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 - Segment
12:16 pm
Thu December 8, 2011

Imagining the real John Lennon

John Lennon
(Photo by Pedro Netto via Flickr Creative Commons)

Today marks the 31st anniversary of the day that John Lennon was shot and killed on the sidewalk in front of his home in New York City. Reams of words have been written about that senseless, irrevocable act. But writer and critic Tim Riley prefers the parts of John Lennon’s story that are not so well known. 

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:34 am
Wed December 7, 2011

Costello Takes a Stand

Photo by: Paper Girl

 

A story to restore your faith in music superstars this holiday season. Elvis Costello is rallying his fans to save money by *not* buying a shiny new gift box set of his music called “the return of the spectacular spinning songbook”. The title comes from a trademark of Costello’s live shows with his band, the Attractions…he invites audience members to get to go up on stage and spin a massive, game-show style wheel of song titles from his back-catalog…whatever comes up, Elvis & the Attractions play.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:50 am
Wed December 7, 2011

The Auto-Paparazzi

Photo by Khalid Almasoud, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Car makers have a long standing tradition of keeping their forthcoming models under tight wraps, sometimes going to extreme lengths to disguise new cars even as they’re being road tested. But of course, wherever there’s a secret to be uncovered, there are spies trying to get a look under the hood… Photographers who will do just about anything to capture a clear picture of a car before it’s being manufactured.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:50 am
Wed December 7, 2011

The inspiring and mysterious drawings of Harris Burdick

For more than twenty-five years, readers have puzzled over the mysterious Harris Burdick. Here’s the legend: a man walks into a publishing house and drops off a set of 14 drawings…each with a tantalizing caption. He promises to return the next day with stories to accompany them, but is never seen again. The illustrations are eerie and unsettling…birds fly off wallpaper, a seated nun hovers placidly mid-air in a cathedral, a giant cruise ship plows through a venetian canal.  Since then, thousands of school children have written stories sparked by these illustrations.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
2:00 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Yule Logs, Egg Nog and Holiday Guns

Photo credit by Randy Cox

 

Sales have been brisk for guns this holiday season. Black Friday 2011 surpassed the single day record for FBI background check requests on gun customers by 32%. Today, a background check of sorts on the Freedom Group, which has swiftly become one of the world’s leading manufacturers and sellers of guns. Natasha Singer a reporter in the Sunday business section of the New York Times, investigated the shadowy Wall Street investment company that has quietly acquired some of America’s most venerable gun and ammo manufacturers.

LINKS

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Word of Mouth - Segment
1:30 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

Small World, Two Authors

Word of Mouth - Segment
12:30 pm
Tue December 6, 2011

The Home Made Toaster

Photo by: healthserviceglasses

Produced by Avishay Artsy

The writer Douglas Adams wrote the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series In one of those books, the hero, Arthur Dent, is stranded on a planet populated by primitive people. Dent thinks to himself: I could show them the wristwatch! The internal combustion engine! The toaster! I’ll be crowned their emperor. The trouble is that without other humans around, he has no idea how to make any of those things. All he can make is a sandwich.  After which he’s elevated to the high office of “sandwich maker.”

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:46 am
Mon December 5, 2011

21st Century Cow Rustlers

Photo by Randy Pertiet, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons
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Hard times and new technology are making for a resurgence in old-school range robbery. But these are not the rope twirling thieves of yore – today’s black hats are using GPS tracking, four-wheelers, and apparently, some inside knowledge of the industry to wrangle cattle. Freelance writer Laura Zuckerman talks about the upward trend of cattle rustling in the American West.

LINKS

Laura's article from Reuters

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:46 am
Mon December 5, 2011

The War on Christmas...trees.

Photo by Tomasz Krawczak, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

The holiday season, we’re often reminded, is a time for people to come together…except, when it isn’t.   This year’s ‘War on Christmas’ skirmish revolves around the Christmas tree.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:46 am
Mon December 5, 2011

Becoming complacent about AIDS

Photo by ttnrob, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

The international conference on aids and sexually transmitted disease in Africa, or “ICASA” is convening this week in Ethiopia. Over the past few decades, activists and educators worldwide have endeavored to dispel rumors and misinformation about aids and people with aids. Today, more HIV positive people can disclose their status without shame and stigma. But there’s a downside to those advances. Relaxed attitudes toward HIV may be contributing to a trend of complacency toward the disease, even here in the United States.

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Word of Mouth
12:00 pm
Sat December 3, 2011

Word of Mouth for 12.03.11

Photo by Tom Maglieri, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

PART 1

 “Clean coal,” refers to technologies that reduce heavy metal, carbon and other emissions from the burning of coal. The development of technologies that could, potentially, filter greenhouse gases and store CO2 permanently is moving ahead. “Carbon Sequestration” is an important step in testing the potential of clean coal technology. We spoke with Maggie Koerth-Baker, Science Editor for Boing-Boing; she visited a carbon sequestration demonstration in Alabama.

plus

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Writers on a New England Stage
7:30 pm
Fri December 2, 2011

Writers on a New England Stage: Chris Matthews

7:30 pm | The Music Hall, Portsmouth, NH

Ticket Information

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:50 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

An Experiment in "Cleaner Coal"

(Photo by Simple Rich via Flickr Creative Commons)

“Clean Coal,” refers to technologies that reduce heavy metal, carbon and other emissions from the burning of coal. The development of technologies that could, potentially, filter greenhouse gasses and store CO2 permanently is moving ahead. This week, a large demonstration of clean coal technology is being staged in Illinois, testing the viability of so-called “carbon sequestration,” an important step in testing the potential of clean coal technology. 

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:40 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Are WE ruining research?

(Photo by mars discovery district via Flickr Creative Commons)

Word of Mouth keeps its eye out for stories that are interesting, counterintuitive, many of which come from the world of science. It’s part of our mission to find the under-reported, simmering, surprising ideas that make us go “what?”

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:31 pm
Thu December 1, 2011

Random Hacks of Kindness

(Photo by aranarth via Flickr Creative Commons)

There's a gathering of developers and code writers taking place globally...and they're invading Manchester to create apps for doing good. 

LINKS:

Random Hacks of Kindness

Manchester gathering info

Small Dog Electronics

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