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
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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