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
10:10 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Giving Old Words New Life

Credit zolierdos via Flickr Creative Commons

Language evolves. Try reading Chaucer or Shakespeare, or even watching an early 20th-century movie and listen for the words or expressions that have grown obsolete and others that take on new meanings or popularity. You may not refer to a bar-fight as a ‘brannigan,’ for example, but you might say, “‘hang out’ with a friend” …that last phrase was invented way back in the eighteen forties. Linguist and author Arika Okrent compiled a list of words that are much older than they sound for “The Week,” and she told us a little more about them.

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Word of Mouth
10:00 am
Mon August 12, 2013

A Battle Of The Tech Titans

charliesalina/jtprattmedia via Flickr Creative Commons

Patent wars are now standard in the tech industry, so is fierce competition for markets. But what would happen if two Silicon Valley superpowers made the jump to all-out war?

“Though the feud with Apple has been escalating for months, Google CEO Larry Page has never given serious consideration to the plan known internally as Operation GhostFruit. Then Apple decided to test him, first by removing Google as the default search engine on the iPhone and iPad, and then …by blocking Apple devices’ access to Google.com entirely. Larry Page has no choice but to go nuclear.”

That’s an excerpt from Slate’s totally fictional, not remotely thought out experiment called “Wargames: Apple Versus Google,” a highly entertaining ten-part series imagining what might if happen if the two behemoths used all their power, resources, and money to destroy each other. Matt Yglesias is Slate's Business and Economics Correspondent and he spoke with us about the potential battle: Google vs. Apple.

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Word of Mouth
9:07 am
Mon August 12, 2013

LIFTing Street Kids

Credit Lift Street Kids Blog, Merhawi Wells-Bogue

Before moving to New Hampshire, Merhawi Wells-Bogue earned his living on the streets of the Ethiopian city of Mekelle. Years later, while studying journalism at UNH, he went back and spoke with other street kids, often hearing stories of neglect and abuse. He’s since graduated, and was awarded a grant from UNH to do research on similarly neglected children. He also launched LIFT Street Kids, an organization designed to help children living on the streets of Mekelle. He is raising money for a documentary film using the crowd-funding site Crowdwise. Merhawi was with us to talk about the many children either orphaned or abandoned and left to fend for themselves on the dusty streets of Mekelle.  

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Word of Mouth
9:06 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Need Help Gardening? There's An App For That

Credit Pebbleheed via Flickr Creative Commons

Whether you have a well-worn green thumb, or are making your first foray into home gardening, rest assured: there’s an app for that. New York Times Smart App Columnist Kit Eaton confesses he’s not an experienced gardener, but he dug in to the wide variety of garden-related apps on the market and joins us with some winners.   

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Word of Mouth
1:09 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Word Of Mouth: 08.10.2013

Credit Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Our weekly round-up of radio-tastic content...all in one jam packed hour. This week, This week, a suspicious case of fake comments on Amazon points to pro-telecom lobbyists, a bookseller explains why he'll no longer complain about Amazon, an editor for Slate proclaims Instagram "depressing," a teeny anthropologist infiltrates the gangs of Los Angeles, the real-life "Walter White," space weather forecasting, and writer and Found Magazine editor Davy Rothbart talks about his book, My Heart Is An Idiot.

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Word of Mouth
10:49 am
Thu August 8, 2013

A Lesson in Dying

Credit Garrett Vonk

 

When it comes to sharing tough news with family members, or witnessing a patient’s final moments, knowledge of human anatomy and diseases is only so helpful. Abby Goodnough, writer for The New York Times, talked with us about the incredible opportunity that Martha Keochareon afforded medical students at Holyoke Community College. Martha, a nurse dying of pancreatic cancer, offered herself up to nursing students at Holyoke Community College as a case study in terminal illness. This is the conversation we had with Abby back in January.

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Word of Mouth
10:43 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Apollo 13 Comes Safely To New Hampshire

Todd Bookman

“Houston, we have a problem!”

Tom Hanks’ famous line as astronaut and Apollo 13 Flight Commander Jim Lovell has become an emblem of a dramatic slice of American history.  Now, a youth theater in Wilton is bringing Apollo’s big drama to a much smaller stage.

Actors age 8 to 18 will be taking on deep-space, mission-control and an iffy re-entry in Apollo 13, an original musical opening tomorrow night at Andy’s Summer Playhouse. NHPR’s Todd Bookman sat in on rehearsals, and produced this audio postcard.

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Word of Mouth
9:41 am
Thu August 8, 2013

The City Dark

(Photo by Dave Dehetre via Flickr)

PBS is hosting an encore broadcast of the documentary The City Dark. The film, part of the POV series, will be airing on August 12. Last year we spoke with director Ian Cheney about light pollution and the development of the film. Here is our conversation with him after the debut of the documentary last summer.

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Word of Mouth
9:29 am
Thu August 8, 2013

U.K. Welcomes The World's First Lab Grown Burger

Credit sneurgaonkar via Flickr Creative Commons

You may have heard the news earlier this week that taste-testers and scientists in the U.K. sampled the world’s first lab-grown burger.  One food researcher said that the burger tasted “close to meat, but not that juicy”. Another quipped, “what was consistently different was the flavor”. Not a great review for a patty costing somewhere around three hundred and thirty thousand dollars, but you’ve got to start somewhere.  Henry Fountain, science reporter for the New York Times, tells us about the science under the bun.

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Word of Mouth
9:26 am
Thu August 8, 2013

West Coast Conductor Donato Cabrera Makes Music In New Hampshire

Donato Cabrera is the music director of the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra, resident conductor of the San Francisco Symphony, music director of the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra, and most recently, the director of music for the New Hampshire Music Festival.  The six-week celebration of classical and chamber music performed each summer at the Silver Center at Plymouth State University is coming to a close on Aug. 16.  Back in June, Virginia Prescott spoke with Donato Cabrera about his work and the then upcoming festival.

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Word of Mouth
11:53 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Indie Bookseller Will "Not Complain About Amazon Anymore"

Credit xsas via Flickr Creative Commons

Tom Holbrook is the co-owner and manager of the independent RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth and one of our partners for the writers on a New England Stage series.  Tom recently sent out an email saying “why I’m not going to complain about Amazon anymore” to the more than 2500 members of RiverRun’s e-mail list. Word of Mouth Senior Producer Rebecca Lavoie tracked Tom down to find out what was behind it. We have a copy of Tom's email posted on our Facebook page, Word of Mouth Radio.

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Word of Mouth
11:02 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Astroturfing On Amazon: Why Telecom Lobbyists Are Planting Bad Reviews

Credit MeneerDijk via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s been a pretty big couple of weeks for Amazon.com.  First, President Obama chose one of the company’s fulfillment centers as a backdrop for a speech on raising the minimum wage.  Then, news broke that Amazon’s founder, billionaire Jeff Bezos, had purchased the venerable Washington Post.  Amazon now has one hundred and twenty-six million monthly users.  But they might want to start reading product reviews with a grain of salt.  Cited as the largest single source of internet consumer reviews in 2010, the online giant is susceptible to a deceitful practice called astroturfing.  When Susan Crawford’s book “Captive Audience” about the Telecom Industry was published in January, it attached a number of bad reviews later revealed to be fake…with a political agenda behind them.  Our guest Mike Masnick weeded out these fake reviews and published an expose for Techdirt that reached the front page of Reddit.  Masnick is the founder and CEO of Floor64 and editor of the Techdirt blog, we spoke with him about his findings.

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Word of Mouth
10:20 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Insta-Envy: Why Social Networking Is Depressing

Credit Taylor Quimby

One in thirteen people on earth use Facebook. It’s a staggering number, and evidence of the human desire to connect with others through social media. Research at the Human-Computer Institute at Carnegie Mellon and other places have found that passively following the lives of others on Facebook can have the opposite effects, triggering feelings of depression, envy, and isolation. Jessica Winter is senior editor at Slate, and argues that the hipster-centric photo-filtering social network Instagram, is even worse.

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Word of Mouth
9:48 am
Wed August 7, 2013

The Real Life Walter White?

Credit via buzzfeed.com

Breaking Bad follows a high school science teacher who cooks up meth with a former student, kicking off a fast slide into murder, extortion and unsavory partnerships as a bona fide drug lord. Too crazy to be true…right? Well, maybe not. In 2011, police in California arrested Stephen Kinzey; professor by day, outlaw biker and meth distributor by night. Kinzey has been out on bail since his initial arrest. The preliminary hearing to determine whether or not the case against him is strong enough to go to trial was scheduled for June, it’s since been delayed.

Natasha Vargas-Cooper wrote about the real-life Walter White for BuzzFeed, and took the time to talk with us. She’s also a frequent contributor to The Atlantic, and The New York Times among others.

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Word of Mouth
3:52 pm
Tue August 6, 2013

Playing Pac Man In The Library

Credit medium.com

According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, younger patrons don’t use libraries only as a place to study, they also go there to “hang out” in place that feels calm. It’s a little less serene at the Chattanooga Public Library.  Justin Hoenke is the teen librarian there...we were a little stunned to find an article Justin wrote called “Why I bought an original 1981 Ms. Pac Man Arcade machine for my library”

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