12.7.14: Mental Effects Of Space Travel, Bill Littlefield, & Water Taste Test

Dec 5, 2014

Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

The recent disintegration and crash of a Virgin Galactic suborbital space plane raised questions about the safety and viability of space tourism. On today’s show we consider another issue for commercial spaceflight….the psychological effects of leaving earth.

Then, we can all remember our favorite sports movies – but what about our favorite sports-based books? Bill Littlefield of NPR’s Only a Game talks about his favorite sportswriters, and reads from his new collection of athletics inspired poetry. 

Plus, a conversation with America’s only water sommelier. That’s right, water sommelier.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

The Mental Effects of Space Travel

  • Sydney Brownstone is a staff writer at Fast Company’s Co-Exist, where she wrote about the often-ignored mental side of space travel. You can read her article here: "The Break-Off Effect."

Bill Littlefield

  • You probably know Bill Littlefield as the host of NPR’s Only A Game, heard every Saturday morning right here on NHPR, but he has also tackled sports from nearly every angle, including essays, fiction and now poetry.
  • We've got a short list of Bill's favorite sports books at this link.

America's Only Water Sommelier

Water Tap

  • Here in the U.S., getting water is as easy as turning on a faucet. In Nepal, however, it can be serious business. Reporter Laura Spero discovered this for herself when she spent nine months living with a family in a small farming village in central Nepal. She brings us this story.
  • You can listen to this again at PRX.org.

National Geographic Covers

  • As National Geographic’s chief content officer, Chris Johns plays a key role in selecting the images that make the cover, but he started at Nat Geo, behind the lens as a photographer. He spoke with Taylor about a new book from National Geographic, The Covers: Iconic Photographs, Unforgettable Stories.
  • We've got a slideshow of cover imagery at this link.