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NG Weekend: National Zoo Cuisine Team


This week on National Geographic Weekend radio, host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about cooking for animals at the National Zoo, native lands, a Bhutan monastery, flying cars, Everest dreams, soccer in Kashmir, animated oceans, solar light bulbs, and one more Kilimanjaro climb.

Hour 1

  • National Geographic Weekend goes on location—in the kitchen of the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington, D.C. We’re serving up breakfast for 2,000 animals with animal nutritionist Mike Maslanka, who tailors his meals not only by species but also by individual creature. Boyd learns how to cater to so many picky eaters and keep pandas, elephants, and apes happy and healthy.
  • In his article “Native Lands” for the August 2010 National Geographic magazine, author Charles Bowden profiles the efforts of many Native American tribes to restore their land—for its spiritual value more than its economic worth. Bowden joins Boyd to discuss the cultural impact of these projects and how they set an example for the rest of us.
  • National Geographic Weekend visits the Tiger’s Nest monastery in Bhutan with Carroll Dunham. Dunham, who lives in Nepal, leads Boyd to the sacred spot perched high in the Himalayas.
  • Join National Geographic News editor David Braun to witness the long-awaited arrival of the flying car, only slightly different from the sci-fi version we’ve all imagined. Plus, learn about wheelchairs powered by sniffing that could help the paraplegic become more mobile and independent.

Hour 2

  • Explorer George Mallory attempted Everest in 1924. To this day, no one knows for sure if he made the summit or not, as Mallory lost his life on the climb. His body lay frozen on the mountain undisturbed until climber Conrad Anker discovered it 75 years later. Anker’s project to recreate Mallory’s climb, period gear and all, and to find out if Mallory could have reached the summit is documented in the newly released film from National Geographic titled The Wildest Dream. Anker joins Boyd to share the scariest and most exhilarating moments from the journey.
  • Journalist Rebecca Byerly has spent the last few months following the rise of soccer among youth in Kashmir. When a Brazilian coach came with the dream of starting a successful soccer team, no one expected that not only would his players rise to the top of the A Division, but that the sport would come to symbolize far more than a game for the oppressed young people of the region.
  • National Geographic Weekend joins cartoonist and animator Jim Toomey for a trip under the sea. Besides serving up humor and marine conservation education in his strip “Sherman’s Lagoon,” Toomey is teaming up with Boyd and NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to highlight ocean conservation through animation. Toomey explains why turtles, sharks and fish are their own best spokespeople.
  • In just five months, Steve Katsaros has invented and brought to market the solar light bulb. The bulb charges all day and automatically turns on at night. Katsaros hopes that it will aid the 1.6 billion people who live without electricity, saving money and lives by eliminating the need to burn dirty fuel such as kerosene. Katsaros joins Boyd to discuss what the “Nokero” bulb can do to spread education, lower pollution, and help people rebuild after a natural disaster.
  • Boyd describes his upcoming trip to Africa, where he will summit Kilimanjaro for the third time, either on his own or carried by his son.

Hear National Geographic Weekend on XM/Sirius satellite radio (XM channel 133 Sundays at noon), subscribe to the iTunes podcast, or get the show streamed to your iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, or Android OS phone with Stitcher Radio.

Photo of food for National Zoo animals by Ford Cochran