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Word of Mouth 04.28.2012

(Photo by Chris in Plymouth via Flickr Creative Commons)

Part 1: Drones in the U.S. and Snapstagram

Ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? Well, you may want to get used to it. While the US government has been putting un-manned drones to heavy use in war zones in recent years, the flying robots will soon be soaring American skies.

Last week, the Electronic Freedom Foundation disclosed a list of agencies that have been granted permission to use drones over American soil, including universities, federal agencies, and even local police departments. Here to discuss the sticky intersection of domestic drone use and privacy is Stanford Law School’s Ryan Calo. Ryan is the Director of Privacy and Robotics at the Center for Internet and Society and his work on the issue has been featured in The Atlantic and The New York Times. 


If you find a little bit of ironic poetry in the rise of the retro photo-app Instagram, bought by Facebook for one billion dollars, you have to appreciate the story of Snapstagram: a new kickstarter-funded startup that takes the digital transformation of photography full circle. Jared Gibbons is co-founder of Snapstagram, and a philosophy major at Ohio State University.    

Part 2: Baby Geniuses and Macho Mice

Every parent hopes to foster a healthy and safe environment for bright and gifted babies… but no amount of exposure to classical music, sign language, or Baby Einstein videos can guarantee your kid will be a genius on the level of Heidi Hankins.

Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman is adjunct Assistant Professor of Pyschology at New York University, and a contributing writer to Scientific American, the Harvard Business Review, and the Huffington Post, where he recently wrote about whether genius truly exists among infants and toddlers. 


If there are any certainties in marketing, it’s that men like beer and barbecued meat and women enjoy fruit-filled cups of pro-biotic-laden yogurt.

An unpublished study at M.I.T. is poised to flip yogurt’s feminine branding on its head and might even change your perception of masculine foods entirely-- or at least change how you think about the virility of mice. Joining us to talk about the eyebrow raising link between yogurt and mouse machismo is Anna Kuchment, Editor at Scientific American. 

 Part 3: The Un-chosen

These days, there’s a reality TV show for every hobby, lifestyle, income bracket, family situation, and even religious persuasion. Subjects range from the minutia of celebrity life, to the life-altering issue of teen pregnancy. A new TV show being shopped by No Regrets Entertainment falls into that second, life-altering category. It's tentatively titled Shunned, which aims to follow four ex- Ultra-Orthodox Jews from New York City who’ve left the faith for the sin-filled, secular life. 

 Part 4: Meet Tom Kane

Here at Word of Mouth, we frequently crack wise about bizarre stories by imitating that ubiquitous announcer voice from movie and video game trailers…the one who always beginning with “In a world where…"

One day we thought, who does that? Let’s find that guy…and we did! Tom Kane is the voice of the Academy Awards… dozens of video game characters, cartoon characters in the Smurfs, on South Park, Powerpuff Girls and hundreds of others…he’s been the voice of J.F.K, Yoda, and of movie trailers from Pixar’s Wall-E to…of all things…. Booty Call:


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