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?

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

Made of Tennis
Michael Gilliam / Flickr Creative Commons

The Waterville Valley Tennis Center is once again hosting the annual New Hampshire Open, scheduled for July 18 to July 20.  The 10,000 New Hampshire Open Tennis Championships is set on the 18 red clay court complex of the tennis center.  Athletes include top ranked New England and collegiate players who play the eastern summer tennis circuit.  Play begins the afternoon of Friday, the 18th, and continues Saturday with singles and doubles. Semi-finals and finals are on July 20.    

Austin Cowan NHPR

New Hampshire’s finest high school football players took to Grappone Stadium on Saturday in the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock All Star Game.

The game, a last hurrah for graduating seniors, is a way for New Hampshire youth to give back. In its three year history, the contest between the best players representing the east and west regions of the state has raised $752,000 for the hospital, said Nick Vailas, the founder of the game.

David Monti, Race Results Weekly

Dartmouth College’s Abbey D’Agostino is turning pro now that her celebrated collegiate running career has come to an end. In four years at Dartmouth D’Agostino became one of the Ivy League’s all-time most accomplished. To learn more about her career and what lies ahead, I spoke to David Monti, editor and publisher of the New York based Race Results Weekly:

This is an athlete that took a lot of people by surprise. What were the expectations when she first came to Dartmouth and what did she end up accomplishing?

If you have World Cup fever, you’ll know Brazil and Croatia kick off the tournament Thursday. Even if you don’t have the fever; even if the brouhaha over Landon Donovan last month didn’t register; even if you have only the faintest understanding of who David Beckham is; you know that the U.S. has never been a favorite in the sport of international soccer.

christopher.woo via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner about three issues that have been dominating headlines lately. In case you’ve missed them and need to catch up quickly, we’ve compiled the highlights so you can be a champion of serious water-cooler discussions.

The major take-away? Dubner urges you to think like a freak, and to listen to more public radio.

Thomás via Flickr Creative Commons

The world cup kicks off in Sao Paulo this Thursday amid controversy, corruption, and protest. Today, a profile of the neuroscientist behind a bionic exoskeleton that will make a miraculous kickoff at the world cup possible. But first, Stephen Dubner, co-author of Freaknomics, explains some of the decisions that are part of playing in the world cup. And then, a conversation with Ruth Graham, who triggered a fury among young adult fans by claiming "Adults should be embarrassed about reading literature for children".

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

Most Memorial Day events pay tribute to all those who have died in military service to the nation, but there are some events that honor individuals.

One such event takes place each year in Manchester in honor of Army Staff Sergeant Kyle Warren, a medic who was killed in Afghanistan's Helmand Province in 2010.

The "Red Raider" logo is staying put at a New Hampshire high school for now.

The student council at Belmont High School held a community forum last month taking comment on whether they should change or retire the black and red graphic of a Native American.

On Tuesday, the Shaker Regional School Board voted down the council's request to change the logo, but encouraged a public vote on the matter at next year's District Meeting.

The idea of changing the name came up after a discussion in a social studies class.

Austin Cowan NHPR

We live in an age where Donald Sterlings and Lance Armstrongs often cloud the benefits of sports in the public eye. Alleged abuser and former Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice gets ample coverage, while the dedicated, supportive coach usually goes unnoticed.

Professor Bop via flickr Creative Commons

That's right. I'm asking the age old question: candlepin or ten-pin? Outside of New England, this may not be a hot topic. It may not be a topic at all, as the popularity and instance of candlepin is concentrated almost solely in northern New England. To be completely honest, I didn't even know candlepin was a thing until I moved here almost seventeen years ago. (Military brat - hi!). As with sprinkles vs. jimmies, hair elastic vs. ponytail, and roundabout vs.

The University of New Hampshire is bringing sports and studying closer together with a new Student-Athlete Center for Excellence.  Paid for entirely with private donations, the $1.9 million center opening next fall will be housed at the university's field house and will include a large, comfortable study space staffed by advisers and tutors and smaller rooms where teams and small groups can work together.  Heather Barber, the university's faculty representative to the NCAA, says it will be a huge improvement over the current situation.

Belmont Students Aim To Change 'Red Raider' Mascot

Apr 17, 2014

Three Belmont High School students are taking on an issue few adults would tackle these days.

Student Council members Andre Bragg, Taylor Becker and Ashley Fenimore led a forum Wednesday night where they asked the community to consider whether the school’s mascot – “Red Raider” – was offensive to Native Americans.

The issue came up recently in a Social Studies class and the Council thought the question was significant enough to begin a public dialog.

wallyg / Flickr Creative Commons

One year after the tragedy at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, we remember the many stories of heartbreak and of courage that abound at the time and have transpired since.

Courtesy Iona College

It’s like Mickey Mantle’s grandson announcing he’ll be hitting home runs for the Dartmouth College baseball team. Or Julia Ruth Stevens, the daughter of New York Yankee icon Babe Ruth, agreeing to pay for a new baseball park in Derry.

Courtesy Arizona Athletics

UPDATE: The Arizona Wildcats defeated San Diego State Thursday night, 70-64, and advanced to the Elite Eight. Tarczewski scored 7 points. He also had two blocks, one rebound and one assist.

George Oates, Nathan Fixler & Chris Griffith via Flickr Creative Commons

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.

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

Johnny9s via flickr Creative Commons

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.

Courtesy Pam Brooks Crowley

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. 

Amanda Loder / NHPR

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.   

Pond Hockey Players
Amanda Loder / NHPR

Play continues today at the 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship  in Concord. Teams will play in the semi-finals and finals at White Park this morning from 8:00 until noon.

Johnhenryf via Flickr Creative Commons

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.

Courtesy The University Of New Hampshire

The former coach of the University of New Hampshire women’s hockey team says he should be reinstated.

The university fired Brian McCloskey late last year following an incident of what officials called “inappropriate physical contact” with a player on the bench.

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

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.

Tony Verna

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.

Andover native Nick Fairall will take part in the Winter Olympics in Sochi in February.

Fairall secured a spot on the U.S. ski jumping team with his win at the Olympic Trials in Park City, Utah this past weekend.

Fairall, 24, has been skiing since he was six years old, cutting his teeth at the Andover Outing Club.

He says while competing in his first Olympics will be thrilling, he won’t be satisfied until he has the ultimate prize.

“Well, obviously, like everyone’s goal, is Olympic gold.”


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.

©Jonas Bendiksen/National Geographic

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.

Vicky H via Flickr Creative Commons

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."

DanMcLean / Flickr Creative Commons

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.