Word of Mouth

Word of Mouth airs at 2 pm Monday through Thursday, and noon on Saturday.

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
10:33 am
Tue May 7, 2013

The Hard Science Behind A Hit Screenplay

Credit alanwoo via flickr Creative Commons

Nate Silver opened the public’s eyes to the power of predictive statistics… now, having already conquered politics, marketing, and social media, data-crunchers are taking on their next big challenge: Hollywood. Brooks Barnes is a media reporter for the New York Times – he recently wrote about Vinny Bruzzese, a statistician and former professor who’s using big data to slice and dice Hollywood screenplays

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Word of Mouth
9:58 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Cannibalism At Jamestown

Forensic facial reconstruction based on human remains excavated in James Fort, Jamestown, Va. by William Kelso, chief archeologist at the Jamestown Rediscovery Project. Via newsdesk.si.edu
Credit Artist: StudioEIS; Photo: Don Hurlbert, Smithsonian

Experts at Preservation Virginia, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution have produced the first scientifically-verified case of survival cannibalism in colonial America. On Tuesday, forensic analysis of the 17th Century human remains of a 14-year old girl labeled “Jane” were unveiled. The discovery sheds new light on the deadly colonial winter of 1609 to 1610 referred to as the "starving time.” William Kelso, chief archeologist from Jamestown Rediscovery Project at Preservation Virginia provides us with some context about the discovery.

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Word of Mouth
9:40 am
Tue May 7, 2013

The Land Grabbers

Credit via indiebound.com

Large-scale acquisition in developing countries to secure food, natural resources and even altruistic motives is nothing new, but it’s grown exponentially in recent years. Recent estimates of how much land has been snapped up run from 120 to 560 million acres.

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Word of Mouth
2:24 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

What's For Dinner?

Link to the clip mentioned provided below.
Credit via livinghistoryfarm.org

My mother loves to cook, and as a result she raised an entire family of food obsessed children who also love to cook. My father rarely cooked but was a big fan of eating and proclaimed after every meal, “Dear, this is the best [insert main course here] I’ve EVER had!” She would roll her eyes at his genuine but exaggerated praise and I would chime in with, “Mom, this was the worst dinner ever.” A big grin would spread across her face as she leaned over to pat my head; my mom gets me. Because she cooked an amazing, well-balanced meal nearly every night, my siblings and I were consistently robbed of what we felt was the holy grail of eating: the frozen TV dinner.

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Word of Mouth
11:09 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Is Michael Pollan Sexist?

Credit Image via eatmedaily.com

Wander the aisles of your favorite grocery store and you’re likely to see produce marked as locally grown, meat that is trumpeted as grass fed and hormone-free, and canning kits to help you preserve your own garden’s bounty. The explosion of these products has largely been credited to the femivore movement, which has many women returning to the kitchen.

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Word of Mouth
10:31 am
Mon May 6, 2013

A Year Of Living Internet-Free

Credit Jan Hruby via Flickr

“Internet Addiction Disorder” is a disputed diagnosis in academic and mental health circles, but just try going a day without your daily habit of checking email, the news, weather, sports, recipes, and Facebook, and you may find yourself jonesing for access.

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Word of Mouth
10:10 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Augusten Burroughs

Credit Photo Courtesy Augusten Burroughs

It's been ten years since Augusten Burroughs' memoir Dry was published. In that decade, the author of Running With Scissors has gotten married, stayed sober, and written a self-help book, This is How: Surviving What You Think You Can't, now out in paperback.

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Word of Mouth
11:47 am
Fri May 3, 2013

Word Of Mouth 05.04.2013

Credit Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

In this special edition of Word of Mouth: are we catching up with technology? This week we'll explore the very human way we interact with technology; resistance is futile.

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Word of Mouth
12:35 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Bacteria Lurking In Unlikely Places

M540-1 Filamentous yeast from spoiled beverage. Filaments and budding. Phase. (1008X) (Maunder)
Credit Microbe World via flickr Creative Commons

Nearly 10 million cases of food poisoning occur in the United States every year. Moreover, one in five outbreaks of food-borne illnesses are caused by food that people eat in their homes. A new report looked at the parts of the kitchen most and least likely to harbor bacteria and the results might not be what you’d expect. Here to discuss the matter is Lisa Yakas, Microbiologist and Manager of NSF International's  Home Product Certification Program and co-author of the report.

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Word of Mouth
12:17 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Pimp My Cane

Credit Rusty Clark via flickr Creative Commons

We may associate canes with old age and physical decline, but 150 years ago the cane held a much more dashing and flamboyant place among the fashionable elite. Wildly decorated and splendidly diverse, canes were associated with prestige, power, and youth, and were extremely trendy. The demand for canes made of allspice wood nearly drove the West Indian trees into extinction. Here to discuss the 19th century version of twenty-two inch rims is Wayne Curtis, a freelance journalist who has written for The Atlantic, Preservation, and Down East magazines. We found his recent article, “Pimp My Walk” on The Smart Set blog.

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Word of Mouth
12:04 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Trying A Terrorist: Emotional Closure Might Be Difficult

Moakley Federal Courthouse in Boston.
Credit jspad via flickr Creative Commons

With Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in custody, the relief many Bostonians felt at his capture turns to anger.  While prosecutors have only begun to build their case against the 19-year old marathon bombing suspect, the public has strong expectations of how Tsarnaev’s trial should proceed and how he should be punished.

Leon Neyfakh writes for the ideas section of the Boston Globe, he spoke to criminologists, legal scholars and academics who warn that the trial will likely fall short of the public’s wish for emotional closure, and justice.

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Word of Mouth
10:27 am
Thu May 2, 2013

When "Mad Men" Met Wonder Bread

Credit via indiebound.org

For most of the twentieth century, Americans got between a quarter and a half of their daily calories from uniform loaves of factory baked white bread. It was a symbol of an industrial food revolution that inspired national pride; a dough so emblematic of a successful democracy that the book White Bread: A Social History of the Store-Bought Loaf was written not by a baker, but a professor of politics; the author, Aaron Bobrow-Strain, teaches politics at Whitman College in Washington. He also wrote about his own attempt to prepare the perfectly rectangular cloud-like loaf in The Believer magazine.  We spoke to Aaron when his book was first published about the deeply symbolic place of white bread in American identity; the book is now out in paperback.

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Word of Mouth
10:36 am
Wed May 1, 2013

The New, NEW Atheism

In the wake of 9/11, the faith of many people was shaken to the core… with the help of authors like Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, a movement many referred to as “New Atheism” emerged – pointing a finger at religion as a source of global violence and zealotry.  Now, more than a decade later, the rhetoric seems to have softened.  Our guest today argues that secular humanism is shifting into a new era, paving the way for a brand new conversation about religion and the faithless.

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Word of Mouth
10:30 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Best-Selling Trend: The Funny Female Memoir

Credit drinksmachine via Flickr Creative Commons

Lena Dunham, creator of the HBO hit series Girls, recently signed 3.5 million dollar book contact for a memoir. When published, Dunham’s book will share shelf space with bestsellers like Jenny Lawson’s Let’s Pretend This Never Happened:  A Mostly True Memoir and Heather McDonald’s My Inapropriate Life: Some Material Not Suitable For Small Children, Nuns Or Mature Adults.  Part humor, part memoir, books in this category are almost always written by women and openly explore sex, drinking and even mental illness in a brazen and unrepentant manner.  And readers, especially those that are not offended easily, are snapping them up. 

Jean Railla, a writer and cultural observer is here to tell us more.  

Related: Gawker's viral blog about Lena Dunham's book deal.

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