Incredible frog close-ups, what’s in your air freshener, and more


National Geographic
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ANIMALS  |  EXPLORERS  |  NEWS  |  ADVENTURE
Today I Learned These Fish Make Great Earrings
TIL: Lionfish Jewelry Can Help Save the Ocean
You don’t often hear about conservationists actively trying to kill off a species, but when it comes to the invasive lionfish, the more we can cull, the better. I knew they were being harvested for food, but this video taught me their fins and spines can also be used for jewelry.

I was amazed at this eye-popping fact: One lionfish and her offspring can produce 8.1 QUINTILLION eggs in three months (0:25). That’s unbelievable. Using animal products makes me feel guilty sometimes, so I was surprised to learn it isn’t always bad.

—Jared Gair, associate producer

  
Milking Salmon Sperm to Save the Species? | wild_life
Saving salmon is the kind of conservation mission that sounds straightforward, but it’s anything but. Scientists first have to catch adult salmon, a feat in itself. Then they have to go through the unforgettably strange task of harvesting their sperm and eggs (2:20) for the good of the species.

Wildlife cameraman Bertie Gregory chronicles the efforts of scientists working to restore the salmon population on Vancouver Island. Some 95 percent of the salmon at the hatchery will survive to be released into the wild.

—Will Halicks, producer

  
What’s in Air Freshener? | Ingredients
Rotten food, burnt remnants of a failed baking experiment, and a full trash can are all examples of pungent odors that can ruin a pleasant atmosphere. In these smelly situations, we often turn to commercial air fresheners. But this episode of Ingredients poses a challenge: Is it possible to make an all-natural air freshener from scratch?

I don’t want to spoil it, but host and trained chemist George Zaidan explains why making a homemade air freshener is a nearly impossible task—even for him!

—Milaena Hamilton, associate producer

  
Bird-Watching While Black: A Wildlife Ecologist Shares His Tips
In this short, J. Drew Lanham, professor of wildlife ecology at Clemson University, lays out his “rules” for black bird-watchers, using satire to point out the lack of diversity in birding, his hobby and chosen profession. Humor is a powerful tool for critiquing society, and this film does an excellent job of asking, How can we get more people to care about the environment and embrace their passion to protect it? Including more voices in the conversation is a good way to start.

—Rachel Link, producer

  
Stunning Close-ups: Meet These Frogs Before They Go Extinct
When it comes to conservation, we tend not to pay as much attention to the little creatures. But amphibians around the globe are being decimated by invasive chytrid fungus. This video zooms in—literally—on the adorable tree frogs of Cusuco National Park in Honduras. (See the amazing time-lapse at 2:15 showing a tadpole metamorphosing into a frog, a stage during which the frogs most often succumb to the pathogen.) A new conservation center offers hope for the species that make this park their home.

—Jed Winer, associate producer

  
Behind the Scenes of Killing Reagan| Costume Design
What I love most about Killing Reagan is the way it captures the era so vividly, you canalmost smell the perfume and cigarette smoke. I recommend this video for its mashup of 1981-era Nancy Reagan looks alone. But if you’re like me, the interview with costume designer Kimberly Adams (whose CV includes There Will Be Blood and Stranger Things) will give you a new appreciation for the amount of historical research and artifact huntingthat goes into every button, every ruffle, and every lapel in a production like this.

—Alison Walsh, digital media director

Tune in tonight for an encore presentation of Killing Reagan on the National Geographic Channel. (Check local listings outside the U.S.)

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