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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

99% Invisible

If you don't already listen to the 99% Invisible podcast, then prepare to spend the next month or so catching up on old episodes (as I did towards the end of last year). Ostensibly, it is a podcast about design and architecture, but, in practice, it is a podcast about everything. The producers of 99% Invisible could argue, and rightly so, that it is a podcast about everything because design plays a role in almost every aspect of our lives, but that is only part of it. What I think is that, in an attempt to create a podcast about the interesting elements of design, they came to realize that there is almost nothing around us that isn't interesting if you dig in closely enough to the details.

As an example, a certain blog that I happen to curate (and that you, in turn, happen to consume) was the topic of the latest installment of 99% Invisible. Now, I put this blog, in terms of educational value/cultural awareness/architectural enlightenment somewhere in between a dick joke and a fart joke. It is, lest we kid ourselves, not much more than photos of old Pizza Huts.

But the good people at 99% Invisible (namely, Sam Greenspan and Roman Mars), who put this episode together, bothered themselves with the details of former Pizza Huts in a way that yours truly had not considered to do. The history of the buildings, the socio-economic reasons for their rise and fall, the official stance of Pizza Hut's corporate offices on this phenomenon -- these are all the kinds of things that they found interesting about this topic. And they were kind enough to share their findings -- with those of us who are still laughing over the word "fart" -- for our own enlightenment.

I had the pleasure of working with local producer Margaret Krauss on this piece, who, herself, is all kinds of interesting and talented.

Please check out episode 103 of 99% Invisible. Give Sam and Roman a follow on Twitter, and Like their page on Facebook. Maybe even buy a "Read the Plaque" shirt from their site (you will need to listen to a few episodes to get that reference).

Then, after you done got your learn on, come back here and laugh at silly pictures of abandoned buildings.

And if you came to this site via 99% Invisible, welcome.

Yours in childish humor being turned into something educational by much smarter people,