John educates Merlin about the first-person shooter game, "Destiny." Merlin feels overwhelmed, while John says we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
It’s a stick with bristles poking out of it. It doesn’t even qualify as a simple machine, but the careful thought and design that went into the creation of the modern, angled bristle, fat handled toothbrush shows just how much brainpower goes into something that is designed to simply work well and not be noticed all that much (until it’s time to buy the next one). This piece features John Edson, President of LUNAR. Full disclosure: LUNAR underwrites 99% Invisible, but they don’t and never have even attempted to exercise any editorial control over the program. Seriously. They don’t even know what’s on week to week (well, this week I told John he was on, but that just seems polite). We convened a meeting of architects and designers at the AIA-SF way back in May to brainstorm possible themes and titles for the program, and I expressed a desire to do one episode about a seemingly simple product that required a great deal of complex thought to design, and John Edson mentioned the toothbrush story. Like any good story, I couldn’t shake it, and pestered him for an interview. John Edson hasn’t even heard the piece before I post this right now. I feel comfortable with that. I hope you do too.
There’s not much that we can do about all the physical matter that’s been designed and built by someone else. It is the way it is. But with the advent of portable devices with GPS, a compass, and a network, we can now design a layer on top of the real world that can contain all kinds of new information, ideas, and experiences.
This is called augmented reality. When most people use the term, they are talking about a visual experience. You hold up the camera of your smart phone and infographics overlay the image of the the thing right in front of you. But for my money, the best experience of augmented reality is auditory. Using the iPhone platform, RJDJ is exploring the next phase of music, called reactive music. Compositions coming out the headphones are completely unique, mixed in the smart phone, having incorporated data from the listeners environment. It’s trippy and amazing and provides a new soundtrack to your life, that both reacts to, and is affected by, the world you’re traveling through.
In the beginning, former AIA-SF president Henrik Bull and the Transamerica Pyramid did not get along. The building was an affront to late 1960’s modernist ideals. It was silly. It looked like a dunce cap. Its large scale had no respect for the neighborhood in which it lived.
But over 40 years, something happened…
Here’s that great article by San Francisco Chronicle Urban Design Writer, John King I mention a couple times in the episode.
Do you have a building or place in your city you once hated and now love, or something you loved and now hate? Leave a comment and share with the rest of the class.
Here’s mine: The Montgomery Ward Headquarters building in Chicago never struck me as much of anything, really. Kind of dull, especially in a city like Chicago. But then I learned that the concrete corners on the outside were specifically designed to eliminate the possibility of a “corner office”, so that Montgomery Ward would be a more egalitarian company. That really makes me smile, and the building looks cooler because of it.
This episode of 99% Invisible is all about acoustic design, the city soundscape, and how to make listening in shared spaces pleasant (or at the very least, possible). It features an interview with Dennis Paoletti from Shen Milsom & Wilke.
My Sound: A human whisper ( I was just kidding with the “people are annoying” line.)
My Noise: Toothbrushing (you’ll see the irony of this in ep #4). That horrible Kit Kat commercial with the fake foley sounds. Ringing phone. Metal rake on concrete.
Click here for transcript.
In May 2014, Yusor Abu-Salha (R)–one of the victims of Tuesday’s shooting in Chapel Hill–recorded a StoryCorps interview with Mussarut Jabeen (L), who was her 3rd grade teacher.
In fact, all three of the victims–Yusor, her husband, Deah Barakat, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha–attended Jabeen’s school.
Mussarut Jabeen returned recently to talk about Yusor’s death.
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Debug is a casual, conversational interview show featuring the best developers in the business about the amazing apps they make and why and how they make them. On this episode Marco Arment joins Guy and Rene to talk about his new podcast client, Overcast, getting low level with Core Audio, writing downloaders, and many, many other things.
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JosephDecember 11, 2013 at 2:46 AMAs for memories. I actually got started as a kid with an old version of Hack my dad gave me. I played it on my 386 computer. I had a bunch of ‘hints’ printed out on the old green and white printer paper, the kind with the holes on the sides you could tear off. It was pages and pages, some of them repeats.I remember many sweet hints. Like "Rings are just wands twisted in a circle" and something about the hints being unreliable. Also something about eating a leprechaun in an item shop. You would teleport.I remember there were no races to choose, just a class, and you always started with a small dog. You could be an archaeologist and a caveman, I remember that distinctly.I’ve tried to find this version of the game but have so far failed. I think it was pre-Nethack.ReplyDelete
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