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
9:48 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Commercial Spaceport Is Being Threatened By History

Credit Jeff Houck/John Stavely via Flickr Creative Commons

Florida’s Aerospace Economic Development Agency is making plans to build a new commercial spaceport not far from the Kennedy Space Center – home of NASA’s now retired shuttle program. There’s just one problem: the land is already occupied.  To learn more, producer Taylor Quimby caught up with Tampa Bay Times reporter Craig Pittmanwho wrote about Space Florida’s proposal to build on top of an  18th century sugar factory and archaeological site called the Elliott Plantation.

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Word of Mouth
9:02 am
Wed July 17, 2013

How Regional Worker Demands Could Influence Immigration Policy

Credit otzberg via flickr creative commons

On July 7th, the senate passed immigration reform legislation with an overwhelming majority. Meanwhile, the republican-led house has verbally panned the bill as “flawed legislation,” leaving little hope for a passage into law. But a new immigration solution has been posited in a report published by the non-profit Migration Policy Institute. Two and a half years in the making, the movement would utilize regional visas and limit immigrants to specific destinations within the United States. Demetrios Papademetriou is president and co-founder of the Migration Policy Institute.

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Word of Mouth
12:03 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Robots Are Changing The Future Of Winemaking

Credit Logan Shannon

An agricultural art dating from the Neolithic period shares a glass with the robotics of the future. Since the first evidence of grapevine cultivation for wine about 7000 years ago, viticulture has developed a degree of automation…still, wine-makers depend on human hands and eyes to thoroughly -- and tediously -- inspect their crop for quality and yield. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University are developing an automated grape-counting system that will help lighten that load and lead to the production of better wine. Sara Reardon is a staff writer and reporter for New Scientist who covered the machines that could change the future of winemaking.

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Word of Mouth
11:22 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Head Transplants: Ethical Nightmare Or Medical Breakthrough

Credit NIH Library via Flickr Creative Commons

In 1970, Dr. Robert White attempted an experimental surgical procedure that might as well have been lifted from the pages of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein – he removed the head of one living monkey, and attached it to the body of another. Dr. White called it a head transplant and a success. His detractors called it a medical and ethical nightmare. In June of this year, Italian surgeon Sergio Canavero declared that advances in medical technology have made head transplants possible. A number of medical professionals greeted his announcement with skepticism. The Atlantic’s health editor James Hamblin wrote about how Canavero says the procedure will work.

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Word of Mouth
11:08 am
Tue July 16, 2013

These Vegetarians Know How To Party (Really!!)

“Parties don’t throw themselves….” That’s the opening sentiment of Lust for Leaf, a new cookbook and party guide that turns vegetarian fare on its pony-tailed head.

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Word of Mouth
10:35 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Chuck Klosterman Tells Us Who Is More Villainous

Comitted Few/GCPanthergirl via Flickr Creative Commons

After speaking with Chuck Klosterman about his new book, I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling With Villains, and the nature of villainy, we gave him a quick quiz about some of the subjects he writes about in the book. He tells us who is more villainous with frequently hilarious, and thought-provoking, answers.

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Word of Mouth
10:34 am
Tue July 16, 2013

Grappling With Villains: Chuck Klosterman

Credit via indiebound.org

It’s easy to tell who's the villain in an old western: The good guy wears a white hat, the bad guy wears black. Real life villains don’t follow that code. Nor are they likely to conspicuously twirl their moustaches like Snidely Whiplash awaiting the oncoming train. Sure Hitler was evil…but what is the nature of villainy? Bill Clinton? Joe Frazier? And the Sharon Stone character in Basic Instinct attract haters…but does that make them wicked? What is the nature of villainy? Why does Taylor Swift inspire cultish adoration, while Wilt Chamberlin is loathed? And why is our culture so absorbed with anti-heroes, anyway.

Chuck Klosterman writes about sports and popular culture and is The New York Times ethicist. He explores the nature of badness --- in the bad way -- in a new collection of essays called I Wear The Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined).

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Word of Mouth
1:34 pm
Mon July 15, 2013

The People's Forest

Image from the Film
David Huntley

“The People’s Forest” a new film about the White Mountain National Forest by filmmaker David Huntley premieres next Tuesday. The 48 minute documentary examines a dramatic period in the life of New Hampshire’s great woods from 1860 to 1910 and shows how the human forces that conspired to nearly destroy the land came together again to save it.  Sean Hurley spoke with the filmmaker and has this story.  

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Word of Mouth
9:00 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Only The Young Premieres On PBS

Credit onlytheyoungfilm.tumblr.com

In Santa Clarita, a town in southern California, there’s not much to do. The documentary feature Only the Young focuses on several teens who live there and follows them as they navigate growing up amongst the foreclosed homes and drained swimming pools that form the landscape of their youth. Only the Young premieres tonight as part of PBS’s POV series. Jason Tippet and Elizabeth Mims produced and directed the film, and Elizabeth Mims joined us from KUT in Austin. Also with us was Kevin Conway, one of the subjects of the film.

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Word of Mouth
8:59 am
Mon July 15, 2013

The Internet Is Public Information: Using Wi-Fi As Radar

Credit kristinmarshall via Flickr Creative Commons

At any given moment invisible information is traveling all around you. There are two obvious examples: radio waves…or if you’re listening online, the wireless signal emitted by your router. Researchers at MIT have been experimenting with these signals and they’ve developed a type of radar that uses Wi-Fi signal that can be seen – and used to detect movement and even see through walls. Dina Katabi, is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, and she spoke with us about her new project, what she’s calling “Wi-Vi.”

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Word of Mouth
8:58 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Software Reveals The True Story Behind Citizen Videos

Credit morteza bahmani via Flickr Creative Commons

Egyptian troops fired on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo last week. In June, anti-government protests in Turkey were broken up by what the Council of Europe deemed to be excessive force. In Brazil, weeks of demonstrations climaxed on June 21, when millions spilled onto the streets in more than 100 cities. More than 180,000 citizen-made videos captured the throngs in Brazil alone and some were uploaded to support charges of undue police violence made by Amnesty International and other civil rights groups. As amateur media grows increasingly integrated into protest coverage, software developed by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley could support and protect activists against unjust persecution. Called the “Rashomon Project,” the program synchronizes films taken from multiple angles to creating a complete timeline that could to be used as evidence of abuse during human rights trials. Ken Goldberg is professor of engineering at UC Berkeley and leader of the Rashomon Project, and he spoke with us about the project.

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Word of Mouth
9:16 am
Fri July 12, 2013

"This American Life" Could Have Been Called "Word Of Mouth"

Credit via Buzzfeed

There's a great piece on Buzzfeed today about how one of our favorite shows, This American Life, was created and has lasted for 500 episodes. One graphic in the story got our attention...the list of proposed names for the program. Check it out:

I don't know...I might have gone with "Ira Glass and His Radio Cowboys."

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Word of Mouth
2:06 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

There's Moonshine In These Here New Hampshire Woods

Deep in the woods of New Hampshire, Hoss and his friends turn out 150-proof liquor.
Todd Bookman NHPR

The past few years, moonshine has been making its way back on the shelf, thanks in no small part to the discovery channel’s popular reality show, "Moonshiners."

While "White Lightning" may have its roots in Appalachia, there's at least one illegal operation brewing in the deep shade of New Hampshire's forest. As part of Foodstuffs, NHPR's new series celebrating food, Todd Bookman reports.

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Word of Mouth
9:00 am
Wed July 10, 2013

The De-Evolution Of Women's Magazines

From Ladies Home Journal: “Our first celebrity cover appeared in 1904, when John Singer Sargent sketched Ethel Barrymore.”
Credit LHJ.com

Magazines like Good Housekeeping and Ladies Home Journal have been published since the late 19th century. In the late 1950s and early 60s, readers could find serialized fiction and serious non-fiction sandwiched between recipes for Jell-O salad and housework how-to’s. Now, high circulation women’s magazines hardly include long-form pieces at all, much less excerpted novels, or hard-hitting journalism.

Laura Vanderkam writes for City Journal.  Her article “Journey Through the Checkout Racks,” explores this shift in content found in women’s magazines, and what it means for its target audience.

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Word of Mouth
8:59 am
Wed July 10, 2013

A New Life For Retired Race Horses

Credit sufw via filckr Creative Commons

Horseracing is a rough trade for horses and handlers. There are plenty of sad endings for horses who get injured, or grow too old or too slow for the track. A more pastoral life awaits some standard breeds – those who race pulling those chariot-like carts thanks to Joel Brenneman. He’s a member of the old order Amish community who buys end-of-career racing horses and sells them to the Amish as buggy-pullers.  Freelance writer Andrew Jenner accompanied Brenneman to the Meadows Racetrack outside of Pittsburgh, and wrote about the experience for Modern Farmer.

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