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.

Contact

Word of Mouth Program Page

Pages

Word of Mouth
1:48 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

What Happens After We Die?

Credit via sptimmortalityproject.com

Billions of dollars are spent each year to prevent death. We invest in research and treatment of disease; in improving safety; and in educating people to live healthier, longer lives. Yet with all of technological and scientific capability, what do we know of what happens after death? John Martin Fischer is professor of philosophy at University of California at Riverside. He was awarded a 5 million dollar grant to study the afterlife. He’s launched “The Immortality Project." The money will go towards sponsoring conferences and scientific, philosophical, and theological research that advances understanding of immortality and belief in immortality.

Read more
Word of Mouth
10:44 am
Tue December 3, 2013

Patricia Cornwell Lets Her Characters Speak For Themselves

Credit via PatriciaCornwell.com

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Patricia Cornwell. Her best-selling Kay Scarpetta crime fiction series introduced millions of readers to forensic pathology – and inspired popular TV shows from CSI to Dexter. After her 21st Scarpetta novel, Patricia Cornwell reflects on the process of turning grisly real-world crimes into absorbing fiction.

Read more
Word of Mouth
10:07 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Pirate Joe's, Hollywood Animal Fails, And Abolishing Tips

Credit Tom Magliery via flickr Creative Commons

A montage of new ideas, picked fresh from the Word of Mouth vault:

  • Abolishing tips:  usually, the debate around gratuity revolves around whether to leave 15 or 20 %.... Head of the Sustainable Restaurant Project at the University of Guelph , Bruce McAdams,  is in favor of getting rid of tips altogether.
  • Balloon Brigade: the career aptitude test video game.  A new startup designs mobile games that could help match fresh grads with job opportunities. 
  • The science behind the buzz: journalist and science writer Joseph Stromberg explains caffeine addiction.

Read more
Word of Mouth
12:21 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving's Hybrid Of Cultural Traditions

Thanksgiving: Korean Style. Turkey is still the star, but green bean casserole and yams are replaced by namul, fishcakes, and three different kinds of kimchi.
Credit Hane C. Lee via flickr Creative Commons

This year the overlap of Hanukkah and Thanksgiving introduces a whole new element to what's on this year's Thanksgiving menu. While we've heard plenty about how "Thanksgiv-ukkah" could change our Thanksgiving eating habits, for millions of Americans, a hybrid holiday meal is their tradition. Food writer, chef, and public radio personality, Kathy Gunst has been reaching out to friends, chefs, and food writers from across the country who incorporate foods and habits from their original lands in to the great American Thanksgiving meal.

Read more
Word of Mouth
11:55 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Norman Rockwell's Less Than Idyllic Life

Credit via indiebound.org

I was once invited to Thanksgiving dinner by a friend who warned me that her family was “Not a Real Norman Rockwell Kinda Bunch”. We know that image: brightly scrubbed faces hover in smiling anticipation over sparkling china as Ma sets the turkey in front of the family patriarch ready to be carved. That painting is titled Freedom From Want and it’s one of those homespun scenes that only happens in what author Deborah Solomon calls “Rockwell Land” -- a magical reflection of American life as it should be. Solomon’s new biography of the illustrator, beloved by the masses and dismissed as corn ball by the art world, reveals a complicated, neurotic, and repressed man who lived very far from the America he invented.

Deborah Solomon is author of American Mirror: The Life and Times of Norman Rockwell

Read more
Word of Mouth
3:10 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

An Analysis Of Food Shopping Choices, Without The Lecture

Credit kbrookes via flickr Creative Commons

Thanksgiving is no time to be a food killjoy. We’re not going there. Instead, how about considering our food behavior, especially when it comes to shopping for it, serving it, and opening a fridge full of leftovers? You won’t get any lectures from Kusum Ailawadi, who spoke at the recent Ted-X Amoskeag Millyard. She’s professor of marketing at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and has done a lot of research on what goes in people’s grocery carts using the real-life laboratory of the American supermarket. She and her team captured data from thousands of shopping trips across the country over a four year period. She’s sharing some practical knowledge from her findings before we dig in this Thursday.

Read more
Word of Mouth
2:55 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

A Real-Life Tricorder? Affirmative! (Maybe.)

Star Trek's seemingly miraculous 'tricorder' is a device which can measure anything from a patient's vital signs to geological activity with the push of a button. Now, a company called Scanadu has developed a device called the 'Scout,' which they hope can be as useful for the health industry as tricorders were on the Enterprise. We talked with the company's co-founder to learn more. 

Read more
Word of Mouth
2:44 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Jon Huntsman On Civility In Politics, China Policy

From the early days of the 2012 primary, influential liberals referred to Jon Hunstman, U.S. Ambassador to China, and Singapore before that, as “the sane Republican”.  Huntsman’s foreign policy chops and statesmen-like manner were frequently cited during his brief run, often by the candidate himself.  

Read more
Word of Mouth
10:44 am
Tue November 26, 2013

When Did 'Three Square Meals' Become The American Norm?

Credit Diettogo1 via Flickr Creative Commons

Admitting to eating a bowl of cereal for dinner is like disclosing that you are lonely, lazy, or waaay to busy. Similarly, not having the whole family sitting around the table for a hot dinner of protein, a vegetable, and dessert feels like some kind of failure. When did how and what we eat become codified as right, proper, and essentially American?  How did factory work, television and advertising shape the varied diets carried by centuries of immigrants into the breakfast, lunch and dinner most of us eat today?

Abigail Carroll is a food historian and author of Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, which explores the history of America’s eating from the Colonial era to the present.

Read more
Word of Mouth
5:07 pm
Mon November 25, 2013

What Did The First Thanksgiving Menu Include?

Credit puzzler4879 via flickr Creative Commons

Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and every year around this time, our thoughts and stomachs go out to food. Long before deep fried turkeys, gelatinized cranberry sauce, and boxed stuffing there was the inaugural Thanksgiving feast at the Plymouth plantation. So what was on the table that day? Abigail Carroll might have an idea. She’s a food historian and author who has studied the Colonial and Native American diet extensively. We spoke with her earlier this month about her new book,Three Squares: The Invention of The American Meal.

Read more
Word of Mouth
10:24 am
Mon November 25, 2013

A Tracking App That Tracks Other Tracking Apps

Credit via fastco.com

The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets and a certain level of self-absorption have led to a number of apps and programs that track sleep, diet, heart rate, baby weight, twitter use, mood, sweat, caffeine, memories and bowel movements. Welcome to the age of the quantified self, but with a thousand ways to keep tabs on your own life, how then, do you keep track of all the trackers?

Sarah Kessler is associate editor for Fast Company. She wrote about how developers creating tracking apps that track other tracking apps.

Read more
Word of Mouth
10:18 am
Mon November 25, 2013

New Treatment May Wipe Out Hepatitis-C

Diagram of Hepatitis C.
Credit James A. Perkins via hepcni.net

Although new cases of Hepatitis-C have drastically decreased in the United States since peaking in the 1980’s, the blood-borne disease which primarily attacks and destroys the liver, kills more Americans annually than AIDS.

Andrew Pollack covers business and biotechnology for the New York Times. We read his article “Hepatitis-C, a Silent Killer, Meets Its Match,” in which Pollack describes a new series of treatments about to enter the market that could effectively do the impossible: wipe out Hep C.

Read more
Word of Mouth
1:15 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Word Of Mouth 11.23.2013

Credit Taylor Quimby

Word of Mouth Saturday is like a really good smoothie: It's good for you,  filling, you can enjoy it in the car, and it doesn't leave you with a heaping pile of dishes to clean.  Every week we handpick a selection of ingredients designed to educate and entertain - basically,  a careful mix of audio vegetables and  fruits, blended evenly into a mouth-watering hour of delicious radio.  

Read more
Word of Mouth
1:51 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Class Of 2008: Addie Gann

Credit Courtesy Addie Gann

On September 15th, 2008, the financial services firm Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11.  The subprime mortgage crisis had been percolating for months by then, as had a global economic decline – but the bankruptcy of the nation’s fourth largest investment bank panicked Wall Street, evaporating liquidity markets, sending the economy sharply downward, and sparking the worst global recession since World War II – a crisis from which the world’s economy is still recovering.

Read more
Word of Mouth
1:42 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Radio Essay: Our Old-Media View Of J.F.K

A still from the Zapruder film, which captured the assassination of President Kennedy

We've come to know President John F. Kennedy through a very narrow lens, that of so-called "old media." From vintage newspapers and television reporting that maintained now-anachronistic reverence for the private lives of our leaders to the oft-analyzed Zapruder film, our contemporary relationship with J.F.K. is limited by the time in which he lived. 

Read more

Pages