Discovery Channel Magazine India - August 2014 - PDF Free Download (2024)

KING OF SKIES 62

ACTION MAN TURNS ANGEL

LIVING ARTWORKS 88

MURDER OF MONEY 76

CHARLEY HARPER'S WORLD OR... IS MONEY KILLING YOU?

DISCOVERY CHANNEL’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL ISSUE

AUGUST 2014 I `150

C H A N N E L M AG A Z I N E I N D I A

MAGNIFICENT BEASTS HOW RATS, BATS AND ROACHES IMPROVE YOUR LIFE PG 50

EDITOR'S LETTER

C H A N N E L M AG A Z I N E I N D I A Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie Group Chief Executive Officer Ashish Bagga Group Synergy and Creative Officer Kalli Purie

TO FEAR LOSS OR FEAR LESS?

Editorial Director Jamal Shaikh Art Director Piyush Garg Asst Art Director Rahul Sharma Designer Kishore Rawat

Impact (Advertising)

Group Business Head Manoj Sharma Associate Publisher (Impact) Anil Fernandes Senior General Managers Kaustav Chatterjee (East), Jitendra Lad (West), Head (North) Subhashis Roy General Manager Shailender Nehru (Bangalore), General Manager Velu Balasubramaniam (Chennai)

Business

Head, CRM/CMS & Senior GM Vikas Malhotra Chief Manager, Operations GL Ravik Kumar Marketing Managers Kunal Bag, Anuradha Rana Production Anuj Jamdegni

News stand Sales

Chief General Manager DVS Rama Rao General Manager - National Deepak Bhatt Sr Manager - North Manish Shrivastava Sr Manager - East Joydeep Roy General Manager - West Rajesh Menon General Manager - Operations Rakesh Sharma

DISCOVERY NETWORKS ASIA-PACIFIC Editorial Board

President and Managing Director Arjan Hoekstra SVP Content Group Kevin Dickie EVP and GM, South Asia Rahul Johri VP, Marketing, South Asia Rajiv Bakshi VP, Communications Charles Yap VP, Programming Charmaine Kwan VP, Marketing Magdalene Ng

Editorial (Novus Media Solutions) Editor Luke Clark Design Director Richard MacLean Chief Subeditor Josephine Pang Staff Writer Daniel Seifert Photo Editor Haryati Mahmood Senior Designer Bessy Kim

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Email: [emailprotected] Phone: +91 120 246 9900 Mail: Discovery Channel Magazine India, A 61, Sector 57, Noida 201 301 VOLUME 1 NUMBER 7

Discovery Channel Magazine reserves all rights throughout the world. Reproduction in any manner, in whole or part, in English or other languages, is prohibited. Discovery Channel Magazine does not take responsibility for returning unsolicited publication material. • Published and distributed monthly by Living Media India Ltd. (Regd. Office: K-9, Connaught Circus, New Delhi – 110001) under license granted by Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific Pte Ltd., 21 Media Circle #8-01, Singapore 138562. • All Discovery Channel logos © 2014 Discovery Communications, LLC. Discovery Channel and the Discovery Channel logo are trademarks of Discovery Communications, LLC, used under licence. All rights reserved. • The views and opinions expressed or implied in Discovery Channel Magazine do not necessarily reflect those of Living Media India Ltd., MediaCorp Pte Ltd or Discovery Networks Asia-Pacific, including their directors and editorial staff. • All information is correct at the time of going to print. • All disputes are subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent courts and forums in Delhi / New Delhi only. • Published & printed by Ashish Bagga on behalf of Living Media India Limited. Printed at Thomson Press India Limited 18 - 35, Milestone, Delhi Mathura Road, Faridabad - 121 007, (Haryana). Published at K - 9, Connaught Circus, New Delhi - 110 001. • Editor: Jamal Shaikh

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Like a typical boy in his growing up days, "creepy crawlies" held little fear in my mind. I’d play around with co*ckroaches tugging at their whiskers (antennae) and dissecting their legs for entertainment. Butterflies were not trapped for their beauty, but for their amusing efforts to escape our grip. My cousins and me once roasted a dead rat on a makeshift fire in our garden just for fun, then out of guilt, organised a formal burial, also in the garden, for our deceased friend. I am not sure when I developed a phobia for the harmless old household lizard. It could be a result of my trip to Mumbai’s Jijamata Zoo, where the only animal that left an impact was the lazy, but menacing-looking crocodile, with its jagged teeth and powerful tail. My 7-year-old mind probably envisioned lizards as babies of that menacing beast. The honest truth is that I continue nursing my phobia (one of the very few, if I may add with bravado) and still get freaked out by those creatures high up on the wall that seem to sit and stare and gross me out. I’ve had girls who’ve helped me shoo them away, so my fear far exceeds my sense of embarrassment. Why is it that these harmless, mostly unintrusive creatures cause us so much discomfort? There’s a purpose for their being around, we know, but why can’t we just let them be? Our cover story this month shows us what science says about these ‘beautiful people’. Did you know the co*ckroach is the most well-groomed of them

all? If a human were to touch a roach, the first thing it’d do is go and clean itself! In another, somewhat similar in subject story, you’ll find American artist Charley Harper’s modernist designs inspired by animals and science that is creating more than just ripples in the art world, it’s creating a legacy. ‘The Murder of Money’ examines the hold a man-made, inanimate entity can eventually have on the human mind. And when you’re in the mood for a flash back, go through the rare black and white montages from World War I. As we mark 100 years since the horrific human loss of life and dignity, a poignant question is to ask ourselves this: if we have learnt from our loss, why do we continue to engage in conflict? Surely more important things to worry about than the little lizard on the wall. Don’t you agree?

Jamal Shaikh Editorial Director

twitter.com/JamalShaikh instagram.com/JamalShaikh

ISSUE 08/14

CONTENTS DEPARTMENTS

14

FRONTIERS

COUNT ON IT

12

Do you also like the alleged world's favourite number? If not, ghosts might be why NEWS

HERE BE BOOTY

14

18

As underwater archaeologists explore what may be Colombus' wreck, we ponder what other riches lie in the sea TECH

BAT-CAR, BAD CAR

16

Wanting to own this car would be as pointless as nipples on the Batsuit. Still, at least it's faster than NASA's ride THE TWO SIDES OF

SUPERHEROES

18

Our Batman-bashing continues as we look at the murderous, hairy, crazy-eyed side of various caped crusaders

23

Which futuristic fictional universe would you want to live in? We rate Wall-E, Bladerunner, Children of Men and Inception

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

16

WOW 10 MAN, DOES SEARCHING FOR NEUTRINOS LOOK LIKE A FUNKY RAVE EXPERIENCE

SALIVA SURVIVAL 16 YOUR MOM TAUGHT YOU SPITTING IS RUDE. BUT IT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE. PTOOEY!

THE GRID 13 FAKE THUMBS: WHAT YOU BUY THE TECH GEEK WHO HAS EVERYTHING (SO THEY CAN TEXT ABOUT HOW FAT GODZILLA GOT)

OBSESSIONS 20 DON'T LIE — YOU KNOW YOU'VE GOOGLED YOURSELF. LUCKILY, SO HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE. LOUIS XIV WOULD BE PROUD

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23 IN CONVERSATION WITH 22 SATURN TURNS UP FOR A CHAT, QUOTES BEYONCE, AND BREAKS DOWN AS WE HIT IT WITH SOME BAD NEWS NOSEYNESS SAVES LIVES 22 "WHAT'S THAT, LASSIE? YOU SMELL A MALIGNANT TUMOUR?"

WATCH WHAT YOU EAT 23 EVER WONDERED WHAT YOUR INSIDES LOOK LIKE? IT'S A GULP AWAY WHAT'S ON 102 YETI-HUNTING IN RUSSIA, MEDICAL CURIOSITIES WITH TWIN HOSTS, AND THE COOLEST MACHINERY IN THE WORLD

COVER IMAGE: GETTY IMAGES

SCIENCE

SCI-FI TOURISM

50

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76

62

FEATURES ISSUE 08/14 PHOTO ESSAY

LEST WE FORGET

26

Photos from the First World War have helped the past come alive, in all its muddy, bloody pathos. 20-YEAR SPECIAL

GREATEST HITS

36

From myth-busting geeks to fishermen in killer waves and Curiosity classics, relive some memorable moments of Discovery Channel's 20 years in Asia-Pacific SCI-TECH

26

88

CUTE CREEPYCRAWLIES

50

We bet that in 12 pages, you will go from loathing rats, bats and roaches, to wanting to give them a hug — well, maybe ADVENTURE

JUMPING JOE

62

Until Felix Baumgartner dropped out of the sky, Joe Kittinger's high-altitude jump was a record for five decades. Meet the legend behind the amazing life HISTORY

WHO KILLED MONEY?

76

If it really is the root of all evil, why do we let money dominate our lives? Financial journalist Chris Wright sets out to solve the mystery from the streets of Libya SEEKERS

IN LIVING COLOUR

88

Charley Harper fused whimsical ideals with a sharp eye, to create some of the most unforgettable nature paintings ever put to paper. All without a computer

09 AUGUST 2014

PHOTO: KAMIOKA OBSERVATORY, ICRR (INSTITUTE FOR COSMIC RAY RESEARCH), THE UNIVERSITY OF TOKYO

A FLASH MOB THAT MATTERS Deep beneath Japan's Mount Kamioka near Hida City in the Gifu prefecture, lies the SuperKamiokande Nucleon Decay Experiment — a tongue twister if there ever was one. We prefer its punchier nickname, Super-K. This vast stainless-steel tank holds 50,000 tons of ultra-pure water surrounded by about 11,000 photo-multiplier tubes. But this is more than just a giant water feature, it's an observatory designed to study and search for neutrinos, which can be described as teeny weeny, nearly massless particles that travel at near lightspeeds. Neutrinos have been the subject of intense research by physicists for many decades. Unlike electrons and protons, they do not carry electric charge, so they are incredibly hard to detect and to record. Hence, the sophisticated and massive Super-K facility was created. "It has to be housed deep underground so the rock shields it from the cosmic rays that are constantly bombarding the surface of the Earth," as the New Scientist explains. "When a neutrino interacts with matter, a tiny flash of light is generated, and this is what the photo-detectors are set up to catch." And this is where things get interesting. A neutrino interaction with the electrons or nuclei of water can produce a charged particle that moves faster than the speed of light in water. This creates the optical equivalent of a sonic boom, a phenomenon known as Cherenkov radiation, which is then recorded by the photomultiplier tubes. Super-K may soon have a big brother. A facility called HyperKamiokande, proposed to be 25 times the size of Super-K, has been selected by the Science Council of Japan as one of its highest priority new bigscience projects. 10 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

WOW

11 AUGUST 2014

ISSUE 08/14

ILLUSTRATION: CARLO GIAMBARRESI AT ILLUSTRATIONROOM.COM.AU

FRONTIERS

LUCKY SEVEN: MYTH OR FACT?

ARITHMETICAL PROPERTIES HOLD THE KEY Among the many questions you’ve probably never asked yourself is: what’s the world’s favourite number? British mathematician Alex Bellos, however, found it a real headscratcher — particularly because it’s a question he’s constantly asked. So he created a poll, answered by over 40,000 people around the world. The winner was — insert drumroll — the number seven. It owes its “striking success in my survey — and in global culture since antiquity — to its exceptional arithmetical properties,” writes Bellos. It is, for example, the only number between one and ten that cannot

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be multiplied or divided within the group. Seven also abounds in the real world: seven dwarves, seven days, seven seas, seven planets in our solar system visible to the naked eye. But we’re willing to guess not many of the respondents were from East Asia — in China, Taiwan and parts of Japan, the seventh month is known as the Ghost Month, a time where the gates of hell are said to open, spirits roam and thoughts of death abound. So that’s about 1.5 billion people who in all likelihood wouldn’t choose seven as a favourite.

NEWS

THE GRID

EUROPE

MIDDLE EAST/AFRICA HACK INTO MY HEART A recent hack of Saudi Arabia’s Electricity & Cogeneration Regulatory Authority left metaphorical sparks in the air. The hacker filled the company home-page with text politely expressing how much he loved his wife. Though fairly tame, it made his female compatriots swoon, with Twitter users gushing, “And they say Saudi guys are not romantic!” and, “Soon girls will demand their future husband necessarily be a hacker.”

UNHACKABLE DRONE

Drones can be hacked, just like computers. It’s a scary thought, which is why the Defence Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) of the USA has designed High Assurance Cyber Military Systems. It claims HACMS is unhackable, after teams of mock-enemy hackers tried and failed to gain control of a quadcopter drone. So if nothing else, you can sleep soundly knowing that rogue drones won’t be crashing into your roof tonight.

RUSKI RULES It beats us w hy can’t we stop watching CrazyRussianHackers YouTube ‘lifehack’ clips? His advice isn’t necessarily new, like chopping the bottom off a cupcake and putting it on top so you can scarf it like a sandwich. Maybe it’s the Russian accent (“Now you heff beeg cookee,” he growls at his cupcake). Most of his clips have garnered millions of hits; not all that surprising when one of them is titled “Open Beer with a Chainsaw the Russian Way!”

“YO’ LEADER SO FAT...” Perpetual enemies North and South Korea never miss a chance to demean each other, so the fact that northern leader Kim Jong Un seems to be packing on the pounds is grist for the mill. South Korean media reports estimate the dictator has ballooned from 100 to 120kg. Some media outlets are even alleging that he shows signs of heart disease, including thinning hair and difficulty using his left arm.

BELLY OF THE BEAST US Godzilla film production provided an odd example for Japanese fans to vent their frustrations, claiming this version of the monster is too paunchy. “He got fat in America on cola and pizza,” a fan tweeted. Godzilla was also called “MarshmallowGodzilla”. Not fair considering it is a mix between “gorilla” and “kujira” the Japanese word for whale. Perhaps gojira can start hanging out with Jong-Un.

LARD OF THE DANCE And the award for fattest country in Europe in 2030 goes to Ireland. That’s according to a new study by the World Health Organisation, which reveals a whopping 90 percent of Irish men and 84 percent of women will be obese by then. No European country will be spared rising fat levels, in fact. The lowest rise in overweight males was Belgium, with a projected spike of 44 percent. Maybe they avoided the waffles.

THE FIDGET DIGIT Why would anyone buy a fake thumb for US$14.50? The makers of the ‘fablet finger’, which slips over your own thumb, created it in response to ever-larger smartphone screens. The rationale is that the plastic slip-on extends a user’s reach so they can scroll with just one hand. Increasing a user’s thumb length by roughly 1.5cm, it comes with a protruding stylus for added accuracy. Probably great for hitchhiking a ride, too.

MY EARS ARE BURNING! Could you be allergic to your phone? Danish and US researchers found that since 2000, at least 37 people experienced symptoms such as itchy patches on their faces, redness, blistering and oozing ears, due to allergies to metal. The study found half of Blackberry, 75 percent of Samsung and 70 percent of Motorola phones contained nickel or cobalt, which can cause the reactions. Apple iPhones, Nokias and Androids passed the no metal test.

FEEL THE PHONE OwnFone, a British company specialising in customised handsets, primarily for seniors and children, has launched a Braille phone for the blind. Users must log onto the OwnFone site to customise their device, which is the first 3D-printed phone, with contacts that will appear on the screen. Selling for US$101 and the size of a credit card, the device lacks texting or 3G services, opting instead for two to four simple call buttons.

HACKERS

COLLAR CAPERS In 2013,

FAT

AMERICAS

HANDPHONES

A S I A- PAC I F I C

STRANGE AND SERIOUS EVENTS FROM ACROSS THE WORLD

Indian authorities feared that a radio tag collar on a wild tiger had been hacked. It’s since been confirmed that the ‘hack’ was a false flag by the tracking software. However, it did prompt the question: could poachers hack into radiotagged tigers to track and kill them? Experts said that only eight or nine tigers have been tagged in the whole country, and that geotagged maps from the collars would be too out-ofdate to be of use to hunters.

Linguistic Leaping

EMOTICONS FOR EQUALITY A Mauritius-based tech company called Oju Africa recently released a special set of emoticons (the cartoon-like icons used to spruce up text messages) into the Google Play Store. They released them earlier than planned because of an unexpected campaigner: pop star Miley Cyrus, who complained on Twitter about the lack of racially diverse emojis. Since then thousands of people have now downloaded the emotive black icons.

“WOULD YOU KILL THE FAT MAN?” ASKS A NEW SPANISH STUDY ON MORALS. TURNS OUT THE ANSWER IS YES; ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE ASKED THE QUESTION IN YOUR SECOND LANGUAGE. RESEARCHERS IN SPAIN ASKED 317 PEOPLE IF THEY WOULD PUSH A FAT MAN FROM A BRIDGE ONTO TRAINTRACKS, TO STOP THE TRAIN AND SAVE FIVE PEOPLE TIED TO THE TRACKS. WHEN ASKED IN THEIR NATIVE LANGUAGE, 20 PERCENT WOULD PUSH THE BIG GUY. ASKED IN A SECOND LANGUAGE, IT JUMPED TO 33 PERCENT. IT’S THOUGHT DECREASED FLUENCY CAN INCREASE EMOTIONAL DISTANCE IN MENTAL REASONING.

13 AUGUST 2014

NEWS SPOILED BY OIL

120 LITRES #5

FROM JULY 1, CITIZENS OF TURKMENISTAN WILL NO LONGER THE AMOUNT TURKMEN RECEIVED RECEIVE THEIR EACH MONTH FROM THE STATE, FREE MONTHLY SINCE 2008 ALLOWANCE OF PETROL

TURKMENISTAN ESTIMATES THAT IT HAS THE WORLD’S FIFTH-LARGEST ESTIMATED RESERVES OF NATURAL GAS, AS WELL AS LARGE OIL DEPOSITS

2006

THE YEAR THE FORMER DICTATOR OF TURKMENISTAN, SAPARMURAT NIYAZOV, DIED. DURING HIS TERM HE BANNED: BEARDS, BALLET, GOLD TEETH AND CAR RADIOS

LOOT & FOUND Shipwreck treasures wait to be hauled from under-seas

near-mint condition that millions flock to see her, and her cargo of 4,000 coins, medical equipment and onboard backgammon set. Other wrecks offer breathtaking sums of money. In 2007, a Spanish galleon sunk by British warships two centuries before was found off Portugal’s Atlantic coast. Its estimated worth? Half a billion dollars in silver. Other examples include 48 tonnes of silver recovered from a British boat torpedoed by a Nazi U-boat in 1941; and a glittering US$50 million recovered from an 1857 US vessel. Considering that only a few years ago UNESCO estimated that there were some three million shipwrecks worldwide, the possibilities for booty are endless. Sean Fisher, an American professional shipwreck hunter was asked for his take by Popular Mechanics: “For about 300 years, the Spaniards came over here and stole all of the wealth of the Americas.” Others, caution that the high cost of launching an exploration, and the conditions that destroy wrecks, make treasure hunting a very risky endeavour indeed.

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Skull Replacement: Opening the doors to a new life

Docs replace a human skull with an all-plastic one

A Dutch woman with a rare medical condition had her skull replaced with the world’s first customised 3D-printed skull, made entirely out of plastic. The successful operation took 23 hours. She has made a complete recovery.

200

Quote Unquote “When you next squirt Heinz tomato ketchup on to your fish and chips, reflect on the nature of the modern world. Your ketchup was most likely made in a factory in the Netherlands from tomatoes grown in Spain, pollinated by Turkish bees reared in a factory in Slovakia.”

Bumblebees flap their wings 200 times per second, burning huge amounts of energy

60

A running man consumes the calories in a Mars bar in 60 minutes

30

DAVE GOULSON AUTHOR

A man-sized bumblebee would burn the same amount in 30 seconds

40

A bumblebee with a full stomach can starve to death in 40 minutes

PHOTO: AFP (SHIP); REX FEATURES/CLICK PHOTOS(3D PRINTED SKULL)

This May, underwater archeologist Barry Clif Clifford found something in the waters off Haiti. Something big. “All the geographical, underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggests that this wreck is Columbus’ famous flagship, the Santa Maria,” he said. Clifford’s team is still carrying out a non-invasive investigation, so we don’t know whether it really is the old girl yet, or not. But if so, what secrets might it reveal? Because frankly, the right find can be an astounding window into the past. In 1628, the Swedish battleship Vasa (pictured) sailed proudly out of port, one of the greatest floating weapons of her time. But, as thousands of onlookers watched in horror from Stockholm, she sank just 20 mts after weighing anchor. In 1956, she was rediscovered and salvaged. Today she has been reworked to such

TECHNOLOGY PASSWORD: STARTWW3NOW

00000000 1998 BETWEEN 1960 AND 1977, THE PASSWORD WHICH ALLOWED THE PRESIDENT TO ORDER NUCLEAR STRIKES WAS EIGHT ZEROES – IT WOULDN’T BE FORGOTTEN IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT

THE UK’S NUCLEAR BOMBS HAD NO PASSWORDS AT ALL. ROYAL AIRFORCE WARHEADS, WHICH WERE ONLY REMOVED FROM BASES IN 1998, COULD BE OPENED BY UNSCREWING A PANEL WITH A THUMBNAIL OR COIN. IT WAS THEN ARMED BY INSERTING A BICYCLE LOCK KEY AND TURNING IT 90 DEGREES

1998 2.0

THAT SAME YEAR, US PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON OPENLY ADMITTED THAT HE HAD NOT SEEN THE PLASTIC CARD WITH NUCLEAR LAUNCH CODES, KNOWN AS THE ‘BISCUIT’, FOR MONTHS

THREE VEHICLES IT WOULD SUCK TO OWN Ladies, have you ever wondered what a man is thinking when you see him staring mindlessly into the distance? There’s a good chance it’s something like, “How awesome would it be to drive the Batmobile to work every day? Vrmmmm!” But as it turns out, great-looking but impractical craft are just that: great-looking, but impractical. Like the Batmobile? Sure, if you plump for the last Christopher Nolan incarnation, the military-style Tumbler, you could mow down traffic jams like nobody’s business. Nathan Crowley, who helped design this bit of movie kit, can testify to its hardiness: “They jumped one of them 58 feet (17.7 metres) onto the freeway and it drove around to do take two.” But holy kitsch-to-thecore, Batman – what if you ended up with the vehicle in Batman Returns? Not only was it as long as a London bus, it couldn’t even make turns without resorting to a grappling hook which hung onto lampposts for dear life. Heck with it all! You’re going to go for size, not speed, by toodling around in the Shuttle Crawler (you know, 16 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

the moving platform that transports the Space Shuttle from the Assembly Building to the Launch Pad at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, USA). It’s the largest tracked vehicle in existence, and makes for a great party piece, since it needs eleven people to operate it. Just make sure none of them are treehuggers: it gets just 11 metres per gallon (3.79 litres) of fuel. And its mammoth 5,000 horsepower is balanced by a top speed of two kilometres per hour. Or you could conquer the seas with a classic US Navy battleship, like the now-decommisioned USS Iowa. Imagine announcing your arrival by blasting all of its 16-inch guns (while wearing a nifty captain’s hat). Just as long as you have a 16-inch wallet, too. The US Navy estimates that sea barnacles which cling to a ship’s hull can create speedslashing drag, and increase fuel consumption by 40 percent. Hence why the US Navy spends an additional US$500 million in fuel and maintenance thanks to ‘biofouling’. Protip: Ride it like you’re

Captain Haddock from Tintin – his favourite curse, after all, is “Blistering barnacles!”

VR: Vanishing Racism Pick a personality and walk in another’s shoes

History is littered with unintended uses and side effects for inventions. Did you know for years, bubble wrap was used as (rather garish) wallpaper? It was only when IBM needed to protect shipments of their new 1401 computer in 1959 that someone thought, “Hmm, this addictive popping paper might do the trick." So it is with ‘The Machine to Be Another’, a project that uses the Oculus Rift Goggle and other virtual reality technology. Not for video games, but to change human interaction, understanding and the world. For example, one ‘performer’, in a wheelchair with a mounted head camera, can transmit their point of view to a ‘user’ with Occulus Rift, who is also in a wheelchair. By mirroring the disabled person’s movements the user is able to gain an immersive understanding of their point of view. The Spanish project aims to encourage people of all kinds to ‘walk a mile in other’s shoes’, thereby fostering understanding between different races, genders and backgrounds. Recalling a body swapping experiment, one woman told press, “We were standing there just in underwear, and I looked down, and I saw my whole body as a man, dressed in underpants.” Not surprisingly, “that’s the picture I remember best.”

Surviving with Soda Cans

Stuck in the wild with just the clothes on your back? You can still make fire or go fishing to survive

Cans Use the bottom of a soda can, polish it to a sheen (use chocolate or toothpaste), and reflect sunlight onto some kindling. Voila! The shiny concave bottom will reflect the sun’s rays onto the kindling and start a fire.

Socks Can act as a general filter. Run water through to trap larger sediment and creepy crawlies, rendering it safer to drink. While dry, you can pick off your sock lint (who’d ever think that would be useful?) to use as kindling for your can.

Spit Some small fish are attracted to human saliva. If you know some are about, spit on the water, wait for them to nibble, and scoop ‘em up using t-shirt as a net. Fishermen swear by coating their fishhooks with spit to nab a catch.

THE TWO SIDES OF

SUPERHEROES

Don a cape – actually, don’t – pick the lint from those tights and part your hair to the left, because we’re exploring the double-edged world of crime-fighting wonders Nicolas Cage almost played Superman in a 1998 film called Man of Steel. The project never got off the ground, but Cage recently told press his version of the character “would have been gutsy”. Shudder.

Between 1975 and 1996, Marvel owned the trademark to the word ‘zombie’. Probably for no other reason than because it was cool.

Our thanks to Adam West of the low-budget ‘60s Batman TV series, for showing us that pudgy men in polyester turtlenecks can be superheroes too. Biff! Zlott! Kapwinga!

The Hair Part Theory states that people are more apt to like you if your hair parts to the right rather than viceversa. Can’t think of an example? Clark Kent’s hair parts to the right, Superman’s to the left. #MindBlown

Last year, five-year-old Miles asked the MakeA-Wish Foundation if he could be BatKid for a day. 10,000 people signed up to cheer him on as he helped save San Francisco.

A parody comic of the Marvel universe includes normalman (“norm” for short), the only person without superpowers on an entire planet. Poor guy doesn’t even get a capitalized name, for pete’s sake!

Movies like Kick-Ass have seen a rise in everyday citizens donning costumes to fight crime, most of whom end up getting their butts kicked. Not so Shadow, aka Ken Andre of the UK. He’s an expert at Ninjutsu, has a specialised hearing aid that amplifies sound, and once stopped a carjacker by throwing nunchucks at him. Then, he later said, “I tied him to the lamppost using his own legs and called the police.”

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The Dark Knight has gained a reputation for not killing his enemies — perhaps undeservedly. In the very first issue (Batman No. 1, 1940), he hangs a man from a noose dangling from his Batplane. As he flies into the night, corpse swaying in the sky, Batman cackles, “He’s probably better off this way.”

Marvel readers who sent in letters alerting the writers to mistakes in the text used to be sent back an empty envelope. “Congratulations! This envelope contains a genuine Marvel Comics No-Prize, which you have just won!” Can’t handle constructive criticism, guys?

Not only did Arm-Fall-Off Boy look like a walking hemorrhoid, he also had the stupidest power ever: detaching his arm and bludgeoning people with it.

Len Wein, creator of the world’s most famous clawed mutant, narrowed down the character’s name to two choices: One was Wolverine. The other was Badger. You made the right choice, Wein.

PHOTOS: ZACHI EVENOR (BATMOBILE); DC COMICS (AR-FALL-OFF BOY); EVERETT/CLICK PHOTOS (VAMPIRE’S KISS) OPPOSITE ILLUSTRATIONS: BEN MOUNSEY

Geek heaven is the book Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe, which includes infographics like “If You Were the Punisher, What Would You Do?” (where every outcome is, hilariously, ‘kill him.’)

OBSESSIONS

SELFIE COUNT How many times do we pause to look at ourselves?

“L’etat, c’est moi,” Louis XIV is said to have crowed. ME-MAIL It translates as “I am the state,” though a Frenchman In 2001, the Pew Research Centre found that 22 percent of internet users had googled themselves. Last year, would insist that the egotistical dictum sounds better 56 percent of people admitted to it. The other in their native language. Is that because French is 44 percent? Lying. a gorgeous tongue, or because we like things that relate to us? No prizes for guessing, madames et monsieurs, that we lean towards the latter. And why shouldn’t we? A 2012 study found that British women check themselves out in the mirror 38 times a day, while the lads get reflective 18 times a day. That’s just mirrors, of course. In a world with more reflective surfaces than ever — steel buildings, “GOSH, YOU’RE PRETTY” Studies have shown that when a person looks like us, webcams, phone screens, sliding doors — our we automatically find them more trustworthy. The chances to check ourselves out are nearly infinite. reverse is true, too. When a person demonstrates themselves to be honest, we perceive that person as looking more similar to ourselves. Basically, everyone who is great has your face.

THE EGO HAS LANDED

We’re going to go out on a limb and editorialise here: the only time you’re allowed to post a selfie is when you’re exploring a barren planet, like the Mars Rover did this year.

Planet-sized egos

The Flemish cartographer Mercator created a map of the world in 1596. His version of the globe is one we still mainly use today. Being European, he placed his continent in the middle — even though a globe doesn’t have a ‘middle’, per se. He was also guilty of utterly messing with the proportions of entire continents. That's why many people today still think America is double the size of Africa. Africa is actually 3.5 times larger than the US.

Unlucky 13 Todd Davis, CEO of LifeLock, an identity theft protection company, was so sure of his company’s services that he published his social security number. He was subsequently a victim of identity theft 13 times (DING ZUI) In China, some wealthy people sent to prison might hire a ding zui or ‘substitute criminal’, a stand-in who goes to jail in their stead. In one case, a demolition owner charged with illegally destroying a house offered an impoverished body double roughly US$30 for each day he spent in prison. It’s thought the practice dates back to the 1600s

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CRITICAL THOUGHT

Why do we ignore praise? “Have you ever noticed the peculiar tendency you have to let praise pass through you, but to feel crushed by criticism? A thousand positive remarks can slip by unnoticed, but one “you suck” can linger in your head for days. One hypothesis as to why this and the backfire effect happen is that you spend much more time considering information you disagree with than you do information you accept. Information that lines up with what you already believe passes through the mind like a vapour, but when you come across something that threatens your beliefs, something that conflicts with your preconceived notions of how the world works, you seize up and take notice. Some psychologists speculate there is an evolutionary explanation. Your ancestors paid more attention and spent more time thinking about negative stimuli than positive because bad things required a response. Those who failed to address negative stimuli failed to keep breathing.” David McRaney, author of You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself

PHOTO: UNIVERSAL PICTURES INTERNATIONAL (BEING JOHN MALKOVICH); CORBIS (WORLD MAP)

SELF OBSES S 3 TALE ED S OF NARCIS SISM

ME ME ME ME ME ME ME!

SCIENCE

IN CONVERSATION WITH IAL LEST A CE ON THE T A H H C COUC

As we’ve covered before, planet Earth may have once had rings similar to Saturn’s. It’s thought that 4.5 billion years ago, a Mars-sized planet crashed into ours, flinging debris that arranged itself in our gravitational field.

DCM Man, is it bright in here. I can basically read my notes without turning on the lights, so thanks for that, Saturn! But we’ll get to why that is later. For now, we’re honoured to have one of our solar system’s most eye-catching planets hovering in our studio. Saturn My pleasure, bro. DCM Now, both yourself and Saturday are named after the Roman god of wealth, agriculture, liberation and time. They're some big shoes to fill. Saturn Yes, but then I am the second-biggest planet in this solar system, so beat that, Mr Roman. DCM You’re also a “gas giant”. Saturn Yes, well, I ate a dodgy burrito on the way over, so… DCM No, I mean, you’re a low-density planet consisting mainly of hydrogen and helium. Also — hmm. My next card just says “Uranus has rings”. Saturn How dare you, sir. DCM Ah, wait, I remember. See, you’re not actually the only planet that has lovely rings around it, right? Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune have their own, less conspicuous ring systems floating around them. Saturn Sure, but I’m the one astronomers named “the jewel of the solar system”. Stick that one in your pipe and smoke it, Jupiter and Mars. DCM Yeah. But then again, when Galileo

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Galilei turned his telescope on you over 400 years ago, he thought you had ears. Saturn [Sighs] I know. The poor guy’s telescope wasn’t good enough to see the rings. More like Gali-loco, am I right or am I right? DCM Meanwhile nowadays, it’s thought that lightning storms turn methane into carbon, which as it falls onto your surface, hardens into a shower of diamonds. Maybe as much as 1,000 tonnes of diamonds are created on you a year, scientists say. Care to comment? Saturn I’ll leave that one slightly mysterious. You think I want thousands of crazy prospectors turning up tomorrow? DCM So you wouldn’t like it? Saturn If I liked it then I should have put a ring on it. DCM Oh, burn! We’ll be getting a call from Beyonce’s lawyers tomorrow. One last question: how do you feel that your rings will one day disappear? Saturn Huh? What? DCM Well, some astronomers speculate that in a few million years, your rings will either get sucked in by your gravitational pull, disrupted by the gravity of your moons, or they’ll just dissolve. Did you not know that? [Awkward pause] DCM Ah jeez, don’t start crying. Wait, are those diamond tears?

Sniffing out Cancer

Your faithful pooch might be more than a loyal pet — it could be a “pattern recognition biosensor” that alerts you when you have cancer. Their highly sensitive olfactory systems have led to numerous studies suggesting dogs can literally “sniff out” several types of cancer, including that of the lung, bladder and bowels, from human breath alone. If you did find out your dog had this ability though, you might get paranoid every time it wagged its tail at you suspiciously. Even with puny human noses, some researchers have long observed that certain conditions seem to generate their own unique aromas. The following are some examples that were listed in the 2011 paper, Advances in Electronic-Nose Technologies Developed for Biomedical Applications, which was published in Sensors: Diabetes can sometimes leave a scent similar to nail polish remover on the breath Liver failure generates a scent of raw fish Typhoid smells like freshly baked brown bread on a victim’s skin Yellow fever has been likened to a “butcher’s shop” aroma on the skin.

15,000,000 Fifteen million people around the world had plastic surgery in 2011

#1

South Korea has the highest per capita rate of cosmetic enhancement procedures, with nearly 14 people per 1,000 undergoing a procedure. Greece and Italy are second and third, with roughly 12 per 1,000

7

Species recognise themselves in a mirror: humans, chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans, dolphins, elephants and possibly pigeons

IMAGES: SPL/CLICK PHOTOS (CAMERA PILL); CHRIS EDSER AT ILLUSTRATIONROOM.COM.AU (SATURN ILLUSTRATION) ICON: NATE HOLLAND (PHASER) FROM THE NOUN PROJECT

SATURN

SCIENCE

WORLDS OF WONDER Fancy a sci-fi life? Here’s what you get if you were to live it

Transcendence is now out in movie theatres, and it features a country with no power grid. That means no computers, MOBILE phones or Facebook. Duckface selfies begone! On the other hand, it’s possible to upload your brain. Or at least Johnny Depp’s brain. Which got us thinking — just what are the main pros and cons of some of the world’s most famous sci-fi universes? and which one would we want to live in?

WALL-E

PROS Get to recline in a comfortable hover chair all day; you can get as fat as you like; comfortable jumpsuits CONS Chances of developing a nasty bed rash are probably very high

INCEPTION

PROS The power to enter people’s dreams and peek at their deepest, darkest thoughts CONS Have you ever had someone tell you about their dream? Then you know how soul-crushingly boring it is. Probably best avoided.

CHILDREN OF MEN

PROS A world without kids? Finally, a decent night’s sleep on a plane! CONS No more funny YouTube videos like “Charlie Bit My Finger”

Meet PillCam, a 26mm-long, four gram pill you swallow to obtain video images of the digestive system. Six LEDs provide light around the lens, which beams 50,000 shots to your doctor over eight hours

Inner Space Documentation Watch what you eat. Pill size cameras tell inside stories “In a wartime survey conducted by a team of food-habits researchers, only 14 percent of the students at a women’s college said they liked evaporated milk. After serving it to the students sixteen times over the course of a month, the researchers asked again. Now 51 percent liked it. As Kurt Lewin put it, “People like what they eat, rather than eat what they like.” — Mary Roach, popular science writer The author of Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal, Roach takes

readers on a gloriously gross ride and proves that what we like to eat is not as simple as it seems. Other choice quotes include: “If you know the amount of hydrogen someone is exhaling orally, it’s a simple matter to extrapolate the amount they’re exhaling rectally”, which sounds like a great party trick; and a plaintive question, “How is it that we find Christina Aguilera more interesting than the inside of our own bodies?” Mary, if we had to guess, it’s because Christina looks slightly nicer than the inside of our own bodies. (But sounds pretty much the same — snap!)

BLADE RUNNER

Supercritical Breakthrough

IF NONE OF THESE WORLDS SEEM TOO MUCH LIKE YOUR CUP OF TEA THEN YOU’RE MOSTLY IN LUCK — THEY WON’T BE LIKELY TO BECOME REAL ANYTIME SOON, WITH THE UNFORTUNATE EXCEPTION OF WALL-E. WORLD OBESITY HAS TRIPLED SINCE 1980 —NEARLY 1.5 BILLION PEOPLE ARE OVERWEIGHT— GLOBAL WARMING CONTINUES UNIMPEDED AND THE AVERAGE PERSON CREATES NEARLY TWO KILOGRAMS OF WASTE A DAY. LET’S HOPE SOMEBODY CREATES AN ARMY OF BIG-EYED ROBOTS TO CLEAN UP OUR ACT SOON.

If you think supercritical water sounds like a glass of something that insults your haircut, you’d be wrong. It’s the latest brainchild of NASA, namely water that has been compressed to within an inch of its life to 217 atmospheres and a heat above 373 degrees Celsius. At this point, H2O isn’t really a solid, liquid or gas, but a liquid-like gas. And that’s where the magic happens. In this state, the water gains the ability not to quench fires, but to start them. As Mike Hicks of the Glenn Research Centre in Ohio, in the USA, says, “It’s a form of burning without flames.” What’s more, he adds: “This is a relatively clean form of burning that produces pure water and carbon dioxide, but none of the toxic products of ordinary fire.” Though research into the product is in its early stages, it could have real-world

PROS Cheap and delicious Asian street cuisine everywhere CONS Rain, smog, crime, and the possibility that Harrison Ford might blow you away if he suspects you’re a replicant — despite the fact that [SPOILER ALERT] he might be one himself. Tsk.

NASA compresses water to levels enough to ignite a fire. applications in getting rid of sewage and waste products, and is already used by the US Navy to purify waste streams on some of their ships. OTHER THINGS WE CAN THANK NASA FOR EAR THERMOMETERS

No more gag-inducing mouth thermometers! (Or, heaven forbid, rectal ones) MEMORY FOAM

The technology used in high-tech matresses was originally created for NASA aircraft seats to lessen landing impact SUPER SOAKERS

Invented by a boffin at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory who was messing around with a heat pump 23 AUGUST 2014

FEATURES 50

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PAGE 26 A HUNDRED YEARS SINCE THE WORLD WAR I

PAGE 62 SKYJUMPING FROM NEAR-SPACE HEIGHT:31.3KM

PAGE 36 MOMENTOUS PICKS FROM 20-YEAR DC ARCHIVES

PAGE 76 WHO KILLED MONEY OR IS MONEY KILLING US?

PAGE 50 THE CREEPY CRAWLIES TOO HAVE AN UPSIDE

PAGE 88 CHARLEY HARPER'S UNUSUAL MODERNIST ART

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25 AUGUST 2014

A CENTURY AFTER THE GREAT WAR

PHOTOS: CORBIS

As we observe 100 years since World War One, photographs like these continue to resonate the emotions of its battles and the horrific loss of life it saw. Daniel Seifert takes in the human side of an inhuman conflict, which started exactly a century ago.

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WORLD WAR I

LINES OF SOLDIERS FLINCH FROM THE HEAT AND DUST RAISED BY AN EXPLODING TANK.

27 AUGUST 2014

C PHOTOS: CORBIS

hancellor Otto Von Bismarck, had unwittingly predicted. "One day the great European war will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans." Cynical as it might seem, these words by the man credited with consolidating Germany into one of the most powerful nations on the earth were spoken by the leader who would die in 1898. Yet in 1914, he would be proven right. The assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian

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WORLD WAR I

THE POETRY OF BATTLE GAS! GAS! QUICK, BOYS! AN ECSTASY OF FUMBLING, FITTING THE CLUMSY HELMETS JUST IN TIME; BUT SOMEONE STILL WAS YELLING OUT AND STUMBLING AND FLOUNDERING LIKE A MAN IN FIRE OR LIME. DIM, THROUGH THE MISTY PANES AND THICK GREEN LIGHT AS UNDER A GREEN SEA, I SAW HIM DROWNING. IN ALL MY DREAMS, BEFORE MY HELPLESS SIGHT, HE PLUNGES AT ME, GUTTERING, CHOKING, DROWNING.

EXTRACT FROM DULCE ET DECORUM EST, ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS WAR POEMS OF ALL TIME, BY WILFRED OWEN. ITS TITLE BITTERLY MOCKS A QUOTE FROM THE ROMAN POET HORACE: “DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI”: IT IS SWEET AND FITTING TO DIE FOR ONE’S COUNTRY

LEFT AUSTRIAN SOLDIERS DON MASKS IN ANTICIPATION OF GAS WARFARE ON THE WESTERN FRONT IN 1916 THIS PAGE FEMALE WORKERS MAKE SHELLS FOR WAR 29 AUGUST 2014

PHOTOS: CORBIS

empire, in the Balkan city of Sarajevo, was that "damned foolish thing" which sparked the powder keg. AustriaHungary declared war on Serbia, thereby dragging in Russia, Serbia’s ally. It took just days for Belgium, France, Great Britain and other nations to be dragged into this web of conflict, due to their existing alliances. Even so, both sides expected a short war. It was to be a grand adventure, according to the Brits, where so-called Pals Battalions made up of close-knit friends could bloody the nose of the enemy. Then, as a character in the WWI comedy Blackadder Goes Forth puts it, they could simply pop “back home in time for tea and medals”. Such naiveté didn’t last long, as the realities of trench warfare began to take hold. Take this account of Canadian soldier Anthony Hossack, who near the Western front line was befuddled by “a low cloud of yellow-grey smoke or vapour, and, underlying everything, a dull, confused murmuring.” It was 150 tons of lethal chlorine gas, one of the first poison gas attacks in military history. Suddenly, Hossack was confronted by a seething mass of riders. It was French colonial soldiers, fleeing the gas shells. He could smell something nauseating tickling his own throat, as a serviceman from French Africa stumbled up to Hossack and his fellow bewildered soldiers. “An officer of ours held him up with leveled revolver,” Hossack remembers. “‘What’s the matter, you bloody lot of cowards?’ says he. The [African soldier] was frothing at the mouth, his eyes started from their sockets, and he fell writhing at the officer’s feet.” 30 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

WORLD WAR I

INSIDE THE TRENCHES AS YOU CAN SEE FROM THE DIAGRAM BELOW, SOMETIMES THE BATTLE LINES WERE DRAWN SO CLOSELY TOGETHER THAT OPPOSING FORCES COULD EASILY HEAR AND SEE EACH OTHER. NOTE THAT IN THIS CASE, NO MAN'S LAND IS ACTUALLY SHORTER THAN THE BATTLE FORMATIONS OF EITHER SIDE THE ALLIES 4

90 TO 350 METRES

3

2

1

NO MAN'S LAND

45 TO 270 METRES

BRITISH RECRUITS AT SOUTHWARK TOWN HALL SIGN UP TO LORD DERBY'S RECRUITING CAMPAIGN

1

2

3 4 CENTRAL POWERS 1. FRONT LINE 2. FRONT LINE SUPPORT 3. FIRST SUPPORT LINE 4. ARTILLERY LINE

31 AUGUST 2014

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WORLD WAR I

This then, was an era of weaponry of such devastating power that it was beyond understanding. In July 1917, sappers detonated 19 mines at once along the Messines Ridge in Belgium. The resulting explosion was so immense it could be heard in London, nearly 250 kilometres away. Until the advent of the atomic bomb, it was the largest planned detonation in human history. It vaporized 10,000 Germans in a flash. Given this hunger for bigger and better explosives on both sides, it is not surprising that 60 percent of British casualties on the Western Front came from shellfire — or that there were 80,000 recorded cases of shell shock, a term first used in 1917 to describe the physical damage done to soldiers on the front lines during exposure to heavy bombardment. On the ground, the life expectancy of a junior officer on the Western Front was brutally short: six weeks on average. In the air, it was worse. And at first there was a sense of respect between enemy pilots. One Royal Flying Corps pilot recounts how combat could be “tinged with something of the knightly chivalry of old,

LEFT A GERMAN WARPLANE IS SEEN DROPPING A BOMB

PHOTOS: CORBIS

RIGHT TOP GERMAN SOLDIERS IN THE TRENCHES OF VOSGES, FRANCE, PICK LICE FROM THEIR CLOTHES RIGHT BOTTOM ONE HOUR BEFORE HIS ASSASSINATION, ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND AND HIS WIFE SOPHIE GREET ONLOOKERS ON THE STREETS OF SARAJEVO. HIS DEATH TRIGGERED THE WAR BETWEEN AUSTRIA-HUNGARY, AND SERBIA AND THEIR ALLIES 33 AUGUST 2014

PHOTOS: CORBIS

when a pilot, perhaps still in his teens, might inwardly salute his antagonist, even wave to him as they circled each other.” Yet that still didn’t stop them from dying. At one point in 1917, a British battlefield pilot was expected to survive between 11 days and three weeks. Conditions in the rarified air were just as filthy as the trenches. Back then, airplane engines were lubricated with pharmaceutical-grade castor oil. An unfortunate side effect, the Canadian Museum of Flight notes, was that pilots swallowed a considerable amount of oil during flight, leading to persistent diarrhoea. “This also accounts for the pilot’s use of a flowing white scarf,” the museum notes. “Not for a dashing image, but to wipe goggles clear of the persistent oil mist flowing past the co*ckpit.” The death toll was felt just as strongly on the home fronts, where millions of women were losing their loved ones, even while they worked to produce the guns and shells that killed sons and lovers on the other side. In 1915, a dry, short ‘lonely hearts’ ad appeared in The Times: “Lady, fiancé killed, will gladly marry officer totally blinded or otherwise incapacitated by the War.” No one was left untouched by this conflict. It is a fact that has touched Ken Johnston, the director of historical photography for Corbis, which provided these images. “I was fascinated at finding images of such detail that we could see the faces of soldiers and young factory workers from such a long time ago,” he tells DCM. One photo in particular resonates with Johnston: the image of 34 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

female workers at Vickers Ltd., blandly shaping high explosive shells (see page 21). It is a picture that “stands out because it’s a calm moment – but within a deadly context.” Johnston also points out the stunningly vivid picture of the tank exploding as lines of soldiers flinch from the heat and dust. That shot is a rarity for this period, he explains, and curiously, is in fact a combination of photos. “To me it appears the troops and explosion are from a single image, and the tank was added later,” he observes. Given how difficult it would be for a photographer to capture the shot, Johnston believes that this one was enhanced by news editors back home. “There is a tradition going back at least to the US Civil War of manipulating war images in this way,” he says. Still, it is thanks to these vivid, human portraits that we can at least try to understand a conflict that is still reverberating today. Officially speaking, the Great War ended when Germany finally paid off its monumental war debt of £22 billion. Bild, the country’s biggest selling-newspaper, wrote, “On Sunday, the last bill is due and the First World War finally, financially at least, terminates for Germany.” This was Sunday, October 3, 2010 — 96 years after troops first marched off to a war they thought would be over by Christmas. Why do these images still resonate so strongly? Johnston, who thumbed through an entire archive of Great War photography that is still growing, puts it simply: “Because war is still with us. And pain, pride and perseverance are universal.”

WORLD WAR I

A WAR IN NUMBERS

1 1:00 IT IS FAMOUSLY SAID THAT “ON THE 11TH HOUR OF THE 11TH DAY OF THE 11TH MONTH, THE GUNS FELL SILENT,” THUS ENDING THE FIRST WORLD WAR

6 HOUR

COUNTDOWN LESS WELL-KNOWN IS THAT ALTHOUGH THE ARMISTICE HAD ALREADY BEEN SIGNED BY A DEFEATED GERMANY AT 5AM THAT DAY, THE CEASEFIRE WOULDN’T OFFICIALLY TAKE EFFECT FOR ANOTHER SIX HOURS

1 1,000

ABOVE ALLIED TROOPS LAND AT ANZAC COVE, GALLIPOLI IN THE DARDANELLES, IN A FAILED ATTEMPT TO SIEGE THE STRATEGIC SEA OF MAMORA FROM TURKISH FORCES RIGHT AS WAR RAGES IN EUROPE, THE AMERICAN ALLIES MANUFACTURE STEEL INGOTS IN MISSOURI LEFT U.S. OFFICERS PLAY CARDS ON THE BALCONY OF THE AMERICAN RED CROSS HOSPITAL IN LONDON AFTER THE WAR

DURING THIS TIME, 11,000 MEN WERE KILLED OR WOUNDED. IT IS THOUGHT THAT AMERICAN PRIVATE HENRY GUNTHER WAS THE LAST PERSON TO BE KILLED IN ACTION IN WW1. HE WAS SHOT DURING AN INFANTRY CHARGE AT 10:59AM

1964 THE YEAR GERMANY PAID OFF ITS SOLDIERS FROM COLONIAL AFRICA, THE ASKARIS. SOME MEN PRODUCED CERTIFICATES, OR BITS OF OLD UNIFORM, AS PROOF OF SERVICE. THOSE WHO HAD NEITHER WERE HANDED A BROOM, AND ORDERED IN GERMAN TO PERFORM THE MANUAL OF ARMS. THEY ALL PASSED 35 AUGUST 2014

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DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

PHOTOS: DISCOVERY CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

DISCOVERY TURNS 20

MAGICAL MOMENTS

HOW DO YOU RATE THE BEST MOMENTS IN THE 20-YEAR SPAN OF A 24-HOUR SATELLITE CHANNEL? THE TASK WOULD DEFY EVEN THE MYTHBUSTERS THEMSELVES — SO INSTEAD LUKE CLARK AND TEAM LOOK AT DCM'S FAVOURITE MOMENTS FROM THE CHANNEL'S FIRST TWO DECADES IN ASIA-PACIFIC — WITH A BIT OF HELP FROM THE PEOPLE WHO MADE THE MOMENTS HAPPEN 37 AUGUST 2014

THE BEAR NECESSITIES Every fan of Bear Grylls has their favourite episodes of shows like Man vs Wild in particular. But the episodes that spoke loudest to us happened off-camera, when some of Grylls' survival tips helped save people's lives. Teenager Jake Denham got lost skiing, and survived belowzero conditions in Oregon, in the United States, for nine hours, thanks to survival skills that he remembered from watching Man vs Wild. He built a snow cave to shelter from the powder snow blowing across the mountain, as he told Daily Mail. "I dug a canal, and it went

“I THOUGHT, ‘I HAVE TO GRAB A TREE BEFORE THE EDGE’ AND GOT ONE ABOUT TWO METRES FROM A 20-METRE DROP ON TO ROCKS.” ITALIA INCHED HIS WAY 15 METRES BACK UP THE MOUNTAIN USING HIS KNIFE up a hill, so the wind would blow over it, so the wind wouldn't hit me." According to the report, Denham remembered another trick from Grylls, following 38 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

ski trails down the mountains. When he was finally found by searchers, he was suffering from mild hypothermia, but otherwise unharmed after almost nine hours in the wilderness. He said, "I wanted to live my life and not die. So I got up, and I found some ski tracks, and I followed those." Australian Brent Italia was hiking in the Te Urewera National Park on New Zealand's North Island, and tumbled down a 50-metre cliff. As he told the Herald Sun newspaper, with broken ribs and severe bruising, the Melbourne resident was forced to spend a night in the great outdoors, while he clung to a tree. "I did think of a couple of things that Bear would do," Italia said. "Bear is brilliant at what he does because he gives a lot of people knowledge. It's the beauty of his show." "I fell 50 metres down and I was getting airborne, it was that quick. There was only one tree left and I caught it with my shoulder and smashed into it. It was like an avalanche," he recalled. "I thought, 'I have to grab a tree before the edge' and got one about two metres from a 20-metre drop on to rocks." Italia inched his way 15 metres back up the mountain face using his knife, then spent the night between a tree and the rock face. The next morning, he took four painful hours to climb back up the cliff, eventually making it to the safety of a hut. "I was just glad to be alive, and I said: 'You thought you got me — but you didn't.'"

PHOTOS: DISCOVERY CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

TV HELPS SAVE LIVES

DISCOVERY TURNS 20

YOU'RE BUSTED CHOPPER WARS

JNR VS SNR

While we found it an irritating distraction from the legendary bike building (The David Mann! The Jet! The dragon-inspired Eragon!), cash register receipts were not the only victim of the financial crisis at American Chopper. An epic fight between Paul Teutul Senior and Paul Teutul Junior (no surprise, the son was accused of laziness, the father of ungratefulness) led to Junior being fired in 2008. As Discovery Channel's Christo Doyle told DCM, the feud proved rather uncomfortable for everyone. "It's difficult for people who are involved heavily in the show, because it's actually more real than on the show. It's a deep-seated thing."

“WHOOPS...”

Everyone has a favourite MythBusters stunt, including two of the hosts. As he recently told CNET, one of Adam Savage's favourites was Penny Drop, which tested whether a penny dropped from the Empire State Building would kill you when it hits the ground. "I was so pleased with the successful wind tunnel," said Savage, "It physicalised the experience rather than represent it with dry numbers." One of Jamie Hyneman's favourites was an early one: "Seeing the first rocket car take off across the desert. We shot that during the first pilots in the summer of 2002." One of the most memorable moments was actually a mistake — a cannonball misfired during filming in 2011, going through a neighbour's wall. As executive producer Dan Tapster told DCM, the episode had comic timing: "Two weeks later, Adam and Jamie's cameo in The Simpsons appeared, where they're fired out of a cannon. Not ideal timing!" 39 AUGUST 2014

THE BIG BITE SHARK WEEK

Which TV institution has shown in all 20 years of Discovery Channel's Asia-Pacific tenure? It can only be Shark Week! First launched in the United States in 1987, the week-long festival of shark action is the longestrunning cable TV programming event in history. Past hosts include zoologist Nigel Marvin, MythBusters hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman (hosting a Jaws Special), comedian Adam Samberg, Survivorman host Les Stroud and Dirty Jobs host Mike Rowe. Colourful show names are a must — like Voodoo Sharks, Air Jaws Apocalypse, and 2013's epic Megalodon : The Monster Shark Lives. Individual sharks shot to fame too — like legendary great whites Slash the Shark, or the mighty Colossus. Our favourite for inventiveness though was when the MythBusters tested whether you should punch an attacking shark in the nose. Buster the Crash Test Dummy first swam into shark-infested waters, covered with fish offal and equipped with boxing arms. Then, divers tried it too. The verdict? Plausible! Not a 100-percent way to defend yourself — but worth a shot. 40 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

DISCOVERY TURNS 20

“WE'VE LOST DAD”

PHOTOS: DISCOVERY CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; CORBIS (NIK WALLENDA); ILLUSTRATION: HANG KWONG LIM

REDEMPTION DAY Of course, not all magic documentary moments are positive ones. The toughest episode of Deadliest Catch to film happened on dry land — the death of Captain Phil Harris in Redemption Day (Season 6, Episode 14). "It was traumatic to watch, as well as traumatic to shoot," creator of the show Thom Beers recalled. "Because losing him, it was just so unbelievably... It was traumatic," he told DCM. Beers explained that the band-of-brothers feeling of the fishermen onscreen extends to those creating the show as well. "Phil was a great friend of ours, a friend of mine, and it was like — we

thought he was going to live. Then he had a turn for the worse and died. And it just threw us all. But to me, it gave us that one chance to make what I really consider to be a perfect episode. You rarely get a chance to make a perfect television show, and I think that one episode was perfect. The pitch was right, and the character and story arcs. And obviously, it was incredibly dramatic, but it was just as heartfelt. Everything about it was compassionate. It was amazing." Beers said that the event wasn't just devastating to the cast of Deadliest Catch — it took a heavy toll on the production crew as well. "It was weird, I’ve never had this happen. I’ve produced over 2,000 hours of television. In essence, that one episode, we could only watch in small bites. The producer, the writer, the story editor and I, all of us could only handle maybe 10 minutes a day, then I’d have to walk away. I mean, tears. It was just brutal." For Beers though, the episode, and the way it was handled, was also a testament to Harris's damn-the-torpedoes attitude towards life. "I remember one thing. I’ll never forget it, because Phil had written on a piece of paper, saying, 'We need a good ending for this story.' He gave us that permission to leave him in [the shoot]. We weren't interlopers that just showed up and said hey, we want to film you dying. We’d been with him for five years. We’re a family."

NIK VERSUS NIAGRA

TETHER WARS

A lot of people got excited when Nik Wallenda stepped foot on a slippery wire separating the United States and Canada — spanning the mighty Niagra Falls — including even the daredevil himself. "When I walked over the Falls, over the edge, that was one of the first times in probably 10 years that I've got a rush walking the wire," he told DCM. "It was just an unbelievable feeling, walking over that edge." Less electric were his battles to that point, particularly over whether to tether. An early plan to remove his harness 50 metres out was quashed, following threats of staff job losses. "If I say one thing and do another, I'm not a great role model," he explained. Still, that didn't stop people's nerves jangling. Reports even noted that press attending the live event signed a waiver that, should Wallenda fall, they wouldn’t sue for post-traumatic stress disorder. A journalist from The Telegraph became a fan: “It is rare to invest such emotion in a stranger. I have a new superhero: not a superman with a cape, but a slightly tubby dad in jeans and a t-shirt.”

DISCOVERY’S DISCO THROUGH THE AGES 1982 AN IRRESISTIBLE NOTION

1985 BIRTH OF A NETWORK

DISCOVERY'S FOUNDER JOHN HENDRICKS WROTE IN HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY, “MY LIFE CHANGED FOREVER ON A SUNDAY MORNING IN FEBRUARY 1982.” HE'D DECIDED TO SHARE AN IDEA THAT HAD BEEN ON HIS MIND WITH HIS WIFE. IN SHORT, HE ASKED WHAT WOULD SHE THINK ABOUT A NEW CABLE CHANNEL THAT JUST SHOWED GREAT DOCUMENTARY SERIES LIKE COSMOS, THE ASCENT OF MAN, AND WALTER CRONKITE’S UNIVERSE SERIES? A MIX OF INFORMATIVE BUT ENTERTAINING SHOWS ABOUT SCIENCE, HISTORY AND MEDICINE

DISCOVERY CHANNEL BEGAN AIRING, AT FIRST TO 156,000 HOUSEHOLDS IN THE UNITED STATES, FOR 12 HOURS A DAY. IT QUICKLY GAINED A REPUTATION FOR QUALITY PROGRAMMING WITH A TWIST. WITHIN A FEW YEARS IT WAS REGULARLY AIRING A LARGE NUMBER OF SHOWS DIRECT FROM SOVIET TV — EVEN WHILE THE COLD WAR STILL RAGED ON. AS AN EXECUTIVE PUT IT AT THE TIME, “OUR VISION IS TO GIVE VIEWERS AN OPPORTUNITY TO CELEBRATE, UNDERSTAND AND APPRECIATE THE DIVERSITY AND RICHNESS OF THE PLANET”

41 AUGUST 2014

MONSTER MAGIC

PHOTOS: DISCOVERY CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; ILLUSTRATION: HANG KWONG LIM

WADE VS GOLIATH

Fishing legend Jeremy Wade knows which of the many River Monsters caught was his favourite. "I think the fish that really stands out for me is the goliath tiger of the Congo. This is a fish that in appearance, looks like a giant piranha, and in fact it is a relative of the piranha. I finally caught a large goliath tiger — which was 78 pounds (35 kilograms). It's an incredible-looking thing, wonderful silvery scales, a splash of red on the tail. But it's just got these diabolical jaws, just like a piranha's jaws — the same size as the teeth on a great white [shark], But this was a fish living in a river," he says. "From my very first time going to that part of the world, to actually catching one, was 25 years. So I don't think there's enough life left now to have any sort of similar kind of experience. Any achievement is directly proportional to the amount of work, the amount of suffering that you put into it."

TESTING EVIL MILGRAM'S ROTH Reliving some of science's most infamous tests was key to the Curiosity show How Evil Are You? Executive producer Alan Eyers said filming the 1961 Milgram authority trials was “a hell of a thing to produce. Because when Stanley Milgram did it, he didn’t also have to hide a 15-person camera and production crew,” Eyers told DCM. Host Eli Roth was impressed. “I got a very nice note from Eli afterwards, who said it was the most intense, disturbing and amazing thing that he had ever experienced, let alone filmed. When the guy that directed Hostel tells you something is intense and disturbing, you know you’re onto something.”

Founder John Hendricks is clear on his favourite Discovery Channel moments so far — and they're centred around the network's blue-chip nature NATURE ROCKS documentaries. He recently told Yahoo: “I love the big budget nature extravaganzas that we've done, like Planet Earth, Frozen Planet and we've just recently completed and aired North America (pictured above). For Hendricks, these shows demonstrate the old adage of no pain, no gain. "They're so difficult. They're long, five years in the making and very expensive. But, when you pull it off and you show people things they've never seen, they feel a kind of gratitude towards your brand," he said. "I think that's what happens for people around the world, they kind of thank us as they're watching."

BLUE CHIPS

DISCOVERY’S DISCO THROUGH THE AGES 1987 SHARK WEEK!

1998 FILE UNDER “WATCHABLE”

2004 MASTERFUL MEARS

AFTER THE FIRST SHARK WEEK SHOW AIRED, DISCOVERY NEVER LOOKED BACK. DUBBED CAGED IN FEAR, IT DEMONSTRATED HOW “A NEW MOTORISED CAGE IS TESTED FOR ITS RESISTANCE TO SHARK ATTACKS”. DISCOVERY CHANNEL LEGEND HAS IT THAT HENDRICKS AND COLLEAGUES SCRIBBLED THE IDEA ON A co*ckTAIL NAPKIN AT A BAR

BEFORE THERE WAS CSI, THERE WAS THE FBI FILES, ONE OF DISCOVERY CHANNEL’S MOST POPULAR SHOWS, WHICH RAN UNTIL 2006. IT GAVE VIEWERS AN INSIDE LOOK AT WHAT HAD BEEN, UP TO THAT POINT, THE WORLD’S LEAST ACCESSIBLE CRIME LAB. IT ALSO MADE A WHOLE GENERATION FAMILIAR WITH BALLISTICS, FINGERPRINTS AND FIBRES

SIMILARLY, BEFORE BEAR GRYLLS, THERE WAS RAY MEARS’ BUSHCRAFT. SO POPULAR WAS THIS SHOW THAT BRITISH NEWSPAPER THE TELEGRAPH INCLUDED IT IN THEIR LIST OF “TV SHOWS THAT DEFINED THE DECADE”. IT CALLED THE SHOW “THE BEST OF THE DECADE’S ‘EXTREME’ SERIES AIMED AT THE ARMCHAIR ADVENTURER”

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DISCOVERY TURNS 20

ANCIENT BOOM

BYE BYE BUSTER Legend had it that Ming Dynasty official Wan Hu used newly invented fireworks in around 1,500 AD to propel himself into space — MythBusters had to try it. Around 47 gunpowder-filled skyrockets were strapped to Buster the Crash Test Dummy, dressed in suitably Mingstyle attire, before everyone got well out of the way. The announcer noted, "Buster's vanished, but he's no astronaut. In fact, he's toast!" Jamie Hyneman observed somberly, "Buster is gone as we know him." The unfathomable heat caused a wipeout, not a blastoff. At round two, a well-grilled Buster momentarily got airborne, then went sideways in flames, nowhere near space. Myth busted — but place in series legend secured. RIP, Buster #1.

2008 AWESOME INDEED

2014 WORLDWIDE NUMBERS

2014 STORYTELLING GOLD

THE CHANNEL DEBUTED A NEW SLOGAN, “THE WORLD IS JUST AWESOME”, AND A COMMERCIAL THAT BEGAN WITH TWO ASTRONAUTS FLOATING IN SPACE ADMIRING THE EARTH. ONE SAYS, “IT KINDA MAKES YOU WANNA—”, “BREAK INTO SONG?” THEN THEY DO. THE WORLD IS JUST AWESOME (BOOM DE YADA) HAS ABOUT 8.5 MILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE

AROUND THE WORLD, DISCOVERY CHANNEL HAS A TOTAL OF NEARLY 440 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS. IF YOU INCLUDE ALL OF THE NETWORKS AFFILIATED WITH DISCOVERY COMMUNICATIONS (SUCH AS TLC, ANIMAL PLANET, DISCOVERY KIDS, OR DISCOVERY TURBO), THAT FIGURE RISES TO 2.5 BILLION CUMULATIVE SUBSCRIBERS WORLDWIDE

WITH KLONDIKE, THE NETWORK HAS MADE ITS FIRST FORAY INTO SCRIPTED STORYTELLING. CONDITIONS WEREN’T EASY FOR THE CREW, WHO FILMED IN FREEZING-COLD TEMPERATURES. TWO OF THE STARS EVEN HUNG OFF THE SIDE OF A MOUNTAIN FOR 16 HOURS STRAIGHT TO NAIL A SCENE

43 AUGUST 2014

DEADLY START

THE BIG STORM Few shows made the immediate impact of Deadliest Catch. The first episode, Deadliest Job in the World, which aired in 1999, is one of creator Thom Beers' favourites. "We went to sea, and were 24 hours and around 322 kilometres out at sea when a storm rolled in. And it turned out to be the worst storm in 30 years. Within 24 hours, the winds were pushing 70 knots, and the waves were cresting at 12 metres. It was insanity." That season, seven crewmen drowned. "It was insanity. But we came back with this footage that no one had ever seen. It really was like shooting it on the far side of the moon."

DISCOVERY TURNS 20

DIRTIEST JOB

LAMB LESSONS

THE CHINA ATLAS A UNIQUE LOOK

In 2006, Discovery Channel launched its eight-part Discovery Atlas series with China Revealed, an unprecedented look inside the rising superpower. Narrated by James Spader and covering everything from the world's biggest horse race in Mongolia, to the Forbidden City's Imperial Guard in Beijing, it combined complex storytelling and new HD camera technology, in a unique snapshot of the vast country.

We apologise in advance — but we can't resist one of Mike Rowe's stand-out moments from his popular show. As he told a TED Talk recently, the Dirty Jobs crew was called to the tiny US town of Craig, Colorado, up in the Rocky Mountains. The job in question: sheep rancher. The task? Castration. Rowe the apprentice watches Albert the farmer, before trying it. Soon, madness ensues. "With a big thumb and a well-calloused forefinger, he had the scrotum firmly in his grasp. And he pulled it toward him, like so, and he took the knife and he put it on the tip." It gets worse. "He snips it, throws the tip over his shoulder, and then grabs the scrotum and pushes it upward — and then his head dips down, obscuring my view." We'll spare you lurid desription, but in short, the farmer bites off the lamb's testicl*s. "So, I do something now I've never ever done on a Dirty Jobs shoot, ever. I say, 'Time out. Stop,'" Rowe recalled. "You know. This is crazy. We can't do this, we're on twice a day on the Discovery Channel." Albert then explains why the method is more humane than the Humane Society's prescribed method, using a plastic ring until the testicl*s fell off — after a week of excruciating agony.

"The lamb that he had just did his procedure on is, you know, he's just prancing around, bleeding stopped. He's nibbling on some grass, frolicking. I was just so blown away at how wrong I was, in that second," Rowe notes. He realised how wrong things are about to get, too. "There are like 100 of these lambs in the pen." Ever the professional, Rowe completed his task, with some uncomfortable dancing along the way.

In sparing the lambs' misery, are the farmers taking on their own? Quite the opposite, feels Rowe: they just do what they have to do, while such experiences make the host challenge his own notions of both work, and happiness. "People with dirty jobs are happier than you think. As a group, they're the happiest people I know." Psychologists might agree. We're a lot less sure about the TV host, though. 45 AUGUST 2014

HANDLE WITH CARE

STORM CHASERS Nailing epics shots is key to shows like Storm Chasers — but safety is much more important, as Christine Weber, Discovery Channel's VP of production told DCM. "We had a tragedy here where three storm chasers were killed in the Oklahoma storms. So we’re constantly reminded of how dangerous it is. Discovery Channel really plans ahead, and tries to make sure everybody’s safe, because that is our primary concern."

THE ZEN SEAL

FUTURE WEAPONS Launched in 2006, Future Weapons took a science-behind-warfare look at the latest in military technology. Host Richard "Mack" Machowicz, a former US Navy SEAL, said he had a great deal of fun on the show. "The star of the show is really the weapons, and I'm a vehicle that gets to kind of show that to the audience." He admits to enjoying the explosions. "You can have fun with those things. I mean, what's not fun about a rocket launcher?" Machowicz isn't just a military nerd though: the former SEAL is a trained Zen priest, and says other warriors, like the samurai, consulted Zen priests to help them focus. 46 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

DISCOVERY TURNS 20

BLOWING UP

ON HELL'S HIGHWAY

In an episode of Curiosity, Howard Swartz and team sent a brainwashed assasin into a busy New York street — in the name of science. "We had a neuroscientist from Oxford University, a forensic psychologist, and an experimental psychiatrist," he explained. "We went through the process — can you actually brainwash somebody to become an assassin? We started out with between 80 and 100 volunteers, and the hypnotherapist sort of culled the list down." They weeded out those not susceptible, wilfully complying, or faking. "We eventually got down to three people." The next stage was a cold immersion

test. "The hypnotherapist puts the subject into a deep state of hypnosis, and we put them into an ice bath. We have thermal cameras, the participants are hooked up, we have an EKG. And you can see, because there’s no way to fake the response physiologically." One guy, after two minutes, was clearly deep under. "His heart rate didn’t change. He didn’t gasp. He was as comfortable as he could be." Then, they planted the seed. "The next step was obviously to implant in him the instructions for carrying out an assassination without his knowledge. And that’s exactly what we did."

BRAINWASHED

FOR SCIENCE

While action-centred television is a regular dish in the Discovery Channel breakfast buffet, Heroes of Hell's Highway took the tension up several notches, focusing on the wartime operations of a US bomb disposal unit in southern Afghanisthan. "We already had a show called Dirty Jobs — well this series is dangerous jobs, to the ultimate degree," executive producer French Horwitz explained to DCM. "The job these folks do is incredible, dismantling bombs on one of the most dangerous stretches of road in the world." Horwitz said the crew became like members of the bomb disposal unit during the shoot. "When the unit had to go somewhere, they had to go too. They just never knew when something was going to happen." 47 AUGUST 2014

FUTURE SHOCK

LOOKING AHEAD The chance to Live Forever was another of Curiosity's most thought-provoking topics. Executive producer Alan Eyers told DCM that while show was set in the future, there was little science fiction involved. "The thing that shocked me was how simple many of these technologies are." One 2022 toy, a cell-scrubber, helps clean the blood. "Using tiny magnetic markers, you pull out ageing cells from the bloodstream. And then you replace them with fresh ones." For star Adam Savage (pictured), one dilemma of immortality was the so-called Highlander Sydrome. "He’s read every book, he’s seen every film, he’s really good at golf, and a whole load of the normal limitations and challenges of everyday life have fallen away."

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DISCOVERY TURNS 20

TOUGH-GUY TELEVISION

PHOTOS: DISCOVERY CHANNEL COMMUNICATIONS, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED; ILLUSTRATION: HANG KWONG LIM

BETTER BEARDS A positive legacy of Discovery Channel has been the fact that you no longer have to live, speak or behave like a Kardashian to become a household name. Instead, the style on many of the channel's breakout shows has tended more towards the big, burly, and shall we say, hirsute. One person who has worked with several roughneck reality stars is Discovery's Christo Doyle, executive producer on shows like American Chopper, Miami Ink and Gold Rush. "Tough-guy TV, whether I like it or not, is where I am," he told DCM wittily. Admitting that he now considers most of the Gold Rush cast his personal friends, he recalled sometimes it was rocky at the start. Most important, he said, was to stand his ground. "In some instances it’s kind of prison rules. If you let yourself be pushed around, you're finished." Arguably the most enduring legacy of Gold Rush though, has been the embracing of plentiful facial hair on prime-time TV. "I do think that it’s part of their allure," noted Doyle. His personal advice on growing your own? Don't mess with the best. "No one can grow a Jim Thurber (pictured below) moustache. That’s the best moustache on TV, second to, in my opinion, Tom Selleck in Magnum PI."

GOLDEN EYES A PRIMAL QUEST

Not only did Gold Rush prove a smash hit, it sparked a rash of successful gold shows on Discovery Channel. Executive producer Christo Doyle for one, was not surprised, especially given they coincided with lean years for the economy. "I think frankly, it’s primal. If you are down on your luck, if you’re going through some tough times and you have to provide for your family or even just for yourself, you have to rely on your own capabilities," said Doyle. "Gold fever is a very real thing. We have sound guys thinking they know where the gold is, and giving Todd [Hoffman] advice — or trying to, anyway. You very quickly get sucked into this dream, and into wanting to see that sparkly metal for real." 49 AUGUST 2014

RATS BATS AND ROACHES

THEY’VE SCUTTLED THEIR WAY INTO HORROR MOVIES AND SUNK THEIR TEETH INTO OUR NIGHTMARES. THEY’VE GOT FACES ONLY A BLIND MOTHER COULD LOVE. YET, THE PLANET WOULD BE A DISEASED, BARREN PLACE WITHOUT THEM. DANIEL SEIFERT ROOTS FOR THE BAD GUYS 50 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

TERRIBLE TRIO

PICTURE THIS The sky is a sickly, apocalyptic orange. You and Keith Richards are the only humans left on Earth. This is a planet of creatures now. Leathery wings shriek across the sky. Naked, fat tails writhe in dripping drains, and mindless brown exoskeletons coat your shoes like the devil’s own wallpaper. Richards leers at you, silhouetted against the irradiated sky. Then he bites the head off a flailing flying creature, while Ozzy Osbourne rolls in his grave.

attus, Chiroptera, and Blattaria. Rats, bats, and roaches. Notice we didn’t name any of them in the above scenario. But you recognised them with a shudder all the same, didn’t you? They are unmistakable. They are unstoppable. They are three of the most reviled beasts in existence. And yet, they’re pretty awesome.

LOVE TO HATE

We realise this is going to be difficult, getting you to love animals that mankind has hated for so long they’ve scuttled into the English language as a shorthand for Very Bad Thing. Gone crazy? You’ve got bats in the belfry. Have you become a vile, disgusting problem that needs to be stamped out? As Al Pacino sneers in Scarface, you’re a “little co*ck-a-roach”. And when we care so little about something it nearly defies understanding, we say, “I couldn’t give a rat’s ass.” When your posterior is used to indicate someone’s indifference, you are definitely not well liked. And in a way, we understand. There is much to hate here. Rats were carriers of the Black Death, which struck Europe like a whirlwind in the late Middle Ages, killing at least a third of the continent’s population according to some estimates. Except that it wasn’t actually the rats, but the fleas on the rats. Oh, and in 2011, an archaeologist studying Black Death sites in London said “the evidence just isn’t there to support” rats as carriers of the plague. “All the evidence I’ve looked at suggests the plague spread too fast for the traditional explanation of

transmission by rats and fleas,” Dr Barney Sloane, author of The Black Death in London, told The Guardian. “It has to be person to person — there just isn’t time for the rats to be spreading it.” Okay, but co*ckroaches are still gross, right? Their faecal matter, their slick brown bodies, the fragments of their bodies they sometimes leave behind — they’re all coated in allergens that we breathe in, which can trigger asthma attacks. But while roaches can spread germs that have stuck to them much in the same way a child may track mud into the kitchen, they’re actually fastidious groomers. Ever seen a cat clean itself with its tongue? Roaches do much the same, pulling their antennae down into their mouthparts, and then running them through like dental floss. The antennae are thought to help roaches smell chemicals in their environment, but only if they are clean. In fact, roaches are so fastidious that if a human happens to touch one, the first thing it will do is scuttle off and clean itself. It's rather poetic that while you’re complaining about the gross insect you accidentally poked, it may be doing the same. Bats, then! Winged spawn of evil? They get caught in your hair, and suck your blood! Nope, sorry, you’ve been watching too many vampire movies. Only three bat species out of over a thousand drink blood, and they are mainly found in Latin America. Your chances of encountering one are about as likely as running into Dracula at a vegan buffet. The hair thing, meanwhile, is just a myth, albeit a strong 51 AUGUST 2014

one. The alleged consequences of a bat bonnet vary from country to country. In some places, it supposedly leads to insanity, or presages a doomed love affair. One particular folklore says that if a bat escapes with a single strand of your hair and places it in a tree, you and the tree will wither away like a pat of butter in a sauna. In Ireland, the same act of hair theft is said to lead to eternal damnation. Not that it matters, because it doesn’t happen in real life. A bat nimble enough to echolocate a tiny insect and capture it mid-air, is nimble enough to avoid the shrieking human next to it. These are just three examples. They’re not enough to convince you yet, we know. You’re still mentally howling, “Kill it! Kill it with fire!” But we’re only just beginning.

USEFUL CRITTERS

August 6 and August 9, 1945. After years of slaughter, World War II was brought to a close by the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. But in an alternate universe, the Little Boy and Fat Man bombs didn’t end the conflict: bats did. The plan’s name was Project X-Ray, and it was ingenious, in a crazy way. Modified bomb canisters were to be dropped from B-24 bombers. At an altitude of 1,000 feet ( just over 300 metres), hundreds of canisters would split open automatically, each releasing a multitude of bats. Every bat would have a napalm incendiary device attached to it. The animals would roost in Japan’s highly flammable wooden houses, and some time later burst into flames. Thousands of fires would be started at once, causing utter chaos. Some tests were wildly successful, leading 52 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

PEOPLE WHO OWN RATS AS PETS WILL TELL YOU THEY ARE INTELLIGENT, LOVING COMPANIONS. SIMILARLY, co*ckROACHES AND BATS HAVE REDEEMING QUALITIES TOO. FOR EXAMPLE, THERE ARE SMALL ROBOTS BASED ON BLABERUS DISCOIDALIS, ALSO KNOWN AS THE FALSE DEATH'S HEAD co*ckROACH (BELOW RIGHT), AND THIS PARTICULAR SPECIES IS A POPULAR CHOICE FOR A PET

researchers to suggest that regular incendiary bombs “would give probably 167 to 400 fires per bomb load where as X-Ray would give 2,635 to 4,748 fires”. Even after the atom bombs were dropped, the project’s inventor maintained bat bombs would have been just as effective, and safer. “Think of thousands of fires breaking out simultaneously over a circle of 40 miles (64 kilometres) in diameter for every bomb dropped,” he reportedly said. “Japan would

have been devastated, but with small loss of life.” X-Ray was eventually scrapped because the brass thought it was developing too slowly — though it may also have had to do with the fact that in one test, some bats escaped and set fire to a hangar, and a general’s car. And while bats didn’t win the war in the end, if you hate insects and love eating, then you should love these winged wonders. You’ve probably heard that skilled bats can catch dozens of bugs for dinner, which is great —

but you’re a little off on the scale. They don’t catch dozens — just one specimen can nab thousands, sometimes chomping the insect directly, other times netting it in its wing membrane, then guiding it into its mouth. So if you’d happily see bats wiped off the face of the earth, be prepared for a sky black with innumerable mosquitoes. Bats are vital to many agricultural plants, such as bananas, peaches, breadfruit, mangoes, cashews, almonds, dates and figs, which

TERRIBLE TRIO

sleep apnoea, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s — practically any medical problem we can get, they can get. Inexpensive, mild-mannered, and with a genetic and biological make-up similar to ours, its no wonder 95 percent of all lab animals are mice or rats. In terms of knowledge accumulated, a world without lab rats might be equivalent to erasing Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton and Stephen Hawking from history.

ROACHES ARE SO FASTIDIOUS THAT IF A HUMAN HAPPENS TO TOUCH ONE, THE FIRST THING IT WILL DO IS TO SCUTTLE OFF AND CLEAN ITSELF. IT'S RATHER POETIC THAT THEY SEEM TO ABHOR HUMANS AS MUCH. rely on these mammals for pollination and seed dispersal. The long-nosed bat (genus Leptonycteris) doesn’t just have a groovy name; it’s also responsible for giving the world tequila. Without bats, the seeds of Agave plants, which are refined into the liquor, would drop to 1/3,000th their normal number. Adios, tequila. Rodents like rats and mice, meanwhile, are crucial to medical research. In his book Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why

It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals, Dr Hal Herzog details just one of thousands of labs where rodents are bred. “It is a rodent factory that produces 2.5 million mice a year — nearly 40 tonnes of inbred, mutant and genetically engineered mice.” As Herzog writes, it’s fairly easy to manipulate strains of mice to be stricken with specific conditions — all the better to test medicine with. There are mouse models for sensory defects, high blood pressure, low blood pressure,

We ask Herzog, who is also a professor of psychology at Western Carolina University in the United States, if anything surprised him in his research into the world of lab rats. His answer paints a picture of holocaust. “One lab animal veterinarian told me that of the quarter million mice bred at his university each year, about half were gassed to death as infants.” That’s over 10,000 wasted mice per month at just one facility, he points. “By the way, in the US, we don’t even know how many mice are used in research. 53 AUGUST 2014

CULTURAL CRITTERS

AN EXAMPLE OF A RAT KING. SOME SPECIMENS ON DISPLAY IN MUSEUMS ARE MUCH LARGER AND INVOLVE MANY MORE RATS TANGLED TOGETHER

BELA’S BATS

Bela Lugosi, who played Count Dracula so iconically that he was buried in a cape, in 1940 made a movie named The Devil Bat. Its tagline: “Sharp-fanged blood-sucking death dives from midnight skies!” In the movie, Bela Lugosi plays a mad scientist who develops an evil aftershave (yes, really). When perfumed with the potent plot device, the victims are attacked by a bat drawn to the scent, which rips out their throats. The full movie is available on YouTube. ROACH MOTEL

In Joe’s Apartment a luckless loser has his life turned around by the thousands of charming, talking co*ckroaches who share his home. The 1996 movie was not well loved. Film critic Roger Ebert sniffed in his one-star review: “I am informed that 5,000 co*ckroaches were used in the filming. That depresses me, but not as much as the news that none of them were harmed during the production.” WINGED EVIL

The devil himself was given batlike features in Dante’s Inferno. Dante described how under each of Lucifer’s three faces “came forth two great wings, of size fitting for such a bird, sails at sea I never saw like these; they had no feathers but were like a bat’s”. TINY TYPE

In 1916, writer Don Marquis began writing 54 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

A MEMBER OF THE BLABERIDAE FAMILY, THE STRIKING APPEARANCE OF THE DEATH'S HEAD co*ckROACH (HORMETICA SUBCINCTA) LIVES UP TO ITS NAME

TERRIBLE TRIO

AN INDIAN FLYING FOX (PTEROPUS GIGANTEUS) HANGS UPSIDE DOWN FROM A TREE LIMB IN A TYPICAL ROOSTING GROOMING POSE. CUTE AS A BUTTON — BU T NOT AS SMALL, CONSIDERING THE SPECIES' AVERAGE WINGSPAN RANGES FROM 1.2 METRES TO 1.5 METRES — THESE BATS LIVE OFF RIPE FRUIT, FLOWERS AND NECTAR

CULTURAL CRITTERS a column from the point of view of Archy, a New York City co*ckroach. Although an insect, Archy had the wise soul of a poet. Unfortunately he couldn’t work a typewriter too well, so all his (wildly popular) posts were in lowercase, including this one: prohibition makes you want to cry into your beer and denies you the beer to cry into. HEADS UP!

Even the hard-core Mayan culture feared (and revered) bats. The mythological Mayan hero twins Hunahpu and Xbalanque faced many trials in the underworld, including spending the night in the House of Bats. So spooked were they that the two men squeezed themselves into their own blowguns, goes the legend. When Hunahpu stuck his head out to see if the sun had risen, a bat monster ripped it off and hung it in a ball court, for the gods to use in their next match. BABY SHOWER

A YouTube video called “Hissing co*ckroach Birth” featuring dozens of maggot-like babies tumbling out of a mama roach like so much toothpaste has been viewed over 700,000 times. A commentator on Reddit said, “I used to have these guys in a cage when I worked for a pesticide company. They’re actually very sweet creatures and nothing like regular roaches. One day, I witnessed my mama hisser pick up her baby hisser that was struggling to get water from the dish. So she held him up.” THE WRITING’S ON THE WALL

Rats are a favourite motif of graffiti artist Banksy. In his own words: “They exist without permission. They are hated hunted and persecuted. They live in quiet desperation amongst the filth. And yet they are capable of bringing entire civilisations to their knees. If you are dirty, insignificant and unloved then rats are the ultimate role model.” 55 AUGUST 2014

The reason is that Congress did not want mice covered under federal animal welfare laws. So they enacted legislation dictating that mice [and rats] are not animals,” he adds. Still, at least there’s nothing co*ckroaches have ever done for us — oh wait, without them our forests might die. Most co*ckroaches feed on decaying organic matter, which is full of nitrogen. When roaches nibble on the matter, their faeces can release 10 times the original amount of nitrogen into the soil, where it is then used by plants. There you go: a reason to love co*ckroach poop.

THEIR TEETH NEVER STOP GROWING, WHICH IS WHY A RAT NEEDS TO KEEP GNAWING THEM DOWN. OTHERWISE ITS INCISORS WOULD CREEP UPWARDS, EVENTUALLY BORING INTO ITS OWN BRAIN It’s one of many reasons why David George Gordon, author of The Compleat co*ckroach, tells DCM we shouldn’t blindly fob off any and all creepy-crawlies. “If it weren’t for animals like co*ckroaches we’d be up to our necks in dead stuff.” Releasing the nutrients back into the soil is an important task, he explains, particularly in tropical environments where soil can be low in nutrients. We might hate urban roaches, but rarely think of 56 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

wild species, says Gordon. “There are thousands of co*ckroach species, and probably 50 of them pose a pest problem. So saying you don’t like roaches is a little like saying, ‘I met a few people I don’t like — so I don’t like people.’”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

In a way, it’s actually kind of funny how powerful these three animals are, and the effect they have on us. Imagine you’re sitting down to breakfast, a plateful of eggs steaming away. You lift a gleaming silver spoon up to your mouth, and as you do, a co*ckroach scuttles up the

table leg and across the plate, flashing brown across the warm yellow. Then it’s gone. Game over. You can’t eat that plate, understandably. But such is your disgust that you probably can’t even eat the moist, lightly peppered spoonful just inches from your mouth — even though you know it's safe. You likely won’t eat eggs in any form for days, weeks, maybe even a month. Your behaviour has been changed by an encounter that lasted for two heartbeats. The roach contaminated not just your plate, but the eggs it didn’t touch. It spread its uncleanliness straight into

your mind, irradiating your good taste for a long time to come. It’s almost like magic. This kind of contradiction is inherent not just with roaches, but our interactions with all animals. Culture plays a big role in which species we love, hate, or eat, explains Herzog. “In parts of Africa, gorillas are not loved but killed for ‘bush meat’.” Both Herzog and Gordon note that in Japan, critters are popular pets. Kids have pet dragonflies there, muses Gordon, “and when a pet beetle dies they’ll bury it with a ceremony.” Herzog’s book notes a host of other contradictions. Most of us view co*ckfighting

TERRIBLE TRIO TRIO TERRIBLE

A RAT MOVES ABOUT IN A BLACK BOX WITH SENSORS CONNECTED TO ELECTRODES EMBEDDED IN ITS ENTORHINAL CORTEX. RESEARCH LIKE THIS HELPS SCIENTISTS UNDERSTAND HOW CERTAIN TYPES OF MEMORIES ARE ENCODED IN RATS — AND HENCE IN HUMANS

TAILS OF BRAVERY You’ve heard of dogs that sniff out explosives? Then mineclearing rats shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. It costs US$7,900 and nine months to train each rat, which is still cheaper than the US$25,000 it would cost to train a bomb-sniffing dog. Led on leashes, rat squads have efficiently cleared large swathes of dangerous territory in Tanzania, Mozambique and Angola, the latter of which has as many six million land mines remaining from a civil war. Researchers are currently genetically modifying mice to become even better at sniffing out explosives.

as a barbaric blood sport, but will naively chow down on battery-raised hens that endure far worse conditions than a fighting rooster. Herzog also writes of many research facilities home to ‘good rats’ and ‘bad rats’. The good rats were the rodents in the cages. The bad rats were simply good rats who had escaped, and were to be exterminated. As he tells DCM, his studies also forced him to recognise his own hypocrisies, like being an animal lover who still eats meat. “I am actually more conflicted about living with my cat Tilly than I am eating meat. I do not like the idea that she is a recreational killer who regularly drops dead birds at my front door.” On the other hand, he sighs, “it would be cruel to imprison her in a big cage (my house) where she would spend the day staring out the window, mouth watering, watching the pretty birds flit by.” It reminds him of a section in his book where a woman accused him of feeding kittens to his boa constrictor. Shocked, he insists that he would never do such a thing. And yet a rat lover would probably squeak to high heaven at the feeding of live rodents to predatory snakes. “By the way, the original title to my book was Feeding Kittens to Boa Constrictors,” Herzog notes. But, he sighs, “my agent and editor agreed that no one would buy a book with that title.”

THE DARK SIDE

In the interests of evenhanded reporting, we must touch on the fun stuff — the dark side of these three animals, without even a glint of redeeming features. Let’s start with the rat king. Did you ever see that episode of the TV show 30 Rock, where one of the

2 PENNIES ALTHOUGH THE TINY PIPISTRELLE BAT (PIPISTRELLUS PIPISTRELLUS) WEIGHS ABOUT AS MUCH AS TWO PENNIES, IT CAN CATCH 3,000 BUGS A NIGHT

40,000,000

A COLONY OF MEXICAN FREE-TAILED BATS (TADARIDA BRASILIENSIS) THAT ROOSTS IN BRACKEN CAVE IN THE US STATE OF TEXAS IS THOUGHT TO BE THE LARGEST GATHERING OF MAMMALS IN THE WORLD, WITH 20 MILLION TO 40 MILLION MEMBERS

US$8 MILLION

A SMALLER COLONY ROOSTING UNDER A TEXAS BRIDGE BRINGS IN US$8 MILLION A YEAR IN TOURIST REVENUES

1/5

ACCORDING TO SOME SOURCES, RODENTS EAT OR SPOIL ONE-FIFTH OF THE GLOBAL FOOD SUPPLY EACH YEAR

50 METRES

AN EXPERT RECENTLY CALCULATED THAT IN THE UK, THERE ARE PROBABLY SIX HUMANS FOR EVERY RAT, AND YOU’RE USUALLY 50 METRES AWAY FROM ONE

40 MINUTES

HOW LONG A ROACH CAN HOLD ITS BREATH

320 KPH

A co*ckROACH CAN MOVE ABOUT 50 BODY LENGTHS A SECOND, EQUAL TO A HUMAN SPRINTING 320 KILOMETRES PER HOUR

50 KHZ

PROOF THAT NOT ALL SCIENTISTS ARE HEARTLESS AUTOMATONS COMES FROM THIS DISCOVERY FROM NEUROSCIENTIST DR JAAK PANKSEPP. WHEN SUBMITTED TO "PLAYFUL, EXPERIMENTER-ADMINISTERED, MANUAL, SOMATOSENSORY STIMULATION," HE NOTED THAT RATS EMITTED HIGH-PITCHED CHIRPS AT 50 KILOHERTZ. IN OTHER WORDS, THEY LAUGHED EVERYTIME PEOPLE TICKLED THEM

57 AUGUST 2014

WHY "EWWW"? David George Gordon explains why we don’t like roaches: "There’s a study that classified why we don’t like certain forms of life. A lot of it goes back to their basic form. It goes back to our cavemen ancestral memory. We distrust things that look slimy or slippery, and roaches have a waxy outer coating so they’re shiny — that would qualify. We don’t like things that move erratically and you can’t tell where they’re going next, and roaches have that. And we don’t like things that pop out of unexpected places, and roaches do that too. So they’ve got three big strikes against them."

characters says he spotted a “rat king” in the subway? “It’s when a bunch of rats are crammed into a tiny space and their tails get all tangled up and they can’t even pull apart.” Isn’t that just a myth, asks another character. You can visit a handful of museums around the world, particularly in Europe, to confirm that it is not. The earliest record of a rattenkönig stems from a German engraving in 1564. Unsurprisingly, these snarled masses of matted fur were considered very bad omens. But not as bad as rats’ use in torture. Once again, pop culture took its cue from reality. In Game of Thrones, 58 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

a torturer named the Tickler dispatches victims with three tools: a lit torch, a bucket, and a big rodent. Step one: the rat is placed in the bucket. Step two: the bucket is strapped to the shirtless victim’s chest. Step three: the torch is placed under the bucket. Terrified by the rising heat, the animal has only way to escape — by chewing through skin and bone. And don’t think they can’t, either. Rat teeth are so strong they can gnaw through wood, brick, or even concrete. The teeth never stop growing, which is why a rat needs to keep gnawing them down. Otherwise its incisors would creep upwards, eventually boring into its own brain.

A similar technique to the Tickler’s was used by real-life Diederik Sonoy, a Dutch man in the 16th century. And, as late as the 1980s, rats were inserted into live victims under the Pinochet regime, in Chile. One captive recounted, “Around the fourth day they showed me a rat. It seems I showed an adverse reaction, because they then forced a rat into my mouth, into my shirt, closing all the exits, and into my pants, with the ends sealed by my socks.” On to roaches then! While you might now forgive their poop, you are totally allowed to hate their farts. They release methane gas every 15 minutes on average and continue

releasing the gas up to 18 hours after death. Arthropods, such as millipedes, termites and co*ckroaches, are thought to be responsible for up to 25 percent of Earth's methane emissions, contributing to global warming. But you’re likely to care far more about the fact that roaches eat basically everything, including wallpaper paste, book bindings, soap and stale beer. They’ve even been known to nibble toothpaste from your toothbrush. Meanwhile, it’s hard to find anything near as disgusting about bats. Unless, maybe, you’re a fan of chickens. The white-winged vampire

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ANIMAL CHATTER WE PICK THE BRAINS OF DR HAL HERZOG, AUTHOR OF SOME WE LOVE, SOME WE HATE, SOME WE EAT: WHY IT’S SO HARD TO THINK STRAIGHT ABOUT ANIMALS, AND DAVID GEORGE GORDON, WHO WROTE THE COMPLEAT co*ckROACH: A COMPREHENSIVE GUIDE TO THE MOST DESPISED (AND LEAST UNDERSTOOD) CREATURE ON EARTH ON WHAT OUR RELATIONSHIP TOWARDS ANIMALS CAN TEACH US

HAL HERZOG (HH) One of the most important things I have learned in 30 years of studying our behaviours towards and relationships with other species is that for most of us, complete moral consistency is very difficult and often impossible. This is certainly the case with our interactions with animals. For example, in the United States, most people that identify themselves as vegetarians regularly eat flesh. A TOWNSEND'S BIG-EARED BAT (CORYNORHINUS TOWNSENDII) IN FLIGHT. THESE BATS ARE FAMED FOR THEIR HUGE EARS, WHICH CAN MEASURE UP TO 38 MILLIMETRES IN LENGTH. THE APPENDAGES COME IN HANDY WHEN THEY HUNT FOR INSECTS

ON WHETHER HE DESPAIRS OF HOW SHALLOW WE CAN BE WHEN IT COMES TO ANIMALS

HH In some ways, yes. For example, I have been studying why some dog breeds get popular and others don’t. My colleagues and I have found that transient crazes for dogs are caused by the human tendency to blindly follow the crowd. Breeds that are hard to live with and have serious health problems can suddenly get wildly popular because our choices in pets are often irrational. ON WHAT ANIMAL HE WOULD LIKE TO LIVE AS FOR A DAY

HH I would be an alligator. Before I shifted to anthrozoology, my research area was animal behaviour. One of my first projects was figuring out how crocodilians talk to each other. I am still fascinated by alligators. I recently spent a couple

of weeks kayaking among them in Florida. But I also spent a lot of time floating on my belly in a warm pool, trying to figure out what it was like to be an alligator. I concluded it was, mostly, a pretty laid-back life. ON MADAGASCAR HISSING co*ckROACHES AS POPULAR PETS

DAVID GORDON (DG) The so-called American co*ckroach is one of the fastest animals on the planet in proportion to its size. So if you want to handle one you’d better freeze it first! But a hissing co*ckroach, you can easily place one in the hands of a kid and it will stay there, like “I hope nobody notices me”. They don’t race at all, they’re pretty slow. I’ve done public programmes where a parent will say, “Oh look at that cool beetle.” I say, it’s actually a co*ckroach, and they go, “Urghhh gross!” I think a lot of our loathing for co*ckroaches is a case of learned behaviour. ON co*ckROACHES VS HUMMINGBIRDS

DG A hummingbird for example has erratic movement too, and can move in the blink of an eye, and pop out unexpectedly if you’re sitting on your front porch. But they’re nicely coloured, they have feathers all over their body, and for some reason we think of them as wonderful. If roaches were covered in a fuzzy white down, and had big eyes, we’d think they were a lot cuter.

ON HIS OTHER BOOK, THE EAT-A-BUG COOKBOOK

DG The truth of it is, I don’t think co*ckroaches taste that good. I put some roach recipes in there just to separate the men from the boys. Y’know, it’s one thing to eat a cricket. But it takes a lot of guts to eat a roach. The problem is that co*ckroaches actually recycle their own nitrogen. Sharks do that too, they keep their buoyancy by storing their urea. So if you ever read a shark recipe it always starts with “soak this overnight in lemon juice to get rid of that ammonia-like flavour”. Well co*ckroaches have something called a fat body, which sounds judgemental but it’s actually an organ that reworks that nitrogen. As such they taste very chemical-y. Almost like you’re eating their pesticides. ON WHETHER co*ckROACH PARTS GET STUCK IN YOUR TEETH WHEN YOU EAT THEM

DG That’s right, because of the body armour. I was actually hired by a cable network to do a roach-eating contest in five cities in the United States. People had to eat platefuls of American co*ckroaches that had been oven-baked and lightly seasoned — with their hands tied behind their backs. It was like a pie-eating contest. The first person to finish won US$10,000. The second prize was a t-shirt. You didn’t want to come in second in that contest. 59 AUGUST 2014

TERRIBLE TRIO

sometimes scrapping, communicating, forming friendships and generally acting like schoolchildren at playtime.” Rats are so social that if one is left alone long enough, it will exhibit signs of severe stress. Even a solo co*ckroach shows behavioural disorders.

CULTURE PLAYS A BIG ROLE IN WHICH SPECIES WE LOVE, HATE, OR EAT, EXPLAINS HERZOG. “IN PARTS OF AFRICA, GORILLAS ARE NOT LOVED BUT KILLED FOR BUSH MEAT” VIEW OF THE UPPER SIDES OF A NUMBER OF TRICHOBLATTA MAGNIFICA co*ckROACHES, SHOWING THEIR COLOURFUL IRIDESCENT BODIES. THESE GIANT co*ckROACHES (FAMILY BLABERIDAE) CAN ROLL UP INTO BALLS FOR PROTECTION FROM PREDATORS, IN A SIMILAR WAY TO SOME WOODLICE

bat (Diaemus youngi) is fiendishly clever at choosing its victims. After quietly hopping over to a bird, it will nuzzle up to its “brood patch”, a featherless area of skin on the hen’s underside, used to transfer heat to its chicks. If its victim is startled, the bat will sometimes nuzzle and chirp like a chick, calming its victim down and allowing it to incise a section of skin and happily lap — not suck — blood from its victim. The bats will even climb on a hen’s back, mimicking the action of a mating rooster. The hen automatically moves into a crouched stance, providing access to the back of its head. 60 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

JUST LIKE US?

Yet the more you read about these animals, the more you see they are like us in many ways. “What I think is interesting is we create these ideal conditions for roaches to thrive in our very homes,” says Gordon. “It’s heated, it’s warm all year ‘round, there’s lots of food, moisture from your sweaty pipes, and lots of crevices to hide in. We create these ideal conditions, and then act disgusted when they move in and appreciate that.” But it’s the quirky stuff that makes you stop and think. Picture a roach running, and you’ll think all of its legs are skittering

away at the ground. Not so, say researchers at the University of California, Berkeley’s Poly-PEDAL Lab. Using high-speed cameras and pressure plates, they found that at full speed, a co*ckroach will tilt its body upward 23 degrees, and run bipedal. Like a human. This terrible trio also exhibits social behaviour just as cute, cuddly and complex as ours. As the National Fancy Rat Society notes, “rats living in groups can have fun chasing each other around, grooming each other, sleeping in a heap, playing tug-ofwar with food, wrestling,

Vampire bats, meanwhile, will often vomit up blood for a hungry member of their roost. It's also a fairly common practice to adopt orphaned baby bats. Rats are so big-hearted that in experiments where a furry subject was presented with two tubes, one containing a locked-up friend and the other containing chocolate chips, it usually freed its buddy first. In cases where it went for the chocolate first, the rat often didn’t eat them until it had freed the other, allowing the two to share. DCM knows of more than a few humans who would not be as generous. A colony of bats, a mischief of rats, an intrusion of co*ckroaches. The collective nouns for these animals pretty much spotlight our feelings for them — but maybe it’s time to start thinking of a group-hug of bats, a snuggle of rats, and a house-warming of roaches.

PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES

KING OF THE SKIES

JOE KITTINGER WAS THE ORIGINAL ACTION MAN, THE FIRST SKY JUMPER. HE WAS A MASTER OF THE SKIES AND ON THE GROUND A PERFECT GENTLEMAN. NOW, 54 YEARS AFTER CREATING THE FIRST WORLD RECORD, HE IS STILL PLAYING GUARDIAN ANGEL TO A NEW GENERATION OF ACTION HEROES. CHRIS WRIGHT REPORTS

SPINNING IN SPACE

When the Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner captured the world’s imagination by jumping out of a balloon capsule 39 kilometres above the Earth’s surface in October 2012, he broke a record that had stood for 52 years. He slid his boots tentatively towards a modest step outside the capsule and prepared to lean out into the hostile void. With the curve of the Earth clear in the background, he heard a reassuring voice from his capsule communicator on the ground. “Our guardian angel will take care of you,”. It belonged to the man who had set that record back in 1960, and spent much of the last 20 years trying to help others to break it. It was the voice of Joe Kittinger.

hat was it about 1960? This was the year that Don Walsh and Jacques Piccard sank 11 kilometres to the bottom of the Mariana Trench in Trieste, a steel ball held together with glue. It was a year before Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space, the beginning of a decade that would see men walking on the moon. And in this environment, powered by the twin engines of exploration and Cold War politics — in this era in which anything could be done if you tried hard enough and should be attempted anyway just to see what happened — Joe Kittinger put himself in an open gondola beneath a cavernous helium balloon, drifted more than 31 kilometres into the sky — so high, in fact, that one can’t really talk of a sky, more a stratosphere — and stepped off the side with a parachute. The will and the ability to do such a thing is one of the interesting things about Kittinger. The rest of his life, which would include a year as a prisoner of war in the notorious Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam, a solo transatlantic balloon flight and a postretirement career as a skywriting stunt pilot, is another. But perhaps what’s most remarkable of all is the idea that, having made your mark in history, you then spend decades trying to subjugate it to somebody else’s achievement, urging them to do better.

BORN AVIATOR

Today, Joe Kittinger lives in the pleasant Orlando suburb of Altamonte Springs, in 64 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

a house surrounded by immaculate green lawns not far from one of the countless lakes that dot central Florida, in the United States. A mighty Stars and Stripes flag hangs from a pole by the front door. He’s not at all far from where he grew up on the St Johns River, and that’s not such a surprise, partly because of the agreeable Florida weather, but more because his childhood here made him the man he became. It’s a long time ago now, he’s 85 years old, but he hasn’t forgotten what childhood gave him. “I was very fortunate,” he says, settling into a deep sofa. “My father loved to fish and hunt. We had a houseboat out on the river and I spent a great deal of time out on the water. Just a wonderful upbringing. And it gave me a feeling of self-confidence, that I could take care of myself in any environment, that I wasn’t afraid of nature or of living out on the land.” The slow-moving waterways of his youth sound idyllic, a childhood of stews and steel guitars and the sounds of clinking beer bottles from a riverside juke joint, together with a sense of unsupervised bravado that kids just wouldn’t be allowed to be exposed to today. He would navigate the hidden channels at night in a duck boat, ferrying beer to fisherman or shining spotlights to attract and catch alligators, revelling in the joy of local knowledge, of secret ways and places, that so appeal to a child. But it would be the air, not the water, that would prove to be his calling. “Right off the bat as a young boy I wanted to be an aviator,” he says. “I had no Plan B. There was only Plan A.” He was not old enough for World War II combat, but joined the recently established US Air Force in 1949. He was fortunate to get a role at all: after the war, he says, 90 percent of the people who had been in the air corps were discharged, so there was very little demand for new pilots. He remembers, “I was lucky. I was there at the right place at the right time.” That could be the story of his life right there, because the pivotal moments of his life have been defined by being in the right place, and then grabbing an opportunity before it passed by. He spent time in Germany, Italy, Libya and Denmark, becoming a skilled test pilot along the way, but the assignment that would change his life came when he was sent back to the US in 1953 and joined the Fighter Test Section at Holloman Air Force Base in Alamogordo, New Mexico. Here, he heard about a place called the Aerospace Medical Laboratory and in particular its colourful colonel and

CAPTURED BY AN AUTOMATIC CAMERA IN THE GONDOLA, THIS IMAGE IMMORTALISES THE SIGHT OF KITTINGER JUST AFTER HE LET HIMSELF FALL FROM THE EXCELSIOR GONDOLA RIGHT PRIOR TO TAKING OFF ON THE MANHIGH FLIGHT ON JUNE 2, 1957, KITTINGER, CLAD IN A HELMET AND PRESSURE SUIT, CHECKS THE EQUIPMENT INSIDE THE CAPSULE-LIKE GONDOLA

SPINNING IN SPACE

OUT TO THE EDGE

Stapp’s next project was called Manhigh, and this time Kittinger would be the pilot. The idea was simple: to raise a normal human being above 99 percent of the Earth’s atmosphere in order to create an environment that largely represented space, and then leave him up there for a day to see what it did to the body. Although the project officer and brain behind the system was a man called Dr David Simons, Kittinger was assigned to take the capsule up first on a test run. In preparation, he first had to become a rated parachutist and a licensed balloon pilot, both of which captivated him. He tested out pioneering pressure suits — “it felt as if I was wearing an octopus” — and the capsule was developed with a mixture of cutting-edge technology and simple intuition, using a 13.6-kilogram chunk of dry ice as a cooling system under the biggest balloon ever made, manufactured by a crew of young women who worked in stockinged feet and had to have fingernail checks each morning in case they punctured it. An early test flight was loaded with guinea pigs in little frame helmets. The first flight, on June 2, 1957, looked like it was doomed. First, the VHF radio failed; he could hear his ground crew but they couldn’t hear him. He resorted to Morse code: NO SWEAT. At 40,000 feet (12.2 kilometres), he noticed half his oxygen had already gone, far more than should have been the case. He didn’t abort, and headed up, hitting a jet stream, which knocked the capsule over almost 90 degrees.

PHOTOS: USAF/GETTY IMAGES (MAIN); CORBIS (FAR LEFT)

medical doctor, Dr John Paul Stapp, whom Kittinger would later describe as “not only one of the smartest, but quite possibly the bravest man in the United States Air Force”. One day Stapp called for a volunteer for a project on zero gravity, and Kittinger put up his hand. Only after being accepted did he realise that absolutely nobody else in the room had raised their hand. He grins. “Many a time they would ask for volunteers and I’d put my hand up and look around and I was the only one,” he says. “I just was always looking for a different challenge, something new, and I made a career out of volunteering for special, oneoff assignments.” Stapp was considered something of a maverick mad genius, and was, Kittinger says, an early evangelist for the idea of space travel. Stapp’s focus was how humans would be able to perform in a weightless, zero-gravity environment. Early tests were simple: putting a plane into a huge parabolic arc, the top of which would allow up to 20 seconds of effective weightlessness. Kittinger, as a pilot, would monitor this using a golf ball tied to a piece of string hung from the plane’s rear view mirror: when it floated, he would know they had achieved zero gravity. Then, Stapp announced a plan to send a sled down a track powered by nine rockets, at the end of which it would go from roughly Mach 1 (340 metres per second) to a full stop in about a second. He asked Kittinger to provide aerial photographic documentation, which meant being at the start line at exactly 350 miles per hour (560 kilometres per hour) when Stapp hit the switch. It took Kittinger weeks of practice to get the timing right, but only on the day of the run did he become aware that Stapp intended to be on the sled at the time. The logic of doing so was to determine whether pilot bailout at supersonic speed was survivable. There was, he recalls, “an honest difference of opinion among the medical staff of Holloman about whether it would kill him or not.” Stapp survived 41 negative g’s (41 times standard gravity, in the opposite direction); the Air Force had previously insisted that 18g’s was the limit of human tolerance. When Kittinger saw Stapp, all the blood vessels in his eyes had burst, but he was otherwise in reasonable condition. Stapp gained enormous respect from Kittinger as a man who wouldn’t ask anyone to do something he wasn’t willing to do himself.

65 AUGUST 2014

The balloon survived. At 96,000 feet (over 29 kilometres), Kittinger enjoyed the exceptional rarity of a view that nobody else had ever had the leisure to appreciate, “that no living creature had ever enjoyed.” He later wrote, “A handful of rocket-plane pilots had arced up this high, but only for an instant.” He could still see blue sky in a band along the horizon, but if he let his eyes drift up, the blue darkened to indigo and “an almost indescribable black. It was the darkest thing I’d ever seen. Blacker than ink.” Yet the sun was shining. “I was able to sit there, run my eyes along the horizon, and see the curvature of the Earth. It occurred to me that I was the first man to leave Earth’s atmosphere for any significant duration.” He realised “that I was in a very different realm. Space. I had become the first astronaut.”

AS HE LIFTED HIS EYES THE BLUE OF THE HORIZON TURNED INTO AN INDESCRIBABLE BLACK. IT THEN OCCURRED TO HIM THAT HE WAS IN A DIFFERENT REALM. HE WAS IN SPACE.

66 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

EVEN HIGHER

TOP AFTER MANHIGH, KITTINGER (ABOVE) ALMOST DIED WHEN THE F-100 SUPER SABRE PLANE (SIMILAR TO THE ONE PICTURED) HE WAS FLYING CRASHED AND HE WAS FORCED TO EJECT. FORTUNATELY, HE SURVIVED, BUT THE INCIDENT WAS IN HIS THOUGHTS WHEN STAPP CALLED TO INVITE HIM TO WORK ON EXCELSIOR

Three months after his Manhigh flight, Kittinger was flying an F-100 Super Sabre from Holloman and suffered a series of catastrophic failures, forcing him to eject, although far too low. By fluke, he didn’t die, the parachute inflating and swinging just once before he hit the ground. He had the moment very much in mind a month later when Stapp called and asked him to help work on an emergency escape system in Ohio. Having just had his life saved by such a system, Kittinger thought it was fate, and accepted the new challenge. The essence of the project was designing an ejection and parachute system that would keep an aviator properly aligned falling from very high altitude or at very high speed — no matter how badly they were

PHOTOS: USAF (MAIN, BOTTOM)

That’s not a claim you’ll find backed up in any textbook; received wisdom has it that Yuri Gagarin would become the first man in space four years later, when his Vostok 1 flight took him to a peak altitude of 327 kilometres, more than 10 times as high as Kittinger that day. Today, convention has it that space begins at an altitude of 100 kilometres above sea level, known as the Kármán line, while NASA and several other US agencies award astronaut wings at an altitude of 50 miles (80 kilometres). Are they wrong, I ask? Should you be recognised as the first in space? “I should be,” he says. “But NASA were very profound in their publicity and their media, and they didn’t want to recognise anything anybody else had done.” They weren’t about to recognise Kittinger being there. “They wanted people to think everything to do with the space programme originated with NASA. And that’s not so.” With the test flight complete, two months later a modified craft would take Simons up for 32 hours to a peak of 101,500 feet (30.9 kilometres), though by then,

Kittinger had been kicked from the project after irritating Simons on the first flight by ignoring his frantic requests to bring his gondola back down and messaging, “Come up and get me.” This didn't matter to Kittinger; there were other adventures out there.

SPINNING IN SPACE

A PEEK INSIDE THE MANHIGH GONDOLA

spinning and even if they were unconscious. They would test it from balloons — in an open gondola, “making the trip to the edge of space in an open basket,” he wrote — with a target altitude of 100,000 feet (30.5 kilometres). The project was code-named Excelsior, which has its roots in a Latin word meaning “ever higher”. The first test flight, on November 15, 1959, was almost a disaster. The faceplate fogged up for much of the ascent so he could not see his instruments, and the helmet appeared to be trying to work itself free. If it had, and the pressure seal had broken, Kittinger would have died almost instantly. Next, by the time his faceplate cleared enough to read the instruments, he had already passed his planned jump altitude. Then — in hindsight, this is darkly funny — he prepared to jump and found his backside was wedged in his styrofoam seat. It took him so long to pull himself free that he had passed 76,000 feet (23 kilometres) by the time he was ready to jump, almost five kilometres higher than intended. He jumped, and even though everything about this experience was new — no

atmosphere, so no wind and no sensation of speed — he could tell something was wrong. His stabilisation 'chute had not deployed properly and he was spinning out of control, eventually about 120 times a minute. He passed out. The next thing he knew, he was underneath his reserve 'chute about 3,000 feet (900 metres) above the desert floor. It would take some time to work out what had happened: in wiggling his way out of the seat he had accidentally activated a jump timer, which in turn meant that his stabilisation 'chute had deployed much earlier than it was meant to, and curled around his neck. He had fallen unconscious by the time his main 'chute deployed, and when it did, it got wrapped around the first one, and neither would work. A third 'chute had been designed to deploy if the jumper did not override it, and since Kittinger was unconscious, it deployed, tangling with the other 'chutes. But a genius on Kittinger’s team called Francis Beaupre had somehow foreseen exactly this possibility and designed the 'chutes with differentweighted lines so that if the parachute was fouled, some lines would snap and the

PHOTO PANEL FIRE EXTINGUISHER LIGHT CHEMICALLY TREATED AIR OXYGEN CONTROL PANEL EMERGENCY OXYGEN CONTROL SPOT PHOTOMETER BATTERY PACK VHF RADIO TELEGRAPH KEY EMERGENCY OXYGEN SUPPLY BOTTLE OXYGEN CONVERTER 12-VOLT EMERGENCY BATTERY FLOOR 24-VOLT COMMUNICATIONS BATTERY FLOOR DRINKING WATER SUPPLY RADIO HF RECEIVER COLD AIR SUPPLY ELECTRICAL CONTROL PANEL ADJUSTABLE LIGHT THERMOSTAT CAMERA 67 AUGUST 2014

TO ACHIEVE THE PROJECTS' AIMS, KITTINGER AND HIS TEAM MEMBERS FIRST HAD TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET HIM SAFELY TO THE RIGHT ALTITUDE. THE SOLUTION? BALLOONS RIGHT KITTINGER DURING THE THIRD EXCELSIOR ASCENT. HE CARRIED WITH HIM OXYGEN BOTTLES, MEASURING INSTRUMENTS, AND THE PARACHUTE SYSTEM HIS TEAM HAD INVENTED

PHOTOS (CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN): CORBIS; USAF SIDEBAR: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS (ALBERT BERRY)

BELOW RIGHT EVEN WITH PHOTOGRAPHIC EVIDENCE, IT'S RATHER DIFFICULT TO GRASP THE SHEER SCALE OF THE ALTITUDE FROM WHICH KITTINGER JUMPED

WHAT GOES UP, MUST COME DOWN

PARACHUTES, PITFALLS AND BALLOONS THROUGHOUT HISTORY

A TRAGIC FIRST

GUTSY GARNERIN

THE IRISH TOWN OF TULLAMORE SAW WHAT SOME CALL THE FIRST AIR DISASTER IN HISTORY. THE TOWN SHIELD DEPICTS A PHOENIX RISING FROM THE ASHES — IN MEMORY OF THE DAY A BALLOON CRASH BURNED DOWN AN ESTIMATED 100 HOUSES

THE WORLD’S FIRST RECORDED SUCCESSFUL PARACHUTIST WAS ANDRE-JACQUES GARNERIN, WHOSE BASKET CLIMBED ALMOST 1,000 METRES ABOVE PARIS, FRANCE. HE THEN PLUMMETED TO EARTH WITH A SEVEN-METRE SILK PARACHUTE BILLOWING ABOVE HIM. HE SURVIVED THE HISTORIC ATTEMPT AND SEVERAL OTHERS

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reserve 'chute would be freed to open properly. It did, and this saved Kittinger’s life. “I’m only here,” he says today, “because Francis Beaupre anticipated everything.” But even in this near-death experience he could see a silver lining. “Even though we hadn’t intended it, Excelsior had proved exactly why we needed a stabilisation 'chute system.” It is a classic test pilot mentality: that when something goes wrong, even almost fatally wrong, it’s still worthwhile because you learn from it. DCM has interviewed several people like Kittinger over the years — US Navy submersible pioneer Don Walsh, legendary test pilot Chuck Yeager, numerous astronauts — and one thing they have in common is that they hate to be described as daredevils. Instead, they take enormous pride in the rigorous due diligence they conduct, and the scrupulous testing of their equipment. “Absolutely,” he says when I put this to him. “I did not want to give the impression I was a daredevil, because I wasn’t. Everything I did, I had confidence I was going to live through it or I wouldn’t have done it. I love life,” he emphasises. “It takes three things to do a project like that: it takes confidence in your equipment, confidence in your team, and confidence in yourself. And that’s a common denominator for any new exciting adventure or experiment. Walsh had it. Yeager had it. Armstrong had it. They went prepared, mentally and physically, or they wouldn’t have done it,” he asserts. “We used to do a test, then go and have a beer and talk about ‘what if’,” he says. “What if this happens? What if? And in one of those what if sessions, Beaupre came up with this emergency parachute system that saved my life. Everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, but I was saved, because we anticipated it.” A month later, from the wonderfully named New Mexico town of Truth or

Consequences, they tried again, flawlessly. It was time for the big day: the 100,000-foot (30.5-kilometre) jump.

READY TO FLY

On August 16, 1960, Kittinger climbed into the gondola on the bed of a truck from which the balloon would launch. On the base of the gondola, somebody had attached a cheeky sign: THIS IS THE HIGHEST STEP IN THE WORLD. Kittinger’s flight should actually never have taken off; their US Air Force meteorologist had detected a changing weather pattern and was on his way to the launch site to ground the flight when Kittinger left the ground. And, once the balloon did get aloft, there was another problem: one of the gloves on his pressure suit had not inflated. But he did not abort, and I can’t help but put this to him in the face of what he said about not being a daredevil. You made a conscious decision to press on, yet you risked permanent damage to your hand? “There was a risk,” he acknowledges. “Because no one had ever gone up as high or in an altitude chamber with pressures down to what I was going to be looking at with an unprotected hand or foot. I had no idea if I was going to survive with that hand unpressurised.” But he made a choice. He knew if he radioed the ground, they would abort the flight; he also knew that the higher-ups would be unlikely to approve another flight. Also, beneath the pressure suit glove he was wearing a tight silk glove, and he reasoned that these two gloves in combination would limit how much his hand could possibly swell. “If it had been completely exposed to the environment, that would not be very good because blood boils,” he says, matter-of-factly. And so, though he could no longer use his hand at all, he made his choice. “I really felt it was important that I do the job and I took a

calculated risk that I would survive with my hand unpressurised.” By 7am he had reached the balloon’s equilibrium: 102,800 feet (31.3 kilometres). While there, in order to get as close as possible to the planned landing target, he was required to drift for 11 minutes, which meant, at last, he could enjoy the view. “Those 11 minutes,” he says, “were the only time I had in the whole flight that I could look out and enjoy the environment and watch it. Eleven minutes just sitting there with the panorama right in front of me, because the door was open.”

THIS IS A CLASSIC TEST PILOT MENTALITY: WHEN SOMETHING GOES WRONG, EVEN ALMOST FATALLY WRONG, IT’S STILL WORTHWHILE BECAUSE YOU LEARN FROM IT He looked to the horizon and saw not the edge of planet Earth but the transition from the stratosphere to the familiar robin’s egg blue of the troposphere. He could see the sun, brighter than it had ever appeared, against the ebony backdrop of deep space. “Nothing is familiar where I am. Nothing seems real at all.” For years afterwards, people will ask if he was scared. He will tell them: no, it was the quickest way down. “I suddenly had a powerful and unfamiliar sense of my own remoteness from everything I cherished in life,” he wrote. Ninety-nine percent of the atmosphere was below him. Stapp had once told him to think of it as being enveloped in cyanide: “swimming in an invisible poison that would kill you in seconds”.

PLANE SAILING

AU REVOIR, EIFFEL TOWER

US ARMY CAPTAIN ALBERT BERRY (PICTURED RIGHT) BECAME THE FIRST PERSON TO SUCCESSFULLY SAY SAYONARA (GOODBYE) TO AN AIRPLANE AND LAND SAFELY ON THE GROUND UNDER PARACHUTE POWER. HE PLUMMETED 450 METRES FROM A BIPLANE OVER MISSOURI, IN THE UNITED STATES

WHEN FRANZ REICHELT JUMPED OFF A PLATFORM OF THE PARISIAN LANDMARK CLAD IN WHAT LOOKED LIKE A PICNIC BLANKET, HE WAS CONVINCED HIS PRIMITIVE PARACHUTE WOULD DEPOSIT HIM GENTLY ON THE GROUND. UNFORTUNATELY, VIDEO FOOTAGE OF THE ENDEAVOUR, WHICH CAN BE SEEN ON YOUTUBE, PROVED HIM WRONG — IN A FATAL WAY

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His ground crew urged him to say something for posterity. He looked for words and found only one appropriate: hostile. So he said, “Looking out over a very beautiful, beautiful world. A hostile sky. As you sit here, you realise man will never conquer space. He will learn to live with it, but never conquer it.”

MAIN PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES SIDEBAR: RED BULL MEDIA HOUSE (THE REDEEMER); GOTHMEISTER IMAGING (IGGY POP)

“AS YOU SIT HERE, YOU REALISE MAN WILL NEVER CONQUER SPACE. HE WILL LEARN TO LIVE WITH IT, BUT NEVER CONQUER IT” He was 80,000 feet (24 kilometres) above the clouds below, and the New Mexico desert floor was another 20,000 (six kilometres) under that. He could see cities in the distance, and it occurred to him that from that high, what he was seeing was a map. He worked his way through his checklist without his useless right hand, unplugged the various monitoring systems connected to his suit and helmet, stood up — this time without getting wedged in his seat — and turned on the cameras. Putting his toes over the edge, he said, “Lord, take care of me now.” He stepped off the platform. If you watch the video of his jump, his height above the Earth is apparent but is also meaningless, incalculable. You can see his justification in believing himself to be an astronaut, to have visited space. Because the void he jumped into doesn’t look like a sky, it is but a nothing, an emptiness. There is audio enabled, but nothing to hear: no wind to offer roaring resistance, nothing to indicate speed. There was a camera on his helmet too, and as he spins, different views come in and out

of shot: distant clouds, the curve of the Earth, the infinite blackness of space, the blinding starburst of the sun. Accelerating fast, gaining 35 kilometres per hour of speed each second, he rolled and looked up at the brilliant white balloon. He was in free fall for 16 seconds before a five-foot (1.5-metre) stabilisation 'chute opened, allowing him to arrest the spinning to give him control, but scarcely slowing his pace: at 90,000 feet (27 kilometres) he was moving at more than 965 kilometres per hour. But he could feel nothing, no ripple of fabric or tension on the pressure suit, no visual reference. He says he felt like he was just spinning in space, not falling. Then, a problem. He couldn’t breathe. His throat tightened as if constricted. He imagined fingers digging into his windpipe. He became light-headed. But then, within a minute, the pressure released. Seventy thousand feet. Sixty thousand. It was minus 70 degrees Celsius. Fifty thousand feet. And here, at the inexact boundary of the stratosphere and troposphere, he finally began to feel density in the atmosphere, and to get some sense of resistance and speed. On the video, the roar of air rushing past him is deafening, frightening, but to Kittinger it meant reassurance. “The sensation was wonderfully welcome.” He could feel himself slowing, to 400 kilometres per hour. At 20,000 feet he hit the clouds. He pulled up his knees reflexively as if to brace for impact, though what he experienced instead was darkness. Then, at 17,000 feet (five kilometres), after four minutes and 36 seconds of free fall, the main 'chute opened. He was through the cloud, into the light, and heading home. On the tape, he shouts, “Ahhhh, boy! Lord, thank you for protecting me during that long fall.”

KITTINGER BEING HELPED OUT OF HIS PRESSURISED SUIT AFTER MAKING THE 31-KILOMETRE JUMP FROM EXCELSIOR III OVER NEW MEXICO, IN THE UNITED STATES, ON AUGUST 16, 1960

WHAT GOES UP, MUST COME DOWN PARACHUTES AND TULIPS

ROCK ON

MARKET GARDEN WAS THE LARGEST AIRBORNE OPERATION IN MILITARY HISTORY. IT SOUGHT TO END WORLD WAR II BY CHRISTMAS OF THAT YEAR. NEARLY 35,000 ALLIED TROOPS DROPPED FROM THE SKY OVER HOLLAND, ACCOMPANIED BY 1,545 TROOP CARRIERS, 478 GLIDERS AND 1,130 FIGHTER AIRCRAFT — IN DAYLIGHT. UNFORTUNATELY, THE OBJECTIVE TO CROSS THE RHINE RIVER INTO GERMANY WAS NOT ACHIEVED

ALTHOUGH NOT HIGH-ALTITUDE, ROCKER IGGY POP IS CREDITED WITH POPULARISING THE STAGE DIVE. SINCE THE PUNK ROCK FRONTMAN FOR THE STOOGES BEGAN LEAPING INTO CROWDS, THE MOVE HAS BECOME AN ICONIC SYMBOL OF ABANDONED MUSICAL FREEDOM-SEEKING

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He hit the ground hard, 13 minutes and 45 seconds after leaving the gondola. His crew landed nearby in a helicopter. There is footage of them tending to him, Kittinger grinning with what look like swollen eyes while a doctor examines his hand; in the next shot, he’s bare-chested and lighting a cigarette. His hand, after some early alarm, was back to normal within hours. Talking about it today, Kittinger isn’t particularly poetic about the jump itself, having been speaking about it for 50 years, but he does have strong feelings about its legacy, and in particular in justifying it as a scientific achievement rather than just a record-breaking stunt. “The work we did on Excelsior was directed towards escape from high altitude, and we developed a small five-foot (1.5-metre) diameter drogue 'chute that we used to get down. That system is still being used today,” he says. “Every ejection system in the world uses a small drogue 'chute for stabilisation. What we developed in 1959 and 1960 is still saving lives.”

KEPT CAPTIVE

LIFE-SAVING GAS MIXTURE NASA might have learned more from Manhigh. Kittinger and his team carried out pioneering work on a multi-gas cabin atmosphere mixing helium with oxygen, whereas NASA, in the Apollo capsules, insisted on highly flammable pure oxygen. Kittinger recalls recommending that NASA use Manhigh’s research, but that it refused; the pure oxygen environment was one of the contributors to the Apollo 1 launch pad fire that killed three astronauts, two of them his friends.

With Excelsior Excelsior, the defining event of Kittinger’s biography was written. But the rest of his life has been vividly active too. After Excelsior Excelsior, he was involved in a project to put a telescope up in a balloon in order to get through the haze of the atmosphere — a forerunner of the Hubble space telescope. Then he turned to combat, serving in Vietnam. He conducted three tours of duty, the last of them in command of the famed 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron — the so-called Triple Nickel, tasked with shooting down MiG fighter jets. Kittinger did shoot one down, but then his luck ran out. On May 11, 1972, 17 days before the end of the third and final tour of duty, and on his 483rd combat mission, his plane was hit by a missile and he ejected at more than Mach 1. He survived the wrenching torsion

JUMPING FROM THE REDEEMER

SCRAPING THE SKY

BEFORE HE CONQUERED LOW-ALTITUDE SPACE, FELIX BAUMGARTNER ACHIEVED THE LOWEST EVER BASE JUMP, LEAPING FROM A HEIGHT OF JUST 29 METRES, FROM THE CHRIST THE REDEEMER STATUE IN RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL. WITH VERY LITTLE TIME FOR HIS PARACHUTE TO OPEN, THE STAKES WERE SKY-HIGH

AS DAWN BROKE IN DUBAI, NOT ONE BUT TWO MEN LEAPT OFF THE TALLEST MAN-MADE STRUCTURE ON EARTH, THE BURJ KHALIFA. THEY BOTH MADE IT TO THE GROUND SAFELY. HAVING SURVIVED THEIR ILLEGAL ENDEAVOUR, ONE OF THEM DECIDED TO TRY IT AGAIN SOME DAYS LATER, AND WAS CAPTURED AND DETAINED IN DUBAI FOR THREE MONTHS

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of ejection; the man in the back seat, William “Tiny” Reich, did not, though Kittinger would not learn this for some time. Landing in a rice field 48 kilometres outside Hanoi, he was captured and taken to the notorious Hòa Lò, the Hanoi Hilton, where he would spend almost a year. Kittinger was tortured in captivity, and as the most senior officer in his part of the camp, was made the commander of his colleagues, the Americans believing very strongly in preserving a military structure during incarceration. “I had never desired any command position less,” he wrote later, “but I kept this feeling to myself. It was an awesome responsibility, and it weighed on me from the first moment.” Today, he tells DCM, “It was a very difficult year, and the happiest day of my life was the day I was released as a prisoner of war.” But there was a bright side. “While I was in solitary confinement, I planned how to fly around the world solo in a balloon,” he says. “I designed the capsule, the balloon, the communications, the team; that’s how I kept my mind engaged.” When he got out, it would take many years to move this ambition along, but in 1984 he set off on an attempt to become the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic in a balloon. Today, he paints this as a method of gaining attention and sponsorship for a round-the-world flight, a mere stepping stone, but it was still an exceptionally daring mission. His flight plan, required by the Canadian authorities who would be in charge of any rescue mission that might be required, looked like this:

Point of Departure: Caribou, Maine Destination: Unknown Route of flight: Unknown Duration of flight: Unknown Altitude: Unknown Fuel on board: Zero

Characteristically, the trip wasn’t all smooth; his stove caught fire on the first full day and had to be thrown overboard, and the gondola was rattled by Concorde’s sonic boom leading Kittinger to believe his balloon had exploded. It was constantly freezing, touching minus 28 degrees Celsius at one point, and he broke his foot falling out of the gondola upon landing. But he made it, all the way from Maine in the United States to Italy after four days aloft. He never gave up on the idea of a solo round-the-world flight — the last great ballooning prize — but his friend Steve Fossett beat him to it. “All I could do,” Kittinger says, “was salute him.” Along the way, other curious ventures

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ABOVE EVEN AS A YOUNG MAN PREPPING FOR HIS FIRST PARACHUTE JUMP, KITTINGER WAS ALWAYS SEEKING UNUSUAL CHALLENGES. HIS RECOLLECTION OF HOW HE MET STAPP IS A CLEAR TESTIMONY FAR RIGHT KITTINGER BEING WELCOMED HOME AFTER A YEAR AS A PRISONER OF WAR IN THE NOTORIOUS HANOI HILTON RIGHT YOU WOULDN'T THINK THAT A RETIRED US AIR FORCE PILOT WOULD TURN TO SKYWRITING, BUT KITTINGER (PICTURED RIGHT) SEEMED TO ENJOY IT

SPINNING IN SPACE

came and went. After leaving the Air Force he worked in the private sector for a while but got bored, and so took a far less wellpaid job as a skywriter and banner-tower for Rosie O’Grady’s Flying Circus in Florida. Skywriting is “trickier than it looks,” he says, and “Rosie O’Grady’s” turns out to be a particularly challenging thing to write. I imagine the apostrophes would be the tough bit, but he says that the real challenge is a perfectly rounded “O”. He frequently entered, and sometimes won, an annual gas balloon race known as the Gordon Bennett Cup. And, with his second wife Sherry, he spent several years doing something called barnstorming. This is a tradition of flying from town to town in old biplanes and offering people flights. They bought a plane, named it Stanley, and barnstormed their way across the United States, Sherry acting as the roustabout, collecting money and loading passengers in and out of the aircraft. Kittinger clearly had found his soulmate, and appreciated it. “I had a blast. I always had a blast if I was flying.” All told, they would fly about 10,000 people.

PHOTOS: USAF

NOT SLOWING DOWN

He has not visibly calmed. In his 80th year, having been given a hunting permit to control Florida’s alligator population, he and a friend caught and wrestled a 3.6-metre alligator from the St Johns River. “I was back where I’d started,” he quips. But one other thing happened along the way. Every year from 1960, somebody would contact Kittinger saying they intended to break his record. “Most of these people,” he says, “were just glory seekers or daredevils, but there have been a few serious projects.” Some he was not keen to be associated with, and they ended in disaster. The skydiver and adventurer Nicholas Piantanida was one example. “That guy called me and it was very obvious he was a wise-ass,” Kittinger recalls. “He calls me and says, ‘I’m Nick Piantanida, I’m going to break your record’. I said, well, good luck. He said, ‘No, you don’t understand. I want you to help me.’” Kittinger, busy with other things, did not have time to help, and in any case could see problems. “I said, ‘What do you know about pressure suits?’ He said, ‘Nothing, but if you can wear one, I can wear one.’ What do you know about how hostile it is? He said, ‘I don’t care, if you did it, I can do it.’” Piantanida then leaned on his union,

who in turn leaned on a senator, who leaned on a general, who called Kittinger ordering him to get involved in the project; Kittinger advised him the Air Force should stay away, which it eventually did. Piantanida went on to fly a manned balloon to 123,500 feet (37.6 kilometres), a record, in February 1966, but three months later he tried to do the same thing and then jump, only for his face mask to depressurise. Piantanida landed in a coma, and died four months later. “The poor guy had a crappy team and a crappy attitude. He was a smart-ass, and he ended up dying and leaving a wife and three kids,” Kittinger says. “It was a tragedy, a horrible tragedy. But he represented the types of people that tried to get me involved, and he demonstrated what happens if you don’t have the right team, the right approach and the right safety.”

“EVERY EJECTION SYSTEM IN THE WORLD USES A SMALL DROGUE ‘CHUTE FOR STABILISATION. WHAT WE DEVELOPED IN 1959 AND 1960 IS STILL SAVING LIVES” He was, though, willing to help others who appeared to have the right approach. In the early 1990s he worked for almost a year with Charles “Nish” Bruce, a highaltitude military parachutist who had been the first special forces soldier to parachute into the South Atlantic at the start of the Falklands War. Bruce was on a project backed by philanthropist Loel Guinness to jump from 130,000 feet (39.6 kilometres). Doubts about Bruce’s persistent failure to take a physical led Guinness to axe the project, and Kittinger agreed. “I always felt very uncomfortable with Nish, because he wouldn’t take a physical and he smoked so bad,” he says. “But it could have been done, and I would have worked on it.” It turned out later that there were bigger problems than the smoking; Bruce suffered bouts of mental illness in the years after the project was abandoned, and in 2002 jumped out of a Cessna 1.5 kilometres above Oxfordshire in England — without a parachute. These tragedies might have convinced Kittinger that it was better not to put 73 AUGUST 2014

ALIENS, HISTORY AND DOOMED AIRCRAFT

SORRY, SMITHSONIAN

If you’re wondering what happened to the gondola from Excelsior, it came down and was requested by the Smithsonian for its museum. The team cleaned and painted the gondola, and put it on a C-123 aircraft — which crashed. The gondola survived that, and was patched up again. It was then put in a warehouse awaiting transport to Washington — except that the building burned down. “I guess we’d exhausted all the gondola’s good luck on the project,” Kittinger says wryly. “The Smithsonian never received its exhibit.”

MANHIGH AND ROSWELL

As with all testing, there were mishaps on the Manhigh preparations, and on one routine balloon training flight from Holloman the gondola flipped upon landing, with the lip ending up on the head of a colleague, Dan Fulgham. He was wearing a helmet, which saved him, but all the blood vessels in his scalp ruptured and his head swelled up like a basketball. “It was grotesque. You could barely see his nose.” This would have been bad enough at the best of times, but it happened near Roswell, New Mexico, the US town that will forever be connected with the supposed crash-landing of an alien spacecraft in 1947. Kittinger reckons that the sight of Fulgham with his aliensized head, along with the wreckage of a high-altitude balloon, got wrapped up in the legend of the 1947 incident and grew from there over the years. 74 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

anyone into harm’s way by assisting them with a record attempt; after all, the fact that the record stood for 52 years shows just how difficult it was to break. “If it was easy, it would have been broken a long time ago,” he says. But a couple of years after Kittinger had pulled the plug on the barnstorming and settled into proper retirement, he heard of someone new: Felix Baumgartner. Kittinger was introduced to the project when he was contacted by David Clark, president of a company of the same name that makes pressure suits, and invited to attend a briefing on a new Red Bullsponsored project called Stratos. The idea was to take a man higher than ever before and have him jump, not only beating Kittinger’s record but also putting a man through the speed of sound in free fall.

“THEY WERE INTERESTED IN THE SAFETY OF THE JUMPER. THAT WAS PARAMOUNT: I WAS NOT GOING TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH ANYTHING THAT WAS GOING TO GET SOMEONE KILLED” Kittinger had been cynical of most ideas like this in the past. “Ninety-nine percent of them had not had any idea of the hostile environment that they were going to,” he says. They didn’t share the discipline of the military test pilot: small incremental steps, learning from every one. But when he heard Red Bull technical project director Art Thompson speak, he was impressed. “It was obvious to me they were interested in the safety of the jumper. That was paramount: I was not going to be associated with anything that was going to get somebody killed.” Red Bull asked if he was interested in joining, and Kittinger set a number of conditions, each of which he expected to be a deal-breaker. First, he said there had to be three jumps. Then he said there had to be two balloons at every jump, “because if the balloon gets destroyed, I don’t want to have 200 people waiting six months to build another one.” And the third concerned Baumgartner. “Felix was a BASE-jumper. I said my third condition

TOP KITTINGER GUIDED THE PROJECT AND BAUMGARTNER (PICTURED LEFT) ACTUALLY TOOK THE MOMENTOUS STEP. ALSO KEY TO THE JUMP WERE RED BULL'S TECHNICAL DIRECTOR ART THOMPSON AND MEDICAL DIRECTOR JON CLARK (ABOVE, PICTURED LEFT AND RIGHT, RESPECTIVELY)

SPINNING IN SPACE

PHOTOS: RED BULL MEDIA HOUSE (MAIN AND FAR RIGHT), USAF (MANHIGH GONDOLA)

DOWN-TOEARTH ADVICE Thanks to improvements in technology, when Baumgartner made his record jump in October 2012, his team was watching events unfold live, as they happened. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Kittinger said, "It was déjà vu for me. I knew exactly what Felix was thinking and, through the magic of a video camera, I was looking right at him." And encouragement aside, Kittinger shared some supremely practical advice too, such as: "Be sure to duck your head real low as you go out the door." is Felix can no longer do BASE jumps.” They agreed to all three. After that, Kittinger immersed himself in Stratos. “I worked on all aspects of the mission, because I had knowledge of it,” he says. “No one on the team had ever made a stratospheric balloon flight, or had ever seen one.” He helped make decisions on the balloons and techniques that were used, and was very busy for five years. “I designed the life support systems, the balloons; I worked on the parachutes, the pressure suits.” He brought the sense of test-pilot methodical rigour from his old days. “I had a book on Felix’s project with every contingency that could happen. It was close to eight centimetres thick.” It was titled “What If”.

SHARED GLORIES

But why devote so much time and effort to erasing your own mark in history? “The reason was because we were going to make a contribution,” he explains. It was to help prove the next generation of pressure suits, to make measurements of physiology that had never been attempted, and of course to set a record. “It gave me an opportunity to really get involved in an interesting project,” he says, adding, “And records are made to be broken. I was amazed it took 52 years.” There were many challenges along the way. “Almost everything Felix had done was a one-man show. That was a disadvantage, because you have to work as a team,” he notes. One big problem came when Baumgartner developed a fear

of his pressure suit, and despite having jumped in it 50 times, suddenly abandoned the project days before a decompression chamber test. “This was devastating,” Kittinger recalls, “because we had worked for two and a half years. He said he couldn’t do it, and he got in the airplane and went home. There went the whole programme.” They got past that, finding someone else to test the capsule and in the meantime getting performance psychologists to help Baumgartner to get over his fears. Another challenge came when the final jump was about to take place: a dust storm blew up and destroyed the balloon. Kittinger, had insisted on there being a second balloon, and his prescience saved the day. He is blunt about the role Baumgartner played. “Felix never made a decision on the whole thing,” he says. “Firstly, he wasn’t an engineer. Second, he wasn’t a pilot. Third, he had never been on a team, and fourth, he spent most of his time in Austria anyway.” The team would make decisions and expect Baumgartner to accept them, which he did. Still, Baumgartner had the biggest job to do: jump. And jump he did, Kittinger in his ear the whole time, reassuring, cajoling, directing. “The happiest moment of all was when he landed on the ground and was safe,” says Kittinger. “We were just so elated, because we had accomplished what we had set out to do.” If Kittinger sounds dismissive of Baumgartner’s role, that is not the case; he is enormously complimentary, and says Baumgartner had requested Kittinger be the capsule communicator because they were comfortable with each other. But it seems clear what appealed to Kittinger: although he says he loved “helping a young man achieve his dream”, it also seems to be about being at the heart of a project, making decisions, making things happen, and doing it successfully. Mission accomplished. It is interesting, though, just how much pride it clearly gives him. At one point we ask which of the three major achievements of his life as we see it — Manhigh, the Excelsior jump, and the transatlantic balloon crossing — he is most proud of. He puts his jump at number one, but at number two, instead chooses helping Baumgartner. “It allowed me to be an engineer and go back and do what I’d done 52 years before.” And maybe that’s the real answer: Baumgartner helped him complete the circle — conquering the skies again. 75 AUGUST 2014

DECAPITATED

PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES

MONEY DECREPIT AND

MONEY MATTERS

HAS OUR SYSTEM OF MONEY BECOME FATALLY ILL? THE PAST DECADE HAS BEEN SPECIALLY BAD FOR IT. MISUSE, ABUSE AND ITS POTENTIAL TO DIVIDE US LIKE NEVER BEFORE, HAS LED MANY TO RAISE THE QUESTION. FINANCIAL JOURNALIST CHRIS WRIGHT SETS ABOUT FINDING THE LOOPHOLES IN OUR FINANCIAL SYSTEM

ut it’s not. I am in Tripoli, trying to track down the assets of the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), a sovereign wealth fund that is supposed to look after Libya’s oil wealth and invest it for the future, for the good of the people. But things just kept going wrong. First, it was the trophy investments of Saif Gaddafi, the son of dictator Muammar Gaddafi, who on a whim would 78 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

take the country’s money and put it into ventures such as Italy’s Juventus Football Club. Then it was the bankers. Goldman Sachs managed to lose almost US$1.3 billion of the LIA’s money, by putting it into complex equity derivatives, which mostly expired worthless in 2011, while the bank itself is alleged to have made US$350 million in profits. The financial crisis then rendered one investment after another useless — the French bank Société Générale is alleged to have lost the Libyans another billion dollars. Then, come the 2011 revolution, all the money was frozen by the United Nations, and it still is: US$66 billion worth of assets that should be serving a country where wages did not increase from 1982 until the recent revolution.

I have a piece of blue paper in my pocket, I’m richer than you with your red piece of paper — and if you don’t have any red or blue paper, you can’t eat? The more you look at it, you

think, clearly there is blood on the floor here. There’s been a murder — but have we killed money? Or is it money that’s killing us?

LET’S PLAY SWAPS

A thousand miles away in Britain, a seven-year-old boy is working his way through a deck of Panini World Cup football stickers in a school playground. This deck is his duplicates — his swaps, he calls them — and he is comparing what he’s got with another boy with a similar deck. “Got. Got. Got. Got. Got. Got.” It is a staccato language, clearly understood to both of them. “Got. Got. Need! Need!!” Having spotted a sticker he doesn’t have, a transaction is swiftly effected — his surplus Italy badge, for his friend’s spare Luis Suarez. This is barter in its purest form. For many years, this is where we believed the concept of money originated. Not with football stickers, of course, but with a similar principle. As societies began to evolve beyond individual selfsufficiency, if people needed something that they didn’t produce themselves, they had to find somebody who had it, and was willing to swap it for something they did produce. That’s barter. But you can imagine the inefficiencies involved. Not only did you need to find someone with exactly what you wanted — they had to want what you had got, at exactly the same time. There was of course a need for something to serve as a medium of exchange: something that everybody would recognize carried some value, and that could serve as payment. Most commonly, this role fell to gold and silver, because they lasted forever, you could bend them into the shape of a coin, carry them around, and they had a certain scarcity value. It didn’t have

PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES

Looking out from a hotel balcony in Tripoli, Libya, the sight is pristine and beautiful; not as one visualised by the news broadcasts. The sea is brilliant blue, and Libya’s coastline stretches out of sight in either direction, barely developed beyond a few miles. Here's a place with Mediterranean coastline, the size of France’s, only warmer. But unlike France, it has all the oil wealth it could need to enrich its citizens. What a lucky country this should be.

A country where corruption became not only a method of enrichment, but a necessary tool in order to survive. In this country of coastlines and oil, for all of its abundant gifts, there is no money — or at least, not for ordinary people. All of which, from your balcony, makes you think... How did this happen? How did we get to a position where a country’s natural resources, instead of making the people who live beside them healthy and wealthy and wise, have instead been subsumed by this vague vocabulary of frozen assets, derivatives, structured finance, leverage and embargo? How did our arcane system of money, with its blocks and debts and inconveniences, get in between the people and the things that they should own? And why does this so often seem to be the case? Why do some oil-rich African states keep ending up not with prosperity, but with poverty and war? Why are multimillionaire investment bankers still getting vast bonuses, when their own banks and actions pushed most of the world into recession and austerity? How did we ever get to this weird arrangement whereby if

MONEY MATTERS

to be metal: it might have been salt in Abyssinia, shells in India, tobacco in Virginia, sugar in the West Indies. The point was, something evolved to be accepted as this medium of exchange. And so, money was born.

HOW DID WE EVER GET TO THIS WEIRD ARRANGEMENT WHEREBY IF I HAVE A PIECE OF BLUE PAPER IN MY POCKET, I’M RICHER THAN YOU WITH YOUR RED PIECE — AND IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANY RED OR BLUE PAPER, YOU CAN’T EAT? Modern anthropologists though, have a problem with this theory. There is no solid evidence that barter economies ever actually existed. “Simple and intuitive though it may be, there is a drawback to the conventional theory of money,” writes author Felix Martin in Money: The Unauthorised Biography. “It is entirely false.” Or as David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years, writes: “To this day, no one has been able to locate a part of the world where the ordinary mode of economic transaction between neighbours takes the form of “I’ll give you 20 chickens for that cow.”

I OWE YOU

A BANKNOTE FROM PACIFIC ISLAND NATION, THE KINGDOM OF TONGA LEFT: THE TRIPOLI SKYLINE IN LIBYA

You might not think that this matters except as an ancient historical curiosity. But what’s interesting is that many A BANKNOTE FROM experts now believe money PACIFIC ISLAND did evolve from somewhere NATION, THE

KINGDOM OF TONGA LEFT: THE TRIPOLI SKYLINE IN SYRIA 79

AUGUST 2014

PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES (MAIN)

REASONS FOR THE SLIDE There were many reasons for the financial crisis to gather the momentum it did, though they happened in no particular order. BANKS, PARTICULARLY IN THE US, LENDING MONEY THROUGH MORTGAGES TO PEOPLE WHO WERE A HIGH CREDIT RISK (THIS IS KNOWN IN THE US AS SUB-PRIME) THE HABIT OF POOLING TOGETHER THESE RISKY MORTGAGES AND SELLING THEM ON (CDOS ARE AN EXAMPLE OF THIS) BY INVESTMENT BANKS THE INABILITY OF RATINGS AGENCIES TO UNDERSTAND COMPLEX SECURITIES, AND THE CONFLICT OF INTEREST THAT CAME FROM THEM BEING PAID BY THE BANKS THAT ISSUED THOSE SECURITIES BANKS TAKING ON EVER GREATER RISK IN AN ERA OF LOW INTEREST RATES, AND IN PARTICULAR MAKING RISKY INVESTMENTS NOT FOR OTHER PEOPLE BUT FOR THEMSELVES (KNOWN AS PROPRIETARY TRADING) BANKS NOT HAVING ENOUGH CAPITAL AS A BACK-STOP AGAINST MARKET SHOCKS ACCOUNTING RULES, WHICH REQUIRED BANKS TO REVALUE THEIR ASSETS AND ACKNOWLEDGE LOSSES THEY MIGHT NOT EVER HAVE INCURRED THE DISINTEGRATION OF TRUST BETWEEN BANKS, CAUSING THEM TO STOP SHORT-TERM LENDING TO ONE ANOTHER, THE LIFEBLOOD OF THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM TOO MUCH INTERCONNECTION OF DEBTS BETWEEN DIFFERENT COUNTERPARTIES THE SENSE OF PANIC CAUSED BY THE BANKRUPTCY OF LEHMAN BROTHERS 80 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

HEDGE YOUR BETS

Used properly, derivatives are supposed to manage risk, not increase it. This is a process known as hedging. If your fortunes are troublingly linked to one thing (like the movement in one currency against another) you can use derivatives to cancel out the risk, so you won’t really gain from currency shifts, but you won’t lose either. Today, if you buy a mutual fund that invests internationally, you can often buy hedged or unhedged versions. Hedged ones will use derivatives to take currency movements out of the picture.

— just not from where we all thought. “We did not begin with barter, discover money, and then eventually develop credit systems,” writes Graeber. “It happened precisely the other way around. What we now call virtual money came first.” Instead, where we may have really started was the idea of owing, or of debt. Money just evolved as a method of accounting for that indebtedness. More than economics, it was initially about morality. “After all, isn’t paying one’s debts what morality is supposed to be all about? Giving people what is due them,” writes Graeber. “Accepting one’s responsibilities. Fulfilling one’s obligations to others, just as one would expect them to

fulfill their obligations to you. What could be a more obvious example of shirking one’s responsibilities than reneging on a promise, or refusing to pay a debt?” Graeber himself became particularly interested in this after realizing where this arrangement had driven us. He spent two years in the highlands of Madagascar, and while there, learned about a virulent outbreak of malaria that had happened just before his arrival. Malaria had previously been wiped out in highland Madagascar and local people had lost their immunity, which hadn’t been a problem because of a mosquito eradication programme of testing and spraying.

But the International Monetary Fund, the world policeman for international finance, had imposed an austerity programme on Madagascar in order for the government to pay back longstanding debts. And so the eradication programme had to be suspended — meaning that 10,000 people died in the outbreak. “One might think it would be hard to make a case that the loss of 10,000 human lives is really justified,” writes Graeber, in order to ensure that the bank in question “wouldn’t have to cut its losses on one irresponsible loan that wasn’t particularly important to its balance sheet anyway.” Writes Graeber. “They owed the

MONEY MATTERS

THE DEADLY DERIVATIVE

money, and surely one has to pay one’s debts.” Measuring debt goes back to the very first civilizations: some of the world’s earliest surviving documents of any form are Mesopotamian tablets that record credits and debits — such as money owed for the rent of temple lands. But clearly, if money and credit started out at first as a sense of enshrining moral obligation, the morality has in many cases gotten lost along the way. It is almost as if as a system, we broke money. We turned it into a system that eats itself, as the global financial crisis clearly illustrates. So if money’s broken, how do we fix it? If we’ve murdered money, can it somehow be revived?

ABOVE LEFT A MONEY CHANGER CARRYING BUNDLES OF LOW VALUE NOTES IN A WHEELBARROW IN BARAO, SOMALIA BELOW A DIGITAL DISPLAY OF FOREIGN EXCHANGE RATES IN ASIA

ABOVE RIGHT THE 100 RENMIMBI NOTE IS THE HIGHEST DENOMINATION FOR BANKNOTES IN CHINA

Back in Libya, DCM is poring over a complex document. It is a complaint filed in London’s High Court by the Libyan Investment Authority against Goldman Sachs. The claims are debatable and will be played out at length in court, but let’s take a moment to look at the trades that cost the Libyan people more than a billion dollars. They were equity derivatives, involving shares in big, blue-chip companies. But they did not involve simply buying shares in those companies and hoping that the price went up. A derivative is so-called because it is derived from something else, in this case those shares. The shares aren’t what you own. They are just a reference point for something else to happen. For example, one of the bank trades involved something called a strike price — whereby if by a certain date, the shares were above that strike price, then they would generate a positive return, and if below it, then they would be worthless, and the LIA would lose the money it originally put in (known as the premium). That is what happened, and the Libyans lost all their premium — almost US$1.3 billion of it. The LIA was far from unusual in losing money on derivatives in the financial crisis. For a while it seemed like everyone did: Australian hospital foundations, Swedish municipal governments, American universities. So is this how we broke money? Is it all the fault of derivatives? The thing about money is that the motives are seldom that simple. Derivatives have become a byword to convey the purest of evil — a leech draining the lifeblood of the world economy. But they actually didn’t start out that way at all. The simplest 81 AUGUST 2014

MONEY MAKES THE WORLD ‘GO ROUND’ MONEY TO BURN

The name of the project says it all: “K Foundation Burn a Million Quid”. In 1994, artists Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty brought £ 1 million (US$ 1.67 million) to a rickety old boathouse on a rickety old Scottsh island. The money represented the pair’s profits from their old pop group, The KLF. They burned it, and made a film of the event. The backlash was considerable.

co*ckNEY RHYMING SLANG

This London street patois is hard on the brain. Why, for example, do friends call each other, “Me old china?” Because china plate rhymes with mate. There’s an entire co*ckney glossary just centred around money: LOST AND FOUND = A POUND BAG OF SAND = A GRAND LADY GODIVA = A FIVER BILL AND BENNER = A TENNER

MAKIN’ MONEY

In 2011, if US artist James Charles handed you a few bucks, it was wise to check them. He touched up currency so that their faces showed not dead presidents, but pop culture icons. They included a five-dollar bill that read “In Dog We Trust”, accompanied by Dog the Bounty Hunter, and Arnold Schwarzennegger’s cyborg face above the word: Governator. They quickly rose in value, and why on earth wouldn’t they?

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derivative is a forward contract. It is an agreement, whereby a seller agrees to deliver something by a certain date at a certain price, at which point the contract is settled. The Ancient Greeks used a sort of forward in shipping, in order to finance trade voyages. Derivatives were formalised in Japan, where the Dojima Rice Exchange was established some time around 1730. It had two markets, a shomai, where rice trading took place, with traders buying and selling rice on the spot; and the choaimai, which is surely the world’s first derivatives exchange. Here, agreements would be signed to buy different grades of rice for the spring, summer and autumn harvests. A rice farmer could sell, in advance, his crop at a preagreed rate up to four months ahead of harvesting it. This gave farmers predictability of income, and the buyers predictability of supply, protecting both sides from vacillations in the price of rice. The market ran right up until 1937. A similar principle was behind the birth of the Chicago Board of Trade in the 1850s, for the grain market. This started off in much the same way as in Japan — buyers and sellers making a post-dated agreement on a sale. But here, something different started to happen. Speculators became involved, trying to make money out of price movements. By 1865, a standardised form of contract had developed, with the exchange as the counterparty. Now, derivative contracts were being bought and sold by people who either didn’t have grain, or didn’t need it — but were trying to make money by predicting where prices were going. One could argue that this was the birthplace of money’s demise, its ‘fatal flaw’ as

TOP A BANKER CARRIES A LOAD OF BANKNOTES AS HE WALKS PAST AN IMAGE OF THE SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR AL-ASSAD AT A BANK IN THE CAPITAL OF DAMASCUS

BELOW A MAN EXCHANGING NEW BANK NOTES IN RETURN FOR OLD ONES ON THE STREETS OF DHAKA, BANGLADESH

PHOTOS: AFP (MAIN); GETTY IMAGES (THE KLF)

MONEY MATTERS

William Shakespeare might have put it. At this point, money stopped being about a practical purpose, and became about turning money into more money — without serving any other process along the way. Derivatives didn’t really come into their own until the dawn of the computer age in the 1970s, at which point our real enemy comes into the piece, that of complexity. The lesson of the global financial crisis was that an awful lot of people had become far too clever for their own good. Clearly, a lot of fault here rests with the bankers. There were countless examples of mis-selling products to people who should never have bought them. Examples of this continue to limp through the courts today. But equally, a lot of people decided to buy

things for a couple of extra percentage points, without ever really understanding exactly what it was they were buying. One chief culprit was known as the collateralized debt obligation (CDO), a ludicrous confection that should never have found its way into the many investment portfolios it did. This involved taking together perhaps a hundred bonds or loans, packaging them all together, then slicing them up and selling them as individual investments. If you bought a CDO, what you were getting was a portion of these hundred different bonds. The theory was that this way, you were somehow insulated from risk if one or two of these defaulted — but if too many did, you lost your investment. Part of the blame

here was rating agencies foolishly assigning many of these things with an AAA rating. This is the highest possible rating, and on a par with a tiny handful of the world’s richest countries. But another part of the problem was, very few people could fathom what exactly they owned. Then the problem intensified. Increasingly, CDOs would hold parts of other CDOs. You started hearing about CDOs squared, even cubed. Firstly, this made it even harder for anyone to work out what their exposure was. Secondly, it meant that increasingly, everyone was connected, if the whole thing turned to custard. Which it did, spectacularly, in 2008. So at the scene of the crime, if as we understand, complexity is a major culprit, could this provide a clue as to how we might eventually revive money, and bring it back from the dead — by introducing greater simplicity? Well, that’s part of it. Back in Libya, we are comparing some of the things the LIA invested in — and there’s some dross — with other sovereign wealth funds across the world, through the global financial crisis. Remarkable things, sovereign funds: between them, they hold trillion dollars of wealth, all of it accumulated and invested for the future good of the people of that country. Initially, these were mainly in oil-rich places like Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Norway, and were very sensible, since those countries knew that one day, the oil would run out and that therefore they should set money aside for their children for when it did. Increasingly, they became used to invest foreign exchange reserves in places such as China, Singapore and Korea. Not all of them publish

many numbers — some, none at all. But as we sift through the public data, we are reminded of an interesting interview just before the financial crisis in 2007. The setting, Dili, in East Timor.

NEW NATION FUND

The Timorese, then living in the world’s newest nation, had set up a sovereign wealth fund after striking a deal with Australia, regarding who owned the oil and gas assets in the Torres Strait between the two countries. The deal meant that over the years, East Timor could hope to receive about US$20 billion of wealth (we won’t know for sure until further studies of the oil and gas fields are done). Despite many Timorese being in poverty, the decision had been made to put a lot of the money into a sovereign fund for the young country’s future.

COLLATERALISED DEBT OBLIGATION WAS A MAJOR CULPRIT OF THE RECENT FINANCIAL CRISIS. IF YOU BOUGHT A CDO YOU WERE GETTING A SLICE OF A HUNDRED DIFFERENT BONDS BUNDLED TOGETHER Navigating among the many jeeps emblazoned with the logo of the United Nations (Timor was still recovering from its brutal parting of ways with Indonesia), this nascent sovereign fund was housed in a breezeblock building around the back of the Central Bank. 83 AUGUST 2014

MONEY MAKES THE WORLD ‘GO ROUND’

THE ANAGRAM MAN Surrealist artist Salvador Dali liked art, and he liked profit, a fact not all his colleagues at the time appreciated. Fellow surrealist Andre Breton rearranged his name to read “Avida Dollars”, to signal the moustachioed man’s love for money. (“Avid” for dollars, get it?)

FLUSH WITH CASH

For the classy, there’s toilet roll paper designed to look like a US100$ bill, sold on Amazon for about US$6. Benjamin Franklin, whose face graces the bill, would possibly not be best pleased. Or maybe he would. This is the pranksterlover who, in 1781 presented to the Royal Academy of Brussels a ‘scientific’ treatise called Fart Proudly.

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY

Abba sang, “I work all night, I work all day, to pay the bills I have to pay. Ain’t it sad. And still there never seems to be single penny left for me. That’s too bad.” Some ingenious rhyming from the Swedish pop group. Meanwhile, the money for the video shoot seems to have been spent entirely on their rhinestone costumes and seizure-inducing studio lights. 84 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

It hadn’t been painted, inside or out; there were wires sticking out of the walls, and just one young person, a man called Venancio, was on hand to interview. He had a modest PC with an out-of-date version of Windows on it. The thing was, Venancio, his superiors and the people in government, had no illusions about their own experience. They knew they didn’t know the first thing about global investment. They had decided, for the moment, to put all their money in US Treasuries, the simplest securities imaginable. These bonds were issued by the American state itself, and were generally considered the safest unit of wealth imaginable. Then over the years, as they learned more, they would appoint external experts to invest their money. Venancio said about the investment, “The idea was to start with something simple and safe. At the time we Timorese didn’t have any expertise at all in the fund management area.” That might sound simplistic thinking. Yet it was one of the most intelligent being made in international finance at the time. Consequently, according to some basic calculations, the finest performing sovereign wealth fund through the financial crisis was not the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, with its more than 1000 staff in a gleaming glass skyscraper on the Abu Dhabi corniche; nor the Government Investment Corporation of Singapore, considered one of the smartest institutions in world finance. It was the Petroleum Fund of TimorL’Este — and Venancio in his breezeblock office. By investing in safety, he lost none of his country’s money, an almost unique track record over the course of the global financial crisis.

Nevertheless, the nature of the modern world doesn’t allow us to embrace simplicity all the time. These have been some very odd years in world finance, but normally, if there is such a thing as normal now, just leaving all your money in the bank earning a pathetic interest rate will leave you lagging behind inflation. You might have modestly more money tomorrow than today, but in real terms, it will be worth less. Consequently, the pension funds that are supposed to look out for our futures find themselves forced into more esoteric corners of the market. Typically, any pension fund will have a certain proportion of its money in equities, namely shares of companies, traded on stock exchanges. Some will be in bonds, both local and international; and some in alternative assets, which might include real estate, commodities, infrastructure or hedge funds. Explaining a hedge fund is a subject for another day, but suffice to say that we seem to be irretrievably married to complexity now. And there is already a growing sense that there’s just no going back.

WHO MINDS THE BABY?

That’s not the only problem. Another way that we killed money was by failing to look after it properly. When you bring something into the world, you have to nurture it, supervise it. And as any parent knows, sometimes the most vital thing you can do for it is to tell it, “no”. Usually, we say, for its own good. But money has been watched over by all the wrong babysitters. One of the abiding debates of modern finance is just how money, and banks, should be regulated. Indeed, when you look at the collection of reasons commonly mooted for the financial

crisis (see sidebar), the vast majority of these could have been prevented, or at least tempered, by better regulation. Who regulates banks? Central banks, such as the Bank of England, the Federal Reserve, or the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, do part of the job. In many countries, there are other individual regulators for various parts of the financial markets, such as the Securities and Exchange Commission in the USA, or the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority. But in practice, a lot of bank regulation was left to the banks themselves — which, by and large, they singularly failed to do. In some ways, they made things worse. By allowing housing bubbles to form, they created current account imbalances around the world; doing very little about a vast deficit in America, or the fact that European banks were pouring money into rotten American and European securities. Out of all western central banks and regulators, you would probably say precisely two emerged with credit, Australia and Canada. Both had been pilloried by their own banking sectors for the previous decade for being overly restrictive. Then there’s the fact that governments themselves were reckless. The Eurozone crisis has been about governments having borrowed far too much money, often to bail out their own witless banks, and otherwise for infrastructure or social spending. The growing question now is about whether they will be able, not to pay the debt back, but even just roll it over as it expires. Peripheral European Union countries like Greece and Italy have been the most well-known examples of this — but vulnerability is

MONEY MATTERS

endemic, even if confidence in world markets has improved since the worst of the crisis. It is interesting to note that such is the level of institutional mistrust, there are places where things have gone back to basics. Reporter Elliot Wilson spent two days in the Shahzada Market in Kabul, Afghanistan. Here, a fast and efficient network of money traders operate in a crammed network of stalls. Navigating his way past a vast, turbaned dealer, a blueeyed Pashtun from the north who acts as a sort of informal gatekeeper to the market (the regulator, you might say), Wilson eventually found his way into a market filled with “bricks of cash yellowed from the sun and frayed from constant fingering,” he wrote.

PHOTOS: GETTY IMAGES (DALI, OPPOSITE)

NATURE OF MODERN WORLD DOESN’T ALLOW US TO EMBRACE FINANCIAL SIMPLICITY ALL THE TIME. WE ARE MARRIED TO COMPLEXITIES OF DIFFERENT KINDS OF FUNDS.

A CURRENCY TRADER HOLDS ONTO CURRENCY IN THE KABUL BAZAAR IN AFGHANISTAN, WHERE A BACK-TO-BASICS MONEY TRADING FLOOR IS OPERATING SUCCESSFULLY

“Bundles of the local currency, the Afghani, sit cheek by jowl with folds of Pakistani rupees and the occasional small stack of US dollars, mostly twenties and hundreds.” There was nothing cashless here. No VIP banking lounge, ATMs or special credit card offers. Still, the market was jammed, and efficient. “Give them a $100 bill and it will be in your 85 AUGUST 2014

IN DETAIL MONEY

A medium of exchange in the form of coins and banknotes

CENTRAL BANK

An institution that manages a state’s currency, money supply, and interest rates. Sometimes called a reserve bank or a monetary authority, one of their roles is to print money

INVESTMENT BANK

A bank that helps its clients raise capital, or advises them, particularly on mergers or acquisitions

CAPITAL MARKETS

Financial markets where investors buy and sell longterm debt or equity securities. Equity securities are mainly shares in companies, listed on stock exchanges; long-term debt securities are called bonds, which often do not trade on a stock exchange but are bought and sold among investors

SOVEREIGN WEALTH FUND

A fund created to invest a state’s money for the future, typically in oil-rich countries

HEDGE FUND

A mutual fund with a difference, often using leverage (meaning gains or losses are magnified) or other techniques such as shortselling (meaning it profits from something going down in value, rather than just up)

MONEY MARKETS

A form of capital market, but for short-term securities, with a duration of a year or less. The money markets create the liquidity for the financial system

LIQUIDITY

A market’s ability to have things bought and sold on it quickly, efficiently, and without much of a reduction in its trading price. A lock-up in liquidity was identified as one of the key problems of the financial crisis 86 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

account in the US or Europe the same day.” “Customers still come here in droves, forsaking Afghanistan’s fast-growing banking system, because they trust the traders implicitly, having worked with many of them for generations.” In some places, clearly, trust is still a valuable commodity. Perhaps these days, it’s more important than ever.

THE AUTOPSY

So what in the end went wrong with money? It was a combination of overborrowing, poor regulation — and too many people thinking they were the smartest people in the room. It’s a damning description. But at least it’s sort of fixable. Don’t expect us to learn too much, though. Felix Martin recalls a banking crisis in which many banks, who had been circumventing a rule on private lending, found themselves unable to meet a new standard for capital adequacy. There was a scramble to call in loans in order to comply. The property market collapsed as mortgaged land was firesold to fund repayments; there was mass bankruptcy; and then, to avoid chaos, a huge bailout from the state. But this isn’t a description of 2008. The year was AD33, and the capital adequacy standard that sparked it all, and the bailout that fixed it, came from Roman Emperor Tiberius. A good way to revive money would be to start from the premise of never doing anything with it that we don’t understand. Another would be to just stop getting so far into debt in the first place. Governments can hardly moan about individuals overborrowing if they themselves, as sovereign states, do the same. Some debt

forgiveness, as proposed by the Millennium Development Goals, would help to avoid the kind of tragedy that Graeber saw in Madagascar, and allow developing countries to build from a foundation without the overhang of debt — which in many cases was booked by callous dictators who never passed a cent of it to the people anyway. But sometimes the most important thing is just to step back for a moment and think what money actually is. Banknotes? Wrong. “Currency is not itself money,” Felix Martin insists. “Money is the system of credit accounts and their clearing that currency represents.” “In today’s monetary regimes, there is no gold that backs our dollars, pounds or euros — nor any legal right to redeem our banknotes for it,” he adds. “Modern banknotes are quite transparently nothing but tokens.” The vast majority of national money — around 90 percent in the US, and 97 percent in the UK, has no physical existence at all, he says. It consists merely of our bank account balances. “The only tangible apparatus employed in most monetary payments today is a plastic card and a keypad.” Money is just a measurement of what we own, and more troublingly what we owe. Perhaps it won’t be long before cash only exists in museums, where our banknotes will sit alongside ancient Mesopotamian coins. Maybe then it will seem even weirder that where we live, what we eat and how we clothe and school our children, are dictated by this nebulous idea of wealth and debt. Perhaps our best hope for reviving money starts with a greater level of compassion for what indebtedness means, and the consequences of falling irretrievably into debt.

FOUND THE CASH

Back in Tripoli, the meetings with the Libyans made it clearer that they know where their US$66 billion is. About half of it is investable, they say, the other half in stakes in hundreds of companies, which they will try to sell in the years ahead. They will go to court, to try to get billions of dollars back from several banks, and will hire a new international team of professionals to manage all the money, based out of London and Malta if people don’t want to live in Tripoli. And then they will apply to the UN to unfreeze it. They will, chairman Abdulmagid Breish tells DCM, then set forward with DCM a model of transparency and governance based on Australia and New Zealand, so everybody knows where the money is. Some Libyans roll their eyes at this. They have heard it all before, they think. But at least it sounds good, as does a peaceful Libya that is wealthy for the individual, not just its rulers. We can imagine bringing our families here in a few years, once hotels dot some of that unspoiled coast. Then it’s time to fly home. Hertz, who handles hotel airport transfers, can no longer take us, for security reasons. A taxi driver can’t make it to the hotel. Eventually a hotel employee, who has a family member who studied in England, agrees to take us in his own car. We are impeded, first by bricks strewn across the road, then makeshift barricades of proGaddafi slogans daubed on sheets and slung between oil drums. And finally by a huge earth embankment erected overnight across the airport highway. There is a young family clawing at the clay, trying to hack a navigable way through for their car. The driver takes side roads. We leave the asphalt,

MONEY MATTERS

bouncing along on stones amid bombed-out cars and half-built houses, illuminated by a massive, dust-frayed sunrise. We reach the airport 20 minutes before the flight — fortunately Libyan Arab Airlines is fabulously late as a matter of routine. DCM lands back in Manchester, in the United Kingdom, only to learn that the Libyan government has been removed, in the time that we’ve been in the air.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES (PASSAGEWAY IN TRIPOLI)

WHAT EXACTLY IS MONEY? BANKNOTES? WRONG. IT IS THE SYSTEM OF CREDIT ACCOUNTS AND THEIR CLEARING THAT CURRENCY REPRESENTS. IN CURRENT REGIMES THERE IS NO GOLD THAT BACKS OUR DOLLARS. TODAY IT MEANS A PLASTIC AND A KEYPAD. Our dreams for a happier Libya may have to wait. The layers of high finance wedged between natural resources and the people who need them, could take years to dismantle. Further unrest feels sadly inevitable too. Libya is another in the long list of places ruined by our misuse of money — its arrival, its embezzlement, its movement and its freezing. And now, its sheer absence. Which recalls the words of DCM’s driver, trying to translate the slogans on the barricades as we drove around them. One of the biggest said, “Where is the money?”

WE CAN ONLY WONDER WHAT FORMER PRESIDENT ABRAHAM LINCOLN WOULD THINK ABOUT THE WORLD'S CURRENT MONEY WOES

IMAGES COPYRIGHT: CHARLEY HARPER ART STUDIO. WORLD RIGHTS

TRUE TO HIS STYLE, CHARLEY HARPER'S WORKS OFTEN BOAST SIMPLE TITLES THAT GIVE YOU A CLEAR INSIGHT INTO THE FOCUS OF HIS ART. THIS IMAGE, FOR EXAMPLE, IS TITLED MARITIME MATERNITY

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CHARLEY HARPER

CHARLEY HARPER’S MAGNIFICENT BEASTS American modernist artist Charley Harper is famous for expressing his love of animals and science through his popular wildlife prints, posters and book illustrations. Discovery Channel Magazine examines the legendary legacy, with the help of his son, Brett Harper. 89 AUGUST 2014

IMAGES COPYRIGHT: CHARLEY HARPER ART STUDIO. WORLD RIGHTS

I think my father was slightly ambivalent about having grown up on a farm. On the one hand, the domestic animals on the Harper farm intrigued him, because of their fascinating behaviour. Yet on the other, he despised the daily chores of a farm boy; the hoeing of corn, the back-breaking work in the hayfields, and the delivering of feed from his father's feedstore. He told me that his least favourite job on the farm was cleaning out the chicken houses — while the second worst was standing at the bottom of the fleece bin, where freshly shaved wool was tossed. To escape this kind of drudgery, my father would instead sneak off into the surrounding hills, armed with his trusty sketchbook and pencils. 90 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

He also claimed that he received very little recognition or commission work from the area in which he was brought up, in West Virginia. What I later found was that the people who remember him still feel an immense pride in his achievements. This despite his claim — which I’m sure seemed to be the case — that he had been greatly misunderstood. And that back then, art was scoffed at as a career aspiration. People familiar with his work may know that Charley Harper began as a realistic artist, and that he struggled mightily between realism and the pull of greater abstraction, both in art school at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, in the US state of Ohio, and immediately after World War II. He worked in and tried out many different styles of illustration; which is obviously the benefit of going through art school, where he learned to paint and draw in a whole range

of styles and mediums. In some of his early work you can see the influence of artists like Ben Shahn and Paul Klee. During his honeymoon in 1947, he saw the Grand Canyon of Arizona, and questioned how it could ever be visually captured in its immensity, without abstraction. A cut paper collage of gouache on board was his answer. In a work called Railroad Tracks, he self-identified further progress towards abstraction — and by 1955, he had complete control over the iconic style which he himself called “minimal realism”. You can see for yourself the sophisticated leap he took in one year between the birds in Feeding Station in 1954, through to Ruby-throated Hummingbird in 1955. My father’s breadth of style was a real advantage when he went to work at a commercial art studio, because he was able

CHARLEY HARPER

CHARLEY HARPER: A COLOURFUL LIFE

to create all kinds of art for a diverse stable of clients. As a studio illustrator, his job description required him to be comfortable with that kind of versatility, both in terms of conceptualising art, as well as preparing it for reproduction. Most people for instance don’t realise that he could paint realistically — at an exceptionally high level. He simply felt that, if he persisted in doing so, he wouldn’t have anything unique to say as an artist. So instead, he began the process of stripping away all but the most essential elements of his subjects, leaving only what was vital for his audience to identify them. The result was still representational art. In fact, in his mature years, the only truly non-representational work was his design for a mural, titled Space Walk. He was of course a working commercial artist, which comes with its own

ABOVE ROBIN BATHING, WHICH APPEARED IN FORD TIMES MAGAZINE BELOW AQUATIC FOOD CHAIN, WHICH WAS IN THE 1961 VOLUME, THE GOLDEN BOOK OF BIOLOGY OPPOSITE COOL CARNIVORE, PART OF A LIMITED EDITION OF 2,500 PRINTS, FIRST ISSUED IN 1979. HARPER WROTE, "CAT IN THE WATER? THE BENGAL TIGER LIKES IT AND YOU WOULD TOO IF YOU HAD TO WEAR A FUR COAT IN THE STEAMY JUNGLE. BUT WHEN YOUR COAT IS A STATUS SYMBOL, MANY WOULD HELP YOU OFF WITH IT. ONE MAHARAJAH HELPED 1,150 TIGERS OFF WITH THEIR COATS. OTHERS, TO REMAIN COMPETITIVE, INCLUDED CUBS AND FOETUSES IN THEIR TALLIES. IN THIS CENTURY, HUNTING AND HABITAT DESTRUCTION HAVE DRAMATICALLY DECREASED THE BENGAL COUNT. KEEP COOL, BIG BENGAL — AND BEWARE OF MAN, THE OMINOUS OMNIVORE"

Less was more for Charley Harper, who dubbed his eye-catching style “minimal realism”. He once said, “When I look at a wildlife or nature subject, I don’t see the feathers in the wings. I just count the wings.” Shapes, colour combinations, patterns and behaviour were his muses. He said, “I regard the picture as an ecosystem in which all the elements are interrelated, interdependent, perfectly balanced, without trimming or unutilised parts; and herein lies the lure of painting; in a world of chaos, the picture is one small rectangle in which the artist can create an ordered universe.” True to the tales of his keen research, Harper was driven by a thirst for knowledge. “I learn as much as I can about the creatures that interest me,” he said, “and they all do. I observe them and find out how they interact with each other and their environments and ask myself, ‘What if?’” The results of this curiosity were surprisingly lifelike, yet playful depictions of wildlife — very often with equally playful captions and titles. A family of primates cheerfully gambolling becomes Chimpnastics, while a scarlet songbird munching on corn on the cob was charmingly dubbed Red & Fed. When commenting on a group of terns (a type of seabird) he had recently painted, Harper’s tongue was firmly in cheek. He said, “If you’re terned off — I mean, ‘turned’ off — by puns, don’t go away. The ol’ punster has terned (make that ‘turned’) over a new leaf.” Sometimes, in fact, the words came first and the pictures followed. “I’ve always enjoyed puns,” he said, calling them the “purest form of creativity”. They were always running through his mind, he told one interviewer. “Sometimes I will wake up at 3am with an idea for a pun and write it down. Later, I may turn that pun into a painting.”Unsurprisingly, Harper’s fun-loving work fit perfectly in the educational and conservation arenas. He produced over 50 posters for nonprofit groups, nature centres, zoos and national parks. 91 AUGUST 2014

compromises. My father even claimed that he was unable to satisfy Procter & Gamble Company, with his portrayals of what he called “happy housewives” using cleaning supplies. But that was after a long stint of pleasing the firm with awardwinning designs — so the burnout may have been more on his side than the company’s. He said, and I think this makes a lot of sense, that potential clients who didn’t like his style, just avoided hiring him. And then those who knew about him, and liked something more risky and edgy, gave him creative assignments. After all, art directors are supposed to know who’s out there — and whether those artists will be a good fit for how their clients want to be perceived.

IMAGES COPYRIGHT: CHARLEY HARPER ART STUDIO. WORLD RIGHTS RESERVED

TO ESCAPE THE DRUDGERY OF FARMWORK, CHARLEY WOULD RUN AWAY TO THE NEARBY HILLS WITH HIS SKETCHBOOK AND PENCILS. My father worked during an exciting time for American illustration, and he tapped into all of the post-war developments in the art world. My parents, of course, purchased Dr Seuss books for me — and our household was a fascinating way station for artists, classical musicians and culture-makers across a variety of fields. In the art world, this was also the time of Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns, and while my father was not a part of the New York art scene, or the “cool” people in the club world, I do remember his connection with the late comedian Jonathan Winters; the pop artist Julian Stanzcek; and architect Michael Graves. But mostly, my father was connected with other nature artists — as well as scientists from the realms of animal behaviour, zoology, biology and ecology. I happen to be an only child — which is an interesting term when one is 60 years old. But my childhood was indeed fun. My mother Edie was a great artistic talent too, and definitely went toe to toe with my father. My parents would often dash off creative things as gifts to friends. I got to personally witness the power of things that were made by hand, and with care, in the eyes of their recipients. It clarified for me that we were viewed as an artistic family. My own artistic efforts were supported heartily, but were never dictated. 92 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

CHARLEY HARPER

A SCHOOL OF PIRANHAS ATTACK A COW CROSSING A STREAM AND REDUCE HER TO A SKELETON IN SECONDS, FEATURED IN THE 1961 VOLUME, THE GOLDEN BOOK OF BIOLOGY. THE DESCRIPTION MAY SEEM SORT OF BORING, BUT THE IMAGERY DOESN'T NEED ANY HELP TO CARRY THE SUBJECT CLEARLY TO A VIEWER

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IMAGES COPYRIGHT: CHARLEY HARPER ART STUDIO. WORLD RIGHTS

FLAMBOYANT FEATHERS, PART OF A LIMITED EDITION OF 1,500 PRINTS, FIRST ISSUED IN 1974 94 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

CHARLEY HARPER

Most artists that I have known seem to think that their own style is the best — or at least, that it suits their own purposes best. But speaking specifically of my father, from what I saw, he was respected by his peers, especially for his innovation. Those whose goal was total realism never acted threatened by my father, but were congenial. And he had friends ranging from enthusiasts of conservative animal portraiture, all the way through to pop art and abstract expressionism. I do think they thought of him as a leader of sorts. But artists are like musicians; they enjoy each other, and seeing what each other is up to.

HE STRIPPED AWAY ALL BUT THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF HIS SUBJECTS LEAVING ONLY THE VITAL ONES. RESULT WAS REPRESENTATIONAL ART RESPECTED FOR INNOVATION.

WRENTED (HOUSE WREN), PART OF A LIMITED EDITION OF 500 PRINTS, FIRST RELEASED IN 1968. HARPER WROTE, "MANY PEOPLE VIEW THE GRINNING SKULL AS AN UNPLEASANT REMINDER OF THEIR MORTALITY, BUT TO HOUSE WRENS AN EMPTY CRANIUM IS JUST ANOTHER HOME-SITE WITH A DOMED CEILING. IN 1888, A KENTUCKY DOCTOR REPORTED THAT A SKULL HE HAD SAVED AS A SOUVENIR OF MEDICAL SCHOOL AND HUNG ON THE BACK PORCH HAD BEEN REMODELLED BY WRENS. IT WAS STILL OCCUPIED IN 1945 WHEN HIS SON MOVED THE SKULL TO HIS GARAGE IN INDIANA, WHERE IT WAS PROMPTLY RE-WRENTED. HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS, EVEN IF IT'S A TRANSPLANT"

Curiously, of all the people that I’ve known, I would have to say that Charley Harper hated computers the most. A lot of people asked him why he didn’t embrace the technology — which after all, probably would have allowed him to work much faster. For one thing, he would not have had a beautiful original acrylic painting to show for his work. Secondly, he was a creature of habit, and was used to working with drafting tools like t-squares, compasses, rulers, curves, straight edges, and other equipment familiar to an aged generation of architects and engineers. Today, even though there are automobiles, many old-order religious sects such as the Amish still prefer to ride in buggies. In the same way, I don't know if my father would have ever converted to computers. He even stretched his own canvasses over wood frames; at 80 years of age, he could hold a solid stream or line of India ink from a ruling pen, for an incredibly long time. Sometimes, an artist loves the process too much to give it up. Intriguingly, if he had, it might have allowed him to create more rough ideas for major works, especially those that included backgrounds with step-and-repeat patterns. I will hazard a guess that had he overcome his aversion to computers, my 95 AUGUST 2014

IMAGES COPYRIGHT: CHARLEY HARPER ART STUDIO. WORLD RIGHTS

father might have produced 25 percent more work over his already productive 60year career. At his most curmudgeonly, he painted an indictment of mobile phones called Can You Hear Me Now? Would he have used a computer to rail against computers? I doubt it. That’s my take on it. In his own words to Todd Oldham, in 2006, my father gave some different reasons: that computers may have discouraged him from developing his own direction in art, because they made acceptable art too easy to make. He also believed art that was created on computers looked like art created on computers — and that art students tended to rely on the computer to do work they should be learning to do manually, such as life drawing. My father always brought a lot of knowledge to each of his paintings — and it was his detailed research that was at the root of it all. For many of his assignments for the Ford Times magazine for example, he first drove to the various locations in question, where he would sketch and produce colour thumbnails, for what would later become full-sized paintings. If he needed to check out the form of a particular weed, he might make a quick run to the zoo, or to a field at a nearby county park. Sometimes, he even borrowed the skins of birds from Cincinnati's Museum of Natural History and Science, or would pull photo files of actual incidents — like the consumption of the cow by carnivorous fish — taken from the public library's reference collection. As to whether it was the hard science around each subject that took precedence over the drama and story aspects, I think it probably depended on the kind of project he was undertaking. If he was doing an assignment or a work for hire, for example The Golden Book of Biology or The Animal Kingdom, he would have to follow the manuscript given to him by the editor or writer. Of course, there was some give-and-take between them about what to emphasise. And my father really loved learning about science, so it was no hardship. I think he was very much the dramatist, too, always zeroing in on the conflict that would appeal most to the viewer. Achieving both is difficult, but that was part of his genius. It's hard to make a mollusk sexy — sometimes, colourful is the best you can do. But just about every creature on this planet has something cool going for it; for the artist, the secret is tapping into that. 96 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

TOP PRICKLY PAIR, PART OF A LIMITED EDITION OF 1,500 PRINTS, RELEASED IN 1982. "EVER FEEL LIKE TELLING THE WORLD, 'DON'T CALL ME. I'LL CALL YOU?' TAKE A TIP FROM THIS PRICKLY PAIR AND CLOAK YOURSELF IN SPEARS AND SPINES, BURRS AND BARBS, HATPINS AND HARPOONS. A QUIVER OF QUILLS QUICKLY QUELLS INVASION OF PRIVACY AND INSURES TRANQUILLITY" BELOW BEETLE BATTLE, ISSUED IN 1971

OPPOSITE FROG EAT FROG, ISSUED IN 1978. HARPER SAID, "IT'S A REAL JUNGLE OUT THERE — FROG EAT FROG. IF YOU'RE FROGNIZANT, YOU KNOW THAT A BULLFROG GOBBLES DOWN ANYTHING SMALLER THAN HIMSELF THAT MOVES, INCLUDING FELLOW FROGS. NO MATTER IF IT'S A NEIGHBOUR, A SIBLING, A NIECE OR NEPHEW — EVEN HIS OWN KID. GULP! GONE"

CHARLEY HARPER

97 AUGUST 2014

IMAGES COPYRIGHT: CHARLEY HARPER ART STUDIO. WORLD RIGHTS

THIS IMAGE, NAMED FRUIT FLY, WAS AN ILLUSTRATION IN THE 1961 VOLUME, THE GOLDEN BOOK OF BIOLOGY

98 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

CHARLEY HARPER

Today’s educators seem to be using my father’s art more and more in the classroom, to teach students about concepts around making art, and about better conserving our planet. I’ve recently been giving a lot of thought as to why this is. One reason I would offer is that it’s because his ideas were broken down into word pictures, which for children can make a greater impression than essays do. Adults, on the other hand, appreciate my father’s nonmilitant, “we are all in this together” spirit. The work doesn't expressly indict anyone, yet it does hint at what could happen to the creatures that we claim to love unless we act. Sometimes, a painting really is worth a thousand words.

AS TO WHETHER IT WAS HARD SCIENCE AROUND THE SUBJECT THAT TOOK PRECEDENCE OVER THE DRAMA AND STORY ASPECTS, DEPENDED ON THE KIND OF PROJECT. The surge of interest in licensing my father's work in the last five years has been enormous. Todd Oldham's books have obviously helped boost his work's visibility, and the team at the Todd Oldham Studio has done a great job as our exclusive licensing agent. Given that the reaction to the work seems to be as strong now as ever, it’s interesting to think about why his “minimal realism” style feels all the more appealing in today’s world. We could probably conduct a seminar on the topic — and still run out of time. Sometimes, I compare the love for my father’s work as similar to the art of Walt Disney. It never seems to grow old or stale. Do we see something of ourselves in these creatures? Are we laughing at the situations he poses because the animals seem to face the same kind of problems that we as humans do? Is there a purity of form that cuts through all the noise and visual clutter we face every day? Does his mid-century style hitch a ride on the nostalgia train? Or is the answer as simple as the promotional message of our newest licensee, international wall-covering manufacturer Designtex: “Why Charley Harper? Because he makes us smile.” 99 AUGUST 2014

CHARLEY HARPER

LEFT MYSTERY OF THE MISSING MIGRANTS, 1990, WHICH FEATURES 45 BIRDS. IN THE ARTIST'S OWN WORDS: "FOR CENTURIES, THE NEOTROPICAL MIGRANTS IN THIS PICTURE HAVE SHUTTLED BETWEEN WINTER HOMES IN THE TROPICAL RAINFOREST AND NESTING SITES IN OUR WOODLANDS. NOW THEIR POPULATIONS ARE PLUMMETING. WHY? HABITAT DESTRUCTION. DOWN THERE? UP HERE? IS YOUR FAVORITE SONGSTER IN THIS FLOCK? EACH APRIL, I LISTEN ANXIOUSLY TO THE DAWN CHORUS FOR THE RETURN OF MY FAVOURITE, THAT WORLD-CLASS FLUTIST, THE WOOD THRUSH. ARE SILENT SPRINGS FORTHCOMING? REMEMBER THE CANARY IN THE COAL MINE?" BELOW CARDINAL COURTSHIP, 1992 100 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

IMAGES COPYRIGHT: CHARLEY HARPER ART STUDIO. WORLD RIGHTS RESERVED

TOP SERENGETI SPAGHETTI, PART OF A LIMITED EDITION OF 2,500 PRINTS, RELEASED IN 1979. HARPER WROTE, "IF YOU EXPERIENCE TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS HERD OF ZEBRAS ON AFRICA'S SERENGETI PLAIN, PLEASE BEAR WITH US — THE TROUBLE IS NOT IN YOUR SET. IT'S A TROPICAL OPTICAL ILLUSION, AN EQUATORIAL PICTORIAL PUZZLE OF EQUIVOCAL EQUINAL ELEMENTS, A STRIPEY SMORGASBORD OF SCRAMBLED SILHOUETTES, AN AMORPHOUS AMBULATORY AGGREGATION OF UNDULATING UNGULATES: OP ART ON THE HOOF. HOW MANY HOOVES IN THE HERD? YOU REALLY WANT TO KNOW? WELL, FIRST YOU HAVE TO COUNT THE ZEBRAS"

WHAT'S ON THIS MONTH ON DISCOVERY CHANNEL

102 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

WHAT'S ON

Man Cheetah Wild Kim Wohlter spends much of his time living in the wild among a family of Cheetahs. To get close enough to them to film their daily lives and interactions, he had to keep a low profile and survive in the bush for weeks at a time. The Cheetahs have gotten used to him and he learned from them. We follow Kim and the cheetahs in this cross genre look at ‘Natural History Meets Survival’. PREMIERES ON SATURDAY, 17 AUGUST 8 PM

103 AUGUST 2014

Doomsday The series explores the best-and worstcase scenarios for the end of the world. Plans have been made for nuclear attack, a collapse of the electronic infrastructure, apocalyptic battle and attack from outer space. AIRS EVERY SATURDAY 9 PM STARTING 2 AUGUST

Amazon With Bruce Parry Join Bruce Parry on a breathtaking journey from the Amazon's source deep in the Peruvian Andes to its vast mouth on Brazil's Atlantic coast. The Amazon is a complex shifting environment. Immersing himself in the indigenous tribes’ lives, he reveals how they are affected by the changing world around them. With spectacular visuals and the highest production values, it captures the living reality of this awesome place. 103 DISCOVERY CHANNEL MAGAZINE INDIA

AIRS EVERY SUNDAY 9 PM STARTING 24 AUGUST

Bear Grylls: Extreme Survival Caught On Camera

WHAT'S ON

Bear Grylls presents some of the most jaw-dropping footage of great escapes and near-death experiences in this new, entertaining, fact-filled series – BEAR GRYLLS EXTREME SURVIVAL CAUGHT ON CAMERA. In each themed episode, survivors share their stories, experts like Dave Salmoni, Gary Humphrey and Edd China provide survival tips and ‘how to’ advices - and Bear chooses his favourite clip - of the ultimate survivor. AIRS EVERY MONDAY TO FRIDAY 10 PM STARTING 18 AUGUST

Food Factory Food Factory takes viewers behind the scenes to see how some of our most beloved products are made. From iconic international brands to common day products, each involves a process ripe with zigs, zags, swoops and alleyoops as they travel down the production line. Along the way, marvel at the machinery - some mega, some miniscule - sophisticated manufacturing techniques and revealing food science. AIRS EVERY MONDAY TO FRIDAY 8 PM STARTING 11 AUGUST 104 AUGUST 2014

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