Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth airs at 2 pm Monday through Thursday, weeknights at 9 pm, and noon on Sunday.

Word of Mouth is the sound of new ideas, hosted by Virginia Prescott, and produced by Taylor Quimby, and Logan Shannon. Our Senior Producer is Maureen McMurray

You can subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or find us on Stitcher.

We're also on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and YouTube.

Have an idea for the program? Email us

Want to get an email when we publish a new podcast episode? Click to subscribe.

You can also leave us a message on the Word of Mouth Listener Line anytime. We reserve the right to use your message on the air: (603) 223-2448

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Word of Mouth
2:18 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

2.25.15: A Brief History Of The GDP, Profiles Of Mars One Candidates, & The Great White Savior Film

Credit epSos.de via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/dTUAhR

It’s presented as the be-all end- all metric by economists, politicians, and newscasters, but what exactly is GDP? 

On today’s show, the surprisingly fascinating process of measuring gross domestic product, and what this all important economic indicator overlooks.

Plus, the non-profit “Mars One” received over 200,000 applicants for its one way mission to Mars. A new short documentary follows three of the candidates as they vie for a trip they’ll never return from and a place in the history books.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:57 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

2.23.15: Thiel Fellowship, Importance of Touch & College Kids Can't Take A Joke

Credit Peter Dutton via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/pEWwCa

To protect children from predators, some schools have rules against physical contact so strict that students can be sent to the principal’s office for holding hands or high-fiving. On today’s show – are schools being too touchy about physical contact?

And a reporter profiles the inaugural class of Thiel fellows – twenty teenagers who were given one-hundred thousand dollars to drop out of higher education and pursue success as young entrepreneurs.

Plus a columnist and comedian argues college kids today can’t take a joke. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
9:00 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

2.22.15: Red Carpet Revolt, The Wommies, & Miranda July

Credit Kevo Thomson via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/2kheg

We may not know who will bring home Oscars tonight, but two things are certain: a-list actresses will walk the red carpet, and they will be asked the standard question: “Who are you wearing?”

On today’s show, why some Hollywood actresses are bucking against the red carpet parade.

Then, Selma, Gone Girl, and Interstellar are among this year’s Oscar snubs. We’ll approach the academy’s cold-shoulder from a different angle, and reveal entire categories notably absent from the awards.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
9:00 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

2015 Wommie Winners

Credit Craig Piersma via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/8NyHL6

Thank you to everyone who voted for the 1st Annual Wommie Awards! We'll see you next year on the red carpet.

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Word of Mouth
2:01 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Sound In Focus

Mike Alberici demonstrates the Vortex Cannon

We have a listening problem. One music teacher is out to conquer it.

Mike Alberici is a music teacher at Maple Street School in Hopkinton, who was awarded the 2015/2016 Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation – an award that grants teachers leave to develop new ideas for classroom teaching, and covers all the costs of doing so.

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Word of Mouth
2:01 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

2.19.15: Poor Teeth, Teaching The Art Of Listening, & Art Before Breakfast

Dental student looking at a small girl's teeth, The University of Iowa, 1940s
Credit Iowa Digital Library via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/dg8YuC

While the U.S. leads the world in dental innovation, many Americans are unable to afford basic dental care, and as a result, suffer from health and psychological consequences. On today’s show: the high price of poor teeth.

Then, stretching your artistic muscles has been shown to reduce stress and increase positive thinking, but for many people, being more creative sounds like an arduous task. We’ll talk to an artist who makes a bold case for dropping the excuses, and picking up the sketchpad.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
12:35 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Miranda July: The First Bad Man

Miranda July. Maybe you know her from her quirky and charming 2005 film “Me And You And Everyone We Know,” which won the special jury prize at Sundance – but since then she’s made a second film, a book of short stories, a messaging app, and has performed all over the world, and now she’s written a novel.

July’s debut novel The First Bad Man continues her skill at revealing uncomfortable moments and unexpected truths … in a very funny way.

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Word of Mouth
2:19 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

2.18.15: Red Carpet Revolt, The Upside Of Losing A Million Dollars, & Miranda July

Credit Rachel via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/dXsYyp

The Oscars are Hollywood’s top award for recognizing achievement in film – and of course, fashion. On today’s show: why some actresses are bucking against the red carpet parade.

Then, for most of us, the prospect of winning a million dollars is a daydream, but for Justin Peters, it was just two right answers away. He’ll explain how losing Who Wants to Be a Millionaire changed his life for the better.

Plus, a conversation with artist, writer and filmmaker Miranda July.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
9:35 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Cast A Vote In The 1st Annual 'Wommie' Awards: The Categories Oscar Overlooks

Credit Oscar Image: Davidlohr Bueso via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/6W4DBr

Of course the Oscar ceremony is already too long, they even have a whole separate awards ceremony for the awards most people outside of the film industry don't understand, but we still think the Oscars are missing a few key awards. Enter the 1st Annual Wommie Awards! We asked Amy Diaz from The Hippo to help us create a ballot chock full of amazing talent that aren't getting the recognition we think they deserve. 

Check out the nominees below and then cast your vote by 

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Word of Mouth
1:03 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

The Uncommon Core: Computer Games & History

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

Video Games & History

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Word of Mouth
1:03 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

2.17.15: Why The American Outdoors Is So White, An Online Resource For Hackers, & Uncommon Core

Mount Gould and a View to the Continental Divide (Glacier National Park)
Credit Mark Stevens via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/oWwRHM

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

Then, environmentalists have taken many tacks to get people to be “greener”: the doomsday approach, education, shame. Now new research suggests another way to increase green behaviors: a salary. Why paying people an hourly wage decreases environmentally-friendly behaviors.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
2:00 pm
Mon February 16, 2015

2.16.14: Presidents' Day

Credit WorldIslandInfo.com, Wystan, & U.S. Embassy New Delhi via Flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth celebrates Presidents’ Day with presidential portraits from Writers on a New England Stage. We’ll talk to three authors who took a deeper look into the complexities and motivations of American leaders throughout history.

 

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Word of Mouth
12:57 pm
Sun February 15, 2015

2.12.15: The Science Of Smelling, Crowd Funding Hate, & Good Gig

"The Boy Who Smelled Everything," published in the August 1959 issue of Family Circle magazine. Illustration by Richard Hook.
Credit clotho98 via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/7xS1rf

Scents can evoke memories, arouse appetite, and even alter moods. On today’s show we’ll sniff out the science of smell.

Then, internet trolling can be a hobby for angry people with a sadistic bent, but now crowd funding is supporting a new brand of professional troll. We’ll take a look into the lucrative business of posting hate.

Plus, for the latest installment of our series Good Gig we’ll talk to a music editor who’s compiled the 101 strangest records on Spotify.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
4:31 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

2.15.15: Why The American Outdoors Is So White, Hair Removal In History, & Diamonds May Not Be Forev

Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

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, from clamshell tweezers to electrolysis, we’ll take a look at America’s history of hair removal, and what it reveals about shifting views of racial and social status.

Plus, is technology killing the jewelry industry? We’ll find out why global sales of fine jewelry have been sluggish since the global recession.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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NHPR Blogs
11:07 am
Thu February 12, 2015

Word Of Mouth's Between-Segment Music Is A Playlist On Spotify

NHPR Staff

Do you like the music you hear between segments on Word of Mouth? You can listen to it again on Spotify. Check out and add Word of Mouth's playlist, which we update each week with the latest music we're using on the program.

Word of Mouth
1:30 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

2.11.15: Fine Jewelry's Decline, Fifty Shades Of Excited, & The 1st Annual Wommie Awards

Credit Judy van der Velden via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/b3PGUM

Diamonds are forever. Or so we thought. Turns out that global sales of diamonds and fine jewelry have been sluggish since the global recession. On today’s show,  from iPhones to better production of costume bling, is technology killing the jewelry industry?

Then, Selma, Gone Girl, and Interstellar are among this year’s Oscar snubs. We’ll approach the academy’s cold-shoulder from a different angle, and reveal entire categories notably absent from the awards.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
2:00 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

2.10.15: China's Anti-Valentine's Day, History Of Hair Removal, & A Disposable Camera App

Credit Dave via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/4rTLFX

Valentine’s Day is this weekend and couples in love are expected to spend in the billions, but spending by singles may have even greater revenue potential. On today’s show, a look at China’s anti-Valentine’s holiday: Singles' Day and how it became the largest online shopping day in the world.

Then, from clamshell razors to electrolysis, humans have gone to great lengths to achieve a smooth, clean shave. We’ll take a look at the history of hair removal, and what it reveals about shifting views of racial and social status in the U.S. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
12:41 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

2.9.15: The Organ Detective, The Upside Of Political Dynasties, & Better Call Bob Odenkirk

Credit Doug Kline via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/7JD5La

As long as transplants have been medically possible, there have been horror stories about the black market organ trade. On today’s show, an anthropologist sheds the trappings of academia to take on, and even indict, illegal organ brokers.  

Then, Breaking Bad’s spin off Better Call Saul premiered last night to rave reviews from The New York Times and Rolling Stone.

We’ll speak with the man behind the character of sleaze bag lawyer Saul Goodman, actor and comedian Bob Odenkirk.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
12:39 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

From Mr. Show To Better Call Saul: Bob Odenkirk

Credit Sharon Alagna

  Before Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul, Bob Odenkirk was a cult favorite on Mr. Show, a show he co-created with comedian David Cross. And before that he wrote for Saturday Night LiveDennis Miller, and Ben Stiller. His comedic style definitely veers towards the absurd which is evident in one of the shows he produced for Comedy Central: Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job! 

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Word of Mouth
3:35 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

2.8.15: Bill Littlefield, Swedish Utopia, & Living With OCD

Credit Flickr-Anselmo Sousa

The media often portray Sweden as a modernist utopia where blond-haired trend makers export upbeat pop music, hip furniture and meat balls, and parents enjoy unparalleled family leave. On today’s show we debunk the myth of the Scandinavian utopia. Then, we’ll talk about the clear difference between ordinary obsession and the disease known as obsessive-compulsive disorder. And Bill Littlefield talks about his favorite sportswriters, and reads from his new collection of athletics-inspired poetry.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


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Word of Mouth
2:44 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

The Uncommon Core: The American Vacation

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

The American Vacation

“Vacations were an important part of the social life of the upper class in the United States throughout the 19th century.   They even had a circuit of vacations that followed the sun in some ways – they went south for the winter, came back north to Newport and other places like that. In fact, they became what  Thorstein Veblen critiqued as ‘the leisure class.’  It’s not until the turn of the 20th century that the middle class begins to see vacations as something that’s possible for them.” 

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Word of Mouth
2:40 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

Actor John C. Reilly Takes A Musical Turn - Meet 'John Reilly And Friends'

Credit judy h via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/dhJGn7

“The world is a richer place when we encourage artistic expression in everybody, not just in very well-known, public figures, but in our everyday lives.”

From old sea songs to back-porch tunes, America’s folk music is as diverse as those who play it. Playing in theaters in Somerville, Massachusetts and back seats of Black Cabs in London, John Reilly and Friends have brought bluegrass music to the world in a whole different way. We spoke to John C. Reilly, actor and musician, and felt the need to spread his band’s music far and wide!

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Word of Mouth
2:39 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

2.5.15: Robots & Fast Food, John C. Reilly Explores His Inner Folk Musician, & The Uncommon Core

Credit Thomas Hawk via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/9FeTsh

From hospitals to auto-plants, robotics has been embraced by many fields, making work environments safer and more efficient. On today’s show we look to the fast food industry and ask the question: would people eat burgers made by a robot?

And, he may be best known as a film actor, but John C. Reilly can add another role to his resume: folk singer. Later in the show we’ll talk to Reilly about his latest adventures in music.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
2:58 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Why Sweden Isn't Quite As Perfect As We Thought

Credit Mariusz Kluzniak / Flickr

Maybe we should just move to Sweden.” It’s a common refrain in some households, this desire to move to a country that we paint as utopian. Well, after talking to Michael Booth about his book The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia, taking a cue from Michael, we came up with five reasons you may not like Sweden as much as you thought.

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Word of Mouth
2:50 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Good Gig: Night Meteorologist On Mount Washington

Credit Courtesy Mount Washington Weather Observatory

Being the night meteorologist at the top of Mount Washington might not sound like a Good Gig for some people, but for Ryan Knapp, it's the perfect place to experience weather first hand. So what kind of person would be happy working at a place known for having the worst weather in the world?

Boiling water to snow in just seconds!  

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Word of Mouth
2:48 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

2.4.15: The Myth Of A Scandinavian Utopia, Ikea Hacking, & Good Gig

Rådhuset station in Stockholm, Sweden
Credit Don McCullough via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/pGTbyX

The media often portrays Sweden as a modernist utopia – where blond-haired trend makers export upbeat pop music, hip furniture and meat balls, and parents enjoy unparalleled family leave. On today’s show: debunking the myth of the Scandinavian utopia.

And we uncover a growing trend among the DIY set: Ikea hacking, where people use Ikea’s raw materials to create their own customized furniture.

And our series Good Gig continues with a meteorologist based on the beautiful, but often inhospitable, summit of Mount Washington.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
1:45 pm
Tue February 3, 2015

2.3.15: The Empathy Deficit, An Argument Against Pedigree Dogs, & Maps During Conflict

Origami Wolf
Credit Yosuke Muroya via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/arnWtA

Empathy, the ability to share in the emotions of another, has been on the decline since the 1980’s, with the steepest drop occurring in the past ten years. So what’s the big deal? On today’s show, we’ll discuss how to become a more empathetic human being. 

Plus, in just a few weeks, canines from around the world will face off in the best of breed categories at the Westminster dog show. But are pure bred dogs a cause for celebration? Or outrage?

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
3:18 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

Why We love Sad Music, And Other Musical Mysteries Explained (By Brain Science!)

Credit Paul Burnett and Clint McMahon via Flickr Creative Commons

Wherever you live, whatever you’re into, human beings respond to music. Brain researchers have found that listening to music not only makes you feel good – it alters your brain physiologically. To find out more we, talked to Dr. Robert Zatorre,  Neuroscientist at the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University.

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Word of Mouth
3:17 pm
Mon February 2, 2015

2.2.15: A Personal Story Of Obsessive Compulsion & Music And The Brain

Credit Alice via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/9Qcvg9

Have you ever heard someone say, “I can be a little bit OCD”? On today’s show: the clear difference between ordinary obsession and the disease known as obsessive-compulsive disorder.And we’ll stay in the cerebral realm for a look at music’s affect on the human brain, and its power to evoke feelings of sadness, serenity, and awe.  

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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Word of Mouth
3:34 pm
Fri January 30, 2015

2.1.15: The Secret History Of Women In The Senate, Paid Maternity Leave, & The Origins Of Gatorade

Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

Male-only swimming pools, too few bathrooms, inappropriate sexual comments. On today’s Word of Mouth, the secret --- and not so honorable -- history of including women in the U.S. Senate

Then, in his State of the Union Address, President Obama proposed paid maternity and sick leave. We’ll take an unfiltered look at the state of family leave in America.

Plus, we celebrate Superbowl Sunday with the curious history of one of the sports’ key beverages: Gatorade.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

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