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 on radio, or listen below!
– Slacklining – the act of walking along a loose nylon mesh – is a sport that was pioneered by rock climbers to kill down time when they were unable to be hanging from wall faces. But in the past few years, it has become a sport pursuing its own identity, with daredevil athletes pushing the boundaries of what is possible. One such athlete is“Sketchy” Andy Lewis who recently completed a famous feat of one-upmanship when he slacklined 4,000 feet above the Earth between two hot air balloons, without any leash attaching him to the line. Lewis explains how he and slacklining grew up together, and what he sees in the future for himself and the sport’s. Listen here.
– Lyme disease is commonly thought to be transmitted to humans exclusively through the bite of a deer tick; if there isn’t a bite to be found, there isn’t Lyme to be diagnosed. But as science improves, an increasing number of “mystery illnesses” of chronic headaches, body pains, and general malaise are being attributed to the disease. Andrea Caesar is one such person who has been diagnosed with a chronic form of Lyme disease, but it wasn’t recognized until 26 years later. In the interim, doctors tried to diagnose her symptoms as mental disorders and “selfishness”. She and Dr. Joseph Jemsek who co-authored A Twist of Lyme: Battling a Disease That “Doesn’t Exist” share her journey with the elusive disease. Listen here.
– The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is probably the best known endurance race along the route from Fairbanks to Nome. But there is another grueling 1,000 mile ride over the packed snow and ice on the trail: the Iditarod Trail Invitational, a bike race that runs in early March. Jeff Oatley won this year’s race in 10 days, 2 hours and 53 minutes, breaking the previous record by nearly 5 days. Oatley said that unusually warm conditions conspired with him to set the pace that would have seen him place 21st in this year’s dog sled race. Listen here.
– Recycling old materials for new purposes is always seen as a win for conservation and green friendly living. But when those materials are coated in lead paint and asbestos, the act of reusing that is seen as undeniably positive becomes a bit more ambiguous. Peter Gwin‘s story in the May 2014 issue of National Geographic magazinetells about those who break down large oceangoing ships in India and Bangladesh and use all of the ship’s parts for some new purpose. The dangerous working conditions for “The Ship Breakers” result in new hospital beds, fishing boats and iron rebar for those working nearby. Listen here.
– In our “This Weekend in History” segment, National Geographic library research manager Maggie Turqman helps us remember the 1922 dedication of the Lincoln Memorial; the 125th anniversary of the “Great Flood of 1889,” in Johnstown, Pennsylvania; and the 1st anniversary of the deaths of tornado scientist Tim Samaras, his son Paul and partner Carl Young. Listen here.