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Word of Mouth
5:02 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

12.7.14: Mental Effects Of Space Travel, Bill Littlefield, & Water Taste Test

Credit Logan Shannon / NHPR

The recent disintegration and crash of a Virgin Galactic suborbital space plane raised questions about the safety and viability of space tourism. On today’s show we consider another issue for commercial spaceflight….the psychological effects of leaving earth.

Then, we can all remember our favorite sports movies – but what about our favorite sports-based books? Bill Littlefield of NPR’s Only a Game talks about his favorite sportswriters, and reads from his new collection of athletics inspired poetry. 

Plus, a conversation with America’s only water sommelier. That’s right, water sommelier.

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

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Word of Mouth
1:55 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Bill Littlefield's Favorite Sports Books...Right Now

If you're shopping for a sports fan this holiday season, Bill Littlefield host of NPR's Only a Game, has some suggestions for new titles that he considers his favorites, right now.

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Word of Mouth
1:53 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

12.4.14: Bill Littlefield Talks Sports Writing & The Intense London Cabbie Test "The Knowledge"

We can all remember our favorite sports movies – but what about our favorite sports-based books? On today’s show, Bill Littlefield of NPR’s Only A Game talks about his favorite sportswriters, and reads from his new collection of athletics inspired poetry. 

Then, we tackle another competition of sorts: passing the knowledge, the notoriously difficult test that every London cabbie has to take before he or she can get behind the wheel of a black taxi.

Plus a look at how and why the basketball shot clock came to be from Roman Mars’ podcast, 99% Invisible.

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

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Word of Mouth
2:09 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

Aasif Mandvi: No Land's Man

Aasif Mandvi talked to Virginia about his new collection of essays, No Land’s Man and about the time he got a call from The Daily Show to come in for an audition.

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Word of Mouth
2:09 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

11.17.14: Aasif Mandvi & No Plot? No Problem! Writing A Book In 30 Days

Aasif Mandvi at RISK! December 9th, 2010
Credit 92Y Tribeca via flickr Creative Commons

Since his debut on The Daily Show, Aasif Mandvi has held such titles as “Senior Muslim Correspondent”, “Senior Middle East Correspondent” and “Senior Foreign Looking correspondent”. On today’s show, Aasif Mandvi tells us why he almost didn't take the job.

Plus, between Thanksgiving, holiday preparation, and dealing with a general lack of sunlight, the month of November can be overwhelming, but one writer is making the case that it’s a great month to finally write that novel you’ve been talking about.

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

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Word of Mouth
1:54 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Season Of The Witch: How The Occult Saved Rock & Roll

In 1966, the top of the music charts had a decidedly split personality. Hits like Last Train to Clarksville by The Monkees and Winchester Cathedral by The New Vaudeville Gang, were sharing the airwaves with The Beatles Tomorrow Never Knows and The Rolling Stones Paint it Black. Chalk it up to social changes sweeping the nation, or perhaps the availability of LSD, but a new counter cultural approach to reality and spirituality was opening up and rock music was hitching a ride.

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Word of Mouth
3:35 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

10.12.14: The Wonderful World Of Books

Credit MorBCN via flickr Creative Commons

Today’s show is all about the wonderful world of books, starting with the U.S. Senate Handbook, a 380 page document of sometimes confounding rules intended to keep Senate offices running smoothly. Then, we’ll speak to an antiquarian bookseller about the beauty and obsession of rare books. And actor and comedian Bob Odenkirk discusses his debut collection of writings, A Load of Hooey.

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

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Word of Mouth
10:11 am
Thu August 7, 2014

How To Be A College Foodie: The Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks

Credit Workman Publishing - http://www.workman.com/products/9781612124513/

Throughout her time at Dartmouth, Priya Krishna catalogued inventive twists on dining hall fare for her college newspaper. Shortly after graduation she began gathering together recipes for her new book Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks, which came out in June 2014.

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Word of Mouth
2:38 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Historical New Hampshire: Cultural Highlights In The Southern Counties

Credit jbspec7 via Flickr CC

New Hampshire is often advertised as a state filled with natural attractions, famous for our mountains (Mt. Washington and Mt. Monadnock are both known world-wide), lakes, and rivers. But the state is filled with historical landmarks as well, which Lucie Bryar covers in her book Exploring Southern New Hampshire: History and Nature on Back Roads and Quiet Waters. Here are some of the cultural attractions in southern NH you may not have heard about, but that you’ll definitely want to check out.

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Word of Mouth
1:00 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

7.22.14: Sex In The Wild, Chuck Klosterman Tackles Villainy, And The First Fireworks

Credit blieusong via Flickr CC

Today, we have a conversation with an anatomist behind a new PBS series that puts the lens on mammals who reproduce under extreme circumstances, like dolphins. And if you think it’s tough for mammals to find a mate, try finding one in the vast ocean when you’re a nearly microscopic crustacean. We’ll look into the mating rituals of copepods. And then, a different sort of nature when Chuck Klosterman tells us more about the traits of villainy.

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


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Word of Mouth
2:13 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

7.17.14: Nipsters, Yoyos On The Rise, And Raising Readers In A Digital World

Credit gcaserotti via Flickr CC

With their shaven heads, combat boots and bomber jackets, neo-Nazis used to be pretty easy to pick out of a crowd. Today, not so much. We explore why Europe’s young hyper-nationalists are opting for a more hipster look. Plus, common sense tells us that reading to children is good for them, but it’s more powerful than you might imagine. We’ll look into the practice of interactive reading and share tricks for bringing up book worms in the age of screens and digital devices. And, not all princesses are polite and demure. We remember some princesses for their bad behavior.

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Word of Mouth
1:01 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

7.15.14: MLB Interpreters, English's Loaned Words, And The Arsonist

Credit gargudojr via Flickr Creative Commons

With more than a quarter of the players born outside the US, professional baseball is the UN of American pro sports. We take a look at a position crucial to a team’s success:  the interpreter…and how the job requires more than mere translation. Plus, France’s government is banning English words like ‘fast-food’ and ‘hashtag’ in the name of cultural preservation…we find out why the words are unlikely to disappear from the vernacular anytime soon. And, Sue Miller speaks about her new book, The Arsonist.

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


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Word of Mouth
1:45 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

What Is "Twee"?

Flower crowns: Twee. Children with adult expressions: even more so.
Credit Waponi via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Marc Spitz about his new book Twee, in which he tries to give a comprehensive and explanatory history of “the gentle revolution.”

(You can hear that conversation here.)

The tenants of Twee are varied but they come down to this: there is darkness in this world that can only be overcome by cultivating passions that foster beauty and evoke a sense of innocence, goodness, and childhood.

In other words, when the world gets scary, just put a bird on it.

As with any cultural movement, the question of Twee can spark long debates (and trying to sort through “Twee vs. Not Twee” makes an awesome party game). To get you up to speed, here’s a handy list of things that are definitively Twee. As Twee defies categorization, we present this to you as a holistic experience, books mixing with music mixing with…hairstyles?

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Word of Mouth
1:36 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

6.9.14: Understanding Twee, Michael Blum, And Comedian Todd Glass

Credit laverrue via Flickr Creative Commons

We are in the midst of a cultural movement…it’s called Twee and boy is it precious. Today we look into the gentle revolution that is Twee…from artisanal pickles to Wes Anderson films, why this retro wish for innocence is thriving. Then, we hear from a local jazz musician who has just released his debut album to good reviews. He has a long career ahead of him since he’s only 20 years old. Plus, a conversation with comedian Todd Glass. He’s been performing stand-up since 1982, but he made his boldest move in 2012 when he came out publicly as gay on Marc Maron’s podcast WTF.

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


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Word of Mouth
1:34 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

3.26.14: Novelist Ismael Beah & The Economics Of Satisfaction Guaranteed

Credit via indiebound.org

L.L. Bean, The North Face, Nordstrom and Land’s End all sell apparel, but they have another thing in common: they guarantee their merchandise for life. But is that really a shrewd business move? Today on Word of Mouth, the pros and cons of the lifetime guarantee.  Plus, Producer Zach Nugent interviews a few people who have tested that policy, and talks to one company’s PR rep about the fine print of their policy.

Also today, child-soldier-turned novelist Ishmael Beah talks about rebuilding lives, communities, and trust after a brutal war.

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


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