Word of Mouth

Saturdays at 11 am, Tuesdays at 8 pm

Word of Mouth explores the nooks and crannies of New Hampshire and is hosted by Virginia Prescott. Airs Saturdays at 11 am and replays Tuesdays at 8 pm.

Subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts or find us wherever you get your podcasts!

Send us an email: Word of Mouth

Curious about things you've seen, heard, or experienced in our state? Send us your "Only In New Hampshire" questions here!

Episode 7: Executive Orders

Feb 13, 2017

You may have heard of executive orders, but how about executive memoranda? Today, we talk about the different tools of executive action that the President uses to direct his administration, and enforce public policy. Are they laws? Can they be revoked by Congress? How are they vetted? Karen Hult, Chair of the Department of Political Scientist at Virginia Tech, fills us in.

Episode 5: Calling Your Congressperson

Feb 9, 2017
Logan Shannon

We're often urged to call our elected representatives to voice opinions on the issues, but what happens after that call is made?  Where does the message go? And do those calls ever sway decisions?  In this episode of Civics 101, we go into a congressional representative's office to find out.

David J. Murray | Clear Eye Photo / cleareyephoto.com

All this week we're revisiting some of our favorite Writers on a New England Stage interviews featuring two Supreme Court Justices, a SCOTUS scholar and a presidential scholar. Here's the schedule for this week: 

On this weekend's show:

Walt Jabsco via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/23vvEm
James Cridland via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/Wd54U

On today's show:

Daniel Gregory via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/o4fTvk

On today’s show, we’ll talk to the host of The Lonely Palette, a podcast that aims to put art appreciation back in the hands of the masses, one painting at a time.

Plus, the Grammy-award winning group OutKast has had an undeniable impact on hip-hop, and put southern hip-hop on the map. Now that musical legacy is being deconstructed for college credit. We’ll talk to the professor behind a new upper level English class that puts OutKast on the syllabus.

And we get ready to kick off the 12th year of the Portsmouth-based RPM challenge, when artists around the world try to write and record an album in just 28 days.

Logan Shannon

You've probably heard the term "comment period", but do you know what it means? What exactly happens when a government agency opens a proposed rule to public comment?  And do these comments ever sway decision making? Today, a look into the notice and comment rule making procedure. 

1.30.17: Civics 101 & End of Life Care for Kids

Jan 30, 2017
joe bustillos via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/6m7Jhs

The Constitution grants the press freedom to hold elected officials feet to the fire. How does the White House Press Corps do it?  Today, Civics 101 gets a lesson from a master, NPR's Senior White House Correspondent Scott Horsley.

Also today, hospice care is increasingly a choice for end-of-life care. What does it mean for lives that have just begun? We'll hear about an option that's so far been unthinkable - hospice care for terminally ill kids.

Matt Biddulph via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/88HygA

All the annual hoopla about Super Bowl ad sales is a little different this year, since sales are way down. On today’s show we’ll look into what that says about media and politics.

Plus, time is money, it heals all wounds, it even flies. We'll speak with the author of a new book who investigates our perception of time, and how it affects our minds, our culture, and our bodies—often in ways you would never expect.

And, a new episode of the 10-Minute Writers Workshop with Caitlin Moran.

aveira via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/6Myi84

In the first 100 days of his presidency, FDR passed a staggering seventy six pieces of legislation. Barack Obama, passed just 11. On today’s show we’ll look into partisan politics and the changing presidential mandate, and why the first 100 days is a metric worth looking at.

And, while most ski mountains in New England are facing the effects of a warming climate, another problem is slowly developing: aging chairlifts.

Plus we’ll check in with chamber pop band San Fermin before they play House of Blues in Boston this Saturday.

Somayeh Pakar

The Trump administration has vowed to roll back Obama's laws, but what does that mean for Title IX? On today’s show, we'll consider the future for the amendment now linking college and university funding to how they respond to sexual harassment and assault on campus.

Then, it can take months, even years, to plan a wedding...now imagine you have to do everything twice. Later in the show, a look inside gender segregated weddings in Iran, and how the single sex parties are boosting opportunities for creative women in the workforce.

Plus our semi-regular segment Overheard introduces you to sounds we think you need to hear.

Eugene Kaspersky via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/rBHFRr

When confronting transphobia, what's the best way to encourage understanding? How about a face-to-face discussion? Today, a study follows a group of door-to-door canvassers, and quantifies what we probably know instinctively - conversation is an effective tool for empathy and persuasion.

Plus, just because you saw The West Wing 10 years ago, does not mean you understand how government works. And that's ok. Today we introduce Civics 101 to untangle the fundamentals you learned in school and probably forgot - like what exactly does a Chief of Staff do?

Episode 1: Chief of Staff

Jan 20, 2017
Logan Shannon

We're all familiar with the title, but what does a White House Chief of Staff actually do? What does the daily routine entail? And how much power does the position hold?  Our inaugural episode covers the basics of the President's gatekeeper.

Question? Comments? Tag your responses #civics101pod on social media and we'll try to investigate! And remember to send us your civics questions by filling out the form below. 

Hazel Watson via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/uuET81

In Australia, there is a small marsupial called the antechinus. It looks a lot like an ordinary mouse, but it has an extraordinary life-cycle. On today’s show, we discover a host of incredible organisms that illustrate the absurdity and elegance of evolution.

Plus, what happens when we confront transphobia face to face? We'll hear about a new study that followed a group of door-to-door canvassers, and quantified what we you already may suspect: conversation is an effective tool for empathy and persuasion.

Skipped Civics Class? Send Us Your Questions!

Jan 19, 2017
Logan Shannon

Just because you saw The West Wing a decade ago, doesn't mean you actually understand the mechanics of the American government.  Don't feel bad, it's been years since most of us had to study any of this stuff, and there are lots of well-informed people out there who – when pressed – might not remember how the Electoral College works, or what it takes to pass a constitutional amendment.

onepinkhippo via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8oatHS

In Australia, there is a small marsupial called the antechinus. It looks a lot like an ordinary mouse, but has an extraordinary life-cycle. Today, we discover a host of incredible organisms that illustrate the absurdity and elegance of evolution.

Plus, a regulatory conundrum over catfish. At a moment when the political divide is as wide as it's ever been, some republicans and democrats are actually coming together - over a bottom-feeder.

splityarn via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/6m2iYw

In the late 1960s, the Black Panther Party made racial pride a rallying point for social justice and arming citizens against police brutality - and was targeted by the FBI. So was the Puerto Rican nationalist party called the Young Lords. Today, we look back the little known activist movement strongly influenced by feminist ideals and the Latina experience.

Plus, want information? Google it. But try Googling: "is the Holocaust real?" and you'll be led to a barrage of Holocaust denial. We'll dig into why even when the facts are indisputable, finding truth online is not guaranteed.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day '17

Jan 16, 2017
Ted Bell / https://flic.kr/p/dehv96

Think Civil Rights era, and the Jim Crow south probably comes to mind: Selma, Birmingham.  How about Brooklyn and Boston, where battles over school desegregation also raged? On today’s show,  a history of progress and regression in a region that considered itself blind to race.

Then, facial recognition software is now everywhere - in airports, stores, on our gadgets and on social media. The goal is security and public safety, but there are drawbacks to our growing dependency on biometrics:  not all faces are recognized equally.

Weather events and disasters can be ferocious - but in December of 1952, London, England was struck by a much quieter calamity - a heavy blanket of smog so thick, that thousands died. Today, stories from The Great Smog of 1952.  

Then, for most people who sustain traumatic injuries from bullets or car crashes death occurs within an hour. Now, what seems like a miracle cure is freighted with questions of consent, ethics and racism in a country with a sordid history of medical experiments on African Americans.

Logan Shannon

Weather events and disasters can be ferocious - but in December of 1952, London, England was struck by a much quieter calamity - a heavy blanket of smog so thick, that thousands died. Today, stories from The Great Smog of 1952.  

And, eight years after the financial crisis, unemployment is down to pre-recession levels. Another indicator has not faired as well: underemployment. Is part-time work the new normal?

Fabienne D. via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/UnAHZ

The opioid epidemic profoundly affects families, communities, law enforcement and puts doctors and hospital staff on the front lines of addiction. Today, a physician and ethicist makes a radical suggestion - let addicts shoot up in the hospital.

Then, for most people who sustain traumatic injuries from bullets or car crashes death occurs within an hour. Now, what seems like a miracle cure is freighted with questions of consent, ethics and racism in a country with a sordid history of medical experiments on African Americans.

Clinton Steeds via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/54ose

An Islamic group says the permitting process for building a mosque has become "Kafkaesque". The town says that's normal for development, but the Justice Department says it's discrimination. What happens when religion and zoning collide?

Plus, a primer on net-metering -- the system that's now the bedrock and rationale for America’s solar industry - and it happened without any planning, strategy or government approval. We'll learn about the accidental origins of solar policy.

Adriano Ferreira via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/BApGpJ

Despite dire predictions, Rio pulled off the Olympics. Now the party's over and the country is broke . Today, did Rio deliver on its promise to Brazilians?

Then, the holidays are behind us, which in New England means we're staring down the barrel of several uninterrupted cold, dark, and snowy months. Perfect weather for curling up at home with a good book, TV show or...video game? We'll get a preview of what's on the horizon for this year's most anticipated video games. 

Viktoria Wigenstam via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/nWDmKp

Asked to imagine a "medieval city", you probably think of walled fiefdoms, bustling market stalls, maybe a castle, cathedral or dome of a mosque in Europe or the Middle East, not the American plains. On today’s show, we'll learn about the Native American mega city that was bigger than contemporary London and Paris.

Also today, amid a national spike in hate crimes against Muslims and people of color, a New Hampshire high school is bent on prevention. A new program confronts stereotypes by asking refugee students to talk about their lives and cultures.

And U.S. Presidents have the nation's most scrutinized job. But they worked for it. How about their kids? Presidential historian Brady Carlson talks about first children who've used the spotlight to their advantage 

1.05.17: Presidential Kids, Half Wild, & 10MWW

Jan 5, 2017
msrivergirl via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/ac7qJT

The framers of American democracy rejected monarchy and its tradition of passing power through bloodline ...that has not stopped presidents past from relying on their kids. Today, Brady Carlson on first children who've made presidential politics a family business. 

Also today, hold-outs, hippies, haves and have-nots live side-by-side in a collection of stories set in Vermont...not the picture postcard version.

Plus, the 10-Minute Writer's Workshop talks with a longtime copy writer for the LL Bean catalog.  

Pierre-Alexandre Garneau via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8GW6WZ

A team of reporters tracking police shootings discovered an alarming trend - people brandishing phony weapons getting shot in confrontations with cops.  Today, we'll learn about real fatalities with fake guns and why the pro-gun lobby is protecting the right to bear imitation arms.

Also today, a New Hampshire high school confronts stereotypes and the national spike in hate crimes by asking refugee students to talk about their lives and cultures. 

Boston Public Library via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/bbjDXk

There’s a new lesson plan at Concord High and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

Anna-Marie DiPasquale, the school’s social worker, started a new project this past fall called “Travel around the World.” The project allows Ms. DiPasquale to visit different classrooms with small groups of refugee students sharing their cultures and traditions firsthand.

1.03.17: Exploring Cahokia & Layla and Majnun

Jan 3, 2017
Dayna Bateman via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/2hGD6G

Asked to imagine a "medieval city", you probably think of Europe or the Middle East - walled fiefdoms, bustling market stalls, maybe a castle, cathedral or dome of a mosque - not the American plains. Today, we'll learn about the Native American mega city that was bigger than contemporary London and Paris.

Plus: a boy. A girl. A forbidden love. The tragic storyline transcends time and place. The folktale of "Layla and Majnun" inspired the first Middle Eastern opera, the classic rock song "Layla", and now, a multi-media collaboration between the Silk Road Ensemble and choreographer Mark Morris - and now you can see it close to home. 

1.02.17: Metling Ice, Shifting Sand & Atlas Obscura

Jan 2, 2017
MARTIN CATHRAE VIA FLICKR CC / HTTPS://FLIC.KR/P/4KF8SM

When asked about what it was like to live with Alzheimer's disease, Donald Burke said, "like standing on melting ice." Today, a husband and wife dig into the metaphor to find meaning.

Plus, a comprehensive map of the world’s weirdest places – from Brazil’s Snake Island to an Icelandic elf school, to a giant burning hole in Turkmenistan, Atlas Obscura's new book is sure to make your next vacation a little stranger.

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