Word of Mouth

Airs at 2 pm Monday through Thursday, weeknights at 9 pm, and noon on Sundays.

Word of Mouth is the sound of new ideas, hosted by Virginia Prescott

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Justin Green via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/aMk5w2

With hefty endorsement deals from Speedo and Under Armour, now-retired Olympian Michael Phelps doesn't need a new job anytime soon.  But aren't you a little bit curious about just how much those twenty-two gold medals worth? Today, the true worth of an Olympic gold medal.

And from the best of sport to the worst of music - From Bob Dylan to Yoko Ono, audiences have long had a fascination with the off-beat or out of tune. So why do we love some bad singers, and love to hate others?

Playing Dead, Women of the Whites, & Half Wild

Aug 19, 2016
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Today on the show, a writer explores the greatest escape plan: pseudocide... We'll hear about the global disappearance industry that plots, facilitates and forges documents for fake deaths - and the investigators who track them down.

And musician and author Robin MacArthur talks about her debut collection of short stories called Half-Wild, weaving tales from an untold side of Vermont, where double-wide trailers sit alongside swanky second homes, and old hippies and homesteaders carve a life out of the wilderness.

8.18.16: Utopia Drive & Overheard: August

Aug 18, 2016
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In the early 1800s, America was new - a wide and blank slate for backwoods prophets, reformers and salvation seekers to create their own versions of paradise. Today, from Shakers to radicals to polygamists, a road trip through some of the nearly 200 utopian communities that emerged in the 19th century.

Then, on Overheard, a podcaster kicks objectivity to the curb at the RNC. Plus a viral meme that proves nobody really understands Olympic sailing. 

8.17.16: The Man With Made-Up Memories & Blood Brother

Aug 17, 2016

Dr . Martin Luther King Jr, Emmit Till, Medgar Evers  -  many sacrificed their lives during America's struggle  for civil rights. So did Jonathan Daniels, a white student from New Hampshire.Today, the authors of a new biography dig into Daniels' life and activism.

Plus, what makes up a memory? For years, filing cabinets or computer folders were used as metaphors for how our brains store and retrieve memories - the truth is a lot less reliable. One man's near-death experience reveals a lot about how and what we remember.

Women have always been drawn to the White Mountains. What surprises people is how many women have been leaders in shaping the region. The mountainous land gave women a place to explore their talents and creativity uninhibited by the constraints of urban life. 

The newest exhibition at the Museum of the White Mountains explores this history. It's called, Taking The Lead: Women and the White Mountains.

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Want to guess how America's internet speed stack up to the rest of the world? Not even top 20... That means below Mongolia, Slovenia and dozens of other countries.Today, find out why the leader of the free world lags so far behind in fast -and affordable - access.

Plus, love is complicated. Most people can agree that they want love in their life, but we are messy, imperfect beings and a lot of ways to get it wrong. From sibling resentments to misguided crushes to good old self delusion, one podcast is jumping in to take a closer look at love in all its forms.

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In the 1968 Olympic games, American sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the medal stand - with the eyes of the world upon them - and raised their fists to the sky. Today, John Carlos talks about athletic activism today and the force of that protest nearly fifty years ago.

Plus, the multi-million dollar industry of suffering. A filmmaker explores why people pay money to grind through obstacle courses races through mud, icy ponds and electric shocks? Are we primitive beings taking flight from desk jobs? Or does running through fire just make for a better Facebook post?

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Emily post said "never talk about politics or religion"... But with candidates so divisive, and voters so impassioned, it's a  tough rule to follow. Today, a polite guide to political conversation. First tip? Know what you're trying to accomplish.

Then, there are a lot of adjectives used to describe great white sharks: giant, fearsome, deadly. But author and animal lover Sy Montgomery has seen sharks up close and might choose another word - like sublime. 

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Poverty, suicide, and alcohol and drug abuse are disproportionately high among the two million Native Americans in the US - and at crisis levels on reservations. Today on the show, we'll look into one economic impediment: property rights.

And, women of the whites. A museum exhibit highlights how, from urban society, women took the lead in  developing access, accommodations and preservation of the paths and peaks of New Hampshire's White Mountains.

Amina Tagemouati via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/rbxKAD

Today on the show, a writer explores the greatest escape plan: pseudocide... We'll hear about the global disappearance industry that plots, facilitates and forges documents for fake deaths - and the investigators who track them down.

And from Team Refugee to Superfan Mavis, a rundown of Olympic tweets, memes, and illegal gifs... Including a very photogenic Tongan flagbearer.

Here's What's Awesome: Rio Olympics Edition

Aug 10, 2016

The Olympics inspire us, thrill us, they engage us in the pursuit of what may seem impossible, and never have to leave our comfy chair. That's where Brady Carlson, our longtime awesomator, comes in to the picture as he observes the squabbles and strategies and fixations and silliness that happens online...sifts out the superfluous and brings it all to us.

Today Brady gives us a glimpse of the 2016 games in Rio in what will be his last run through the awesome filter for this program in this studio. Because, later this month, NHPR's  reporter and Weekend Morning Edition host and all around day brightener is heading to Wisconsin Public radio.   

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Mugshots are considered to be public record by the American justice system. They're also a multi-million dollar source of revenue for internet scammers. Today on the show, an investigation of extortionist websites that hold people's images, and reputations for ransom.

Plus, the chancellor of a very unusual school talks about the growing business of cannabis, and a troupe of Muslim women form a B-Girl dance group and show the western world that just because you wear a hijab, doesn't mean you can't bust a move.  

PROJohn Carleton via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/9MsoA9

The games have begun - the disastrous lead-up to the Rio Olympics has been overtaken by the spectacle of competition. Still, economists agree: hosting the games is a costly and complicated affair.  Today, we'll hear a thought experiment turned innovative solution: why not host the games in multiple cities at once?

Also today, the dog days of summer are suddenly getting shorter. As we near mid-August, perhaps you're nearing the end of your summer reading list. If you're looking for new titles to bring to the beach...we've got you covered.

Overlooked Books: Summer 2016 Edition

Aug 8, 2016

The dog days of summer have arrived, and as we near mid-August, perhaps you're nearing the end of your summer reading list. For those looking for new titles to bring to the beach. we've got you covered. Here with a list of the best overlooked books to add to your summer reading list are Michele Filgate, contributing editor at Literary Hub and board member of the National Book Critics Circle and Isaac Fitzgerald, books editor for BuzzFeed.

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By the time the 2016 Olympic opening ceremony kicks off in Rio, ranking rounds for one of the fastest growing sports will already have taken place--archery, not known for its high drama. On today’s show, Zen and the art of Olympic archery.

Then, a few days ago the AP news service blew the top off of a story that's been brewing for a while now. Despite what decades worth of guilt and dental advice might make you think, flossing might not actually be doing much for those pearly whites.

And for this month’s edition of Overheard, we invited NHPR reporter Emily Corwin and Senior Editor for Politics and Public Policy, Dan Barrick to share what they’re listening to.

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Whether it's savvy marketing, the mixology craze, or sudden affection for old- fashioneds, demand for  whiskey has reached an all-time high. But with barrel-aging process that takes years, keeping up with demand isn't easy. On today’s show we’ll look into the high-tech race to speed up whiskey production.

And musician and author Robin MacArthur talks about her debut collection of short stories called Half-Wild, weaving tales from an untold side of Vermont, where double-wide trailers sit alongside swanky second homes, and old hippies and homesteaders carve a life out of the wilderness.

Plus we'll find out what makes The Great British Baking Show such a welcome respite in the age of reality snark.

Ryan McGuire / http://gratisography.com/

Emily Post said: "Never talk about politics or religion.” But with candidates so divisive, and voters so impassioned, it's tough to follow that particular bit of advice. On today’s show, a polite guide to political conversation. First tip? Know what you're trying to accomplish.

Later in the show, we'll look at why Chicago is still paying for its failed bid to host the 2016 Olympics, and talk to the author of a new book who traced the tracks of extreme skier Doug Coombs, from earning his chops on New Hampshire's slopes to his tragic death on a mountain in France.

Writers on a New England Stage: Daniel Silva

Aug 1, 2016
David J. Murray / cleareyephoto.com

Daniel Silva was a journalist based in the Middle East before he published his first novel in 1996. That story, The Unlikely Spy hit the New York Times best-sellers list and introduced the world to Gabriel Allons -- a Mossad assassin turned art restorer. Now 16 novels into the series, Allons is known as "The Jewish James Bond" and has joined the pantheon of legendary fictional spies that includes George Smiley, Jack Ryan, and Jason Bourne.

7.28.16: No Man's Sky, Star Trek Fan Films, & 10MWW

Jul 28, 2016
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On today's show: a look into the strict guidelines CBS and Paramount have set for those Star Trek fan films, a game reviewer gives us a sneak peek at a revolutionary new game called No Man's Sky which puts players into an unfathomably large universe, and the latest installment of the 10-Minute Writer's Workshop with acclaimed author Judy Blume. 

7.27.16: Tesla vs. Consumer Reports & The Bookshelf

Jul 27, 2016
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On today's show, taking a critical look at the Tesla's autopilot feature with Consumer Reports, a look back at when we first heard about robots making delicious hamburgers, Sean Hurley does a dramatic [robotic] reading of a job posting at the robot hamburger restaurant, and we listen in to Peter Biello's conversation with author, illustrator, and banjo player Marek Bennett.

Fuse809 at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], / via Wikimedia Commons

If you could take a pill that would enhance your concentration, increase your productivity, and reduce your stress levels, would you do it? Or is that cheating? On today’s show, the science and ethics behind a growing class of so-called "smart-drugs". 

Plus, a portrait of bias: in the aftermath of the great depression, the WPA commissioned hundreds of interviews with former slaves and descendants of slaves and recorded their stories as part of the Federal Writer's Project. However, the circumstances under which the interviews were collected have given researchers pause.

Writers on a New England Stage: Judy Blume

Jul 25, 2016
David J. Murray / Cleareyephoto.com

Today on Word of Mouth, a conversation with Judy Blume, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth for Writers on a New England Stage, a partnership between NHPR, and The Music Hall. 

Judy Blume was one of the first authors to write frankly about the confusing, and often humiliating transition from childhood to adolescence. Her best known books were published in the 1970s. Are You There God? It's Me Margaret, Deenie, Blubber, and Forever offered young readers plain language and shame-free stories about periods, bullying, sexual urges and, even “doing it”. 

Politics in Hip Hop, Sleepover Podcast, & Twinkies

Jul 22, 2016
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Since it's early days, hip hop have critiqued oppressions both political and economic - while flashing their own wealth and bravado. Donald Trump became a symbol of the latter, but recent mentions of him in hip hop have become much less positive during his campaign for president in the 2016 election. 

Plus, a few years ago, one of America's most beloved snack cakes was in danger of disappearing forever - until investors swooped in and saved the day. What started out as a rescue mission quickly evolved into a business strategy, and resulted in substantial changes to the brand. How are we preserving the mythical, magical Twinkie.

7.21.16: Finding Music After 40 & Sleepover Podcast

Jul 21, 2016
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A new study has confirmed a sad truth about our listening habits - people stop discovering new music around age 33.  Today on Word of Mouth, a seasoned music editor offers tips on how not to get stuck listening to the songs you loved in high school for the rest of your life.

freddiefraggles via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/bqvjLy

Since it's early days, hip hop have critiqued oppressions both political and economic - while flashing their own wealth and bravado. Donald Trump became a symbol of the latter, but recent mentions of him in hip hop have become much less positive during his campaign for president in the 2016 election. 

And, we’ll talk with a computer scientist who will forever be remembered not for his AI research, but as inventor of the emoticon. Plus, a writer attends her first autopsy, and says Hollywood gets it all wrong.

Roadsidepictures via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8bhv7m

A few years ago, one of America's most beloved snack cakes was in danger of disappearing forever - until investors swooped in and saved the day. What started out as a rescue mission quickly evolved into a business strategy, and resulted in substantial changes to the brand. Today, preserving the mythical, magical Twinkie.

Plus, awareness of mental health issues is on the rise, but it's not limited to people. We'll speak with an expert working with animals to resolve their mental health issues and better understand the inner lives of creatures who don't have the words to express it.

Kate Ter Haar via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8dSmPK

In 2014, Southeast Asian was the new "it" cuisine. Then it was southern Mediterranean, then Peruvian... Now simple, "back to the land" cooking is decidedly on-trend. So why aren't locavores swarming around Native American cuisine? Today on the show, the challenges of branding America's truly native food.

Then, in some of its darkest hours, America has turned to superhero comics for an escape - so have the nation's citizens. We speak to the editor of an anthology exploring the relationship between writers and the heroes who inspired them.  

Sadie Hernandez via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/7v6aV8

Here at Word of Mouth, we spend a lot of time researching, recording, and listening to wonderful – and sometimes weird – audio. Today, a new installment of “Overheard.” This time we pull in some NHPR colleagues to share some of the best examples of sound the internet has to offer – some healthy curiosity required.

Then, a Pokebattle for the ages. Two teams duke it out over whether Pokémon go helps or hinders the experience of being in the natural world – and tussle over who has the right to decide that.  

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The manufacturers of  Whill Model M, a new high-tech, compact wheelchair, boast that its tight turning radius and ability to handle any terrain will allow users to go anywhere you want.  The only thing limiting accessibility? The price tag. Today we’re looking at the widening gap between innovation and affordability in the mobility device market.

Then, it’s a lifesaving medication for millions of people – so why are so many trying to find alternatives to the effective, easy to use EpiPen?

7.11.16: Debunking Internet Myths & Jay Craven

Jul 11, 2016
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If you're on Facebook, chances are tragic shootings and a hotly contested political climate have turned your social media feed into a forum for emotions, a place for sharing support, airing opinions and spreading lots and lots of misinformation.  On today’s show, how Buzzfeed aims to combat internet  hoaxes and fake news through their own tried and true method - an online quiz.

And this summer's hottest filming location - Nantucket?  We'll speak with New England director Jay Craven about shooting a historical film off the cape on a shoestring budget and college students as crew.

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