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Episode 1125—Air Date: June 18, 2011

This week on National Geographic Weekend host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about being charged by elephants in the Central African Republic, the secret ingredients of almost everything high-tech, taking blood samples from sea snakes, smelling the opposite sex, home remedies for all that ails you, how to survive an orangutan charge, hidden island gems off the coast of New Zealand, stone pillars that reveal the birth of religion, and understanding the cat video phenomenon.

HOUR 1

Wildlife Conservation Society scientist Andrea Turkalo has spent nearly two decades in the Central African Republic jungle, studying elephants. Turkalo is documenting the lives of these fascinating creatures, while her presence deters illegal hunting. Boyd joins Turkalo at a clearing in the jungle to watch and study elephant behavior.

• Rare earth elements go into making everything from your smart phone to military night-vision goggles. The 17 rare earth elements are not really rare, but 97 percent come from China. Tim Folger, author of the June National Geographic magazine article, "The Secret Ingredients of Everything", joins Boyd to talk about rare earth elements.

• National Geographic Emerging Explorer Zoltan Takacs has been fascinated with snakes ever since he was a kid. Unfortunately he is allergic to snake venom and anti-venom. But as Takacs tells Boyd, this did not stop him from catching and drawing blood from deadly sea snakes in the South Pacific.

• This week David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to talk about smelling the opposite sex without even knowing it.

HOUR 2

• Did you know soap can prevent restless leg syndrome or that chewing gum can relieve the symptoms of heartburn? These suggestions and many more are all part of Joe and Terry Graedon’s new book, The People's Pharmacy--Quick & Handy Home Remedies: Q&As for Your Common Ailments. The Graedons join Boyd to offer helpful home remedies for staying healthy.

• Research scientist Gayle Campbell-Smith studies the conflict between farmers and orangutans in Indonesia. But sometimes the conflict is between Campbell-Smith and the orangutans. National Geographic Weekend producer Ben Shaw visited with Campbell-Smith in Indonesia, thanks to the International Reporting Project, and discussed the best course of action when you are being charged by an angry orangutan.

• The Kermadec islands, located between New Zealand and Tonga, are not easy to get to. That may be why the ocean surrounding the Kermadecs is one of the world’s last great wilderness areas. Bronwen Golder, director of the Pew Charitable Trust’s Kermadec Initiative, joins Boyd to talk about these special islands.

• 11,600-year-old stone pillars in Turkey are changing theories about the origins of religion. Charles C. Mann, author of the June National Geographic magazine article, "Birth of Religion", joins Boyd to talk about which came first, the preacher or the farmer.

• A cat video that has gone viral on YouTube also caught the eye of National Geographic scientists. Boyd explains why.

Listen to National Geographic Weekend

Episode 1125—Air Date: June 18, 2011

  • 11:00:00 Andrea Turkalo

    Wildlife Conservation Society scientist Andrea Turkalo has spent nearly two decades in the Central African Republic jungle, studying elephants. Turkalo is documenting the lives of these fascinating creatures, while her presence deters illegal hunting. Boyd joins Turkalo at a clearing in the jungle to watch and study elephant behavior.

  • 00:06:00 Tim Folger

    Rare earth elements go into making everything from your smart phone to military night-vision goggles. The 17 rare earth elements are not really rare, but 97 percent come from China. Tim Folger, author of the June National Geographic magazine article “The Secret Ingredients of Everything,” joins Boyd to talk about rare earth elements.

  • 00:08:00 Zoltan Takacs

    National Geographic Emerging Explorer Zoltan Takacs has been fascinated with snakes ever since he was a kid. Unfortunately he is allergic to snake venom and anti-venom. But as Takacs tells Boyd, this did not stop him from catching and drawing blood from deadly sea snakes in the South Pacific.

  • This week David Braun, editor of National Geographic Daily News, joins Boyd to talk about smelling the opposite sex without even knowing it.

  • Did you know soap can prevent restless leg syndrome or that chewing gum can relieve the symptoms of heartburn? These suggestions and many more are all part of Joe and Terry Graedon’s new book The People's Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies: Q&As for Your Common Ailments. The Graedons join Boyd to offer helpful home remedies for staying healthy.

  • Research scientist Gail Campbell-Smith studies the conflict between farmers and orangutans in Indonesia. But sometimes the conflict is between Campbell-Smith and the orangutans. National Geographic Weekend producer Ben Shaw visited with Campbell-Smith in Indonesia, thanks to the International Reporting Project, and discussed the best course of action when you are being charged by an angry orangutan.

  • 00:06:00 Bronwen Golder

    The Kermadec islands, located between New Zealand and Tonga, are not easy to get to. That may be why the ocean surrounding the Kermadecs is one of the world’s last great wilderness areas. Bronwen Golder, director of the Pew Charitable Trust’s Kermadec Initiative, joins Boyd to talk about these special islands.

  • 00:08:00 Charles C. Mann

    11,600-year-old stone pillars in Turkey are changing theories about the origins of religion. Charles C. Mann, author of the June National Geographic magazine article “Birth of Religion,” joins Boyd to talk about which came first, the preacher or the farmer.

  • A cat video that has gone viral on YouTube also caught the eye of National Geographic scientists. Boyd explains why.