shirts all thanks to bionics. Boyd talks with Josh Fischman, author of “Bionics” in the January 2010 National Geographic magazine.
  • Mountain biking in Italy’s Dolomite Mountains is not only beautiful, it tastes good, too says travel writer and photographer Steve Casimiro. Boyd and Casimiro talk about the good food and good mountain biking that Casimiro featured on his blog The Adventure Life.
  • Devastating stories and pictures are flooding out of post-earthquake Haiti, but few of us know the country’s rich history. National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis, author of “The Serpent and the Rainbow: A Harvard Scientist’s Astonishing Journey into the Secret Societies of Haitian Voodoo, Zombis, and Magic,” joins Boyd to talk about the history and culture of Haiti. (Get the book.)
  • Boyd weighs the merits of sky diving versus BASE jumping.

Tune in to National Geographic Weekend on the Salem Radio Network, subscribe to the iTunes podcast, or get it streamed to your iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, or Android OS phone with Stitcher Radio.

Photograph of Boyd Matson by Jason Orphanon