Daveed Diggs and JooWan Kim to Collaborate on National Geographic: Symphony for Our World

Premiering This Earth Day, April 22, National Geographic and Jason Michael Paul Entertainment, Inc. Welcome Award-Winning Actor as Part of First-in-Class Symphonic Experience

National Geographic and Jason Michael Paul Entertainment, Inc. announced that Tony- and Grammy-award winner Daveed Diggs will narrate, as a contributing artist, the upcoming National Geographic: Symphony for Our World (Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGdDkxoVCKs), which begins touring in April 2018. The actor, rapper, and producer, known for his award-winning work in the musical Hamilton, is bringing a modern take on the classics to the symphony scene with this new show. With MGP Live as the official promoter, an inaugural performance of Symphony for Our World will be held in San Francisco at the Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall on Earth Day, April 22, 2018.NG-SFOW-LogoEndorsed-neg-RGB-634x380

At National Geographic, we believe that our unparalleled visual storytelling can profoundly impact and inspire people to care about our planet. Our yellow border serves as a portal for people to gain new insight into the farthest reaches of the earth and beyond,” said Rosa Zeegers, Executive Vice President, Consumer Products, and Experiences at National Geographic Partners. “We’re thrilled to have Daveed Diggs join us in sharing this ground-breaking show that combines our beautiful imagery with breathtaking music. Daveed’s passion for our mission truly elevates Symphony for Our World.”

Driven by a five-part composition, Symphony for Our World pairs artistry with science as it brings viewers from the depths of the sea, up to coastlines, over mountains and soaring into the sky. Each environment will be accompanied by a different orchestral movement, resulting in a powerful musical tribute to the beauty and wonders of our wild world.

The original symphony and theme were created by Emmy- and BAFTA-nominated Bleeding Fingers Music featuring composers Austin Fray and Andrew Christie with contributions from multi-platinum selling rockers X Ambassadors. Along with Diggs, JooWan Kim of Ensemble Mik Nawooj (a San Francisco Bay Area-based musical group that merges classical, jazz, and hip-hop styles) has joined the project, composing the music for the show’s narrations and overture.

Working with National Geographic on this new kind of immersive storytelling, and sharing so much about the world with music, is something near and dear to my heart,” said Daveed Diggs. “Ever since I was a kid I’ve always liked National Geographic, and am so excited to be a part of Symphony for Our World.”

This inspiring 90-minute live orchestral performance will be presented in concert venues around the world, with groundbreaking imagery and storytelling from 130 years of beloved National Geographic history matched in perfect synchronization with a live orchestra and choir. The tour’s first performance is in conjunction with the television broadcast premiere of ‘Symphony for Our World’, an hour-long special which airs commercial-free on the same day on Nat Geo WILD. The ‘Symphony for Our World’ television event will premiere globally in 140 countries. Continue reading

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New-York Historical Society To Explore “Fashion, Feathers, And The Rise Of Animal Rights” Activism In Honor Of Landmark Migratory Bird Reaty Act Centennial

“Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife” On View April 6 – July 15, 2018

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Unidentified maker. Accessory set, including muff and tippet, 1880–99, United States Herring Gulls, feathers, silk. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection, 2009.300.2050a-c. This unusual muff and tippet, made with four adult Herring Gulls harvested during breeding season, demonstrates how accessory manufacturers exploited these birds. Gulls are and were great scavengers, and continue to be instrumental in cleaning our shorelines. The 19th-century fashion for their feathers and bodies, however, nearly drove them into extinction.

The New-York Historical Society presents a special exhibition that melds fashion, activism, and the history of the groundbreaking Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife, on view April 6–July 15, 2018, examines the circumstances that inspired early environmental activists—many of them women and New Yorkers—to champion the protection of endangered birds. The exhibition showcases bird- and plumage-embellished clothing and accessories. It also features original watercolors by John James Audubon of birds endangered before the passage of the statute, models for The Birds of America, from the Museum’s renowned collection. The exhibition is part of the Year of the Bird, a centennial celebration of the Act organized by National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and BirdLife International. Recordings of bird songs from The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology—together with objects on loan from other institutions, books, ephemera, and photographs—animate the narrative.

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John James Audubon (1785–1851), Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus), Study for Havell pl. 411, 1838. Watercolor, graphite, oil, black ink, black chalk, and white gouache? with touches of pastel and glazing on paper, laid on card. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.411 Swans’ down, the soft, fine, under-feathers, of swans were used for trimming clothes—as in the evening dress on display—and for cosmetic powder puffs. Tundra Swans once nested over most of North America but disappeared rapidly as civilization advanced westward. By the 1930s, fewer than 100 remained south of Canada. With protection from hunting and the disturbance of plumers, northwestern populations have rebounded. Today, their population is stable enough to sustain a limited hunting season in some areas.

Administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 was one of the first federal laws to address the environment, prohibiting the hunting, killing, trading, and shipping of migratory birds. It also regulated the nation’s commercial plume trade, which had decimated many American bird species to the point of near extinction.

Feathers: Fashion and the Fight for Wildlife commemorate the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act by delving into history and examining the economic and social circumstances that inspired the early environmentalists and activists who lobbied for this consequential legislation,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president, and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “As New York was the center of the nation’s feather trade, the exhibition also investigates how the act impacted the city’s feather importers, hat manufacturers, retailers, and fashion consumers—as well as how New York women played an important role in pushing for the legislation.”

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John James Audubon (1785–1851) with Maria Martin (1796–1863), Rufous Hummingbird (Selasphorus rufus), Study for Havell pl. 379, 1836–37. Watercolor, graphite, black ink, and gouache with touches of pastel and selective glazing on paper laid on card. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.379. Audubon painted three species of North American hummingbirds. He never saw the western Rufous Hummingbird alive, but painted it from specimens sent to him by the naturalist Thomas Nuttall. While naturalists always admired the hummingbirds they studied, the larger public’s appreciation of these sensationally beautiful creatures resulted from exposure in public arenas. Many pieces of hummingbird jewelry, like the Red-legged Honeycreeper earrings seen in the exhibition, were produced in England by Harry Emanuel, who in 1865 patented a process for insetting the heads in silver and gold mounts.

N-YHS Oppenheimer Editions AWC Plate 321 Roseate Spoonbill

John James Audubon (1785–1851), Roseate Spoonbill (Platalea ajaja), Study for Havell pl. 321, ca. 1831–32; 1836. Watercolor, graphite, gouache, and black ink with touches of glazing on paper laid on Japanese paper. Purchased for the New-York Historical Society by public subscription from Mrs. John J. Audubon, 1863.17.321. Audubon admired these prehistoric-looking, wading birds, the largest North American member of the ibis family. The beauty of their feathers brought the species to the brink of extinction by 1920. Plume hunters invaded colonies to slaughter the birds for fans sold in the tourist trade. They survived after the Audubon Society dispatched wardens to protect them and urged the passage of strict conservation laws. Today, the Roseate Spoonbill is one of the great success stories of the conservation movement.

The first gallery of the exhibition, “A Fancy for Feathers,” presents examples of the late 19th- and early 20th-century fashion including feathered hats, boas, fans, aigrettes, jewelry, and clothing. Highlights include a gold and diamond aigrette hair ornament (1894) featuring the wispy feathers of a Snowy or Great Egret, which were scornfully called the “white badge of cruelty” by activists; a muff and tippet accessory set (1880–99) composed of four adult Herring Gulls created during a craze for gulls that nearly drove the sea birds to extinction; a folding brisé fan of swirling white feathers (1910–29); and a pair of earrings inset with hummingbird heads (ca. 1865). Painted miniatures on view from the late 19th and early 20th centuries portray women adorned with bird plumes, such as one professed bird lover, wearing a hat decorated with dyed ostrich feathers while holding an American robin and surrounded by caged birds. Feathers also adorned men’s regalia and hats.

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Unidentified maker. Red-Legged Honeycreeper hummingbird earrings, ca. 1865 Probably London, England Preserved bird, gold, metal. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Alfred Z. Solomon and Janet A. Sloane Endowment Fund, 2013, 2013.143a, b. Animal parts and insects decorated late 19thcentury jewelry. In 1865, London jeweler Harry Emanuel patented a method to inset hummingbird heads, skins, and feathers into gold and silver mounts. As objects of beauty as well as scientific fascination, the dazzling birds’ heads and feathers were prized as earrings, necklaces, brooches, and fans.

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George Bird Grinnell (1849–1938) From Nathaniel Pitt Langford, Diary of the Washburn Expedition to the Yellowstone and Firehole Rivers in the year 1870, n.p. St. Paul, MN: Yellowstone National Park, 1905 New-York Historical Society Library. Born in Brooklyn, Grinnell played a seminal role in American conservation. He lived as a youth in Audubon Park in upper Manhattan, previously the estate of the legendary naturalist-artist John James Audubon. There Grinnell was tutored by Lucy Bakewell Audubon, who encouraged his lifelong passion for wildlife and the natural world. After a later expedition to Yellowstone, his report included what may be the first official statement in opposition to the excessive killing of big game. In 1886, Grinnell founded the Audubon Society of New York, the forerunner of the National Audubon Society (1905). He launched it from its publication Audubon Magazine as “an association for the protection of wild birds and their eggs.”

Continue reading

National Geographic and Katie Couric Launch Screening Tour for Upcoming Documentary “Gender Revolution: A Journey With Katie Couric”

Two-Hour Documentary Hosted and Executive Produced by Couric Is Available for Free to All Schools and Nonprofits That Will Host Inclusive Screenings and Conversations

First look clip from GENDER REVOLUTION: A JOURNEY WITH KATIE COURIC: https://files.natgeonetworks.com/_Sp2gXfxhvt1d5R

Every day all around the world, gender is making headlines, weaving its way into conversations big and small, in settings from the government to households, from schools to places of employment. The two-hour National Geographic documentary GENDER REVOLUTION: A JOURNEY WITH KATIE COURIC (trailer here) approaches the topic of gender through the lens of science, society, and culture, all woven together by personal stories and experiences.

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National Geographic logo. (PRNewsFoto/National Geographic Society)

In GENDER REVOLUTION: A JOURNEY WITH KATIE COURIC, premiering Monday, Feb. 6, at 9/8c, National Geographic set out to explore this evolving concept of gender through the lens of science, society, and culture. Produced by Katie Couric Media with National Geographic Studios and World of Wonder Productions, the special will also air on National Geographic around the globe in 171 countries and in 45 languages.

To extend the life of this important documentary beyond its Feb. 6 television broadcast, National Geographic and Picture Motion are partnering on the Gender Revolution Tour, allowing any high school, college, university or nonprofit to sign up to host a free screening and discussion. The tour will harness the momentum of the conversations happening around the globe and offer an opportunity to have an informed dialogue on one of the most complicated and evolving issues in the current zeitgeist. The Gender Revolution Tour is being managed by impact agency Picture Motion.gender-revolution-national-geographic-magazine

Requests to participate in the Gender Revolution Tour can be made by filling out the request form at http://bit.ly/NatGeoGenderRevolution. Screening hosts will be sent a DVD of the film and an extensive discussion guide (LINK), created by Journeys in Film, that provides additional resources on understanding gender.

At the time of this release, more than 100 universities, high schools, and non-profit groups have already scheduled screening events of the GENDER REVOLUTION leading up to and during the week of the film’s television premiere on National Geographic.

Katie Couric Media develops and produces content, programming, and documentaries for TV networks and digital distribution platforms, focusing on compelling issues the award-winning journalist and best-selling author has covered throughout her career. Katie Couric Media projects include the “Katie Couric” podcast from Earwolf, which features the host in candid, unscripted conversations about American life and politics; the National Geographic documentary GENDER REVOLUTION; and the upcoming movie “Flint” with Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, about the drinking water contamination in Flint, Michigan. Katie Couric is the executive producer of “Fed Up” (2014) and “Under the Gun” (2016), both documentaries that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival.

From the very start, it was my hope that as many people as possible would be given the opportunity to see this film,” said Couric. “I am thrilled that along with National Geographic and Picture Motion we are going to be able to share GENDER REVOLUTION and our accompanying discussion guide with groups all over the country.

National Geographic is about exploration and discovery. Through the Gender Revolution Tour we want to encourage constructive conversations that will allow people to connect with each other over material that is science-based, investigative and in some cases deeply personal,” said Chris Albert, Executive Vice President, Global Communications for National Geographic. “We believe this is a timely and groundbreaking documentary, and are thrilled to make it available for free to any organization interested in expanding its knowledge on the gender discussion.”

We are so thrilled, but not entirely surprised, to see GENDER REVOLUTION so embraced. From Catholic Colleges to LGBT advocacy groups, city-based Sororities to mid-west High Schools, Gender Studies programs to Trans Support Groups for Parents; there has been an outpour of support for a film like GENDER REVOLUTION,” said Christie Marchese, CEO and Founder, Picture Motion.

GENDER REVOLUTION is produced by Katie Couric Media, World of Wonder Productions and National Geographic Studios for National Geographic. For Katie Couric Media, executive producers are Katie Couric and Mitch Semel. For World of Wonder, Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, and Jeremy Simmons serve as executive producers. For National Geographic Studios, executive producers are Jeff Hasler and Brian Lovett. For National Geographic, Tim Pastore is president, original programming and production, and Michael J. Miller is executive producer. Continue reading

New Mars Survey From National Geographic And Kelton Global Reveals Americans Would Prefer To Leave Behind Both Donald Trump And Kanye West On The Red Planet

Jennifer Lawrence and George Clooney Top List of Celebrities Americans Would Want as Passengers on the Interplanetary Journey

Three out of 10 Americans Dream of Going to Mars with 52 Percent of Millennials More Eager to Jump Planets After the Election

Rocket Man” is Preferred Tune for the Journey; “Star Wars” on Top List of Movies to Kill Time During Six-month-plus Trip; Han Solo is Preferred Pilot; Twinkie Ranks as Choice Snack Food; And Significant Other Tops List of Most Desirable Companion

From Executive Producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, National Geographic’s MARS Season Finale Airs Monday, Dec. 19, at 9/8c

It’s out of this world, but massive strides have been taken toward making the maiden manned mission to Mars a legitimate possibility within our lifetimes. Now a new network survey, conducted by Kelton Global and National Geographic, uncovers attitudes toward Martian exploration, whether Americans would ever make a trip to Mars, who and what they’d like to bring along on their journey (and strand there) and what they’d miss most from Earth. National Geographic has brought this prospect to life with the six-part global event series MARS, from executive producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard; the season finale airs Monday, Dec. 19, at 9/8c.

Of all the planets in our solar system, none has captured our collective imagination like Mars. Follow the first human mission to Mars, set in 2033, as the crew struggles to safely land on and colonize the planet. Tracing the thrilling quest to make Mars home, National Geographic presents a new breed of programming, blending cinema-quality scripted drama set in the future with documentary sequences that features current space-technology pioneers. In the season finale, “Crossroads,” which airs Monday, Dec. 19, at 9/8c, a devastating tragedy on the colony forces everyone on Mars and Earth to question the mission. While Olympus Town tries to persevere, controlling groups back on Earth struggle with the decision of whether to end the mission.

The National Geographic Mars survey commissioned Kelton Global to sample 1,024 nationally representative Americans over the age of 18 with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. The survey was conducted between Dec. 1 and 4, 2016, and used an email invitation and online survey. (Quotas were set to ensure a reliable representation of the U.S. population. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results.)

Three in 10 — or approximately 70 million Americans (29%) — admit they’ve given travel to Mars considerable thought, and perhaps unsurprisingly, the majority of those who’d go are Millennials and male.

The recent election has spiked Mars interest with nearly half the survey respondents (44%) prepared to pack their bags:

  • 52 percent of Millennials say the election results sparked their interest in the journey;

  • 43 percent of Generation Xers

  • 38 percent of baby boomers– all cite the recent US election as a reason to go.

Continuing on the election theme, nearly half (46%) are eager to leave behind Donald Trump on the lonely, hostile Red Planet, and more than a third (35%) agree that his opponent Hillary Clinton should join him.

Suffice it to say that barely anyone would want to colonize Mars with Kim Kardashian (10%), and even less (4%) prefer her husband, Kanye West, but Americans would be eager to ditch them in space along with the president-elect and former secretary of state.

Asked which celebrity they’d happily take on the journey, Americans are divided with more than two in 10 (22%) opting for Jennifer Lawrence and slightly fewer (18%) taking George Clooney (both of whom have been in space films). Here’s a further breakdown of all things Mars:

Making the Move

  • Because passage to Mars is no ordinary vacation, nearly all Americans (95%) insist on bringing along family. If given the choice of one companion, nearly half (48%) said they’d prefer to achieve liftoff with their significant others.

  • The survey reveals that nearly two-thirds (66%) of Americans would prefer to step foot on the Red Planet before Martians infiltrate our world.

  • Sixty percent responded that they would rather be the first human on Mars than the last human on Earth. This finding could also explain why humans, by nature, have always been exploratory, why we discovered our “New World” in America centuries ago, why we went to the moon and why we yearn to unearth what’s life is like on Mars and beyond.

You’re Not Solo with Han Solo

  • Martian travelers need a good old reliable co-pilot, and who better to guide the ship than someone from the “Star Wars” universe? Nearly half would nab Han Solo (44%), and almost a third (31%) would choose his brother-in-law Luke Skywalker.

  • Star Wars” is so relatable that approximately half of America (48%) would watch the “Star Wars” films on repeat on their trip to Mars; these movies are preferred over any other sci-fi movie, including “Star Trek” (36%) and “WALL-E” (30%).

Martian Sundries

  • Traveling six to nine months to the fourth planet from the sun would be more bearable with sundries, including favorite nostalgic snacks from our early days in space travel.

  • Most voyagers would opt to sink their teeth into the classic Twinkie (30%) with just as many (29%) snacking on the eponymous Mars Bar. Dippin’ Dots (24%) are appetizing, especially among Millennials who grew up with this cool alternative to ice cream.

Rocket Man” and Other Tunes

  • Space travelers require snacks, but they also want to stuff their suitcases with a favorite book (22%) and wouldn’t want to take flight without their favorite tunes (23%).

  • In fact, when asked to choose one Martian theme song, most prefer a classic number: nearly half of America (44%) would “burn out his fuse up there alone” with Sir Elton John’s “Rocket Man.”

  • The legendary “StarmanDavid Bowie split the vote but maintained second and third choices for “Space Oddity” (17%) and “Life on Mars” (16%), respectively.

  • Click HERE for the Spotify list of America’s Martian theme songs.

Continue reading

National Geographic Announces World Legacy Awards Finalists

Innovative Travel Companies, Organizations And Destinations Put Sustainability Into Action

The 15 finalists of the 2017 National Geographic World Legacy Awards were unveiled today. The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between National Geographic and ITB Berlin, showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations — ranging from entire countries to small islands and from urban hotels to jungle retreats — driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the global travel industry.WLA with Ecuador

This year’s World Legacy Awards entries spanned the planet, representing 45 countries and six continents, showcasing how sustainable tourism has no boundaries. Finalists in five award categories were selected by an international team of more than 20 judges. A multi-step judging process also included on-site inspections of each finalist. For details on the judges, go to http://www.nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacyawards/judging.html

The 2017 National Geographic World Legacy Awards finalists are:

Conserving the Natural WorldRecognizing outstanding support for the preservation of nature, restoring natural habitat, protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans.

  • Mark Thornton Safaris, Tanzania — This guide-owned outfitter works to protect endangered wildlife habitat by establishing indigenous community partnerships on the Simanjiro Grazing Easement of the Maasai Steppe, a critically important wildlife migration corridor and wildebeest calving ground.
  • Misool Eco Resort, Indonesia — Misool actively works to protect marine habitat, influence policy, and empower local communities. They manage more than 350 square miles of marine protected area in the heart of the Coral Triangle – the global center of marine biodiversity.
  • North Island, Seychelles —Hailed as the Galapagos of the East, this eco-resort’s innovative Noah’s Ark project has successfully reintroduced some of the Seychelles’ rarest species back to nature as part of their restoration of native habitat on the former plantation island.

Earth ChangersRecognizing cutting-edge leadership in environmentally friendly business practices and green technology, from renewable energy and water conservation to zero-waste systems and carbon-emissions reduction.

  • Cayuga Collection, Costa Rica and Nicaragua – Reduce, reuse, recycle is a daily mantra at this ultra-green hospitality company. Innovative practices include a program to eliminate plastic waste (even drinking straws are reusable bamboo) and guests join back-of-the-house tours to learn how sustainability touches their vacation experience.
  • Finch Bay Eco Hotel, Ecuador – Finch Bay’s closed-loop sustainable technology produces organic food for their guests with a high-yield process that conserves water, eliminates pesticides, and reduces carbon food miles. Their success is now being replicated by other Galapagos hotels.
  • ITC Hotels, India – Demonstrating that large luxury urban hotels can set a new standard for going green, ITC’s 11 iconic city properties, spread across India, are all LEED Platinum certified – the highest level recognized by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

Continue reading

National Geographic Offers Gifts for the Adventurer, Traveler, Stargazer, Photographer, Book Lover, Young Scientist and More

Explore The World With National Geographic And Give A Gift Inspired By Travel, Adventure, Science, Exploration, Photography And Global Craft This Holiday.

If you have a love of people, places, culture and history or if you are looking for gifts that are out of the ordinary, National Geographic has some unique selections in its 2016 Holiday Look Book. From books to home goods, eclectic apparel and jewelry, gear, photography workshops and private expeditions National Geographic offers high-quality, authentic gifts that would delight anyone on your list.

Another plus: All purchases support National Geographic Society’s vital exploration, conservation, cultural preservation and education programs around the globe.

Buyers from National Geographic travel the globe in search of beautiful, handmade objects that tell a story,” said Jill Dvorak, director of site merchandising & marketing, catalog and online operations for National Geographic. “We’ve assembled an extraordinary collection of gifts for the traveler, the book lover, stargazer, home decorator, adventurer, animal lover, young scientist and beyond that will inspire them to learn and explore the world around them.”

Highlights From The 2016 Gift Selection:

National Geographic Exclusive: Geno 2.0 Next Generation Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit. $179.95

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Geno 2.0 Next Generation Genographic Project Participation and DNA Ancestry Kit

The revolutionary Geno 2.0 Next Generation test has been enhanced to offer the most up to date ancestry available and now has:

  • -Improved results based on a higher-capacity DNA-testing chip
  • -More accurate regional ancestry—double the number of regions and 50+ reference populations
  • -Improved DNA haplogroup calls and 20 new ancestral stories.

Introducing the next generation of the Genographic Project Participation Kit. This new DNA test uses cutting-edge technology to give you the richest ancestry information available. Join the more than half a million people who have already taken part in National Geographic’s groundbreaking Genographic Project—contribute to this real-time scientific effort and learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible.

National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Spencer Wells and his team designed Geno Next Gen based on the new technologies and insights that emerged since the launch of the Genographic Project ten years ago. Using an exclusive, custom-built genotyping chip, they test nearly 750,000 DNA markers that have been specifically selected to provide unprecedented ancestry-related information.

For the Holiday Host or Hostess: Personalized Nautical Flag Coasters (Set of 4), $55.00

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Personalized Nautical Flag Coasters – Set of 4

Although signal flags have been largely replaced by two-way radio and cell phones, in the 19th century they were how ships at sea communicated with each other. Each flag stands for a letter, but also represents a full message. For example, the “T” flag also meant “keep clear!” Today the flags are reserved for yacht racing and formal occasions. Choose your three-initial monogram and artisans in New England will create a coaster set on cork-backed, rustic tumbled marble that shows your initials along with the corresponding signal flags. Click here for a list of initials and their corresponding flags, or click on the Flag Meanings tab to see what phrase each flag symbolizes in the International Code of Symbols.

(Please note: Personalized items cannot be returned unless damaged or defective. Please check your order carefully; once placed, your order for this item cannot be canceled. Not available for shipment outside of the U.S. Please allow 2-3 weeks for delivery to the continental U.S. and 4-6 weeks for delivery to Alaska and Hawaii.)

For the Adventurer: Carabiner Clip Watch with LED Micro-Light, $45.00

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Carabiner Clip Watch with LED Micro-Light

Equipped with a powerful LED micro-light, this clever explorer’s watch has a built-in carabiner that clips right onto belt loops, packs, and more, keeping the time and a light source within reach as you travel. Luminescent hands and hour markers provide visibility in all kinds of conditions.

(Details: Uses one 376 watch battery and one LR1131 watch battery (both included). We recommend having a jeweler replace the battery. The case is intentionally challenging to open in order to better protect the mechanism and increase the watch’s water resistance. 1 1/2”W x 3”L x 1/4”D, 3 oz, Water-resistant to 100 feet.)

For the Book Lover: Wild, Beautiful Places: Picture-Perfect Journeys Around the Globe, $40.00

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Wild, Beautiful Places: Picture-Perfect Journeys Around the Globe

Experience the world’s most wild, remote, beautiful places with shots by National Geographic photographers and vintage photos pulled from the National Geographic archives. Highlighting 50 of Earth’s most pristine, scenic locales, this beautiful book is illustrated with stunning images, coupled with accessible, engaging descriptions and practical travel information. The book covers everything from otherworldly, secluded valleys to far-flung, soaring mountain ranges. National Geographic photographers share some of their favorite shots from around the world and explain how they got them, and historical photos culled from National Geographic’s hallowed image archive highlight old Society explorations in rugged, distant locations, and give a glimpse into the bygone days of these exotic places.

For the Photographer: Camera Lens Travel Mug. $24.00

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Camera Lens Travel Mug

Increase your focus, clarity, and zoom abilities. We’re talking about the coffee! This deceptively realistic, BPA-free travel mug looks just like a DSLR camera lens with details like a focus ring and grip—perfect for coffee lovers and camera enthusiasts alike. The stainless steel lining keeps drinks hot and is extra easy to clean. The screw-top lid with sliding sip top keeps your coffee from spilling as you venture off road to capture that perfect shot. Continue reading

National Geographic Teams Up with GovMint.com to Develop Limited Edition of Collectible Coins to Benefit Africa’s Big Cats

For the first time ever, National Geographic and the South African Mint have partnered to release limited-edition sets of legal-tender coins. The National Geographic Big Cats Coin Program will benefit the Big Cats Initiative (BCI), a long-term effort supported by National Geographic that aims to halt the decline of big cats in the wild. GovMint.com, one of the world’s leading sources of collectible coins, has signed on as the exclusive distributor. The collection is available for purchase on GovMint.com or by calling 1-800-642-9160.BigCats_SlvGold-634x370

The collection will feature on its coin face the cheetah, a native species of South Africa. Famously the world’s fastest land animal, cheetahs can accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour in just three seconds. Their keen eyesight and ability to make quick and sudden turns also make them a fierce predator. The cheetah’s distinct spotted coat allows them to blend easily into high, dry grasses. Sadly, their population is dwindling due to human encroachment on the wide, open grasslands in which they live. It is estimated that only 7,000 to 10,000 of these big cats remain in their native eastern and southwestern Africa.

Struck at the South African Mint in 99.9 percent pure gold, each gold proof set contains four coins in tenth-ounce, quarter-ounce, half-ounce and one-ounce weights. All obverses feature the year and South African Coat of Arms depicting an eagle with a rising sun at the top and their motto. Each of the coins features four distinct cheetah designs created by the master artists at the South African mint. Coins are displayed in a beautifully crafted wooden case along with an official mint certificate of authenticity and booklet.

Since 1984, GovMint.com has been one of the world’s leading sources of collectible coins. Headquartered in Minneapolis, MN, GovMint.com is an official distributor for seven major world mints and offers collectible coins from over 120 countries. (More information at www.GovMint.com/bigcats or call 800-642-9160.)

When we consider new editions, we try to choose subjects that we think will not only resonate with our collectors, but that also represent a direct connection to the countries issuing the coins,” said Bill Gale, founder of GovMint.com. “South Africa is proud to feature the cheetah on its gold and silver coins, and shine a spotlight on such a beloved, iconic species.

Big Cats in the wild are disappearing at an alarming rate,” said Andy Reif, head of licensing for National Geographic Partners. “It is the goal of National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative to halt this decline through on-the-ground conservation and education projects. We are happy to support this work through the Big Cats Coin Program, through GovMint.com.”

GovMint.com also offers a one-ounce Sterling Silver Crown 2 Rand (R2) proof. Each silver proof includes the official languages of South Africa surrounding the South African Coat of Arms. Each comes encased in original packaging from the South African Mint, accompanied by an informative booklet.

Proceeds from the National Geographic Big Cat Coin Collection supports National Geographic’s programs, including the conservation of animals and their habitats. National Geographic Society receives funds from National Geographic Partners LLC, funded in part by your purchase. To learn more, visit www.natgeo.com/info.

National Geographic Partners LLC, a joint venture between National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox, combines National Geographic television channels with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic Studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, catalog, licensing and e-commerce businesses. A portion of the proceeds from National Geographic Partners LLC will be used to fund science, exploration, conservation and education through significant ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com. To find out more about the Big Cats Initiative’s work to stop the decline of lions, leopards, tigers and other big cats, visit www.causeanuproar.org.