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
6:00 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Arts On Trial

Credit afsart via flickr Creative Commons

Throughout history, pieces of art – and their creators, have been hauled into the courtroom. They stood accused of obscenity, extramarital dalliances, societal intermingling, and blasphemy – among other equally verbose charges. Government agencies championed their prosecution as a righteous public service – but maybe they just needed to gain a little sense of humor. Regardless, these pieces of art fought the law. Here to discuss whether the law won is Clay Wirestone, arts editor for the Concord Monitor and author of an article in an upcoming issue of Mental Floss called, “Arts on trial.”

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Word of Mouth
6:00 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Kim Jong-un Is Working The Press, One Propaganda Video At A Time

Credit petersnoopy via flickr Creative Commons

A month into a continuing series of threatening ultimatums from North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, the 30-year old leader has an international fever that his fore-fathers would envy. Official statements and propaganda videos, such as last week’s reel of Jong-un shooting a handgun during a military drill, are soaking up views around the world.

Through aggressive threats and flashy shows of power, the North Korean leader has proven himself to be the champion of manipulating tense global news-wires. Conversely, he is the also subject of countless humorous memes. Here to discuss Kim Jong-un’s social media strategy is John Hudson, writer for Foreign Policy’s flagship blog Passport.

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Word of Mouth
11:07 am
Mon April 8, 2013

The Burgess Boys

Credit via indiebound.com

Shirley Falls, Maine is one of those New England towns with a strong memory of the way things used to be…before the mills closed, before the mall went up across the river…before so many residents moved away. It’s the fictional town left behind by a pair of brothers in The Burgess Boys, a new novel by Elizabeth Strout, who won the Pulitzer prize for fiction for Olive Kitteridge. The story centers on Jim and Bob Burgess, brothers whose lives are imprinted by a childhood tragedy in very different ways. Both pull up their stakes and secret miseries and move to New York City….and both are pulled back to their hometown by another family crisis. Elizabeth talks to Virginia about the book and it's connection to Maine.

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Word of Mouth
10:52 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Pipe Trouble: A Controversial Video Game

Screen shot from the game.
Credit via pipetrouble.com

A major spill of heavy crude oil in Arkansas couldn’t come at a worse time for the Canadian tar sands industry - though President Obama has hinted he’s preparing to green-light the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline, any push in the wrong direction could finish the project before it even begins.  Meanwhile a new report from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce says that, without new pipelines to help ease production bottlenecks, Canada will be missing out on an estimated 15 billion dollars annually.

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Word of Mouth
10:37 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Political Science Under Attack

Credit jessie owen via flickr Creative Commons

Two weeks ago, Congress passed a continuing budget resolution that included an amendment to cease all funding of political science research. Currently, Poly-Sci gets about ten million dollars a year in support from the national science foundation. In a recent series of posts on Pacific Standard, Seth Masket, political scientist at the University of Denver, says his field has become a new political punching bag. We’ve asked Seth on to tell us why…and why he thinks such research matters.

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Word of Mouth
1:48 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Word Of Mouth 04.06.2013

Credit Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

We bring you a collection of tasty segments we know you'll love, using the powers of public radio telepathy. 

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Word of Mouth
11:32 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Eating Trader Joes' Trash: A Documentary About Dumpster Diving

Credit Alex Mallis via kickstarter.com

Just about everybody who’s ever shopped at the grocery store has instinctively checked produce for bruising or blemishes, or put aside a can of soup because the can was dented… but there are many people willing to eat for free what paying customers will not – even if they have to dig through a dumpster to find it. New Hampshire native Alex Mallis is head of Analect Films – and the director of the short documentary Spoils: Extraordinary Harvest. The film follows a diverse group of so-called ‘dumpster-divers’ on their late night journey to a New York City Trader Joes. You can catch Spoils this Saturday at 11 am at the Colonial Theater as part of the Monadnock Film Festival - and Alex joins us to explain the philosophy and logistics behind reclaiming discarded food from the dumpster.

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Word of Mouth
11:21 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Fight For Your Long Day: An Unflinching Novel About Adjuncts

Credit via indiebound.org

Alex Kudera published Fight for Your Long Day, in 2010, but it’s still gaining traction because of its unflinching look at the swelling academic underclass that is adjunct faculty, recently getting notice from the chronicle of higher education. We spoke with him about the book and the perception of adjuncts in higher education today.

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Word of Mouth
11:13 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Reality TV Gets A Dose Of Reality

A&E Storage Wars cast.
Credit A&E

The reality television industry could be in for a rude awakening – a lawsuit filed last year by David Hester could threaten to change the foundations of the immensely popular genre. Still functioning after its explosive success near the turn of the century, reality TV has begun to face declining ratings in many of its shows. Last December, Hester filed a lawsuit against A&E after producers of “Storage Wars” allegedly rigged the outcome of the show’s competitors – with damaging results. Eriq Gardner is senior editor for the Hollywood Reporter and joins us to discuss the suit.

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Word of Mouth
11:06 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Sex And The Elderly

Credit S Lymath via flickr Creative Commons

According to a 2010 AARP survey, 85% of men and 61% of women over fifty said sex is important to their quality of life. This number, coupled with increasing rates of sexually transmitted diseases among adults over fifty, clashes with our societal taboo surrounding the elderly libido. Jessica Gentile wrote about that conflict, and the value of embracing sexuality at all ages for an Atlantic piece called “The 87 Year Old Virgin.”

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Word of Mouth
1:21 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Who Owns Your Genes?

Credit Wikipedia Commons

As of last month, over forty-thousand patents on DNA molecules have been submitted by private research companies –essentially claiming the entire human genome sequence for profit. The Supreme Court will review the matter at hearing on April 15th, and the outcome could have a significant impact on personalized medicine and scientific research. Joining us is Doctor Christopher Mason of Weill Cornell Medical College’s department of Physiology and Biophysics. He’s co-author of a new study that got our attention, on the issue of genomic liberty.

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Word of Mouth
12:56 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

Revisiting The Central Park Five

Credit IFC Films

Central Park was New York City’s place of refuge and openness until April 19, 1989 when a woman was brutally assaulted and left for dead. Author Sarah Burns turned her research about the event into a documentary film detailing the racially charged convictions of five black and Latino youth. They were exonerated over a decade later when another man confessed to committing the crime.

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Word of Mouth
12:39 pm
Wed April 3, 2013

The Anthropology of Trash

Credit PetroleumJelliffe via Flickr Creative Commons

Thanks to thousands of sanitation officials working around the clock, millions of New York City residents walk the streets without being overwhelmed by the overpowering stench and volume of the tons of garbage produced by that city each day. Robin Nagle has been the anthropologist-in-residence at New York City’s Department of Transportation since 2006; combining traditional field work techniques with hand-on social science. She examines the often-ignored issues behind the city’s elaborate—and under appreciated—system of refuse collection. Robin's new book is called “Picking Up”.

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Word of Mouth
10:31 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Cosplay In Wild Places

Amie
Anna Fischer

Since its name was first coined in 1984, cosplay has grown in popularity from a fringe convention pastime to a performance art form... Inspiring thriving real-world and social networks, and even competitions, like the World Cosplay Summit. Now, photographer Anna Fischer is looking to take the role playing subculture even further outside the convention-center walls of comic-con to a whole other level - the great outdoors. Her Kickstarter-fueled project is called “The Wild Places.”

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Word of Mouth
10:22 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Poisonous Potatoes

Credit bamalibrarylady via flickr Creative Commons

A good potato is hard to find – at least for potato chip makers, who require the exactly the right balance of sugar, starch, and color to produce a perfect chip. In the late 1960’s, chip companies aimed to engineer these tricky variables to their liking using conventional plant cross-breeding. Researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture, Penn State University and the Wise potato chip company embarked upon a scientific quest to create the perfect potato for chips – and ended up with poisonous results. We spoke to Maggie Koerth-Baker, science editor at Boing-Boing and columnist for the New York Times magazine, about the failed quest.

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