Virginia Prescott

Host, Word of Mouth

Prior to joining NHPR, Virginia Prescott was editor and producer for the nationally syndicated programs On Point and Here & Now, produced at WBUR in Boston. Virginia grew up in New Hampshire, but began her radio career at WWOZ Radio in New Orleans. She moved to New York City and worked for the team behind NPR’s Peabody Award-winning Jazz from Lincoln Center series with Ed Bradley. Virginia then joined WNYC to launch the station’s website and oversee all its interactive media sites. Throughout her radio career, Virginia helped set up independent radio stations in developing regions in southern and West Africa. She has also trained journalists in post-conflict zones from Sierra Leone to the former Yugoslavia. She was awarded a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University where she studied how broadcast media could spark dialogue and build community across terrestrial borders.

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Word of Mouth
12:59 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Lunar Conservation: Protecting America's Archeological History On The Moon

Feather left on the moon
NASA

China’s lunar rover, Jade Rabbit, landed on the moon to study the satellite’s terrain, geology, and lava flows. What else might it find? Dirty laundry, golf balls, bags of human waste, and an American flag.  There are loads of items left on the moon by NASA’s Apollo missions -- still perfectly preserved because the moon lacks a destructive atmosphere. With a handful of countries announcing plans for future lunar missions, a number of scientists are arguing that moon trash is an archeological treasure that should be preserved and studied by future generations. But with no laws or lunar governing body to protect, say, the first footprint on the moon, some worry that America’s lunar heritage could be destroyed by a new generation of explorers rushing to reach the moon.

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Word of Mouth
2:06 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

Word Of Mouth 01.04.14

Credit Taylor Quimby

Wow.  It's the first Word of Mouth Saturday show of 2014.  It's like one final holiday gift, opened whilst downing the last of the leftover champagne and simultaneously making a resolution to listen to more public radio.  Our Saturday show is the perfect mix of looking back, looking forward, and living in the now.  Cheers!

  • The Food Trends of 2013 and 2014:  From the uber-hyped cronut, to Paula Deen's public meltdown, to the apocalyptic Sriracha shortage, AP Food Editor J.M. Hirsch recalls the flavor of 2013, and makes his culinary predictions for what's to come in the new year.
  • How Should We Live?  Author/philosopher Roman Krznaric peers into the near and ancient past for examples of how people through the ages approached love, work, family, time, money, death, creativity, and more.
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Word of Mouth
2:47 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Celebrity Cheerleaders Of Instagram

"Cheerlebrity" Carly Manning
Credit Instagram user carlymanning10

Cast your mind back to high school.  The social hierarchies, the rivalries, the cliques?  Were the cheerleaders at your school at the at top of the pyramid? It should come as no surprise that popular kids still ‘own’ high school. Some are also getting famous online, in the halls of social media. enter the world of the “cheer famous." Joining us is Allie Jones, she writes about politics and fashion at “The Wire”. She wrote about the “The Private Lives of the Cheer-lebrities of Instagram”. Her article has since spawned the kind of drama that reads like a hollywood cheerleading movie script.

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Word of Mouth
1:44 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Tech Trends To Look Forward To In 2014

The Sony Curved LED HDTV
Credit Sony

50 years ago, inspired by the 1964 World’s Fair, Isaac Asimov wrote an article for the New York Times envisioning what the world might look like in 2014. Among his predictions: “By 2014, electroluminescent panels will be in common use. ceilings and walls will glow softly, and in a variety of colors that will change at the touch of a push button.  Gadgetry will continue to relieve mankind of tedious jobs. Breakfasts will be "ordered" the night before to be ready by a specified hour the next morning. Communications will become sight-sound and you will see as well as hear the person you telephone. The screen can be used not only to see the people you call but also for studying documents and photographs and reading passages from books.” While we may not have “automeals,” many of Asimov’s predictions were remarkably prescient. Now that we have time on our side, let’s discuss the technology forecast for 2014. Tech analyst and writer Tim Bajarin joins us.

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Word of Mouth
12:34 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Inside Butler Boot Camp

Credit Starkey International Institute of Household Management

The number of U.S. billionaires doubled in the past decade, and those hedge fund managers, CEOs and celebrities need trained staff to manage their many estates. That’s the goal of Starkey International Institute of Household Management in Denver. For about $20,000, students can learn how to oversee and care for today’s great estates.  Joining us is freelance writer John P. Davidson. He attended the Butler Boot Camp at Starkey and wrote about it for the January issue of Harper’s magazine.

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Word of Mouth
2:45 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

2013: The Year Of The Apology

Credit NHPR

As we look back at 2013, we’re struck by the number of mishaps made by politicians, celebrities, athletes and companies…followed of course, by the oh-so-heartfelt public apology. Word of Mouth's senior producer Maureen McMurray and producer Taylor Quimby join Virginia Prescott to talk about the year of saying sorry…or in some cases, the year of the non-apology.

Word of Mouth
2:00 pm
Wed January 1, 2014

Sherlock Holmes, Zen Master?

Enthusiasm for the fictional British detective is hardly new. When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes in an 1893 issue of Strand magazine, 20,000 readers canceled their subscriptions. Doyle succumbed and revived the character in dozens more stories before his own death in 1930. While the appeal of Sherlock Holmes coincided with the rise of popular science in the late Victorian era, today’s Sherlock-mania may be connected to a more 21st century concept: mindfulness.

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Word of Mouth
1:58 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

The Hottest Food Trends Of 2013

Credit Phil Nolan via Flickr Creative Commons

New Year’s Eve is a day of indulgence, the last chance to gorge on delicious treats and beverages before cleaning the slate. What’s on your menu tonight? Does it involve kale or Siracha, or a Cronut? According to our guest J.M. Hirsch, food editor at the Associated Press, those were among the hottest foods of 2013.

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Word of Mouth
1:21 pm
Tue December 31, 2013

Brady's Top 10 Web Trends Of 2013

Credit bhautik joshi via Flickr Creative Commons

New Year’s Eve is a day of reflection and celebration and each December we mark the passage of time by inviting NHPR’s own Brady Carlson on the show to share his list of the year’s biggest web trends. Last year his list included: Kony 2012, Kickstarter, and Gangnam Style. Seems so long ago, doesn’t it? Brady joins us again to reflect on the web trends and memes of 2013, and what they reveal about our collective state this year.

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Word of Mouth
1:52 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

The Worst Movies of 2013

Credit Sodium Fox

The Golden Globe and SAG Awards nominations are out, launching  awards season into full effect. Among those getting the most nods are director Steve McQueen’s “12 years a slave”, and David O'Russell’s “American Hustle”.  We’re not going to tread through the all-too-familiar “best of 2013” territory today. We’re forging a new path through the worst films of the year. Joining us is Bill Goodykoontz, chief film critic for Gannett and The Arizona Republic who wrote "A Year in Review: 10 Worst Movies of 2013"

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Word of Mouth
2:35 pm
Tue December 24, 2013

Confess Your Strategy For Unwanted Gifts...Anonymously

The holidays bring gifts of all shapes, sizes, and…well…usefulness. Whether it’s a tacky tchotchke, an ill-fitting sweater, or something you already own, we’ve all experienced it…the moment you excitedly open that pretty gift box, look inside and think…uh-oh.

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Word of Mouth
10:02 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Writers On A New England Stage: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin takes the stage.
Photo(s) by David J. Murray ClearEyePhoto.com

NHPR

and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Doris Kearns Goodwin, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. The Pulitzer prize-winning historian and biographer of several American presidents shifts to the progressive era with, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt William Howard Taft & The Golden Age Of Journalism.  The book follows two presidents who became friends and later bitter rivals, as well as a chronicle of the dawn of investigative journalism in America.

This broadcast was made possible with support from TransCanada.

Word of Mouth
2:18 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Word Of Mouth 12.21.2013

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, Saturday the 21st is the shortest day of the year, also known as the winter solstice. Celebrate the impending uptick in sunshine that starts on the 22nd by listening to a cozy Saturday edition of Word of Mouth. On this week's show:

  • The American male is suffering from a friend crisis: Lisa Wade is professor of sociology at Occidental College and principal writer for Sociological Images. She wrote about it for Salon.
  • Volunteering: EMS Workers. We looked at a few off the beaten path volunteer opportunities in the Granite State over the past week. Reporter Emily Corwin and Senior Producer Maureen McMurray bring us the story of an amazing group of volunteers on the seacoast.
  • What's with the dearth of new holiday songs? Despite the sleigh load of holiday albums released every winter, there hasn’t been an original holiday single with the staying power of Mariah Carey’s hit for nineteen years. So, has our culture stopped welcoming new holiday songs? Has our Christmas carol quota been met?  Chris Klimek, is here to weigh in, his article for Slate:  “All I Want For Christmas Is A New Christmas Song,” pretty much says it all.

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Word of Mouth
5:08 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

What's Your Most Revered And Most Reviled Holiday Ditty?

One of Virginia's favorite Christmas songs.
Credit Affendaddy via flickr Creative Commons

Maybe it’s the repetition, or maybe the obligatory cheeriness, but there’s something about hearing holiday songs that you don’t like that rankles much more deeply than other assaults on the senses.  We asked listeners to share their favorite seasonal tunes on our Facebook page, along with the ones they hate.

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Word of Mouth
4:51 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Why Is There A Dearth Of New Holiday Songs?

Credit mariahcarey.com

The song, “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey was released in 1994, and has become a Christmas standard, consistently topping the billboard holiday charts. Despite the sleigh load of holiday albums released every winter, there hasn’t been an original holiday single with the staying power of Mariah Carey’s hit for nineteen years.

So, has our culture stopped welcoming new holiday songs? Has our Christmas carol quota been met?  Chris Klimek, is here to weigh in, his article for Slate:  “All I Want For Christmas Is A New Christmas Song,” pretty much says it all.

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