99% Invisible

US paper currency is so ubiquitous that to really look at its graphic design with fresh eyes requires some deliberate and focused attention. So pull out a greenback from your wallet (or look at a picture online) and really take it in. All the fonts, the busy filigree, the micro patterns…it’s just dreadful.

99% Invisible "New Old Town" The rebuilding of post-war Warsaw.

The Memory Palace "Shadowboxing" The stories that were told about legendary boxer John L. Sullivan, and the stories he told about himself.

Youth Radio podcast:  Civic Education for a New Generation

Contrary to popular belief, nearly 90 percent of high school students take a civics class. But what's the quality of those classes? This week's Youth Radio podcast looks at how racial and political diversity in the classroom affects what young people learn about politics and society.

99% Invisible:  Symphony of Sirens

99% Invisible

When you think of suspension bridges, the first two that come to mind may be right here: the Bay Bridge, and the Golden Gate Bridge. But after this next story, there's another that may stay with you -- a suspension bridge in the state of Washington called the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Roman Mars relates this bridge in this edition of 99% Invisible.

Emile Holmewood

One day, when Melissa was thirteen, she and her friend Liz bought some geodes. They didn’t want to wait to get home to crack them open, so they decided to throw them against the wall of an apartment building. Liz’s aim went wild on one of the geodes, and it went through a window. Melissa would have probably forgotten about the incident, had it not been for one inexplicable thing: the window didn’t get fixed. Ever. So in 2011, 22 years after the incident, Melissa went to go find the person who left the window broken for so long. She brought along a tape recorder. 

Radio producer Sam Greenspan, who works with Roman Mars on "99% Invisible" will share a special mix of extended "99%" episodes never before heard on KALW, plus some of his favorite podcasts.  Tuesday at 11pm.

If you’re not from California, or missed this bit of news, the University of California has a new logo – or, rather, had a new logo. To be more precise they had a new “visual identity system,” which is the kind of entirely accurate but completely wonky description that gets met with sarcastic eye rolls from anyone who isn’t a designer, but there it is. But they don’t have a new logo anymore. Because of a massive public backlash, the UC system actually suspended the monogram while we were reporting this story.

Flickr user gorbould

Last night, the Golden State Warriors beat the Denver Nuggets 131 to 117 in what USA Today called “one of the most entertaining blowouts in recent memory.” The high-scoring affair reflects the modern game. But scores that high would have been unfathomable back in the early days of the NBA. That is, until professional basketball was redesigned.

Courtesy of 99percentinvible.com and http://www.gensler.com/#viewpoint/features/49

When Roman Mars spoke with Allison Arieff about the design of airports she said, if all airports simply played Brian Eno’s album Music for Airports over the speakers, every airport would be better. 

Greg Girard

In 1898, China granted a 99-year lease to Great Britain for the areas across the harbor in the British controlled island of Hong Kong. But smack in the middle of that territory, known as Kowloon, was an enclave that wasn't included in the lease. A place that would, at least officially, still be controlled by the Chinese. It was a large fort, built decades earlier to put a check on British expansion. But it evolved into something very, very different. 

The strength of public radio comes from the grassroots:  From listener support, and local stations willing to take risks to create something new.  At KALW, that means distinctive a local mix of local, national and global programming -- plus an innovation we all appreciate: The no-interruption membership campaign.

KALW's Fall Membership Campaign began with a goal of $325,000.  Now, thanks to one listener at a time giving their generous support, we're down to just $1,000 to go. If you've helped us get this far -- THANK YOU.

courtesy of 99percentinvisible.org/

Stamps design takes, on average, a year to a year and a half, from conception to execution. Unfortunately, most of the stamps we encounter on a day-to-day basis are the rather predictable flag, bell, and love stamps, but there are some really fantastic commemorative stamps, which are supremely functional and affordable tiny works of art.

Roman Mars was given this song on a mix tape when he was a teenager.

Composting is just one way we’re thinking about reducing waste, and when it works, we notice: landfills slim down, and gardens bulk up. But then there’s the waste that doesn’t take up space, like energy.