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      Wed 17 Jan 2018

      291- Thermal Delight 28m play

      When air conditioning was invented in 1902, it was designed to take out the humidity in the air so printers could run four color magazines, without the colors becoming offset due to the paper warping ... 76 more words

      Wed 10 Jan 2018

      290- Mini-Stories: Volume 4 39m play

      This part two of the 2017/2018 mini-stories episodes, where Roman interviews the staff and our collaborators about their favorite little design stories that don’t quite fill out an entire episode for ... 35 more words

      Tue 02 Jan 2018

      Biomimicry- Vox + 99% Invisible Video video 0m play

      Japan’s Shinkansen doesn’t look like your typical train. With its long and pointed nose, it can reach top speeds up to 150–200 miles per hour. It didn’t always look like this. Earlier models were roun... 94 more words

      Wed 20 Dec 2017

      289- Mini-Stories: Volume 3 37m play

      It’s the end of the year and time for our annual Mini-stories episodes. Mini-stories are quick hit stories that were maybe pitched to us from someone in the audience, or something interesting we saw o... 62 more words

      Tue 12 Dec 2017

      288- Guerrilla Public Service Redux 20m play

      In the early morning of August 5, 2001, artist Richard Ankrom and a group of friends assembled on the 4th Street bridge over the 110 freeway in Los Angeles. They had gathered to commit a crime. Years ... 103 more words

      Tue 05 Dec 2017

      287- The Nut Behind the Wheel 31m play

      In the past fifty years, the car crash death rate has dropped by nearly 80 percent in the United States. And one of the reasons for that drop has to do with the “accident report forms” that police off... 166 more words

      Tue 28 Nov 2017

      286- A 700-Foot Mountain of Whipped Cream 53m play

      While the 1960s shift in print and TV advertising has been heavily documented and mythologized by Mad Men, Madison Avenue’s radiophonic collision with the counterculture is less well known. A radio ad... 79 more words

      Tue 21 Nov 2017

      285- Money Makers 19m play

      For a long time, anti-counterfeiting laws made it illegal to show US currency in movies. Now you can show real money, but fake money is often preferred. Creating fake money that doesn’t break the law,... 13 more words

      Tue 14 Nov 2017

      284- Hero Props: Graphic Design in Film & Television 26m play

      When a new movie comes out, most of the praise goes to the director and the lead actors, but there are so many other people involved in a film, and a lot of them are designers. There are costume desig... 33 more words

      Tue 07 Nov 2017

      283- Dollhouses of St. Louis 27m play

      Back in the 1950s, St. Louis was segregated and The Ville was one of the only African-American neighborhoods in the city. The community was prosperous. Black-owned businesses thrived and the neighborh... 75 more words

      Tue 31 Oct 2017

      282- Oyster-tecture 29m play

      New York was built at the mouth of the Hudson River, and that fertile estuary environment was filled with all kinds of marine life. But one creature in particular shaped the landscape: the oyster. It ... 68 more words

      Tue 24 Oct 2017

      281- La Sagrada Familia 38m play

      The line to enter Barcelona’s most famous cathedral often stretches around the block. La Sagrada Família, designed by Antoni Gaudí, draws millions of visitors each year. There are a lot of Gothic chur... 12 more words

      Wed 18 Oct 2017

      280- Half Measures 29m play

      The United States is one of just a handful of countries that that isn’t officially metric. Instead, Americans measure things our own way, in units that are basically inscrutable to non-Americans, near... 13 more words

      Tue 10 Oct 2017

      279- The Containment Plan 29m play

      It’s hard to overstate the vastness of the Skid Row neighborhood in Los Angeles. It spans roughly 50 blocks, which is about a fifth of the entire downtown area of Los Angeles. It’s very clear when you... 8 more words

      Tue 03 Oct 2017

      278- The Athletic Brassiere 28m play

      Among the most important advances in sports technology, few can compete with the invention of the sports bra. Following the passage of Title IX in 1972, women’s interest in athletics surged. But their... 11 more words

      Tue 26 Sep 2017

      277- Ponte City Tower 33m play

      Ponte City Tower, the brutalist cylindrical high-rise that towers over Johannesburg, has gone from a symbol of white opulence to something far more complicated. It’s gone through very hard times, but ... 13 more words

      Tue 19 Sep 2017

      276- The Finnish Experiment 33m play

      Around the world, there is a lot of buzz around the idea of universal basic income (also known as “unconditional basic income” or UBI). It can take different forms or vary in the details, but in essen... 8 more words

      Tue 12 Sep 2017

      275- Coal Hogs Work Safe 25m play

      Coal miner stickers started out as little advertisements that the manufacturers of mining equipment handed out. Even before the late 1960s, when mining safety laws started requiring reflective materia... 16 more words

      Tue 05 Sep 2017

      274- The Age of the Algorithm 25m play

      Computer algorithms now shape our world in profound and mostly invisible ways. They predict if we’ll be valuable customers and whether we’re likely to repay a loan. They filter what we see on social m... 10 more words

      Tue 29 Aug 2017

      273- Notes on an Imagined Plaque 16m play

      Monuments don’t just appear in the wake of someone’s death — they are erected for reasons specific to a time and place. In 1905, one such memorial was put up in downtown Memphis, Tennessee, to commemo... 9 more words

      Tue 22 Aug 2017

      272- Person in Lotus Position 33m play

      Tech analysts estimate that over six billion emojis are sent each day. Emojis, which started off as a collection of low-resolution pixelated images from Japan, have become a well-established and graph... 14 more words

      Tue 15 Aug 2017

      271- The Great Dismal Swamp 28m play

      On the border of Virginia and North Carolina stretches a great, dismal swamp. The Great Dismal Swamp, actually — that’s the name British colonists gave it centuries ago. The swamp covers about 190 squ... 11 more words

      Wed 09 Aug 2017

      270- The Stethoscope 24m play

      Imagine for a moment the year 1800. A doctor is meeting with a patient – most likely in the patient’s home. The patient is complaining about shortness of breath. A cough, a fever. The doctor might che... 8 more words

      Tue 01 Aug 2017

      269- Ways of Hearing 42m play

      When the tape started rolling in old analog recording studios, there was a feeling that musicians were about to capture a particular moment. On tape, there was no “undo.” They could try again, if they... 9 more words

      Tue 25 Jul 2017

      268- El Gordo 28m play

      In Spain, they do the lottery differently. First of all, it’s a country-wide obsession — about 75% of Spaniards buy a ticket. There’s more than one lottery in Spain, but the one that Spaniards are the... 8 more words

      Tue 18 Jul 2017

      267- The Trials of Dan and Dave 57m play

      This is the story of an ad campaign produced for the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona. Perennial runner-up in the sports shoe category, Reebok, was trying to make its mark and take down Nike. They chos... 9 more words

      Tue 11 Jul 2017

      266- Repackaging the Pill 22m play

      Most people are familiar with at least one version of the birth control pill’s packaging — a round plastic disc which opens like a shell and looks like a makeup compact. But the pill wasn’t always pac... 8 more words

      Tue 04 Jul 2017

      265- The Pool and the Stream 34m play

      This is the 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 Califor... 13 more words

      Tue 27 Jun 2017

      264- Mexico 68 26m play

      The 1968 Olympics took place in Mexico City, Mexico. It was the first games ever hosted in a Latin American country. And for Mexico City, the event was an opportunity to show the world that they were ... 7 more words

      Tue 20 Jun 2017

      263- You Should Do a Story 30m play

      “You should do a story…” is the first line to a lot of the conversations you have when you work at 99pi. This week we look into a bunch of those stories suggested by our listeners and present them to ... 4 more words

      Tue 13 Jun 2017

      262- In the Same Ballpark 29m play

      In the 1992, the Baltimore Orioles opened their baseball season at a brand new stadium called Oriole Park at Camden Yards, right along the downtown harbor. The stadium was small and intimate, built wi... 11 more words

      Thu 08 Jun 2017

      Intro to a new Roman Mars podcast: What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law 13m play

      Special introductory episode to a new podcast produced by Roman Mars and Elizabeth Joh. Professor Elizabeth Joh teaches Intro to Constitutional Law and most of the time this is a pretty straight forwa... 12 more words

      Wed 07 Jun 2017

      199- The Yin and Yang of Basketball 23m play

      In 1891, a physical education teacher in Springfield, Massachusetts invented the game we would come to know as basketball. In setting the height of the baskets, he inadvertently created a design probl... 13 more words

      Tue 30 May 2017

      261- Squatters of the Lower East Side 30m play

      In 1987, three years after moving to New York City, Maggie Wrigley found herself on the edge of homelessness. She was trying to figure out where to stay, when she heard about an abandoned tenement bui... 9 more words

      Tue 23 May 2017

      260- New Jersey 22m play

      The Brazilian soccer shirt is iconic. Its bright canary yellow with green trim, worn with blue shorts, is known worldwide. The uniform is joyful and bold and seems to capture something essential about... 11 more words

      Tue 16 May 2017

      259- This Is Chance: Anchorwoman of the Great Alaska Earthquake 31m play

      This episode was recorded live as part of the Radiotopia West Coast Tour. It was the middle of the night on March 27, 1964. Earlier that evening, the second-biggest earthquake ever measured at the tim... 13 more words