rethink2014

Word of Mouth
3:13 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

2.5.14: Rethink 2014 Recap

Credit Sara Plourde

Word of Mouth's Rethink 2014 series began with a quote by one of the most notable rethinkers of the 20th century: Albert Einstein. Host Virginia Prescott was struck by one particular piece of the theoretical physicist's wisdom: "Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age 18." Are those prejudices inherited or chosen, and what if we were given alternative ideas? Inspired, Virginia and her Word of Mouth colleagues sought out current rethinkers of popular beliefs. Today, we're revisiting the most resonant Rethinks. Listen to the full show and click Read more for links to individual segments. 

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Word of Mouth
2:18 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

LastingMatters: Conversations About Death

Credit Kaity Hemgesberg via flickr Creative Commons

Discussing death should be no laughing matter. Nor should it be easy, pressure-free, and light-hearted, right? Well, according to Barbara Sedoricfounder of LastingMatters, talking about death doesn't need to be somber, and it does need to happen.

In October of 2012, she created Boo's Bucket List Blog, her first ever, with the idea of starting a conversation about death. From there, her posts have covered everything from end of life conversations, funeral planning, and bucket lists.

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Word of Mouth
1:53 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

1.30.14: Rethinking Death, Ethics of Wildlife Photography & Ted Williams

Credit 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.

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Word of Mouth
1:44 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Rethink 2014: Sex and Relationships

Credit Matt Romack Photography via Flickr Creative Commons

For centuries, marriage functioned as a political, practical, and economical union, depending on your station in life. For the aristocrats, a good marriage secured fortunes and position. For common folk, it meant having enough kids to work a farm. It is only in the last 100 years or so that the idea of a passionate marriage took hold of the popular imagination. Today, most of us are less worried about basic survival and can focus more on what we desire in a union. Usually a healthy, dynamic, secure, relationship that is predictable, but not when it comes to sex, which people want to be anything but staid and predicable. Our guest is Esther Perel, she's based her career on how to unite those conflicting desires. She’s a psychologist, sex therapist and author who specializes in couples and sexuality. Her TED talk (watch it below) on “The Secret to Desire in a Long-term Relationship” has over 2 million views. Her bestselling book is called “Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic.

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Word of Mouth
1:09 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Rethink 2014: Reframing Alcoholism

Credit Sara Plourde

The centers for disease control and prevention recently reported that doctors don’t adequately warn patients about the dangers of drinking. CDC director Dr. Thomas Frieden said, “there are at least 38 million Americans who have problems with alcohol. For every alcoholic, there are six people who drink too much to the point where it adversely affects their lives”. Our guest is Lance Brendan Young, he argues the problem doesn’t begin in the doctor’s office, but dates back to 1849 when the term “alcoholism” was first described as a chronic, relapsing disease. Lance is assistant professor of communication at Western Illinois University and has researched and written extensively on the language used to frame alcohol abuse. He doesn’t think the condition should be treated as a disease 

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Word of Mouth
12:53 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Rethink 2014: TED Talks

Credit Sara Plourde

Since its inception in 1984, the annual TED conference has grown to attract the likes like Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall and many other big-name speakers . Today, TED talks routinely go viral across social media platforms, and the concept has multiplied into countless international TED Global and regional TEDx events, and even spawned an NPR program, the TED-radio hour.  Despite that undeniable success, our guest Benjamin Bratton spoke at a recent San Diego TEDx event and dared to ask whether the ideas presented at TED really are worth spreading.

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Word of Mouth
1:38 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Rethink 2014: Endangered Species

Credit Sara Plourde

Consider the Giant Panda. Cute, fuzzy, and available for your 24/7 viewing pleasure on the National Zoo’s ‘Panda Cam’. It’s in the top five most popular species for conservation. But what about the endangered species that make your skin crawl, like the St. Lucia Racer Snake, or the Lord Howe Island Stick-Insect? Our guest is Christine Dell'Amore, environment writer and editor for National Geographic News. She asks the uncomfortable question of how do we decide which species to save as part of Nat Geo’s online series called “Last of the Last.”

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Word of Mouth
1:35 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Rethink 2014: Teens and Technology

Credit Sara Plourde

Teenagers are the most tech-savviest among us with their heads glued to their screens, posting stylized selfies on Instagram and compulsively checking Facebook. Or are they? Our guest Cliff Watson challenged our conceptions about the digitally-driven lives of teens. “Teens aren’t abandoning ‘social,’ he writes in an article for Medium, “they’re just using the word correctly.”

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Word of Mouth
1:21 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Rethink 2014: Journalism

Credit Sara Plourde

Last month the satirical newspaper The Onion issued its final print edition under the typically deadpan headline: “Onion Print Revenues Up 5000%”. Traditional news publications, which have cutback on reporters and budgets, or ceased printing altogether, have found little to laugh about. Today, long-form news stories do not even begin to compete with adorable cat and baby videos, but before we all drink hemlock or stare at the gloomy list of publications on Newspaper Death Watch, there could be a a light at the end of the tunnel. Today, we continue our series “Rethink 2014” with a new approach to long-form journalism with Steve Kandell, long-form editor at Buzzfeed.

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Word of Mouth
2:04 pm
Mon January 6, 2014

Rethink 2014: Conservation

Credit Sara Plourde

We’re beginning this new year with “Re-think 2014”, conversations and stories that challenge our assumptions, habits and ways of doing things.

We’re kicking off “Re-think 2014” with Fred Pearce, environment consultant for New Scientist magazine.  His article, “How Beer Money Helped Save a Nation’s Water Supply” appeared in Conservation Magazine. It’s an example of a conglomerate upending the business-as-usual model of pursuing profits no matter the environmental and human costs. In this case – helping to protect an essential natural resource for its own manufacturing, and the people of Columbia.

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