science

Word of Mouth
3:00 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

11.12.14: Bacterial "Fingerprints", The Seedy Underworld Of Kickboxing, & The Whiteness Project

Home is where the microbes are.
Credit Illustration by Renee Carlson/Argonne National Laboratory / via flickr Creative Commons

The fingerprint was once law enforcement’s “smoking gun”, next came DNA evidence. Now, scientists are researching another bio-marker that may be able to tell us even more about a crime scene. On today’s show, we’ll find out what a perp’s microbiome reveals after they leave the room.

Plus, after Ferguson, President Obama said that the nation seriously needs a conversation about race. A filmmaker asks: is dialogue possible if America’s most privileged race can’t clearly see itself? What does it mean to be white?

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

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Word of Mouth
1:33 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

11.4.14: Winners & Losers

Credit Garry Night via flickr Creative Commons

While we can’t predict the outcome of the midterm elections, two things are certain: there will be winners and there will be losers.  Today’s show is all about winning and losing, starting with the brain chemistry of champions. And we’ll examine the victors and the vanquished in the natural world through the parasite-host relationship.

Plus, we’ll take a look back at political losers throughout history, including Samuel Tilden, who never got over his loss to Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876.

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

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All Things Considered
3:47 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Granite Geek: New Hampshire Archaeology Up To And (Maybe) Including America’s Stonehenge

Whatever the history of America's Stonehenge may be, you have to admit this is the best sign you're going to see on the internet today.
Credit Michelle Souliere via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/DtUCm

Ancient archaeology is the kind of thing that, with the right find, can quickly capture the public’s attention and fascination.

And yet a New Hampshire group that studies ancient stone structures is turning 50 this week – and few Granite Staters have heard of it.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

What's Next For The Electric Car?

Watson Collins with his Chevy Volt
Credit James Pouliot / NHPR

With charging stations expanding across New England, including a new super-charger coming to Portsmouth, this niche automobile market is growing.  We’ll dig into the science of electric cars: how they work, new technology to expand their range, and why – depending on where you live – they may not be as green as you might think.

(originally broadcast August 4, 2014)

GUESTS:

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu October 16, 2014

The Sky Guys On Mars: From Rovers And Orbiters To Human Settlement

Faith Meixell NHPR

In recent years, the Red Planet has been bombarded with space craft, rovers, observers, orbiters and studied intently from here on Earth.  But the idea of human boots on Mars has remained in the realm of science fiction. Now though, serious planning is underway, for missions and even colonies there, and possibly much sooner than you might think. (digital post by Faith Meixell)

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Word of Mouth
1:54 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

10.15.14: Are Milgram's Torture Experiments Still Valid & The Gift Of Adversity

Ontario Science Centre: Milgram's Electric Box
Credit Isabelle via flickr Creative Commons

In the early sixties, social psychologist Stanley Milgram tested the limits of humans’ obedience to authority with an actor, an unsuspecting volunteer and a fake electroshock machine. On today’s show: the experiment that stunned the world and the repercussions Dr. Milgram faced as a result. 

Then, we’ve all heard the self-help mantra: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Turns out, there may be some truth behind it. A psychiatrist explores the benefits of adversity.

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

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Word of Mouth
12:00 pm
Mon October 13, 2014

10.13.14: How Actors Create Characters & Five Billion Years Of Solitude

Credit Sara Robertson via flickr Creative Commons

As the air grows colder, we leave behind the hot summer blockbusters, and move to more serious films, many of which will be vying heavily for award show attention. On today’s show we go behind the spotlight to examine the art of how actors create characters. Then, we’ll explore the next frontier: exo-solar planets.  The search for planets outside our solar system – with the idea that discovering one just like ours – is a real possibility.

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

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Word of Mouth
1:10 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

10.6.14: Inside The Secret Senate Handbook & Supernatural Destinations Around the World

Credit hillary h via flickr Creative Commons

USA Today recently published the U.S. Senate handbook, a 380 page document of rules intended to keep Senate offices running smoothly. On today’s show, from carpet color to telephone hold music, we reveal the handbook’s most confounding regulations.

Plus, ‘tis the season of ghosts, witches, and vampires. We’ll explore how cultures around the world interpret the supernatural.

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

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Word of Mouth
1:53 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

9.30.14: Preserving The Moon & Why Men Need To Make More Friends

The Moon is just super.
Credit Davide De Col via flickr Creative Commons

As more and more countries plan their future lunar missions, the question becomes, who gets to decide what happens to the evidence of past missions that has remained perfectly preserved on the surface of the moon? We'll hear from a space law expert and an anthropologist about plans to preserve America's lunar legacy. Plus, a sociology professor thinks that men need to make more friends. A study published by the American Sociological Review found that white, heterosexual men have the fewest friends of any American demographic – which may be why the 'bro-mance' movies like I Love You, Man hit so close to home.

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

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All Things Considered
10:46 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Granite Geek: Ultraviolet Light For A Better Human-Wildlife Relationship (Maybe)

Ultraviolet light is outside the visible spectrum for humans, but not for wildlife. That may help prevent aircraft bird strikes and other problems between people and wildlife.
Credit Hadley Paul Garland via Flickr/CC http://ow.ly/C7DIV

Humans can't see ultraviolet light - but many types of wildlife can. And a man in Nashua is researching whether that difference may help humans and wildlife better co-exist in the future.

David Brooks writes the weekly GraniteGeek science column for the Nashua Telegraph and Granite Geek.org.

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Word of Mouth
12:29 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

9.22.14: Objects In The Future Will Be 'Enchanted' & Nuclear Tourism

The Living Room of the Future! From the 1979 book Future Cities: Homes and Living into the 21st Century
Credit Matt Novak via flickr Creative Commons

In Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001 A Space Odyssey, future technologies take center stage in the form of Hal 9000, a sentient, yet sinister, computer aboard the spacecraft Discovery One. On today’s show, an instructor at the MIT Media Lab envisions a brighter future, in which the interaction between humans and technology will be useful, and even playful. 

Plus, a science writer plays nuclear tourist and visits the site of the Chernobyl disaster, where he finds some surprising imagery.

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

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All Things Considered
5:45 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

A 16-Year-Old Inventor Finds A Greener Way To Clean Water

Deepika Kurup of Nashua shows off samples of the composites she's developed for water purification. These composites use solar energy to filter water in a way Kurup says is greener and more cost-effective than traditional methods of purifying water.
Credit Brady Carlson, NHPR

A 16 year old inventor from New Hampshire has caught the attention of federal environmental officials.

Deepika Kurup of Nashua has won a President’s Environmental Youth Award from the White House Council on Environmental Quality and the Environmental Protection Agency for her work in finding sustainable ways to purify water.

She joined us to talk about her invention.

How does this method that you’ve developed work?

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Granite Geek
3:56 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Granite Geek: Flywheels In Vacuums For The Electric Grid (And Why It Might Not Be Crazy)

Imagine a flywheel like this, made of heavy carbon fiber, spinning in a vacuum and transmitting power to smooth out the grid. No wonder the Granite Geek says this power project is "just so cool."
Credit Jonathan Haeber via Flickr/CC http://ow.ly/AKBvK

There are lots of ways to make and transmit electricity – solar energy hitting photovoltaic panels. Or causing turbines to spin with wind, or fossil fuels.

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Word of Mouth
2:16 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

8.19.14: Narcissism, Selfies, & New Hampshire's Big Break

Credit W10002 via Flickr CC

  Anyone who has taken a personality test knows that they tend to be long, indepth, and even invasive. But today we discover how a group of researchers is testing levels of narcissism with one simple question. And, we’ll look into what an inflated sense of self means for society at large. Then, a philosopher and ethicist joins us to discuss the delicate balance between confidence and vanity in the age of the selfie. Plus, New Hampshire has a bigger role in cinema than you may have realized. We look at what roles put our state on the map.

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


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Word of Mouth
1:56 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

8.18.14: The Truth About Organ Transplants & The Secret Shame Of Back Hair

Credit istolethetv via Flickr CC

 As long as transplants have been medically possible, there have been horror stories about the black market organ trade.  Today, an anthropologist sheds the trappings of academia to take on, and even indict, illegal organ brokers.  Plus, a less frightening example removing body parts – we’ll investigate the growing controversy behind men who shave, wax, or Nair their backs. And now, some hairy men are fighting back against a standard of beauty few of us even knew existed. Plus, the future is now – we investigate an algae powered building that actually works.

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


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Word of Mouth
1:27 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

8.14.14: All About Language

Credit Taylor Quimby

Prove it, learned behavior, survival of the fittest, organic produce… scientific terminology is part of our common language, but are we using the terms correctly? Today is all about language: starting with our frequent misuse of scientific terms. Plus, France’s government is banning English words like ‘fast-food’ and ‘hashtag’ in the name of cultural preservation…we find out why the words are unlikely to disappear from the vernacular anytime soon. And, deaf Americans who work in science have a unique challenge – helping to develop a scientific vocabulary for sign language.

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

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Science
4:23 pm
Mon August 11, 2014

Dartmouth Physics Professor Working To Solve Mystery Key To Quantum Computing

Credit CybherHades via Flickr CC

Some of the biggest technology companies in the world are on a chase for what some consider the holy grail of the information age: Quantum computing. And some of that research is going on right there in New Hampshire. But one big challenge is to get the quantum bits to dance how we want them to. 

Before getting too high-tech, let's go back to 1938. A brilliant physicist, an Italian named Ettore Majorana, withdraws all his money from a bank and boards a boat. Then, somewhere between Palermo and Naples, he vanishes without a trace.

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Word of Mouth
1:02 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Sex In The Wild: The Cliffnotes

Credit dicktay2000 via Flickr CC

Dr. Joy Reidenberg caught us up on the new PBS series she hosts, Sex in the Wild. She brought some crazy stories and fun facts with her, the best of which we’ve compiled here. We’ll add a quick warning: Dr.

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Word of Mouth
1:00 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

7.22.14: Sex In The Wild, Chuck Klosterman Tackles Villainy, And The First Fireworks

Credit blieusong via Flickr CC

Today, we have a conversation with an anatomist behind a new PBS series that puts the lens on mammals who reproduce under extreme circumstances, like dolphins. And if you think it’s tough for mammals to find a mate, try finding one in the vast ocean when you’re a nearly microscopic crustacean. We’ll look into the mating rituals of copepods. And then, a different sort of nature when Chuck Klosterman tells us more about the traits of villainy.

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


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Word of Mouth
12:59 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

7.08.14: Misused Science Terms, Women's Prisons, And Mental Illness In The NBA

Credit various brennemans via Flickr Creative Commons

Prove it, innate, survival of the fittest, organic… scientific terminology is part of our everyday language, but are we using the terms correctly? Today we’re testing the theory of misusing scientific terms. And, with the state breaking ground on a new women’s prison next month, we’ll consider whether the specific needs of female inmates can be addressed by re-thinking prison design. Then, mental illness creates a stigma that is almost impossible to erase, even for sports celebrities. We wonder: why isn’t Delonte West in the NBA?

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Word of Mouth
11:39 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Word Of Mouth Voted Best N.H. Radio Talk Show

Our brand new badge of honor.

We are so proud to have been voted Best New Hampshire Radio Talk Show by the readers of New Hampshire Magazine.

Six years after launching Word of Mouth, we still feel like upstarts and appreciate our listeners coming through. Thank you!  It's pleasure to bring you stories that spark curiosity and wonder about the world around us, and will continue spreading interesting information the best way we know how: through Word of Mouth.

And not only was Word of Mouth voted Best New Hampshire Radio Talk Show, but NHPR was voted Best FM Radio Station!

With all that in mind, here is a look back at some of your favorite Word of Mouth stories from the past year.

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Word of Mouth
1:07 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

6.21.14: The Germ Show

Credit Alexis Chapin

Today on Word of Mouth we're exploring the macro influences of the micro world. First, a conversation with John Timmer about the recently discovered pithovirus which has been sealed in the Siberian permafrost for more than 30 thousand years. Then, a look at a new approach to cleanliness: bacteria-rich body sprays. Plus, Jason DaSilva talks to us about his most recent film about his journey with multiple sclerosis. 

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Word of Mouth
1:18 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

6.19.14: Bonobos, Granite State Music Festival, And Found Footage

Credit Mark Dumont via Flickr Creative Commons

There’s a film festival coming to New Hampshire, but it’s not what you might expect. Instead of featuring independent films by aspiring artists, this festival will screen videos that have been stuffed into storage bins and garbage cans. Today we have a conversation with the curators of the Found Footage Festival. But first, biologist Frans de Waal on altruism, empathy, kindness and ethics among bonobo chimps. Plus, we catch you up with the Granite State Music Festival, coming to Concord this weekend.

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


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Word of Mouth
1:20 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

6.17.14: Jacques Cousteau's Legacy, "OJ, The Musical", And The Price Of Privacy

Kip Evans

Fabien Cousteau hopes to break the record for longest time spent in an underwater lab, and he's well on his way to achieving that goal. He spoke to us from 63 feet below the surface about Mission 31, a research and outreach adventure intended to promote ocean education and conservation. Plus, between online hacking, stored search histories, social media settings, and malware, protecting one’s privacy has become more important, and more complicated than ever. So, how much is our anonymity worth? And finally, there are over 700 different Emojis out there, and plenty of interest groups asking for more. Why, for example, is there no hot dog Emoji? Turns out, the answer is surprisingly complicated.

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


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Granite Geek
5:14 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Granite Geek: Can’t Anything Fight Ticks And Leave Everything Else Alone?

They are one of the least-enjoyed elements of the warm weather landscape in New Hampshire.

Ticks.

They bite. They carry Lyme disease and other nasty illnesses – and they’re pretty creepy looking as well.

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Word of Mouth
3:04 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

6.04.14: The Hygiene Behind Bacteria-Rich Body Sprays, And The Thing In The Spring Hits N.H.

Credit Mike Saechang via Flickr Creative Commons

From hand sanitizers to anti-bacterial soaps, we go to great lengths to keep our skin microbe-free, but is all that scrubbing necessary, or even healthy? Today a look at a new approach to cleanliness: bacteria-rich body sprays. Then, The Thing In The Spring is fast approaching, and we’ll speak with the founder and creative director of the festival about some of the acts hitting the stage in Peterborough. Plus, the film “Snowpiercer” stars two Academy Award winners and is opening the Los Angeles film festival this month. So why is it unlikely to come to a theatre near you?

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


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Granite Geek
1:07 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

Granite Geek: Why Are So Many Gardeners P.M.O. (Pretty Much Organic?)

Credit Robert Bell via Flickr CC

Gardeners are gearing up for this year's growing season, and many New Hampshire gardeners are hoping to grow their vegetables organically this year.

But that term, "organic," doesn't mean that same thing to every gardener.

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Word of Mouth
1:49 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

5.19.14: Civil War Re-enactors, Saving The Wild Apple, and Arsenic In Rice

Credit WalterPro4755 via Flickr Creative Commons

In 1986 there were an estimated 50,000 Civil War re-enactors in the U.S. Since 2000 their ranks have been cut in half. Today on Word of Mouth: the decline of Civil War reenactments, and what drives someone to take on the identity of a 19th century solider. Plus, after millennia of selective breeding, there are now over 3000 known varieties of apple. But, are our beloved Galas and Honeycrisps in peril? Why the extinction of wild apple species in central Asia could spell disaster for their descendants. And, when it comes to rice, why brown may not be the healthier.

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Word of Mouth
1:55 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

5.14.14: The Internet Is Not Killing Religion, Years As Celebrities, And Female Viagra

Credit Unknown, via Wikimedia Commons

Over the past 25 years, the percentage of people with no religious affiliation has more than doubled, at the same time, the internet has been widely embraced. Coincidence? Today on Word of Mouth: does the internet spell the fall of religion? Or is it more of a correlation than a cause? Plus, we peruse the new release section of the bookstore and notice a trend, Catastrophe 1914, 1914: History in an Hour, 1914: Fight the Good Fight. A look into the downside of treating years as celebrities.

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A Matter Of Degrees
1:56 am
Thu May 8, 2014

How STEM Became The 'Buzzword Of The Decade' [VIDEO]

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

If it seems like, these days, everyone is talking about STEM - that now common acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math programs - it's because they are.

In this animated two-way, we take a look at what the push for STEM means for the state - from our public university system, to the State House, and through the business community - and for students.

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