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Design

99% Invisible

173- Awareness

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

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

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Song Exploder

Death Cab for Cutie - El Dorado

Monday, July 20, 2015

Death Cab for Cutie released Kintsugi, their 8th album, on March 31, 2015. The song El Dorado, like other songs on the record, was written in the wake of the divorce between the band's lead singer Ben Gibbard and actress Zooey Deschanel. In this episode, Ben talks about the metaphor of the city of El Dorado and how it fit the story he wanted to tell, about separation, unrealized dreams, and Culver City. Plus, he explains how a few pieces of equipment - a Fender Mustang, a Rhythm Master drum machine, and the VoiceLive unit - ended up shaping the creative process.

This episode is sponsored by Hover, Frank and Oak, and Lagunitas Brewing Company.

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99% Invisible

172- On Location

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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 … Continue reading

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Song Exploder

Sylvan Esso - Coffee

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Sylvan Esso has two members, Amelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, who met while they were both working on other projects. Amelia asked Nick to do a remix of a song by the band she was in at the time, and when that remix was done, they both loved how it turned out. They emailed song ideas back and forth for a while, until they found a time to be in the same place. It was at that point that they first started working on the song, "Coffee." In this episode, Nick and Amelia talk about the origins of the sounds and lyrics within the song, from a Little Tikes xylophone to "Hanky Panky" by Tommy James and the Shondells.

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99% Invisible

171- Johnnycab (Automation Paradox, Pt. 2)

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

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 reading

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Song Exploder

U2 - Cedarwood Road

Monday, June 29, 2015

10 Cedarwood Road is the address of Bono’s childhood home in Dublin. For the U2 song "Cedarwood Road," Bono looked back to his life there as a teenager, when skinhead culture seeped into his neighborhood via the Seven Towers, housing projects that were built around that time. In this episode, Bono traces the arc from those memories to the lyrics of "Cedarwood Road," and The Edge breaks down the process of how the music was written, with the original demo and the isolated tracks from the final recording.

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The Takeaway

The Best Five Things Online This Week

Friday, June 26, 2015

Taylor Swift eats Apple for lunch, a high school dance-off saves America, and Pixar gives everyone (and everything) the feels.

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99% Invisible

170- Children of the Magenta (Automation Paradox, pt. 1)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

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 headed across to Paris. Everything proceeded normally for several hours. Then, with no … Continue reading

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Song Exploder

Will Butler - Anna

Monday, June 22, 2015

Will Butler is a member of the band Arcade Fire, and he co-wrote the score for the film Her, which earned him an Oscar nomination. In March 2015, he put out his first solo album, Policy, and in this episode, he breaks down the song "Anna" from that record.

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99% Invisible

169- Freud’s Couch

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Sigmund Freud’s ground-breaking techniques and theories for therapy came to be called “psychoanalysis,” and it was embodied, in practice and popular culture, by a single piece of furniture: the couch. Producer Ann Hepperman explores the role of this canonical object in … Continue reading

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Song Exploder

Ramin Djawadi - Game of Thrones

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Game of Thrones premiered on HBO in April 2011 and became the most watched show in HBO's history. The main title theme was written by Emmy-nominated composer Ramin Djawadi. In this episode, he'll break down the different elements in the piece, and how themes within the show inspired his composition and choice of instruments.

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99% Invisible

168- All In Your Head

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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

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Studio 360

Los Angeles Is Bursting with Crystals

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Crystal formations have been popping out of the cracks and crevices in the Los Angeles streetscape. They're all the work of one mad paper-folding genius.
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Studio 360

Bringing Female Heroes to the LEGO Universe

Thursday, June 04, 2015

LEGO is stuck in the past with its lack of professional female characters. Maia Weinstock is trying to change that with sets of Supreme Court justices and scientists.

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99% Invisible

167- Voices in the Wire

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

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

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Song Exploder

Brian Tyler - Avengers: Age of Ultron

Friday, May 29, 2015

The title card for Avengers: Age of Ultron comes up twelve minutes into the movie. Against a black background, the Avengers logo takes up almost the entire screen. You might expect a triumphant, heroic piece of music, but the film called for something more complicated. Coming up, you'll hear why, and how composer Brian Tyler tackled that piece of score, in his third feature for Marvel Studios. It was recorded at Abbey Road Studios with the London Philharmonic, with Brian himself conducting.

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Studio 360

A Crash Course in Designing Life

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bio-hacking has become so easy, artists and hobbyists can take classes at Genspace in Brooklyn. So reporter Julia Wetherell took a crash course.

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99% Invisible

166- Viva La Arquitectura!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

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

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The Takeaway

In Age of Digital Art, Pencils Still Have a Place

Thursday, May 21, 2015

A new photography exhibit in London shows how artists' pencils reflect their personalities. Photos of pencils from Stephen Fry, Dave Eggers and others are featured. 

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Studio 360

9,000 Takes on "Do Not Disturb"

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A retired UN worker shares his vast collection of "Do Not Disturb" signs from hotels around the world.
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