Screenshots from Brigade App

Maybe you’re looking for somewhere to sound off on the fate of the Manchester teachers’ contract, or the expansion of rail service from Boston, or marijuana legalization — or even the future of the midnight voting tradition in Dixville Notch. Well, you’re in luck: There’s an app for that.

Nottingham Trent University via flickr Creative Commons /

Sports nutrition is a multi-billion dollar market, but a new study from the University Of Montana is calling so-called recovery foods into question. On today’s show we’ll look at the evidence on whether post-workout energy food and drinks any better for you than fast food.

Then, doctors typically diagnose diseases with blood tests, x-rays, scans, pokes and prods. Later in the show we’ll look at a powerful and prevalent diagnostic tool that’s been used to identify diseases for centuries: the nose.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

As schools across the country struggle to meet the new national common core standards, one controversial aspect of education is not part of the curriculum: sex education. On today’s show, the evolving debate around sex ed, which is not strictly an American phenomenon.

Then, parental leave has been shown to benefit infant health and early development, but Jennifer Senior argues that if we truly care about our kids’ well-being, the policy should not stop after the first 12 weeks.

Listen to the full show or click read more for individual segments.

Tiffany Quimby / NHPR

A couple of months ago, we talked to Greg Beck – the creator of a counter-intuitive photo app called The White Album, which basically turns your smartphone into a disposable camera. Here's how it works: when you open the app a simple camera interface opens up. 

Dave via flickr Creative Commons /

Valentine’s Day is this weekend and couples in love are expected to spend in the billions, but spending by singles may have even greater revenue potential. On today’s show, a look at China’s anti-Valentine’s holiday: Singles' Day and how it became the largest online shopping day in the world.

Then, from clamshell razors to electrolysis, humans have gone to great lengths to achieve a smooth, clean shave. We’ll take a look at the history of hair removal, and what it reveals about shifting views of racial and social status in the U.S. 

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

The 'Sharing Economy': Uber & Airbnb Come To N.H.

Feb 2, 2015
Dr sanjeevkumar SinghEr / Flickr/CC

With the rise of services like Uber and Airbnb, more folks who would normally use city-regulated taxis or hotels are now using apps to connect with strangers for a ride or a place to stay. But while this new ‘sharing’ configuration may be cheaper and more efficient, some worry about safety, fairness, and the future of work.


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On today's Word of Mouth, we explore the digital world and two apps recently added to it. NHPR's Sean Hurley brings us a story of a World Record with New Hampshire origins. Finally: a look at a Sundance film about genocide. We’ll learn about Raphael Lemkin, a Holocaust survivor who coined the term, providing a legal framework for prosecuting the crimes of WWII. Listen to the full show and join the discussion on Facebook and Twitter.

Click Read more for individual segments.

3.20.14: The Birds, The Bees, & The Birds And The Bees

Mar 20, 2014
Neomodus photos & SeaDave / via flickr Creative Commons

While the weather these days might not be an indicator, spring is officially here. Which got us thinking in the Word of Mouth pod...about the birds and the bees. And also birds and bees. On today's show a conversation about the most awkward talk a parent has to have: "the talk." Also, a bird expert tells us about this year's unusual snowy owl migration. We'll also hear about the next great frontier in self tracking apps: fertility apps. 

Listen to the full show and click Read More for individual segments.


The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets and a certain level of self-absorption have led to a number of apps and programs that track sleep, diet, heart rate, baby weight, twitter use, mood, sweat, caffeine, memories and bowel movements. Welcome to the age of the quantified self, but with a thousand ways to keep tabs on your own life, how then, do you keep track of all the trackers?

Sarah Kessler is associate editor for Fast Company. She wrote about how developers creating tracking apps that track other tracking apps.

Doctors Look To Phone Apps To Treat Mental Illness

Oct 30, 2013

Researchers at the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center in Lebanon are developing mobile apps to assess and treat patients who have severe mental illness. These apps could help patients in crises and also help them manage their illnesses in the crucial time between visits to the doctor.   


This week, NHPR's Amanda Loder is reporting a series of stories on New Hampshire's emerging app development economy. (What's that, you ask? Check out our app explainer here.)

Gun Enthusiasts Key To N.H. App Developer's Success

Oct 11, 2013
Amanda Loder / NHPR

Today, we wrap up our series The Download on New Hampshire’s App Economy with the profile of an independent developer.  In some ways, it’s a classic story: he left his full-time job to work on his program at home in Derry.  But  he’s anything but a stereotypical computer geek.

Josh Bancroft / Flickr Creative Commons

In the course of reporting this series, I spoke to very few women who were working with mobile apps.  It wasn’t for lack of trying.  This gender gap isn’t unusual in computer science in general.  And it isn’t confined to New Hampshire. 

Amanda Loder / NHPR

This week we’re looking at New Hampshire’s developing mobile app economy.  Although it’s nowhere on the scale of manufacturing or tourism, it’s gaining in popularity—and importance.  But how do we educate this new workforce?  Today, we talk with professors and students about how they see themselves fitting into the mobile app economy.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Some of our nation's hotspots for app development are fairly predictable - Seattle, San Francisco - but others will surprise you. North Carolina? New Jersey? Nashua, New Hampshire?

While the smaller markets on the list do have lower numbers of people employed in the field, their concentration in the overall job market is greater, giving them a higher "location quotient" - in other words, these are the areas most saturated with app developers.

Amanda Loder / NHPR

  Over the past three years, smartphone ownership has increased dramatically.  Seeing this trend, entrepreneurs have sensed the strong demand for the mobile apps that make smartphones so popular.  As part of our week long series "The Download on New Hampshire's App Economy," today we introduce you to some Granite Staters who are gambling on startup success…and the challenges they face.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

This week,  we're getting to the bottom of the growing app development economy in New Hampshire. So, who's using smartphones and mobile apps, and how many? And the people that make apps, what do they do? This infographic provides a snapshot of the U.S. application picture.

N.H. A Surprising Hotspot For Making Mobile Apps

Oct 7, 2013
Amanda Loder / NHPR

More than half of all Americans own a smartphone.  The explosion of this technology over the past few years has created a rapidly growing job sector in designing and developing smartphone apps.  This week, we launch our series "The Download on New Hampshire's App Economy." looking at how this industry is growing and changing in the state.  We begin with an introduction to the world of mobile app development.

Pebbleheed via Flickr Creative Commons

Whether you have a well-worn green thumb, or are making your first foray into home gardening, rest assured: there’s an app for that. New York Times Smart App Columnist Kit Eaton confesses he’s not an experienced gardener, but he dug in to the wide variety of garden-related apps on the market and joins us with some winners.

What makes you happier? This simple question lies at the heart of a new app called “Happier” – a social media community and iPhone app which collects and shares the little actions, moments and gesture that brighten their day. The app was developed with the idea that the key to happiness is focusing on the positive and plenty of people have joined so far. We wanted to know – are they any better off? Nataly Kogan is co-founder of the Boston-based Happier Inc. and she spoke with us about the app.

Boston Public Library's flickr

New Hampshire only has eighteen miles of coastline - but even in sunny coastal California, arguments over property rights have made finding that perfect beach spot harder than ever before. From California to the New England coast, there is a swelling debate over who the beach belongs to.

Jenny Price is an environmental writer who has been fighting for more open public access to Malibu’s twenty-seven miles of beach. She co-created an app, “Our Malibu Beaches”, with app developer Ben Adair. It aims to show precisely where the public can enjoy parts of the California coast normally restricted to beach-front property owners.

Castle in Naples by Annmarie Timmins

Fabulous photos?… There’s an app for that. In fact there are lots and lots and it seems like everybody’s got ‘em. Adam Bronkhorst  has some tips to transform your tossed off smartphone snapshots into expressive, vibrant photos worthy of keeping, printing, and showing off. Adam Bronkhorst is a professional portrait photographer based in the UK.

Stop and Frisk App

Jun 13, 2012
Photo Credit Thisisbossi, Via Flickr Creative Commons

Monitoring police stops by smartphone. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended the city’s use of so-called “stop and frisk” searches by police.  Critics say the subjects of stop and frisks are disproportionately African-American and Latino men, which they call evidence of racial profiling. Today two New York City Council members said they’re introducing a measure to create an independent inspector general to oversee the N.Y.P.D.  to review policies and conduct.

(Photo by Mister Bisson via Flickr Creative Commons)

Produced by Jonathan Lynch

Gaming the Forest

Apr 18, 2012
(Photo by Kevin Poh via Flickr Creative Commons)

A new app transforms tree leaves into currency…kind of changes your mind about raking season, eh?

The game, called Forest, will be demonstrated at the Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) conference in Austin, Texas, in May. It was designed by Jason Linder and Wendy Ju of the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.  


Tax Day 2012 is looming — and after we file our returns, many of us will try to figure out what to do with the seemingly innocuous but possibly crucial documents we use to prepare our returns. Filing electronically can make those records easier to manage. But what should we really keep, and for how long?

Most experts recommend holding on to financial records for three years after they're used in a tax return — that's the amount of time the IRS has to audit taxpayers.

Best Buy must live in fear of shoppers like Ave Lising. He and a group of friends walk through the Stanford mall in Palo Alto, Calif., their cellphones clutched in their hands.

Lising visited the electronics retailer recently, shopping for a video game.

"I went to Best Buy [and] looked at the price," Lising says. "I was like, 'Ehh — I'm sure I can find this cheaper online.' "

So he whipped out his smartphone and scanned the barcode, found it cheaper and ... no sale for Best Buy.

There's a word for that kind of in-store comparison shopping: "showrooming."

Gasoline prices seem to be going up every day, and motorists are looking to squeeze every penny of savings out of each fill-up. Well, as it turns out with so many things these days, smartphone apps can help.

Companies have applications for most smartphones out there to help people find the cheapest gas in town. I tried out six applications on an iPhone and narrowed the selection to two that I found the easiest to use: GasBuddy and Fuel Finder.

George Harrison wasn't the flashiest, craftiest guitarist of his day, just the one everyone loved. His sound always served the songs, just enough to make them better, but never enough to eclipse the writing of Lennon or McCartney or even his own tunes.

The New Running Game Where 'Zombies' Chase You

Feb 16, 2012

The new iPhone app called "Zombies, RUN!" is not your standard running game.

It's designed to encourage folks, such as say, video gamers, who aren't usually associated with exercise to take up running.

British writer Naomi Alderman, who is a gamer herself as well as an Orange-award winning novelist, came up with the idea for "Zombies, RUN!" while in a class for amateur runners she tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Mary-Louise Kelly.