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Of CNN Heroes: AN All-stAr tribute
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On THE mOVE
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By delight! Readers
was watching the last few leaves of a maple tree fall into the river near my house. “There goes autumn,” I thought as their fiery color quickly disappeared into the gray current. The geese that usually flock in the park next door are long gone too, as are the robins, red-winged blackbirds and many other species that only visit my backyard for the summer. I get why these creatures choose to escape our winter climate to some place warm where there are bugs to eat, but what about all the birds, insects and animals that seem to migrate for reasons we can’t explain? National Geographic’s acclaimed new series, Great Migrations, explores the answer to that question. Shot in high definition and narrated by Alec Baldwin, this project was two and a half years in the making and took the Nat Geo team over 420,000 miles to all seven continents. Get ready for the debut of Great Migrations by reading our TV Find on page 12. Our cover celebrity is also a world traveler. CNN’s Anderson Cooper has journeyed to the ends of the earth to report on the events of our time. Along the way he is continually inspired by the many everyday people he meets who, in ways—big and small—make this planet a better place. This month Anderson talks candidly with delight! about those experiences. Check it out on page 6. Inspiration can be found on the Web too. This issue’s Web Find is a site called Vimeo.com. Vimeo hosts a growing collection of works by a serious and aspiring group of filmmakers. Unlike many video Web sites, the creativity and quality of these short videos is impressive and Vimeo’s high-def player presents them in the best light possible. Go to page 11 for our recommendations of videos you don’t want to miss. Thanks, as always, for the great tips about the shows and sites you’ve discovered and remember to “like” us on Facebook. It makes sharing your discoveries a whole lot easier.
—Joe Weidert, Editor-in-Chief
y favorite TV show is currently America The Story of Us on the History Channel. Starting with the discovery and colonization of North America, the show takes us through the history of our country and the moments that made us great. I like this show because we get to see and hear about events and people that we are very familiar with, but also those Americans who made a difference but are not as well known. —Susan McCann, Red Hook, NY
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love checking out Urbandictionary.com. This Web site has tons of entries that explain popular terms being used in the big cities, like New York City. You can f ind out the meaning and origin of words like “diss.” —Anonymous, Cottekill, NY ’m a teacher, and I have created a weblog on WordPress.com for my students. I post class notes, fun facts, and trivia questions on the site, as well as provide a forum for discussion. Blogging is a great new media for getting information out and facilitating conversation ... and if the students are online anyway, what better way to reach out? -Mike Palazzo, New York, NY
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y favorite Web site is Nytimes.com. I used to enjoy reading the print version every day, but now I have easy access to everything I want, anytime I want it. The Times is by far the best newspaper in the world, and the online site is top notch. It makes it so easy for me to keep up with “all the news that’s f it to print” anytime, anywhere. —Anonymous, Cottekill, NY
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y absolute favorite show has to be The Tudors on Showtime. It, quite possibly, has the best acting I’ve seen in a long time, and from the whole cast no less! As a fan of period pieces, my hunger for the elaborate costumes and all things grandiose has been satisf ied. This is history told with many twists and turns. You want sordid love affairs often associated with daytime soaps, but in (and sometimes out of, so make sure the kids are in bed) elaborate costumes? The Tudors has it. Entertained by backstabbing and power plays? Yup, The Tudors has that too! There are characters on this show that could actually be more villainous than those random nobodies on the reality shows we’re typically force-fed. And guess what? For those of us with Time Warner Cable, we can watch and re-watch the seasons On Demand as many times as we like! -Anonymous, Staten Island, NY
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npr.org/music, picassohead.com, cnn.com/studentnews
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You Live, You Learn
By L.L. Rickert
What would you look like as an early human?
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here are no age limits on learning, and the delight! crew proves that where and what you learn are limitless, too. Check out our picks of the sites, apps, games, and ‘casts that are full of inspiring, practical, and just-for-fun teachable moments. BIG PerfOrMaNCes aT TINy CONCerTs Podcast: Tiny Desk Concerts—If you think National Public Radio is all talk, the network’s Tiny Desk Concerts podcast (npr.org/music) will have you singing a different tune. Discover powerful performances from indies and icons across all genres recorded live at the desk of All Songs Considered show co-host Bob Bollen. Available in both audio and video formats, Tiny Desk Concerts is huge for music fans and students of the craft. Editor’s Tip: There are two ways to access the concerts. Download the podcast or watch and listen online instantly at npr.org/music (choose “Concerts” from the navigation bar and “Tiny Desk Concert Videos” from the drop-down menu). WOrld-Class ClassrOOM Mobile app: Smithsonian Channel—You can have the world’s largest museum complex and research organization in your pocket. This new app available on iTunes offers diverse and informative content pulled in both clips and full-length episodes from the Smithsonian Channel’s lineup that’s easy to find by general category or specific show. You can even grab the day’s or week’s programming schedule, so you don’t miss your favorite shows when you’re on the go. Editor’s Tip: The app’s “artiFACTS” feature adds depth of knowledge by offering little-known bits about history, science and music.
See how to get the free app on page 4.
Photos © 2010 Thinkstock.com; Picassohead.com; Smithsonian Channel
CreaTIve ClICkING Picassohead.com—Express yourself with the flair of one of the world’s greatest artists at Picassohead. The blank canvas is yours to fill with click-and-drag cubist elements that you customize through color, size, placement, rotation and flipping. It’s all in your control, and so easy that anyone of any age or skill level can be an instant artist. You can save and share your work through the site’s gallery, and share on Facebook, Twitter, and email! Editor’s Tip: Remember to sign your canvas using the “Signature” feature from the toolbar. It shows up on your canvas in cool Picasso-esque style, and also allows people to view all your work by searching your name in the gallery.
BreakING NeWs fOr kIds Podcast: CNN Student News—This ten-minute, commercialfree, daily news program for middle and high school students can be found at Cnn.com/studentnews. Unlike studentproduced broadcasts, CNN Student News is mainstream journalism that frames current headlines in easier-tounderstand jargon. The news reports don’t talk down to students, but rather use age-appropriate language and include identification and explanation of people, places, and events often regarded as assumed knowledge in adult audiences. Editor’s Tip: Geared for classrooms, CNN Student News is backed by downloadable teachers’ aides that anyone can use free of charge. Click on the home page’s “Media Literacy Question of the Day” for topical questions and quizzes that promote critical thinking skills.
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The season of giving is here and the December issue of delight! helps you do just that by sharing shows and sites that truly inspire. Learn how you can loan money to those in need around the world with KIVA.com or discover non-profit groups that are looking for your help in our TV Find. Plus, delight! gives the gift of laughter in an exclusive interview with Hollywood’s hottest “it girl,” Betty White.
by GreG ArCher
Anderson Cooper opens up About his mAny trAvels And how everydAy heroes Continue to fuel his pAssion to CApture the humAn spirit
ateLy, anderson Cooper has reaL-Life heroes on his mind. you see, he can’t quite get the people of haiti out of his head. he can’t shove aside the images he saw earlier this year when he was covering the earthquake-stricken region of port-au-prince, where, in the face of such harrowing life-and-death situations, he saw first-hand just how resilient human beings actually can be. “one missionary said to me, ‘you know, haiti gets you, and when it gets you, you continue to want to go back; you continue to think about it even when you are not there,’” Cooper relays. “and it’s true. to see people facing adversity and loss—loss of loved ones, or a way of life, or an income; to learn from them and see them continue on, and wake up and still put one foot in front of the other … it is incredibly inspiring.” “there is this remarkable spirit in haiti, remarkable strength.” spirit and strength are like food to Cooper. in fact, he’s become a seasoned journalist for how well he captures it. it’s fed his soul so much that now, a significant part of his work—on the Cnn juggernaut that is Anderson Cooper 360—seems devoted to spotlighting individuals that generate a powerful ripple effect in the world. you can see it in his passionate appeals
online at aC360.blogs.cnn.com. and we’re looking forward to seeing even more on his new daytime talk show. also, witness it in CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute, the mesmerizing special Cooper hosts on thanksgiving night. the annual salute, held at the Kodak theatre, began in 2007 and quickly became one of the more heartwarming broadcast events of the year, mostly because it so aptly captures the potency of that human spirit Cooper has grown to revere. “the thing that i take away from the special every year is the amazing power individuals have to make a difference. i know that sounds like a complete cliché, but it’s really true,” he says. CNN Heroes unravels with the help of viewers. throughout the year, audiences nominate and then vote for the heroes they want to be honored. often that posse comprises amazing souls and this year’s crop holds a number of champions and advocates— from the Cambodian tour guide who used her own cash tips to assist rural children needing schooling, to the man who released more than half a million baby turtles back into the wild by preserving their endangered eggs on the beaches of puerto Vallarta, mexico. >>>
delightmag.com or CLICK IT NOW with your smart phone.
— Anderson Cooper
Keeping him honest
The phrase ‘Keeping Them Honest’ was coined on Cooper’s show. We do the same here—with him:
d!: What do you think America needs to be paying more attention to right now?
AC: The war in Afghanistan.
d!: What are you most confident about?
AC: Hmm ... Gosh, I don’t really know. I tend to second guess everything and I tend to be really critical of myself. I think things over multiple times in my head—rethink them after I’ve done them. So … I guess I am relatively confident. I never really thought about it in those terms.
d!: What do you do for fun?
AC: [Laughs]. A lot of my days are taken up with work, which is actually fun for me. I would much rather go to a place and shoot a story than sit on a beach and just hang out. I am not very good at ‘vacation.’ Honestly … my greatest indulgence right now is sleeping. Weekends that I get off, I tend to crash, which is incredibly boring. I’m actually very ‘boring.’
d!: What makes you laugh most?
AC: The Soup [on E!]. Joel McHale is great. And there’s another show, Tosh.0 [on Comedy Central]. His show is amazing. I just stumbled upon it but it’s the new show I am watching.
d!: Best advice you’ve been given about life?
AC: My mom was asked: ‘What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?’ It’s an interesting question based on what you would do if you didn’t have doubt. It’s hard to think in those terms and not always something I am able to do, but I do think it’s good advice.
“These are people who don’t necessarily have access to money or power, and yet in their own communities, have made remarkable differences,” Cooper quickly points out. “A lot of us think, ‘Well, you know, there’s really not a lot any of us can do because I don’t have enough money to do it, or the time.’ But it does open up this world of possibility of what individuals can achieve, even if they can start off small. It shows you the power of thinking and how changing your own life can help bring change to other people’s lives.” Whether he’s aware of it or not—and he’s probably not because the man comes across as humble to the bone—Cooper has changed the lives and perspectives of modern-day television audiences behind imagination. And mostly by doing what he enjoys most—trying to make sense of what’s going on in the world, a desire he began realizing at an early age. His first glimpse of his fate arrived in the form of an admiration of journalist Gordon Parks, a friend of his father, Wyatt Cooper, and mother, design maven Gloria Vanderbilt. He thought Parks was “cool” but so, too, was watching television newscasts with his family—he couldn’t help but scrutinize how the telecasts were put together and produced. “I was sort of a strange little child that way, I guess,” he recalls with a chuckle. “I was really interested in events as they were happening and it didn’t really occur to me that I could actually do it myself, but it was like watching history, watching a living history.” Some early events in his own life became historic, too—the death of his father when Cooper was 10, and then years later, his brother Carter’s untimely passing—but he retained a hunger to explore life with fervor. To that end, he left high school early to travel South Africa in a truck, an excursion that only fueled a deeper desire to see more of the world and learn from the people walking its fertile soil. “Travel is a continuing education that I value hugely,” he says. “It opens your eyes.” For Cooper, it also opened doors. Upon graduating Yale, where he ventured into political science and, fittingly, international relations, he immediately turned heads when he secured a fake ID and his own video camera— all so that he could travel abroad to cover students fighting the Burmese government. The segments, which aired on Channel One, were hauntingly realistic. But he didn’t stop there. Soon, he was off to Vietnam to study the language at the University of Hanoi and in a curi-
There’s always more @
Photos © 2010 Jeff Hutchens / Reportage for CNN; Thinkstock
Anderson tells Letterman about his big interview with President Obama at
Travel is a continuing education that I value hugely. It opens your eyes.
A BITING CIrCumsTANCe
ous twist—something that could only unfold in his world—Cooper managed to capture a surprisingly vivid look at Vietnamese life on film. He went on to cover the war-torn regions of Somalia, Bosnia and Rwanda. By 1994 he was reporting on ABC News and eventually moved on to create a real legacy: his work at CNN, which began in 2001 and brought him significant accolades when AC360 launched four years later. In fact, his reports from Afghanistan and Iraq and, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans were groundbreaking. “It’s been a realization of how little I know,” Cooper says of his travels. “When you’re just watching stuff on TV or reading about it, it’s easy to see things in black and white. But when you actually go out into the world, there are many more shades of gray. Things are far more complex than we see from a distance. You begin to see the world in a better context, a more realistic way.” When asked how he remains grounded in the midst of covering what are often dire circumstances, Cooper is candid. “You know, it’s not a question of staying grounded, it’s a question of not becoming overwhelmed by all the things that you see,” he says. “At times, it’s hugely depressing. A lot of the places I go, horrific things have happened. You see people at their worst, but also, often, people at their best—people who really rise to the occasion; people who, in the face of great adversity, show themselves to have enormous stores of strength, enormous stores of kindness for, sometimes, complete strangers.” Does he feel, then, that hope always outshines the darkness? “I am not a complete starry-eyed optimist. I am pretty realistic,” he tells me. “But there is a lot of hope—it’s sometimes hard to see it. I mean, this year, a lot of people have died, and the world doesn’t stop spinning. When one experiences loss, you kind of feel your world has stopped, and it’s kind of a shock to realize that everyone else just continues on.” He adds knowingly, “All of us who travel, and with the kind of work we do, we see a lot of death, a lot of loss, and it’s very real and it has an impact. But it’s good to remember, and important to remember, that people are resilient; that humans, even in the face of horror, can choose to act with a great deal of compassion and kindness.”
A guide to what’s On Demand
Check your local On Demand channel
Go to Kids-in-mind.com to make smart decisions on family-friendly programming
See trailers at delightmag.com or CLICK IT NOW with your smartphone.
By Donald Liebenson
See how to get the free app on page 4.
Photos Courtesy: Oceans: Disney/ABC Domestic Television; NBC Universal; Eat Pray Love ©2010 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Eat Pray Love At the start of Eat Pray Love, travel writer Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts) is suffering the same crisis of spirit that plagued George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life. Both dream of seeing faraway places before they die. Both turn to God for answers. But there will be no jumping off bridges or guardian angels for Gilbert. Her journey to enlightenment begins when she ends her unfulfilling marriage, takes a year, and visits Italy, India, and Bali to regain her appetite for life. Based on her best-selling memoir, Gilbert casts a gastronomic, spiritual, and romantic spell. There are epiphanies at every exotic turn, as Gilbert feasts on pasta and pizza in Rome, humbles herself at an ashram in India, and ultimately meets her soul mate (Javier Bardem) in Bali. The ensemble also includes Billy Crudup as Gilbert’s unfocused first husband, James Franco as a rebound guy who turns her on to meditation, and Richard Jenkins as a fellow seeker who speaks in bumper stickers (“If you want to get to the castle, you have to swim the moat.”), and whose previous substance abuse cost him dearly. In lesser hands, Gilbert might seem self-absorbed, but Roberts, by turns vivacious and vulnerable, grounds the film with her considerable spark, passion, and pulse. Rated PG-13. The Kids Are All Right Oscar-nominee Annette Bening and Julianne Moore star as Nic and Jules, a lesbian Los Angeles couple facing typical problems of marriage and parenthood. Nic is hard-edged, Jules a little flaky and unfocused. Their daughter Joni (Mia Wasikowska) is college-bound. Their sensitive 15year-old son Laser (Josh Hutcherson) is hanging out with a disturbed thug. It’s nothing Nic and Jules can’t handle until Laser and Joni locate their shared sperm donor dad. He is Paul (Mark Ruffalo), a laid-back, bachelor who runs an organic restaurant. His presence especially upends Jules, whom Paul hires to landscape his lawn, offering her the support and affirmation she’s not getting from Nic. The two have an affair, which is played for cheaper laughs until its inevitable discovery, when the film regains solid footing. Directed and co-written by Lisa Cholodenko, Kids is more than all right. It is an incisively written, intimately observed, and brilliantly acted adult comedy that allows its fully dimensional characters to act in refreshingly unpredictable ways. Rated R.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World Cult status awaits this imaginative romantic comedy for children of the Net who have come of age in a digital world. Based on Bryan Lee O’Malley’s graphic novels, Scott Pilgrim stars Michael Cera as a 22-year-old bass player in an offfringe rock band. His ex-girlfriend has gone on to rock stardom after dumping him a year earlier. Now, he’s in a platonic relationship with an adoring high schooler (Ellen Wong). Meanwhile, his gay roommate (Kieran Culkin), offers caustic commentary on his love life. Scott’s world is rocked when he meets the girl of his dreams, Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Scott’s quest to win her heart is not made easy by the seven evil exes, whom he must defeat in battles staged video-game style by Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. To watch the milquetoast Cera be transformed into a warrior out of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon is a blast to see. There is nothing “whatever” about Scott Pilgrim. It is caffeinated with pop culture references, sly in-jokes, and stylistic pop art that make this film a world apart from most mainstream releases. Rated PG-13. Disney’s Oceans Immerse yourself in this mesmerizing documentary that explores the final frontier beneath the surface. The Oscar-nominated directors of Winged Migration achieve new depths as they capture unprecedented footage from 75 diving expeditions in 50 locations of an astonishing array of creatures, from titanically huge whales to battling spider crabs. The banal and sometimes baffling narration by Pierce Brosnan is all wet, but just let the images wash over you as the film, four years in the making, winds its way around the globe. Oceans vividly illustrates life isn’t always the bubbles. There are some inconvenient truths expressed about our impact on the oceans and the creatures that dwell there (the shot of a shopping cart on the ocean floor speaks volumes). Being a nature documentary, there are dramatic scenes of animals doing what comes naturally, like frigate birds picking off scampering baby turtles. But this film is family friendly with awe-inspiring footage of leaping dolphins, beautiful jellyfish, and other exotic creatures. Maybe you wouldn’t want to live there, but for 85 minutes, Oceans is a great place to visit. Rated G.
Programming subject to change; consult your local listings for details.
A video-sharing site that draws a respectful and artistic community
WHY WE LIKE IT
It encourages creative filmmaking and serves as a great platform for self expression
by beth Herstein
Visit Vimeo.com, an online community merging the art and science of communication.
F someone asked you to name a web site wHere people can upload and watcH videos, chances are you’d say youtube. but there’s another great video sharing site you may not know about. in november 2004, around four months before youtube was launched, vimeo burst onto the scene. since then it’s amassed a dedicated group of fans, and it has around 4.5 million members. vimeo’s also staked out its own terrain, distinct from other sites of this kind. its name is pronounced like “video” but with the word “me” in the middle, a choice that’s more than just catchy. it also denotes the fact that the films there are original noncommercial material created by the users who upload them. many of vimeo’s members are professional or amateur filmmakers or avid fans of the craft. as a result, vimeo is what USA Today describes as the “go-to site for displaying serious work” and engaging in discussions and debates about the films themselves.
WHAT MAKEs iT spEciAl: Whether you’re interested in creating videos or watching them, one of the first things you’ll notice is that the films on Vimeo look amazing. Vimeo’s periodically upgraded its site to maintain superior resolution and keep up with technological advances. Also, Vimeo provides tips that help a user upload the film to its best effect. Of course, it’s not just Vimeo that’s responsible for the Web site’s high standards; some excellent film makers share videos there. You’ll find shorts by Jason Reitman and Wynton Marsalis, alongside works by less known artists like Hans Hansen, Darragh O’Connell, The General Assembly and Tim Hahne. The subject matter and style vary widely, but guidelines prohibit pornography, hate speech, defamatory content and the like. If you’re an amateur, don’t be daunted by the lofty company. As Vimeo’s Web site puts it, “You don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to make videos. All you need is a camera and a little motivation.” The “Help” section contains basic tips about the process, and the novice can ask for guidance in the “Community Forum.” Also, the members tend to
A Vimeo member shares his beautiful experiment. Watch it at delightmag.com or click it noW with your smart phone
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treat each other with respect. The motto seems to be, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Comments posted about a video tend to be positive and questions by members often focus on things like craft and technique. Despite its success, Vimeo’s not resting on its laurels. This fall Vimeo held its first film competition, and over 6,500 entrants competed for recognition in nine categories and a $25,000 grand prize. The judges included luminaries like David Lynch and Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me), and the awards were announced at Vimeo’s inaugural Film Festival in October. As for Vimeo’s future? It’s a little too soon for the folks at Vimeo to tell us, but it’s clear they plan to evolve to meet the challenges and changes of our technological age. Joining THE coMMuniTy: Anyone can visit Vimeo.com and browse through the videos there. However, to comment on a piece or upload videos yourself, you must become a Vimeo subscriber. For the casual user or viewer, a free Vimeo Basic subscription should suffice. You can upload a maximum of 500MB of video per week, including one in high definition. If you’re interested in making more frequent use of the site you can pay $59.95 for a yearly Vimeo Plus subscription. These premium subscribers can download up to 5GB of film per week, all of which can be high definition, and they also enjoy other advantages over non-fee users.
There’s always more @
Photos © 2010 Thinkstock.com; video photos courtesy of Vimeo.
exploring the content: Exploring a Web site with this much content can be intimidating. Here are just a few ways you can begin your journey into Vimeo. Under the “Explore” tab, you can search:
categories of interest, such as experimental, travel and events, comedy, and art
1 2 3
by the members of groups, which users create to fit their interests
for high definition videos to get the highest quality viewing experience
the Staff Picks, a great way to explore if your time to navigate is limited
We’re sharing a few of our favorites to get you started. Simply visit Vimeo.com and search for the delight! channel. Don’t forget to “full screen” the video to complete the experience!
The Third & The Seventh by Alex Roman
A true masterpiece of digital artistry, this film’s goal is to illustrate architecture as art through photography. Haunting and breathtaking, this is a film short not to be missed. Video #7809605
London (Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger) by David Hubert
A fast moving tour that’s made entirely of photo stills—over 3,000 make up this stop-motion type film. Video #10227562
The Cabbie by Vincent laforet
The first installment in a series, this film relies on visuals to communicate the mystery unfolding. Trust us—you’ll be hooked. Video #8595246
The Monk & The Monkey by Brendan Carrol & francesco giroldini
This film poetically addresses the real value of a quest, as a boy sets out to complete a seemingly simple task. Video #14441514
A Life In The Day by John Mayer
Our delight! channel on Vimeo is packed with even more staff favorites like: 1. Esquivel 2. Dear Japan 3. Parallel Parking 4. The Diary of a Disappointed Book
A (mostly) first-person chronicle of a day in the life of musician John Mayer. The action is beautifully filmed. Video #11513701
A global TV event that delves deep into the inner compass of animals
WHY WE LIKE IT
As Nat Geo’s most ambitious spectacle of nature, it’s unlike anything that’s been captured on film before
Premieres Sunday, Nov. 7, National Geographic
Force of Nature
National Geographic’s Great Migrations takes a groundbreaking walk on the wild side.
WIN A BooK sET!
If you had to endure a migration featured in this article, which animal would you be and why?
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Shot in high definition using advanced technologies, Great Migrations captures both the enormity of natural beauty and the nuance of natural instinct. Unusual vantage points like cliff blinds, ice floes, and animal-point-of-view “critter cams” further enrich the event, as does the rough-hewn voice of Alec Baldwin, who was chosen as narrator. National Geographic Channel Executive Producer Char Serwa explains, “Great Migrations is more than stunning imagery; it presents incredible stories about survival, family and life, and I can’t think of a better voice to take viewers along on these journeys than Alec Baldwin. His skill at conveying the drama, range of emotions, and compelling information all in one will only add to the viewer experience.” Great Migrations is a testament to the indomitable spirit behind animal instincts as well as that found behind the scenes. Two hours of the miniseries are dedicated to the making of Great Migrations, one to the progressive camerawork and the other to animal migration science (the latter airing as part of National Geographic Channel’s signature series Explorer). Another hour is all about celebration: a visual concert comprised of Great Migrations footage set to original music. None, however, would be possible without the majestic creatures showcased: wildebeests, zebras, red crabs, Mali elephants, kob, walruses, monarch butterflies, jellyfish, humpback whales, and sharks. Their rare behaviors are chronicled on film— some for the first time— for the enlightenment of the global audience and further study by scientists who try to better understand the fierce
logic of migrations. How is it that by sheer force of number and inexorable will of their genes, species prevail against stacked odds? The answer seems indecipherable to humans, much like the magnetic force emitting from the earth’s core that is all too palpable to other creatures.
With the same authority and mystery she uses to guide the seasons through their annual cycle, Mother nature urges the animal kingdom to heed her command:
Like the seasons the animals listen instinctively, responding en masse to planetary influences with perpetual and surprisingly purposeful motion. Some, like wildebeests and zebras, chase lifesustaining rain over a 300-mile circuit within the perilous Serengeti ecosystem. Delicate monarch butterflies press on over thousands of miles to bear their young before succumbing to inevitable death. Still others travel a comparatively short distance— it’s only a five-mile hike to their aquatic birthing grounds for the red crab—but their passage is no less harrowing. They are all journeys of attrition, yet migrations continue. Generation after generation follow the map imprinted in their DNA to a destination that’s as much the past as it is the future. Great Migrations focuses on the present—and it’s quite a gift.
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Photos © 2010 courtesy National Geographic Channel; Thinkstock.com
s a species obsessed with individuality, humans can scarcely understand the herd mentality of migration. How is it—why is it—that many act as one to protect themselves and their unique dnA from extinction? A special dispatch of scientists, photographers, photojournalists and animal behaviorists traveled across all seven continents, through 20 countries—over 420,000 miles in all—on a 2.5-year trek in search of the answer. What resulted is Great Migrations, the seven-hour miniseries that is national Geographic’s largest single undertaking in its 120-year history.
WhitE-EaRED kob this springy member of the antelope family is found all across Sub-Saharan africa, particularly from Senegal to Sudan, where up to 1 million kob take the annual 950-mile migratory journey as one herd. Mali ElEphant Each year, the 322 remaining Mali elephants travel over 600 miles in scorching 130-degree heat—the longest (and hottest) recorded elephant migration in the world. this grueling trek includes a “shortcut” through the deadly Sahel Desert in questionable hope of finding vegetation and water.
lly ea e n r s th . ce ct ca th ar an t inse e leng ery ye ist es th ev e D small k out o to th he ec s g inGal or t les. ch ration Go mm mi Mig a ry at huMpback WhalE t m rato Gre g on es i g Weighing in at 30-50 tons apiece, lar he m ed e r there’s a whole lotta humpback th up t atu fe k whale lumbering through 3,100 ac als r miles of ocean water between im an
the polar and tropic regions. they head south in winter at a leisurely 3-9 mph, so they can mate and bear calves in warm temps, then bring the whole family home to the chilly north.
WilDEbEESt While male wildebeests generally start life together, by age five they separate into solitary territories with herds of females. this doesn’t stop them all from reuniting some 1.5 million strong during their 400-500 mile migration though, as there is safety in numbers—especially when the trip routes through crocodile-infested watering holes.
WalRuS Walruses typically don’t stray too far from the southern periphery edge of the frigid pack ice, putting them in close proximity to the bering and chukchi Seas. Still they have been known to travel about 1,900 miles annually—some by swimming, others by riding ice floes.
ZEbRa Migrating over 150 miles to find fresh grazing terrain and water, the zebra’s markings protect the herd by blending together. From a distance, predators have a difficult time singling out an individual for an attack.
Sources: www.seaworld.org, www.animalplant.com, www.enchantedlearning.com, www.monarch-butterfly.com
On the tube this month
TNT, NBC, Oxygen, TLC, HBO, TBS
Drama, politics, and comedy sweep through November
By Greg Archer
Sweeps month has arrived. So watch for big surprises on Desperate Housewives and Fringe on the main nets. In the meantime, Conan O’Brien surfs into brand new territory on cable–finally! Take a peek at what head turners topped our report this month:
› Men of a Certain Age
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TNT hit the jackpot with its female stars—from Kyra Sedgwick to Jada Pinkett Smith and now, Angie Harmon—so, it was a refreshing surprise last year to witness Ray Romano, Scott Bakula and Andre Braugher come together to such rewarding degrees in a series about middle-aged guy pals left emotionally stranded at the fork in the road of their personal lives. A show about men with feelings? Who knew it would work? Credit the writers. Last season’s final episode found Joe (Romano) dealing with his gambling addiction head on, Owen (Braugher in a brilliant Emmy-nominated turn) taking over his father’s car dealership, and playboy Terry (Bakula) striking out in social endeavors. Watch for a curious, perhaps unlikely, development in the show’s sophomore season when Terry begins working for Owen. Meanwhile Romano’s soul-searching Joe may just accept his divorce after all. Men of a Certain Age is one of the best written new series to come around in a long time and one of the few that has managed to use the best of what its stellar cast can offer. Watch: Returns December 6, 10/9 pm C, TNT
› Running Russell Simmons
The highs, the lows, the busy schedules—it’s not easy being an entrepreneur, entertainment/fashion icon, philanthropist and yogi. Just ask Russell Simmons. If you dig being a voyeur of posh, interesting lifestyles, just run with this. Watch as Simmons’ eclectic minions help keep his celebrity—a business in and of itself—a well-oiled machine. In between mood swings and high drama, there’s plenty of fashion to savor and a glimpse into the hectic life of a man who’s constantly juggling a gaggle of creative projects. That may be impressive enough, but don’t be surprised if viewers really warm up to this fascinating, multi-talented passionista. Watch: Tuesdays, 10/9 pm C, Oxygen
› Sarah Palin’s Alaska
Think of this as a Mr. & Mrs. Smith chased back with some Hart to Hart. Here, revered writer-producer-director J.J. Abrams (Star Trek, Fringe, Lost, Alias) weaves together an ambitious tale about a man and wife (Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who ditched CIA capers to launch a quaint catering company. It’s years later and now fate steps in, demanding more spy time. Lured back into the field after a fellow spy/friend goes missing, our happy couple suddenly finds themselves traveling the globe searching for answers. But did they leave the oven on? Tune in. This clever new series is definitely worth a look. Watch: Wednesdays, 8/7 pm C, NBC
Between Bristol Palin’s turn on Dancing With the Stars and her defunct heartthrob Levi Johnston running for office, it’s hard not to feel the Palin overload. But we’re not done with the clan—yet. Politico Sarah Palin’s own reality outing, something that’s generated big headlines and much debate, is a documentary about the nation’s most majestic yet remote state, and all seen through her eyes. We’re promised grand adventures as Palin travels from mountain peaks to the tundra. No guarantees on whether Palin will garner brownie points for popularity, but this offering is destined to hold some fascination. Watch: Sundays, 9/8 pm C, TLC
›Tracy Morgan: Black and Blue
Morgan shined on SNL and made even greater comedic strides on the Emmy-winning 30 Rock. Fortunately, HBO’s comedy specials always hit the mark—recent outings with Robin Williams and Lisa Lampanelli were a hoot. So, if we’re given a raw and rowdy Morgan, chances are this could be a ratings winner and give Morgan more breathing room to shine even brighter. Watch: Saturday, November 13, 10/9 pm C, HBO
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After a bittersweet end hosting The Tonight Show earlier this year, O’Brien turned even more heads when he hit the road on a successful comedy tour (Legally Prohibited from Being Funny on Television Tour), a move that seemed designed to prep him for the new comedic path he’s going to be paving at TBS. So, what can we expect with this new endeavor? Laughs, sure, but there’s no telling what O’Brien might come up with in his new digs. After all, this is the man who made late-night more interesting with his banter and antics, long before The Tonight Show ever came calling. He also racked up numerous Emmy nominations in the process, which makes O’Brien an interesting enigma. Few can so masterfully give birth to, say, Triumph The Insult Comic Dog or a Walker Texas Ranger lever, which found the comic pulling down a handle that cued a fabulously retro clip of Chuck Norris. Beyond that, the man is just funny. Period. “In three months I’ve gone from network television, to Twitter, to performing live in theaters,” he quipped earlier this year, “and now I’m headed to basic cable— my plan is working perfectly.” Actually, this super deal now gives TBS two full hours of late-night chat fests—comic George Lopez’s show immediately follows Conan. Lopez, in fact, asked O’Brien to consider joining the TBS team. “I can’t think of anything better than doing my show with Conan as my lead-in,” Lopez noted. “It’s the beginning of a new era in late-night comedy.” That may be an understatement. With today’s media shifting dramatically, and more and more viewers heading to cable and other outlets, the “late-night” that many viewers grew up experiencing has been overhauled. And what TBS has created here with the pairing of O’Brien and Lopez is an opportunity to reach, perhaps more broadly, viewers not just of a new generation, but from much more diverse backgrounds and cultures. In the meantime, one of the sharpest comedic minds in entertainment is back on the air—and that’s a very good thing. Watch: Weeknights, 11/10 pm C, TBS
Photos courtesy: TNT, NBC, TLC. Photo Illustration by Rod Karmenzind. TM & © 2010 Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved. CONAN is used with the permission of Conan Properties International LLC.
NBC’s loss may be cable’s biggest gain. Welcome to Conan, the fresh, new creative outing by talk show host Conan O’Brien, which makes its big splash on TBS November 8th.
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roVing rePorter Anderson Cooper does some investigating on Sesame Street. click “coVer story”
A FIGHT FOR LIFE Witness rare footage of the grey whale’s greatest challenge in their migration from Mexico to the arctic. click “tV Find”
SLOw MOTIOn See what you’re missing that’s right before your eyes, in this film by Philip Heron and James Adair. click “Web Find”
JuST Add vELcRO How many ways can you use an iPad? Jesse Rosten, Vimeo member, has a few suggestions. click “Web Find”
WIn A nATIOnAL GeOGRAPHIC bOOk SeT Go to the delight! Facebook page (facebook.com/delightmag) and post your response to the following question on the delight! wall: If you had to endure a migration featured in the article on page 12, which animal would you be and why? The delight! editors will choose the best responses to win a Great Migrations coffee table book and educational book for kids— a set valued at $52.95!
Five winners will be chosen by 11/15/2010.
Photos © 2010 courtesy of Sesame Street; National Geographic; Vimeo; Thinkstock.com
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The Goonies 25th Anniversary Collector’s edition
Own it 11/2 on Blu-ray™ and DVD
© 1985 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.
A Christmas Collection
Own Elf, A Christmas Story and The Polar Express this holiday season on Blu-ray™, On Demand and for Download
Elf (c) MMIII New Line Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Polar Express (c) 2004 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. A Christmas Story © 1983 Turner Entertainment Co. Package Design © 2008 Turner Entertainment Co. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc
Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore
Own it 11/16 on Blu-ray™ Combo Pack, DVD and rent it with Movies on Demand
© 2010 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved.