Paul via Flickr CC

Where I grew up in Connecticut, children trick or treat on Halloween night, after dark, for as long as they possibly can.   I called my hometown’s clerk to double check: municipal government has nothing to do with it.

Yet in my current home of Portsmouth, the city website declares “the date and time for 'Trick-or-Treat' activities in Portsmouth this year will be Thursday, October 30th, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.”

Jim Cole / AP Photo POOL

 A recent headline in my local paper, the Portsmouth Herald, reads "McDonough Questioned About Sex, Lies, and Duct Tape."  The story is a tragedy – a young woman died. The details are upsetting.  Yet -  I just read the article top to bottom.  Why? I want to know.  

Walking on Market Street in downtown Portsmouth, I come upon Marlene Allen. “Well, because it’s so lurid!” She says. “that’s like a novel, that’s like Hannibal Lector!”

Valters Krontals via flickr Creative Commons

After Virginia’s conversation with Slate senior editor Dan Kois about all things cool, we thought it would be helpful to quiz Dan on what is cool and what is not. Without further ado, we present Word of Mouth’s “Cool vs. Uncool Quiz” with our host Virginia Prescott.

According to this map posted on, John Irving's Hotel New Hampshire is the most famous book set in New Hampshire. 

But what about Peyton Place? A Separate Peace? Or Irving's other classic, A Prayer For Owen Meany?

We'd love to know what you think should hold the title...leave us a note on Facebook with your pick.

Our story today on trailer parks got the Word of Mouth team dreaming about the perks of living in a home on wheels. Here's our list of some of the nicest mobile home parks in the best locations. Because even in the world of mobile real estate, it's all about location, location, location.

Here are the stories that got the most attention on last week. Did you miss them? Click below to read or listen!

1. USDA Airdrops Vanilla Flavored Rabies Vaccines Over Eastern Forests

2. Across The River, Vermont Puts Its Money On Local Food

Abby Kessler for NHPR

NHPR News Intern Abby Kessler has moved on to a new adventure, teaching English in South Korea. We've asked Abby to send us dispatches from her trip, and we'll be posting them as a series of blogs in the upcoming months.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

The recent outrage over Google providing the WRONG—in our humble opinion—definition of literally as a viable one, got the digital team thinking about other words whose meanings have changed over time. These so called ‘Janus Words’ or ‘contranyms’ are single words that have two opposite, but ostensibly correct, meanings.

I’m am not qualified to make a list of the Top 5 most memorable sports failures, which is why I asked Eric Simons to help me create a list of moments he felt fit the bill. To say that he waffled about what moments to include is an understatement; sports fans are notoriously opinionated when it comes to moments that define heartbreak. I took his suggestions and then sprinkled in a few that I grew up hearing about.  Without further ado I present to you: “5 Moments in Sports That Will (Maybe) Break Your Heart”. We encourage you to disagree and submit your own.

veiled lady Flickr Creative Commons

Bathing suit anxiety takes on a whole new dimension for Muslim women…so do skinny jeans and other body-conscious fashion trends.  A spate of blogs and podcasts aimed at Muslim women have grown along with the fashion blog trend. Blogs like Hijab Trendz, Dianrainbow and Slice of Lemon feature tips and creative approaches to dressing with style as well as modesty.

Mariam Sobh is a Chicago-based journalist and public radio colleague from WBEZ in Chicago. She created Hijab Trendz in 2007, which averages 2 million page views a month.

It's only Tuesday, and we've already got our winner for audio clip of the week from our story on the Xbox One:

We got the clip from Angry Joe's YouTube channel; the vlogger went on an angry tirade after the Xbox One reveal proved to be completely disappointing for hard-core gamers.

"Don't. Do. The RE-VEAL!" is our new mantra.

If you'd like to watch the entire Xbox One rant, here's a link to the full video (it gets a little NSFW for language) from the Angry Joe Show.

Rebecca Lavoie

Earlier this week, Yahoo!'s board of directors approved the tech company’s one point one billion dollar purchase of the micro-blogging site Tumblr, the latest move in CEO Marissa Mayer’s bid to revive the flagging tech company. The purchase has some Tumblr users up in arms, and others simply shrugging their shoulders at what just seems like the latest acquisition in the wake of so many to come before it.

Joining us to explain a bit more what the purchase of Tumblr means for Yahoo! and fans of the site is Lance Ulanoff, Editor in Chief at Mashable.

Logan Shannon via Rob Fleischman's Brain

A government lab announced earlier this month that it’s been operating a quantum internet at Los Alamos for the past two years. Which led us to wonder, um, WHAT IS A QUANTUM INTERNET???

What's For Dinner?

May 6, 2013

My mother loves to cook, and as a result she raised an entire family of food obsessed children who also love to cook. My father rarely cooked but was a big fan of eating and proclaimed after every meal, “Dear, this is the best [insert main course here] I’ve EVER had!” She would roll her eyes at his genuine but exaggerated praise and I would chime in with, “Mom, this was the worst dinner ever.” A big grin would spread across her face as she leaned over to pat my head; my mom gets me. Because she cooked an amazing, well-balanced meal nearly every night, my siblings and I were consistently robbed of what we felt was the holy grail of eating: the frozen TV dinner.

Logan Shannon

What’s a typical day like for the Word of Mouth intern at NHPR? I’m so glad you asked. (And even if you didn’t ask, I’m sure my mom and dad will be interested, so it's cool.)


Having really accurate clocks all over the place can make a person like me who hates being late and is mildly obsessed with numbers a little anxious. For example: I try really hard to walk into the Word of Mouth pod at exactly 8:30:00. Sadly, it has yet to happen. I’m either too early, or in this case, a wee bit late.


100% Sara Plourde

This is Taylor Quimby. On the cover of a book. Masterfully created by the impressive and talented Sara Plourde. (With a teeny bit of help from the book cover she 'borrowed' the idea from.)

BRILLIANT! Need we say more.


Last year we spoke to Jenny Lawson about her memoir Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir. Since then the book has enjoyed time on the NY Times best seller list and even garnered the number one spot in the first week it was out. Now that it’s out in paperback --once again on the NY Times best seller list, in the number 7 slot--and Jenny is touring the country to promote it, we thought it would be a great time to revisit Virginia’s conversation with her from April of 2012.

via the Museum of Science website

Love dinosaurs?  Want to learn more about the latest in paleontology?

This Saturday, the Museum of Science, Boston offers dinosaur enthusiasts the rare opportunity to hear first-hand from paleontologists from around the U.S. about their research and theories.  Dinosaur Day begins at 10 am, with presentations and panel discussions throughout the afternoon. The not yet annual event, will focus on the Ceratopsidae family—frilled and horned dinosaurs—much like “Cliff”, the 65-million-year-old Triceratops fossil currently on-loan at the Museum.

jimmywayne via flickr Creative Commons

Spring is just around the corner and for many people that means one thing: vacation.

Our segment today on the profundity of the year 1993 brought up a lot of memories for the Word of Mouth team. I thought it might be nice to share what we were all doing in 1993.

In the year 1993 our very own Zach Nugent almost didn't make it to 1994. While on a field trip to a tree farm in a bus loaded with 8 year olds, the bus driver missed a gear and the bus started hurtling backwards. Luckily he survived the trauma went on to live the real life saga of Boy Meets World with his buddy Taylor Quimby.

A Note to Listeners

Dec 14, 2012

Earlier this week, Word of Mouth aired a segment on "Machine Gun Safari," a recreational attraction in New Hampshire that allows visitors to fire assault rifles in a safe, controlled environment. In response to today's breaking news from Connecticut, we have unpublished the blog associated with that segment. We made this decision not to create the illusion that we did not air this story, but in keeping with our desire to be sensitive to our audience and staff as details of today's tragic story unfold. 


Back-to-school season means new notebooks, pencils, and pens, and for at least one very lucky kid – a brand-spanking new lunchbox.  J.M.

Ask your average American about Florida, and you'll hear something like this: It's hot, it has Disney World, and lots of old people live there.

And since the weather and Mickey Mouse don't make good attack ads, both presidential campaigns are trying to scare the bejeezus out of Florida's senior population over Medicare.

The summit of New Hampshire’s highest mountain is, of course, known for the “worst weather in the world.” But we learned late last week that the summit of Mount Washington is also home to some of the greatest questions in the world.

"This mountain is man made, isn't it?"
"Which of those mountains out there is Everest?"
"Is this named after the state of Washington?"
"What percentage of people who come up here die?"

In January, a listener clued us into the fabulous arts blog, Gwarlingo . We invited its curator, Michelle Aldredge, to join us on the show and quickly figured out why Gwarlingo is such a delightful, beautifully-executed site. Back then it was Michelle’s side venture – since then, Michelle has quit her job and  taken Gwarlingo full-time, so she’s back to tell us how it’s going.  

Moonrise Kingdom Trailer

Blogger Jenny Lawson called upon a few of her biggest fans to make the trailer for her new memoir, including author Neil Gaiman there, musician Amanda Palmer, and Star Trek actors Wil Wheaton and Jeri Ryan, claiming to be Lawson in a YouTube video that’s been viewed more than seventy thousand times…

<a href="" target="blank">Texts from Hillary Clinton Tumblog</a>

She's been Secretary of State, a US Senator, First Lady, the world's most admired woman... and now she's gone viral. Hillary Clinton is a meme, thanks to the Texts from Hillary Tumblog.

As I write today's entry for "Here's What's Awesome," I'm listening to a tune by Richard and Linda Thompson called "Lonely Hearts." The chorus speaks of lonely hearts in "an ocean of loneliness" and "a shipwreck of pain." As if that wasn't sunny enough, along comes this cheerful verse:

No-one needs a friend, no-one cares no more
They'll look hard at you but they won't take the chain off the door
O they work and slave, keep their conscience clean
They come home at night and they talk to an empty screen

The Dogs of NHPR

Feb 10, 2012

Inspired by the numerous dog stories which graced our air waves this past week, it got us thinking of our own K-9 pals back home. That said, we've fetched some fabulous snapshots of our very own lovable pooches. We're marking new territory here on, and this one's going to the dogs. This is NHPRuff.

Bridey Lavoie-Flynn
Owner: Rebecca Lavoie
Breed: Cockapoo
Age: 2 ½
Interests: Eating fastidiously, watching Teen Mom 2, staring out the window 

Gwarlingo's Michelle Aldredge

Somewhere on the list of why making a radio show is so fun would be this:  surfing the internet is part of the job. In other office pods, people have to Google on the sly. We consider following links and electronic crumbs rather productive. You never know when you might accidentally stumble onto your next guest.