Word of Mouth

Survivalist Singles - Don't Face the Future Alone

May 2, 2012
Photo by Debbi Long, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

The new TLC reality show, Livin’ for the Apocalypse, follows so-called “preppers” – people getting off the grid, hoarding food, and otherwise making ready for the end of days… there is one key component that preppers can’t buy in a survival kit: Love. Companionship.  Someone to help propagate the species. 

THUNDERDOME !

Apr 16, 2012

     When I first heard mention of Thunderdome, I envisioned something akin to the dirt bike, leather grunge, chain saw welding antics of George Miller’s 1985 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. While this mind blowing philosophical post-apocalyptic thriller, left me reeling with deep introspective questions about myself and society at large, the most poignant of these being “what can truly be, beyond Thunderdome?” Perhaps more Thunderdome? Are we all beyond Thunderdome? Who knows, but it’s a question that we all must ask ourselves.

Pinterest is the new darling of the social media world. Users—over 10 million of them—‘pin’ digital images they like to their site, where others can browse and comment. Pinterest has run into recent issues surrounding potential copyright infringement, and now, a new problem has emerged: what should they do about a wave of pro-anorexia images and comments on the site?

Van Gogh to Go

Apr 5, 2012

We’ve all heard of a lending library, you go in, pick a book, give the librarian your library card and take it home to read, but what about an art lending library? A museum in Chicago is doing just that, they’re letting residents fill out an art library card and take home real, original works of art to hang in their home. And it’s free! It started just two weeks ago at the Jane Addams Hull House Museum at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Heather Rabke is here to tell us how it’s going.

NHPR's Brady Carlson, host of All Things Considered provides us with brain food from the Internet buffet - including the censorship of Twitter.  

 

Beats so fresh, they aren't even born yet.

VERMIN SUPREME!

When Kodak filed for Chapter 11 last week, it appeared that digital photography had put the lens cap on old-school film for good. Maybe not. Consider Polaroid: after ceasing production of its iconic Instamatic film in 2009, a group of devoted shutterbugs launched the impossible project. They took control of the company’s manufacturing equipment, and in March of 2010 began selling film.

Photo by igorschwarzmann, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Traditional news organizations pride themselves for upholding clear divisions between their business and editorial operations. The partition is often reflected in the floor plans and culture of print and broadcast facilities, and preserved with a piety rarely seen in the skeptical journalist crowd. That attitude may be precisely why the news industry is in trouble, writes Dorian Benkoil.

Photo by Sebastianlund, courtesy of Flickr creative commons

Twenty eleven was a big year for personal computing, from the explosion of cloud technology and the tablet computer to the death of Steve Jobs and our introduction to his iphone brainchild, the personal assistant named Siri. Here to tell us what might be coming next is Rob Fleischman. He’s a computer scientist, serial tech entrepreneur, and our favorite explainer of all things technology related.

 

Word of Mouth for 12.03.11

Dec 3, 2011
Photo by Tom Maglieri, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

PART 1

 “Clean coal,” refers to technologies that reduce heavy metal, carbon and other emissions from the burning of coal. The development of technologies that could, potentially, filter greenhouse gases and store CO2 permanently is moving ahead. “Carbon Sequestration” is an important step in testing the potential of clean coal technology. We spoke with Maggie Koerth-Baker, Science Editor for Boing-Boing; she visited a carbon sequestration demonstration in Alabama.

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Today on  Word of Mouth, a healthcare model that offers rides, cuts toenails, and does generally whatever it takes to keep the elderly healthy.  Plus, the less-quoted constitutional clauses and oddities that inform and amuse our American way of life.  Also, from homies to hermanos: an unlikely way out for Central American gang members weary of the streets.  And former war correspondent PJ O'Rourke describes life in the trenches of family vacations.

Photo courtesy of the Hood at Dartmouth

Reverse migration: African American populations boomerang back below the Mason-Dixon line.  Plus, why adding "sandwich board" to your resume could be a good thing.  Also, an NGO spreading sustainability in Niger turns 10.  And a look at a Native American Art exhibition from the Hood at Dartmouth.  Finally, data through light - the future of electronic transfer?

Photo by Evan Hahn, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Today, a sperm donor discovers decisions can have unintended consequences.  Plus, a double dose of awesome internet viral videos and worthy time-wasters.  Also, a family who must divide in order to stay together through mental illness.  And a church works to provide Sudanese refugees with computer literacy skills.  Lastly, the future is now for prosthetics: a look at bionic appendages.

Photo by jetheriot, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Our 11 for '11 series continues with Raymond Tallis, author of Aping Mankind, on why our focus on brain-science may be overrated.  PLUS, the next segment of the WBEZ series "Out of the Shadows", and why American Chinatowns are becoming American ghost-towns.  And a brief look at the science of polling.

Photo by Gilderic, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Where are all these fracking earthquakes coming from? The correlation between natural gas and shifting plates.  Also, Agent Twitter and Double-O-Social Media: predicting riots, epidemics and other social phenomena through aggregate online data. Plus, World of Adcraft: the growing gimmicks of big-budget video game advertisements.  And an interview with Chuck Palahniuk, author of Fight Club and Choke.  His latest novel is Damned.

Photo by Peter Shanks, Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

U.S. spy agencies use twitter and other online data as a digital fortune cookie. The first part in a WBEZ series on mental illness in youth.  Video games advertising gets gimmicked out. And investing locally: how to make a buck and help your neighbors, too.

Ricardo Angulo

Virginia speaks with one of the refugees in the film, Deo Mwano, and the film’s executive producer, Mary Jo Alibrio from the University of New Hampshire’s Center for the Humanities.

This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with Harvard experimental psychologist Stephen Pinker about his new book, Better Angels of Our Nature, about the history of violence, and why it's declined

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O World of Photos / Flickr Creative Commons

Refugee families are targeted with paragraphs of graffiti in Concord, New Hampshire. Sarah Palermo is the reporter covering the story for the Concord Monitor.

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Outcasts United

Sep 12, 2011

In 2009, we spoke with new York Times reporter Warren St. John about his book Outcasts United– which tells the story of the Fugees soccer team and the growth of community around them.  The book is currently being featured in the Concord Reads program at the Concord Public Library.  Concord is a city that has experienced its own influx of refugees from war torn countries in recent years.  Here is what Warren had to say about the Fugees' inspiring story.

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This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with poet and journalist Eliza Griswold, about her book The Tenth Parallel: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam. Griswold spend seven years traveling the band of the globe called the 'tenth parallel,' the latitude about ten degrees above the equator where two worlds collide.

This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, we talk with psychologist, author and blogger Bruce Levine, a radical progressive calling for the resurgence of an active and energized democracy. Polls show that politicians are out of step with the will of the citizens on issues like the wall street bailout, health care reform and the current deadlock over raising the debt ceiling.

This month’s installment of our 11 for '11 series of big picture conversations on the issues of our times. Today, it’s energy, specifially oil. Oil is trading at 112-dollars a barrel, up from 86-dollars a year ago. Michael Klare says the era of easy oil is behind us. He’s made news for his concept of “extreme energy” – the pursuit of fossil fuels in increasingly difficult environments using expensive and sometimes dangerous methods.

mikebaird / Flickr/Creative Commons

Today we have this month's 11 for '11 segment, focusing on how the increasingly dangerous pursuit of oil affects the market price. Plus, alcoholism in Russia, and a journalist shares stories from inside the Balkan Underground, a crafty, cynical, and fearless network that has heisted hundreds of millions of dollars worth of jewels in 26 countries.

A new book by George Mason University Economics Chair Tyler Cowen has inspired spirited debate among beltway and economics circles. Published only as an e-book, The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better argues that America's economic growth plateaued in the 1970s. Median wages have stagnated since, he says, because we have eaten all the low hanging fruit that enabled innovation to flourish and average income to grow across the board.

In January, the global food price index rose for the seventh month in a row, reaching the higest level since record keeping began in 1990. Raj Patel is an activist and academic whose book, Stuffed and Starved, predicted the food crisis that caused riots on four continents back in 2008. More recently, his book, The Value of Nothing, argues that we as citizens should rethink our assumptions about rational markets and the very meaning of democracy.

How has technology changed the ways that we interact with one another? Sherry Turkle's Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other is the third in a trilogy exploring this question. Social networking, e-mail and texting, Turkle says, provide the façade of socialization but ultimately leave their users dissatisfied and disconnected. It may be time to reflect and reconsider the role we really want technology to play in our lives.

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