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, Zach Nugent, and Logan Shannon. Our Senior Producer is Maureen McMurray. Check out a playlist of music used on the program on Spotify. You can 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
9:53 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Why Your Mother Will Love 'Bubbe's Law'

Credit starleigh via Flickr Creative Commons

On July 1st, the Chinese government enacted a new law called the “Protection of the Rights and Interests of Elderly People”.  It is, in effect, a state-sponsored guilt trip for the adult children of older parents…stipulating the need for frequent visits, phone calls, etc.

Retired teacher and computer consultant Barry Davis read about the new law in the New York Times... then wrote an op-ed suggesting America follow suit with its own “Bubbe’s Law”, as he calls it.  We tracked Barry down at his home in Connecticut for more.

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Word of Mouth
2:15 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

How Will The New Healthcare Law Impact New Hampshire Residents?

Credit Lidor via flickr Creative Commons

With enrollment for healthcare plans under “Obamacare” set to begin tomorrow, NHPR’s health reporter, Todd Bookman, has kept a steady eye on the rollout of the affordable care act. He put together an easy-to-follow guide to what the new healthcare law means for New Hampshire residents, and joins us in the studio to run through some of those points.

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Word of Mouth
12:18 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

The Ritual Of Death Row's 'Last Meal'

Ted Bundy's last meal, as pictured on photographer Jonathon Kambouris' site, The Last Meal Project
Credit Jonathon Kambouris

For his last meal, John Wayne Gacy requested 12 fried shrimp, a bucket of original recipe KFC, french fries, and 1lb of strawberries. Gary Gilmore was served steak, potatoes, milk and coffee. Timothy McVeigh asked for two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Victor Feguer asked only for a single pitted olive. Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were not given a choice.

Brent Cunningham is deputy editor of the Columbia Journalism Review and he wrote about the history of prisoner’s last meals for Lapham’s Quarterly.

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Word of Mouth
11:44 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Davy Rothbart: My Heart Is An Idiot

In his book, My Heart is an Idiot, Davy Rothbart chronicles his shocking and sometimes disturbing real life stories about traveling around America, looking for love, and meeting strangers who take strange to a whole new level. He’s also the creator of Found Magazine and a regular contributor to This American Life.

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Word of Mouth
11:39 am
Mon September 30, 2013

The Tyrannosaurus-Sized Problem With 'Celebrity' Dinosaurs

Credit edebell via Flickr Creative Commons

 A lot of kids go through a “dinosaur phase,” begging  parents to buy every book with a Tyrannosaurus on the cover. While the T-Rex, Velociraptor and Tricerotops have a kind of celebrity status among dino-crazed kids, the truth is not so static. For nearly three centuries, an ever-growing fossil record and scientific progress reveals the importance of a number of unsung species that may have far more to tell us about ancient biology than our popular paleo-crushes.

Brian Switek is author of My Beloved Brontosaurus, a book about the history of paleontology and the transformation of dinosaurs in the popular imagination. 

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Word of Mouth
8:56 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Your 'Breaking Bad' Hotline Messages

Walter talks on the phone...YOU can, too!

Many of you called our Breaking Bad Hotline to let us know how you felt after the credits rolled on the finale. Here are just a few of the messages you left for us...and we've made them SPOILER FREE!

Just remember...WE'RE the ones who knock! Or something.

And if you're not ready to let go of our favorite meth cooks yet, check out some of our favorite 'Breaking Bad' memes:

'Breaking Bad' theme, played on meth lab equipment:

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Word of Mouth
6:14 pm
Fri September 27, 2013

Word Of Mouth 09.28.13

Credit Brandon Burris via flickr Creative Commons

We like to think of the Word of Mouth Saturday show as a convenient, one-hour public radio field trip. So pack a special picnic lunch and grab a buddy, here's what's on the itinerary this week:

  • Bill Maher Love him or hate him, it really doesn't matter, Bill Maher is a great interview.
  • Field Trips Jay Phillip Greene explains his recent study on the power of the school field trip. Turns out they have real and powerful educational value.

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Writers On A New England Stage
4:06 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Margaret Atwood

Author Margaret Atwood
Credit Courtesy the Lavin Agency

Margaret Atwood’s novels are imaginative and  satirical, and her post-apocalyptic predictions eerily accurate. Atwood has just finished her Maddaddam trilogy, set after a bio-engineered plague has wiped out a wantonly consumerist America governed by corporations.

Atwood talks about her latest novel, and then sits down for a conversation and questions from the audience for this edition of Writers On A New England Stage, a co-production of NHPR and The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

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Word of Mouth
12:43 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

A Conversation With Bill Maher

Credit via Capital Center for the Arts

Long before he was pushing the boundaries on television’s Politically Incorrect or hosting Real Time on HBO, Bill Maher was a stand-up comedian. He still does about 50 shows a year, in venues all over the country, and he’s coming to the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord next Saturday, October 5th. Some love him, some hate him, but his biting wit has made him one of the leading satirists in America today.

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Word of Mouth
12:41 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

How Much Talent Does America Really Have?

Credit summerbl4ck via flickr Creative Commons

America’s got talent! So does Britain…Pakistan, Nigeria, Greece, Vietnam, Sweden, Slovakia and a number of other countries in on the “Got Talent”, “Idol” or “X-Factor” franchises of reality TV talent shows. As Meg Wolitzer put it in an essay for Financial Times: “Regardless of your locale, at some point you will be confronted with a fetching, trembling little girl with a voice that’s powerful enough to shatter your eardrums, while still tender enough to break your frozen heart."

Wolitzer is the author of many books, most recently of The Interestings. Her essay, “In Search of the Real Thing” is a meditation on how our culture has come to equate talent with success.

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Word of Mouth
12:37 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

A Smart Rifle That Turns Amateurs Into Sharp-Shooters

Motherboard's Derek Mead takes a 1,000-yard PGF shot off the top of Sandstone Mountain in Llano, Texas. That's Darren calling wind.
Credit via motherboard.vice.com

Pop culture has made the sniper out to be the lone wolf of warfare.  The truth is that long-distance shooting is a two man-job.  The sniper may hold, aim and fire the rifle, but it’s the other half of the team – the spotter – who does the ballistics calculations of distance, drop, the slant of the earth, along with wind and other atmospheric factors. They’re typically equipped with a scope and a notepad, sometimes even a laptop.  So, what if there was a weapon that could do all the arithmetic for you, transforming even amateur fire-arm users into deadly sharp-shooters?  Well…now there is.

Derek Mead is host of the short film called “Long Shot” – covering his investigation and field test of the so-called “smart-rifle”, created by the Texas-based company Tracking Point  Solutions. “Long Shot” was produced by Vice magazine’s tech-based video channel Motherboard, and  Derek is also editor-in-chief of Motherboard.

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Word of Mouth
1:17 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

The Bankable Legacy Of Grand Theft Auto

Credit ATOMIC Hot Links via flickr Creative Commons

Grand Theft Auto V, was released last week to rave reviews and record sales. The video game sold over 13 million copies in the first 24 hours and is projected to gross well over a billion dollars. Rockstar’s satirical crime series has regularly topped video game charts, but it’s just as often been presented as “exhibit a” in the debate over violent video games and whether they have a real-life influence on players. Grand Theft Auto III, the first mainstream success in the series, was at the center of one such debate in the early 2000’s, but a decade later the franchise is more popular than ever.

Joining us to talk a little bit about the history of how Grand Theft Auto became a household name and its legacy on the video game industry at large is Dr. Jeremy Saucier, the assistant director of the International Center for the History of Electronic Games. Also with us is Jamin Warren, founder of video-game arts and culture company, Killscreen.

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Word of Mouth
1:03 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

When Field Trips Get Cut, What Are Kids Losing?

Credit Dan Pancamo via flickr Creative Commons

Those of us who went to public school in New Hampshire will likely recall hopping on the school bus for a visit to the Museum of Science in Boston or Sturbridge Village. For decades, schools have embraced field trips as positive and popular learning experiences.  Today, museums, cultural institutions and the American Association of School Administrators report a steep drop in the number of field trips, and more than half of American schools did away with learning excursions altogether in 2010.

But what are kids losing with the cutting of field trips? Jay Phillip Greene is endowed chair and head of the Department of Education Reform at the University of Arkansas and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

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Word of Mouth
12:00 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

The Beer Lovers' Guide To New Hampshire's Local Brews

A sampler of beers from the Portsmouth Brewery.
Credit James Lee via flickr Creative Commons

Fall is a good time for beer lovers. With the crisp air, light-bodied lagers and shandies are swept off the shelves to make way for dark and amber ales along with multiple versions of October-fest brews... For beer lovers wishing to combine a fall foliage tour with sampling the wares at one of the state’s many breweries, New Hampshire Magazine is here to help.  “The Beer Lovers’ Guide to the Granite State”, a comprehensive guide to enjoying New Hampshire’s local beer industry is now online.  Erica Thoits is assistant editor for New Hampshire Magazine.

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Word of Mouth
11:54 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Local Kids Stalk Birds Of Prey...For Science!

Here in Concord, flocks of fourth graders are boarding school buses to get a glimpse of something you definitely won’t see in a classroom: falcons.  Right now, birds of prey are migrating in massive numbers from their breeding grounds in the north to their wintering grounds down south. Independent producer Jack Rodolico met up with a group of kid scientists on a field trip at the Carter Hill apple orchard, and filed this report. 

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