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99% Invisible podcast

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99% Invisible

By Roman Mars  

Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. From award winning producer Roman Mars. Learn more at [99percentinvisible.org] (http://99percentinvisible.org) . A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at [radiotopia.fm] (http://radiotopia.fm/) .

Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. From award winning producer Roman Mars. Learn more at [99percentinvisible.org] (http://99percentinvisible.org) . A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at [radiotopia.fm] (http://radiotopia.fm/) .

 

#464

423- Sean Exploder

As you might know, we have our own composer here at 99pi named Sean Real who works with the producers to score our episodes with original music that she writes and records right here in Oakland. She has created over 300 amazing original songs for 99pi to date! So this week, we are bringing you a tribute to one of our favorite shows Song Exploder, and to our favorite composer, Sean Real. [Sean Exploder] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=35189&post_type=episode) Plus a preview of Katie Mingle’s new 99pi spin off According to Need (Out December 1). Buy Sean’s first record of 99pi music in the [99% Invisible Store] (https://99percentinvisible.org/store/) ... Read more

21 Nov 2020

31 MINS

31:02

21 Nov 2020


#463

422- In The Unlikely Event

If you’ve ever flown on a plane, you’ve been directed to study the safety briefing card in your seatback pocket. Every passenger plane, commercial or private, has to have safety cards on board. Mo Laborde is a reporter who has been collecting safety cards for almost ten years, and one day she started wondering how the modern safety card came about. [In The Unlikely Event] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=35115&post_type=episode) Buy [The 99% Invisible City] (http://99pi.org/book) ... Read more

18 Nov 2020

30 MINS

30:25

18 Nov 2020


#462

421- You've Got Enron Mail!

Enron collapsed nearly 20 years ago, but chances are something you use today was affected by emails sent by 150 of the company's top employees. These emails — about meetings and energy markets but also affairs, divorces, and fraud — have helped create new technologies, fight terrorism, and added to our understanding of how we communicate. [You’ve Got Enron Mail!] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=35029&post_type=episode) Learn more and subscribe to [Brought To You By…] (https://www.businessinsider.com/household-name) ... Read more

11 Nov 2020

31 MINS

31:54

11 Nov 2020


#461

420- The Lost Cities of Geo

Geocities was an online collection of metropolises, each with their own neighborhoods built around shared interests. The city metaphor helped make a whole new group of users understand the world wide web for the first time. At its peak, it was the third most popular destination on the internet, but it quickly fell out of fashion as the web became more commodified and professional. Before it shuttered, a few digital archivists scooped up as much data as possible before all that early internet experimentation could be deleted. [The Lost Cities of Geo] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=34819&post_type=episode) Buy a signed copy of [The 99% Invisible City] (http://99pi.org/book) today ... Read more

03 Nov 2020

42 MINS

42:38

03 Nov 2020


#460

419- Take a Walk

During publicity interviews for [The 99% Invisible City] (http://99pi.org/book) someone asked us, “What is your favorite way to experience the city?” The answer is walking. If you have nothing to do, take a walk. If you are overwhelmed with things to do, take a walk. We’ve been working so hard on the book release and new miniseries we’re launching in December that we’re going to take a walk with our friends at [Pop Up Magazine] (https://www.popupmagazine.com/) . Pop Up Magazine's team spent weeks interviewing dozens of people about walking, including Jenny Slate, Anna Sale (Death, Sex & Money), Antwan Williams (Ear Hustle), author and radio host Lulu Miller, writer Sam Jay (Saturday Night Live), NASA Astronaut Drew Feustel, Sergeant Julian Torres, and many others. [Take a Walk] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=34755&post_type=episode) [Buy The 99% Invisible City now] (http://99pi.org/book) ! ... Read more

27 Oct 2020

33 MINS

33:18

27 Oct 2020


#459

99pi Presents The Next Billion Users

This bonus episode is sponsored by Google’s Next Billion User Initiative. Every week millions of people come online for the very first time. And everyone – no matter where they live, what language they speak or their level of digital literacy – deserves an internet that was made for them. Google's Next Billion Users initiative conducts research and builds products for everyone, everywhere. Find out more at [NextBillionUsers.google] (https://nextbillionusers.google/) ... Read more

23 Oct 2020

20 MINS

20:27

23 Oct 2020


#458

418- Sign Stealing

In the early days of baseball, sign-stealing was almost like a game within the game. Teams and players would try all kinds of tricks to get a glimpse of what the catcher was signaling to the pitcher. Even with this long history, when the Houston Astros were recently caught stealing signs during their championship season it became a huge scandal. [Sign Stealing] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?post_type=episode&p=34503) The New York Times Bestseller [The 99% Invisible City is on sale now!] (http://99pi.org/book) This episode is adapted from [The Edge] (https://www.radio.com/podcasts/the-edge-45185) , a six-part series hosted by Ben Reiter. ... Read more

20 Oct 2020

28 MINS

28:10

20 Oct 2020


#457

417- For the Love of Peat

When we think about carbon storage, we tend to think about forests, but peatlands are also incredible carbon sinks. In Europe, peatlands contain five times more carbon than forests. But back in the 80s, most people didn't know this remarkable fact about peat. If anything, bogs were seen as scary places to be avoided and thus we tended to not take care of them. But that’s changing. [For the Love of Peat ] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?post_type=episode&p=34148) Buy T [he 99% Invisible City] (http://99pi.org/book) ! ... Read more

13 Oct 2020

39 MINS

39:59

13 Oct 2020


#456

416- Exploring The 99% Invisible City

We're excited to celebrate the release of [The 99% Invisible City] (https://99percentinvisible.org/book/) book by host Roman Mars and producer Kurt Kohlstedt with a guided audio tour of beautiful downtown Oakland, California. In this episode, we explain how anchor plates help hold up brick walls; why metal fire escapes are mostly found on older buildings; what impact camouflaging defensive designs has on public spaces; who benefits from those spray-painted markings on city streets, and much more. Plus, At the end of the tour, stick around for a behind the scenes look at the book as we answer a series of fan-submitted questions about how it was created, offering a window into the writing, illustration and design processes. [Exploring The 99% Invisible City] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=34212&post_type=episode) ... Read more

06 Oct 2020

41 MINS

41:07

06 Oct 2020


#455

415- Goodnight Nobody

The unlikely battle between the creator of the New York Public Library children's reading room and the beloved children’s classic Goodnight Moon. [Goodnight Nobody] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=33835&post_type=episode) Pre-order [The 99% Invisible City] (https://99percentinvisible.org/book/) ... Read more

29 Sep 2020

44 MINS

44:13

29 Sep 2020


#454

414- The Address Book

An address is something many people take for granted today, but they are in fact a fairly recent invention that has shaped our cities and taken on great political importance. Deirdre Mask is the author of [The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power] (https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250134769) , which looks at all the ways the world has changed since the popularization of street addresses during the Enlightenment. The book examines how addresses impact wealth and poverty, and how they serve as proxies for our most contentious debates. Mask also explores a digital future where we aren't reliant on the numbers on our homes to tell us where we are or where we're going. [ The Address Book] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=33730&post_type=episode) Order [The 99% Invisible City] (http://99pi.org/book) ... Read more

22 Sep 2020

26 MINS

26:29

22 Sep 2020


#453

413- Highways 101

Icons and symbols and signage are all around us, and nowhere more so than on the open road. So for this episode of Ubiquitous Icons: hop in the car with Roman and Kurt for a crash course in roadside signage. We'll learn about the history of the stop sign, the iconic rural mailbox, and the signs that tell you what you'll find at highway exits. This is Highways 101. [Highways 101] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=33668&post_type=episode) Pre-order [The 99% Invisible City] (https://99percentinvisible.org/book/) ... Read more

15 Sep 2020

35 MINS

35:07

15 Sep 2020


#452

412- Where Do We Go From Here?

There have been many waves of panic and resistance to new people moving into the public sphere and needing accommodation. And a focus of that panic has often been… public bathrooms. The debate about trans bathroom access became a big national story a little over five years ago after the passage of ordinances in cities like Charlotte, North Carolina, and Houston, TX, which attempted to restrict which bathrooms trans people could or couldn’t use. Many transgender, non-binary, and intersex people risk stress and sometimes physical danger when entering bathrooms that are segregated by sex. But a group of people have devised a design solution that may make bathrooms better for everyone. [Where Do We Go From Here?] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=33580&post_type=episode) Pre-order the [The 99% Invisible City] (https://99percentinvisible.org/book/) ... Read more

09 Sep 2020

36 MINS

36:29

09 Sep 2020


#451

411- Podcast Episode

After the 1970s oil crisis, the global economy went into a recession. American unemployment hit 11 percent. And suddenly, middle-class families didn’t have money for name brands like Coke or Kellogg’s. Consumers wanted cheaper food. In response, supermarkets had to figure out how to make their store brands more appealing. One chain in France, called Carrefour, was developing a discount store brand when they had an idea. Instead of using bright colors, or putting their own name on the box, or using slogans or beautiful photos, their products were brandless. They would include just the name of the food, in black text, on a white background. This minimalist design was a brilliant marketing tool. It delivered the message that the food was cheap, and the savings were being passed down to consumers. Then generic branding spread around the world. [Podcast Episode] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?post_type=episode&p=33479) Buy [The 99% Invisible City] (https://99percentinvisible.org/book/) ... Read more

01 Sep 2020

35 MINS

35:23

01 Sep 2020


#450

244- The Revolutionary Post

Winifred Gallagher, author of How the Post Office Created America argues that the post office is not simply an inexpensive way to send a letter. The service was designed to unite a bunch of disparate towns and people under one flag, and in doing so, she believes the post office actually created the United States of America. This is a rebroadcast from October 2017 [The Revolutionary Post] (https://99percentinvisible.org/episode/the-revolutionary-post/) Buy [The 99% Invisible City] (https://99percentinvisible.org/book) , our first book! ... Read more

25 Aug 2020

19 MINS

19:17

25 Aug 2020


#449

410- Policing the Open Road

Before the twentieth century, most Americans rarely came into contact with police officers. But with more and more drivers behind the wheel, police departments rapidly expanded their forces and increased officers’ authority to stop citizens who violated traffic laws. The Fourth Amendment—the constitutional protection against unreasonable searches and seizures—did not effectively shield individuals from government intrusion while driving. Instead, jurists interpreted the amendment narrowly. In a society dependent on cars, everyone (the law-breaking and law-abiding alike) would be subject to discretionary policing. Sarah Seo's remarkable book Policing the Open Road shows how procedures designed to safeguard us on the road actually undermined the nation’s commitment to equal protection before the law. [Policing the Open Road] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=32846&post_type=episode) ... Read more

11 Aug 2020

37 MINS

37:55

11 Aug 2020


#448

409- California Love Scared Straight

Walter Thompson-Hernandez was just eleven years old when he was admitted to L.A.'s infamous Scared Straight program for graffiti related crimes. In this episode, Walter, through a chance encounter, checks-in with his friend who went through the program with him, their anti-tagging arch-nemesis, and how they have turned out after all these years. Part autobiography, part reportage, California Love is a richly sound-designed audio tour that takes us into the homes of communities that are touchstones to Walter’s life. Subscribe on [iTunes] (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/california-love/id1522337888) or through their [website] (https://laist.com/podcasts/california-love.php) ... Read more

04 Aug 2020

40 MINS

40:32

04 Aug 2020


#447

408- Valley of the Fallen

About an hour northwest of Madrid, an enormous stone crucifix rises 500 feet out of a rocky mountaintop. It’s so big you can see it from miles away. Beneath the cross, there’s a sprawling Benedictine monastery and a basilica carved out of the mountain. This place is called The Valley of the Fallen. And it’s likely the most controversial monument in Spain. The Valley is synonymous with Francisco Franco, the general who ruled Spain from the end of its bloody civil war in 1939 until his death in 1975. When Franco died, he became the Valley’s most notorious inhabitant, until he was removed in 2019. Currently there are tens of thousands of other bodies still trapped in the basilica beneath where Franco used to lie. Many were victims of Franco’s security forces, murdered during the height of the civil war, and for years, their families have been trying to get them out. [Valley of the Fallen] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=32765&post_type=episode) Buy [The 99% Invisible City] (https://99percentinvisible.org/book/) , our first book! ... Read more

29 Jul 2020

35 MINS

35:00

29 Jul 2020


#446

407- The Dolphin that Roared

When Emily Oberman found a flag of the island nation of Anguilla her father had helped design in her attic, she had no idea it was connected to one of the strangest political revolutions in history. [The Dolphin that Roared] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=32734&post_type=episode) Plus, we are so excited to announce the first 99pi book! [The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design] (http://99pi.org/book) by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt comes out October 6 and you should pre-order it right now! ... Read more

21 Jul 2020

40 MINS

40:36

21 Jul 2020


#445

406- A Side of Franchise

There are many books about McDonald’s that criticize the company for its many sins, and author Marcia Chatelain has read all of them. But her book comes at this famous fast-food restaurant from a different angle and with a much wider lens. In  [Franchise: The Golden Arches in Black America] (https://amzn.to/3fn1AHK) , Chatelain offers a critique of racial capitalism and a long history of trying to address social problems with business-based solutions. [A Side of Franchise] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=32696&post_type=episode) Plus, we are featuring an excerpt from the series [Race Traitor] (https://www.theheartradio.org/race-traitor-1) from [The Heart] (https://www.theheartradio.org/) . Subscribe! ... Read more

14 Jul 2020

38 MINS

38:07

14 Jul 2020


#444

405- Freedom House Ambulance Service

One night halfway through a graveyard shift at the hospital, orderly John Moon watched as two young men burst through the doors. They were working desperately to save a dying patient. Maybe today he wouldn’t bat an eye at this scene, but in 1970 nothing about it made sense. The two men weren’t doctors, and they weren’t nurses. And their strange uniforms weren’t hospital issued. Moon was witnessing the birth of a new profession—one that would go on to change the face of emergency medicine.  The two men were some of the worlds first paramedics, and, like Moon, they were Black. This is the story of Freedom House Ambulance Service of Pittsburgh. They were the first paramedics and they changed the way we think about emergency medicine. [Freedom House Ambulance Service] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?post_type=episode&p=32523) ... Read more

08 Jul 2020

44 MINS

44:11

08 Jul 2020


#443

404- Return of Oñate's Foot

All across the country, protestors have been tearing down old monuments. These monuments have been falling in the middle of historic protests against police brutality. Sparked by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, these demonstrations have spread to communities, big and small, across the country and around the world. And as they've grown, the protests have become about much more than police violence. This national uprising has inspired a massive reckoning with our country's past. Suddenly, decades of inertia and foot-dragging have given way to decisive action. In 2018, we did a story about a couple of controversial monuments in New Mexico. They honored a Spanish conquistador named Juan de Oñate, who was an early settler in the region. We're revisiting that story with extensive updates about the current protests and a shooting that occurred at an Oñate demonstration in June. [Return of Oñate's Foot] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=32447&post_type=episode) ... Read more

30 Jun 2020

53 MINS

53:50

30 Jun 2020


#442

403- Return of the Yokai

In the US, mascots are used to pump up crowds at sporting events, or for traumatizing generations of children at Chuck E. Cheese, but in Japan it’s different. There are mascots for towns, aquariums, dentists' offices, even prisons. There are mascots in cities that tell people not to litter, or remind them to be quiet on the train. Everything has a mascot and anything can be a mascot. The reason why mascots and character culture flourish in Japan is connected with the nation’s fascinating history with mythical monsters known as Yokai. [Return of the Yokai] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=32374&post_type=episode) ... Read more

24 Jun 2020

34 MINS

34:04

24 Jun 2020


#441

402- Instant Gramification

If you’re on Instagram, there’s a decent chance you’ve seen a picture of one particular building called the Yardhouse. It was designed by the London-based architecture collective Assemble. The design of the building had a lot to say about creating spaces that were functional, collaborative, and inexpensive. But people on Instagram mainly saw a pretty wall to serve as the backdrop to their photos. Instagram and architecture have formed a symbiosis and the consequences of them interacting and feeding back on each other are still playing out. [Instant Grammification] (https://99percentinvisible.org/?p=31613&post_type=episode) ... Read more

16 Jun 2020

33 MINS

33:47

16 Jun 2020