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Word of Mouth 10.27.2012

Leo Reynolds via Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: Your Own Personal Jesus:

Credit angelofsweetbitter2009 via Flickr Creative Commons

If you grew up in a religious home with a portrait of Jesus on the wall, he was probably portrayed as brown-haired, brown eyed, and Caucasian. But have you ever wondered why a Judaic man born in the Middle East would look like an aquiline-nosed Northern European? Edward J. Blum is a professor of history at San Diego State University, and along with Paul Harvey, is author of “The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America".

Part 2: Create a Game, Change the World

Games have emerged from the rec room and found a place in the classroom, onto cellphones, advertising, and as we’ll hear, into activism, relationships, and the way we view the world. Colleen Macklinis working to make us more game-literate. She designs games based not on winning or losing, but on learning and experiencing the creative, social and political universe outside the screen. That’s part of what she’ll be talking about as a keynote speaker at the NH Arts Education conference on Saturday October 20th. Colleen Macklin is Associate Professor of Communication Design and Technology at Parsons, The New School for Design in New York City.

Check out Budgetball on the Mall:

Part 3: The Great New England Vampire Panic/Zombeez

Credit carrieleber via Flickr Creative Commons

New England's gruesome brush with supernatural hysteria did not end with the Salem witch trials in the 17th century. Almost two centuries later came the great New England vampire panic. Wait… what? Abigail Tucker is a staff writer for Smithosonian magazine – she wrote about historians who are documenting cases when rural residents set aside their Yankee piety and feverishly exhumed graves and mutilated the corpses of suspected blood-suckers. The panic is largely forgotten by history – but with Halloween creeping up, and our Edgar Allen Poe special airing tomorrow, we thought it was a perfect time to dig it up.


Since 2006, Colony Collapse Disorderhas drastically reduced honey bee populations across North America. In California, there’s another emerging threat to the hive that’s straight out of a B-horror film (see what we did there?), a parasite that’s turning honey bees into mindless automatons, or as they’re being called by some, “zom-bees."

John Hafernik is a professor of biology at San Francisco State University, President of the California Academy of Sciences, and director of…which is asking ordinary citizens to help identify where else the parasite is affecting bee populations.

Part 4: The World Cup of Sandwich, New Hampshire

Credit Leo Greene, town of Sandwich
The soccer players of Sandwich with their

If you’ve spent any time in the town of Sandwich, New Hampshire, you may have picked up on its eclectic mix of preserved antiquity and progressiveness, with old clean-walled farmhouses occupied by inventors, artists, even a locally-grown internet service provider. Sandwich may be yesterday on the outside, but it’s tomorrow on the in. As Sean Hurley reports, this dichotomy finds an unusual expression on the town soccer field a few days before the annual Sandwich Fair. And while many towns see carnies as an invading force, to residents of this town, they’re welcome competitors.

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