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
11:12 am
Thu May 16, 2013

The Routines Of Creative Geniuses

Credit via masoncurrey.com

Hemingway, Darwin, Joyce, Tesla and Picasso were all remarkably different in their temperament and creative output, but they had one thing in common: a successful routine. From Franklin’s solitary nude reading hour to Picasso’s silent lunch gatherings, the outstanding rituals and habits that created genius are as fascinating as they are unexpected. Combing through over 160 accounts of creative minds, Mason Currey’s new book “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work” uncovers the daily almanac of history’s most eccentric, troubled and genius figures. Mason’s writing has appeared in Slate, Print, and Metropolis, where he was an editor for six years.

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Word of Mouth
11:03 am
Thu May 16, 2013

High-Rise Fires A Growing Risk In Arab Gulf States

Credit Rures via flickr Creative Commons

A raging fire gutted the Al Hafeet tower late last month, a 20-floor residential building in the United Arab Emirate city of Sarjah.  The incident drew uncomfortable comparisons to other recent blazes in a region known for spectacular high-rise sky-scrapers.  One expert in the United Arab Emirates has estimated that 70% of high-rise buildings in the gulf are at a high risk of catching fire.  Here to discuss this growing safety concern is Bill Law, gulf analyst for the BBC News.

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Word of Mouth
10:48 am
Thu May 16, 2013

The Documentary That Helped Convict Rios Montt

Former Guatemalan dictator Efrain Rios Montt during his trial.
Credit Jorge Dan Lopez/Reuters /Landov

Last year we interviewed Pamela Yates about her documentary Granito: How to Nail A Dictator which details the indictment of General Efrain Rios Montt, believed to be responsible for the murder of 200,000 mostly indigenous Mayan Ixil people during the Guatemalan genocide.

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Word of Mouth
3:31 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Summer Arts Roundup

Xu Bing: Phoenix
Credit Greta Rybus

The works of two important Chinese artists, the return of a festival of experimental sound, and a retrospective by a legend of pop art are all on the summer events radar of Michelle Aldredge.  She’s a writer and photographer and the creator of the Gwarlingo website and podcast. It’s an online resource for conversations about creativity and finds in the world of contemporary art.

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Word of Mouth
2:55 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

CrowdMed: Diagnosing Unsolved Sicknesses With Crowdsourcing

After using email and using a search engine, looking for health information is the third most popular web activity for internet users. That’s according to a 2011 study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. A new website combines that quest with the popularity of online crowd-sourcing...or putting communal wisdom to work on perplexing problems. CrowdMed is a site for crowd-sourcing medical diagnoses. It uses the collective wisdom of some actual – and mostly armchair -medical professionals to solve tough medical cases and diagnose rare diseases that left traditional healthcare professionals stumped.

Jared Heyman is founder of the online market research firm Infosurv, his new venture is CrowdMed.   welcome to word of mouth.

Clare Martorana worked previously as a general manager and editor-at-large of Web-MD, and now serves as an advisor for CrowdMed.

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Word of Mouth
1:58 pm
Wed May 15, 2013

Battle Of The Nations

Jaye Brooks and Virginia Prescott
Taylor Quimby

Battle of the Nations is an international event held annually since 2009 – this year in the medieval walled city of Aigues-Mortes in the south of France.  About five-hundred men from twenty-two countries competed in what is part historic re-enactment, and part full contact sport.  Wearing full medieval armor and using blunted period weaponry, participants hack, slash, and wrestle opponents to the ground in events ranging from one-on-on, to dueling groups of twenty-one each.  Our next guest, Jaye Brooks was there – he’s executive officer for team USA and the Armored Combat League, and he came in at 10th place in the one-on-one competition.

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Word of Mouth
11:06 am
Wed May 15, 2013

The Sun's Blood Pressure Benefits

Credit krishram27 via Flickr Creative Commons

For years, fear of skin cancer has had us slathering 50+ SPF sunscreen, donning hats or avoiding prolonged sun exposure under umbrellas or shade. Some unexpected research recently out of Edinburgh University could shift the perception of sun as unrelenting enemy. In the study, UV rays were found to release a compound that lowers blood pressure. On the line to explain how we might weigh the sun’s benefits and drawbacks is Doctor Richard Weller,  Senior Lecturer of Dermatology at Edinburgh University.

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Word of Mouth
11:12 am
Mon May 13, 2013

The Hedonometer: A Mood Ring For Twitter

Credit hedonometer.org's Facebook page

A new data collection tool is being heralded as the first “mood ring” of the social media world. The “twittersphere” has become the home for millions and millions of micro-stories - fleeting tales of everyday life broadcast to the masses. Now, researchers at the University of Vermont are looking to extract a social pulse from Twitter’s vast output. Millions of tweets have been processed through UVM’s Hedonometer, which measures collective levels of happiness over space and time. Here to discuss the project - and the newly launched website, is Chris Danforth, associate professor at the University of Vermont’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics and one of the developers behind the Hedonometer.

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Word of Mouth
10:40 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Distributing Money From "The One Fund" Raises Tough Questions

Credit Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

In the four weeks since the Boston Marathon bombings, the One Fund set up to collect donations for victims has raised more than twenty-eight million dollars. The decision on how that money gets distributed goes to Kenneth Feinberg, the so-called “great decider”. 

At public hearings held last week at the Boston Public Library, Feinberg stated that there is not enough money in the One Fund to satisfy everyone. Here to discuss how dollars get assigned to tragedies is Juliette Kayyem, national security and foreign policy columnist for the Boston Globe. She’s former assistant secretary for intergovernmental affairs at the department of homeland security.

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Word of Mouth
10:34 am
Mon May 13, 2013

Is Journalism's "Golden Age" A Myth?

After every errant tweet from another major news outlet, or the announcement of fresh layoffs from another print newsroom, many shake their heads and talk about the good old days, before false reports of WMD’s and internet news aggregators. We remember a time when Edward R. Murrow and other icons of objectivity were our revered national watchdogs, serving up the truth...one newspaper column or TV broadcast at a time.   But what if our idealistic view of American journalism's "golden age" is nothing but a nostalgic myth?  Todd Gitlin teaches journalism and communications at Columbia University. His recent article “The Myth of Journalism’s Golden Age” was recently featured in the Utne Reader.

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Word of Mouth
3:23 pm
Fri May 10, 2013

The "Quantum Internet" Explained...In Amateur Illustrations

Drawing molecules is very fun. Or in my case, drawing little circles that I then refer to as molecules is fun. Science is fun.
Credit Logan Shannon via Rob Fleischman's Brain

A government lab announced earlier this month that it’s been operating a quantum internet at Los Alamos for the past two years. Which led us to wonder, um, WHAT IS A QUANTUM INTERNET???

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Word of Mouth
8:00 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Word Of Mouth 05.11.2013

Credit Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

In this special edition of Word of Mouth: Girl Power Interrupted.

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Word of Mouth
11:51 am
Thu May 9, 2013

A Quantum Internet? Apparently, Yes.

Schroedinger's cat thought experiment as a mind bending illustration. If we apply this logic to a Quantum Internet, maybe it means that when we use it we are both wasting time AND saving it!
Credit jieq via flickr Creative Commons

A government lab announced earlier this month that it’s been operating a quantum internet at Los Alamos for the past two years. Which led us to wonder, um, WHAT IS A QUANTUM INTERNET???  Joining us to explain it is Rob Fleischman, Chief Technology Officer at Xero-Cole, and the guy we call to help us understand things like, you know, quantum technology.

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Word of Mouth
11:38 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Jordan Holds Tech Bootcamp For Syrian Entrepreneurs

Ghashim, Ali Kaj, and Samakie at the Oasis500 offices.
Credit Photograph by Monique Jaques for Bloomberg Businessweek

Syria’s civil war is now in its third year. More than 70,000 people have been killed; more than 1.4 million people have fled their homes; lives and families have been shattered; landmarks decimated and the economy is crumbling. Among those seeking refuge in neighboring Jordan are innovators and diaspora entrepreneurs who may well be seeding the ideas and infrastructure of Syria’s future. Patrick Clark is a reporter for Bloomberg Business Week covering small business and entrepreneurship and wrote about a tech boot camp for Syrians working in Jordan with Sarah Topol.

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Word of Mouth
11:26 am
Thu May 9, 2013

The Girls Of Atomic City

A close look at a cubicle control panel in the Y-12 plant.
girlsofatomiccity.com

The story of the development and deployment of the atomic bomb is generally told as a narrative driven by powerful men like Oppenheimer, Truman, and Stimson, operating at the highest levels of government. What few people know is how many women played a crucial role – albeit unknowingly – in one of the most significant turning points in history. Denise Kiernan interviewed several women who worked in Oak Ridge, Tennessee – a secret, government-built town created as part of the Manhattan Project. Their stories, combined with detailed reporting, come together in her new book called The Girls of Atomic City.

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