6.22.16: Warcraft Didn't Really Bomb, Great White Sharks, & The Plight of the Baby Bison

Jun 22, 2016

There are a lot of adjectives used to describe great white sharks:  Giant. Fearsome. Deadly.  But author and naturalist Sy Montgomery has seen sharks up close and might choose another word - like sublime. Today, the ocean's most mysterious and misunderstood predator gets a closer look.

Then, maybe you heard about the guy visiting Yellowstone who put a cold, abandoned baby buffalo in his car and drove it to a ranger station.  Attempts to reunite the little guy with its herd failed and it was euthanized - inciting an online riot over how humans interact with wild animals. 

Listen to the full show. 

Warcraft Didn't Really Bomb

It's summer! Time for blockbuster movies - along with a few memorable flops in recent years. Remember the dismal box office for Battleship, The Lone Ranger, and Fantastic Four?  Well, they all made more on opening weekend than this summer's tanker, Warcraft.

The film, based on the massively popular multi-player video game, pulled in just $24 million on its opening weekend, plunging brutally its second weekend. But those are domestic numbers. Warcraft is doing gangbusters in china. K.M. McFarland, staff writer for Wired, says while counting on the global market is nothing new for Hollywood, Warcraft may have changed the game.

The Truth About Ancient Toilets

Archaeologists give us a window into how ancient civilizations lived - their family structures, what they valued, how they worshipped, the work they did. But one aspect of the daily lives of our predecessors has rarely been studied - or even mentioned: the humble toilet.  Early archaeologists ignored or sometimes misidentified the pits existing alongside relics they were more interested in digging up.  A century plus later, researching how the ancients relieved themselves is no longer taboo, and those who specialize in the field are discovering a wealth of information about the lives the ancients by studying their loos.    

Chelsea Wald wrote about the secret history of ancient toilets for Nature.

A Nose for Memory

There’s an intimate connection between scent and memory in the brain...and for one woman that bond extends to art. Producer Shelby El-Otmani brings us her story.

You can listen to this story again at PRX.org

Great White Sharks With Sy Montgomery

We've all seen it before...the threatening image of a slate gray fin slowly rising above the surface of the ocean...and then, inevitably, the gaping mouth, long white belly, and rows of serrated teeth. Whether you're watching a certain Spielbergian horror film, or Discovery Channel's “Shark Week,” few living predators loom larger than the great white shark. Sy Montgomery is a naturalist and an author. Her most recent book is called The Great White Shark Scientist and it’s a look into the mysterious, and very often, misunderstood, world of great white sharks. 

The Plight of the Baby Bison

On a visit to Yellowstone National Park in May, Natalie Kinzel watched a baby bison carried away from a herd crossing a river. Another tourist went a step further, putting the little buffalo in his car and driving it to a ranger. After unsuccessful attempts to reunite the little guy with its herd, it was euthanized. The incident reignited the question of whether humans should interfere with wild animals...a topic Todd Wilkinson explores in National Geographic