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
12:16 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

5. 28. 14: Tacky Museum Gift Shops and Letters Worth Reading

Credit Scott Lynch/ Gothamist

The gift shop at The National September 11 Memorial Museum has sparked controversy for such keepsakes as: a plush FDNY rescue dog and “survivor tree” earrings. While many find the items tasteless, the impulse to commemorate is as old as the country itself. NHPR's Brady Carlson takes us on a historical tour of tone-deaf keepsakes, from toy hand grenades to Confederate flag throw pillows. Plus, we'll speak to the founder of Letters of Note about the beauty and power of handwritten correspondence. 

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5. 28. 2014 Full Show

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Word of Mouth
2:18 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Funeral Cookies: A Collection Of Recipes

Credit star5112 via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Meg Favreau about the tasty treats that are funeral cookies and the various forms in which they come. There are the spongy cookies found in Wales, the chocolate cake-like confections of Belgium, and traditional molasses cookies from Colonial America, to list a few.  Here we’ve listed some of our favorite funeral cookie recipes that we've found, from the historical to the very modern. 

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Word of Mouth
11:38 am
Tue May 27, 2014

5. 27. 14: Saving Social Science, Funeral Food, And Food 2.0

Credit erix! via Flickr Creative Commons

You’ve seen the studies: wearing seatbelts makes you happier! Facebook users are depressed! The internet harms teenage brains! But how reliable are these studies? Today Word of Mouth puts social science to the test. Then we continue with a look into a curious tradition that has been lost over the years: funeral cookies, “A snack called death.” Plus, venture capitalists in Silicon Valley aren’t just banking on the future of tech, they’re pouring money into the future of food… why one start-up is spending millions on an eggless-egg.

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5.27.2014 Full Show

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Word of Mouth
2:00 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

5.26.14: Memorial Day

Credit Phil Roeder via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s Memorial Day, a time to remember the men and women who fought and died in military service to the United States. Today on Word of Mouth: those who take remembrance to the next level: the re-enactors. In 1986 there were an estimated 50,000 Civil War re-enactors in the U.S. Since 2000 their ranks have been cut in half. We’ll find out what’s at the root of the secession, and what drives someone to take on the identity of a 19th century solider. Plus, the founder of the Veterans Writing Project talks about harnessing the power of prose to cope with the hidden wounds of war. And, we’ll explore the psychic wounds veterans carry. We’ll talk to an officer who couldn’t forget the horrors of war.

5.26.14: Full Show

Word of Mouth
11:37 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Vintage Cake Toppers: The Stuff Of Nightmares

This vintage kewpie topper might only be suitable for a "Ravages of Time" theme.

Weddings trends come and go with the times, and today, vintage themes & items are all the rage, as young couples eschew the extravagant trappings of old for simpler ceremonies (if you don't believe us, head on over to Pinterest).

A vintage cake topper, however, is maybe not the way to go. Proceed with caution.

Word of Mouth
9:56 am
Thu May 22, 2014

The Bride Wore Black

Milo & Etta Warner, 1901

All Dressed in White - it's the title of author Carol Wallace's look into the history of the American wedding, but it hasn't always held true for brides. On the frontier - a culture centered around migrant work & making do - a woman may only have a single good dress, designed for a decidedly different purpose.

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Word of Mouth
12:11 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

5.21.14: The Veterans Writing Project, Music Rivalries, And Making "Exile On Main Street"

Credit By London Records. (Billboard page 25 1 May 1965) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

As a soldier, an army officer, and then a Foreign Service officer Ron Capps experienced five wars in ten years, and came home with severe PTSD. Today on Word of Mouth, he discusses founding the Veterans Writing Project, and the power of the written word in coping with the psychic wounds of war. Then, from Scottish bag pipes in the mid-18th century to Metallica in the mid-2000s, we’ll take a brief tour through the history of music as a weapon of war. Plus, a diehard Oasis fan is forced to admit that the band’s rivalry with Blur has unfairly colored his perception for the past 20 years.

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5.21.14 Full Show

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Word of Mouth
2:04 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

5.20.14: Rediscovering The Sea, Farming Better Fish, And A Visit To An Underwater Museum

An underwater sculpture called Inercia by Jason Decaires Taylor
Credit julierohloff via Flickr Creative Commons

With the weather warming up across New England, people are heading for the coast. Today Word of Mouth hits the high seas. First we'll ponder the unfathomable push and pull of the open ocean. Then, we’ll speak to an artist who created the world’s first submerged sculpture park, his underwater gallery not only attracts art-lovers, but serves as an artificial reef. Plus, farmed fish now exceeds beef production. Have fish farmers learned from the mistakes of the meat industry?

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5.20.2014 Full Show

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Word of Mouth
1:49 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

5.19.14: Civil War Re-enactors, Saving The Wild Apple, and Arsenic In Rice

Credit WalterPro4755 via Flickr Creative Commons

In 1986 there were an estimated 50,000 Civil War re-enactors in the U.S. Since 2000 their ranks have been cut in half. Today on Word of Mouth: the decline of Civil War reenactments, and what drives someone to take on the identity of a 19th century solider. Plus, after millennia of selective breeding, there are now over 3000 known varieties of apple. But, are our beloved Galas and Honeycrisps in peril? Why the extinction of wild apple species in central Asia could spell disaster for their descendants. And, when it comes to rice, why brown may not be the healthier.

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5.19.2014 Full Show

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Word of Mouth
4:06 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

5.17.14: Looking For Answers In All The Weird Places

Credit Taylor Quimby

Modern life is full of anxieties: Am I eating the right foods? Am I on the right career path? Am I reaching my full potential? But in America, there’s always an answer. That’s why today’s show is all about self-actualization… and the unusual places people look to find it.

Listen to the full show here!

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Word of Mouth
2:06 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

5.15.14: Figuring Out GDP, Alternative Labor Unions, and Did Neanderthal Parents Love Their Kids?

Credit Ervins Strauhmanis via Flickr Creative Commons

It gets bandied about countless times by economists, politicians, and newscasters, but what exactly is GDP? Today on Word of Mouth, the surprisingly fascinating process of measuring Gross Domestic Product, and what this live or die by economic indicator overlooks. Plus, prehistoric humans are commonly depicted as grunting, club-wielding brutes. Now, evidence that Neanderthal parents didn’t just rear children, but loved and cherished them. All that and more on today's show.

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5.15.14 Full Show

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Word of Mouth
1:55 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

5.14.14: The Internet Is Not Killing Religion, Years As Celebrities, And Female Viagra

Credit Unknown, via Wikimedia Commons

Over the past 25 years, the percentage of people with no religious affiliation has more than doubled, at the same time, the internet has been widely embraced. Coincidence? Today on Word of Mouth: does the internet spell the fall of religion? Or is it more of a correlation than a cause? Plus, we peruse the new release section of the bookstore and notice a trend, Catastrophe 1914, 1914: History in an Hour, 1914: Fight the Good Fight. A look into the downside of treating years as celebrities.

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5.14.2014 Full Show

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Word of Mouth
12:45 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Candlepin Versus Ten-Pin: A New England Bowler's Dilemma

Credit Professor Bop via flickr Creative Commons

That's right. I'm asking the age old question: candlepin or ten-pin? Outside of New England, this may not be a hot topic. It may not be a topic at all, as the popularity and instance of candlepin is concentrated almost solely in northern New England. To be completely honest, I didn't even know candlepin was a thing until I moved here almost seventeen years ago. (Military brat - hi!). As with sprinkles vs. jimmies, hair elastic vs. ponytail, and roundabout vs.

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Word of Mouth
11:58 am
Tue May 13, 2014

5.13.14: MIT Tech Review, Talking To Strangers And "The Cochlear War"

Credit hobvias sudoneighm via flickr Creative Commons

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C. Clarke

Each spring, the MIT Technology Review puts out its list of the 10 biggest breakthrough technologies of the year. Today on Word of Mouth: from agricultural drones to 3-d printing organs. What are the true tech milestones of the past twelve months?

Also, as kids we’re told never to talk to strangers. As adults, many of us still abide by that rule. But are we missing out? Why talking to strangers might be good for your health.

Plus, the debate over cochlear implants and why some feel they technology marginalizes members of the deaf community.

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5.13.14: MIT Tech Review, Talking To Strangers And "The Cochlear War"

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Word of Mouth
11:57 am
Tue May 13, 2014

WOM Covered 5 Of The 10 Biggest Breakthroughs In MIT Tech Review

Credit Chris Isherwood via flickr Creative Commons

Each spring, MIT Technology Review puts out its list of the 10 biggest breakthrough technologies – and every year we check that list to see how many of them have been covered on Word of Mouth. We’re happy to report another strong affinity. Here to recap twelve months’ worth of amazing – and useful -- scientific advances is Brian Bergstein - deputy editor of MIT Technology Review.

Listen to Virginia's conversation with Brian below:

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