Virginia Prescott

Host, Word of Mouth

Virginia Prescott invites listeners to take a break from breaking news and explore a world of under-reported stories on New Hampshire Public Radio as the host of Word of Mouth, a daily radio program and podcast. Prior to joining NHPR, she was editor, producer, and director for NPR programs On Point and Here & Now, and directed interactive media for New York Public Radio.

Throughout her radio career, Virginia has worked to build sustainable independent radio in the developing world and has trained journalists in post-conflict zones from Sierra Leone to the Balkans. She has been honored for her contributions with a Gracie award for her work on Word of Mouth, a Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University, and was a member of the Peabody Award-winning production team for Jazz from Lincoln Center with Ed Bradley. Virginia loves working in public radio, but regrets that so many good outfits go unnoticed.

Contact

Word of Mouth Program Page

Ways to Connect

Richard Conniff talks about his new book, The Species Seekers. And NHPR's Sam Evans Brown takes a trip to Vermont to find out what permaculture is.

Word of Mouth for 11.19.2011: Part 2

Nov 19, 2011

Word of Mouth’s internet sherpa Brady Carlson is back. After his weekday shifts hosting All Things Considered, Brady likes to unwind by gathering new items for Here's What’s Awesome, our frequent look at the web and its endless list of memes, trends and viral hits.

A secret online black market exposed. And a Connecticut High School's controversial, Columbine-style ruse to clear the hallways for a drug sweep.  

(<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/lwr/3501111280/">Leo Reynolds </a>via Flickr)

Part 1:

We take a journey to an online black market where you can buy anything from M-16's to fake identities. A Connecticut high school's Columbine-style ruse to clear the halls for a drug sweep.

Part 2:

Brady Carlson returns with Here's What's Awesome.

Part 3:

Richard Conniff on The Species Seekers. What the heck is permaculture?

Part 4:

(<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/instantvantage/6108039196/" target="_blank">Instant Vantage</a> via Flickr Creative Commons)

You may recall that as President, Ronald Reagan labeled ketchup as a vegetable. On Monday, a joint House-Senate spending bill added tomato paste slathered on pizza to the vegetable group. In fact, pizza is now designated as a “supervegetable”. Julian Pecquet covers health care for The Hill and has been following the bill, and the lobbying effort behind it.

We can't help but wonder what Michelle said when she found out.

 

 

(<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/linusekenstam/4051974981/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Jan Ekenstam</a> via Flickr Creative Commons)

Former Word of Mouth intern Stephanie Reighart visited an unexpected restaurant catering to the Upper Valley called Tastes of Africa.

(<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/sheepies/3539476944/sizes/m/in/photostream/" target="_blank">Andreas Photography</a> via Flickr Creative Commons)

Before vaccines became standard care, parents who wanted to build their children’s immunity to common diseases often brought them to play with other neighborhood kids already infected with bugs like the measles and chicken pox. Now, a small group of parents opposed to vaccines are reviving “pox parties” via social media sites like Facebook. Recently, one mother catered to that  crowd by advertising homemade lollipops tainted with the varicella virus…yep.

Produced by Chris Cuffe

(Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/jinneepham/5203069571/" target="_blank">Thanh Quynh </a> via Flickr Creative Commons)

How pizza got vegetized. An African restaurant in the Upper Valley. Facebook Pox Parties. And the real mortician behind "Ask a Mortician" talks about bringing death talk to the masses.

Photo by Vaporizers, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Our guest Sabrina Rubin Erdely describes her journey down the Silk Road, an underground website where hack-savvy browsers can buy virtually anything, assuming it's illegal.

LINKS

Sabrina's article about the Silk Road

Sabrina's website about other stuff

Photo by lmanage, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Today, a walk down the Silk Road, where savvy web-browsers can buy anything from weapons to weed to weird.  Also, how one teacher works to help immigrant and refugee schoolchildren learn language and adapt to a new home through pictures.  Plus, the Total Artifical Heart, a primer on Permaculture, and a ride through the wilderness of Idaho in search of pioneer apples.

Who's Your Daddy?

Nov 15, 2011
Photo by Damon Clarke, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Journalist for the Atlantic Robin Romm chronicles a sperm donor's discovery that his "contribution" is the subject of an online blog. 

LINKS

Romm's article All His Children

 

The Latest Awesome

Nov 15, 2011
Photo by Evan Hahn, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

NHPR's host of All Things Considered and resident web-guru pilots us through the interweb's latest viral videos and telling finds.  

HERE'S WHAT'S AWESOME THIS TIME:

Herman Cain's webpage "error"

How to win a Russian election

Photo by Moe M, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Pastor Joel Kruggel of the Bethany Covenant Church in Bedford talks about his congregation's work providing Sudanese refugees with their own place of worship, as well as computer literacy classes and computers. 

 

LINKS

To donate, contact The Bethany Covenant Church

More about the Sudanese Evangelical Covenant Church in Manchester

Photo by Evan Hahn, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Today, a sperm donor discovers decisions can have unintended consequences.  Plus, a double dose of awesome internet viral videos and worthy time-wasters.  Also, a family who must divide in order to stay together through mental illness.  And a church works to provide Sudanese refugees with computer literacy skills.  Lastly, the future is now for prosthetics: a look at bionic appendages.

Photo by Canalita0306, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

More evidence that some people are losing faith in American exceptionalism: Chinatowns everywhere are vacating as residents head back home in search of the "Chinese Dream".  Journalist Bonnie Tsui explains the circumstances surrounded the growth and decline of American Chinatowns.

 

LINKS

Bonnie's article "The End of Chinatown"

Photo by jetheriot, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Here on Word of Mouth, we love brain science.  Brain-science in the courtroom.  Brain-science and aesthetics. Brain-science and poverty.  Image a brain and we'll hear your pitch with open ears.

Photo by jetheriot, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Our 11 for '11 series continues with Raymond Tallis, author of Aping Mankind, on why our focus on brain-science may be overrated.  PLUS, the next segment of the WBEZ series "Out of the Shadows", and why American Chinatowns are becoming American ghost-towns.  And a brief look at the science of polling.

Photo by Martin Luff, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by Acid Zero, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
Photo by David J. Murray / www.ClearEyePhoto.com
Photo by Gilderic, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Where are all these fracking earthquakes coming from? The correlation between natural gas and shifting plates.  Also, Agent Twitter and Double-O-Social Media: predicting riots, epidemics and other social phenomena through aggregate online data. Plus, World of Adcraft: the growing gimmicks of big-budget video game advertisements.  And an interview with Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club and Choke.  His latest novel is Damned.

Photo by cobalt123, from Flickr Creative Commons

You've seen bumper stickers: shop local, eat local... now, a grassroots call to invest local.  And like any good movement, it utilizes a catchy word-combo. Joining us to talk about it is Amy Cortese, author of Locavesting: The Revolution in Local Investing and How to Profit it.

LINKS Amy's Blog about Locavesting NH Community Loan Fund site  

Photo by See-ming Lee, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

The latest attempt to predict the future: scientists use digital data from Twitter, traffic webcams, and bazillion other places to create a model that can foresee epidemics, social upheaval, and more. That' the theory anyway.  Much like the weather, you can't always count on the forecast.  Sharon Weinberger writes for Nature. She tell us more about the project.

LINKS

Photo by Peter Shanks, Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. spy agencies use twitter and other online data as a digital fortune cookie. The first part in a WBEZ series on mental illness in youth.  Video games advertising gets gimmicked out. And investing locally: how to make a buck and help your neighbors, too.

(Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinluff/4962229615/sizes/m/in/photostream/" target="_blank">martinluff</a> via Flickr Creative Commons)

The magnitude 5.8 earthquake that rattled the east coast back in August triggered speculation about whether the controversial gas drilling technique called fracking may have been responsible. Fracking involves drilling thousands of feet into the shale deep below the earth’s surface, then fracturing the earth by pumping millions of gallons of sand, water, and chemicals into the shale to release natural gas. So far, contamination of groundwater supplies has been the focus of those opposing big energy’s push to expand fracking.

Late last month, students at Wolcott High School in Connecticut were on lockdown. An announcement on the intercom warned of a threatening intruder. Doors were locked and police swooped in with dogs…drug-sniffing dogs as it turned out. But there was no gun-toting maniac roaming the halls. It was a “lockdown intervention drill”… a ruse to clear the halls for a school-wide drug search.

Photo by David J. Murray / www.ClearEyePhoto.com

Novelist Chuck Palahniuk of Fight Club fame reads his short story Romance before speaking with WoM host Virginia Prescott about 12 step programs, Occupy Wall Street, and his latest novel Damned. BE WARNED - this is the unedited reading and interview - it includes explicit, uncensored, and potentially offensive adult material that may not be suitable for all listeners. But still, very enjoyable.   

(Photo by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/rockbandit/309794495/" target="_blank">Dave Schumaker</a> via Flickr Creative Commons)

The growing evidence for a connection between the controversial drilling technique called"fracking" and earthquakes. A shocking tactic used by a Connecticut high school to clear the hallways for a drug search. And a new documentary follows a group of friends on their journey from impulsive teenagers to soldiers in Afghanistan, and then back again.

Photo by <a href="www.ClearEyePhoto.com" target="_blank">David J. Murray</a>) / www.ClearEyePhoto.com

Novelist Chuck Palahniuk of Fight Club fame reads his funny but disturbing short story, Romance, then discusses 12 step programs, Occupy Wall Street, and his latest novel Damned with WoM host Virginia Prescott.  Enlightening conversation - but not for the faint of heart.   This broadcast contains adult material (and censored curse words) that may not be suitable for kids and could be considered offensive to some listeners.

Pages