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Song Exploder

Spoon - Inside Out

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Spoon was formed in 1993 by singer Britt Daniel and drummer Jim Eno. They've released eight albums, including their most recent record, They Want My Soul, which came out in August 2014. In this episode, Jim Eno breaks down the song Inside Out,...

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Studio 360

User-Unfriendly Objects

Monday, August 18, 2014

Katerina Kamprani’s work has been described as vindictive, sadistic, frustrating, and twisted. You might use those words, too, if you tried on her rain boots (with an open toe), sat in her chair (with a slanted seat), or tried to eat your lunch with one of her forks (which collapses like nunchucks).

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Studio 360

Judging a Designer by His Covers

Friday, August 15, 2014

When Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo came out, it didn’t look like any other book of its kind. That’s thanks to Peter Mendelsund, whose uncluttered book jacket designs are irresistible, and always come from his deep engagement with the material.

Slideshow: A Selection of Mendelsund's Covers

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Studio 360

Sideshow Podcast: Bea Arthur and Unicorns Teach You the Heimlich Maneuver

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

There’s one item you can find in most restaurants from New York to California: A poster telling you how to save someone who’s choking. Though required by law in many states, those simple greyscale instructions tend to fade into the wallpaper. Until now.

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99% Invisible

127- The Sound of Sports

Monday, August 11, 2014

Way back in October 2011 (see episode #38, true believers!), we broadcast a short excerpt of a radio documentary produced by Peregrine Andrews about faking the sounds of sports on TV broadcasts. It was one of our most popular and provocative programs e...

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Milton Glaser Takes on Global Dying

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

The legendary designer - who came up with the "I [Heart] NY" logo - has a new campaign focused on climate change.

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Song Exploder

Brian Reitzell - Watch Dogs

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

In May 2014, the video game company Ubisoft released Watch Dogs, about a vigilante hacker in Chicago in the near future. Here's how the game is described on their website: "You play as Aiden Pearce, a brilliant hacker and former thug, whose criminal...

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Studio 360

Psychedelic Paper Art or High-Level Math?

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Jen Stark's lush paper landscapes seem both psychedelic and scientific. Using trippy shapes and colors, she draws you into a place of quiet mystery.

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99% Invisible

126- Walk This Way

Monday, August 04, 2014

As humans have developed cities and built environments, we have also needed to develop ways to find our way through them. Sam Greenspan went on a wayfinding tour with Jim Harding in the Atlanta airport. Harding is one of the expert "invisibles" that do...

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99% Invisible

125- Duplitecture

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The best knock-offs in the world are in China. There are plenty of fake designer handbags and Rolexes, but China's knock-offs go way beyond fashion. There are knock-off Apple stores that look so much like the real thing,

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99% Invisible

124- Longbox

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Reporter Whitney Jones argues that R.E.M.’s Out of Time is the most politically significant album in the history of the United States. Because of its packaging.

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99% Invisible

123- Snowflake

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Well before the early 1500s, when Sir Thomas Moore first coined the term "Utopia," people have been thinking about how to design their ideal community. Maybe it's one that doesn't use money, or one that drops traditional family structures and raises ch...

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Song Exploder

Open Mike Eagle - Dark Comedy Morning Show (feat. Toy Light)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

In this episode, rapper Open Mike Eagle talks about making the song Dark Comedy Morning Show, along with the track's producer, Walker Ashby, aka Toy Light. Mike breaks down how Toy Light's original instrumental version of this song inspired him, and...

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Studio 360

Go, Café Racer!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Motorcycle enthusiasts are bringing back a stripped-down, minimal look that recalls British bikes of the 1950s and 1960s. Called café racers, these motorcycles are pretty much the opposite of those hulking Harleys and neon Kawasakis you might pass on the highway.

Slideshow: Walt Siegl's Motorcyles

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99% Invisible

122- Good Egress

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

When designing a commercial structure, there is one safety component that must be designed right into the building from the start: egress. “Egress” refers to an entire exit system from a building: stairs, corridors,

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Studio 360

Will Your Next Car Fly?

Friday, July 04, 2014

Along with robots and ray guns, the 21st century was definitely supposed to include flying cars. What happened?

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Studio 360

Kirk to Enterprise: The Piece of Star Trek in Your Pocket

Friday, July 04, 2014

“By 2013, I literally envisioned that I would be retiring on the moon,” says Candy Torres, a former software engineer for the International Space Station. Like so many scientists of her generation, Torres grew up watching Star Trek in the late 1960s. On the Enterprise ...

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99% Invisible

121- Cold War Kids

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

During the 1961 Berlin Crisis—one of the various moments in the cold war in which we came frighteningly close to engaging in actual war with the Soviets—President John F. Kennedy vowed to identify spaces in "existing structures both public and private ...

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Song Exploder

The Microphones - I Want Wind to Blow

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

In the fall of 2001, Phil Elverum released the album The Glow Pt 2 on K Records. Pitchfork named it the best album of the year. In this episode, Phil recounts how he created the first song on the record at Dub Narcotic Studio. He spoke with me from...

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99% Invisible

120- Skyjacking

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The term "hijacking" goes back to prohibition days, when gangsters would rob moonshine trucks saying, "Hold your hands high, Jack!" However, in the early days of commercial air travel, the idea that someone would hijack a plane was scarcely even consid...

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