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Word of Mouth 6.23.2012

(Photo by Chris in Plymouth via Flickr Creative Commons)

Part 1: Guerilla Weddings and Why Dogs "Like" Facebook

Maybe it’s the sluggish economy, the flash moblegacy, the social media age wish for attention, or the ongoing American urge for originality. Couples everywhere are ditching the choreographed trappings of traditional weddings for simpler, spontaneous services in public spaces. An old trick to save money, guerilla weddings are emerging as an increasingly popular way to tie the knot. Alyssa Abkowitz wrote aboutthe nuptial phenomenon for SmartMoney magazine. 


Facebook's IPO debacle has many asking questions about the company's ability to monetize its 900 million+ users. Small businesses and nonprofits have long been asking the same question of how to balance the social media aspect of the site with the profit potential of advertising on Facebook. Well, perhaps those folks should turn to the Manchester Animal Shelter for some tips...the organization has a viral Facebook presence, and a rabid following of fans. (Heh, rabid.) 

Wanna see what Simba looks like?

Part 2: The Birth of the Bomb: Illustrated Edition

There’s not a ton to look at in Los Alamos, New Mexico these days, but one of the most terrifying and iconic series of picturesin the history of the human race were once taken there, a little over 65 years ago, when a group of pioneer scientists photographed the world’s first atomic bomb test. They captured a speck of light, that turned into a snow-globe burning hotter than the surface of the sun, that turned into a mushroom cloud, now a universal symbol of epic destruction.

Jonathan Fetter-Vorm is co-founder of Two Fine Chaps, a graphic imprint dedicated to adapting and illustrating classic works of literature and natural science… he’s also the author and illustrator of Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb. 

Part 3: Farmers Market Fakers and Tractor Time Machines

Summer is here! School is out, temperatures are soaring, and farmers markets are popping up in fields and parking lots across the country. Loading up your public radio tote bags with freshly-harvested vegetables makes for better tasting food while supporting small farmers and the local economy. Except when it doesn’t. Jodi Helmer wrote about farmers market fakers for Environmental Magazineand is on the line to tell us about some incidences of faux locals taking advantage of the farmers market phenomenon.   


Fresh vegetables aren’t the only thing local farmers put on display…at least not in Thornton, New Hampshire, where each summer, Russ Gilman hosts an antique tractor show at his family farm. While old farm machines might not be a big draw for the masses, Word of Mouth correspondent Sean Hurley goes to the show each year. Because an old tractor, as Sean explains it, can be a sort of time machine… 

See Sean's photos here.

Part 4: The Oscars of the Audiobook World and "Fifty Shades of Word of Mouth"

Summer time is book season, with seemingly every media outlet weighing in with lists of recommended beach reads. Audiobooks don’t get nearly as much play, though they are a staple for many, whether as the soundtrack to a road trips, a daily commute, or even an alternative to listening to the radio at home.

As it turns out, there are audiobook critics, too. And just as with theater, music, and film, there’s an audiobook award season. And wouldn’t you know, we’re smack in the middle of it. Joining us to explain what makes an audiobook great and to give a run down of some of the industry’s top picks is Robin Whitten. She’s founder and Editor of AudioFile magazine, which has reviewed thousands of audiobook titles since its was launched in 1992 as a resource for librarians.

Who won The Audies? 


While we were prepping for today's segment on audio books, we couldn’t help but wonder about whether we could pass as audio book producers…perhaps even elevating a book of dubious quality by getting just the right people to read it. So, we took dramatic stab at an excerpt from the hottest book around, Fifty Shades of Greyby E.L. James. Here’s NHPR reporters Sam Evans-Brown, Josh Rogers, and me reading the scene where the Grey series’ heroine, Anastasia Steele, meets her paramore for the first time… 

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