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Episode 1122—Air Date: May 28, 2011

This week on National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about Yosemite’s superclimbers, nature in South Central Los Angeles, happy hour in a tree, rising seas in Bangladesh, end-of-the-world scenarios, saving the heart of Borneo, going to school at age 84, winning the 23rd annual National Geographic Bee, the tenderness of baboons, and hitchhiking in the Central African Republic.

HOUR 1

• Climber and photographer Jimmy Chin scaled the rocks of Yosemite National Park alongside a new breed of climbers whose lives are literally hanging from a fingertip. Chin captured amazing images of these free-solo climbers for the article “Yosemite’s Superclimbers” in the May issue of National Geographic magazine and joins Boyd to talk about the shoot. Watch a video about the shoot.

• When 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Juan Martinez was growing up in South Central Los Angeles, he never imagined he’d be working to change an entire generation’s relationship with nature. But as Martinez tells Boyd, a few jalapeño seeds changed his life.

• Balsa trees in Panama’s forests come to life at night. Photographer Christian Ziegler constructed a 100-foot-tall scaffolding to catch the "happy hour" in the tree-tops for the article “Open All Night” in the May issue of National Geographic magazine. Watch a video about capturing "happy hour" in the balsa tree.

• With nearly 7 billion people, the planet is getting pretty crowded. Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated countries, is shrinking due to rising sea levels. Author Don Belt writes about the “Coming Storm” for the May issue of National Geographic magazine. Watch a video related to this story.

• This week David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, talks about end-of-the-world scenarios past and present.

HOUR 2

• The islands of Borneo and Sumatra continue to yield new discoveries, including 52 new species in Borneo last year alone. As the World Wildlife Fund’s managing director for Borneo and Sumatra, Adam Tomasek is working to save the plants and animals of this region before they disappear. Tomasek joins producer Ben Shaw in Borneo to talk about his work on the Heart of Borneo network.

• When in 2003 the Kenyan government offered to provide free primary school education to all, they did not expect an 84-year-old to take them up on the offer. Director Justin Chadwick tells the story of Maruge, a Kenyan warrior determined to learn to read, in his new feature film The First Grader. Watch the movie's trailer.

This year’s winner of the National Geographic Bee is 13-year-old Tine Valencic. Nearly 5 million students from more than 12,000 schools took part in the 2011 Bee. Valencic topped the field of 54 finalists who arrived in Washington, D.C., this week to compete.

• National Geographic grantee Larissa Swedell studies the love life of baboons. There’s not a lot of romance. However, every once in a while a male baboon will show his tender side by picking termites off his mate.

• Hitchhiking in the Central Africa Republic can lead to interesting seatmates. See a video of Boyd’s story.

Listen to National Geographic Weekend

Episode 1122—Air Date: May 28, 2011

  • 00:11:00 Jimmy Chin

    Climber and photographer Jimmy Chin scaled the rocks of Yosemite National Park alongside a new breed of climbers whose lives are literally hanging from a fingertip. Chin captured amazing images of these free-solo climbers for the article “Yosemite’s Superclimbers” in the May issue of National Geographic magazine and joins Boyd to talk about the shoot.

  • 00:09:00 Juan Martinez

    When 2011 National Geographic Emerging Explorer Juan Martinez was growing up in South Central Los Angeles, he never imagined he’d be working to change an entire generation’s relationship with nature. But as Martinez tells Boyd, a few jalapeño seeds changed his life.

  • Balsa trees in Panama’s forests come to life at night. Photographer Christian Ziegler constructed a 100-foot-tall scaffolding to catch the "happy hour" in the tree-tops for the article “Open All Night” in the May issue of National Geographic magazine.

  • 00:08:00 Don Belt

    With nearly 7 billion people, the planet is getting pretty crowded. Bangladesh, one of the most densely populated countries, is shrinking due to rising sea levels. Author Don Belt writes about the “Coming Storm” for the May issue of National Geographic magazine.

  • This week David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, talks about end-of-the-world scenarios past and present.

  • 00:11:00 Adam Tomasek

    The islands of Borneo and Sumatra continue to yield new discoveries, including 52 new species in Borneo last year alone. As the World Wildlife Fund’s managing director for Borneo and Sumatra, Adam Tomasek is working to save the plants and animals of this region before they disappear. Tomasek joins producer Ben Shaw in Borneo to talk about his work on the Heart of Borneo network.

  • 09:00:00 Justin Chadwick

    When in 2003 the Kenyan government offered to provide free primary school education to all, they did not expect an 84-year-old to take them up on the offer. Director Justin Chadwick tells the story of Maruge, a Kenyan warrior determined to learn to read, in his new feature film The First Grader.

  • 00:06:00 Tine Valencic

    This year’s winner of the National Geographic Bee is 13-year-old Tine Valencic. Nearly 5 million students from more than 12,000 schools took part in the 2011 Bee. Valencic topped the field of 54 finalists who arrived in Washington, D.C., this week to compete.

  • 00:08:00 Larissa Swedell

    National Geographic grantee Larissa Swedell studies the love life of baboons. There’s not a lot of romance. However, every once in a while a male baboon will show his tender side by picking termites off his mate.

  • Hitchhiking in the Central Africa Republic can lead to interesting seatmates, says Boyd.