History

JDHRosewater via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/pXMPW8

It's known on the street as Ecstasy, MDX, or Molly, but MDMA is now being tested as a way to treat the millions of Americans who suffer from chronic PTSD. Today, one of the premier drivers of MDMA research brings his mission to fund clinical trials to New England.

Then, fans of Downton Abbey know that it takes a well-oiled domestic staff to keep a British estate looking pristine. We’re taking deeper look into the history of British servitude...and cleaning.

4.12.16: Jackson vs. Trump & Birds, Birds, Birds

Apr 12, 2016
PROscreenpunk via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4JiDy2

Imagine a political outsider who's thin on policy and big on celebrity.  He's crude. He draws enormous crowds, and his popularity has party leaders panicking.  I'm talking of course about presidential candidate Andrew Jackson. Today, we'll look at some parallels between the elections of 2016 and 1824.

Then, New Englanders are cautiously optimistic about the end of a mild winter - with one devoted group especially keen to see what the spring brings – birdwatchers. 

Chiot's Run via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/a9qgh4

Once a staple of medicine, the case study is in decline - replaced in recent years by a treasure trove of patient data.  But what happens when doctors and doctors-in-training rely on statistics over story?  Today on Word of Mouth, a defense of the medical case study.  

Then, crowdfunding has been used to fund countless projects and but now people are turning to it for a whole new purpose - staying out of jail.

Plus, a history of the humble mason jar.  

Calsidyrose via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/fA4tsd

Facial recognition software is now everywhere - in airports, stores, on our gadgets and on social media. The goal is improving security and improving public safety, but along with our growing dependency on biometrics comes a problem: not all faces are treated equally. Today, the inherent bias of facial recognition software.

Plus, once the drug of choice for dropping out of the rat race, LSD is now being touted as a "hot new business trend".  We'll talk to a journalist who tried out the new Silicon Valley method of taking tiny doses of acid to improve performance at work. 

UncoveringWestport via Flickr / https://flic.kr/p/4JX1zF

Bullying, R-rated topics and shouting matches during presidential debates have left some Americans wondering whatever happened to civility in politics?  But in the British Parliament, being rude is a long-standing tradition. Today, a history of Parliament's bad manners.

Also, while we usher in spring with a last minute nor'easter, we’re looking back at the most devastating storm in New England history: the hurricane of 1938. 

Plus, a tech reviewer looks at a hot new item in the world of consumer drones.

angeladellatorre via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/9Ng42y

Studying medicine requires intelligence, discipline and considerable expense, making it one of the most prestigious professions in America. But that wasn’t always the case.  We take a look into the shady practices that lead the people of New York City to riot against doctors in the eighteenth-century. 

3.14.16: Lists of Note & The Ghost in the MP3

Mar 14, 2016
Pekka Nikrus via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/dktav6

Grocery lists, to-do lists, guest lists – human beings are compelled to put things into manageable order…and sometimes the result is anything but mundane. Today we look at some of the most memorable lists ever written – from Walt Disney’s un-used dwarf names, to a day in the life of country legend Johnny Cash. 

click-see via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/V62An

From the solitary writer to the reclusive painter, loneliness is a rich vein for artists. Today, Olivia Laing meditates on her own bouts of loneliness, what it has meant to the world's great creative minds and why such an essential human experience cannot be wholly worthless.

Then, a historian on what ads seeking the capture of runaway slaves reveal about the identity, character and lives of runaways. 

2.17.16: Sex in the Sea & the Secret World of Casinos

Feb 17, 2016
Thomas Hawk via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/9C8MGs

Parents have long used "the birds and the bees" to help explain how babies are made...They'd really have some explaining to do if they looked under the sea.  Today, the mating rituals of lobsters, and other examples of love down below.

Plus, casinos are dizzying places filled with blinking lights, blaring sounds, and outrageous carpet motifs...all designed to bewilder and seduce gamblers to bet high and lose big. We'll get a behind the scenes look at how casinos work from code words to house superstitions.

2.15.16: Happy Presidents' Day

Feb 15, 2016
Public Domain

Today America celebrates the forty-three men who have thus far assumed the nation's highest office - but Presidents’ Day was first established in 1885 to celebrate the birthday of only one: George Washington. Turns out, he would have disapproved of all that fanfare.

On today’s show, from mountainside monuments to commemorative  sandwiches, we'll explore the sometimes bewildering ways America remembers its dead presidents.

Also a look at some of the contenders for the Grammy awards airing tonight.

The Storied History Of The New Hampshire Primary

Feb 8, 2016

For New Hampshire, Tuesday’s vote is not only a chance to weigh in on the presidential candidates. It’s an opportunity to mark 100 years since the start of the first in the nation presidential primary.

Brady Carlson, from Here & Now contributor New Hampshire Public Radio, reports.

davidcwong888 via Flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/oQrGBE

When a garment factory in Bangladesh collapsed, the public cried out against sweatshop conditions and the deadly price of fast fashion - but fashion, it turns out, has been costing people their lives for a very long time.

On today’s show, from poisoned dyes to mercury tainted top-hats, the history of dangerous fashion. Also today, the surrealist origins of the childhood game with the macabre name - Exquisite Corpse.

We'll speak with a member of the punk band, Mission of Burma, who's leading a surrealist games night in Portsmouth, New Hampshire next Thursday.

When George Washington Came To New Hampshire

Jan 23, 2016

Plenty of would-be presidents are criss-crossing New Hampshire these days, each hoping he or she will be the one moving into the White House next January.

But plenty of sitting presidents have made their way through this state as well, going all the way back to the first one.

beisbolsinaloa / Flickr/CC

A new book by UNH historian Jason Sokol describes what he calls the region’s 'conflicted soul’ when it comes to race. Sokol explores the discrepancies between the North’s image as haven from the segregated south, and the harsh realities that African Americans faced in black neighborhoods from Boston to Brooklyn.

This program originally broadcast on February 12, 2015.

GUEST:

Dave Herholz via Flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/FMVAH

On today’s show we’ve got a detailed profile of the late Aaron Schwartz - the cofounder of Reddit whose actions triggered a federal indictment, and whose death has made him a martyr for the free internet movement.

Also today, truth in advertising? Think again. From TV ads, to menus and billboards, we all know food photography looks too good to be edible- today we'll hear the truth behind those perfectly crisped turkeys, immaculately sculpted ice cream cones, and more.  

Karla via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/gr3Bno

After a group of anti-government activists took over an Oregon wildlife refuge last weekend, news outlets are struggling with how to identify them and their goals. On today’s show, a media reporter says in today's partisan, all-in media landscape, news reporters have an obligation to choose words carefully.

Then, 2015 was a banner year for science, from Pluto’s photo shoot, to the Ebola vaccine. So what's next? We'll hear about some of the big ideas in store for 2016, including the future of the gene editing tool: CRISPR.

Billy Hathorn via Creative Commons

  Two objects that have made a big difference in New Hampshire’s presidential primary: newsprint and ink – especially in the hands of the man who published the New Hampshire Union Leader for decades, William Loeb.

Scoring Dreamscapes: The History of Sleep Music

Dec 17, 2015
kssk via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/vTHxG

If you're a fan of HBO programming, you've probably heard the work of composer Max Richter - he's responsible for scoring one of its dark dramas, The Leftovers. But recently, Richter released something a little more subdued: an eight-hour album called Sleep, which he calls a “lullaby for a frenetic world”. Ambitious though it may be, Richter is hardly the first composer to send people nodding off, or to try and score a dreamscape. 

Fiona Wen Hui C via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/8cnsk4

At 5,525 miles, the US and Canadian border is the longest and friendliest in the world, but the long relationship between the two nations is not without conflict. Today, a history of US-Canadian skirmishes and why a war between neighbors isn’t out of the question. Plus, researchers in Virginia may be turning a long held belief about early America on its head. 

Brady Carlson

It is perhaps the most famous moment in New Hampshire primary history: a packed auditorium, Ronald Reagan, and the moment he said: "I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green!” [sic]

adwriter via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/Va4C2

For decades, some the first ballots in the first in the nation primary have been cast in the same place: the Ballot Room at the Balsams grand resort hotel in Dixville Notch.

Via unlockinghistory.com

The Hilltop School in Somersworth has been named to the National Register of Historic Places.

Its predecessor was Great Falls High School, the first public high school in New Hampshire constructed in 1849 after a law that cleared the way for municipalities to develop centralized school districts and build schools.

By the 1920s, that building was in disrepair. The school board secured funding for a new school.

Marc Nozell via Flickr / Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/3MY97U

 When it comes to presidential primaries, New Hampshire is always first. But that used to only be part of the slogan printed on bumper stickers and buttons. 

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Dozens of presidential hopefuls – household names and obscure names alike – have been visiting to the New Hampshire statehouse to file for the state’s first in the nation primary.

Candidates have made these trips for decades, but this year, Secretary of State Bill Gardner has added something new to the tradition – or. perhaps we should say, something old.

Lovepro via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/eHkThL

Cher, Chuck Norris, and Angelina Jolie all claim to be part Cherokee. Today, we’re asking why so many Americans believe they descend from the Cherokee people - among the most commercially popular Native American tribes. And, another indigenous population that once roamed the American plains…from the cave art of early humans to abandoned mustangs on a New Hampshire farm, explore the resilience, intelligence and fierce sociability of horses.

Courtesy Esta Kramer Collection of American Cookery, Bowdoin College Library

Despite the proliferation of online sources for recipes, cookbooks are still big sellers. They’re inspiring and often beautiful, but are they worth studying? Maybe when you have a massive collection spanning hundreds of years, like the one Bowdoin College acquired this summer.

Aleks via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/bpcW4g

Prior to the Civil War, images of war were the stuff of legends and mystery – then came the photographs of Alexander Gardner. Today, the legacy of a photographer who captured the graphic violence of war, and inspired questions about the power and ethics of war photography that are still being discussed today.  Plus, we’ll dive into a collection of more than 700 antique cookbooks to find out what scholars can learn by looking at food - and get a taste for some unusual recipes from back in the day. 

Ventura County Democratic Party / Flickr/CC

From Adams to Kennedy to Bush and Clinton, our guest Stephen Hess says that politics as the “family business” is nothing new. In his book, he profiles eighteen of these political clans: how power passes on, how it can be lost, and why many Americans are so uncomfortable with this concept. 

GUESTS:

These days lotteries are everywhere. Walk into most convenience stores and you’ll see scratch tickets on sale. Big Powerball payouts stretching across state lines make headlines, but fifty years ago the idea that lotteries were sinful and contributed to society’s moral decay was more widespread than it is today.

You may be surprised to learn that in the 1960s New Hampshire was the first state to launch a legal lottery. It came after a fight involving politicians of opposing sides, religious moralists, mob members, and the FBI.

OZinOH via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/4iiMnW

The US says it will open its doors to at least 10,000 refugees fleeing turmoil in Syria, but that doesn’t mean open arms. Today, we’ll learn about the detention process that keeps asylum seekers behind bars for months – even years – in hidden facilities across the country. Plus, a look at the upcoming lineup for this weekend’s New Hampshire Film Festival – including a documentary about the Gore Vidal vs. William F. Buckley debates that turned televised political debates into blood sport. 

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