Archives for August, 2010

A Modern King Midas

How does a small-town, midwestern boy transform into the world’s richest man? NGC takes an inside look at the legendary business acumen and intriguing private life of investment icon Warren Buffett. First, we’ll investigate the deceptively simple business strategy that made Berkshire Hathaway a $150 billion empire. Then, we’ll uncover details of Buffett’s 25-year love…

Fang Facts

A team of snake experts takes you inside the world of snakes – from the swamps of Madagascar to the Streets of New York City.  Snake Wranglers give you an inside view as experts risk their lives to collect life-saving venom, conduct dramatic rescues, and wrestle slithering giants. Catch an episode of Snake Wranglers at…

This day in 1912 was the birthday of Robert F. Borkenstein, the forensic scientist whose technological legacy has earned many an inebriated motorist—including a certain male movie star reportedly prone to intemperate antisemitic rants, whose name we won’t mention—a date with a judge. As his 2002 New York Times obituary details, the Fort Wayne, IN native’s youthful…

Visible black integumentary sensory organs – ISOs – allow American alligators to detect underwater quarry, pressure changes and possibly even water salinity levels. American alligators can have more than one ISO on a scale. And while ISOs are distributed all over an gator’s body, they are generally found around the reptile’s head region.  “Integumentary sensory…

On this day in 1979, Comet Howard-Koomen-Michels slammed into surface of the sun at an estimated speed of 640,000 miles per hour, in the first documented collision between a comet and the Sun. Oddly, the event wasn’t detected until several years later, as this 1982 Popular Science article recounts. Astronomers from the Naval Research Laboratory discovered it while…

Inside Bioterror

“The power and the potential of a biological weapon is far more frightening than a nuclear terrorist attack. In part, because the construction is easier, and the effect, in many ways, is more devastating. Making these organisms is something that requires advanced biology, but there are lots of people who have studied advanced biology and…

Q&A with the Swamp Men

It’s just another day at the office; wrestling alligators and tracking panthers! Read on for an exclusive Q&A with the Swamp Men. Get a full night of Swamp Men tonight starting at 7P et only on Nat Geo Wild! What type of involvement have you had with national wildlife authorities? Do they inquire about coming…

***The live chat is now over. Please read below to see the discussion that occurred during the show, and come back Wednesday September 1 at 9P et/pt for the season premiere of Border Wars and another live chat with Nick!*** Border Wars series producer, Nick Stein, was online to share his commentary and answer your questions…

By Abigail RodriguezAssociate Producer First Day of Filming:I took a tiny step forward. The pressure of my foot sent a rotten green board flipping up like a see-saw in front of me. I tried not to look down at the waters of Lake Victoria thirty feet below the rotten pier I was standing on. Grip…

by Sharon PetzoldWriter/Producer How Rocky Got His Name: Every film starts with a great deal of research. For me it’s an exciting time in the project, because everything is possible. A single phone conversation yields different perspectives and imparts a great deal of information. Each piece of information—every detail—is followed up with more phone calls…

On this date in 413 BC, an Athenian force commanded by Nicias, the son of Niceratus, was poised to withdraw from a botched siege of the fortified city of Syracuse in Sicily, when they were startled and unnerved by a lunar eclipse. They should have known better; Greek astronomers had been studied eclipses extensively, and knew…

Trouble the Water

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, this astonishing powerful documentary is at once horrifying and exhilarating. Directed and produced by “Fahrenheit 9/11″ and “Bowling for Columbine” producers Tia Lessin and Carl Deal, Trouble the Water takes you inside Hurricane Katrina in a way never before seen on screen. The…

On this day in 1957, the Soviet Union announced that it had staged a successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, which Radio Moscow claimed was capable of hitting “any spot on the globe.” According to this 1957 Associated Press article, Radio Moscow described the weapon as a “super-range, multi-stage” missile, and boasted, somewhat vaguely, that…

Join series producer Nick Stein and the Border Wars production crew as they follow officers and agents of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. They protect the United States and Mexico border that runs right through the sister towns of Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Mexico; which are separated by a security fence. Every day thousands…

Trojan Caterpillar

Take a closer look at the history and future of one of Earth’s most treasured natural habitats.  Get an in-depth view of the creatures and plant life that make up this unique wildlife treasure, go inside the  devastating consequences of modern farming methods and see the new technology that could hold the key to restoring…

Peacock Mating Dance

Peacocks have long, irridescent tails that cover more than 60% of their total body length. They utilize these vibrantly hued plumes to attract females in a fanning courtship ritual, or ‘peacock mating dance.’ Experts believe that females (called peahens) pick their mates based on size, color and feather quality. Peacocks typically have blue and green…

Video: Elephant Kicks Its Baby

Caught in the Act: Clash of the Cheetahs airs Wednesday August 25 at 9P et/pt. The small conquer the large when a tiny mongoose doesn’t give in to a lion and a young cheetah takes down a massive wildebeest in a grueling struggle. Caught in the Act captures animals on tape in often spontaneous situations.…

"Just Sky Diving?"

by Diana DonnellyAssociate Producer If you walk by the production offices of Nat Geo Amazing!, some conversations you might overhear on a typical day include: “Yeah, I’ve got the Virgin Mary on a cheese sandwich, but what I’m looking for is Jesus on fish stick… do you have that?” or “Oh, another NG team is…

On this day in 1910, pre-digital office technology and information management pioneer Arnold Neustadter, who popularized the Rolodex, was born in Brooklyn. (He also invented the Swivodex and the Clipodex, but you don’t hear too much about those.) As a young man, Neustadter briefly joined his father’s box manufacturing business, before striking out on his own as…

My Dog Dreams Of…

I was watching Madge, the basset hound pit bull, take her usual mid-morning siesta. And listening, too, of course, because she snores at a decibel level that possibly exceeds that of one of those Who concerts in the 1960s that gave Pete Townsend such bad tinnitus. In between the rumbling drone, her stubby legs and…

Anaconda Attack

Reaching more than 30 feet long and lurking in swamps, trees and basements, reticulated pythons and green anacondas are as big as they’ve ever been. Could their appetites be getting bigger? With an arsenal of 100 razor-sharp teeth and 10,000 muscles, these reptiles deliver a final, crushing blow with a heart-stopping force of 9,000 lbs.…

On this day in 2006, the International Astronomical Union decided that Pluto no longer should be considered a bona fide planet—a distinction it had held since 1930, when it was discovered by 23-year-old newbie astronomer Clyde Tombaugh. Back then, Tombaugh’s discovery, made by analyzing photographic plates, confirmed a suspicion that astronomers had since the late 19th century,…

Albino Murders

by Barney BroomfieldProducer/Director For me, one of the most impressive parts of our shoot in Tanzania was our visit with Albino United to Mwanza, the bustling east African hub on the shores of Lake Victoria. The lake is the second largest body of freshwater in the world, looking much more like an ocean than anything…

Urban Miami

A new episode of Wild Nights with Mireya Mayor premieres Monday August 23 9P et/pt. By Emily Mraz Working as a freelance producer is always a trip.  Moving from project to project is a lot like getting a new job in a completely different line of work.  Each new job brings new subject matter and…

Survival Camp

Watch never before seen footage of Ed Woods’ very own swamp survival camp! Swamp Men airs on Nat Geo Wild Mondays at 8P et/pt.