Next Gen NHPR

Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

A blog featuring the work and work life of NHPR's interns and fellows.

cygnus921 via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Kiera Butler about the truth behind bug spray and came away with some interesting facts. For instance, those bug sprays professing scents like cedar wood or ‘silky vanilla’ are by no means guaranteed to actually do a good job of keeping away bugs. You know what is? DEET.

According to Butler, due to the increase of insect borne illnesses, DEET is a tested-and-true method for keeping the bugs away. Although studies have shown minimal health risks associated with DEET in commercial products, some people still prefer a more natural route. It’s important to note that these solutions have not been tested enough to prove to be good ways of warding off insects, though you’ll find many proponents of natural remedies who defend them. If you’d like to put nature to the test, we’ve made a list of some of the popular plant solutions to avoiding bug bites.

Summer Storms Disturb Radio Waves

Jun 30, 2014
Wolfgang Staudt via Flickr cc

  On June 10, a listener in Danville, IL picked up 90 seconds of NHPR signal. A station’s radio wave “footprint”, or estimated range, is generally considered to extend only about as far as the eye can see from the point of the antenna, but Danville is just under a thousand miles away. It would take more than a good pair of binoculars to put Danville within range of sight; so how did this happen?

Amateur radio enthusiasts, known as “DXers”, describe what our listener caught a glimpse of as an “E-Skip”.

To understand what that is you need to head way up into the air.

Gas Tax Hike Brings Protestors

Jun 30, 2014
Halina Loft, NHPR News

New Hampshire’s per gallon tax on gasoline and diesel is going up 4.2 cents July 1. According to Americans for Prosperity, New Hampshire’s economy will pay a price.

Tom Thomson of Orford was among the protestors the conservative group brought to a Hooksett gas station.

Thomson: The power to tax is the power to destroy. By passing Senate Bill 367, we will at best damage the New Hampshire advantage, and worse see businesses suffer and or close; and that equals loss of jobs.

Marysol Newton

Summer has finally arrived in the New Hampshire. And with it, college students like me, who look forward to heading outside with friends. Though Hampton Beach and Lake Winnipesaukee are appealing summer hangouts, there is a more hidden place I like to go. It’s a little bit isolated, a little bit dangerous and maybe, a little bit illegal. I’m talking about the Concord Quarries.

Thirteen of clubs via Flickr CC

Few things are as nostalgic for many Americans as the idea of sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and looking for constellations or listening to scary stories. It’s these memories that the National Wildlife Federation hopes to rekindle with the Great American Backyard Camp-Out on Saturday, June 28.

Shaheen Fires Back At Critics Over Stock Allegations

Jun 27, 2014
Austin Cowan for NHPR

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen fired back at critics Friday, a day after her campaign said she would update her financial disclosure form to reflect that she and her husband no longer hold stock options in a California firm that received federal stimulus funding.

Shaheen says her husband, William, is no longer affiliated with Ultrawave Labs, a company developing technology to better detect breast cancer.

“I think it’s disappointing that my Republican opponents...The only thing they can find to attack me on is breast cancer research."

Allie Coremin via Flickr CC

Strawberry picking is a New Hampshire tradition that dates back to the days when “all natural” was a given, not a gimmick. There are over 20 farms throughout the state that offer the chance to “Pick-Your-Own” pint (or quart—more berries just means more jam). 

Related story: The Sweet Science (And Big Business) Of Strawberry Picking

To read NHPR's story on Market Basket's CEO ouster, click here.

A DeMoulas family feud has Market Basket workers and customers questioning the grocery chain's future. A two decade long argument came to a climax on Monday when long time president Arthur T. Demoulas and two other executives were ousted by the company's board led by Arthur T.'s cousin, Arthur S. Demoulas. 

Market Basket CEO Ouster Brings Protest

Jun 24, 2014

Market Basket employees from New Hampshire are among those heading to a Massachusetts rally protesting the removal of longtime Market Basket president Arthur T. Demoulas.

Cody White works at a Market Basket in Concord.

White: We probably have like, ten employees going down to the rally right now to go show our support for Artie T., who is the leader of Market Basket. The board members are trying to get him fired, essentially—so we have a lot of support, and there’s even more from all the other stores.

Dartmouth Runner Poised For Long-Term Success On Pro Circuit

Jun 23, 2014
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?

Bike Week Looking Bright

Jun 19, 2014

Bike week has arrived in the Granite State once again, and the forecast for the 91st annual rally is bright. And local vendors anticipate a record New Hampshire Bike Week on more than one front.

At first, local vendors were worried about turnout. Last year rain and lower temperatures overshadowed the week.

But, Laconia Bike Week Association director Jennifer Anderson says New Hampshire businesses need not fear:

N.H.'s War On Invasive Bugs & Plants

Jun 18, 2014
Don't Move Firewood / Flickr/CC

In New Hampshire lakes, rivers and ponds, non-indigenous plants have moved in choking out the natural flora and fauna, but volunteers and state officials have taken up the fight against them. We’ll look at the latest in that fight, as well as invasive insects from the Emerald Ash Borer to the Wooly Adelgid.

GUESTS:

butler.corey via Flickr Creative Commons

There’s always debate about what will be the ‘song of the summer,’ a title usually determined by airtime and download statistics. But what about all the other songs that deserve a chance at becoming your summer anthem? Here is an alternative summer playlist, with songs from all across the board. Pick your favorite and listen until you get sick of it, hopefully sometime around September.

Division Of The Arts Lands New Director

Jun 16, 2014

New Hampshire will soon have a new director of the Department of Cultural Resources Division of the Arts. Ginnie Lupi comes to the position after serving of the executive director of the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger lakes in Corning, NY. Lupi will take over the position in August. I spoke with Lupi about her appointment as director and her plans for art in the Granite State:

What does the department do and what is your role in the Arts Division?

Distant Hill Gardens

The New Hampshire state wildflower is blooming, and with it, the myth that surrounds it: that it’s super rare, and illegal to pick. In fact, the pink and white flower we know as the Lady Slipper is quite common. And picking this flower is completely legal.

“They are not considered ‘rare,’ they are actually common but are listed on the ‘special concerns’ list because they have propagation and climate issues,” according to NH Roots

Bushwhacking For Sound: An Intern's Tale

Jun 12, 2014
Sam Evans-Brown for NHPR

As an intern at NHPR, I get the chance to see how radio stories are made up close. Here’s what happened when NHPR’s Environment reporter invited me for a ride-along to help him do a little reporting about an event called BioBLITZ. - Austin

As always, the day begins early for Environment reporter Sam Evans-Brown. We make the drive up to North Conway in time for the 9 am start of the BioBLITZ.

jacashgone via Flickr Creative Commons

By Alexis Chapin and Molly Donahue.

We explored the world of the obsolescence, from CDs and 8-tracks to Atari games and trains, and why these things often leave us nostalgic. Listen to the full show here.

But technology isn’t the only thing that becomes obsolete over time. Jobs also disappear over time as they are replaced, usually out of efficiency or lack of demand. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most interesting jobs that have gradually vanished over the years.  

Bobcats In The Granite State

Jun 12, 2014
Wayne Dumbleton Flickr CC

Researchers out of Durham are close to completing a study on bobcat populations in the Granite State. Though no one is sure how many bobcats are in New Hampshire, increased sightings and captures over the past decade have led researchers to believe bobcats are rebounding.

Dr. Marian Litvaitis and her husband John, both professors at UNH, have spearheaded the investigation as part of a project collaboration . Now in the project's fourth year, Litvaitis and her team are now focused primarily on bobcat genetics. I talked with Dr. Litvaitis about the rebounding cat on Thursday:

The Creepiest Scarecrows You Have Ever Seen

Jun 11, 2014
PumpkinRot

We spoke with Lori Rotenberk about her article for Modern Farmer, "Hay, Man: The Curious Life And Times Of Scarecrows". In the interview, she mentioned the work of the scarecrow artist and designer, PumpkinRot. Now, for your viewing pleasure, here are some pictures of PumpkinRot's creeptastic scarecrows. Proceed with caution.

rachelkramerbussel.com via Flickr Creative Commons

When Ruth Graham published the Slate article “Against YA” there was an immediate push back. Here we’ve compiled some of our favorites for both sides of the debate.

Nay to YA

Against YA,” by Ruth Graham for Slate.

Here it is, the original article. It’s well-reasoned with a lot of good points, even if it’s getting billed with the uber-polarizing line, “you should be embarrassed to read YA.”  Many criticisms seem to skip straight to the part where Graham says adults shouldn't be reading YA, but there's more in here, so take a look.

What Is "Twee"?

Jun 9, 2014
Waponi via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Marc Spitz about his new book Twee, in which he tries to give a comprehensive and explanatory history of “the gentle revolution.”

(You can hear that conversation here.)

The tenants of Twee are varied but they come down to this: there is darkness in this world that can only be overcome by cultivating passions that foster beauty and evoke a sense of innocence, goodness, and childhood.

In other words, when the world gets scary, just put a bird on it.

As with any cultural movement, the question of Twee can spark long debates (and trying to sort through “Twee vs. Not Twee” makes an awesome party game). To get you up to speed, here’s a handy list of things that are definitively Twee. As Twee defies categorization, we present this to you as a holistic experience, books mixing with music mixing with…hairstyles?

Must-Read Books For Summer 2014

Jun 4, 2014

As the warm weather finally arrives, we’re looking at what’s new this season in books suited for coming days at the beach, in the mountains, or even your backyard. There’s a new series from New Hampshire children’s author Paul Durham, a memoir from Mariano Rivera, and a new novel from perennial favorite JK Rowling. (digital post by Faith Meixell)

GUESTS:

Sean Hurley

The forests of New Hampshire provide an excellent hiding place for those things that either wish to remain hidden, or have simply fallen into the past. Old logging towns, abandoned train tracks, and the leftovers of eccentrics funded by economic booms all litter the state and set the background for many a local legend. Here we’ve listed some of the loneliest, and often mysterious, spots in the state. 

Murray Farms

After a spring characterized by strange weather, warmer temperatures have brought gardeners outside- and to their local garden stores- around the Granite State.

“We’re slammed right now. After the long winter and the nice weather we have now, people are coming out in droves.”

Charlie Cole is the General Manager at Cole Gardens, a family owned business in Concord. Like many gardeners at this time, Cole is experiencing a rapid uptick in sales.

prongsie_babie14 via Flickr Creative Commons

No matter your opinion on them, grand musical numbers are notorious earworms. Here we’ve compiled some of the most famous, beloved, and recognizable movie musicals. Go on, sing along, everyone else will too.  

Top Hat (1935)

This was the first screenplay that was written specifically for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, though they would go on to do at least 6 more movie musicals together. The movie helped to save RKO from bankruptcy with $3 million in box office revenues and it was only beaten by Mutiny on the Bounty, which would go on to win the 1935 Best Picture.  

ISO-NE

The New England Independent System Operator (or ISO) has a seemingly simple job: to keep the lights on, and the power running.  But behind this goal are the many hurdles of operating the region’s electric grid. Through the peaks of summer air-conditioning and winter cold snaps, the system must remain always ready for spikes in demand.

star5112 via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Meg Favreau about the tasty treats that are funeral cookies and the various forms in which they come. There are the spongy cookies found in Wales, the chocolate cake-like confections of Belgium, and traditional molasses cookies from Colonial America, to list a few.  Here we’ve listed some of our favorite funeral cookie recipes that we've found, from the historical to the very modern. 

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.

5 Funny Horoscope Sites You Didn't Know Exist

May 12, 2014
Andrew Reilly via flickr Creative Commons

"I can believe things that are true and things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not." - Author Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Astrology. Whether you are a believer or not, it's probably safe to say that there are certain astrology sites and tools that are more vetted or valid than others. Some are more practical and less whimsical. Others appeal more to a vague psychological need or impulse. Many carry simple entertainment value, and still others delve deep into long analysis of a person's personality and how it was shaped by their zodiac sign.

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