Molly Donahue

Intern, Word of Mouth

This is Molly's second year interning for Word of Mouth. A Sociology major at Barnard College, Molly is a grown-up Girl Scout, radio show co-host at the student-run WBAR, and well-documented fan of Dr. Who. Her love of Jeopardy has served her well in her writing for NHPR, giving her an outlet for a lifetime’s worth of fun facts. Molly went to high school in Salem, NH and currently lives in Windham.

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Word of Mouth
9:00 am
Sat June 28, 2014

Saturday Brings 'The Great American Backyard Camp-Out'

Credit Thirteen of clubs via Flickr CC

Few things are as nostalgic for many Americans as the idea of sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and looking for constellations or listening to scary stories. It’s these memories that the National Wildlife Federation hopes to rekindle with the Great American Backyard Camp-Out on Saturday, June 28.

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Word of Mouth
2:57 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

The Other Songs Of The Summer

Credit butler.corey via Flickr Creative Commons

There’s always debate about what will be the ‘song of the summer,’ a title usually determined by airtime and download statistics. But what about all the other songs that deserve a chance at becoming your summer anthem? Here is an alternative summer playlist, with songs from all across the board. Pick your favorite and listen until you get sick of it, hopefully sometime around September.

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Word of Mouth
3:37 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

The Debate: Should Adults Be Embarrassed To Read YA?

Credit rachelkramerbussel.com via Flickr Creative Commons

When Ruth Graham published the Slate article “Against YA” there was an immediate push back. Here we’ve compiled some of our favorites for both sides of the debate.

Nay to YA

Against YA,” by Ruth Graham for Slate.

Here it is, the original article. It’s well-reasoned with a lot of good points, even if it’s getting billed with the uber-polarizing line, “you should be embarrassed to read YA.”  Many criticisms seem to skip straight to the part where Graham says adults shouldn't be reading YA, but there's more in here, so take a look.

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Word of Mouth
3:31 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Freakonomics' Stephen Dubner Takes On This Week's Headlines

Credit christopher.woo via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner about three issues that have been dominating headlines lately. In case you’ve missed them and need to catch up quickly, we’ve compiled the highlights so you can be a champion of serious water-cooler discussions.

The major take-away? Dubner urges you to think like a freak, and to listen to more public radio.

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Word of Mouth
1:45 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

What Is "Twee"?

Flower crowns: Twee. Children with adult expressions: even more so.
Credit Waponi via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Marc Spitz about his new book Twee, in which he tries to give a comprehensive and explanatory history of “the gentle revolution.”

(You can hear that conversation here.)

The tenants of Twee are varied but they come down to this: there is darkness in this world that can only be overcome by cultivating passions that foster beauty and evoke a sense of innocence, goodness, and childhood.

In other words, when the world gets scary, just put a bird on it.

As with any cultural movement, the question of Twee can spark long debates (and trying to sort through “Twee vs. Not Twee” makes an awesome party game). To get you up to speed, here’s a handy list of things that are definitively Twee. As Twee defies categorization, we present this to you as a holistic experience, books mixing with music mixing with…hairstyles?

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Word of Mouth
1:36 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Abandoned New Hampshire

Credit Sean Hurley

The forests of New Hampshire provide an excellent hiding place for those things that either wish to remain hidden, or have simply fallen into the past. Old logging towns, abandoned train tracks, and the leftovers of eccentrics funded by economic booms all litter the state and set the background for many a local legend. Here we’ve listed some of the loneliest, and often mysterious, spots in the state. 

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Word of Mouth
1:56 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Memorable Moments From Movie Musicals

Credit prongsie_babie14 via Flickr Creative Commons

No matter your opinion on them, grand musical numbers are notorious earworms. Here we’ve compiled some of the most famous, beloved, and recognizable movie musicals. Go on, sing along, everyone else will too.  

Top Hat (1935)

This was the first screenplay that was written specifically for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, though they would go on to do at least 6 more movie musicals together. The movie helped to save RKO from bankruptcy with $3 million in box office revenues and it was only beaten by Mutiny on the Bounty, which would go on to win the 1935 Best Picture.  

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Word of Mouth
2:18 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Funeral Cookies: A Collection Of Recipes

Credit star5112 via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Meg Favreau about the tasty treats that are funeral cookies and the various forms in which they come. There are the spongy cookies found in Wales, the chocolate cake-like confections of Belgium, and traditional molasses cookies from Colonial America, to list a few.  Here we’ve listed some of our favorite funeral cookie recipes that we've found, from the historical to the very modern. 

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Word of Mouth
11:57 am
Thu August 1, 2013

One Of These Space Weather Events Is Not Like The Others

Courtesy nasa.gov

As we learned from Joe Hanson, space weather can be an amazing thing. As receiving real-time space weather forecasts is becoming more of a reality, it would be good to familiarize yourself with some of the weather events you can expect to see. We’ve compiled a list to test your space weather knowledge. All of these events sound fantastic and have been the fodder for many a Sci-Fi plot, but do you know which one of these 4 space weather events isn’t real?

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Word of Mouth
1:21 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

Handwriting Is Not A Lost Art Thanks To A Computerized Pen

Credit lernstift.com

People often lament that handwriting is a lost art. But if the creators of a new educational tool have their way, calligraphy will never die out completely. The Lernstift – or “learning pen”– is a working computerized pen which uses vibration to help improve handwriting, and is projected to go into production this fall.   Word of Mouth’s Molly Donahue spoke with Daniel Kaesmacher who helped develop the Lernstift, to learn a little bit more about it.

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Word of Mouth
11:01 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Lost Girls: An Abbreviated Timeline

Credit Harper Collins Publishers

We spoke with author Robert Kolker about the unsolved case, dubbed the Long Island Serial Killer by the press and public. Here's an abbreviated version of the timeline in Lost Girls of the events surrounding the ongoing investigation. The full story and timeline is discussed in Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery.

April 20, 1996: Two female legs, wrapped in a plastic bag, are discovered on Fire Island west of Davis Park Beach.

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Word of Mouth
9:20 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Check Out These Five Really Weird Sports

Credit Tetyanochka via Flickr Creative Commons

Our exploration of Aesthletics reminded us of some of our other favorite bizarre sports. From the safe, if not always tame, World Beard and Moustache Competition to the surprisingly dangerous Outhouse Races, strange sports are everywhere. These are not the weirdest sports, by far, but they top our list as most memorable and well organized.

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Word of Mouth
12:44 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Voice Almighty: Our Favorite Vocal Icons

dahlia.delilah via Flickr Creative Commons

As we explored earlier, the voice is a powerful tool. We form very strong images and opinions about others without ever having seen or met or interacted with them, simply because of the way they sound.  Even when they aren’t a good representation of the person, voices are often the first impression we choose to trust. From actors who have built entire careers on their voice, to the often unnoticed background on thousands of film trailers and television spots, here are some of the most iconic voices we’ve heard, whether you’ve realized it or not.

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Word of Mouth
10:35 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Chuck Klosterman Tells Us Who Is More Villainous

Comitted Few/GCPanthergirl via Flickr Creative Commons

After speaking with Chuck Klosterman about his new book, I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling With Villains, and the nature of villainy, we gave him a quick quiz about some of the subjects he writes about in the book. He tells us who is more villainous with frequently hilarious, and thought-provoking, answers.

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Word of Mouth
3:17 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

Frozen In Time: 7 Celebrities Who Are Taking Steps to Live Forever

Credit Daniel Y. Go via Flickr Creative Commons

When we spoke with Josh Dean, author of the long form article, “Inside the Immortality Business,” he noted that you have to have both a lot of money and a pretty large ego to seriously consider cryonics as a substitute for any end of life plans. Since it is only legal to freeze someone after they have been declared medically deceased, there are some pretty tricky logistics involved in being cryogenically frozen. Aside from having your estate settled and making sure there is a team waiting at your death bed to put you on ice as soon as possible, people who choose to be frozen also have to make sure their accounts have been paid in full – or risk having their bodies sit around until the bank transfers go through. Despite all this, there are still plenty of people who are willing to bet hundreds of thousands of dollars that someday science will have progressed far enough to bring them back from the dead. Among this eccentric bunch are some well known celebrities.

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