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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Working Then and Now & From the Archives

Sep 29, 2016
John Georgiou via flickr Creative Commons

It's NHPR's Fall Fund Drive! You can help support our show and NHPR by making a contribution here:

NHPRFundDrive.org

In the meantime, during the fund drive we'll be airing some favorite segments from our archives. Plus, today we have a new interview with Joe Richman who talks about his new project for Radio Diaries.

Here's what's on today's show:

Alan Levine via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/amq5UJ

It's NHPR's Fall Fund Drive! You can help support our show and NHPR by making a contribution here:

NHPRFundDrive.org

In the meantime, during the fund drive we'll be airing some favorite segments from our archives.

Here's what's on today's show:

Jeff Holt via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/dFsz6j

It's NHPR's Fall Fund Drive! You can help support our show and NHPR by making a contribution here:

NHPRFundDrive.org

In the meantime, during the fund drive we'll be airing some favorite segments from our archives.

Here's what's on today's show:

Matt Kieffer via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/ywYaFj

Some 2000 years ago, Roman philosopher and acclaimed public speaker Cicero outlined the ideal orator: a gentle speaker who uses logic, character, and emotion to persuade an audience.  So what would Cicero think of tonight's debaters: Clinton and Trump? Today, 2016 rhetoric through the eyes of an ancient.

Plus, some police departments respond to charges of racially motivated killings by recruiting more minority officers...except for one demographic that could make a measurable difference: women.

nathanmac87 via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/ddSs2M

The road trip is symbolic of freedom in American literature and folklore. A New Hampshire artist adds a bold black woman to the list of adventurers who escaped convention by hitting the road. Today, the remarkable true story of Bessie Stringfield.

Plus, the Handsome Family had 20 years of making music under their belt when HBO used their song for the opening of  True Detective -  suddenly, the husband and wife team were famous. We'll talk to them about capturing spirits, fame, and making music with your spouse.

PeterJ1977 via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4qm7vn

The road trip is symbolic of freedom in American literature and folklore. A New Hampshire artist adds a bold black woman to the list of adventurers who escaped convention by hitting the road. Today, the remarkable true story of Bessie Stringfield.

Plus, the Handsome Family had 20 years of making music under their belt when HBO used their song for the opening of  True Detective -  suddenly, the husband and wife team were famous. We'll talk to them about capturing spirits, fame, and making music with your spouse.

Bessie Stringfield: The Motorcycle Queen of Miami

Sep 22, 2016
Cover art courtesy of Joel Christian Gill | Author photo courtesy of NHIA

From intrepid explorers to hearty pioneers to Jack Kerouac's drug addled odyssey, the road trip is a staple of American literature and folklore. Stories of crossing the nation are allegories for freedom, expanding opportunities, and often escape.

The little known story of an African American woman crossing the country eight times during the 1930s and 40s is remarkable enough. The fact that Bessie Stringfield did it—alone—on a motorcycle is downright astonishing.

Wolfram Burner / https://flic.kr/p/rMqoFD

In 1997, a sea captain discovered a swirling soup of bottles, wrappers, even truck tires in the middle of the northern Pacific estimated to be "twice the size of Texas. News of "the Great Pacific Garbage Patch" awakened public disgust over a mountain of floating trash in the ocean - even if the image wasn't exactly true. Today, a popular myth becomes more valuable than reality

Plus, take hip-hop, some grinding rock, and a pinch of electronica, and you've got Oxymorrons - an unpredictable band that makes musical paradox its brand.

Jack Seeds via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/f1e2y9

America's opioid crisis has local, state and federal officials scrambling - which is why the DEA decided to ban Kratom, an Asian  plant with an opioid-like effect, as a schedule one drug. But some researchers and users say it could help addicts get kick addictive drugs. Today, crackdown on Kratom - the drug you hadn't heard of until last week.

Plus, walk into a pre-school or elementary school today and you won't find peanut butter, but you'll likely see a few sets of twins ...we'll look at twinning patterns throughout human history, and why the proportion of twins in the population continues to ebb and flow.

USFWS Mountain-Prairie via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/EJSXqM

Each year, eight-hundred thousand Latinos turn 18 in the United States - add up the 4 years since the last election, and you've got a whole lot of young voters. Today, a new app designed to increase turnout among young Latinos - an crucial block that haven't always shown up to the polls. 

Plus, the author of The Way Things Work - a quintessential coffee-table book from 1988 made up of detailed illustrations to explain everything from catapults to calculators. The classic book just got an update for the digital age.

And conservation by drone - we'll hear about a program designed to save black-footed ferrets from the plague by air-dropping vaccines.

Bikinis to Burkinis, Acting Sick, & Kazoo Magazine

Sep 16, 2016
Kim Piper Werker via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/7HeDqq

When a seasoned magazine editor took her daughter to the bookstore, they found scientists and explorers in magazines for boys. For girls: princesses, cover girls in make-up and tips for shinier hair.

On today’s show a new magazine for girls has plenty of creative, inspiring ideas, and no lipstick! 

Also today, aspiring doctors get all they can from med school, for the rest, they turn to actors. We'll find out how playing sick is helping to make better doctors. And the 5-second rule gets the science treatment.

Sean Winters via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/HN51N

When a seasoned magazine editor took her daughter to the bookstore, they found scientists and explorers in magazines for boys. For girls: princesses, cover girls in make-up and tips for shinier hair.

On today’s show a new magazine for girls has plenty of creative, inspiring ideas, and no lipstick! 

Also today, aspiring doctors get all they can from med school, for the rest, they turn to actors. We'll find out how playing sick is helping to make better doctors. And the 5-second rule gets the science treatment.

VTDNP via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/gwkLUB

Fashion week is on in New York and the Burkini ban is off in one French town - with more likely to follow. A high court found no proof that the full-cover swimsuit favored by some Muslim women does not pose a security threat. Today, the long history of women's bodies - and fashion - as political battleground.

Plus, getting locked up is no picnic, especially for crooked executives arrogant enough to think they live by different rules. We'll talk to a consultant who prepares high-rollers for life behind bars. 

John Debay via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/6U7o1M

Julia Ward Howe is famous for writing the civil war song, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” - but did you know her life was the subject of the first Pulitzer Prize winning biography, back in 1917? We’re learning about the unlikely sisters who took home the first Pulitzer prize 100 years ago.

Plus, you've seen one photo of the pyramids at Giza, or the Eiffel Tower, and you've just about seen them all.  We'll talk to an artist who photographs the most documented tourist destinations in the world - by not taking photos of them.  

J P via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/97LrDx

The National Park Service reports that only 7% of annual park visitors are African American. On today’s show, we delve into environmental and cultural history to find out why the story of the American outdoors is so white.

Then, in the last census 60 million Americans listed birdwatching as a past time. And who can blame them? Watching birds is like watching tiny adorable flying dinosaurs.  But there's birdwatching and then there's birdwatching. We'll take a look inside the fascinating and pricey world of competitive birding.

Trigger Warnings, Born In Between, & Miranda July

Sep 9, 2016
Thomas Hawk via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/dSuxV1

Demanding trigger warnings? Canceling speakers? Shutting down comedians? College students today make the political correctness of the past seem tame. Today, is oversensitivity ruining education? We’ll also look at the roots of extreme protectiveness in a nation where police officers are stationed at more and more high schools…a story about what happens when school discipline meets law enforcement. And while the trans-gender movement gains ground, we’ll explore the shockingly common occurrence of doctors assigning gender to intersex babies. 

Photos by our moms and dads.

You've seen them on Twitter, you've seen them on Facebook, so why do IT people desperately want to kill the .gif? On today’s show, a brief explanation of social media's most celebrated and much maligned file format.

Plus it's back to school week, and that means kids are heading back to class with brand new pencils, notebooks, and Trapper Keepers - but let's face it - none of these things are as important as that carefully selected, first day outfit.

We’ll also hear from a teacher who says it’s not just introverted kids that face hurdles in a busy, noisy classroom, why introverted teachers have a high burn out rate.

dan glaser via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4kxUoz

The first Harry Potter book was published in Britain in 1997 – now with a major film franchise already behind us, a theme park, and countless bits of online fan fiction, those first seven  books serve Potter-fanatics as a source for life-lessons, inspiration and comfort - not unlike religious texts. Today, the podcast that reads Potter like the bible. 

Plus, we cover the coverage of the US Open. Some say this is the golden age of tennis - so why do so many Americans need to be convinced to care? A writer argues American tennis coverage needs a reboot.

Karen Kenney

Andre Dubus III's memoir Townie told the story of his violent childhood on the wrong side of the tracks. Writing was his way out, and he's made more than good, with multiple NYT bestsellers, an Oprah’s Book Club pick, and an Oscar-nominated film adaptation (for his novel The House of Sand and Fog). And he gets out there, as a public speaker and writing instructor for graduate programs, seminars and retreats. We caught up with him at New Hampshire Writers’ Project's annual Writers’ Day.

A Kettle of One

Sep 6, 2016
David Maher via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/2PWhTk

Each autumn, New Hampshire birders are treated to abundant flocks of broad-winged hawks beginning to migrate south. This September, Word of Mouth’s favorite bird dude Eric Masterson will be biking across five time zones, 40 degrees of latitude and 5000 miles tracking the migration of the raptors. Why? Well, despite the hawks’ impressive numbers, little is known about their migration.

James Vaughan via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/cNWc4d

Social media networks have too few people to monitor and shut down the volume of Islamic State propaganda accounts. Today, a Dartmouth professor has created a tool to flag violent, extremist videos and recruitment tools and keep them off social media feeds...still, some companies fear accusations of censorship.

And, 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.

Onasill ~ Bill Badzo via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/84Dbc7

The BBC's list of the top 100 movies since 2000 included a lot of foreign and art house films, with hardly a blockbuster in the bunch. The internet peanut gallery was not pleased. Has anyone even seen these movies besides movie critics, they cried? Today, movie critic Ty Burr talks about the chasm between film buffs and mainstream movie goers.

Then, as we bid a fond farewell to August, it's time to catch up on worthwhile summer movies before the leaves  turn. The Hippo's Amy Diaz runs through a few you and the kids don't want to miss.

Jenn and Tony Bot via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8aVSNW

Social media networks have too few people to monitor and shut down the volume of Islamic State propaganda accounts. Today, a Dartmouth professor has created a tool to flag violent, extremist videos and recruitment tools and keep them off social media feeds...still, some companies fear accusations of censorship.

And, an experienced philosophical take on a question that family, fortune and circumstance once made non-negotiable, and is now is the province of self-help books and fortune tellers... How do you choose a partner in a culture where everything is available and laid out like a superstore?

kento via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/89fdMQ

In states all across the country, the days of pot prohibition are coming to an end. Today, critics say new regulations favor so-called the "Walmart weed" industry and put the squeeze on home growers.

Plus, Derrick Hamilton has never been to law school - but that hasn't stopped him from filing federal complaints against inhumane treatment of inmates, and helping others obtain hearings. He also fought the wrongful that put him in jail for 21 years. We'll talk with a jailhouse lawyer who was set up, but still believes in the power of the law.

Fernando Stankuns via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/5tSdbv

Presidential candidates talk a lot about what they'll do to jump start the economy. But what about local TV stations that rely on campaign ads to pay the bills? They're hurting. Today on the show, it may feel like all campaign, all the time, but not on TV.

And, the Rio Olympics have ended - and green pool and Ryan Lochte-gate aside, it wasn't half the disaster people feared. But now with the Paralympics just around the corner, and only a fraction of tickets sold, disaster might just get another chance.

8.24.16: Best Summer Listens

Aug 24, 2016
Allison Marchant via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4jZ1ad

So late August is just about the toughest time to produce a radio show, because just about everybody is on vacation  -  of course, that doesn't matter much for podcasts - these days with so much on-demand audio, our playlists are packed with great new shows, and fresh episodes from our long-time favorites. Since Virginia is off swimming in a lake somewhere, and all of the other newsmakers are off squeezing the last few drops out of summer, today we're going to do a summer playlist of staff podcast picks. 

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
Scott Wylie via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/pR8CVW

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
James Vaughan via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/e6efw9

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.

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