culture

Word of Mouth
2:01 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

A Photographer's Quest To Capture America's Vanishing Rest Stops

Near Organ, New Mexico - US 70
© Ryann Ford - All Rights Reserved

Last year we interviewed photographer Ryann Ford about a project she was working on: traveling the country to preserve the humble American rest stop through a series of photographs. These are relics of a time when most people traveled by car on vacations, and as new super stops pop up along highways, the simple rest stop is becoming extinct.

Read more
Word of Mouth
2:10 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

A Luminous Dress Inspired By The Firefly

Charlie Lemay

Biologists call it “signaling”, traits and behaviors that evolved because recipients respond to them in ways that benefit the signaler. Among humans, signals may not be quite as overt as the peacock fanning its tail:

or fireflies courting and sparking on a summer night:

Read more
Word of Mouth
2:10 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

11.13.14: Invisible Innovations That Shaped Our World & Saving Portsmouth

We take good, quality lighting for granted, but there was a time not so long ago when the best source of light came from whale oil lamps. Listen to the interview with Steven to learn how they got the oil.
Credit Jasperdo via flickr Creative Commons

Among the things we take for granted in today’s America is knowing the time, which makes transportation, business and national events possible. This, however, was not always the case.

On today’s show, from building sewers to standardizing time, we’ll talk about the invisible innovations that got us where we are today. Then, we’ll take a look back to a controversial figure at the center of Portsmouth’s historic preservation movement, Miss Dorothy Vaughan.

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

Read more
Word of Mouth
2:11 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

10.29.14: Polling The Pollsters, The Early Days Of Playboy Centerfolds, & The Film: "Laggies"

A polling center in Exeter, New Hampshire. November 7, 2006.
Credit nshepherd via flickr Creative Commons

When an unrecognizable number shows up on your phone during election season, chances are pretty good that the caller is someone taking a poll. On today’s show, turning the tables on pollsters. We’ll find out how they view polling accuracy and ethics for Election 2012.

Also today, the aging bunnies –  a group of Playboy centerfold models now in their 60s and 70s, reject the idea that they victimized, and remember a more tasteful time for the men’s magazine.

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

Read more
Word of Mouth
2:21 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

10.27.14: Creating A Sonic Experience & The YouTube Musician Known as Kutiman

Credit betmari via flickr Creative Commons

The ad agency for Royal Caribbean chose a lively, catchy tune for a series of commercials for the cruise line, but it didn’t exactly match the wholesome, fun loving image they were trying to promote. On today’s show we’ll explore how the power of sound can make or break an experience. Then, we’ll speak with the Israeli musician known as Kutiman, about crafting an album made entirely of unrelated sound samples from YouTube videos.

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

Read more
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.

Read more
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?

Read more
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.


Read more
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. 

Read more
Word of Mouth
10:44 am
Tue November 26, 2013

When Did 'Three Square Meals' Become The American Norm?

Credit Diettogo1 via Flickr Creative Commons

Admitting to eating a bowl of cereal for dinner is like disclosing that you are lonely, lazy, or waaay to busy. Similarly, not having the whole family sitting around the table for a hot dinner of protein, a vegetable, and dessert feels like some kind of failure. When did how and what we eat become codified as right, proper, and essentially American?  How did factory work, television and advertising shape the varied diets carried by centuries of immigrants into the breakfast, lunch and dinner most of us eat today?

Abigail Carroll is a food historian and author of Three Squares: The Invention of the American Meal, which explores the history of America’s eating from the Colonial era to the present.

Read more
Word of Mouth
11:39 am
Tue August 6, 2013

An Inside Account of L.A. Gang Culture

kevindean via Flickr Creative Commons

Jorja Leap is a small person with a long shadow on the streets of Los Angeles. She’s a professor of social welfare at UCLA, and an anthropologist who, for the past seven years has traced the kinship ties, rites, turf wars, and intervention programs operating in the bloodiest trenches of LA. Her book, “Jumped In” is part memoir and part ethnographic narrative of gang culture from a woman who’s earned street cred among gang members, respect from academics and props from law enforcement. We spoke to Jorja last year when the book was first released; it is now out in paperback.

Read more
Word of Mouth
11:08 am
Mon February 11, 2013

Celebrating China's Spring Festival In New England

The traditional red lanterns of Chinese New Year

This week marks the start of the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year. This fifteen-day celebration is the longest and most important holiday in China, featuring family reunions, fireworks, traditional meals, red lanterns, and the traditional gift of the Hong Bao, or Red Packet.

Read more
Arts & Culture
8:00 am
Sun February 3, 2013

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino Warms Up New Hampshire

It’s not often you get to hear authentic world music in New Hampshire, especially in the dead of winter. But on February 6th at the Spaulding Auditorium in Hanover, the southern Italian band Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino will be bringing their high energy pizzica tarantata music and dance.  Leading a new wave of young Italian artists reinventing and invigorating traditional Italian music, CGS includes six singers/musicians and a dancer.

I think it would be impossible not to have fun at a show like this:

Read more
Word of Mouth
12:00 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

The World Cup of Sandwich, NH

Credit Leo Greene

If you’ve spent any time in the town of Sandwich, New Hampshire, you may have picked up on its eclectic mix of preserved antiquity and progressiveness, with old clean-walled farmhouses occupied by inventors, artists, even a locally-grown internet service provider. Sandwich may be yesterday on the outside, but it’s tomorrow on the in.  As Sean Hurley reports, this dichotomy finds an unusual expression on the town soccer field a few days before the annual Sandwich Fair. And while many towns see carnies as an invading force, to residents of this town, they’re welcome competitors.

Read more
The Exchange
10:00 am
Sat August 25, 2012

Frances Moore Lappé (Rebroadcast)

Today we sit down with iconic food writer and activist Frances Moore Lappé. In the 1970's, Lappé pioneered the idea of conscientious eating with her book “Diet for a Small Planet”. Now forty years later, she says much has changed. There's more awareness of the connections between food, health, and the environment, yet there's also growing world hunger requiring she says a complete global re-think.

Guest

Read more

Pages