Monday, July 20, 2015: On this date in 1969, humans left the Earth and reached another world for the first time in our history. To mark the occasion, Bob talks with astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to ever set foot on the moon. Then, what can those guys possibly do for an encore? Bob finds out when he talks with author Andrew Smith. Smith tracked down nine surviving astronauts who’ve stepped on the lunar surface. His book, Moondust: In Search of the Men Who Tell to Earth explores the lives of these Moonwalkers before and after their historical steps.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015: We continue our appreciation of the Apollo missions to the moon. Today, Bob talks with astronaut Alan Bean, the fourth man to walk on the lunar surface. Bean is the author of Painting Apollo and he’s also an artist, whose works features lunar landscapes and fellow astronauts. Then Bob talks with director David Sington about his documentary titled In the Shadow of the Moon. It gathers the stories of the only 12 people to have walked on the moon.
Wednesday, July 22, 2015: Today we’ll talk about some trips that are a little closer to home. First, Bob talks with travel writer Rick Steves. Throughout his career, Steves has advocated for thoughtful and informed traveling in his PBS series, his radio show, and of course his best-selling travel guide books. In his book, Travel As a Political Act, Steves writes about why we travel and how being a good traveler creates positive ties with the citizens of other nations. Then, Bob talks to Keith Bellows, editor-in-chief of National Geographic Traveler magazine. Bellows compiled a list of the 500 greatest trips the world has to offer, encompassing every continent and every possible mode of transportation, including the world’s top 10 elevator rides.
Thursday, July 23, 2015: Bob enjoys a new conversation with his old friend Simon Winchester. The erudite Brit used to inform Bob and millions of public radio listeners about the news in the rest of the world when he was a journalist for The Guardian newspaper in England. Since those days, Winchester has become an American citizen and written many non-fiction best-sellers - about interesting people, historic events, brilliant ideas, even the biography of an ocean. His latest book is for kids – a first for Winchester. It’s called When the Earth Shakes: Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tsunamis. Then, a seismic shift in the office. There’s a good chance you’re sitting at one as you read this. Cubicles, whether we like it or not, are part of many of our jobs. Writer Nikil Saval looks at the week-day setting of many of our lives in his book Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace.
Friday, July 24, 2015: In 2012, Joshua Oppenheimer made a very disturbing documentary film about a genocide in Indonesia that happened 50 years ago. The Act of Killing was nominated for an Oscar and showed the bizarre and casual callousness of those who carried out the crimes in the 1960s. Now Oppenheimer has followed that film with a brand new sequel called The Look of Silence. It’s in limited release now and opens in Washington DC and many other cities next week. He’s here to discuss confronting the now elderly perpetrators – many of whom are still powerful in Indonesia – and to explain how addressing the atrocities can help set the country on a path of reconciliation. In desperate situations, fear can give us the adrenaline we need for survival, or drive us to total terror and impede our ability to think clearly. Science writer Jeff Wise, columnist for Popular Mechanics, examines how and why we respond to fear in his book Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger.