178- The Great Restoration08/26/15
Stirling, Scotland is the home of Stirling Castle, which sits atop a giant crag, or hill, overlooking the whole town of Stirling. There has been a castle on that hill since the 12th century at least, and maybe before, but … Continue reading →
177- Lawn Order
In communities across America, lawns that are brown or overgrown are considered especially heinous. Elite squads of dedicated individuals have been deputized by their local governments or homeowners’ associations to take action against those whose...
176- Hard to Love a Brute
No matter which James Bond actor is your favorite, it’s undeniable that the Sean Connery films had the best villains. There’s Blofeld, who turned cat-stroking into a thing that super-villains do, and then there’s Goldfinger—Bond’s flashiest nemesis....
175- The Sunshine Hotel
The Bowery, in lower Manhattan, is one of New York’s oldest neighborhoods. It’s been through a lot of iterations. In the 1650s, a handful of freed slaves were the neighborhood’s first residents. At the time, New York was still a … Continue reading →
174- From the Sea, Freedom
In 1933, delegates from the United States and fourteen other countries met in Montevideo, Uruguay to define what it means to be a state. The resulting treaty from the Montevideo Convention established four basic criteria for statehood—essentially,...
By the late 1980s, AIDS had been in the United States for almost a decade. AIDS had be the number one killer of young men in New York City, then of young men in the country, then of young men … Continue reading →
172- On Location
So many classic movies have been made in downtown Los Angeles. Though many don’t actually take place in downtown Los Angeles. L.A. has played almost every city in the world, thanks to its diverse landscape and architectural variety, but particular …...
171- Johnnycab (Automation Paradox, Pt. 2)
More than 90% of all automobile accidents are all attributable to human error, for some car industry people, a fully-automated car is a kind of holy grail. However, as automation makes our lives easier and safer, it also creates more … Continue...
170- Children of the Magenta (Automation Paradox, pt. 1)
On the evening of May 31, 2009, 216 passengers, three pilots, and nine flight attendants boarded an Airbus 330 in Rio de Janeiro. This flight, Air France 447, was headedacross to Paris. Everythingproceeded normally for several hours. Then, with no …...
169- Freud’s Couch
Sigmund Freud’s ground-breaking techniques and theories for therapy came to be called “psychoanalysis,” and itwas embodied, in practice and popular culture, by a single piece of furniture: the couch. Producer Ann Hepperman explores the role of this...
168- All In Your Head
People who make horror movies know: if you want to scare someone, use scary music. Some of the most creative use of music and sound to evoke fear and anxiety is on the TV show Hannibal. Hrishikesh Hirway of Song … Continue reading →
167- Voices in the Wire
This week on 99% Invisible, we have two stories about the early days of broadcasting and home sound recording, produced by Radio Diaries and the Kitchen Sisters. The sounds that came out Frank Conrad’s Garage in 1919 and 1920 are … Continue reading →
166- Viva La Arquitectura!
On January 3rd, 1961, Che Guevara suggested to Fidel Castro that they go play a round of golf. They drove out to what was then the ritziest, most elite country club in Havana. It was empty—almost all the members had … Continue reading →
165- The Nutshell Studies
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, Maryland is a busy place. Anyone who dies unexpectedly in the state of Maryland will end up there for an autopsy. On an average day, they might perform twelve autopsies; on … Continue reading →
164- The Post-Billiards Age
We live in a post-billiards age. There was an age of billiards, and it has been over for so long, most of us have no idea how huge billiards once was. For many decades, starting in the mid-19th Century, billiards … Continue reading →
163- The Gruen Effect
Retail spaces are designed forimpulse shopping. When you go to a store looking for socks and come out with a new shirt, it’s only partly your fault. Shopsare trying to look sobeautiful, so welcoming, the items so enticingly displayed and … Continue...
162- Mystery House
According to legend, Sarah Winchester’s friends advised the grieving widow to seek the services of a Boston spiritual medium named Adam Koombs. The storygoes, Koombs put Mrs. Winchester in touch with her deceased husband—but William had bad news. He...
161- Show of Force
DuringWorld War II, a massive recruitment effort targeted students from the top art schools acrossthe country. These young designers, artists, and makers were being asked to helpexecutea wildidea that came out of one the nation’s most conservative...
160- Perfect Security
The pursuit of lock picking is as old as the lock, which is itself as old as civilization. But in the entire history of the world, there was only one brief moment, lasting about 70 years, where you could put … Continue reading →
159- The Calendar
A month is hardly a unit of measurement. It can start on any day of the week and last anywhere from 28 to 31 days. Sometimes a month is four weeks long, sometimes five, sometimes six. You have to buy … Continue reading →
- San Francisco, CA