Blue Dot: Mercury Rising: Jeff Shesol’s New Book Casts New Light on The Right Stuff (6/26/2021)

Host Dave Schlom delves into some familiar territory for him, the early space program, but with some fresh takes on the space race with author Jeff Shesol. His new book, Mercury Rising: John Glenn, John Kennedy and the New Battleground of the Cold War is an amazing journey back to a time when America was decidedly NOT first in space. With President Kennedy newly occupying the White House in 1961, NASA’s Mercury program is literally struggling to get off the ground and keep pace with the Soviet Union. With the April orbital flight of Yuri Gagarin, the US once again finds itself, as it had with the launch of Sputnik in 1957, in a very distant second place in space. Shesol, who was one of former President Clinton’s West Wing speechwriters, delves deeply into the story with astronaut John Glenn at the center of the narrative. Glenn has often been portrayed in print, film and television as one dimensional all American guy next door when in reality he was a fierce competitor in everything he did. And while the first flight into space for the US went to Alan B. Shepard, it was Glenn who rocketed to fame with the orbital flight of Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962. Shesol shares his own passion for discovery in this story as he tells of unearthing previously unknown letters and audio tapes from Glenn’s archives that reveal an astronaut that was convinced there was a very real possibility that he would not survive America’s first attempt at putting an astronaut into Earth orbit.

Airs Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 9am


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Blue Dot: Rangeland Management in Drought and Sheep to the Rescue—a conversation with UC Davis scientists (6/12/2021)

California’s rangelands are undergoing critical stress in a historic drought. How are ranchers coping with the lack of water and forage for their animals? Host Dave Schlom talks to Leslie Roche, the Director of the UC Rangelands program about how scientific principles combined with knowledge gained by California ranchers over decades is being used to combat the complex and seemingly intractable problem. Then Dave visits with Haven Kiers, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design about a unique experiment she and her team are conducting using sheep to mow, mulch and fertilize the UC Davis campus’s extensive lawn and field areas.


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Crushed: a PRX special on baseball’s steroid era

Cheating has a ripple effect. And in baseball’s steroid era, the lies and rule breaking extended far beyond the stars that sparked the scandal. Players at all levels of the game had to decide if they should use—and reap the benefits—or stay clean. In this hour-long special from Religion of Sports and PRX, we’ll learn how steroids took hold of baseball and meet two men whose choices reveal a story that Major League Baseball would rather forget.

Airs Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 9am

 

Blue Dot: USGA Science – Making Golf Courses More Environmentally Sustainable (4/24/2021)

Dave talks to two scientists from the United States Golf Association about their efforts to make golf courses more environmentally friendly in a world where green spaces are highly valued and water is an increasingly precious commodity. Matt Pringle discusses the high tech “Deacon” program named after Arnold Palmer’s father, who was a golf pro and course manager in Latrobe, Pennsylvania when Arnie was growing up. Deacon uses a data driven system to help golf courses manage precious resources to enhance resource conservation as well as making the game more enjoyable for players. Then Dave visits with Cole Thompson who is head of the USGA’s Turf Management and Environmental Research Program which strives to make golf courses more efficient in their use of water and other resources. From putting surfaces to rough and fairways, golf is literally going green in the 21st century thanks to data driven science.

Airs at 9am on Saturday, April 24, 2021.


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Live coverage of Gov. Newsom’s State of the State address

Amid a global pandemic and facing a potential recall election, Gov. Gavin Newsom will deliver his 2021 State of the State address at a time of great political peril. He will also break two longstanding traditions: Rather than addressing a joint session of the California Legislature in the Assembly chamber, he will give what his office calls a “virtual presentation … from Los Angeles County.” And for the first time in years, the State of the State will occur in prime time.

KSPB will offer live, special coverage starting at 6pm Pacific on Tuesday, March 9, hosted by Cap Radio’s political reporter and California State of Mind podcast host Nicole Nixon.

Request line on hiatus

One of the disadvantages of the current pandemic situation is that our show hosts are not actually doing their shows from our studio, so they are not there to answer the request line. In fact it’s rare when anyone is in the studio these days. We’re looking forward to when our student DJs are back on campus and broadcasting live again.