Internet

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You've seen them on Twitter, you've seen them on Facebook, so why do IT people desperately want to kill the .gif? On today’s show, a brief explanation of social media's most celebrated and much maligned file format.

Plus it's back to school week, and that means kids are heading back to class with brand new pencils, notebooks, and Trapper Keepers - but let's face it - none of these things are as important as that carefully selected, first day outfit.

We’ll also hear from a teacher who says it’s not just introverted kids that face hurdles in a busy, noisy classroom, why introverted teachers have a high burn out rate.

Jenn and Tony Bot via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8aVSNW

Social media networks have too few people to monitor and shut down the volume of Islamic State propaganda accounts. Today, a Dartmouth professor has created a tool to flag violent, extremist videos and recruitment tools and keep them off social media feeds...still, some companies fear accusations of censorship.

And, an experienced philosophical take on a question that family, fortune and circumstance once made non-negotiable, and is now is the province of self-help books and fortune tellers... How do you choose a partner in a culture where everything is available and laid out like a superstore?

Blaise Alleyne via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/54QttY

Want to guess how America's internet speed stack up to the rest of the world? Not even top 20... That means below Mongolia, Slovenia and dozens of other countries.Today, find out why the leader of the free world lags so far behind in fast -and affordable - access.

Plus, love is complicated. Most people can agree that they want love in their life, but we are messy, imperfect beings and a lot of ways to get it wrong. From sibling resentments to misguided crushes to good old self delusion, one podcast is jumping in to take a closer look at love in all its forms.

Roadsidepictures via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/8bhv7m

A few years ago, one of America's most beloved snack cakes was in danger of disappearing forever - until investors swooped in and saved the day. What started out as a rescue mission quickly evolved into a business strategy, and resulted in substantial changes to the brand. Today, preserving the mythical, magical Twinkie.

Plus, awareness of mental health issues is on the rise, but it's not limited to people. We'll speak with an expert working with animals to resolve their mental health issues and better understand the inner lives of creatures who don't have the words to express it.

7.11.16: Debunking Internet Myths & Jay Craven

Jul 11, 2016
Tech in Asia via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/uPCXkc

If you're on Facebook, chances are tragic shootings and a hotly contested political climate have turned your social media feed into a forum for emotions, a place for sharing support, airing opinions and spreading lots and lots of misinformation.  On today’s show, how Buzzfeed aims to combat internet  hoaxes and fake news through their own tried and true method - an online quiz.

And this summer's hottest filming location - Nantucket?  We'll speak with New England director Jay Craven about shooting a historical film off the cape on a shoestring budget and college students as crew.

Sheila Sund via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/ivvkpQ

These days just about every coffee shop, bookstore, and restaurant touts offers free wi-fi to its customers - but at what cost? Today, we'll find out the hidden dangers of public wi-fi.

Later, the road to become a professional wine sommelier is tough – it’s filled with endless taste-tests, and requires an expansive understanding of geography, and an incredibly sensitive palate. But how exactly does one become a water sommelier? We'll meet America's only one and talk about his restaurant, which features a 44-page water menu.

Melissa Wang via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/bUX21Q

Bombs on bats and dolphin mine sweepers.  First, we learn about the Navy’s long-running acoustic warfare program...mimicking mammals for weaponry.

Plus, we know where your cat lives. An artist uses all those adorable cat photos on the internet to pinpoint your location.

And, want to make sure your face isn’t recognized on surveillance cameras? All it takes is a little make-up and creativity. Today we’re looking at the digital footprints we leave all over the internet.

I Want a Poster via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/kJ7HVv

Today, what's the point of being internet famous if you can't pay the bills? We’ll talk to a YouTube star about the sad economics of internet celebrity.

Plus, "Cash for Your Warhol",  the story of a fake business that became surprisingly real.

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.  

Jason Howie via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/d41HES

More than 75 million people use Instagram each day. Sure, there are celebrity selfies and cute kitty pictures, but it's also an unprecedented glimpse into the lives of others on a global scale. On today’s show, a Dartmouth journalism professor considers Instagram as journalism -- documenting lives from the ground up. 

Also today, what's the point of being internet famous if you can't pay the bills? We’ll talk to a YouTube star about the sad economics of internet celebrity.

1950sUnlimited via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/dADdFQ

This week, SpaceX overcame a huge hurdle for commercial space flight--by landing a reusable rocket less than an hour after launching it into space. But technical barriers are one thing; how will a blossoming space tourism industry deal with the physical and psychological issues presented by space flight?

Plus from birth dates as ATM pins to pet names as security questions; a look at the surprisingly deep stories behind our digital passwords.

And a preview of our new podcast - The Ten-Minute Writers Workshop. Bestselling author  Alexander McCall Smith talks about the worst distraction and best advice for aspiring writers.   

John W. Iwanski via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/adzSde

Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. In times of mourning, we emphasize the cyclical nature of life and death - and yet, American burial practices are mostly designed to halt the natural process of decomposition. Today on Word of Mouth, a look at the historical forces that pushed America towards embalming and containment, and the growing "green burial" movement. Plus, how American judges are grappling with a difficult to interpret form of evidence that's starting to be introduced in the courtroom - the emoji.

Roadsidepictures via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/awowKc

As autumn progresses, it’s getting to be time to turn up the thermostat, and pile on the blankets. Or maybe not. On today’s show, we consider the benefits of being cold. And, we explore the curious history of one of sports’ key beverages: Gatorade.

10.07.15: Star Wars, IKEA Hacking, & Flood Watch

Oct 7, 2015
Pineapples101 via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/7xkHz2

The first Star Wars film may have been released 38 years ago, but its hold on the popular imagination remains as strong as Darth Vader’s death-grip. On today’s show, a look at the role fandom has played in the success of the Star Wars franchise. Plus, from data collection to the latest internet tracking technology, online advertisers go to great lengths to find out who we are and what we like. We’ll enter the world of intelligent marketing to find out just how much, or little, they really know about us.

9.30.15: The Internet's Last Refuge & Age Is A Mindset

Sep 30, 2015
L: BLAKE PATTERSON R: THE VERGE / BIT.LY/1PMBF6S

In the early days of the internet, millions flocked to chat rooms to connect with like minds – and bodies -- the world over. But the group chat was soon replaced by Facebook and Twitter…or was it? On today’s show, the group chat makes a comeback. Then, western history is dominated by stories of great men and women, but we rarely hear about those who helped them along the way. We’ll unearth history’s secret sidekicks: from the man who encouraged Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. to embrace pacifism, to Julia Warhol, who set her son Andy on a path to the art world.

Patrick Lanigan via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/7nCt6r

Donald Trump is praised as “authentic” because he speaks without a practiced politician’s filter.  Meanwhile, pundits knock Hillary Clinton for not putting on a good enough show of authenticity – so, what does that actually mean? And politics is not the only arena where the meaning of authenticity is open to interpretation - what about food? Today we take a look at the myth of authenticity – in politics…cooking…and the internet. Plus, forgery in the art industry is not rare - but a con artist who has been caught and never sent to jail is. We’ll speak to the directors of a film that looks inside the mind of the mischievous shut-in and skilled artist who donated masterful forgeries to more than 46 museums. 

thomasglobal via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/9V2sxB

With every internet search come the annoying ads…popping up to obscure your view, streaming sound, or moving around distractingly in the corner. But can the internet survive without them? Today, what a new wave of ad blockers will mean for the future of the internet. Then, for a long time, being a Red Sox fan was to be an outsider, hardcore. That hard living, punk attitude motivated a group of teenagers to produce the most popular, and aggressive, T-shirt in Boston history. We’ll hear the Hollywood-worthy story behind the “Yankees Suck” t-shirt.

Alexander Sun / Flickr/CC

College Scorecard (9:00):

Two years ago, President Obama announced plans for rating colleges and universities, so students would know whether they were getting a good value.  Now, the administration has released its College Scorecard, and students and families are deciding how best to use it.

Brent Danley via Flickr CC / flic.kr/p/4jg4aG

Donald Trump is praised as “authentic” because he speaks without a practiced politician’s filter.  Meanwhile, pundits knock Hillary Clinton for not putting on a good enough show of authenticity – so, what does that actually mean? And politics is not the only arena where the meaning of authenticity is open to interpretation -- what about food? Today we take a look at the myth of authenticity – in politics…cooking…and the internet. 

The first library in the country to become part of the anonymous web browsing service Tor has disconnected from that network, at least for now.

Officials at the Kilton Public Library in Lebanon were contacted by local law enforcement with concerns about Tor’s ability to conceal criminal activity. Library officials chose to disconnect from Tor pending further review.

None of the computers at the library had the Tor browser.

Al_HikesAZ via Flickr CC / //flic.kr/p/5eSsvr

The National Park Service reports that only 7% of annual park visitors are African American. On today’s show, we delve into environmental and cultural history to find out why the story of the American outdoors is so white.

Then, from clamshell tweezers to electrolysis, we’ll take a look at America’s history of hair removal, and what it reveals about shifting views of racial and social status.

Plus, is technology killing the jewelry industry? We’ll find out why global sales of fine jewelry have been sluggish since the global recession.

6.24.15: Trolls, Back to the Future & Gray Hair

Jun 24, 2015
Darrell Miller via Flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/biFVsZ

Internet trolls – they shame, threaten, bully…and help sell ads!  A researcher infiltrates a trolling network and the cycle of harassment. Plus, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of back to the future, the billion dollar film franchise that repurposed the Delorian, reinvented time travel, and gave us the hoverboard. And from Rihanna to lady gaga – dyed gray hair is a hot fashion trend. Feminist statement or a passing fad? 

David Coxon via www.flickr.com/photos/davidcoxon

The Southern Poverty Law Center is out with its annual survey on hate groups.  The good news? Active hate groups are on the decline.  The bad news? They've relocated online.  Today on Word of Mouth, a disturbing look at the hidden state of hate in America.  Also, a historian reveals the surprising method many early New Englanders used to pass correspondence from colony to colony: Native American couriers.

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

Koshy Koshy | Sea Turtle via flickr Creative Commons / Birds: flic.kr/p/cdLdas | Bees: flic.kr/p/dgg8w4

Social media sites are teeming with sexual imagery, jokes, and questionable content. Yet their official policies prevent sex-ed organizations from crafting a message that might actually resonate with the people who need it.

On today’s show, are social media sites censoring sex-ed?  Plus, our series Good Gig continues with a lighting pro who’s illuminated everything from Olympic ceremonies to Super Bowl half-time shows.  

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

Wikimedia Commons

We’ve seen this dance before: presidential hopefuls stumping in New Hampshire. On today’s show, we’ll talk to the official candidate from the Transhumanist Party who says we need a new political party and new tactics for the issues of our time.

Then, Jackie Robinson’s major league debut was an obvious, watershed moment in America’s troubled racial history. But we’ll look at a lesser known moment for American civil rights: breaking NASA’s color barrier and the story of the first African Americans in the space program.

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

Dave via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/4rTLFX

Valentine’s Day is this weekend and couples in love are expected to spend in the billions, but spending by singles may have even greater revenue potential. On today’s show, a look at China’s anti-Valentine’s holiday: Singles' Day and how it became the largest online shopping day in the world.

Then, from clamshell razors to electrolysis, humans have gone to great lengths to achieve a smooth, clean shave. We’ll take a look at the history of hair removal, and what it reveals about shifting views of racial and social status in the U.S. 

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

Ed Yourdon via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/bcz7De

Last month’s announcement that the U.S. and Cuba will restore diplomatic relations sparked waves of speculation about what the thaw means for diplomacy, trade, and tourism. On today’s show: what normalized relations mean for Cuba’s internet infrastructure.  

And we usher in awards season by going off the red carpet. We’ll celebrate some of the best films of 2014 that were not nominated for a Golden Globe.

Plus, we kick off a new series on offbeat college courses, The Uncommon Core. Today: Invented Languages: Klingon and Beyond.

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

L: Blake Patterson R: The Verge / flic.kr/p/8Z7VsR | bit.ly/1pMBf6S

In the early days of the internet, millions flocked to chat rooms to connect with like minds – and bodies -- the world over. But the group chat was soon replaced by Facebook and Twitter…or was it? On today’s show, the group chat makes a comeback.

Then, western history is dominated by stories of great men and women, but we rarely hear about those who helped them along the way. We’ll unearth history’s secret sidekicks: from the man who encouraged Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. to embrace pacifism, to Julia Warhol, who set her son Andy on a path to the art world.

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

It was only days after Shawn Jasper won the race for State House Speaker that Twitter had a new user: @SpeakerJasper. There was only one catch: the Twitter user Speaker Jasper wasn’t the actual Speaker Jasper. (The official Twitter account used by the last few speakers, including Jasper, is @NHSpeaker.)

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Last week, a GOP staffer resigned after posting a Facebook comment criticizing the President's daughters. Today on Word of Mouth, the history of an unlikely American tradition: publicly judging the children of the White House. Also, the hidden dangers of public Wi-Fi, and the industry secret behind orange juice’s robust flavor.

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

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