Listening to Word of Mouth's Saturday broadcast is like sitting around a campfire and chatting with a bunch of super-smart, super-interesting people. So go sharpen a stick, grab your bag of marshmallows and pull up a log - here's what's coming up this hour:
The Science of Superstition: Psychologist Stuart Vyseexplains the collective power of the Red Sox beards.
MORE COWBELL!!! From Strauss to Def Leppard, writer Lori Rotenberk traces the musical history of the cowbell.
A Grimm Cinderella Story: Author Adam Gidwitz shares the original gruesome version of the classic fairy tale, and explains why Disney has done the Brothers Grimm a disservice.
#NoFilter: Brian Ries, social media guru for The Daily Beast, on how a growing number of private dealers are legally selling guns on Instagram.
WHEN JELLYFISH ATTACK! They're clogging nuclear reactors, capsizing ships, wiping out fish populations, and causing cerebral hemorrhages... So basically, jellyfish are scarier than sharks. There, I said it. Quartz reporter Gwynn Guilford explains.
As Instagram passes its third birthday, a small but growing community of users are beginning to utilize the website for the private exchange of goods. Two million of the site’s annual photo uploads are items being put up for sale, with the actual negotiations taking place via comment threads and private messages.
Among the many items being legally sold through Instagram are firearms. Brian Ries is Senior Social Media Editor at The Daily Beast and joins us to explain.
Humans are vastly more social than most other mammals. Neuroscientists point to the development of our social brain as key to the survival of our species; early humans survived by cooperating with each other in the rearing of children, by hunting in bands, by organizing night watches. A battery of research reveals that people still need people.
In July, NPR host Scott Simon started tweeting from the Chicago hospital room where his mother, Patricia, landed after complications from surgery. For the next week, Scott tweets became a real-time record of her decline for his more than 1.2 million followers on twitter. His raw, often bittersweet posts went viral among celebrities, media outlets and strangers drawn by his example of public grief.
The extraordinary response to Scott’s twitter vigil stirred up conversations about the taboo topic of death in America – and a debate on social media’s place in mourning. Paul Bisceglioedits the online literary magazine The Land That I Live. He wrote about how social media is changing the way we approach death for The Atlantic.
More and more, police are using social media as a way to connect directly to residents in their communities. But as NHPR’s Michael Brindleyreports, the Manchester police department has yet to join the ranks of agencies on Facebook and other popular sites.
From the moment the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to hospital yesterday in the early stages of labor, the whole world was watching. Not literally of course – but if the Royal Family allowed cameras in the delivery room, you can probably bet we would have been.
Egyptian troops fired on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in Cairo last week. In June, anti-government protests in Turkey were broken up by what the Council of Europe deemed to be excessive force. In Brazil, weeks of demonstrations climaxed on June 21, when millions spilled onto the streets in more than 100 cities. More than 180,000 citizen-made videos captured the throngs in Brazil alone and some were uploaded to support charges of undue police violence made by Amnesty International and other civil rights groups. As amateur media grows increasingly integrated into protest coverage, software developed by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley could support and protect activists against unjust persecution. Called the “Rashomon Project,” the program synchronizes films taken from multiple angles to creating a complete timeline that could to be used as evidence of abuse during human rights trials. Ken Goldberg is professor of engineering at UC Berkeley and leader of the Rashomon Project, and he spoke with us about the project.
Our sunniest content of the week, all in one smart and snazzy hour. This week, misogyny online, the return of legal internet poker, an app that proves you're on a public beach, surprising summer reads, and a photographer's documentation of vanishing highway rest stops.
With names like “Fork in the Road”, “Viva La Waffle” and “Truckin’ Good Food”, colorful food trucks have proliferated across American cities over the last decade. Thanks in part to the explosion of social media, which is rapidly changing the way we buy, cook, and learn about food. Baylen Linnekin is the founder and executive director of the advocacy group ‘Keep Food Legal.' He also created and taught the class “Foodways 2.0: Social Media, Food Trucks and Underground Food”, at American University. AU first offered the course last fall.
Our favorite content from Word of Mouth's weekday show...all wrapped up in one gratifying and glam program.
This week: The emerging forum for high school confessions on Facebook; a sunny picture for the relationship success of online daters; a documentary looks at the life of experiential journalist George Plimpton; Dr. Who's potential recast as a woman; and Glam Rock...it matters more than you know.
As farming takes off for a new generation of hip young homesteaders, beautifully crafted farm photos have made an impression in digital media – who hasn’t seen an adorably old-fashioned photo of sun-drenched pasture on Facebook… or a picturesque sunrise over a dewy, field of grazing grass-fed livestock on Instagram?
As a goat farmer and freelance photographer based in Vermont, Stephanie Fisher worries her own idyllic farm photos might be sugarcoating a job that’s often tougher than it looks. She spoke with word of mouth producer Taylor Quimby about her recent article in Modern Farmer, “The Side of Farming You Won’t See on Facebook”.
We’ve found yet another reason to be wary of what you post on Facebook. Potential employers, college admissions officers and vigilant parents are among the entities that monitor the personal information, photos, and links we choose to share on social media. Add to that list credit bureaus and payment processing companies wanting to verify identity and assess credit-worthiness. Neal Ungerleider is a reporter for Fast Companyand someone we regularly turn to for the stranger side of business news. He recently reported on this new twist in the evolving social media story, and discussed it further with us.
Time for a high school confessional…the digital edition. Teenagers and young adults often get stern warnings against over-sharing on social media…one incriminating photo or post could torpedo a college or job application, after all. Now, students across America are turning to online confession pages – anonymous forums for relaying painful experiences, grievances, and the baring of souls. The appeal of anonymity and ease of use found on Facebook makes confession pages extremely popular among young adults. For example, UNH’s Facebook confession page has more than sixty-four hundred followers. Justine Sharrock is West Coast editor at Buzzfeed.com; she joined us to talk about high school confession pages.