sound

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When you hear about prison work programs, you think license plates or chain gangs – not farm-raised Tilapia, or buffalo milk cheese. On today’s show, artisanal foods and other the under-the-radar products made by prisoners for next to nothing.

Plus, a project aims to solve two global problems by turning sewage into drinkable water, and why revulsion may prevent it from becoming a reality. 

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

Sound In Focus

Feb 19, 2015

We have a listening problem. One music teacher is out to conquer it.

Mike Alberici is a music teacher at Maple Street School in Hopkinton, who was awarded the 2015/2016 Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation – an award that grants teachers leave to develop new ideas for classroom teaching, and covers all the costs of doing so.

Iowa Digital Library via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/dg8YuC

While the U.S. leads the world in dental innovation, many Americans are unable to afford basic dental care, and as a result, suffer from health and psychological consequences. On today’s show: the high price of poor teeth.

Then, stretching your artistic muscles has been shown to reduce stress and increase positive thinking, but for many people, being more creative sounds like an arduous task. We’ll talk to an artist who makes a bold case for dropping the excuses, and picking up the sketchpad.

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

mbeo via flickr Creative Commons

Some people spend their vacations relaxing on a beach, others visit museums and fine restaurants. On today’s show we go off the beaten path to look into nuclear tourism. A science writer visits the site of the Chernobyl disaster, and finds it not the wasteland you may expect.

Plus, from walk sign buttons that don’t reflect reality to digital signs over-estimating wait times at amusement parks, we’ll consider why technology is sometimes designed to give us the illusion of control.

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

When it comes to rigid safeguards against the Ebola virus, New York’s governor says “Better safe than sorry”. But what happens when panic inflates the price of public safety? On today’s show, calculating the cost of over-reaction.

We’ll also explore how the power of sound can make or break an experience. When the ad agency for Royal Caribbean chose a lively, catchy tune for a series of commercials for the cruise line, it didn’t exactly match the wholesome, fun loving image they were trying to promote. 

Then, we’ll speak with the Israeli musician known as Kutiman, about crafting an album made entirely of unrelated sound samples from YouTube videos.

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

Change The Sound, Change The Mood

Oct 27, 2014
Alexis Gordon via flickr Creative Commons

When we spoke to Joel Beckerman about his new book Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel, and Buy, we couldn't help but think of the movie trailer. Designed to show only the best parts of a movie, a trailer's job is to convince you to pay the price of admission, and give you a sense of the movie. Movie trailer directors artfully use sound to create a mood in just a few short minutes. So what happens when you change the sound?

betmari via flickr Creative Commons

The ad agency for Royal Caribbean chose a lively, catchy tune for a series of commercials for the cruise line, but it didn’t exactly match the wholesome, fun loving image they were trying to promote. On today’s show we’ll explore how the power of sound can make or break an experience. Then, we’ll speak with the Israeli musician known as Kutiman, about crafting an album made entirely of unrelated sound samples from YouTube videos.

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

Sierra Leone is one of many places I traveled to throughout my career of making radio and sound and stories, and one of the topics of a talk I’m giving at Next Stage in Putney, Vermont on Monday, March 31. The talk is called “Listening Beneath the Noise”.  Whether in post-conflict zones in West Africa and the Balkans, working with kids in America’s urban environment, or discovering new ideas here on Word of Mouth, I’ve come to consider listening to be a kind of lifeline.

(Image by An Orchard Away via Flickr)

Last week, after we aired a segment on creative methods of discouraging teenage loitering, listener Jennifer Army sent us the following email: