Arts and Culture

Word of Mouth
1:51 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

What Exactly Is 'Cool,' Anyway?

Credit Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

The search for “cool” has been a quintessential cultural quest for decades: we all want to be cool, but by definition only a select few will ever achieve it, and only for an instant. So what is “cool,” anyway, and why are we so fascinated by the people who make cool? Here to answer that question is Dan Kois. He's Senior Editor at Slate, which is doing a month-long series on the nature of cool. 

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Word of Mouth
2:07 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

4.10.14: Science Of Laughing, NH's Psychic Community, Neurocomic & Listener Submissions

Credit @Doug88888, Gerry Balding, Sarah0s, Adam Cohn, Mark Evans, Ross Pollock, Don LaVange, Giorgio Raffaelli & hey tiffany! via flickr Creative Commons

Today on Word of Mouth - laughing! And why we do it. We're getting science-y with the giggles before moving on to a less-than-scientific community: psychics. Then, the art of the brain takes over with a look at graphic novel that takes place inside the brain. Finally, what happens to digital art, and how do we restore it?

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

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Word of Mouth
2:03 pm
Thu April 10, 2014

Neurocomic

Nobrow Press

In their new graphic novel "Neurocomic", authors Dr. Matteo Farinella and Dr. Hana Ros have created a visual, story-based guide that makes brain exploration exciting and understandable for all ages. Check out a slide show of some of the beautiful artwork above.

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Word of Mouth
2:09 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

The Audio Orchard For March

Credit Sara Plourde

Each month producer Zach Nugent handpicks his favorite new songs for a playlist called 'The Audio Orchard'.

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Word of Mouth
12:55 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

3.31.14: Oculus Rift, The Sabermetric Revolution, Audio Orchard, Dinosaurs & The "Pee Bus" Project

Credit upenn.edu, Sergey Galyonkin, Phill Roussin & Ian Thomson via flickr Creative Commons

Facebook is making headlines once again with its two billion dollar acquisition of virtual reality company Oculus VR. Today on Word Of Mouth, a look into why the social network has put so much stock in virtual reality. And it’s opening day for the Red Sox as they take on the Baltimore Orioles today. Fans are hoping this year’s roster will bring them to the World Series again, but how much can we really predict at this point in the season? And are stats the final word?

Producer Zach Nugent has been scouring record stores for the best new music offerings in a new segment we're calling The Audio Orchard.

Then we talk with a National Geographic columnist who argues for lifelong love of  dinosaurs.

Finally, NHPR environmental reporter Sam Evans-Brown brings us the story of a UNH "pee bus" project. Urine, it turns out, can be pretty useful.

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

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Word of Mouth
11:43 am
Tue March 25, 2014

3.25.14: Walter Kirn, Snake Oil, Johnny Cash & "MFA Versus NYC"

Credit via amazon.com, Chris Devers and Heinrich Klaffs via flickr Creative Commons & nplusonemag.com

No fooling: today's show deals with some dangerous imposters. It's not all lies and deception, however. We also have some "lost" sounds from the man in black himself. Finally, Chad Harbach talks about his controversial essay about making it as a writer. Grab your headphones and turn up the volume; we've got the stories behind the stories.

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

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Word of Mouth
11:25 am
Mon March 24, 2014

3.24.14: Democracy of Germs, Permafrost Virus, Darth Vader Courthouse & Josh Ritter

Credit Penn State, Kat Masback & Ricky Brigante via flickr Creative Commons and Josh Ritter

Today on Word of Mouth we're exploring the macro influences of the micro world. Then 99 Percent Invisible brings us a story about a menacing courthouse. (Perhaps a phantom menacing courthouse?) Finally, a conversation with Josh Ritter, whose album The Beast in its Tracks was recently released.

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

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Word of Mouth
2:48 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

Best Songs For St. Patrick's Day

Credit via thechieftans.com

Top o' the mornin' to ya, lads and lasses! Ahem. We'll drop the attempt at authentic brogue, but our St. Patrick's Day continues with a playlist that has enough Irish inspiration to make up for it. We reached out on Facebook to find out what tunes you play to celebrate St Patrick's Day. 

Click Read more for our top St. Patrick's Day songs!

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Word of Mouth
1:01 pm
Mon March 17, 2014

3.17.14: Redeployment, Prosthetic Drum Arm & Paddy Moloney

Credit via philklay.com

Happy St. Patrick's Day, the day when everyone gets to be Irish! Doff your green cap, sip (or chug responsibly) your green drink, and tune into Word of Mouth. Slàinte! 

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

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Word of Mouth
5:12 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Five Great Children's Books

Credit Enchanted Lion Books

Maria Popova is the founder of Brain Pickings, a fantastic online collection of articles, book reviews, and other assorted musings. In her role as curator Popova has often looked with a critical eye at the under-examined genre of illustrated children’s books.  We spoke to her about what makes a great illustrated work, and she shared with us some of her favorite children’s books from the recent and not so recent past.


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Word of Mouth
4:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

3.12.14: Andre Dubus III, Children's Books, South By Southwest, & Vermont's Heroin 'Epidemic'

Credit W.W. Norton

Author Andre Dubus III talks about his new book "Dirty Love"

  • A successful professional hopes to win back his wife after proving her infidelity. A bank clerk crowding in on 30 and hoping for a family moves in with her compulsive, demeaning boyfriend.  A bartender who fancies himself a poet cheats on his pregnant wife, and a pretty teenaged girl gets shamed on Youtube and reaches out for the promise of a new future and a new love on Skype. These characters all live in the faded beach towns and leafy suburbs of the New England coast. They are united by their clumsy attempts at connection and are the subjects of four loosely connected novellas in a new book called “Dirty Love” by Andre Dubus III. The national book award-winning author of “House of Sand and Fog” and “Townie” again presents gritty, frustrated lives on the skids of the American dream... NOTE: Andre's reading and book signing at the New England College has been rescheduled to April 16th due to weather.
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Word of Mouth
1:12 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

3.6.14: Daylight Saving Time, Marissa Nadler, Revolving Doors, Wood & Animal Tracking

Credit Leo Reynolds via flickr Creative Commons

Word of Mouth wishes you a happy Daylight Saving Time! (Can you believe it's this Sunday already?) But why exactly does the practice of changing our clocks even exist? We explore the ins and outs of Daylight Saving (without the extra "s") with a guest who wrote the book on it. Then Zach Nugent talks with Marissa Nadler whose most recent album was released in early February. We take an architectural turn with a look at the invention of revolving doors followed by a hot architectural commodity: wood. Finally, producers Logan Shannon and Sam Evans-Brown bring us a story about a wild winter activity. No, not skiing or boarding, but animal tracking.

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

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Word of Mouth
12:37 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Marissa Nadler

Credit Marissa Nadler

The Boston Globe describes Marissa Nadler's  voice as “an intoxicating soprano drenched in gauzy reverb that hits bell-clear heights, lingers, and tapers off like rings of smoke."

On Sunday, March 9th, Marissa Nadler will be performing at the Portsmouth Book and Bar. Producer Zach Nugent spoke with Marissa and asked why her new album is called July, when her music is often described as dark, sparse, and even frosty.


Word of Mouth
2:27 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

The Many Genres of Drone

Credit NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via flickr Creative Commons

The cosmos is full of noisy wonders including, strangely enough, black holes that have been emitting drone sounds for millions of years. And art truly does imitate nature in the genre of drone music. Marcus Boon wrote about drone for Boing Boing, and despite a knee-jerk reaction to pass it off as potentially annoying, it turns out that drone music is pretty popular.Popular enough, even, to have several sub-grenres.

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Word of Mouth
2:42 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

First Impressions: Iconic Title Sequences In Film & TV

Credit Roadsidepictures via flickr Creative Commons

Title sequences have a practical function, sure. They convey the whos, wheres and whens of a production while segueing into the story. They are also the first impression, the opportune moment to set up the tone of a film or show. Through music, imagery, and written or spoken dialogue, title sequences can be the most artistically influenced aspect of a production. Though not always true, title sequences can even be the best part of a show or movie that is otherwise full of overplayed clichés and unoriginal storylines.  At Word of Mouth, we searched and sifted for those iconic title sequences we thought packed that extra artistic punch. While most correlate to the quality and success of the production as a whole, others, well, others might not.

Check out some of our favorite film and TV title sequences below. Yours didn't make the list? Share it on Facebook!

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