Everyone could do with a little extra science today, if only to distract themselves from the blank and empty yawn that is a Sunday afternoon. To celebrate their 125th anniversary, National Geographic is hosting a free-for-all interview with James Cameron, Robert Ballard, Jane Goodall and "explorers in the field on every continent." You can join the conversation here; explorers will be taking questions for the next hour.
Mike Hayhurst, a professional rodeo clown and barrelman from Barstow, California, may have thought he was just clowning around when he told Saturday's crowd at the 17th annual Creston Classic Rodeo a vehemently racist joke involving First Lady Michelle Obama, but the rodeo's board members aren't laughing.
National Geographic Digital Nomad Andrew Evans visited a remote Antarctic island populated by fur seals, and made a video of the absurdly cute baby seals he met there. Check out the baby seal trying to be fierce at 0:15. He thinks he's roaring with fury, but the sound he creates is akin to a toddler's naptime snore. [Cute Overload, Digital Nomad, @WheresAndrew]
This short made by National Geographic shows us some pretty interesting things as our global population is on the verge of crossing 7 billion. And it's done really well. What can't kinetic type teach us? Nothing, I say.
Earlier today, we speculated that one of the few Take Your Child to Work Day jobs that children would enjoy would be National Geographic's swashbuckling Explorer-in-Residence job. Apparently Nat Geo jobs aren't the only paradisiacal thing—at this year's TKCTW celebration, they auctioned an iPad. A reader writes in,
Oh, dead bodies. Whatever do we do with you? Taboo explores disposal, suicide, and life after death, but most fascinatingly takes us inside them—to the lab of Gunther von Hagens, who first brought the world innards on display.
This week, Taboo explored the topic of "Strange Love". Realdolls, negotiated infidelity, child marriage, and polygamy were on the docket, and things got pretty hot 'n' provocative.
So last night's Taboo didn't really go out on a limb as far as bringing us unbelievable freakiness that's actually stigmatized. But they did give us lots of drugz, and the folks who turn to 'em to ease(?) their troubles.
This week's Taboo was all about misfits! But not your run-of-the-mill Daria kind. Featured here were wannabe amputees, exiled Bangladeshi river dwellers, and—most abhorrent of all—freegans!
Obese Americans face tons of problems in this day and age— especially in the love department! While sassy cam-girl/activist, Deirdra, juggles several "bi-sizual," fat admiring boyfriends; bedridden 650 lb. Alan hasn't had sex with his wife in 10 years.
• As rumored, the New York Times plans to begin charging readers to access stories on the NYT website. It will be a metered system (so only "frequent readers" will be affected), and it doesn't start until 2011. And faithful subscribers to the print edition won't be forced to pay anything extra. [NYT]
• What are the chances Conan lands at Fox? It could happen, but there are plenty of reasons why Fox might decide to back away from a deal. [WSJ]
• The news biz: Talks to bring Ted Koppel back to ABC News appear to have fallen through; Megyn Kelly is getting her own show on Fox News; and CNN has announced it's partnering with hipster mag Vice, oddly enough. [NYO]
• Condé Nast's Fairchild unit has a new chief. Gina Sanders, Lucky's publisher (and Si Newhouse's niece) will now be running the show. [WWD]
• The Sundance Film Festival kicks off in Park City, Utah tomorrow. And it's shaping up to be fest's "most important" year ever, supposedly. [NYT, WSJ]