Brian Wilkins via Flickr CC /

Last month China ended its controversial one-child policy – but is the change as radical as it’s been made out to be by officials and news outlets? Today, a reporter on China's new "two-child policy"... and why the country really needs to focus on sex-ed. Plus, Millennials are sometimes derided as a generation slacktivists, and don't have the spending power of their elders – but non-profits are betting on them for the future. From socially conscious spending, to gimmicky donation challenges, we explore how Millennials are changing the face of charitable giving.

11.11.15: Veterans Day

Nov 11, 2015
kataaca via Flickr CC /

Since World War II, as many as 100,000 service members have been “less than honorably discharged” for being gay. Now, four years after the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” gay vets look to change the record. Today, what goes into rewriting history. And prior to the Civil War, images of battle were the stuff of legends and mystery – then came the photographs of Alexander Gardner. Plus, other stories about our nation’s veterans. 

Aleks via Flickr CC /

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. 

Sean Hurley

For the last ten years, photographer Chris Whiton has been combing through old guide books, hundred year old newspapers, and even modern maps to find lost waterfalls in the New Hampshire wilderness.  Some of them used to be located on old trails long since abandoned.  

7.05.15: Celebrating the American Legacy

Jul 3, 2015
Logan Shannon for NHPR

Historians often interpret the Civil War in terms of important battles, and number of lives lost. But what about  food? Today, we explore a history of the war through the lens of a cookbook. Then, a man who decided to do what nobody has done in more than a century ... cross the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon. Finally, the 4th of July marks the annual Mountain Men Revival in Pinedale, Wyoming. There, dozens of rugged-looking men wearing animal skins shake off the yoke of civilization, tether their horses to trees, make camp, and join others over grilled buffalo meat.

6.30.15: Pop Songs, The Steel Wheels & Mountain Men

Jun 30, 2015
RubySky Photography /

According to a recent analysis, pop music is getting stupider.  Today, we ask a critic whether music has to be smart to be good. Plus, Merril Garbus of tUnE-yArDs offers a firsthand look at what goes into a catchy hook. And, a member of the mountain string band Steel Wheels explains how flatpicking master Doc Watson moved him give up punk music and pick up the banjo. 

Colleen P. via flickr Creative Commons /

It was a long hard winter – but temperatures are finally climbing and bird song is erupting across New Hampshire. Today is Bird Day and we’ll talk about the sounds of spring migration – and hear how you can keep traveling birds from flying into your windows. Plus, an amateur photographer and creator of the #WorstBirdPic Meme comes to terms with the fact that 99% of his bird photos are blurry.

And two spring traditions come together in a new project that’s just sprouted at Fenway Park: an organic rooftop garden. 

Logan Shannon / NHPR

As schools across the country struggle to meet the new national common core standards, one controversial aspect of education is not part of the curriculum: sex education. On today’s show, the evolving debate around sex ed, which is not strictly an American phenomenon.

Then, parental leave has been shown to benefit infant health and early development, but Jennifer Senior argues that if we truly care about our kids’ well-being, the policy should not stop after the first 12 weeks.

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

Tiffany Quimby / NHPR

A couple of months ago, we talked to Greg Beck – the creator of a counter-intuitive photo app called The White Album, which basically turns your smartphone into a disposable camera. Here's how it works: when you open the app a simple camera interface opens up. 

Mikko Tarvainen via flickr Creative Commons /

Parental leave has been shown to benefit infant health and early development, but Jennifer Senior argues that if we truly care about our kids’ well-being, the policy should not stop after the first 12 weeks. On today’s show, the case for taking parental leave when kids are teenagers. 

Plus, we wax nostalgic for the days of the one-hour photo and test a new app that turns your smart phone into a disposable camera.

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

Ever fantasized about living on a lush tropical island?  Would you settle for a long cold winter on a rugged rock 6 miles off the coast of Portsmouth?  For the last 18 years, photographer Alexandra De Steiguer has done just that as the lone winter caretaker of Star Island.  NHPR's Sean Hurley paid her a visit and sends us this.

On our first attempt to leave the harbor for Star Island, the muffler was frozen and the Miss Julie, a 29 foot lobster boat, wouldn't start.  

Dave via flickr Creative Commons /

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.

National Geographic: The Covers

Dec 1, 2014
Courtesy of National Geographic

The cover of National Geographic magazine is iconic: you can pick the magazine out on the rack from just a glimpse of that particular shade of yellow. A yellow border so iconic that it acts as National Geographic's print and media logo. Inside that yellow frame is often a photographic glimpse into another world, another person's life and those photographs are what makes Nat Geo the icon it is today.

heipei via flickr Creative Commons

From the Afghan girl with startling green eyes to the ghostly wreckage of the Titanic, there’s just something about the iconic covers of National Geographic that burns into our collective memory. On today’s show: we get an insider’s view of the cover selection process.

Then, from microscopic lenses to compact cameras, the digital age has upped the ante for nature photographers and opened the door for whole new levels of disruption and manipulation. We’ll ponder the ethics of wildlife photography.

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

Good Gig: Photographer David Murray

Nov 26, 2014
© David J. Murray /

Photographer David Murray started his career as a professional photographer after he retired from his 30-year career in Silicon Valley. As the principal house photographer for The Music Hall in Portsmouth he has photographed musicians, dancers, and writers among others.

Much of his work involves capturing candid moments, moments when performers don’t even know he’s looking at them through the lens of his camera

Turkey: Steve Voght Snowy Scence: ingrid eulenfan / via flickr Creative Commons

For many, Thanksgiving is a time to pull out those tried-and-true family recipes, but why not try something new this year? On today’s show,  new approaches to thanksgiving dinner, from dry brining your turkey to spatchcocking 101. And our series Good Gig, conversations with people who have landed their dream job, continues with a professional photographer who has captured the live performances of everyone from Herbie Hancock to Tony Bennett. Plus, a look at efforts to bring an endangered Native American language back from the brink.

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

© 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.

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.

10.28.14: Ghost Towns

Oct 28, 2014
Nick Kenrick via flickr Creative Commons

From the dusty towns of the old west, to the empty mills of the east, there’s just something about abandoned places and the stories they leave behind. Today’s Word of Mouth is all about ghost towns, from neglected Olympic villages to forgotten websites.

We’ll also hear the story of a small town in northern Maine where the ghost of a sea captain is said to roam.

And we’ll visit a ghost town in North Carolina that hit the jackpot when it was transformed into District 12 from Suzanne Collins dystopian novel, The Hunger Games.

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

Adam Woodworth /

The Aurora Borealis may be visible from all or part of New Hampshire tonight. Although Auroras are difficult to predict, reports the solar flare’s strength and timing make sightings more likely.  Adam Woodworth is a Seacoast photographer and an expert in landscape astro photography. His long-exposure photograph of the Aurora, above, was taken in Southern Maine last year.

Woodworth is following the Aurora closely today and has these tips for citizen stargazers:

6.28.14: Summer Is Here, Get Outside!

Jun 28, 2014
Logan Shannon / NHPR

So long spring, hello summer! Today on Word of Mouth, we head to the great outdoors, starting with the American playground, and how it’s evolved from a place of physical challenges to ultra-safe environment with short slides, and all soft surfaces. Then we’ll hit a different kind of playground for New Hampshire scavengers: the transfer station, or as it known in less polite circles, the dump.

Peter Essick / Ansel Adams' Wilderness

The outdoors have provided wonder and fascination for millennia. Ansel Adams captured this in his photographs. Playgrounds have inspired this in children the world over. Even transfer stations, what many people mistakenly think are the last stop for the worn out, run down and used, are full of treasures. You just have to know how to look.

4.29.14: The Great Outdoors

Apr 29, 2014
solidether via flickr Creative Commons

"Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." - Albert Einstein, 1951

Ah, the great outdoors. A place for life, death, and seemingly infinite inspiration. Today's Word of Mouth is all about the outdoors: capturing its beauty through photography, creating its beauty through manipulation, and rediscovering its beauty in the most unlikely places. Join us for a walk through the wild then share your thoughts on our Facebook and Twitter.

To see a slideshow inspired by today's show, click here

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

OldOnliner via flickr Creative Commons

Today on Word of Mouth we wrap up our series Rethink 2014 with, perhaps, the most difficult concept …death. Then we delve into a discussion about the possible disruption of wildlife photography and ethical practice. Finally, Ben Bradlee, Jr. shares revelations on a Boston Red Sox player: Ted Williams. Listen to the full audio and scroll down to read more on individual segments.

Matt Mendelsohn

There’s a lot of pressure on a wedding photographer, after all the expense and attention to planning the day, the photographer is charged with capturing all of it -- the fleeting expressions, the flattering angles and happy guests – images that reinforce the undisputable rightness of a couple’s decision to unite. But it’s just the beginning of a union. Only when the guests have gone home and the camera’s been put away does marriage begin in earnest.

Matt Mendelsohn is a writer and professional photographer of more than 450 weddings since 1999.  Matt explores the meaning of marriage by reconnecting with five couples whose weddings he photographed years before, to find out whether they’re relationships have grown, evolved, or ended.

©Diane Cook and Len Jenshel/National Geographic

Tumbleweeds rolling? Must be a western. The cinematic signal of high plains desolation has an even more pernicious side: it’s an invasive species known as Russian Thistle, and it’s wreaking havoc across the United States. George Johnson is a writer based in Santa Fe, and a regular contributor to National Geographic, where he wrote about fighting the tumbleweed menace in his own backyard. To see more photos click here.

Andre Rosa

New Hampshire is known for its White Mountains and maple syrup. But one local artist would like to add another pair of regional highlights to that list: covered bridges and drag queens.

Andre Rosa is an artist and software engineer working out of Manchester. He’s just recently funded a photo calendar through Kickstarter and joins us to talk about the project.

Ryann Ford

For the past fifty-three years, rest areas have offered weary travelers a place to pull off and pause and maybe even learn a little local history. Traditional rest areas are disappearing across the country… Louisiana for example, has already closed twenty-four of its thirty-four stops. Ryann Ford is a photographer whose work has been featured in the New York Times and Texas Monthly. She’s been trying to capture these doomed rest areas with her camera… before they disappear. Her project is called “Rest Stops: Vanishing Relics of the American Roadside.”

© Don McCullin, courtesy of Hamiltons Gallery, London.

America’s ambivalence about the Vietnam conflict began with the photograph of a monk, engulfed in flames, sinking to the pavement on a Saigon street, and another image, capturing the moment a uniformed officer fires a bullet into the head of a man in a plaid shirt, and still later, a naked girl,  screaming as she runs from a cloud of black smoke.

These iconic pictures are among those collected in “Visual Dispatches from the Vietnam War” on view at the Currier Museum of Art until November 11. The show’s curator, Kurt Sundstrom, talked with us about the show and its groundbreaking images.

iStock Photo

E - The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is nature photography good or bad for the environment? – Cal Moss, Camden, ME