Today on Word of Mouth, we delve into the consequences of solitary confinement. Then a trip to the Internet reveals that cyberspace is chock full of fakes and fails; Photoshopped images can quickly become viral and shared as authentic. But history is full of giant hoaxes, too, as we learn from Nate Dimeo of the Memory Palace Podcast. Then we hear about The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure, which isn’t one of those Darwin Awards-style coffee table books. It’s a real government document that catalogs bribery, graft, and other infractions in the Department of Defense. Finally, NHPR's Sean Hurley visited the Jackson biathlon range - the only dedicated course in New Hampshire - to find out more about this unusual sport.
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While Russia celebrated its history and artistry at the spectacular opening to the Sochi games, protestors of Putin’s anti-gay propaganda laws were being carted off to jail. Today on Word of Mouth, a writer travels to Russia to learn about life for gay people trapped in the iron closet.
Also today, India’s luge champ, Mexico’s royal mariachi ski racer and a few other unlikely heroes to watch for at Sochi. Plus, the book awards chosen by critics who read everything. Listen to the full show here, and scroll down for links and more.
While looking for a photo to illustrate a Word of Mouth story on the history of skiing in N.H., I happened upon this gem on Flickr. The photo is of photographer Pam Brooks Crowley's father and his cross country teammates taken in Lisbon, New Hampshire in 1936.
This past weekend Concord played host to the first major pond hockey tournament of the season. The 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship is in its fourth year. But it's said that the nation's first "organized" pond hockey game was played at St. Paul's School in Concord--back in 1883. NHPR's Amanda Loder stopped by the event at White Park, and sends us this audio postcard.
In the words of author Stephen Amidon, “no other figure is the focus of so much passion, controversy, expectation, and disappointment…” regardless of whether it is football or soccer, figure-skating or hockey, watching the world’s top athletes borders on hypnotic… and sometimes stands as proof of our ability to exceed physical human limitations and become something like the gods. That’s the name of long-time sports-lover and novelist Stephen Amidon’s new cultural history of the athlete, detailing sport from the first Olympic Games, to the rise of Lebron James.
Despite lockouts, replacement referees, and a lawsuit to settle brain trauma-related lawsuits, America's passion for football remains in play. We continues our series Rethink 2014 with America's beloved pastime, football. We begin at the college level, where many professional football careers begin. Critics charge that that the danger and violence inherent to the game have no place in academic institutions. NPR's program Intelligence Squared U.S.
Watching football this weekend? Well, If you happen to step out of the living room to grab some guacamole and miss a pivotal play, don’t worry – you can bet the network will play it again (and again) in instant replay. But it wasn’t always so… This is the story of how a young and rash CBS producer named Tony Verna invented instant replay in 1963 against tough odds, and revolutionized how we watch sports forever. It’s told by freelance writer Anna Clark, who wrote about Tony Verna for pacific standard.
As part of its “30 for 30” series, ESPN recently released a short documentary detailing the escapades of perhaps the most prolific sports prankster of all-time, Barry Bremen. Between 1979 and 1986, Bremen was responsible for over twenty hoaxes in professional sports. In the documentary, Bremen along with a few former Kansas City Kings, remember the warm-up layup line at the NBA all-star game.
In recognition of Barry’s impressive history of ‘impostering,’ Bryan Curtis, staff writer for Grantland, compiled a list of memorable practical jokes played in the world of sports.
As the first snows fall, weekend warriors from all over New England will pack up the car, strap the skis to the roof and hit the slopes for a fairly expensive getaway. But in some places, skiing is a strategy for staying alive. Mark Jenkins, a contributing writer for National Geographic traveled to the northern most fringe of western China where skiing was invented many millennia ago. He spoke with the people who carry on the earliest skiing traditions, using the same resources and methods as their ancestors.
Go to Great Britain, turn on the TV, flip the channels around, and soon enough you’ll come across something like this...
"What a heartbreaker."
"There's your answer, Wade"
Phil Taylor, Against the darts"
Screaming fans were nowhere to be found at the 27th Annual Seacoast Open. But talk to throwers like Jeff Smith, who drove six hours from New Brunswick, Canada, to attend, and it seems like there’s no place they’d rather be.
"Every time I come down here, it's basically a reunion with 500 of my closest friends, so it's been great."
School decisions banning dodge ball and tag have re-ignited a broader debate on whether we are over-protecting kids. We discuss the need for letting go and letting children grow. But others say the world has changed, and parental involvement is needed today.
The 2014 winter Olympics begin on February seventh in Sochi, Russia. Until this week, talk about the games focused on worries that there might not be enough snow, and international criticism and threats to boycott the games because of Russia’s law banning what it called “homosexual propaganda.” On Monday, President Vladimir Putin reversed course and said that everyone will be welcome to Sochi. As to the snow, there are no certain answers.