Erin Pettigrew /

New Hampshire's 'Hands Free' law goes into effect on July 1st -- and many consumers have already adapted to the new policy. There's also a nifty little device you probably already have in your car, or on your desk, right now: the ballpoint pen. While it may not cause a window-shattering ruckus these days, it's still in daily usage. And finally, while a quiet hurricane season is predicted for this year, there's one place that's guaranteed to see category 5 winds this year: a new Florida laboratory with the power to create artificial hurricane conditions.

dierk schaefer via flickr Creative Commons /

Studies show that growing up below the poverty line can have serious health implications, but can it have a lasting effect on the brain? On today’s show we continue NHPR’s series The First Decade by examining scarcity and how it can hijack a person’s neural pathways, affecting a child’s decision making later in life.

Then, a look at a technological issue that is threatening the livelihoods of farmers across the U.S. how the increasingly computerized nature of automobiles – and a far-reaching  copyright law –  is preventing farmers from maintaining their own equipment.

For most pet-owners, dogs are a symbol of love and loyalty.  Throughout history though, man's bestie has also held darker associations.  Today, we talk about death and the dog, from Greek mythologies three-headed hell-hound named Cerberus, to the modern use of cadaver-detection dogs. Plus, we go on the trail with a blind hiker and his guide dog as they summit 48 of New Hampshire's 4,000-footers in a single winter! And a discussion about redesigning the car dashboard with the makers of the hit video game Monument Valley.

Don O'Brien via Flickr/CC -

For people, winter has pros and cons - but for cars, this kind of weather is not ideal.

David Brooks writes the weekly Granite Geek science column for the Nashua Telegraph and He spoke with All Things Considered about the effects of road salt on cars in winter - and the simple and not-so-simple ways we might stop those effects before they start.


Logan Shannon / NHPR

“Apple Pay” came out of the gate with great fanfare and claims that the mobile-payment system will make purchasing easier and more secure.  On today’s show, a closer scan of Apple Pay and find out who is set to benefit – and who is not.

And, from traffic cams to EZ Pass, big brother is riding along with us more than we think. But just how much are drivers being monitored? And, after a week of historic wins and losses, we’ll sample the art of the concession speech.

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

InvisibleKid2007 via flickr Creative Commons

From dash cams to the EZ Pass lane, big brother is in our passenger seat, whether we realize it or not. But just how much are drivers being monitored? And who is benefiting from the surveillance? On today’s show, the future of car surveillance.

Then, a conversation with actor and comedian, Bob Odenkirk. While many know him as strip mall lawyer Saul Goodman from Breaking Bad, he has achieved near cult status for his contributions to sketch comedy. We’ll discuss his storied career, the legacy of Mr. Show, and his debut collections of essays, A Load of Hooey.

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

Flkr Creative Commons / Plug in America

It’s race season again at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. No, NASCAR hasn’t come early. It’s time for the Formula Hybrid Competition, which started out as a small-scale event but now attracts engineering students - and car industry officials - from around the world.


  The Massachusetts-based company Terrafugia will test a flying car at the Pease Airport in Portsmouth over the next two weeks.  

The vehicle caters to recreational pilots who live near an airport and don’t want to rent a hangar. the "Transition" vehicle being tested at Pease looks like a small plane with wings that fold.  When folded, it fits into a one-car garage.  The vehicle is legal for driving on public roads, and is expected to cost $280,000. 

Watch Terrafugia's promotional video:

The Best Family Cars, SUVs & Minivans

Mar 18, 2014
Mazda North American Operations via

These days, family cars are equipped with all sorts of bells and whistles: from text message alerts to - vacuum cleaners? It might sound superfluous, but mother and family car test driver Jamie Page Deaton tells us why the vacuum cleaner - and other family car extras - can be incredibly useful in unexpected life moments. While she appreciates those extra perks, her top two concerns when test driving family cars, SUVs, and minivans are safety and space.

Listen to Virginia Prescott's conversation with Jamie Page Deaton and click Read more to see the full list of best family cars.

Sarah Thomas / NHPR

Today on Word of Mouth, a sweet conversation with a man who knows maple syrup. Emerson writing professor and author, Douglas Whynott joins us to discuss his new book The Sugar Season: A Year in the Life of Maple Syrup and One Family's Quest for the Sweetest Harvest. Plus, we'll put Whynott to the test when he joins Virginia in a blindfolded taste test of 4 grades of authentic, New Hampshire made maple  syrup and one imposter.

Also on the show, Jamie Page Deaton breaks down her list of the top choices for family cars. 

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

mariordo via Flickr/CC -

There’s a growing number of electric cars on New Hampshire roads these days. But this part of the auto market may grow slowly in New Hampshire.

offleaseonlyfl via Flickr Creative Commons

A 2012 study from the University of Michigan shows that female drivers now outnumber male drivers for the first time. At the same time, there is some evidence revealing that buying a car at a dealership can be a much harder experience for women than men.  What about when shopping for vehicles online?  Writer Jamie Page Deaton is managing editor of US News Best Cars, and talked with us about the role gender can play when buying a new car, in person and online.

Earlier this month, the New York Times published a scathing article about Tesla’s Model X…the article has since stirred up controversy on the web and in media and auto industry circles, and it’s a story that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. Joining us with an explainer and an update on the latest developments in “Tesla-Gate” is Jamie Page Deaton, Managing Editor of US News Best Cars.

The Best Used Mini Cooper Ad In History

Jan 29, 2013

Back in November, “The Best Used Car Ad in Craigslist History” was brought to my attention through a Facebook post. I hit the "contact" button and got in touch with its author, New Hampshire’s own Tim McLaughlin. It's kind hard to describe…so I'll bring it to life for you. First, you'll hear Tim tell you what he's trying to sell. (A note to listeners: the Craigslist ad was a tad saucy…so I’ve added plenty of bleeps.)

di's eyes via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: The Science of Changing Your Mind/Sex and Religion

Ever wonder whether hard facts play a part in changing a person's mind? Turns out, not so much. Boing Boing's Maggie Koerth-Baker wrote about the real influences on choice for The New York Times Magazine. 


tacoekkel via Flickr Creative Commons

Automotive safety is generally focused on the driver and the  vehicle,  rather than unknown dangers of the road … features like anti-lock brakes, airbags, back-up cameras and crumple zones increase buyer confidence and sticker price. 

Andrew Karjuta / Flickr Creative Commons

It’s been an uneasy relationship, with cyclists saying cars rule the roads, and drivers saying cyclists flout the law. In recent years, these groups have made some headway when it comes to relations, with more bike lanes and more education on avoiding collisions. But conflicts still flare up and many say there’s still plenty of room for improvement.  


Larry Keniston: Intermodal Facilities Engineer, Rail and Transit Bureau, N.H. Department of Transportation.

If you’re scanning registries for a friend’s baby shower or prepping for your own bouncing new arrival, one thing is clear…baby stuff ain’t cheap. Jamie Page-Deaton is managing editor of US News Best Cars, and she's got a rundown of some pretty unbelievable gadgetry new moms are coveting: 

The self-folding stroller.

The robotic baby chair. 

Modern advertisers will put commercials and billboards just about anywhere, but they’re not nearly as intrusive as depicted in the futuristic 2002 Steven Spielberg thriller Minority Report, where street side billboards address city-goers by name, and holographic spokespersons are literally projected into your path.

Mitsubishi, Toyota, General Motors

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Which are the most fuel-efficient hybrid and/or all-electric cars available to consumers today (just the affordable ones, please!)? -- Jack Madison, Chicago, IL

Photo by Wouter Kiel, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

The average American vehicle spends a whopping 95% of its life parked.  And yet, for all of the engineers and urban planners who study how humans and cars interact on the road, one man stands out as an authority how our lives, towns and experiences are affected once those cars stop.

Hemera Collection/Thinkstock

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: I read that car makers had agreed to up fuel economy standards to an average of about 55 miles per gallon by the year 2025, and that specifics were due to be hammered out by the end of 2011. Did this happen and where do things stand now?-- Scott Ellis, Norwalk, CA


(Photo by Elizabeth/Table4Five via Flickr Creative Commons)

Part 1: Auto Paparazzi

Photo: Chris Jensen / NHPR


While there are thousands auto body mechanics in the U-S, only a handful have been able to turn their work into a specialized art form.

One of those artists lives in the North Country re-creating some of the world’s most elegant automobiles.

Banging sound

In a shop in Bethlehem Joe Stafford is beating – ever so carefully - an aluminum panel.

<a href="" target="blank">Melinda Taber</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

Ever used one of those machines at the gym where you can place your hands on the grips and it'll track your heart rate? German scientists - probably the ones who spend a lot of time working out  - wondered if they could put those sensors in the steering wheel of a car to detect driver stress.