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November 3, 2013: How to Survive an Avalanche, Following Family History Through Asia and More

Join host Boyd Matson, as we survive potentially disastrous avalanche, swim with manta rays in Mozambique, walk the length of Africa looking for water, and follow our family tree’s roots throughout Asia.

Behind the Viral Sensation: Concrete Canvas Goes Beyond Fast-Deploying Shelters

National Geographic’s recent video on Concrete Canvas shelters went viral, as nearly 4.8 million YouTube viewers saw how quickly a sturdy structure could be raised when air is blown into wetted, cement-covered cloths. So we caught up with Peter Brewin, director of the U.K.-based Concrete Canvas company, to get the story behind the innovation. Can…

A New Trick Discovered in Spiders’ Webs

If you’re like most people you probably find cobwebs to be a nuisance. But it turns out that these messy webs are actually small feats of engineering. Polymer scientists at the University of Akron have discovered that the common house spider can tailor the type of adhesive discs it uses to anchor its webs, making them stronger or weaker depending on where the cobwebs are positioned and the movements of its prey.

World Water Week: Best in Design

World Water Week, held every year for the last 20 in design-centric Stockholm, Sweden, is not without eye candy, or for that matter innovation. By Tasha Eichenseher in Stockholm, Sweden This post is part of a special news series on global water issues. World Water Week is no Consumer Electronics Show. I don’t see100-foot screens…

As Beautiful as a Spaceport?

Many apologies for the long radio silence. This month I was taking a break from space and immersing myself in the wonders of climate modeling at NCAR, the National Center for Atmospheric Research. I did, however, get to feed my astro-addiction during the evening hours with a copy of Space Tourists, a 2009 Swiss documentary…

Star Trek! Need I Say More?

I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it. I’ve grown up on a stead diet of Star Trek—from the days when Mom confided to my preteen self that she married Dad because he reminded her of Mr. Spock, to just this week when I was talking to a coworker and found out I was…