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

Subscribe to our podcast on iTunes or find us on Stitcher.

Looking for our Song of the Day? Click right here.

5.30.16: Happy Memorial Day

May 30, 2016
Bill Dickinson via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/c6kur7

Each Memorial Day, the country comes together to remember the fallen – but history hasn’t always been so kind. When President Lincoln was assassinated, many publicly celebrated his death...and not just in the south. 

On today’s show, we’ll shatter the myth of a country united in mourning. Then, we'll look at why some important historical events go entirely unremembered – like the sinking of the Sultana, America’s deadliest maritime disaster. 

Listen to the full show:

Athenamama via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/JpXUh

Bach, Beethoven, and Haydn are familiar names, but what about Caccini, Strozzi, and Maconchy? Today, we hear sounds and stories from the forgotten female composers of classical music.

Then, one sales strategy has stood the test of time, making the transition from 1950s house parties to digital media - multilevel marketing, or direct sales. But what might seem like an awkward annoyance is actually changing social dynamics for hundreds of thousands of women. 

Writers on a New England Stage: Joe Hill

May 25, 2016
David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com

Joe Hill is the author of several short story collections, the Locke & Key comic book series, and best-selling novels The Heart-Shaped Box, NOS4A2, and Horns. He joined Virginia Prescott for a conversation for Writers on a New England Stage in Portsmouth on May 16, 2016.

Cliff via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/6buvmh

Among the complaints about the presidential campaign on social media or talking with friends: how come the mainstream media never covers this candidate, those facts, that scandal. Today, is the media really dropping the ball?

Then, last fall, the aids health foundation launched a billboard campaign in Los Angeles linking mobile dating apps like Tinder and Grindr to the spread of STDs. The foundation charged that these apps are making casual sex as easily available as ordering a pizza. Now a start-up called Mately is banking that online daters will pay a premium to know the sexual history of their potential hook-ups

Mack Male via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/nh5sxm

Rifles or ruffles? Guns or glitter? Today, themed gender reveal parties are a growing trend among expectant parents...how does all the fanfare over proclaiming an unborn child's sex fit into the evolving conversation about gender identity?     

Then, a new surprisingly accurate metric emerges for determining if a tech company's bubble is about to burst. It has nothing to do with stocks or quarterly earnings reports - the answer might be in your basement.

Writers On A New England Stage: Lesley Stahl

May 19, 2016
David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com

As a reporter and White House correspondent for CBS News, Lesley Stahl covered Watergate, the Iran hostage crisis and the Gulf War. Her investigative work for 60 minutes brought her from America's nuclear mission control centers to Guantanamo Bay. She's interviewed heads of state, traumatized soldiers, Iraqi rebels, teenage gospel stars, and deftly refereed pitched debates on Face the Nation.  With a shelf full of Emmys, Murrow Awards and a few memorable scoops behind her, Lesley Stahl says becoming a grandmother is her best assignment yet.  

Roger Davies via flickr Creative Commons/Modification: Logan Shannon / NHPR

As college kids move back to campus, one Ivy League insider says that elite universities aren’t producing independent thinkers, but high functioning sheep. On today’s show: the downside of being among the best and the brightest.

Then, oh, the tales bellhops and hotel maids could tell. And many have shared stories of walking in on or cleaning up after some unsavory scenes. Concierges, on the other hand, tend to get a more polite view of guests - along with some fairly ridiculous questions. Later in the show, an inside look at the concierge, including how to tip. 

emerysteele via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/aZVRG2

The ad agency for Royal Caribbean chose a lively, catchy tune for a series of commercials for the cruise line, but it didn’t exactly match the wholesome, fun loving image they were trying to promote. On today’s show we’ll explore how the power of sound can make or break an experience.

Then, we’ll speak with the Israeli musician known as Kutiman, about crafting an album made entirely of unrelated sound samples from YouTube videos.

Ed Yourdon via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/7umThC

To catch a thief, you have to think like one. To prevent a crime, you have to case a joint like a potential infiltrator and find the weak spots. Today, an architecture and design critic gives us a burglars eye view of the built environment

Plus, humans respond to architecture on measurable cognitive and physiological levels - which means boring cities take a steep toll on our bodies and our minds.

madichan via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8ivzgd

Radio broadcast news from the front during World War II. Vietnam was captured on television. Today, uncensored scenes from Syria's civil war are uploaded onto YouTube by the thousands.  Now, we’re learning what amateur videos reveal about Syria's brutal war.

Then, the intersection between technology and food makes a lot of people wary. Concerns over industrialized food, GMOs and big agriculture’s profit motive have sparked a foodie movement that demands whole, responsibly grown fare. On today’s show, an agricultural economist says high tech methods are crucial when it comes to confronting obesity, environmental degradation, and global hunger.

Dennis Jarvis via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/6q9vFQ

It's called poverty tourism: guided visits to slums and shantytowns for close-up view of locals living in the shadows of landmarks and luxury hotels. Today, the pros and cons of straying off the typical tourist path.

Then, media outlets, pop culture blogs, TV re-cappers and social media are all potential spoilers for others who've yet to see a blockbuster or hit show. Yet global social media thrives on discussion in real time...so what's a person to do? Vulture polled its readers to find out the best approach for spoiler etiquette and we spoke with a TV and movie critic about the results. 

Scott Anderson via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/qwUuhb

“Birthday suit”, “in the buff”, “wearing nothing but a smile.” Call it what you will, on today’s show we’ll strip bare the American nudism movement and we’ll explore the progressive-era origins and continuing tensions over what it means to take it all off.

Then, people love dogs - but few pay attention to the most common variety - village dogs. We're speaking with two experts who have spent their lives traveling around the world and studying the truest essence of dog. 

watchsmart via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/3iMTue

Radio broadcast news from the front during World War II. Vietnam was captured on television. Today, uncensored scenes from Syria's civil war are uploaded onto YouTube by the thousands.  Now, we’re learning what amateur videos reveal about Syria's brutal war.

Then we’ll talk to an author who decided to do what no one has done in more than a century: cross the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon. Along the way he found not only the forgotten history of our country but also the emerging present.

Brian Boucheron via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4E4P5U

The intersection between technology and food makes a lot of people wary. Concerns over industrialized food, GMOs and big agriculture’s profit motive have sparked a foodie movement that demands whole, responsibly grown fare. On today’s show, an agricultural economist says high tech methods are crucial when it comes to confronting obesity, environmental degradation, and global hunger.

We'll also talk with humorist Roy Blount Jr. who grew up in a southern home, where butter was considered a food group, and you had to save room for pie!  Plus a look into a new airline that caters to fashion’s elite.     

Happy Mother's Day!

May 6, 2016
NJ Moore via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/6jLDCR

Homegrown terrorism, gun violence, Zika - there's plenty of real stuff to get freaked out about. So can America be 100% safe?  No, says a security analyst and mom, and your kids know it's not - but that's ok. Today, a former homeland security big wig refuses to be ruled by paranoia and offers tips on how to prepare your family for the unknown without becoming a prepper.

Then, we'll catch up with the growing movement to get over the shame and secrecy and acknowledge that women menstruate...including a look into why tampons and pads are taxed as luxury goods in 40 states. 

Classic Film via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/gqozbV

Today, we catch up with the growing movement to get over the shame and secrecy and acknowledge that women menstruate...including a look into why tampons and pads are taxed as luxury goods in 40 states.

Plus, working out while pregnant.  Even though the science says elite female athletes can train pretty hard, even in the third trimester, society doesn't always agree.

We Want Your Pitches

May 5, 2016
Fredrik Rubensson via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/ffFhz5

We've been working on an idea of an episode all about how books get made - from the first kernel of an idea, to selling the idea to an agent or publisher, to self-publishing to who writes those blurbs on the back of the final copy.

5.04.16: National Parks Are Awesome & The Bookshelf

May 4, 2016
Rob via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/apVKxV

With spring springing and trees budding, it's time to think about spending some serious time outdoors. With so many choices, we asked a seasoned travel writer where to go. From Acadia to Yosemite, today we’re unpacking some of the practical and philosophical questions to ask when planning a trip to a national park...including how a park system founded a century ago coexists with our changing population, and an exploration of the national park's premise: creating a contained wilderness. 

Kartik Anand via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/aEZrQN

Homegrown terrorism, gun violence, Zika - there's plenty of real stuff to get freaked out about. So can America be 100% safe?  No, says a security expert slash mom, and your kids know it's not. But that's ok. Today, a former homeland security big wig refuses to be ruled by paranoia and offers tips on how to prepare your family for the unknown without becoming a prepper.

Plus, the true story of humble scholars-turned-smugglers to save rare books and manuscripts from sure destruction by Al Qaeda.

Word of Mouth Presents: The Song of the Day

May 3, 2016
Jacob Meltzer via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/am519D

Looking for something new to listen to today? Check out our Song of the Day, a new music feature designed to help you broaden your music horizons.

The Song of the Day features unique video or live stream performance content of emerging and established artists produced by a public media station.

Bookmark this page and check it daily to discover something new, hear what's trending, and find what just might become your next favorite earworm.

Stanley Zimny via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/pAMnYj

On the Titanic, metal gates kept the unwashed from the upper crust - today's cruises offer high-rollers seclusion using key cards and velvet ropes.Today, travel perks in the new Gilded Age.

Then, from Little House on the Prairie, to the pastoral scenes printed on butter packages,  Americans tend to think of the agrarian past as wholesome and simpler . But, the real family farm has not always been pure or pretty.

Plus, Sean Hurley searches for buried treasure with a group of metal detectives.

History Unfolded, Impostor Syndrome, & Fishpocalypse

Apr 29, 2016
Luc De Leeuw via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/5eM3mF

You can't confront the horror that was the Holocaust without facing inescapable questions of America's role. What did the United States know about the Holocaust and how did it respond? Today, the United States Holocaust Museum is asking the public to help uncover how the American press covered the genocide of millions of Jews - and whether or not anyone was listening.

Then, recent public health crises like Ebola and Zika show how fear grabs public and media's attention. But there's another virus potentially be more harmful on a mass scale that's crept under the radar. Today, we'll hear about a virus that's killing off Tilapia by the millions - and what that could mean for our global food supply.

Dennis Jarvis via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/7jeDS3

Recent public health crises like Ebola and Zika show how fear grabs public and media's attention. But there's another virus potentially be more harmful on a mass scale that's crept under the radar. Today, we'll hear about a virus that's killing off Tilapia by the millions - and what that could mean for our global food supply.

Then, Vladimir Lenin died in 1924 - but you wouldn't know that by looking at his exquisitely preserved corpse. So what's the secret?

4.27.16: Ira Glass & The Violet Hour

Apr 27, 2016
http://bit.ly/1rhNaPG

His voice has become synonymous with public radio. He's built a storytelling empire on radio, podcasts, television and film. This American Life has won 6 Peabody Awards. But - and this is a question that plagues all of us - is it enough? Act one on our program today: can Ira Glass actually dance?

Then, Katie Roiphe on the fantasy of deathbed resolution. 

Dennis Wilkinson via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/bQFguT

You can't confront the horror that was the Holocaust without facing inescapable questions of America's role. What did the United States know about the Holocaust and how did it respond? Today, the United States Holocaust Museum is asking the public to help uncover how the American press covered the genocide of millions of Jews - and whether or not anyone was listening.

Then, Google and other companies are betting than autonomous vehicles will be safer than they're human led counterparts...but proving it won't be easy.

JDHRosewater via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/pXMPW8

It's known on the street as Ecstasy, MDX, or Molly, but MDMA is now being tested as a way to treat the millions of Americans who suffer from chronic PTSD. Today, one of the premier drivers of MDMA research brings his mission to fund clinical trials to New England.

Then, fans of Downton Abbey know that it takes a well-oiled domestic staff to keep a British estate looking pristine. We’re taking deeper look into the history of British servitude...and cleaning.

TV on the Radio & the Penny Poet of Portsmouth

Apr 22, 2016
stevestein1982 via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/7aGdeb

Big-budget movies aim to break box office records, not win over critics.  Today, a reporter comes up with a formula to rank the worst-rated, highest grossing movies of all time...and there are a lot of them.

Then, the creators of Naked and Afraid bank on nudity hooking viewers in, but know they can't show the naughty bits during prime time. That's where "the blur man group" comes in.

Plus, we'll speak to a woman who counsels reality TV stars -  a population excessively prone to addiction, depression and suicide - to cope with sudden and fleeting fame.

ptwo via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/q2L6ww

William Shakespeare is credited with writing 37 plays and yet, if not for one very rare book, nearly half of those, including Macbeth and Julius Caesar - would have been lost forever.  Today on the show, the First Folio.

Then, with earth day coming up tomorrow, we add another "r" to reduce, reuse, recycle - we talk to the founder of iFixit, a free online repair guide for keeper everything from toasters to iPads out of the landfill. 

Plus, the latest 10-Minute Writer’s Workshop uncovers the process of writing true crime.

4.20.16: TV on the Radio - Part Two

Apr 20, 2016
Alan Levine via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/aKNqLD

Big-budget movies aim to break box office records, not win over critics.  Today, a reporter comes up with a formula to rank the worst-rated, highest grossing movies of all time...and there are a lot of them.

Then, the creators of Naked and Afraid bank on nudity hooking viewers in, but know they can't show the naughty bits during prime time. That's where "the blur man group" comes in.

Plus, we'll speak to a woman who counsels reality TV stars -  a population excessively prone to addiction, depression and suicide - to cope with sudden and fleeting fame.

Guy Sie via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/6gdiLA

The word vitamin has only been around for just over 100 years.  But now vitamins are a $36 billion dollar-a-year industry. Today, the history and science behind a mostly unregulated market.

Plus, can a dress shirt be racist?  An online retailer has come up with an algorithm they say ensures a near-perfect fit... But part of that data set includes ethnicity, prompting questions about the connection between ethnicity and biology.

Pages