Taylor Quimby

Producer, Word of Mouth

Taylor Quimby started his career in radio in 2010 as a part-time board operator for NHPR. As Producer of Word of Mouth, he cultivates ideas, writes and produces segments, shapes the sound of the program, and sifts through endless emails. Taylor also lends his voice to the show as an occasional substitute host and contributor, and is responsible for the blog Abbrev. Movie Reviews.

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Word of Mouth
8:56 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Your 'Breaking Bad' Hotline Messages

Walter talks on the phone...YOU can, too!

Many of you called our Breaking Bad Hotline to let us know how you felt after the credits rolled on the finale. Here are just a few of the messages you left for us...and we've made them SPOILER FREE!

Just remember...WE'RE the ones who knock! Or something.

And if you're not ready to let go of our favorite meth cooks yet, check out some of our favorite 'Breaking Bad' memes:

'Breaking Bad' theme, played on meth lab equipment:

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Word of Mouth
9:53 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Word Of Mouth 09.21.13

Credit Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth's Saturday show is everything you've come to expect from the public radio masterminds at WOM Inc.: you'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be compelled to listen twice. This week's show features our own Taylor Quimby working the controls, giving the lovely Virginia Prescott a well deserved vacation from our little radio factory:

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Word of Mouth
11:44 am
Tue September 17, 2013

With Fewer Fires To Fight, Is It Time To Revisit The Role Of Firefighters?

Credit warriorwoman531 via Flickr Creative Commons

In 1975, Boston firefighters battled more than 400 blazes. Last year, there were only forty. That 90 percent drop reflects a nationwide victory in the crusade against fires, but even as America’s blazes burn out, the number of career firefighters per capita remains relatively unchanged.  

Leon Neyfakh is Ideas reporter for The Boston Globe. 

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Word of Mouth
11:31 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Athens Community Builds Its Own Internet

Credit Curtis Gregory Perry via Flickr Creative Commons

Activism and innovation among Greeks started long before that country's debt crisis. In 2002, an Athens community fed up by slow and expensive service set up its own private internet. More than 1000 members of the Athens Wireless Metropolitan Network have free access to the web with speeds up to 30 times faster than commercial telecom carriers in the area. Given global concerns over the extent of the NSA’s surveillance program, independent “mesh” networks like the one in Athens could be adapted in other communities.

Joe Kloc is a reporter for The Daily Dot.

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Word of Mouth
11:30 am
Tue September 17, 2013

A Web Tool 'Scouts' Out Political Progress

Photo Credit KP Tripathi, via Flickr Creative Commons

Congressional approval ratings are currently scraping the floor at about 15%. Voters report feeling frustrated at the dominance of political posturing over action. The exasperation has many wondering what our Legislature does exactly, and what in the Sam Hill are they talking about on the hill. A new web-based tool allows citizens to track congressional discussion, bills -- including state bills -- and regulations concerning issues they care about. From raw milk to education bills to campaign finance, Scout is designed to deliver real time results and encourage a more informed public. Our guest is Tom Lee the director of Sunlight Labs, the technical arm of the Sunlight Foundation – which works to make government transparent and accountable. He and his team helped develop Scout.

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Word of Mouth
11:25 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Cue The Controversy: Is A Gluten-Free Diet Good For Everyone?

Gluten-free cookies
Credit Rakka via Flickr Creative Commons

Celiac disease is a serious autoimmune disorder caused by a reaction to a gluten protein affecting one in one-hundred Americans. Despite the low percentage of those intolerant to wheat products, more people are experimenting with the anti-gluten diet and claim to enjoy health benefits like better skin and fewer allergies.  But is this fad just that...or is there some medical substance behind these claims?

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Word of Mouth
10:00 am
Tue September 17, 2013

'Capturing Grace': Documentary Features Parkinson's Patients Learning To Dance

danceforparkinsons.org

A few years after he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, writer, producer, and Public Radio host Dave Iverson learned that the Mark Morris Dance Group was teaching dance to people with Parkinson's at its Brooklyn headquarters.  Dave was touched - and produced a special on the dance group for the PBS Newshour and the PBS series Frontline.

More recently, he's rounded up a team of pros to film students preparing for their first public performance. He’s launched a Kickstarter project called “Capturing Grace" to finish the film.

Also joining us is David Levanthal – who until recently was one of the Mark Morris Dance Group’s most celebrated dancers. He’s now focusing entirely on dance for PD, the program working with Parkinson’s patients.

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Word of Mouth
3:02 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

The Government Has Been Dropping Rabies Vaccines By Plane For Years

A couple weeks ago the Associated Press reported that the Department of Agriculture was dropping new vanilla-flavored rabies vaccines by airplane over New Hampshire forests as part of a five-state pilot study. Okay, if that sounds a little strange to you, get this: apparently the government has been distributing rabies vaccines by plane for over fifteen years. The story piqued the interest of NHPR environmental reporter Sam Evans-Brown, so he did some digging and is here to tell us more.

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Word of Mouth
2:03 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Diary Of A Space Zucchini: An Astronaut Imagines His Vegetable's Voice

Don Pettit

NASA’s Don Pettit has been back from his last mission aboard the International Space Station for over a year, but his blog “Letters to Earth” remains one of the most fascinating and profound windows into the creative and emotional life of an astronaut.  While in space he penned and published poetry, An Astronaut’s Guide to Space Etiquette, and the series, “Diary of a Space Zucchini”, which detailed life on the ISS from the unusual perspective of a se

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Word of Mouth
12:15 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Farming...In Space!

Credit Courtesy NASA.gov

If you think there are too many food deserts in cities across the United States, try finding some fresh produce in outer space.  Naturally, NASA makes sure astronauts living on the International Space Station don’t go hungry, but since it costs about $10,000 to send a single pound of food to the I.S.S., you can bet they don’t see a lot of leafy greens.

That cost is just one reason growing fresh food in outer space is a crucial step in the future of manned space exploration.  Jesse Hirsch is a staff writer for Modern Farmer, where you can find his article, “Space Farming: The Final Frontier”. 

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Word of Mouth
12:29 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Hey Authors: Quit Writing Books!

Credit ed_needs_a_bicycle via Flickr Creative Commons

When was the last time you read a book? Not for work, not a kid’s bedtime story, but a real honest to goodness book, just for the pleasure of reading?

If you sheepishly answered, "more than a year ago," you’re not alone. A recent survey puts the number of Americans who have failed to crack a spine in more than a year at one in four. While new technological distractions have certainly cut into our reading time, our next guest would also like to blame the Sisyphean task of merely trying to choose a book that’s worthy of reading. His solution? Authors should take a break from writing to give readers a chance to catch up.

Colin Robinson is a co-founder of the New York based independent publisher OR.

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Word of Mouth
10:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Affordable Care Act Will Shine Light On Gifts And Fees Doctors Receive

Doctors may scale back on office swag because of a provision in the ACA called "The Sunshine Act."
Credit Daniel Sylvester Hurd via Flickr Creative Commons

The Affordable Care Act has gotten its fair share of media coverage since passing in December of 2009, but much of the discussion has focused the behemoth law’s more controversial aspects, like the individual mandate and Medicaid expansion.  One under-discussed provision of the A.C.A. is called “The Sunshine Act.” It's designed to reveal the substantial fees and gifts doctors receive from pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Joining me to discuss the provision and what it will mean for doctors and companies is healthcare reporter for the Wall Street Journal Peter Loftus, as well as physician and author Danielle Ofri, who writes about medicine and the doctor-patient connection for The New York Times.

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Word of Mouth
9:40 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Graphic Novel Illustrates The Birth Of The Bomb

There’s not a ton to look at in Los Alamos, New Mexico these days, but one of the most terrifying and iconic series of pictures in the history of the human race were once taken there, a little over 65 years ago, when a group of pioneer scientists photographed the world’s first atomic bomb test. They captured a speck of light, that turned into a snow-globe burning hotter than the surface of the sun, that turned into a mushroom cloud, now a universal symbol of epic destruction.  

Jonathan Fetter-Vorm is co-founder of Two Fine Chaps, a graphic imprint dedicated to adapting and illustrating classic works of literature and natural science… he’s also the author and illustrator of Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb.

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Word of Mouth
1:58 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

The Shocking Truth Behind Pistachio Pricing: The Ones With Shells Cost MORE!

Pistachios with shells: 8 oz. Pistachios shelled: 6 oz
Taylor Quimby NHPR

When it comes to food I can be a bit of a cheapskate. If I can’t tell the difference between two similar products, the first thing I look at to determine which to buy is the price tag. But sometimes, being a frugal shopper means more than picking the right brand – sometimes it’s about getting your hands dirty. 

Take pistachios for example. I always buy them with the shells on.  Why?  Because they’re cheaper. Presumably, consumers are paying extra for the privilege of not having to split a thumbnail cracking them open. But when we asked around the office at our Concord studios, it turned out there were lots of reasons people choose to buy whole pistachios.

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Word of Mouth
1:21 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

The 'Commander In Cheap' Shares His Penny Pinching Secrets

Credit M.C. Chavez via flickr Creative Commons

Do you cut coupons or drive around looking for the gas station with the lowest price? If so, you might think of yourself as a skinflint…but you’ve probably got nothing on Jeff Yeager, who proudly claims the title “The Ultimate Cheapskate.” Jeff doesn’t just stretch a dollar; he gets his cash to do calisthenics.  He is the author of several books rife with miserly tips, including the The Cheapskate Next Door, Don’t Throw That Away and How To Retire The Cheapskate Way. Jeff is also featured in the AARP web video series, “The Cheap Life.”

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Word of Mouth
2:23 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Having 24/7 Access To Your Kid's Grades Might Not Be A Good Thing

Report card circa 1944.
Credit Phil Jern via flickr Creative Commons

If recent revelations about the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs have you worried about the future of American privacy, it might do you good to think back to when you were still in high school… and nearly all of your activities were monitored by another powerful domestic agency: your parents.

Since then, technology has made surveilling students remotely, easier than ever before...Including a new program called “Power-School”, which offers parents around-the-clock online access to their children’s grades and academic progress. Jessica Lahey is a New Hampshire parent and educator, and author of the forthcoming book Why Parents Need To Let Their Children Fail. She recently wrote for The Atlantic about why her family is choosing not to use the system to monitor their fourteen-year old son.

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Word of Mouth
2:06 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Is This The Biggest Yard Sale In New Hampshire?

Taylor Quimby NHPR

This past Saturday, I visited Durham New Hampshire for the 700 family yard sale, an annual fundraising event for the St.Thomas More Parish that’s been held every year for more than three decades. When I arrived, parking was scarce – and a crowd of a hundred people or so had already gathered to get a sneak-peek at the goods laid across dozens of tables. I joined the growing throng – and produced this audio postcard.

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Word of Mouth
9:29 am
Thu August 8, 2013

U.K. Welcomes The World's First Lab Grown Burger

Credit sneurgaonkar via Flickr Creative Commons

You may have heard the news earlier this week that taste-testers and scientists in the U.K. sampled the world’s first lab-grown burger.  One food researcher said that the burger tasted “close to meat, but not that juicy”. Another quipped, “what was consistently different was the flavor”. Not a great review for a patty costing somewhere around three hundred and thirty thousand dollars, but you’ve got to start somewhere.  Henry Fountain, science reporter for the New York Times, tells us about the science under the bun.

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Word of Mouth
9:17 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Making Ourselves Happier

Credit happier.com

What makes you happier? This simple question lies at the heart of a new app called “Happier” – a social media community and iPhone app which collects and shares the little actions, moments and gesture that brighten their day. The app was developed with the idea that the key to happiness is focusing on the positive and plenty of people have joined so far. We wanted to know – are they any better off? Nataly Kogan is co-founder of the Boston-based Happier Inc. and she spoke with us about the app.

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Word of Mouth
10:08 am
Mon July 22, 2013

In The Fast Lane: The Richard Petty Driving Experience

Logan Shannon

On July 14th, Brian Vickers led a group of professional NASCAR drivers to take the sprint cup at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon.  Less than a week later, a group of men and women with absolutely no racing experience took to the same track, in the same six-hundred horsepower stock cars, in hopes of hitting the same high-octane speeds as the pros.  The Richard Petty Driving Experience is a payed sports adventure that lets NASCAR fans get a taste of life in the fast lane… Producer Taylor Quimby was with them in Loudon last Friday, and brought us back this audio postcard.

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Word of Mouth
9:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Commercial Spaceport Is Being Threatened By History

Credit Jeff Houck/John Stavely via Flickr Creative Commons

Florida’s Aerospace Economic Development Agency is making plans to build a new commercial spaceport not far from the Kennedy Space Center – home of NASA’s now retired shuttle program. There’s just one problem: the land is already occupied.  To learn more, producer Taylor Quimby caught up with Tampa Bay Times reporter Craig Pittmanwho wrote about Space Florida’s proposal to build on top of an  18th century sugar factory and archaeological site called the Elliott Plantation.

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Word of Mouth
11:09 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Making Movies With The Pentagon

Credit DVIDSHUB via flickr Creative Commons

The Pentagon has often played a role in shaping blockbuster films…at least those featuring tanks, ships, and other military gear. We wondered about the relationship between Hollywood and the D.O.D.…what do filmmakers have to do to get access to all that firepower?

To find out, producer Taylor Quimby called Sean McElwee. He’s a freelance writer who blogged about what studios that collaborate with the military have to give up – in terms of creative – and even ideological – control of their movies.

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Word of Mouth
2:05 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Word Of Mouth's Audio Clip Of The Week

It's only Tuesday, and we've already got our winner for audio clip of the week from our story on the Xbox One:

We got the clip from Angry Joe's YouTube channel; the vlogger went on an angry tirade after the Xbox One reveal proved to be completely disappointing for hard-core gamers.

"Don't. Do. The RE-VEAL!" is our new mantra.

If you'd like to watch the entire Xbox One rant, here's a link to the full video (it gets a little NSFW for language) from the Angry Joe Show.

Word of Mouth
10:46 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Forget Dogs...How About Therapy Llamas?

There are many ways to ease the pangs of loneliness, illness, and old age –among them, spending time with a friendly animal companion. More than ten thousand animals are currently registered as care workers in the United States - only fourteen of them however, are llamas. I recently spoke with llama trainer Niki Kuklenski of J.N.K. Llamas about how this unusual animal is playing a role in human therapy.

Check out a video from Colors Magazine that shows Niki's llamas in action.

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Word of Mouth
10:52 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Pipe Trouble: A Controversial Video Game

Screen shot from the game.
Credit via pipetrouble.com

A major spill of heavy crude oil in Arkansas couldn’t come at a worse time for the Canadian tar sands industry - though President Obama has hinted he’s preparing to green-light the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline, any push in the wrong direction could finish the project before it even begins.  Meanwhile a new report from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce says that, without new pipelines to help ease production bottlenecks, Canada will be missing out on an estimated 15 billion dollars annually.

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Word of Mouth
2:19 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

We're On A Break

The Carmel, CA coastline.
Credit Logan Shannon

Word of Mouth is on break this week, but fret not, there's still plenty of compelling stories to enjoy. We've lined up some of our favorite shows to entertain you in our absence.

Monday, March 25th: A rebroadcast of Word of Mouth from January 5th, 2013.

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Word of Mouth
11:30 am
Thu February 14, 2013

A Rose By Any Other Name: Changing Your Name When You Marry

Credit Christopher_Hawkins via flickr Creative Commons

Suffragette Lucy Stone is remembered as the first modern woman who decided to keep her maiden name after marriage – that was back in the 1850s.  The trend took more than a century to peak in the 1990s, when nearly a quarter of women bucked the tradition of taking on their husband’s name. Since then, that number has been in steady decline. According to the wedding website theknot.com, today a mere eight percent of women stick with their given name.  Of course, that doesn’t mean the decision has gotten any easier to make.  Word of Mouth’s Taylor Quimby reports on the reasoning, and occasional regret, behind the decision to keep or leave behind a name.

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Word of Mouth
1:06 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Word of Mouth's "End of the World" Playlist

Like any major life event, the annihilation of life as we know it deserves a soundtrack.  It’s easy to decide what to listen to when the four horsemen of the apocalypse are coming around the bend…So, for everybody hosting an “end of the world party” in the next 48 hours, we compiled a few suggestions to help you kick out the jams one final time.  

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Word of Mouth
2:24 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

"The Hobbit": A Scholar's Perspective

Credit Hobbit Still MGM Studios

Corey Olsen, English Professor at Washington College and author of the book “Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit”, discusses the lasting appeal and tonal evolution of the classic children’s novel. 

Word of Mouth
9:17 am
Tue December 4, 2012

The End of the Alpine Lodge?

The lodge at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
Credit Matthew B. Brown

In winter sports communities out west, ski lodges are shedding their antlers for a more contemporary decor. But does the cocoa taste as sweet? And will New England ever give up its slopeside a-frame aesthetic?

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