Virginia Prescott

Host, Word of Mouth

Virginia Prescott is the Gracie Award-winning host of Word of Mouth, Civics 101, The 10-Minute Writers Workshop podcasts, and the Writers on A New England Stage series on New Hampshire Public Radio. 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

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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.

Photo credit: Chausino, via Flickr Creative Commons

In the Eighteenth century, explorers set out to catalog the variety of life on Earth... Until then, even educated people believed in mythological creatures lurking outside the relative safety of their home environments.  Today, there are two million documented species on Earth.  Richard Conniff,  Guggenheim Fellow and Guest Columnist for the New York Times discusses his new book "The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life On Earth".

 

Photo Credit: Acid Zero from Flickr Creative Commons

Our tech expert Rob Fleischman predicts the next Apple revolution - the iTV.  Imagine a giant iPad.  Plus, a conversation with the exceptionally knowledgable iPhone secretary, SIRI.

Photo by Andyde, from Flickr Creative Commons

Adrian Slywotzky, author of the new book Demand: Creating What People Love Before They Know They Want It, discusses a revolutionary new eldercare model called Caremore.  He explains how trimming toenails and rides to the doctor can save dollars and improve quality of life. 

LINKS:

The Quiet Health-Care Revolution 

Caremore, a company that has revolutionized eldercare - providing better care and doing it profitably.  The "next big thing" prediction for Apple - under new leadership.  And 18th century explorers who fearlessly set out to catalog the variety of species that roam the earth.    

(Photo by Simon Webster via Flickr Creative Commons)

The other drug war South of the Border. An investigative reporter uncaps Big Pharma's secretive drug trials in South America. And researchers uncover the strange paradox of why Americans want to give their money to those with more, not less.  A   

(Photo by dhammza / off via Flickr Creative Commons)

GalleyCat's Jason Boog talks about Amazon's foray into the publishing biz with some major authors signing on. And Alyssa Rosenberg, culture critic and contributor to The Atlantic, talks about how campaigns on shows like Glee compare to real-life political races.

(Photo by Ivan via Flickr Creative Commons)

Author David Rothenberg talks about the mystery of animal's preferences for particular colors, shapes, and songs in his book, Survival of the Beautiful.

(Photo by Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons)

The other drug war, Amazon's publishing foray, Politics on TV, nature's beautiful mystery, and a zombie how-too.  

(Photo by Laughing Squid via Flickr Creative Commons)

Author Richard Asma explains why we're afraid of monsters.  And what to do when the zombie apocalypse happens (because it SO will).  

Nancy Greenleese

Forget Geocaching...these folks are going old-school with something called Letterboxing...and they love it. WoM correspondent Nancy Greenleese bring us the story.

Brooke Hauser, author of The New Kids, Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens, talks about the hard knocks the newest kids face.

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Jurvetson / Flickr Creative Commons

How impossible inventions defeated the odds. What makes a business "Good?" The science of retractions. And an old-timey treasure hunt in a geocaching era.

Jay Cox / Flickr Creative Commons

Produced by Chris Cuffe

Alyssa Rosenberg is the pop culture blogger for thinkprogress.org.  She joins us to review this season's political stories on television, and explain who does it best and why.

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Ben McLeod / Flickr Creative Commons

A group of teachers from St. Paul's in Concord trades hall-passes for instruments after school.  Two members join us to talk about the art of finely-aged Rock N'Roll.

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The Fletchtones might be a group made up of prep school faculty and staff, but that doesn't mean they don't rock hard. 

 

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USB / Flickr Creative Commons

The other drug war south of the border. TV gets politics right...except when it doesn't. A school for immigrant teens. And the Fletchtones rock on.

Zimpenfish / Flickr Creative Commons

Amazon is back in the business of getting books on print - only now, they're hopping the middle man. Jason Boog, Editor of the publishing website Galley Cat, explains.

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Karl-Ludwig Poggeman / Flickr Creative Commons

Editor for Scientific American Michael Moyer explains how genetically-modified mosquitoes could stop the spread of Dengue Fever; unless uncomfortable corporate practices don't cause a GMO backlash first.

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Kaveh Khodjasteh / Flickr Creative Commons

Deaf Israeli slam-poet Aneta Brodski collaborates with Palestinian interpreter Veronica Staehle, uniting culture and language through art.

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(Photo by Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons)

I learned a little trivia while watching the film Answer This in preparation for today's interview with writer and director Chris Farah.

For one, I learned that the chemical symbol for Potassium is "K." I also learned that one should never, ever forget the lyrics to any song by the New Seekers, and, most important, I learned this:

Those little Trivia Pursuit tokens are not called "pies," or "pie pieces." They're called "wedges" And apparently, that is a really, really important thing to know.

Ricardo Angulo

Virginia speaks with one of the refugees in the film, Deo Mwano, and the film’s executive producer, Mary Jo Alibrio from the University of New Hampshire’s Center for the Humanities.

This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with Harvard experimental psychologist Stephen Pinker about his new book, Better Angels of Our Nature, about the history of violence, and why it's declined

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