As we look back at 2013, we’re struck by the number of mishaps made by politicians, celebrities, athletes and companies…followed of course, by the oh-so-heartfelt public apology. Word of Mouth's senior producer Maureen McMurray and producer Taylor Quimby join Virginia Prescott to talk about the year of saying sorry…or in some cases, the year of the non-apology.
New Year’s Eve is a day of indulgence, the last chance to gorge on delicious treats and beverages before cleaning the slate. What’s on your menu tonight? Does it involve kale or Siracha, or a Cronut? According to our guest J.M. Hirsch, food editor at the Associated Press, those were among the hottest foods of 2013.
New Year’s Eve is a day of reflection and celebration and each December we mark the passage of time by inviting NHPR’s own Brady Carlson on the show to share his list of the year’s biggest web trends. Last year his list included: Kony 2012, Kickstarter, and Gangnam Style. Seems so long ago, doesn’t it? Brady joins us again to reflect on the web trends and memes of 2013, and what they reveal about our collective state this year.
Whether it's a blinking laser gun, a noisy video game, or a robot doll that cries real tears, chances are this year's biggest selling holiday toys will be high-tech, battery operated, and chock full of bells and whistles.
Fighting back against the trend toward bright, noisy toys is Thierry Bourret of the toy company Asobi and founder of Slow Toy Movement, a website dedicated to promoting toys that educate and engage without plastic or power sources. Later this month, he will be announcing the winners of the 2nd annual Slow Toy Awards, and joins us for a preview.
The advertising industry has made a bundle pitching feminine hygiene products, but even that expression, “feminine hygiene products,” illustrates how ads for tampons and pads avoid addressing what they are actually used for. But maybe you’ve seen the viral video that bucks the tradition of menstruation stigmatization…no blue liquid, no white tennis outfits, just a sassy twelve year-old girl, telling it like it is...
The success of The Hunger Gamesand the Divergent series opened the floodgates for young adult novels set in a dystopian future. Readers are gobbling up dark stories set in bleak landscapes where the authorities can’t be trusted and young protagonists rebel against a world built to subdue them. And of course, there is room for romance to rise from the ashes. Margaret Bristol is an editor at Bookish where she wrote the article, “What I Learned About Getting Married From Dystopian YA.” A dedicated fan of the genre, she’s here to discuss the sometimes valuable, sometimes hyperbolic messages people can glean from the dark world of dystopian fiction.
You know those Hummels your great aunt had covering every available surface of her house? Worthless. Those Cabbage Patch Kids that were never taken out of their box? Similar ones can be found on E-Bay for just over retail price. It turns out, a great many collectibles that once commanded high-prices and fantasies of early retirement haven’t lived up to their promise.
Long lines are a part life for most of us…at the DMV, grocery store, post office… we line up by choice for some things…maybe you’ve heard of people queuing up for hours outside the New York City bakery that sells the “Cronut” – an apparently delicious cross between a croissant and doughnut. Francesca Gino wrote about new research suggesting that one reason we’re willing to wait in long lines for midnight movies, the latest smartphone, or bizarre baked delicacies is because they help us learn more about ourselves. Francesca is a behavioral scientist and associate professor at Harvard Business School. She wrote about the psychology of waiting in line for Fast Company, and joins us now on the line.
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”.
Depending who you ask, the literary genre known as street lit began when Charles Dickens published Oliver Twist …or in 1969, when Iceberg Slim came out with Pimp. These gritty, slightly lurid, often violent stories focus on the underside of city life.
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.
Bathing suit anxiety takes on a whole new dimension for Muslim women…so do skinny jeans and other body-conscious fashion trends. A spate of blogs and podcasts aimed at Muslim women have grown along with the fashion blog trend. Blogs like Hijab Trendz, Dianrainbow and Slice of Lemon feature tips and creative approaches to dressing with style as well as modesty.
Mariam Sobh is a Chicago-based journalist and public radio colleague from WBEZ in Chicago. She created Hijab Trendz in 2007, which averages 2 million page views a month.
One of the events that took place earlier this week at the Bosacwen Public Library was the Edgar Allan Poe Steampunk Workshop which linked Poe’s artistry to the “steam-punk” subculture that is quickly growing among fans of fantasy fiction and Japanese animation.