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99% Invisible

99% Invisible

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.

A proud member of Radiotopia, from PRX. Learn more at radiotopia.fm.

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Episodes

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

2020-07-08
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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

2020-06-30
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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

2020-06-24
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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

2020-06-16
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Wedding Dresses: Articles of Interest #12

A wedding was once seen as a start of young adulthood. Now, a wedding has come to represent a crowning achievement -- a symbol that your whole life is together and you have accrued the time and space and resources to afford your ascent to another level of fulfillment. And there's no greater symbol for this day, and all the pressure it brings, than a white dress.

Articles of Interest is a limited-run podcast series about fashion, housed inside the design and architecture podcast 99% Invisible. Launched in 2018 by Avery Trufelman, the show encourages people to rethink the way we look at what we wear and what it says about us.

2020-06-09
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Diamonds: Articles of Interest #11

Diamonds represent value, in all its multiple meanings: values, as in ethics, and value as in actual price. But what are these rocks actually worth? The ethics and costs of diamond rings have shifted with society, from their artificial scarcity perpetuated by DeBeers to their artificial creation in labs.

Articles of Interest is a limited-run podcast series about fashion, housed inside the design and architecture podcast 99% Invisible. Launched in 2018 by Avery Trufelman, the show encourages people to rethink the way we look at what we wear and what it says about us.

2020-05-29
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Suits: Articles of Interest #10

Menswear can seem boring. If you look at any award show, most of the men are dressed in black pants and black jackets. This uniform design can be traced back to American Revolution, classical statuary, and one particular bloke bopping around downtown London way back in the 1770s.

Articles of Interest is a limited-run podcast series about fashion, housed inside the design and architecture podcast 99% Invisible. Launched in 2018 by Avery Trufelman, the show encourages people to rethink the way we look at what we wear and what it says about us.

2020-05-26
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Perfume: Articles of Interest #9

The world of high end perfume is surprisingly lucrative, considering that scent is often the most ignored of our senses. But one can't judge a scent solely by the brand and shape of the bottle. With the right amount of attention, perfume can be a key to a whole olfactory world.

Articles of Interest is a limited-run podcast series about fashion, housed inside the design and architecture podcast 99% Invisible. Launched in 2018 by Avery Trufelman, the show encourages people to rethink the way we look at what we wear and what it says about us.

2020-05-19
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Knockoffs: Articles of Interest #8

Brands hold immense sway over both consumers and the American legal system. Few know this as well as Dapper Dan, who went from street hustler to fashion impresario and has spent time on both sides of American trademark law.

Articles of Interest is a limited-run podcast series about fashion, housed inside the design and architecture podcast 99% Invisible. Launched in 2018 by Avery Trufelman, the show encourages people to rethink the way we look at what we wear and what it says about us.

2020-05-15
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A Fantasy of Fashion: Articles of Interest #7

In the wake of World War II, the government of France commissioned its most prominent designers to create a collection of miniature fashion dolls. It might seem like an odd thing to fund, but the fantasy of high fashion inspired hope in postwar Paris. These dolls also forever changed the curator who discovered them almost 40 years later, in a strange museum perched on a cliff in rural Washington state.

Articles of Interest is a limited-run podcast series about fashion, housed inside the design and architecture podcast 99% Invisible. Launched in 2018 by Avery Trufelman, the show encourages people to rethink the way we look at what we wear and what it says about us.

2020-05-12
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401- The Natural Experiment

In general, the coronavirus shutdowns have been terrible for academic research. Trips have been canceled, labs have shut down, and long-running experiments have been interrupted. But there are some researchers for whom the shutdowns have provided a unique opportunity?a whole new data set, a chance to gather new information, or to look at information in a new way. And so, this week, we?re bringing you stories very different academic fields, about researchers who are using this bizarre, tragic moment to learn something new about the world.

The Natural Experiment

2020-05-06
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400- The Smell of Concrete After Rain

There have been over 200,000 deaths as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. All have been tragic, but there are two people in particular we?ve lost due to COVID that were part of the world of architecture and design that we want to honor with a couple of stories today. First, we are mourning the loss of architect Michael McKinnell. Along with Gerhard Kallman, McKinnell designed the unforgettable Boston City Hall, completed in 1968. They won the commission for Boston City Hall after submitting their brutalist, heroic monument in a contest when Michael McKinnell was just 26 years old. It was always a controversial structure, much of the public found it ugly and too unconventional, but architects and critics tend to love it. This is the often the case with Brutalism in general and that is the subject of our first story starring Boston City Hall.

Another voice who is gone too early was Michael Sorkin. Sorkin was a designer and the Village Voice architecture critic in the 80s. He brought a totally new kind of approach to writing about buildings, one that focused on people and politics. We spoke with design critic at Curbed, Alexandra Lange, about Sorkin's work, and Roman Mars reads excerpts from one of his pieces called Two Hundred and Fifty Things an Architect Should Know.

The Smell of Concrete After Rain

2020-04-29
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399- Masking for a Friend

Here in the US, we're not used to needing to cover half of our faces in public, but if you look at the other side of the world, it's a different story. In parts of Asia, wearing a mask in response to the coronavirus pandemic was a totally easy and normal adjustment. Rebecca Kanthor is a reporter based in Shanghai who has lived in China for the past 17 years, and she tells us why the culture behind masks developed so differently there, and the doctor who started it all.

Plus, we look at the manufacturers who pivoted to make products that are in short supply because of the pandemic.

Masking for a Friend

We have a book coming out!!! Check out The 99% Invisible City here.

2020-04-21
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398- Unsheltered in Place

99% Invisible producer Katie Mingle had already been working on a series about unhoused people in the Bay Area for over a year when the current pandemic began to unfold. Suddenly, this vulnerable demographic was cast into the spotlight due to the virulent spread of COVID-19. It is clear from the data that this virus is hitting black and poor communities the hardest. COVID-19 has made American society?s racial and wealth inequities even more obvious. The disease is most dangerous to older and immunocompromised people, two groups to which those experiencing homelessness disproportionately belong.

Plus, hotels have long been used as crucial infrastructure during disasters. Now they?re being used to help fight the pandemic.

Unsheltered in Place

2020-04-14
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397- Wipe Out

If you have tried to buy toilet paper in the last few weeks, you might have found yourself staring at an empty aisle in the grocery store, wondering where all the toilet paper has gone. Although it may seem like a product that we've always been reliant upon, toilet paper has not actually been around very long, and may not be as essential as we think it is. Instead, it's the product of very good marketing.

Plus, we talk about the bane of wastewater utilities everywhere: flushable wipes.

Wipe Out

2020-04-07
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396- This Day in Esoteric Political History

In times like these, we could all use a little historical perspective. In this new podcast from Radiotopia, Jody Avirgan, political historian Nicole Hemmer, and special guests rescue moments from U.S. history to map our journey through a tumultuous year.

On this episode of 99% Invisible, Jody talks with Roman about his new show and we play two short episodes of This Day in Esoteric Political History.

Subscribe to This Day in Esoteric Political History on Apple Podcasts

2020-03-31
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395- This is Chance! Redux

It was the middle of the night on March 27, 1964. Earlier that evening, the second-biggest earthquake ever measured at the time had hit Anchorage, Alaska. Some houses had been turned completely upside down while others had skidded into the sea. But that brief and catastrophic quake was just the beginning of the story. This is the story of one woman who held a community together.

This is Chance! Redux

Buy Jon Mooallem?s This is Chance!

2020-03-25
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394- Roman Mars Describes Things As They Are

On this shelter-in-place edition of 99pi, Roman walks around his house and tells stories about the history and design of various objects

Buy Beauty Pill Describes Things As They Are and all Beauty Pill records on Bandcamp or wherever you can find it.

Roman Mars Describes Things As They Are

2020-03-17
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393- Map Quests: Political, Physical and Digital

The only truly accurate map of the world would be a map the size of the world. So if you want a map to be useful, something you can hold in your hands, you have to start making choices. We have to choose what information we're interested in, and what we're throwing out. Those choices influence how the person reading the map views the world. But a map?s influence doesn?t end there, maps can actually *shape *the place they?re trying to represent and that?s where things get weird.

Map Quests

2020-03-11
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392- The Weather Machine

The weather can be a simple word or loaded with meaning depending on the context -- a humdrum subject of everyday small talk or a stark climactic reality full of existential associations with serious disasters. In his book The Weather Machine, author Andrew Blum discusses these extremes and much in between, taking readers back in time to early weather-predicting aspirations and forward with speculation about the future of forecasting, including potentially dark clouds on the horizon.

The Weather Machine

2020-03-03
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391- Over the Road

At the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Kentucky, drivers from all over the country converge each year to show off their chrome and exchange stories, tips and gripes. One thing unites most in attendance this year: concerns about the steady march of technology, especially the recently imposed, mandatory electronic logging device, or ELD, which records every detail of a driver?s working hours.

Over the Road is an eight-part series that gives voice to the trials and triumphs of America?s long haul truckers. Host ?Long Haul Paul? Marhoefer, a musician, storyteller and trucker for nearly 40 years, takes you behind the wheel to explore a devoted community and a world that?s changing amidst new technologies and regulations.

Listen to more episodes at OvertheRoad.fm.

2020-02-26
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390- Fraktur

If you have ever caught even one minute of the history channel, you have seen fraktur. You?ve seen the font on Nazi posters, on Nazi office buildings, on Nazi roadwork signs. Today in Germany, blackletter typefaces are frequently used by Neo-Nazi groups and for many Germans, they bring to mind the dark times of the country?s fascist past. This is ironic because fraktur has a long and strange history that includes the font actually being banned by the Nazis.

Plus, we get an opinion from Kate Wagner (McMansion Hell) about ?Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again.?

Fraktur

2020-02-19
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389- Whomst Among Us Has Let The Dogs Out

The story of how ?Who Let The Dogs Out? ended up stuck in all of our brains goes back decades and spans continents. It tells us something about inspiration, and how creativity spreads, and about whether an idea can ever really belong to just one person. About ten years ago, Ben Sisto was reading the Wikipedia entry for the song when he noticed something strange. A hairdresser in England named ?Keith? was credited with giving the song to the Baha Men, but Keith had no last name and the fact had no citation. This mystery sent Ben down a rabbit hole to uncover the true story.

Whomst Among Us Has Let The Dogs Out

2020-02-12
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388- Missing the Bus

If you heard that there was a piece of technology that could do away with traffic jams, make cities more equitable, and help us solve climate change, you might think about driverless cars, or hyperloops or any of the other new transportation technologies that get lots of hype these days. But there is a much older, much less sexy piece of machinery that could be the key to making our cities more sustainable, more liveable, and more fair: the humble bus. Steve Higashide is a transit expert, bus champion, and author of a new book called Better Busses Better Cities. And the central thesis of the book is that buses have the power to remake our cities for the better.

Missing the Bus

2020-02-05
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387- The Worst Video Game Ever

Deep within the National Museum of American History?s vaults is a battered Atari case containing what?s known as ?the worst video game of all time.? The game is E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, and it was so bad that not even the might of Steven Spielberg could save it. It was so loathsome that all remaining copies were buried deep in the desert. And it was so horrible that it?s blamed for the collapse of the American home video game industry in the early 1980s.

Subscribe to Sidedoor on Apple Podcasts or RadioPublic

The Worst Video Game Ever

2020-01-28
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386- Their Dark Materials

Vantablack is a pigment that reaches a level of darkness that?s so intense, it?s kind of upsetting. It?s so black it?s like looking at a hole cut out of the universe. If it looks unreal because Vantablack isn?t actually a color, it?s a form of nanotechnology. It was created by the tech industry for the tech industry, but this strange dark material would also go on to turn the art world on its head.

Their Dark Materials

2020-01-22
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385- Shade

Journalist Sam Bloch used to live in Los Angeles. And while lots of people move to LA for the sun and the hot temperatures, Bloch noticed a real dark side to this idyllic weather: in many neighborhoods of the city, there's almost no shade. Shade can literally be a matter of life and death. Los Angeles, like most cities around the world, is heating up. And in dry, arid environments like LA, shade is perhaps the most important factor influencing human comfort. Without shade, the chance of mortality, illness, and heatstroke can go way up.

Shade

2020-01-15
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384- Mini-Stories: Volume 8

This is part 2 of the 2019- 2020 mini-stories episodes where I interview the staff about their favorite little stories from the built world that don?t quite fill out an entire episode for whatever reason but they are cool 99pi stories nonetheless?

We have centuries old bonds, standard tunings mandated by international treaty, abandoned mansions, and secret babies. If you ever need a conversation starter, the mini-stories are our gift to you.

Mini-Stories 8

2020-01-07
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383- Mini-Stories: Volume 7

It?s the end of the year and time for our annual mini-stories episodes. Mini-stories are fun, quick hit stories that came up in our research for another episode...or maybe it was some cool thing someone told us about that we found really interesting. They didn?t quite warrant a full episode and two months of hard reporting, but they?re great 99pi stories nonetheless. And my favorite part is we do them as unscripted interviews where I?m in the studio with the people who work on this show, who I like a lot. Sometimes I know a little about what they?re going to talk about, but sometimes I know nothing. It?s very fun. This week we have stories of mistaken identity, unreachable iconic tour destinations, haunted architecture, and of course, raccoons.

Mini-Stories: Volume 7

Make your mark. Go to radiotopia.fm to donate today.

2019-12-19
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Smart Stuff with Justin and Roman- Founder Effect

The long-awaited return of Smart Stuff with Justin and Roman, featuring Justin McElroy and Roman Mars.

Make your mark. Go to radiotopia.fm to donate today.

Everyone should listen to My Brother, My Brother, and Me on the Max Fun Network.

2019-12-15
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382- The ELIZA Effect

Throughout Joseph Weizenbaum's life, he liked to tell this story about a computer program he?d created back in the 1960s as a professor at MIT. It was a simple chatbot named ELIZA that could interact with users in a typed conversation. As he enlisted people to try it out, Weizenbaum saw similar reactions again and again -- people were entranced by the program. They would reveal very intimate details about their lives. It was as if they?d just been waiting for someone (or something) to ask. ELIZA was one of the first computer programs that could convincingly simulate human conversation, which Weizenbaum found frankly a bit disturbing.

The ELIZA Effect

Make your mark. Go to radiotopia.fm to donate today.

2019-12-11
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381- The Infantorium

?Incubators for premature babies were, oddly enough, a phenomenon at the turn of the 20th century that was available at state and county fairs and amusement parks rather than hospitals,? explains Lauren Rabinowitz, an amusement park historian. If you wanted your at-risk premature baby to survive, you pretty much had to bring them to an amusement park. These incubator shows cropped up all over America. And they were a main source of healthcare for premature babies for over forty years.

The Infantorium

Make your mark. Go to radiotopia.fm to donate today.

2019-12-03
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380- Mannequin Pixie Dream Girl

In the 1930s, Lester Gaba was designing department store windows and found the old wax mannequins uninspiring. So he designed a new kind of mannequin that was sleek, simple, but conveyed style and personality. As a marketing stunt, he took one of these mannequins everywhere with him and she became a national obsession. ?Cynthia? captivated millions and was the subject of a 14-page spread in Life Magazine. Cynthia and the other Gaba Girls changed the look and feel of retail stores.

Mannequin Pixie Dream Girl

Make your mark. Go to radiotopia.fm to donate today.

2019-11-27
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379- Cautionary Tales

Galileo tried to teach us that adding more and more layers to a system intended to avert disaster often makes catastrophe all the more likely. His basic lesson has been ignored in nuclear power plants, financial markets and at the Oscars... all resulting in chaos. At the 2017 Academy Awards, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway famously handed the Best Picture Oscar to the wrong movie. In this episode of Cautionary Tales, Tim Harford takes us through all of the poor design choices leading into the infamous La La Land/Moonlight debacle, and how it could have been prevented.

Cautionary Tales

Subscribe to Cautionary Tales on Apple Podcasts

2019-11-19
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378- Ubiquitous Icons: Peace, Power, and Happiness

There are symbols all around us that we take for granted, like the lightning strike icon, which indicates that something is high voltage. Or a little campfire to indicate that something is flammable. Those icons are pretty obvious, but there are others that aren't so straightforward. Like, why do a triangle and a stick in a circle indicate "peace"? Where does the smiley face actually come from? Or the power symbol? We sent out the 99PI team to dig into the backstory behind some of those images you see every day.

Ubiquitous Icons: Peace, Power, and Happiness

2019-11-13
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377- How To Pick A Pepper

The chili pepper is the pride of New Mexico, but they have a problem with their beloved crop. There just aren?t enough workers to pick the peppers. Picking chili peppers can be especially grueling work even compared to other crops. So most workers are skipping chili harvests in favor of other sources of income.  As a result, small family farms have been planting less and less chili every year in favor of other less-labor intensive crops. So, scientists are trying to find ways to automate the harvest, but picking chilis turned out to be a tough job for a robot.

How To Pick A Pepper

Rose Eveleth?s podcast is called Flash Forward. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or RadioPublic.

2019-11-05
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376- Great Bitter Lake Association

A little-known bit of world history about a rag tag group of sailors stranded for years in the Suez Canal at the center of a war.

Great Bitter Lake Association

2019-10-30
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375- Audio Guide to the Imperfections of a Perfect Masterpiece

To help celebrate its 60th anniversary, the Guggenheim Museum teamed up with 99% Invisible to offer visitors a guided audio experience of the museum. Even if you've never been to the Guggenheim Museum, you probably recognize it. From the outside, the building is a light gray spiral, and from the inside, the art is displayed on one long ramp that curves up towards a glass skylight in the ceiling. We?re going to take the greatness of this building as a given. What we?re going to focus on are the oddities, the accretions, the interventions that reveal a different kind of genius. Not just the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright, and his bold, original vision, but the genius of all the people that made this building function, adapt, and grow over the decades.

Audio Guide to the Imperfections of a Perfect Masterpiece

2019-10-23
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374- Unsure Footing

Before 1992, the easiest way to run the time off the clock in a soccer game was just to pass the ball to the goalkeeper, who could pick the ball up, and hold it for a few seconds before throwing it back into play. This was considered by some to be unsportsmanlike and bad for spectators. So in 1992, the International Football Association Board, the committee in charge of determining the rules of soccer, made a minor change to the laws of the game. From that season forward, in every league throughout the world, when a player passed the ball back to the goalkeeper, the goalkeeper could no longer use their hands. The backpass law didn?t seem like a huge change at the time, but it fundamentally changed soccer.

Unsure Footing

2019-10-15
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373- The Kirkbride Plan

Today, there are more than a hundred abandoned asylums in the United States that, to many people, probably seem scary and imposing, but not so long ago they weren't seen as scary at all. Many of them were built part of a treatment regimen developed by a singular Philadelphia doctor named Thomas Story Kirkbride. Kirkbride was obsessed with architecture and how it could be harnessed therapeutically to cure people suffering from mental illness.

The Kirkbride Plan

2019-10-08
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372- The Help-Yourself City

There?s an idea in city planning called ?informal urbanism.?  Some people call it ?do-it-yourself urbanism.?  Informal urbanism covers all the ways people try to change their community that isn?t through city planning or some kind of official process. If you?ve put up a homemade sign warning people not to sit on a broken bench, that?s DIY urbanism. If you?ve used cones or a chair to reserve your own parking spot on a public street, that?s also DIY urbanism.

Gordon Douglas has written a whole book about this idea called ?The Help Yourself City.? It looks at all the ways people are taking matters into their own hands. Both for good reasons and for incredibly selfish ones.

The Help-Yourself City

2019-10-01
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99% Invisible presents What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law

Donald Trump took office 977 days ago, and it has been exhausting. Independent of where you are politically, I think we can all agree that the news cycle coming out of Washington DC has been very intense for anyone who has been paying attention at all. One of the reasons for the fervor is Trump?s role as a very norm breaking president. If you like him, that?s why you like him, if you hate him, that?s why you hate him. But my reaction to all this, was that I realized I didn?t really know what all the norms and rules are, so I wanted to create for myself a Constitutional Law class and the syllabus would be determined by Trump?s tweets. This is where my friend, neighbor and brains behind this operation, Elizabeth Joh, comes in. She is a professor at the UC  Davis school of law and she teaches Con Law. And since June of 2017, she has been kind enough to hang out with me and teach me lessons about the US Constitution, that I then record and release as the podcast What Trump Can Teach us About Con Law. We call it Trump Con Law for short.

After a long hiatus, we?re back with monthly episodes, so I wanted to reintroduce it to the 99pi audience because you may not know about it and because people often comment that the nature of the calm historically grounded, educational discussion is a soothing salve amidst the chaotic and unnerving political news of the day.

We?re presenting two classic episodes on Impeachment and Prosecuting a President.

Subscribe to What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law on Apple Podcasts and RadioPublic

2019-09-24
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371- Dead Cars

Everything in Bethel, Alaska comes in by cargo plane or barge, and even when something stops working, it?s often too expensive and too inconvenient to get it out again. So junk accumulates. Diane McEachern has been a resident of Bethel for about 20 years, and she?s made it her personal mission to count every single dead car in the city. Dead cars are the most visible manifestation of the town?s junk problem. You see them everywhere -- broken down, abandoned, left to rust and rot out in the elements.

Dead Cars

Plus, a preview of Radiotopia?s newest series Passenger List. Subscribe!

2019-09-18
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370- The Pool and the Stream Redux

This is the newly updated story of a curvy, kidney-shaped swimming pool born in Northern Europe that had a huge ripple effect on popular culture in Southern California and landscape architecture in Northern California, and then the world. A documentary in three parts with a brand new update about how this episode resulted in a brand new skate park in a very special city.

The Pool and the Stream Redux

2019-09-10
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369- Wait Wait...Tell Me!

Waiting is something that we all do every day, but our experience of waiting, varies radically depending on the context. And it turns out that design can completely change whether a five minute wait feels reasonable or completely unbearable. Transparency is key.

Wait Wait...Tell Me!

2019-09-04
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368- All Rings Considered

Before we turned our phones to silent or vibrate, there was a time when everyone had ringtones -- when the song your phone played really said something about you. These simple, 15 second melodies were disposable, yet highly personal trinkets. They started with monophonic bleeps and bloops and eventually became actual clips of real songs. And it was all thanks to a man named Vesku-Matti Paananen.

All Rings Considered

2019-08-28
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367- Peace Lines

There are many walls in Belfast which physically separate Protestant neighborhoods from Catholic ones. Some are fences that you can see through, while others are made of bricks and steel. Many have clearly been reinforced over time: a cinderblock wall topped with corrugated iron, then topped with razor wire, stretching up towards the sky. Many of the walls in Northern Ireland went up in the 1970s and ?80s at the height of what?s become known as ?The Troubles.? Decades later, almost all of the walls remain standing. They cut across communities like monuments to the conflict, etched into the physical landscape. Taking them down isn?t going to be easy.

Peace Lines

2019-08-21
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366- Model City

During the depths of the Depression in the late 1930s, 300 craftspeople came together for two years to build an enormous scale model of the City of San Francisco. This Works Progress Administration (WPA) project was conceived as a way of putting artists to work while also creating a planning tool for the city to imagine its future.

The massive work was meant to remain on public view for all to see, but World War II broke out and the 6,000 piece, hand-carved and painted wooden model was put into storage for almost 80 years.

Model City

This episode was produced by The Kitchen Sisters, Nikki Silva and Davia Nelson with Nathan Dalton and Brandi Howell. Mixed by Jim McKee

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2019-08-13
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365- On Beeing

Farmers have known for centuries that putting a hive of honeybees in an orchard results in more blossoms becoming cherries, almonds, apples and the like.  Yet it?s only in the last 30 years that pollination services have become such an enormous part of American agriculture. Today, bees have become more livestock than wild creatures, little winged cows, that depend on humans for food and shelter.

On Beeing

2019-08-06
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364- He's Still Neutral

When confronted with trash piling up on a median in front of their home in Oakland, Dan and Lu Stevenson decided to try something unusual: they would install a statue of the Buddha to watch over the place. When asked by Criminal?s Phoebe Judge why they chose this particular religious figure, Dan explained simply: ?He?s neutral.?

He?s Still Neutral

Subscribe to Criminal on Apple Podcasts or RadioPublic

2019-07-31
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