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July 11, 2021 2:11 pm

CBS Sunday Morning,

CBS Sunday Morning / Jane Pauley

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July 11, 2021 2:11 pm

In our cover story, Lee Cowan examines the fight to advance treatments for ALS patients. Ben Mankiewicz sits down with "Godfather" star James Caan. Jim Axelrod goes inside a new documentary about the late globetrotting chef and TV host Anthony Bourdain. Conor Knighton looks at how hunters are being enlisted in the fight to save the endangered California condor. and David Pogue explains what an NFT is – and why some people will spend a fortune to acquire one. Jane Pauley hosts "CBS Sunday Morning."

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I'm Jane Pauley and this is Sunday Morning. We call them medical miracles. These days we've come to expect, even demand, treatments and cures to deadly diseases in record time. Sadly, that's not been the case for the fatal disease known as ALS. Until now, as Lee Cowan will tell us, new treatments for the disease that took Lou Gehrig's life and his name are offering hope on the horizon.

I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. It's been more than 80 years since Lou Gehrig made ALS an infamous disease, and yet it remains a death sentence. Basically, they treat you like it's a straight line to palliative care, and they tell you to get your affairs in order and prepare to die.

Let me get everyone on. Thank you. Promising therapies are in the pipeline, though, and ahead this Sunday morning.

You'll meet the man who's fighting to make sure ALS patients can get them. It's the latest acronym almost no one understands. David Pogue has a primer on NFTs. This year alone, there have been over 20,000 headlines about NFTs.

But what are they? Something about selling computer files for huge amounts of money? In the last minute, it jumped from 25 million to 50 million, just in one second. And when that happened, it was like a bomb went off in the room. It was just like, ugh.

Later on Sunday morning, NFTs explained. Touring the world, telling great stories, tasting exotic foods. It seemed like Anthony Bourdain had it all until his death three years ago. Jim Axelrod will be looking at Bourdain's memorable and tragic life.

Christopher Bourdain still struggles with the suicide of his brother, Anthony. I'm like, why did you do that, you know? It's a question many people are still asking about the globe-trotting TV star and best-selling author. Why am I here?

Now three years after his death, a new documentary tries to unravel the sudden end to an extraordinary life. You have a good karma. Good karma? I think so. Understanding Anthony Bourdain. Well. Coming up on Sunday morning. London's famed Royal Albert Hall is marking a big birthday. Roxanna Seberry offers a tour. Ben Mankiewicz is in conversation with actor James Caan. Connor Knighton reports on the California Condor facing a new and surprising threat, plus Steve Hartman and more on this Sunday morning for the 11th of July, 2021.

And we'll be back after this. ALS, Lou Gehrig's disease, is a terrible illness. It's rare.

Only about 5,000 people are diagnosed every year, but there's no cure and few treatments. Still, as Lee Cowan tells us, there may be a ray of hope. You can be forgiven if you're a little jealous of Brian Wallach at first. He's good-looking, smart, a track and field athlete at Yale, a graduate of Georgetown Law. All in all, a pretty good catch, as they say. What was it that struck you about Brian? I mean, he's very cute.

I was trying to impress him since the moment I met him. That moment was in New Hampshire, when Sandra Abravaia was working for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. Brian was the political director for the state.

It's a job he took instead of taking an offer from a big powerhouse law firm. It was literally our job to work together. Eventually, they both became staffers in the Obama White House. You embark on a new journey together. He married in 2013. Share in the ups and downs of life together. He moved to Chicago and started a family. Should we go back?

Come here. But a few years later, their charmed life took a turn. Good job. While working as an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, Brian went to the doctor about a simple cough, but it was much more than that. There's so much I want to do and say, and the disease makes it hard to do. He was eventually diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

It's already nearly robbed him of his ability to walk and his ability to speak. So there was more going on than just the cough. But you hadn't even told her? No. I had no idea.

There were other things bothering Brian that he had kept to himself, thinking they were probably nothing to worry about. My muscles weren't switching. You can see that the muscles are just pulsating. I also had weakness in my left hand. That's how ALS works.

It kills the nerves that move muscles. The average lifespan is only two to five years. Brian didn't know much about ALS when he was diagnosed, but he did know the legend of Lou Gehrig, the New York Yankee who bid goodbye to his fans after he, too, was diagnosed with ALS.

I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. Gehrig made that speech on July 4th, 1939, and he was dead less than two years later. Time became Brian's most pressing question for his doctor. And then I think, yeah, about six months or so.

And how do you even process something like that? Brian was only 36. He and Sandra had a two-year-old and a newborn just home from the hospital. We started crying on the floor of our living room, and then Brian said, we have to go to the Verizon store. And I was like, what are you talking about?

We need to get more memory on my iPhone, because if I die, I don't want the girls to forget who I am. Brian did beat the odds. He's almost four years into his diagnosis, but its cruelty is so plainly evident. Despite the decline, though, he and Sandra are determined to fight the disease, the same way they fought a winning political campaign. Thank you for the opportunity to testify before you today. For the last two and a half years, he and Sandra have been crisscrossing the halls of Congress.

They've been fighting for a long time, and they've been fighting for a long time. For the last two years, he and Sandra have been crisscrossing the halls of Congress. That's Brian testifying before Congress in 2019. I'm here to ask you to see us, to hear us.

And this is him testifying just this past May. The question now is how quickly we can end ALS. The vehicle they're using to bring about change is their organization, I am ALS.

Let me get everyone on. Thank you. They are tireless, working every day, usually from the ALS war room upstairs in their home. Their goal is to give patients the power to make change, to give them a voice in their own care, and help them gain access to therapies that they might not otherwise get. When you are a patient and you are driving the advocacy agenda. And you're running out of time. And you're running out of time.

You push hard and you do work differently. Since it was started, I am ALS says it's helped increase federal funding for research by 83 million dollars. The infusion of money has helped launch dozens of clinical trials for promising new therapies.

So far, there have only been two drugs that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, the FDA, to treat ALS. But science is perhaps closer today than ever before to a possible breakthrough. For the first time ever, there are a host of drugs in the pipeline that are showing really promising results. And yet, we can't get access. And yet we can't get access.

So what's the holdout? The FDA's job, in part, is to make sure therapies are safe and effective. But letting patients accept the risks for themselves is the kind of flexible regulation that Brian and Sondra are begging the FDA to grant to the ALS community. When we understand the amount of work that we are facing in this disease, there's 100 percent better.

So we are willing to take those risks. One experimental therapy shows particular promise for ALS patients. It's something called AMX 0035, made by Amalix Pharmaceuticals. That therapy showed in clinical trial studies that it extended life by six and a half months, which when you have a prognosis of two to five years. Or like in Brian's case, six months.

That's living twice as long. Canadian and European regulatory agencies are edging ever closer to approving that drug. But in this country, the FDA wants more time to study it. The extra study is going to take four to five years. By then, pretty much every ALS patient alive today will be dead.

How can you look people in the face and tell them that that's acceptable? There is legislation pending that could help, allowing people to get potentially life-saving drugs before they're fully approved by the FDA. But the wheels of government sometimes need a push. The HIV community faced the same battles when they needed accelerated therapies.

It took people who didn't have HIV caring and letting government know that it is unconscionable to deny therapies to dying people. The most promising experimental ALS treatment so far is something called Toferson from Biogen. It appears to slow the progression for a very rare form of ALS. I coach sports. I play sports.

I work every day. Chris Snow got access to Toferson through a clinical trial. It's given via a spinal injection every four weeks.

I don't necessarily feel like myself or look like myself when I act like myself. It only targets a particularly aggressive form of ALS. But it's just that that also took the lives of Chris's father, two uncles, and his 28-year-old cousin. At the time he started on the new drug, he was given less than a year to live. That was almost two years ago. He should be dead.

That's the simplest way to put it. He looks pretty good for a dead person. She says that too. His wife Kelsey watched Chris get back on the ice and play hockey. He's the assistant general manager for the Calgary Flames. And he's still able to keep up with their two young children. The quality of life that this has given us is really a miracle. Toferson hasn't completely halted ALS. Chris has still seen changes in his facial muscles. He can't really smile anymore. And he has trouble speaking and trouble swallowing. But many of his other symptoms have indeed slowed.

I don't think I'm dying. I sure is. Can I play hockey with my son next winter?

And it's not when my son has a dad next winter. That's him teeing off for a round of golf just last month. And yep, he played all 18 holes. He posts those kind of achievements regularly. Kelsey has a blog of her own about living with ALS. I'm offering up our family.

And so if you can see and care about my family and that makes you care about this cause, that's what I'm going for. For all its promise, Toferson though won't help Brian's form of ALS. Which in some ways makes his efforts all the more remarkable.

His ability to still keep his humor while fighting for what at times seems like an insurmountable battle, he's really courage of a different sort. You don't see this. People with this disease disappear into their homes. And there's absolutely not nothing for them to say.

Brian has inked his commitment to curing ALS right on his arm with a tattoo, ALSYG. The YG means you gone. This takes a lot of effort and it takes an awful lot of time. And you don't have a lot of either, really.

I don't know what tomorrow will be, but I'm sure that if it is the last day for me, I want to look back on my life and say I'm friends and hopefully make a difference. They want to get mixed up in the family business. Now you want to gun down a police captain, why? Because he slapped you in the face a little bit?

It's Sunday morning. Here again is Jane Pauley. He may be best known as Sonny Corleone, the hot-headed mobster from The Godfather. But, now 81, actor James Caan is still practicing his craft and speaking his mind to our man in Hollywood, Ben Mankiewicz. Oh, s***. James Caan says he doesn't like to curse. So let me ask you a question that I don't want to... You've been f***ing asking me questions all day long. I got a last one. He swears it's true. You're a f***ing f***ing f***ing f***.

The only four-letter word he really objects to is fame. We're rolling. We're starting. We're rolling, buddy. Stop screwing around. What James Caan wants is respect.

What does that do? Pumps you up, man. I want a little respect. I played ball. I wanted respect.

That's all. Had journeyed long singing a song in search of El Dorado. Over a 60-year career, James Caan has definitely earned it. Playing one memorable role after another and managing not to be typecast. Sonny, Don Corleone's hothead son in The Godfather, a dying football player in Brian's Song, a novelist held captive in Misery, Will Ferrell's absentee father in Elf. I fought to always never be the same person.

I mean, the fun of being an actor is being somebody else for three months. Jimmy Caan has played some memorable parts, but spent some time with him, and you get the sense the most interesting character is right in front of you, this New Yorker born in 1940 in Queens. Where are you from? Sunnyside. Where's Sunnyside? Queens, right over 59th Street Bridge, a little ways. What kind of place is this?

Let me tell you something. There's a tree over there, and we used to say, I'll meet you at the forest, okay? That was the forest.

One tree. The school gave Caan an education. The street taught him lessons he's remembered all his life.

The most important thing is you learn how to win, and you learn how to lose, and you learn who to push and who not to push. He pushed a lot of people, including himself, as a 16-year-old freshman football player at Michigan State. Homesick and too little for the Big Ten, he transferred to Hofstra, less than 40 miles from Queens, where the acting bug struck. I went to the neighborhood playhouse, and I got accepted there. He took me right away. I was supposed to have three interviews. I only had one. At 20, he was landing guest roles on TV dramas, shows like The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

Then a big break at 26. What kept you? Talking to a girl. She said she saw a girl.

Well, don't you think I can know a girl? Playing a cocky sidekick to a couple of men he looked up to, literally. John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in the 1966 western El Dorado. First of all, I had lifts in my damn shoes.

I mean, Mitchum was 6'2", Wayne was 6'4", so I had these lifts in my shoes. Five years later came Brian's song. The TV movie with Khan is Brian Piccolo, a terminally ill football player.

Billy Dee Williams played Gale Sayers, Piccolo's best friend. I'll see you tomorrow. You'll see, son. Thirty-six million people tuned in. My guess is that you have been approached by 175 men between the ages of, let's say, 55 to 75, who come up to you and say, I've only cried in one movie in my life. Oh, yeah, Brian, yeah.

Yeah, I cried, too. Not a lot of movies in the early 70s where you got the white character and black character in a totally equal friendship. It was good.

It was very rewarding because hopefully a lot of kids picked that up, you know. In 1972, director Francis Ford Coppola called and made Khan an offer he couldn't refuse. Playing Sonny, the quick-tempered oldest Corleone son in The Godfather, Khan's inspiration came from an unlikely source. And I was thinking of my friend Don Rickles. I told everybody, you know. Italians are fantastic people, really.

They can work you over in an alley while singing an opera. You ever watch them? What did he say? And I started laughing like Don Rickles. Yeah, no, it wasn't like imitating Don Rickles.

No, I got you. It was having that drive, that thing, you know. I just was locked into that.

He also did a lot of improvising, like the way Sonny deals with an FBI photographer on the day of his sister's wedding. Come in, come in. I grabbed that camera, smashed the camera, and I looked, and then my name poured butter. I realized I did wrong, and I took out 20 and I threw it on the street.

I paid for it. After The Godfather, Khan was in demand, and he earned high praise for Cinderella Liberty, The Gambler, Rollerball, and his favorite, Thief. But by the early 1980s, a decade of stardom had taken its toll. Khan's behavior was erratic. He was addicted to drugs and fell into depression after the death of his sister from leukemia. I had a bad bout with cocaine for a little while. I lost my sister, what happened, and she was like, I don't know. And when I lost her, I couldn't handle it. I didn't know what happened.

I couldn't handle it, I didn't know what to do. Khan didn't care much for Hollywood after Thief. He made one movie over the next six years. He coached his son Scott's Little League team. When he wanted back in, his friend Rob Reiner threw him a lifeline late in 1989. Reiner was set to direct a film version of a Stephen King story starring Kathy Bates.

Is this what you're looking for? I had some wonderful people like Rob Reiner and those guys. God bless them. Those were big time winners for me. That movie that let everybody know, oh yeah, wait, James Khan.

I don't know. You were great. Yeah, with Kathy. Misery was a big hit for Khan. I want... An underrated comedy, Honeymoon in Vegas, came two years later.

Your girlfriend for the weekend. It proved Khan had a lighter side, which led to Elf, a decade after that, with Will Ferrell. Dad! Elf. Elf. So I told Will, he says, you want to do Elf? I said, can't do it. I'll do a picture called Elk, but I won't, I don't do that.

You said no, just on the title. Yeah. Come on, it's lovely weather. Dad! Hi!

It's me. Thankfully, Ferrell eventually talked him into it. His son, Scott, talked his dad into a guest role on Scott's hit TV show, Hawaii Five-0.

Would you mind fetching that for me? Khan, who's been married and divorced four times, loves to work. Not as much, though, as he loves his five children. Would you want your other kids to go into the business? They do whatever the hell they want.

Yeah, they all want to. It's a creed that has paid off for Khan, and this tough guy with a tender heart is not yet ready to say goodbye to Hollywood. I want to do a good piece of work. I'm frustrated.

I'd love to do a real character thing. So why do you want to keep working? Like, take it easy. You're James Khan.

I can't take it easy. To me, I enjoy working. I love to work with good people. I have more fun when I'm working, and I have a lot of laughs. And I get respect too sometimes. Also, we're going to get into things that you just kind of won't believe and were not able to do in daytime television, so watch out. Listen to Drew's News wherever you get your podcasts.

It's your good news on the go. My father would have wanted it this way. He dug you very much. Your father was a horse's ass. In 2016, the Library of Congress inducted that movie into its National Film Registry. But in recent years, Robert Downey Sr. may have been best known for producing his namesake, actor Robert Downey Jr., who posted on Instagram that his father died peacefully in his sleep after years battling Parkinson's disease. Robert Downey Sr. was 85. You might say the Bronx-born Richard Donner possessed box office superpowers. Hey, Jim! Excuse me.

That's a bad outfit. Donner made the movie Superman soar in 1978. Outfitting a then unknown actor, Christopher Reeve, in The Man of Steel's Cape and Tights. Easy, miss.

I've got you. Donner's own career took flight in television. He directed William Shatner as a terrified passenger en route to the Twilight Zone. On the big screen, Mel Gibson starred in six Donner films, including the Lethal Weapon franchise with Danny Glover. God hates me, that's what it is.

Hate him back, it works for me. Richard Donner was 91 years old. Now the subject is NFTs. They're big, controversial, and almost impossible to make sense of, which is where, as usual, our David Pogue comes in. They're known as non-fungible tokens, or NFTs. If you've heard about NFTs, you probably know that it's the latest hot trend that teenagers have to explain to their parents and grandparents. Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, are exploding in popularity. You've probably seen a lot of articles about NFTs without really understanding what they are. It's always something about digital files selling for enormous amounts of money. Like a piece of digital art, or a video clip, or even a Twitter tweet. A lot of people are really excited about NFTs.

Oh my God, this is crystal clear. This is a technology that will forever change the way people interact. Entrepreneur and internet personality Gary Vaynerchuk says that this is the third time he's seen a digital revolution of this magnitude. In 1995, I was like, oh my God, this internet thing is going to change the world. And then in 2005, I just completely believed that social media, Myspace, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, was going to be for everybody. Every time I've seen this many people confused, yet it's been crystal clear to me that this is the next significant consumer behavior shift.

I know there's something. Okay, I am now going to try to explain NFTs. Until recently, if I had said, hey, I made a drawing on my computer, who would like to buy the original, you'd have laughed at me.

I mean, because that's stupid. Everybody knows that you can duplicate a computer file infinitely and every copy is identical to the first one. What sense would it make to say you own the original? Well, an NFT is a digital certificate. It's like a contract.

It says that I sold you the original one. NFT stands for non-fungible token, but that won't be on the test. Anyway, our transaction is recorded on the blockchain, a tamper-proof database with copies all over the internet that keeps track of things like who owns what NFT, like a digital ledger book. You might have heard of the blockchain.

It also makes possible digital currencies like Bitcoin. Because NFTs are new and speculative, a lot of famous people are trying to cash in on the craze. Musicians, athletes, actors and artists like Beeple, who sold this digital painting for $69 million in a Christie's auction. We were watching on the TV and like my whole family was there. At the morning of it, it was like $13 million. And then in the last minute, it jumped from $25 million to $50 million just in one second. And when that happened, it was like a bomb went off in the room. It was just like... Oh my God! Everybody was just like... Beeple is the screen name of graphic designer and animator Mike Winkelman.

The Christie's sale made him the third most valuable living artist after David Hockney and Jeff Koons. Members of the traditional art world were not amused. They don't love me.

What really probably stings a little is that they never heard of me. Tell us if you think it was worth $70 million. Yes, because two people wanted it for $70 million. So by definition, it was worth $70 million. Value is determined in many cases just by how badly people want certain things. OK, well, if people want to buy and sell NFTs, no harm done, right?

Actually, not so fast. It turns out that any change to the blockchain requires massive banks of computers to perform astronomically huge calculations to verify that transaction, which uses gigantic amounts of electricity. Researchers are working on ways to reduce that power problem. But for now, NFTs and the blockchain are environmental disasters.

And maybe financial disasters, too. Right now, we're in the gold rush. We're in the greed phase, where people are trying to make a quick buck. And there's going to be too much supply, not enough demand, because it's not easy to buy an NFT yet. In May, Gary Vaynerchuk offered his own NFT project.

Beeple is an ambitious NFT project. Which he hoped to distinguish by offering tickets to his conferences with the purchase of each of his digital doodles. So is there a base price when you list this? As of this morning, it's $1,200.

$1,200 bucks? Yes, for the tokens. Now, for me, this is why. But even though he's got an interest in promoting NFT technology, he's also got a warning for you. Let me make this clear.

I have no idea how you will edit this. America, please spend 30 hours of education before you buy your first NFT. It's just like internet stocks. Sure, there's an Amazon and eBay, but there's going to be a lot more pets.com that go to zero. And there will be plenty of volatility along the way.

NFT sales are way down from their peak in May. But Mike Winkelman is convinced they're here to stay. At this point, how mainstream is it? Most of the people watching this video will have never heard of NFTs before.

This might be the first time you hear about it, but I really doubt it's going to be the last. Steve Hartman has a story that's tailored to perfection. It was just another day at Causeway Alterations in Dunedin, Florida. When out of the blue, this elderly man walked in and asked if someone could make him a Navy uniform. Why does a 97-year-old need a Navy uniform? I love the uniform.

I love my country and I'm so happy I was able to serve. That's you? That's me, yeah. Joe Hall served in World War II as a Navy Petty Officer First Class. Is that your ship?

Yeah. He was on a destroyer escort where he made some of the best friends of his life and lost a few too. They're all gone now, which is why Joe wanted that uniform for when he sees them again. Susan Williams is the seamstress who waited on him. I've made everything from underwear to wedding dresses. But to have a World War II veteran come in and say, I want to be buried in my uniform, I was like, this man is not leaving this store without me making this uniform because it's the most important thing I'll ever do in my life. And it became a strong obsession of mine to make it right. For the next three weeks, Susan poured herself into this project, binding every seam, satin-lined cuffs, buttonholes by hand.

She spent at least 100 hours. I love this. And charged almost nothing. Oh, beautiful. Joe actually got his uniform a few months ago but came back in to try it on again at our request.

He hardly seemed bothered. I feel like I'm back in the slavers. In fact, even though he wanted this for his death, you get the sense that now it's what he lives for.

I can't beat it, man. I wanted to be with my friends, be part of them. And this uniform kind of brings them close to me. They say the suit makes the man, but not in this case. Joe Hall was a loyal friend seven decades before he got these dress blues.

He just needed someone to sew his heart to his sleeve for that long-awaited reunion. You've done a wonderful job. Thank you. Beautiful.

Thank you. A new documentary is looking at the vibrant life and tragic death of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. We ask Jim Axelrod to take a closer look. How you doing over here?

Right over here? When Anthony Bourdain, the chef, best-selling author and globetrotting TV star, died by suicide three years ago at the age of 61. We have some terribly sad news to report this morning. Heartbreaking. The news stunned those closest to him. New York City chef Gabrielle Hamilton was shattered. I had to go home and lie down on the floor. I mean, actually, for kind of weeks.

Lydia Tenaglia. He would just kind of flop on the couch. Quite a backdrop, you know. Who produced his hit show, Parts Unknown, was mystified. Why would someone who seemingly had the best job in the world and the most incredible life, why would he make a decision to check out? Did you know he was suffering to that degree? No, I did not know he was suffering to that degree. And his brother Christopher. I was the bad one.

Yes. I struggled with so many other emotions. I miss him terribly and love him still and he was so brilliant and he counted for so many people. I'm like, you know, I'm angry at him.

I'm like, why did you do that, you know? I want people to be able to make some sense out of his death. But filmmaker Morgan Neville knew the shock was also shared by legions of Bourdain's fans who never met the man. Do you think there was a little bit of be careful what you wish for in Tony Bourdain's life?

Absolutely. The story we're telling is somebody who in middle age who has been working as a chef for 25 years is suddenly given world fame, fortune and the chance to travel the globe. It's everything he always wanted. The question is what happens when you get everything you always wanted? Why am I here?

Are you insane? His new documentary Roadrunner, which opens in theaters July 16th, is Neville's attempt to answer that question, exploring this complexity elicited by the life and death of Anthony Bourdain. I hope the film in some way gets people to start to think of him as a whole person again. Hey, what's up, man?

To at least process some aspect of his death, but also his life. Let me take you on a notional joyride to our menu tonight. Anyone familiar with the extraordinary trajectory of Bourdain's life from $800 a week line cook in sweaty New York City kitchens to an invitation from a president for dinner in Vietnam. This is killer. This is outstanding. So good to hear.

It's really good. Knows that means examining quite a few dimensions. Was Tony a good cook? He would be the first to tell you that that was not his number one strength. Gabrielle Hamilton, whose restaurant prune was one of the hottest in pre-pandemic New York City. We all love you.

Met Bourdain as his bestseller, Kitchen Confidential, was launching him as a boldface name. He was a loyal but complicated pal. It was such a one way friendship.

Wait, which direction? He would love you. He would be generous to you. Who was once quoted as saying the kind of care and feeding required of friends I'm frankly incapable of. I'm not going to remember your birthday. Come on, that's very Tony. And it's so candid and forthright. So who cares if it's like I don't remember your birthday?

I better leave before I get mobbed by fans. Somebody described him as the nicest ass they ever met. What do you think they're getting at with that lovely description? I think he could be really tough on people, particularly people he worked with. But because he was even tougher on himself. You have a good karma. Can't believe you said that. This high priest of camaraderie and connection.

That's a mean looking fish. Who built a brand shrinking the world one exotic meal at a time. Excellent meal. Also spent much of his life staving off loneliness and isolation. Cycling through phases and addictions. Sometimes his addictions were good, like jiu-jitsu and exercising or family. But sometimes they could be destructive, like cigarette smoking and drinking. And even, I would say, workaholism. He was always rushing to get into the scene.

He was rushing to get out of the scene. I think there was even this deeper psychological reason of being static. Being home means that you're left alone with your thoughts and I guess your demons. For me, I always feel this little unease. Like, you know, you feel you haven't suffered enough yet.

But as the documentary hauntingly portrays in a clip with one of his heroes, punk rock icon Iggy Pop, the one recipe that seemed to always elude him. What thrills you? The one for sustained contentment wasn't actually all that complicated. This is very embarrassing, but it's really embarrassing. Being loved and actually appreciating the people that are giving it to me.

When he's walking along with Iggy Pop, ask him about happiness. Yeah. Yeah.

It's heartbreaking. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.

Absolutely. Perhaps saddest for those who miss him most is that he died not really understanding all the lives he touched. Take the wall full of notes left after his suicide at a restaurant where Bourdain once cooked. When that outpouring came after his death and all these people around the world responded in this incredible way, I just wish he could have seen that.

Look at the incredible impact that you made in connecting humanity. That to me is like his really beautiful legacy. While the film deals extensively with the circumstances surrounding Bourdain's death, following a breakup with Asia Argento, an Italian actress he'd grown infatuated with.

You're probably going to find out about it anyway. This is a film that examines what happens to legacy when a high profile life ends by suicide. What do you think the meaning is for all of these people who still remain devoted to the memory of Tony Bourdain? One of the unfortunate things about somebody who obviously has some kind of tragic part to them is does that undermine or somehow diminish the message they were trying to get out there? Does it make what he was attempting to show us by going to places like Libya and Congo? Does it diminish what he was trying to show us and tell us? I don't have an answer.

I hope not. Morgan Neville has made a reminder of just what that message was. Tony was the advocate in our society for how we can treat people on the far side of the planet as dimensional people who have their own dreams and loves and families and hopes. And I think that is the greatest achievement that he had.

A message and a messenger people haven't had a chance to connect with in a while. I think a lot of people are going to come to the film because they need that dose of him again. I just miss him.

I miss him. After this past week's assassination of Haiti's president, juvenile Moise, the Caribbean island nation is once again in the news. Martial law has been declared by the acting prime minister, but Haiti does not have a functioning parliament to validate the decree. With a population of 11 million, it's considered the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Haiti won its independence from France in 1804, becoming the first nation founded by formerly enslaved people. Since then, its government has been rocked by coups, foreign interventions, and countless natural disasters, including a catastrophic earthquake in 2010 that led to the loss of some 300,000 lives.

But still the Haitian people endure, as does their rich culture, reflecting the diversity of Haiti's African, Latin, European, and native Taino traditions. Hundreds of bird species are endangered across the Americas, mostly due to the destruction of nesting sites. Connor Knighton tells us about one species at risk from a very different threat. The California condor is the largest flying land bird in North America. What it lacks in looks, it makes up for in majesty. Its nine-and-a-half-foot wingspan leaves quite an impression if you're lucky enough to ever see one.

Or 20. Cindy Mickles was away last weekend, and when she came home, she found that 15 to 20 condors had descended on her home into Hatchby. This scene, captured in May, would have been unthinkable just three decades ago. Back then, there wasn't a single condor left in the wild. In the late 1980s, the last few California condors in existence were brought into captivity to save the species from extinction. Since then, the vultures have been bred and slowly reintroduced into the wild. There are now more than 500 total, a number that is still small enough that biologists still number them all. They're all here for a reason, and it's not a place you want your number, because these are birds that have passed. Chris Parrish is the director of global conservation at the Peregrine Fund. While the reappearance of condors in our skies is certainly a success story, the endangered birds are still struggling.

Researchers eventually learned why. 54% of all death in our population that we monitor that intensively is lead poisoning. Lead is a dangerous neurotoxin.

It's also what most ammunition is made out of. The birds are dying from bullets. They're not getting shot by them. They're literally eating lead. Scavenging wildlife that are obligates, like the condor, they only consume things that are already dead.

Here's the problem. When hunters kill an animal, like a deer, they often leave behind some of the remains. But they may be unintentionally leaving behind tiny fragments of lead, lead that ends up in the condors when they swing by to enjoy a meal. Some of those tiny fragments that strip off of those bullets we've used for 100 years can poison wildlife. In Marble Canyon, Arizona, Parrish's team traps and tests condors. She's still high.

Most have detectable lead levels, so they treat the birds, then release them once they're healthy. We're in a holding pattern. We've come to a real fine understanding of what the problem is, and we know how to solve it. Now we have to go solve it.

But solving this can feel like a long shot. If this wound channel were in the thoracic cavity of a big game animal, this is what's happening in there, and that's where those fragments come from. Parrish is on a mission to convince hunters to hunt with non-lead ammunition, like copper bullets, doing demonstrations across the country.

It's a world he knows well. I'm kind of a redneck hunter-biologist, and these hunters are my people. Unfortunately, copper ammunition is generally more expensive, it's harder to find, and it's just not what people are used to.

Changing tradition is hard. It's not as simple as, here's the science, here's the logic, so do the right thing. In 2019, California instituted a statewide ban on lead ammunition for hunting. But the California condor is also found in Utah and Arizona, states where there aren't bans. Parrish doesn't believe a legislative solution is the answer.

We have a speed limit, but people break that law too. And I'm not saying the hunters are a bunch of bad actors, I'm just saying if they don't understand it, they might well write it off as a piece of unnecessary legislation that really isn't a problem. It seems like a very difficult law to enforce when you're out in the woods.

It's almost impossible. Instead, Parrish favors a voluntary approach. He co-founded the North American Non-Lead Partnership to reach out to hunters.

So far, the response has been encouraging. An estimated 90% of deer hunters on Arizona's Kaibab Plateau now hunt with non-lead or pack out all remains. We know that hunters are the only ones that can solve this problem, so by pointing to them and saying, you're doing a bad thing, that's not going to work. You need to appeal to their conservation ethic and their history of conservation and saying, here is yet another opportunity where we as hunters can leave a healthier environment for all of the critters that live in it, not just those that we hunt, for future generations to enjoy.

One day, Parrish hopes hunters across the country will shoot with alternative ammunition to protect all scavenging animals. Until then, he'll keep getting the word out to help get the lead out. Thank you for listening. Please join us when our trumpet sounds again next Sunday morning.

Music This is The Takeout with Major Garrett. This week, Stephen Law, ally of Mitch McConnell and one of Washington's biggest mid-term money men. List for me the two Senate races where you think Republicans have the best chance of taking a Democratic seat away. Nevada, New Hampshire. Not Georgia. Well, Georgia is right up there, but New Hampshire is a surprise. In New Hampshire, people really just kind of don't like Maggie Hassan. For more from this week's conversation, follow The Takeout with Major Garrett on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-01-29 06:04:39 / 2023-01-29 06:22:27 / 18

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