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Report From Chicago: Earth Live show held by National Geographic

To encourage participation, the audience was provided free tickets for theater and also a $15 gift card per person for concessions

Earth Live by National Geographic
Earth Live by National Geographic. Photo from National Geographic website

– Report by Dr. Bharti Raizada

Chicago, July 10, 2017:

National Geographic did a live broadcast called Earth Live, on July 9th, a day of full moon, from 7-9pm central time. It was first of this large-scale live telecast. They had their cinematographers on six continents, 17 countries, 12 time zones, and  25 locations, and used 58 very high tech cameras. Some were thermal cam, infrared cam, moonlight cam etc. These cameras were not disturbing the animals. In some instances, it was shown that cameraman was very near the animals but animals were not even aware of them.

The live telecast was from New York City, and the hosts were Jane Lynch and Phil Keoghan. The animal expert was Mr. Chris Packham. The executive producer for National Geographic was Michael J. Miller. Many people were working on many screens. This live telecast, from air, land, and underwater, was showing animals doing live activities, with no editing. The day of full moon brings ocean animals near land because of big tides, and more predator activity happens that day.

The live show was held through various cinema theaters. To encourage participation, the audience were provided free tickets for theater and also a $15 gift card per person for concessions.

The Earth live telecast from air, land, and underwater showed animals doing live activities Click To Tweet

The people got to watch thrilling and fascinating things about the animals. One cameraman, Bob Poole, was in Estonia with a hyena man who believed that feeding Hyena wards off evil spirits. The hyena man was giving food to 10-20 hyenas in night and was not scared. Hyenas were not attacking him. Bob was using a very high tech ultra lowlight camera with moonlight to capture it live for all of us to see.

  • One person in Jodhpur, India was filming Langurs who were very actively moving around and eating fruits and peanut.
  • A lion was shown in Massai Mara, Kenya by Sophie Darlington using thermal camera. He was running after prey but failed and then started walking back. Cheetahs and leopards were shown.
  • One very small and light weight camera was tied to an eagle. It was flying over Oregon in USA and gave an eagle eye view of the area.
  • One drone named Snot Bot was released over an ocean in Alaska and it had petridishes on top. It was flying very low over the surface of water with lot of humpback whales. Excreted water from whales was collected in petridishes and the drone landed back, with whale DNA collected in a non invasive way, in the researcher’s ship.
  • One person had a device to measure the grip strength/bite force of a saltwater crocodile. The crocodile was shown with a remote camera. It looked so near to us.
  • There was a live little red fox and a sloth in the telecast room.
  • Weaver ants were shown. They were building their home by attaching leaves together with a glue like structure. They were communicating with each other by touching their antennas. It was real teamwork and their house was almost complete by the end of the show.
  • Millions of bats were exiting from Bracken Cave in Texas, USA, and a predator bird was catching those in the sky.
  • One whale was making a charming sound to attract the fishes.
  • One cameraman, Andy Casagrande, was swimming with many bull sharks in Fiji, and he was not wearing any protection. He said that there is more danger in New York City than standing with sharks.
  • There were macaque monkeys in Thailand who were using a stone tool to break small pieces of rock to take oyster out and eat. Lion cubs and ape child were suckling.
  • A wolverine and ocelot were also shown.

Mr. Chris narrated interesting points about many animals and answered questions from the audience. Voting was taken during the show to know which animal people wanted to see.

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National Geographic to Launch new Mini-Series ‘Mars’ that will unfold Mankind’s First Voyage to the Red Planet in Future

The show will depict the first manned mission to Mars in the year 2033

Mars, Source: NASA

November 13, 2016: After uncountable movies and artworks on space travel and extraterrestrial science fiction, now National Geographic brings to us “Mars” which is set to release on November 14 in the US and online on 13 November globally. This mini-series unfolds mankind’s first voyage to the red planet in the future.

The show is about to depict the first manned mission to Mars in the year 2033. “Mars” is scripted uniquely and has present day interviews with experts amidst everything. It works constantly with current and historic context to create a very different storytelling.

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We have been obsessed about setting our foot on the planet for a long time. This show not only tells us how heavy, reaching the planet is; but also tells us that survival on Mars will be a much more difficult task.

The six-part depiction of the journey had inputs and advice from experts and space enthusiasts like Elon Musk of SpaceX and the CEO of Tesla motors to make the production as realistic as possible, mentioned PTI. At the premiere of “Mars” in New York, Justin Wilkes, a producer at RadicalMedia revealed that the team had been granted complete access to the SpaceX team and its brilliant minds.

Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia.
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia.

Many other people were interviewed for “Mars” other than the space enthusiasts. The effects of the journey on the human behavior and psyche were discussed by Psychologist Davis Dinges.

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The policy implications of sending colonists to unclaimed territories were revealed by Casey Dreier, the director of space policy for the Planetary Society, and Thomas Kalil, the Deputy Director at the White House Office of Science and Technology. Elon Musk said that humanity will either travel to distant planets and settle down on different planets or remain on Earth and wait for an eventual extinction.

This stellar venture brings great directors like Brian Grazer and Michael Rosenberg of Imagine Entertainment and Justin Wilkes, Jon Kamen, and Dave OConnor of RadicalMedia and Mexican filmmaker Everardo Gout under one roof to work on a semi sci-fi masterpiece.

SpaceX spaceship. Pixabay.
SpaceX spaceship. Pixabay

The production of such magnitude required unfathomable efforts. Even the scripted portions had to be realistic and thus, needed professional inputs and advice. The on-camera efforts are just the tip of the iceberg. Daniela Ciancio, the designer of the futuristic spacesuits revealed that her main inspiration was the BioSuit concept designed at MIT.

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Bobby Braun, a professor from Georgia Tech was the technical aid to keep the show realistic. He designed the spacecraft Daedalus in “Mars”.

The mini-series was shot in Morocco and Budapest. The scripted part stars various actors including Sammi Rotibi , Ben Cotton, Jihae and Alberto Ammann embarking on their maiden voyage to the red planet in 2033.

– prepared by Shivam Thaker of NewsGram. Twitter: @Shivam_Thaker

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More than 2,000 year-old Giant Monument is discovered in the heart of ancient Jordanian city of Petra

Despite being a hub of tourists, the monument has been hidden from common sight since explorer Johann Burckhardt surveyed the area in 1812

A facade at Petra, where a new monumental structure has been found at the city built by Nabateans more than 2,000 years ago. Image source: Martin Keene/PA
  • The gigantic monument captured by aerial drone photography, consists of a 56-by-49-meter platform that encloses a slightly smaller platform originally paved with flagstones
  • The enormous Petra Archaeological Park covers an area of 264 square kilometres
  • The presence of pottery, relics and figurines hint its origins as the early 2nd century under the Arabian tribes

A massive structure, roughly about an Olympic-size swimming pool and twice as wide has been discovered 800 metres south of the ancient Jordanian city of Petra.

According to a study published in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research by archaeologists Sarah Parcak and Christopher Tuttle, the newly revealed platform-like structure covers an area of 184-by-164 foot, enclosing a slightly smaller monument lined by flagstones.

“I’m sure that over the course of two centuries of research [in Petra], someone had to know [this site] was there, but it’s never been systematically studied or written up,” said Tuttle, executive director of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers.

Once the capital of the Arabian tribe Nabataeans, the city was founded around the 2nd century B.C and was abandoned in the 7th century as the Byzantine period neared its end. A World Heritage Site, the historic city is flocked by thousands of tourists every year due to its richness of iconic structures hewn from red sandstone. The enormous Petra Archaeological Park covers an area of 264 square kilometres, landscaped by huge columns and platforms dating back to the Nabataean period.

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Despite being a hub of tourists, the monument has been hidden from common sight since explorer Johann Burckhardt surveyed the area in 1812. Petra Monastery and other structures have been open to public since long, but the newly revealed structure astonished beyond measure due to its discovery after centuries of Petra being in limelight.

 Zoomed-in UAV image of platform. Photograph: I LaBianca
Zoomed-in UAV image of platform. Photograph: I LaBianca

The gigantic monument captured by aerial drone photography, consists of a 56-by-49-meter platform that encloses a slightly smaller platform originally paved with flagstones. The east side of the interior platform is lined with a row of columns that once spanned across a monumental staircase. Atop the interior platform is an 8.5-by-8.5-meter building, opening to the east. The platform or “display area” houses several small buildings, consisting of a facade, one like a “ceremonial, dedicated, display area.”

“The enormous platform has no known parallels to any other structure in Petra,” writes National Geographic in reference to the latest discovery at Petra.

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While the site remains to be excavated in detail, the presence of pottery, relics and figurines hint its origins as the early 2nd century under the Arabian tribes. High resolution satellite imagery and ground surveys are being held to locate more factual data about the structure, according to Parcak, a National Geographic fellow.

“I’ve worked in Petra for 20 years, and I knew that something was there, but it’s certainly legitimate to call this a discovery,” said Tuttle.

-by Maariyah Siddiquee, an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @MaariyahSid