Archives for July, 2010

by Todd WendelProducer Our neon blue rafts must look pretty strange to the indigenous people I’m waving to onshore. Although I’m sunburned, bug-bitten, and sick to my stomach from the third protein bar I’ve eaten today, I manage to pull off a pretty convincing smile. The fact that members of this tribe recently killed 29…

by Julia DornSeries Field Producer Day 1: Arapaima Expedition: What To Take On This Expedition?Today, adventure angler Jakub Vágner, two camera operators and I begin an expedition into the Amazon. We’re on a mission to find a giant Arapaima and a Piraiba Catfish in the wild. The contents of my personal bag are almost entirely…

Horses on the Rocks

The MV Gabriel was in transit to Ponta Delgada when she ran aground in the Azores, just ten nautical miles from her destination. At the time, the Gabriel was carrying seven prized dressage horses, a cargo load that had never before crossed this salvage teams’ path, in their thirty years at sea.  With her tanks…

Croc Ganglands

A showdown is about to erupt in the Croc Ganglands. Meet Croc Boss, the heavyweight champion of the Crocodile Ganglands. He rules by sheer size and explosive violence. He gets the best food, he is respected at all times, and he alone mates with receptive females. But this year a young upstart will defy his…

On this day in 1863, Henry Ford , who helped make a newfangled invention, the horseless carriage, affordable to the masses and became perhaps the greatest innovator in industrial history, was born on a farm near Dearborn, MI. As a young engineer, Ford worked for the Edison Illuminating Co., where his promotion to management in 1896 gave him…

Eight centuries after its creation in a medieval Bohemian monastery, the Codex Gigas–also known as “The Devil’s Bible”–still confounds scholars and fascinates occult aficionados and paranormal conspiracy theorists. It is the most massive illuminated manuscript of the medieval age, three feet long and weighing in at 165 pounds, and it contains a bizarre collection of content–the…

Strobe-Light Squids

by William GillyProfessor of Biology, Hopkins Marine Station Humboldt squid washing up on Pacific Coast beaches from southern California to British Columbia since early last summer have led to questions. In the U.S. the focus concerned what dangers might exist in human-squid interactions. In Canada the issue was potential ecological impacts exerted by the invading…

by Gayle YoungProducer Some researchers say one of the most common dreams in the world is of flying – not crammed in the middle seat of an airbus during peak travel season, but of floating effortlessly through space of you own volition. Now, with the perfection of wingsuits, that’s almost a reality. No rig, no…

All around the world, wild animals are being pushed from their natural habitats. And recently, a bobcat kitten was discovered in a new housing construction zone in Florida, requiring her rescue and rehabilitation. Big Cat Rescue – experts in dealing with this wildlife problem on a daily basis – were called to the scene. Jamie Veronica,…

On this day in 2005, the California Institute of Technology astronomer Mike Brown announced the discovery of 2003 UB313 — not to be confused with the 1980s British pop group UB40 — which the scientist described in a press release as a “10th planet.” Brown based that assertion on the newly discovered astronomical body’s size, which…

The Devil’s Bible

In the early 13th century, a monk disobeys the rules at a Bohemia Benedictine monastery. His punishment is to be walled up alive. But the monk pleads for his life. “I’ll write a book that will glorify the monastery forever,” he says, “a book that contains all human knowledge.” But that night, the monk despairs…

Notes from a Dog Walker

Dog walkers feed, walk and play with beloved pets while their owners are at work or on vacation. A day in the life of a dog walker can often be a mysterious experience, known only between human and canine. Because of this, dog walkers often leave behind letters with specific grading systems that rate a…

Coastal Crisis!

The refloat attempt of the Colombo Queen continues in Taiwan, as salvors return to the wreck site after typhoon Morakot has passed. Re-assessing the damage, the tanker is in bad shape, and it is going to take an almighty effort to even attempt a refloat. Meanwhile another storm, Hurricane Ida, has ripped through the Gulf,…

Monkeys Hunt for Breakfast

In Jaipur, things go from bad to worse for Rani and her rhesus macaque troop. Her alpha male has been captured by monkey catchers; her baby son Teejay is missing; and she’s lost her beloved temple home to the langur monkeys. To make matters worse, Rani has no idea her old enemy Zamir is back…

Today is the 103rd birthday of the late Earl Tupper, a tinkerer who set out to be a 20th century-version of Leonardo da Vinci. In the fashion of Leonardo,Tupper kept an elaborately illustrated notebook of his own myriad inventions, which included pants with a permanent crease, a fish-powered automobile, a convertible top for rumble seats,…

New data concluded that there is more than one species of manta ray, and scientists are busy collecting information on their behaviors, markings and populations. The Georgia Aquarium recently funded an aerial surveying research project on manta rays, a study that took place over a six-week time period. But why collect this data on manta…

Hope The Wig Fits!

by Rebecca CodyProducer 12th February 2010I’ve just arrived in Latin America, tired after nearly 2 days of travelling, but tremendously excited. The air is warm, I’ve left the vicious cold behind, I’m happy. I’ve been met by my fixer, Paola at the airport, and she has given me the best chocolate I have ever tasted…

by Dr. Bob CargillArchaeologist, UCLA March 2010 Who really wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls? That is the subject of a forthcoming documentary produced by CTVC for National Geographic Channel. I was asked to be among the interviewees who include (in alphabetical order): • Robert Cargill• Rachel Elior• Shimon Gibson• Jan Gunneweg• Gideon Hadas• Jean-Baptiste Humbert• Jodi…

Masters of Imitation

Photo Credit: Jodi Kendall, taken at the Georgia Aquarium An octopus is a skilled mimic and artist of camouflage. In order to deceive a predator, he can morph into unique shapes, change color and texture, and even alter his behavior to make a quick escape. One such example has been documented on video. This octopus…

Given the current brouhaha in Congress over immigration reform, it’s easy to forget that on this day 58 years ago, Washingtonians were worried about illegal aliens of a different sort. This declassified Air Force report describes the sighting of a UFO hovering over the Pentagon on the evening of July 27, 1952. The witness, a woman from…

If you want to give hope those who believe that the Loch Ness monster is actually the last surviving descendant of the ancient plesiosaurs, just mention the example of the Komodo dragon. Varanus Komodoensis, which is found today on Komodo and four other small Indonesian islands, is the largest lizard on the planet at 10 feet…

No, no, this isn’t the birthday of Dennis DeYoung, who penned the lyrics to the 1983 Styx hit that’s quoted in our headline. That’s an attempt at hip irony. Today is the 84th birthday of Joseph F. Engelberger, who with fellow engineer George Devol developed the Unimate, the world’s first industrial robot, in the 1950s and early 1960s. The Unimate’s…

Jellyfish on the Hunt

For more than 500 million years, the jellyfish has survived in our oceans. Today, global warming and pollution may be contributing to a population explosion, as billions of these sometimes venomous creatures increasingly swarm around our beaches and shorelines. And though they have no bones, blood or brain, some jellyfish are armed with a deadly…

Crocodile Eating Snake?

Not only are the Python Hunters experts at catching Burmese pythons, but they also investigate the creatures’ habitat. Shawn, Greg and Mike head to the edge of a sawgrass marsh to explore through knee-deep waters in search of pythons, and to explore the invasive species’ predator-prey relationships. Birds and mammals prey on them as hatchlings…

Buffalo Aggression

In the parched deserts and arid grasslands around the world live some of the planet’s most unusual and venomous creatures some strike with blinding speed, while others use teamwork to attack prey. Go face-to-face with the drier climate’s deadly dozen animals. From the open savannas where top predators hyenas, lions and cheetahs rule the plains…