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
10:22 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Modern Encyclopedias

Credit BostonTx via flickr Creative Commons

You may not know it, but that encyclopedia set you grew up with has a radical history.  Published in France in the 1700’s, the original Encyclopédie included 28 volumes with entries written by Voltaire and Rousseau. Its goal was rather lofty: gather the world’s knowledge into one collection and to change how people think; historians link its publication to the French revolution. Since then, there have been several versions of the original from the pedestrian Britannica to crowd-sourced Wikipedia.  And now we have actipedia.com, an open-sourced web site open to any art and activist group who seeks a better vision of society. NYU professor and co-founder of actipedia.org, Stephen Duncombe joins us to discuss the site.

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Word of Mouth
10:13 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Closing The Sale: Robot Surgeons

Lt. Col. Stacey Koff demonstrates how to use the DaVinci robot-assisted surgical machines.
Credit Fort Bellvoir Community Hospital via flickr Creative Commons

Pharmaceutical companies have long gotten a bad rap for trying to influence medical decisions for a profit – but the issue isn’t exclusive to drugs. New York Times reporter Roni Caryn Rabin recently wrote about aggressive tactics used to market the Da Vinci Surgical System – a robotic assistant now operating in over 1300 hospitals across the United States.

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Word of Mouth
2:15 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

I Saw The Sign: The Old-Fashioned Art Of Sign-Painting

Credit Photo By Stephanie Booth, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Hand-painted signs once dotted the landscape. They brought color, style, and distinction to stores and products, and were the nation’s first form of advertising…and today, with computer graphics and large-scale printing available for cheap, they are pretty much going the way of the horse and buggy… But a number of hand-painting holdouts are sticking with brushes – and are the subject of Sign Painters, a new documentary film about the craft directed by Sam Macon and Faythe Levine.  

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Word of Mouth
1:59 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Jews In Toons: A Simpsons Writer On Cartoons and Religion

Credit Photo by Nick Traveller, via Flickr Creative Commons

Springfield’s evangelical Ned Flanders and Hindu Kwik-E-Mart owner Apu are frequent foils to satirize and explore religious belief systems on The Simpsons -- America’s longest running scripted TV show.  Mike Reiss, four-time emmy winning writer for The Simpsons is interested in teasing out another brand of animated spirituality – Judaism.   He’s presenting “Jews in Toons” -- discovering Jewish themes across Springfield’s twenty-four year history.  His talk takes place at the New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival at Concord’s Red River Theatres on April 14th.

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Word of Mouth
12:00 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Jane Goodall: Anthropologist, Primatologist...Plagiarist?

Credit Photo by Patriziasoliani, from Flickr Creative Commons

This month, award-winning anthropologist Jane Goodall was supposed to be celebrating the release of her fifteenth book “Seeds of Hope”. Instead, publication of the work has been delayed after investigation revealed Goodall borrowed a number of passages without attribution.  While reviewers for the Washington Post and New York Times held back from using the “P” word outright, a vocal minority is very concerned about the amount of copied material in ‘Seeds’ – and the dubious content of the book itself. Michael Moynihan is Cultural News Editor for The Daily Beast. You can read his article about Goodall’s new book here.

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Word of Mouth
11:16 am
Tue April 9, 2013

Cloud Cult: Musicians On A Mission

Credit Cody York via cloudcult.com

You may know the band cloud cult from an animated commercial that aired during the Super Bowl a few years ago. In exchange for the work, e-Surance helped fund some of the band's costs for greening the recording of album. The fact that Cloud Cult chooses deals like that--writes heart-warming songs, and travels across the country to perform for good causes--may have you wondering if they are for real. But doing good and staying positive are deeply embedded in the DNA of Cloud Cult. This evening the band will perform a live acoustic set during a yoga class at the At Om Yoga studio in Concord. It’s a benefit for a local child with pediatric cancer. I talked with Craig Minowa, singer, guitarist, and leader of Cloud Cult before they headed to New Hampshire and can say that the whole kind-hearted thing is not just PR. In fact, I told him that they are just about the least cynical indie band I can think of.

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

Let's Play Ball! A Report From The Red Sox Home Opener

Boston Red Sox Wes Ferrell and Bill Werber at Fenway Park.
Credit Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

The Red Sox faithful are holding their breath for a resurrection after a 26 game deficit behind the Yankees and a dismal .426 winning percentage last year. Yesterday, New Hampshire’s own Darren Garnick was in attendance at Fenway’s opening day, one face in a crowd of thousands hoping for a win under New Hampshire native – and new Red Sox skipper, Ben Cherington. Darren is a former business columnist and contributor to New Hampshire magazine and joins us today to discuss opening day, the Red Sox, and the New Hampshire fans who love them.

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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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