Archives for March, 2010

The Diamond Smuggler

By Samih Ossaily Samih Ossaily is the first person to have ever been convicted for smuggling conflict diamonds. During 2001, he was smuggling diamonds from Sierra Leone to Liberia. These diamonds freely entered the market in Antwerp. Samih Ossaily spent 16 months is prison. This material is an exclusive excerpt from his memoirs. November 3rd: this…

If you’re fascinated with the possibility of life on other planets and eager to make contact with extraterrestrial civilizations, there are two options for you. One is to do nothing and simply hope that you’ll become an alien abductee. If you’re anywhere near as lucky as this Massachusetts woman was in 1967, you very well may see a…

Dog Park Etiquette

“Whether you like it or not, dogs are going to jump on you. Don’t show up in your Sunday best.” There are over 700 dog parks in the United States, with more popping up every year. Dog parks come in all shapes, sizes and types – Some are fenced, others are open, most permit off-leash…

Touched by Jesus?

Faith, by definition, means belief without proof. But what if science could shed light on some of Christianity’s greatest mysteries? Using laboratory blood tests, fiber analysis, and carbon dating, NGC puts three controversial claims about Jesus to the test. Can true believers experience his suffering through spontaneous stigmata? Was the Shroud of Turin the actual…

A Bee’s Law of Attraction

Think you’ve got a memorable face? A recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology reveals that bees can be trained to recognize human faces when associated with sugar water. During the study, bees were rewarded every time they visited an image of a human face, and received nothing when they approached a non-face…

Nat Geo Wild Launch Party

At 7:45 AM this morning, we all gathered around the Marketing Department’s TVs to watch the first program of Nat Geo Wild (sorry the picture was taken from a cell phone!). Geoff Daniels, the head of Nat Geo Wild’s programming department, made a quick speech before heading off to do another radio interview. Through everyone’s…

For decades, most investigators looking for a scientific explanation for the successive plagues inflicted upon Egypt in Exodus focused upon the first plague, the river of blood. As we discussed previously, the red color of the Nile and massive fish deaths have been attributed variously to sediment, anthrax, and an outbreak of a Pfiesteria piscicida, a…

Eyes of a Different Color

Photo Credit: Patrick J. Kiger I live in a canine-friendly town where people are allowed to bring their dogs into stores with them, which gave me the chance to meet this gorgeous one-or-two-year-old female Lab-pit bull mix. Aside from her pretty brown-and-white coat and long, lithe body, the striking thing about her is her differently…

In addition to the Exodus narrative, there’s other written evidence that the ancient Egyptians suffered some sort of awful succession of calamities. The Ipuwer Papyrus, an Egyptian manuscript that dates back to at least the beginning of that span, has the nightmarish feel of the first draft of a George Romero screenplay. “Hearts are violent, pestilence…

Breaking Out of Prison

The new series Breakout tells the story of inmates who dared to attempt escaping some of America’s most secure prisons and hear how law enforcement agents track them down. Kicking off this Sunday (then regularly airing Wednesdays 10P et/pt) Breakout starts with the Texas Seven. Seven inmates, led by convicted robber George Rivas, hatch an…

For me, the most heart-rending scene in the 1956 Cecil B. DeMille epic The Ten Commandments is the scene in which the Pharaoh, portrayed by Yul Brynner, pleads with a statue of Sokar, the falcon-headed Egyptian god of the underworld, to resurrect his firstborn son. The Pharaoh’s child, of course, has died in the last of the 10…

Behind the Scenes at GM

By Man-Made: Chevy Volt production crew DAY 1 Day 1 started off very early with a 5:30 am call time. But spirits were high as we made our way from the hotel to GM’s Pre-Production Center to film the new Chevy Volt. We kicked things off by going to the plant’s test center, where we were able…

If you liked Harrison Ford in “The Fugitive,” a few years back, here’s an real-life animal story that you’ll really love. For the past year or so, the Tampa “mystery monkey”—to be more specific, a mystery rhesus macaque–has been eluding animal control authorities and startling local homeowners by paying them surprise visits. This recent St.…

Face to Face with a Chimpanzee

Explorer: Chimps on the Edge airs Tuesday March 30 10P et/pt FIRST MEETING By Peter Yost, Director/Producer Most of us have seen chimps before, either on TV, in magazines, books, zoos, or in circuses.  But nothing quite prepared me for spending some personal time with two boisterous, pre-pubescent chimps. While making our film about chimpanzees…

National Puppy Day is today, March 23rd. The campaign’s major message? Adopt! Don’t Shop! Aiming to eliminate puppy mills, National Puppy Day promotes puppies in shelters and rescues waiting to be adopted. Learn More About Puppy Mills >> Dog Whisperer’s Cesar Millan Goes Inside a Puppy Mill >> DogTown Rescues Puppy Mill Puppies >> But…

  Amid all the tragedy and heroism of World War II, there also were some bizarre occurrences, such as German scientists’ efforts to build flying saucers and create tiny bombs concealed in chocolate bars. But perhaps the weirdest, most inexplicable event in the war was a Japanese air raid on Los Angeles in the early…

Environmental Film Festival

If you’re visiting Washington, D.C. this week don’t miss the Environmental Film Festival. On March 24 there will be the world premiere of the film “Africa’s Lost Eden,” which documents the battle of conservationists to restore wildlife to the lush floodplains of Mozambique after years of civil war. This documentary will also air on Nat…

Blood Loss Struggle

For people suffering from venous malformation and Klipptel-Trenaunay syndrome, every day is a struggle against dangerous levels of blood loss. A simple cut in the wrong place could be life-threatening. VENOUS MALFORMATION-This rare condition affects the human body’s vast network of blood vessels.-Doctors theorize that this condition causes the smooth muscle layer in the vein…

Photo Credit: Jodi Kendall Most people who visit Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco know about the famous California sea lions that inhabit the Pier 39 docks. Locals and visitors alike adore observing and photographing the mammals as they play, nap, bark, fight and eat. California sea lions are the fastest and largest of their species…

Rare Bone Conditions

Imagine breaking a rib just by coughing or having an internal organ turning to bone.  Delve inside the bodies of two extraordinary humans living with rare genetic conditions: Osteogenesis Imperfecta – brittle bone syndrome – and Fibrodysplasia Ossificans Progressiva, a condition that causes muscles and tendons to turn into bone. Rare Anatomy: Bones premieres tonight…

Celebrity Dog Names

Photo credit: Jodi Kendall My parents live in South Florida and recently traveled over 500 miles to pick up an adorable golden doodle puppy. And the moniker they chose for their new cuddly canine? Teddy Roosevelt. When I first heard the news, I tried to nudge them toward alternatives. “But it’s a girl!” I protested.…

Clever Lions Set Trap

See how lions use the sparse watering-holes along Botswana’s dried-out Savuti Channel in this thrilling clip from Predator Battleground. Predator Battleground premieres March 29 at 10P et/pt on Nat Geo WILD.

National Wildlife Week – March 15-21st – is a great opportunity for kids to get outside and learn about animals! This year’s theme, “Be Out There At Home, School and Play,” encourages a compassionate, environmentally aware lifestyle.   Top ten ways to channel your “inner wild child” this month: 1. Build a milk jug birdfeeder…

The Great Sperm Race Game

When we discovered The Great Sperm Race game on the website of our friends at Channel 4, it was office mayhem. “I made it to the cervix!” “Why does my sperm keep running into the acid walls?” “Wow, I had no idea how hard it was to be a sperm” After awhile, someone finally cheered……

Hyperactive Husky

Name: Spike Breed: Siberian Husky Age: 11 months old ABOUT THE DOG: Spike is the Rassibi family’s first dog. He came from a breeder, but at around 7 months, his sweet demeanor shifted to a relentless hyperactive personality that jumps and nips incessantly. Nowadays, Spike spends nearly all of his time in the family’s backyard…