Word of Mouth
8:00 am
Sat December 17, 2011

Word of Mouth for 12.17.2011

Part 1: Auto Paparazzi

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. Here to uncover the details of the business behind Auto-Paparazzi (and tell us whether anyone actually gets a Lexus for Christmas) is Jamie Page Deaton, Managing Editor of U.S. news and World Report’s Best Car Rankings.

LINKS

Bloomberg Businessweek's "How New Car Models End Up Unmasked"

More on the big numbers for Black Friday car sales 

and

A Facial Hair Face-off

When I read about the New York City Beard Competition on the New York Times's City Room blog, I had to find out more about it...can you blame me? Turns out, Matt Flegenheimer was the guy to call.

LINKS:

Whisker Wars on IFC 

 

Part 2: The Highs and Lows of Food in 2011

Here’s one word for the food trends of 2011: bi-polar.

In 2011, Domino’s introduced cheesy stuffed bread, while some districts removed sugary sodas from school cafeterias. Vegan was big, so was butter-drenched southern cooking. Farmer’s markets had a resurgence. So did beer, burgers and pasta. There was much hand-wringing over America’s obesity epidemic, and Congress passed an agriculture bill that declared tomato paste on pizza a vegetable. For foodies, the antidote to the nation’s bifurcated food culture is to make better food. For that we have the beautiful possibilities presented in a greatcookbook. J.M Hirsch is food editor for the associated press and author of the High Flavor, Low Labor Cookbook. He’s also a prolific blogger, and is with us to tick through some of the year’s most giftable cookbook, along with a few other food trends of 2011. 

 

Parts 3 and 4: Imagining the Real John Lennon

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.

In this special extended interview, I talk with Tim about some of the myths he debunks about John Lennon, including Yoko's role in the breakup of The Beatles, Lennon and McCartney's complicated relationship, and the surprising stories behind some of John Lennon's most recognizable songs.

LINKS:

The New York Times reviews Lennon

Riley's Rock Index 

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