20 Episode results for "National Museum Of American History"
Archie Bunker's Chair
"Lost at the Smithsonian is brought to you by bear bear is helping advance stem cell therapy to repair heart tissue to keep heart stronger longer. Bigger from advances in health to innovations in agriculture bear is advancing science for a better life at bear. This is why we science. This episode tells a story about a couple of the most important fictional characters in American popular culture. But it's not a pretty story. There are some names James and slurs that are offensive fifty years later. I hope you'll listen and learn how the creators use television to try to heal and improve our society society. Okay so here we are. These are the chairs. It's me of Monty again and I am lost at the Smithsonian again. This time I found some chairs. Is it exciting fee to see these. Two chairs are remember them very well. Culturally significant chance. This show probably had as much impact as any television probably more than Walter cronkite reporting on changing ranging American attitudes Jack for forty years. Now now these unassuming chairs have been on display at the National Museum of American history. Why well these chairs are television icons a well well known set of props from one of the most important shows in the history of television all in the family? Well let me tell you. One thing about Ritchie Niche. Yeah he knows how to keep peace wife own Roosevelt could never do that with eleanor. She was your always down on the loops running around with the college and was getting the short end of the stick. Wanted to scrub it to coach in this country we never the voice hearing is actor Carroll O'Connor but the bigotry that belongs to his character archie bunker the focal point of all in the family. Let me tell you some. I am so sick of Washington wallets works and all in politics. donayre congressman the Congressman Congressman boy. I'll bet you'll find them congressman signing down air electic blankets nice. Would you did the secretary to get up and go home. Archie bunker was to put it way to mildly a racist misogynist jerk but his wife Edith bunker was not Played by Jean Stapleton. Edith was innocent and kind. The simplicity of Edith bunker was the perfect counterpoint to the narrow minded ire of Archie bunker. And let me ask you this. Do you think Jimmy is roaming around the White House tonight. Trying to find a meatloaf the warm himself apply. They think that card as neat low chairs I found the Smithsonian while Archie and Edith Living Room chairs bears are cheese is an easy chair with Dingy yellow upholstery. Edith's on the other hand is beige with a flowers and doyle really over the back and for as much as people love to think that everything you see on. Television has some GLITZ and Glam behind it archie. Bunkers chair has a very very humble origin. Story I actually bought at a goodwill for a think. Eight dollars is somebody who watched all in the family and at some point looked at it and said I think that's my chair honey. Is that our chair it. Just introduce yourselves and Ryan Lintel Man. I'm a curator in the entertainment collection. I'm Eric Johnson also a curator in the entertainment collection election. I've spoken to each of you separately but never together so this is going to be a whole new experience for our listeners. Do they enjoy it or not. We'll see we'll see anyway all right. So we're here to talk about Archie. Bunkers and edith chairs. I just tell me a little bit about how they got here You don't want to hear anything about the show. We're just GONNA assume that what what do people want to know. L. would assume that they will all right okay. This is already starting out of trouble. I knew I shouldn't have had two two of you together. Clearly Eric and Ryan aren't rival curator's and that's a good thing. Because they have been tasked with making sure that the bunkers living room chairs bears are well cared for and while caring for all chairs may sound mundane. It's actually an important job because these chairs are part of a much larger story about how television show helped American grom songs magnate all in the family aired from one thousand nine hundred seventy one to nineteen seventy-nine on CBS. It not only was all in the family number one in the Nielsen Ratings. For five years it also won four Emmys for outstanding comedy series it. I challenged audiences so much that the first episode came with a trigger warning. It went like this. The program you're about to see seeks to throw a humorous spotlight spotlight on our frailties prejudices and concerns by making them source of laughter. We hope to show in a mature fashion. Just how absurd theyare. Aw American history lesson you don't own about Lady Liberty Standing there and hob would I watch on high screaming out the wall nations in a while. Send me a poor. You're dead beach. You Filthy Nation said the main here comes the Spanish. Pr The jets your China crowds. And you're an. I'm all three live. In their own. Separate section of Archie bunkers favorite punching bags was a son in law. Michael Stich played by Rob Reiner. Michael and Archie would argue about well. Everything and the arguments frequently ended with Archie. Calling Michael Ameet head or a polack. When I want I want to tell you especially you mean that it was all your fault me? What am I doing was born a poll up when you did what she had to put up with Michael at least a little bit because he was married to arches daughter? Gloria played by Sally struthers instead of being mad at Michael. Yada thank him. He bailed you out the battles in the bunkers living room. Mirrored the battles taking place in American society in the same era race. The Vietnam War. Gay Liberation Ration- the Equal Rights Amendment Archie viewpoint on all these topics was deeply flawed and more often than not it was his sincere and gullible. Wife Edith who who exposed those flaws. Let me tell you something. You're forgetting lately Ammann's home it's just casual and initiate castle. I think and I am queen at the time. The tradition was for television comedies to families like the bunkers living in a world world without conflict for producer. Norman Lear that lack of conflicts. We're sending a dangerous message that America was similarly conflict-free the biggest problem was Mother dented the fender. And how are we going to prepare dad for this or the boss is coming to dinner. MEATLOAF is ruined which suggested justice that there were no race problems in America. There were no drug problems in America. There was no family angst for and no willingness to lump in my breast I got a lump. It was a hit with the American public and was like she highwater moment in American television history. It was one of the first things of the chairs from the show. Were two of the first things that they really wanted to collect elect because it was such an obvious kind of narrative to connect American history and issues with television. All in the family wasn't important Jordan. Show it even got the attention of sitting president. Jimmy Carter President Carter said today that all he was really worried about Sunday night was that the signing ceremony at the the end of the Camp David summit would not interrupt all in the family the cast of all in the family actually got to meet Jimmy. Rosalyn Carter in nineteen seventy eight. Some a member of the cast of the TV show visited the White House today. They were in town to donate the chairs. Archie and edith us on the program to the Smithsonian Institution. where else but since all in the family was still on the air the donation may have been touch premature and when they were donated in nineteen? Seventy eight you know. There was a big ceremony. Any here at you know people from Congress came and all this stuff it was a big deal and then the show got renewed for another season so Norman Lear and his production company requested the furniture back but once. It is in the museum's collection we can't honor that. And so we said we're sorry we really appreciate your donation there on display. Everybody loves them. Good luck back and they had to recreate a chairs. The back no good for you good for you. They had to recreate the chairs. And it costs like fifteen thousand dollars for them to recreate these eight dollar chairs. I know for myself. It was the first time I became aware of the Smithsonian and all was through through knowing that archie bunkers chair was in the Smithsonian. I was going to ask how you were familiar with the show. Did you watch it when you were a kid or did you just know if I'll be doing the questions Mr now I did. I did I grew up in England so we didn't watch all in the family away that we watched happy. Today's and other shows but then when I came to America in the eighties wasn't wasn't on anymore but I found it on syndication. We had the show in England. Actually that all in the family was inspired by. I guess you're nodding your head Ryan you know the name of that show till death do as part. That's right thank you but I think that the the thing you're saying is really interesting that for you. This captured something about America. Because I think the show was so revolutionary when it came out right I mean the shows that were popular in the late sixties. Where these fantastic bizarre shows like Gilligan's island or I dream of Jeannie and things like that that that were anything but political topical and focused on the moment right but then the show comes out and it's like yeah? This is the part of your family life that you don't want anyone to see when you're arguing with your family about politics. Good the national. Let me saying started getting. That is one terrible song. Don't start aught up. Not Me that. I'm watching a game. Show your face off the song glorifies war and even as a song it stinks. Nobody can remember the words. It's ruined escape. I may remember words. Come on give me the first few some national anthem. But I'll say you see by the Dawn's early light much proudly we hand D.. I say this is the stuff that you would hide at the Thanksgiving table. These issues are happening and yet people are welcoming that into the living rooms and it captured this moment when everything was upturned learned so the culture wars are beginning and this show is like pay attention to this. The next step is to get them to pay me like a fella by that. Oh they're putting me me on regular next week but they're paying me less than they paid the man who used to run the forklift WH come on now. Renamed the raw factor. Wait more than women and I think there was a reaction against all in the family by people saying like this is not what entertainment is for. You know we shouldn't be like exposing all these nerves. Nerves right in taking the chairs that backlash entered the museum too. So we've got all these letters from people who were so angry agree that the museum would collect this. Chair represents a bigot. Or that represents this moment in in politics entering the entertainment sphere. And why would we put that in here alongside longside George Washington's uniform and Abraham Lincoln's hat. That's so interesting that there would be a backlash to that. I think that's sort of works. With also how the the museum was viewed by collecting popular culture that we were somehow not doing the country service by somehow extolling copier cultures. Being important so so we got it from both ends and we have letters to attest to that which are some are kind of fun. In retrospect I thought you might want to hear what the public had to say. Yeah in the nineteen seventies. Are you saying that they were. They felt like you were condoning the racism and bigotry by having our cheese. Chair chair here yes. I think that's something as we've discussed Throughout the series that people look at are collecting. Some sort of enshrinement that somehow we are validating something as being somehow like a hall of fame that these are these honorifics right as opposed to the fact that these are do things that changed television changed culture and also reflect our history. And so there's a lot of talk about. Why would you enshrine someone like Archie bunker who has such bigoted viewpoints? This is from somebody writing to the secretary of the Smithsonian so the person oversees everything. This morning I learned via the radio news that Archie bunkers occurs chair was now ensconced in the Smithsonian Institution near George Washington's effects. How silly can you get? No wonder you're always having to ask Congress for money to build new buildings and hire more more personnel if the Smithsonian is just going to be cluttered with junk like this very truly yours and yours are secretary maybe maybe not responding to that actual letter head. His own response to are collecting a popular culture items. And he said most people I believe come to the Smithsonian museums as places to view treasured achievements that are tangible as well as enduring but if the relative TV are accepted as additions to the permanent collections of museums with accompanying Fanfare Anfar. Is there not some danger that we will contribute to the ongoing erosion of vital standards of judgment performance in the society at large. This was our own inst- secretary at the time of the collection. Wow so there was a backlash to even just the idea of collecting television or memorabilia from entertainment. It was this archaic sort of idea of what a museum should be about Archaic Right. Well the argument that's made by historians of culture like us. Is that the stuff that you see that you do every day that you talk to people about that helps you to form your opinions about the people around you. The world. The political issues of the day will. That's exactly exactly I mean. This is the best example we have is all in the family right. And I think it's taken us a long time to try to convince people and not just us at this museum but historians and General that that's really relevant lavigne important maybe even more important than the letters of generals from the revolutionary war in determining how the nation's progresses listen historical developments of the country. It may seem like hyperbole to compare all in the family to the revolutionary war but the show was revolutionary in its own right blue collar L. A. Characters like Archie bunker would practically invisible in the television landscape of the time even more invisible. We're seeing interactions like this in an episode called the elevator story here. The elevator has stopped. We can make a move. See this not know watch. Here's our t trapped in an elevator with black businessman. Played by the late Roscoe Lee Brown Puerto Rican janitor played by Hector Elizondo. Draw somebody translate what I'm saying. But his speak here is not necessarily Miester. DC speak speak English the five decades later and me award winning actor Hector Elizondo remembers pages of the calendar. Ruffle beckwith now. Yes and I'm talking about nineteen seventy seventy right trying to get a whole I- md.. Jonathan when you read the script for the elevator did you feel like Oh. This is another one of these stereotypical Hispanic roles. And I'm getting asked about. Did you say this is interesting. I heard the story. I said this is what it's going to be. And then when I read the script and I started hurting I realized is it wasn't not that at all that trap door get help. Okay if it's going to keep you quiet. I get a boost up the boy. I am a man in my name is Carlos Carlos certain and go through the daughter the next floor and get some help the characters in the elevator with his pregnant wife. Who's going into labor? She's nuts panicky bunker. These people have babies babies before they have a hospital. The hospital is still buzzing over that we already have three babies morning hospital three in the other one in a car and I wanted to build between floors people care where when or how many to be interested into nine modern birth control methods. Do that. Listen to this guy de the black kettle. You showing the black man who was far more educated than the bigot and without making a stereotypical Mendoza but it is a truism that you people do have more children than you can nominate handle. Randall was curious socioeconomic. Nothing personal well. Let me explain something to do what. How many children we have is because we love love each other to talk very intelligent means to what you know smile see? Shut up you face and then you realize. Interestingly only that he is then racism toward or prejudice towards your character as a Hispanic. So yeah it broke the stereotyping. Yeah I know this from my neighborhood you know. What the heck's I knew but I never saw the portrayed on TV so we love that rascal of that aspect and so did I? We're we're very comfortable with it. And I don't think he saw that on television that of a black man being racist towards a Hispanic and that's another trump. Yeah you you broke the stereotype cleaned the book. You baby on paper Funke you. You have a newspaper boy. The elevator story episode later won an Emmy One twenty two emmys for all in the family or producer. Norman Lear showed very real struggles for people like archie bunker and archie arguments with strangers in an elevator or with his family family at home represented huge cultural and generational shifts. That were playing out across the country. Norman Lear as a quote that he wanted to put the audience audience in the show. There wasn't about these fantastical people or stories that it was really an attempt to show. This is what's going on in people's homes. Why not have a show about that so people could really relate to it? I think it's interesting said we're talking in the past as if these were like you know. Here's what was going on at the time. Women's issues issues about representations family happened and then now we don't have those kind of any more but I do think you know it showed that really exposed American. The fact that we're still dealing with those shows how precious he was saying. These are the things that define America over over the course of his career. Norman Lear produced created or developed more than a hundred television shows and in two thousand seventeen. He was a Kennedy Center. Enter honoree many people from layers career and life came out to honor him and so did Archie. And Edith's chairs these chairs are the the actual chairs that edith and archie sat in and they are on loan to us from the Smithsonian Institution. On the family was pioneering pioneering Sitcom it made satire of viable primetime option for television networks and in so doing it paved the way for shows like the daily show and countless others. I was beyond honored to get the opportunity to talk to Norman Lear via skype. I could see his hat. You got it the face the faces right under it. He showed up to our interview wearing his signature. White Boat Hat. Can we tell the camera down a little bit here. Yes there we go nice to meet you. I see you again rather good to me. We have seen one another another before we have. We've we've we've Run into each other a few times. Says where's your hair longer. Why do I do? I not look the same. Maybe it's the you could be my eyesight at ninety six. Also a full disclosure Norman. I met a few years ago. When he gave gave me some funds for a peabody award winning web series I created call hall in the family which may or may not have been inspired by a show? Oh Norman had something to do with at one point in his career. Well you're ninety six so I imagine that you are now just kicking back in your rocking chair chair drinking lemonade enjoying the sunset. Is that correct. Yes that's correct among other things like getting up in the morning working Out and coming to work still busy working and producing and doing things. Yeah we're on the Sony. Lot Amend my office on the Sony Light as we speak and after all these years Norman. Lear still feels the impact of all in the family. I hear three times a week right now. People talking to me about you know my dad and I. We never had a better time than watching on the family together. I hear it stated that way all the time today people remembering forty years ago when they were killing laughed with their dad so their MOMS and dads in all of your life's work. Where does all in the family fit it? All all in the family is at the pinnacle level is the show that in a sense made me a hero because I created it's insured would I became in the future. I mean it was the kickstarter. Lovely career did you think about it. Consciously about what you that you were going gasoline into the political side of this that you are going to make a point about our culture. I thought we were making a show about a family in these. Were the characters actors and this is how they behave right. I grew up in a household that was Everybody lived at the top of their lungs and the edge of the nerves. And so I had that going for me. I knew what family feuds were like. Where the characters of Archie and edith based on your parents parents or any anybody you knew out to some extent? My Father Caradon a bit like Archie. But did he use some of those words meathead and does it does all that stuff that he say that. Yeah yes jen stifle. That was my dad. That was your dad. That was my dad on a house. We both don't find it you we both. I want my Scott. That's a terrible thing to say. Yeah out can you say that to me for saying that for years he didn't have stifle but Carroll O'Connor brought Carroll O'Connor Archie to it right right. He sat down opposite me when I brought him in for reading and within the first three speeches I knew I had archie bunker. It was him. I didn't imagine that and did you feel frustrated. Sometimes that people didn't get the joke in terms of the character of Archie this conservative whites racist bigot and know that there are many people who sort of saw him as a hero as a justification of of certain things and did you feel frustrated by that. No I knew going in that. If it worked at it was successful that would happen. Happen people you know. One of them was Richard Nixon. Now Archie was a big Nixon Fan. Wasn't he. He was a big knicks fan and an excellent excellent was a big fan of his and and hated me because I was making fun of a good man really so Nixon was one of the people who felt like you were saying this. That's how I got on his list. I was on on his enemies list. Oh Wow onset. It's quite an achievement. Can where did you get the stories from where they just us from your own life. The lives of the writers that were writing the show or was it something you look for in the culture. I told my writing team to read a a couple of newspapers and to pay great attention to their marriages and their children and their children's problems and this is what we wrote from. This is the ground we dug up looking for the story lines. Do you have a favorite episode. This is the bumpy residents. Mrs Spunk Beverly Lasalle is your husband. Way Ahead of his time his favorite of all episodes was about Beverly Lasalle and unexpected encounter with archie. On how much better. Now thank you. The doctor said it was complete exhaustion. Austin I've been working very hard and I guess I was worn out. Oh well it's a good thing. You War with Archie. Archie was driving a cab and he gave the woman in the back of his cab was ill and he gave her mouth to mouth resuscitation. She came to to thank the cab drivers he found the address came to thank cabdriver for saving her life and she was transgender. And I saying I had given mouth-to-mouth to this born a boy right right and it was very funny but then a year later she was killed for being who she was an some street and edith. Couldn't believe in a God that could see that happens and she was and she lost her faith. I ain't going to China say Christmas statements family ought to run over here. Save Your prayers. I know what brain l.. Let's see I ain't going you go yourself if you want to uh-huh no choice won't bring up no more but but please don't the hall now waited I'll sit down here in mindshare radio in some more presencia. You're ninety six years old. When were the good old days whether good old days in my personal life that were good old days every week of my? Life's right there. Were two little words that I don't think we we don't get enough credit tour for over a next when something is over it is over and we're onto next I. And if there was a havoc in the middle of those two words would be the best way of defining living in the moment home the hammock between over next. Do you live in the moment. I think de Pretty Much Do. Is that the secret to your success. This is is is good moment as I've ever known because I'm having it because I'm I'm looking at you now. Now thank you and in a conversation that interest. What's House House Rug with this? This is great. This is great right. We're having the best time you can possibly be had by two people in this moment in this moment man that no doubt or are you a spiritual man I think so religious no but you believe in a higher power in a force in a yeah and many. I believe there are answers to every question and I have no problem not knowing because I feel I will at some point. Yeah when he shear it says now Norman Right I look at you and your ninety six. You're you're still working your still producing. You're still active as you have a war. What's the secret to that? What motivates you to get up every day and go? I am seriously in love with waking up every morning I like it. I know there's always that next I was talking about you know do you still. You'll have mountains. You have climbed ambitions you haven't seen through yet professional. You have things that you still WANNA do. Oh yes what have you not done. I've not done anything tomorrow. A. C. spoken like a true Buddhist. Buddha's I I. I'll take that you really do live in the moment you live exactly for now. I hope so I like to think I do. I think it's the best way way to do it. Well Norman thank you so much for all your work and thanks for the years. Thanks for this moment moment right now. Thank you for the pleasure of this moment. I couldn't have enjoyed it more my favorite expression. The English language to be continued to be continued. Norman Lear creator of all in the family and the guy managed to make two chairs famous. He transformed our views of what television was and could be an showed the way for so many of us to make bold television to. That's it for this episode of lost at the Smithsonian. I must have monty. Who knows what I'll find next time now? First of all let me ask you this. Is it Pele or is it Palay. I would just call him the king. Okay well that you see that clip gives it away but forget what you just heard. Okay prepared to be surprised. By the next episode of lost at the Smithsonian lost at the Smithsonian is produced by Mary Breath Kirschner our executive producer and editor is Ellen Weiss Technical Support from Robin Wise. Fact Checking Daniel Roth and scripting by Alex Burke Mixing and Sound Design by Casey Horford and John delore original theme music by Casey Holford. Our supervising producer is Jordan Bell and our executive producer. Is Chris. Bannon huge. Thanks to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History Eric Jansen Ryan Lintel men Trautmann and Laura Doff for all their help in making this show loss. This is a production of
Sing a Song of Protest
"This is side door a podcast from the smithsonian support from npr ex. I'm lizzy peabody. In nineteen fifty-nine blues was in a funk. The empress of blues bessie smith had died a generation earlier here. She is singing the blues standard. Nobody knows you when you're down and out we've and nobody knows you when you and so. The one of the main questions was well. Where is the state of blues and who are going to be bessie successors. This is theo. Gonzalez's and i'm a curator at the smithsonian national museum of american history and theo says in the blues world a name on the tip of many tongues was barbara dane. A promising new blues talent blue away in nineteen fifty-nine. She was the subject of an eight page feature in ebony magazine at the time ebony was the culture magazine for african americans. Here's how the article began as the rich white spotlight sweeps over the face. The fresh scrubbed local. The girl seems startlingly. Blonde especially when that powerful voice begins to moan of trouble two time men in freedom. She is singing the balloons. Just as bessie smith sung them. And mama yancey and lizzie miles and miles rainy. But she is white. You heard that right barbara dane. With her dusky alto voice is white was an attractive young white woman but she was belting she had a voice that was that was favorably compared to bessie smith to data and for a lot of folks she. She really held her own and i would say she was making her claim to the music for barbara dane to receive that vote of confidence from ebony was a big deal he was the first white woman ever profiled in the magazine. The article underscores how blues genre born of the african american experience but adds quote through this pale face. Young lady a lot of dark skinned people hope to keep the blues alive and royalties flowing. She toured the country with blues icons like muddy waters. Jhansi lightning hopkins and count basie. She was even booked to tour with louis armstrong but the reality of racism in the united states made things tricky. A startlingly blonde woman was probably something that promoter or or someone wanted to put on stage in vegas but to have black musicians accompany. Her probably was was too much for for that promoter or to have them stay with her in the hotel in adjoining rooms though if anyone objected to the company she kept dane wasn't hearing it writers would call me a brassy blonde. I thought they meant that. I was bleaching my hair which i was but they meant personality. Wise center was brassy. Because i had i was opinionated. In their way of looking at it this is barbara dane in a smithsonian folk ways oral history interview done in two thousand seven hoops president of in for a woman. In the fifties and sixties seventies even was considered brassy nervy too much hoods much bushy. There were avenues for women musicians to be presented and that often involved Stepping in front of a manager and having a manager. Look at you as you turned around so that he could see what you look like in tight dress and she thought well that's one way to do a career and she oftentimes said no at the time promoters had a way of dealing with a spiring musicians who live by their own rules they stopped booking her so she's she's had to pay the price and when we think about the term integrity were thinking about it in abstract terms but Integrity also needs making specific choices about how you want to be in the world and that had very material effect on her career. Barbara dane never became the next bessie smith as promoters stopped returning. Her calls her chance at fame and wealth began to slip away. So barbara dane pivoted. She built a totally different kind of career one where she made music not for fame but for change because a few years after club stopped booking barbara dane to tour. The country fidel castro. Her to tour his so this time on side door we tell the story of how barbara dane's brassy resolve lead her away from american stage lights down a very different road the road to revolution all that after the break on a can't get enough side door. Well there's more sign up for the side door newsletter to get behind the scenes content for each episode. There's so much more to our stories than we can fit into each episode. The newsletter is worse cider producer. Justin o and i can share photos videos. Facts and favorite moments that for whatever reason didn't make it into the podcast. You can also find links to articles and more specifics about the research being done here at the smithsonian across the country and beyond sign up at sl dot edu slash side door. That's sl dot edu slash side door. Side door is brought to you by progressive one of the country's leading providers of auto insurance with progressives name your price tool you say the kind of coverage you're looking for and how much you want to pay and progressive will help you find options that fit within your budget. Use the name your price tool and start an online quote today at progressive dot com price and coverage match limited by state law. She knew who she was from a very early age barbara deane's appetite for protests began in her late teens in detroit where she grew up picketing and singing at union strikes in the late nineteen forties then in nineteen forty seven. She flew to europe to attend gathering called the prague world youth festival so she had seen the world at a very young age and started committing herself to a vision of the world. That was bigger than just her. What exactly was the prague world youth festival in one thousand nine hundred seven. And how did it influence her. Yeah it originally was a gathering that brought together about twenty thousand students from several dozen countries and the idea was to together mostly students in a leftist orientation to a gathering folks from using folk song sports entertainment being in europe surrounded by the aftermath of world. War two was really influential to the way twenty year. Old barbara dane saw the world. What does it mean to be a young person in their early twenties to be with thousands of others kind of dream about the world could look like after all this destruction. And maybe there's a kind of judgment that maybe our parents didn't quite get it right in. It falls to us to ask the question. What are we gonna do this world one when we get a hold of it. You know what. I was gone. You ma- chain to nam a as danes relationship with club. Promoters soured in the early sixties. The thirty five year old began to blend her singing with her politics. She became a star on the folk and protest song. Circuit singing alongside. Big names. Like pete seger and bob dylan nineteen sixty four. She was down in mississippi. Working as a freedom singer civil rights workers that are agreeing to go to jails and they'll have jalen and so the purpose of that is overwhelmed. The jail system a three In mississippi there were volunteers flocking from all over the country black and white all trying to do their part for civil rights. But while you're in there you've got a lot of young kids who've never been in jail. These are kids that are walking out of schools. They've gotten some training but one of the things that you do as a freedom singer in that in that situation is sing songs to keep people's spirits up in the middle of the movement. Here dean really saw the power of music to bring people together a few years later. Barbara was living in new york city with small family when a friend of hers who was living in cuba a broadcaster named estella bravo invited her to come down on a government sponsored junket but anyway still a kind of gotten herself a mandate from someone in cuba to bring some singer from the states to represent the concept that When the cubans. Were saying kubaissi yankee know what they meant was cuba. Si and yankee government. no not yankee. People kuba see yankee no was a motto of fidel castro's cuba declaring its opposition to the us its government and its wealthy companies but wanted to host an american singer on a goodwill tour to show that his revolution as well as the cuban people had no hard feelings toward individual americans. There was a great affinity long history and a lot of love between the two peoples but nine hundred sixty six was complicated. It was the height of the cold war in cuba and south. One hundred thousand men were put under emergency orders as they had been during past invasion scares the wonderful. It was very intense moment when the world could've was within a hair of getting blown up by his nuclear confrontation. The cuban missile crisis was just four years behind them. Relations between the countries were tents but when barbara landed in havana. She was bowled over by her reception from the cuban public. There was a newsreel cameras and everything we were instant celebrities a and i sang a lotta all over the country in. They gave me a whole night on television. Oh anyway it was just a phenomenal time for me. And at the end of it at a chance to meet with fidel and talk about he wanted to know a lot about the peace movement and civil rights movement as it was unfolding at the time. Yup barbara dane met face to face with. Cuba's revolutionary and chief fidel castro. The three week tour created such an impression on her that she was eager to return the following year in sixty seven when castro and his crew invited her back but this time she had company from all over the world and they decided they going to have major international music festival and they didn't want to call it festival because it was at the time of woodstock and they thought it would. The connotations would be different. You know not right so they call it an unquenchable means of meeting officially it was the quinto internationale de la county on protester in english that becomes the international gathering of protest music. The idea was to have a sort of summit where singers poets and left wing revolutionaries of all kinds share ideas about how to push forward political movements through music. Kind of a. Here's what works in my country. How would you approach it. There were a few other americans but also australians. Brits italians angolans vietnamese as well as performers from all over latin america. These people were going to jail for singing and some of them will. The vietnamese came from the front lines from singing for the people in battle. Some of them went back to uruguay went to jail for going to cuba. So this was not would stuck in the mud and drink wine. you know. it's not that the different tone altogether before the gathering kicked off in earnest. The singers played a bunch of shows around cuba. Then they all got together at the famous varadero beach. Here's what barbara later wrote about that gathering one note. There's a mentioned the nfl f. You probably know them. As the viet cong when we came at last to the world famous beach resort of we made a headlong dash into the soft blue waves. Small laughing heroines of the. Nf splashed water on the big serious argentine. Yes trillion girl was dumped by an uruguayan boy and for the moment europeans americans asians and africans with such series were at hand were indistinguishable from any group of rowdy tourists with the difference that we were all conscious of the tremendous struggles waged secure our right as people of all races and from the lower economic classes. And i heard barbara say that Encuentro was important enough to cuba's goals that even fidel castro made an appearance. That's right there's a story in which castro shows up and ends up playing basketball with a couple of the with a couple of in control participants. When they were playing music or balling with castro. The group had long conversations about how to bring this revolutionary fervor back home. One of the things. We talked about At these meetings was how can we. We're all doing the same thing in different ways in different countries and we're all trying our best to unite our various peoples with music with ideas will how do we. How do we help each other do this. And how do we create a worldwide movement out of this so barbara got the idea of starting a record label on behalf of her new revolutionary friends to publish their music on their terms. I thought okay. It's time for somebody to just put this stuff on records and make it available and if it goes only so far and doesn't go to this ocean of people that's okay too because a little bit is a seed and and a seed can grow food policy. Barbara came up with the name paragon records. She published the first album in nineteen seventy going to the records themselves. The very first one is called consume protested. The full title was kency on protest protest song of latin america. All the songs on the album were recorded during the in quinto in nineteen sixty seven and with the very first track. Paradigm records went big. Just nineteen seconds long. But it featured fidel castro. Talking about the power of art to win people. Over to your cause. I be five mandolin. Food that emotional and the next track is a song called veradero about the beach where the gathered by a cuban singer named carlos. Puebla word about the song tells the story of how castro's revolution liberated the beach from american millionaires and returned it to everyday cubans. The album was accompanied by liner nuts. More of a booklet really teaches listeners. About the cultures and social movements the music represented since the songs were all in spanish dana included translations as well. The booklet for cancer protester also included an essay about the nineteen. Sixty seven gathering at vera darrow. The labels creation story and with that paradigm records was born but the revolutionary dance party was just getting started coming up after a quick break. Barbara dane uses spycraft to produce subversive and idealistic world. Music stick around love learning new things on side door. Here's something you might not know. The smithsonian relies on support from people like you to make all of the research discoveries and exhibitions. You hear about possible. Smithsonian experts are addressing critical issues in the field of science history art and culture issues that affect us all and you can be a part of it. A lot of people listen to side door. Imagine what we could learn next if everyone chipped in just a little find out. How at s i d you slash contribute. Okay so at this point in the story. Barbara dane had toward cuba twice met fidel castro and spent weeks collaborating with left wing musicians from over the world and all of these experiences compelled her to start a record label paradise records. Here's american history curator. Theo gonzalez again. And what were the goals of paradigm records just simply put. The goal of records was to document the world's music and politics on record. There are a number of things that are inspiring them to think about politics. Music one was the vietnam war. Opposition to the vietnam war was growing beyond vietnam. Paradigm was focused on decolonization an equal rights. Struggles around the world in one thousand nine hundred seventy in its first year of publishing paradigm released four albums kency on protest one about angola's war of independence from portugal. A collection of speeches from black panthers leader huey newton and lastly one called f. t. songs of gi resistance. Barbara herself sang on that one. Just for a taste. Here's what it sounds like horses. We walk into their banner. Is the daughter signing ours is driving. The records didn't sell well but dean says that wasn't really the point now. Our objective was not money. Our objective was culture moving culture from one to another to another to produce the albums and their information dense layers booklets. Barbara had to find people who could translate the song lyrics. Luckily she lived in new york city. Barbara sometimes sent friends to the united nations to look for someone who could translate songs from arabic. Greek or haitian creole so. That's how this all this gets done is just spitting chewing gum. You know you just gotta figure out. How am i going to connect to somebody who can handle this. Aspic occasionally barbara published songs or even entire that. She didn't really have permission to use. My motto is always been as if it if it has to be done. If it's in human terms something that has to be done you just find a way to do it. Dana calls one album that was sent to her from northern ireland. During that country's violent civil war i never met those people any of them. I contacted them through clandestine methods. They contacted me and we put it out. I didn't have a name for the group. I made up a name because when phrases that kept coming up with men of no property. So that's okay there. The minimum no property. Maybe soldier be sure. I have told you that people new puppy hold you for flying wrong as long as you're going and never come back won't or the music from chile which was then brutal dictatorship about gustavo. Pinochet someone got in touch and said we have this album. We wanna put it out. So i had to meet someone in a coffee shop with by whatever scarf on that. They would recognize they gave me. The material was all done that way. I never knew the name of the person who brought it to me. As i recall is missing the joint on a finger had been tortured and so that there is that element in running through labeled these musicians making great personal risk to have their music put out an away that told the world what was really going on in their countries in you'll find the voices. The thoughts the fears the hopes dreams. All of that is in one little album records also focused on oppressed groups inside the united states in nineteen seventy three. They published an album called a grain of sand music for the struggle by asians in america. Here's lead singer nobuko. Miyamoto and i'm a third generation japanese american born in los angeles. Nobody goes life. Growing up in the united states was marked by a lot of traumas. I was a child of japanese relocation. So i experienced Going to a concentration camp with my people one hundred twenty thousand others and that experience was a marker in our lives. Consider the time in which nobody was growing up in the us. She lived through world war two then the korean war and then vietnam Which was sort of a wake up. The third war that i've seen in my lifetime that was against people who look like me and it was the first time that asian americans Chinese americans japanese americans korean americans realized that we need to come together to take a stand against this war to band together in the face of another bloody american war in asia nobuko and her friends work to create community and build pride around their identity as people of descent living in america. We're a small community but the period nineteen sixty-nine seventy we realized well we can't just rises japanese-american so chinese americans we had. That's when asian america happened. Gone clark during these community. Nobuko played music for morale and solidarity. She ended up playing in a band with two other activists musicians. They call themselves pearl one of the they sang and gave voice to what it was like growing up in the. Us this song is. We are the children from the album a grain of sand and ride. Hey watching the next august all the other side but unlike some of the other albums published on paradigm records nobuko doesn't think of a grain of sand as protest music. It's really an album of coming to voice for asian americans. If we were speaking to the white world it would be more of a broad dust albums but we were speaking to our own communities. Who had not had a song who had not had a voice a political voice we the cousins of the freedom brothers and sisters all around so so that idea what asian american had to be invented. It had to be talked into his existence and it had to be song into existence and this album helped to to provide that it was really the first album to describe what it would mean for an asian american consciousness to to develop and it still is important for a lot of people today. Despite this album's importance nobuko says the process of recording. It wasn't exactly luxurious. Yeah it was very working class. We get thing in three days. We never did any more than two or three weeks. Most of the i take and plus she didn't have money for us to spread it out. You know we we. Can we do that one more time. Oh no no no. That sounds fine like we're the children. You know criticism voiced cracked on something. That's her bandmate. Chris jima and he wanted to do it again and she said no. No no no. That's that's fine. And then later he went back and listen to the the children and he actually said oh. That was my favorite part when my voice cracks. Another singer recording with paragon was argentinian. Suni paz she says. It was the first time she'd recorded anything like nobuko. She was an activist and teacher. Not a professional musician. Pause recorded her album. Bro tondo does see lonzo with paragon in one thousand nine hundred seventy three and she remembers recording with barbara dane a bit intimidating for got to tell you she never liked. My voice showed decided my voice. He said you have to open the mouth. More breathe better. She was very blunting criticisms. Well they knew what she wanted. Out of. soon his voice she gave her the freedom to curate. The album's message. She gave me food and taught complete freedom. And i asked her. I said look. I this crazy boy but i want to do it. Because doesn't top music. This is not a song is born on. She said yes not problem. Does you don't seem to this past your data's remorse it soon as palm indio inigo about the parallel plight of native americans and formerly enslaved black people in the americas. It really beautiful. I think it's a gorgeous Recording i personally love following her debut on paradigm records. Suni paz went onto record. Thirty two more albums. You'll see about kindle concepcion. Del mundo in really. It's this community minded approach defined paradigm records but after a decade of grinding in one thousand eighty. One barbara wanted to move back to california to dust off offer career as a singer and paired on took a lot of time. So barbara recruited a team of people to keep on running so we did turn it over to a collective the collective work very hard and kept it going for three or four years. I guess but it became clear that without the travels and the connections that i was making through the travels it was impossible to find the material to build the trust and so by one thousand nine hundred five after releasing fifty albums showcasing protest anti-colonial movements on six continents paradigm was over but the ideas that paradigm showcased. Were still out there. Here's founding director of smithsonian focus records. Tony cedar and he says sure they were out there. But you couldn't walk into most suburban record stores and find them on the new release rack the influence of paradigm records. I was probably somewhat restricted to do people who who could find them today. You can find almost everything on the internet. If you search for you may have to go to some strange corners but at the time you if you lived in most of the country there was no stranger. Quarter your town that you could go to where you could find powered on. Records secret says that paradigm was popular with groups of musicians. Who would buy the music. Learn a few songs. And then passed the album's onto their friends. It was way to circulate ideas while keeping costs down. That's an important part of what was happening in. The pre internet era was that you had a lot of fairly radical songwriting being done and a lot of wonderful performances around the world of protests and struggle and against injustice impact was partly through the musicians. Who heard it and then carried the songs along and faulted other people. This was paradox real power. It wasn't only about the songs that on published. It was also about the songs that inspired in ziegler says that paradigm was also a witness to history all of this pushed seger to acquire paradigm records in nineteen. Ninety one for preservation under the smithsonian's roof. Barbara dane was passionate about the music of the struggles for decolonization injustice in the world. I thought that was really important. Heart of the history of the twentieth century. And that's why with paragon. Barbara dane created a critical testament to the political movements and music of the post colonial era as for her career after paragon barbara dane returned to one of her earliest loves blues music since then she's released six albums some new jazz and blues recordings as well as a few featuring songs that had never been published from her heyday as one the heirs apparent to the empress of blues on. You've been listening to side door a podcast from the smithsonian with support for npr ex and right now smithsonian folk ways records is celebrating fifty years of paradigm. They built a paired on portal on their website. If you want hear more music or read about the labels history there's a link to it in our episode notes as well as on our website at sl that edu slash side door. For more stories of important american women be sure to look into the smithsonian american women's history initiative to learn more go to women's history dot sl dot. edu or join the conversation using hashtag. Because of her story on social media we interviewed a lot of people for this episode. We want to extend a special thanks to everyone who helped make it happen theo. Gonzalvo says nobuko miyamoto. Suni paz nina. Menendez tony seger. Bev grant heavier leone and alison lighter. Thanks also to everyone at smithsonian folk ways for their guidance and support including meredith home grin. Jonathan wilshire jeff. Place kim sojourn logan clark david walker. Cecilia peterson. Greg adams dan sheehy charlie weber and will griffin. our podcast. team is justin. O'neill natalie boyd sharon bryant and cannon caitlyn shaffer. Tammy o.'neil larry koch extra support comes from jason. Genevieve that pr x. Our show is mixed by tar fuda. Episode art is by steve. Leonard are theme song and other episode music are by brake master cylinder. If you want to sponsor our show please email sponsorships at pri dot org. I'm your host lizzy peabody. Thanks for listening or.
Coronavirus news, updates, hotspots and information for 3-10-2021
"This is corona virus. Four one the latest covid nineteen info and new hot spots just the facts for march tenth. Twenty twenty one first of its kind test for detecting whether someone was infected in the past that uses the bodies t cells was granted. Emergency authorization by the fda. It would be a game changer. For many with long term symptoms and for people who never got a clear answer on whether or not they were infected t cells can better remember prior infections and are thus said to be superior to other antibody tests a study in the new england journal of medicine reports. The pfizer vaccine was able to neutralize a new variant spreading rapidly in brazil. Scientists said this neutralizing ability was almost equal to the vaccines effect on a previous less contagious version of the virus from last year breaking news. Not everything on. Instagram is real a nonprofit that tracks online misinformation reports the platform recommended false claims about covid nineteen and vaccines from september to november twenty twenty instagram recommended one hundred and four posts containing misinformation to fifteen profiles set up by the group. These automated recommendations appeared in these suggested posts and explore features a pew research survey shows black americans standout from groups in the us for high levels of concern about the pandemic eighty one percent. Think it's a major threat to public health. Forty nine percent think it's a major threat to their own health. Sixty one percent say they'll definitely or probably get a vaccine that compares to sixty nine percent of white adults seventy percent of hispanic adults and ninety one percent of asian adults. There's one dose of vaccine. You're definitely not getting the smithsonian's national museum of american history is acquired the vial containing the first dose of vaccine administered in the united states. It'll be part of an exhibit to document the pandemic and quote this extraordinary period. We were going through in the united states cases. were down. twelve percent. Deaths are down eighteen percent and hospitalizations down thirty four percent over fourteen days the seven day average of new cases has been trending down since february twenty. Sixth there are now eight million seven hundred eleven thousand two hundred fifty four active cases in the united states. The current top five states by number of active cases california new york florida georgia and maryland. The top ten counties with the highest number of recent cases per capita according to the new york times dallas texas lion kentucky hartley texas cimarron oklahoma sherman texas cope texas lasalle texas aleutians. West census area alaska petersburg borough alaska and chattahoochee georgia. The five states with the highest levels and most daily new cases per capita over seven days are rhode island new jersey new york south carolina and florida. There have been five hundred twenty seven thousand six hundred forty three deaths in the us reported as covert related with the current national fatality rate of one point. Eight one percent. The states with the most new deaths reported as cova related california two hundred twenty seven texas one hundred sixty eight homa one hundred sixty seven florida one hundred sixty two virginia one hundred seven missouri ninety nine new york eighty three new jersey forty five ohio forty and pennsylvania thirty nine the top three vaccinating states by percentage of population. That's had at least one dose new mexico at twenty five point eight percent alaska at twenty four point nine percent and connecticut at twenty four point eight percent. The bottom three vaccinating states are georgia at thirteen point. Three percent alabama at fourteen point nine percent and utah at fifteen point one percent. Globally cases were up nine percent deaths down eight percent over fourteen days with the seven day average trending up since march fourth. There are now twenty one million six hundred ninety two thousand four hundred ninety seven active cases around the world the five countries with the most new cases brazil sixty nine thousand five hundred thirty seven the united states fifty five thousand six hundred eighty three france. Twenty three thousand three hundred to italy. Nineteen thousand seven hundred forty nine and india. Sixteen thousand eight hundred forty six there have now been two million six hundred nine thousand eight hundred five deaths reported as cova related worldwide for the latest updates. Subscribe for free to corona virus. Four one one on your podcast app or ask smart speaker to play the corona virus. Four one one. Podcast sound that brands.
Episode 366: Dal, Blender Muffins, and Melon
"I'm joy manning. A freelance writer focused on food and health. And maurice mclellan creator food and jars. Welcome to local mouthful. We're here to talk shop with obsessive home cooks everywhere this week. We're talking about doll. Banana haute blender muffins and melon. But first let's compare notes on something. We read this week. Marie so what are you got so I was poking around the internet and came across this story. Which i thought was really interesting. That the smithsonian is hiring a permanent curator food and wine history Didn't work at the national museum of american history and really will have their focus on collecting food and wine history and researching it and putting it on exhibition for the general public. And i thought those first of all. I was like wait. They don't have someone already because you know they have all of these food. Centric exhibitions and programs I know that they have a demonstration. Kitchen that many of our fellow food writers and You know people in our community have done events that and at the same time i thought how fascinating that That this is you know that this is an area that deserves a person like i was both surprised that they didn't have. It also surprised that it was happening. You know that might sound silly. But you know what i mean. I do and i felt like on the surface. It was really a feel good story about a topic that we really care about. But as always you know stories that involve wine and like big profitable wind. Businesses like the winery. That's funding this position. yeah. I sort of want to follow the money And i notice that they mentioned the mission of this was restoring wine. To pre the pre prohibition esteem at once enjoyed and so i popped out at me to automate the i just felt like this was another one of you know a trillion ways at the alcohol industry props up wine to make it classy and intellectual and most perniciously of all like thai inextricably eater food which was huge stumbling block for me like i really felt like i couldn't stop drinking wine and continue to be like a food maniac. Um yes and it's just not true. And then of course. I started to think about a who's who funds food and wine and like i don't have the the publication which is where we read this article. I don't have the financials there. But having worked in food media. Like i would not be surprised if a substantial portion of their ad revenue came from boost companies and then of course. I don't know if you and maybe it's different for everybody. But this the stories that the algorithm was like recommending to me beneath the story they were hard seltzer and other ready to drink. Beverages will surpass wine and alcohol to go. We'll be sticking around. So i don't know i had decidedly mixed feelings about this. Yeah i agree i am. Hopefully they'll be some capacity to separate the role from the funding. But perhaps not. yeah. I mean a good. This applies to everything. But for me i have a lot of practice doing it when it comes to food and wine issues but like if you follow the money you find out what the agenda is true. Anyway we'll share this article with everyone and I'm sure there's gonna be a lot of great scholarship a lot of interesting food history shared. I would definitely visit food related exhibits if i went to dc some day again. When i'm traveling more places But i just wanted to point that out. It's like one of those things like sort of goes under the radar but really shapes how we view wine alcohol and how we view the relationship between food and alcohol you know just a reminder. Alcohol is not a nutrient. it's not a food it You know his first and foremost a drug so anyway. If you really wanna know what i think about it there you have it. Feel free to disagree in the comments section for this Episode absolutely I mean i mind gives me a headache almost instantaneously. So i don't really drink it so well you know there. There's a reason for that. It's not a health drink juice. i know anyway. Let's move on to what's for dinner. Yes what have you been cooking lately this week. I made the todd kc from a book we've discussed on this podcast before the indian family kitchen Which is just a delightful book of recipes. That mix of traditional indian dishes with more modern twists You know as you would expect from indian woman who has been living in america Cooking for an american family but my relationship dishes evolved a little bit. You know the basic of a doll is you cook the lentils until they're you know deliciously soft and almost porridge like and then you make this Todd co which is a spice infused oil or ghee. It goes by many names Another frequently used name is chunk Which is why pre. Krishna calls it in her book. What's her book called indian ish right and I basically refer to three places when i making doll. Which is the indian family kitchen India nash and melissa clark has a pretty good section doll in her book. dinner game so i don't make this recipe always exactly the way it's written but it does a couple of things a little differently than some recipes that i wanna shout out as being especially good and one is it includes like all the includes like Quartered grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes at the end which brings like lots of delicious freshness to it it also suggests adding greens which i like is a way to get kind of a one pot meal that includes greens and the end when you're frying the seasonings. And the of course i use oil instead of doll You're not just doing dried spices. You do Garlic and chili and ginger as well. an onion green onion. If you have it. I didn't have it so i was. I used some regular onion. And i definitely sort of mixed up the spices At preah krishna's instruction. I add a little bit of that A fetid oh Which is it's a little hard describe. It has a strong smell. That is unpleasant to some or especially if you put your nose right in the jar. It adds savory nece you could it has some properties in common with garlic powder. I might say like But it does make a big difference. I find and I got curry leaves at some point. A lot of them. And i put them in the freezer. So i add those two good. Yeah and every time mcdowell. I say to myself. Why don't i make this every week. It's so delicious. Nutritious easy you know. Pantry friendly So that's And you serve it with rice or do you just eat the dull. Ooh i serve it with rice. Although i have had my eye on a rotea recipe that i try You know it's like sort of a similar to scaling pancake. No scallions and of course use whole wheat flour and d or you have your into butter and or some other kind of but that's on my list of i'd like it with that too. I have a lot of things on my list. I also wanna make jira. I bought a tough lower recently. Sometimes after we make something for dinner. I say dan. I don't know why we don't have this all the time. And he's like you say that all the time. There's only so many nights of the week that we have dinner like seven dinners a week and that's it like we can't be repeating stuff if you want to make new stuff Do so. But i'm gonna try to get more lentils more we just ordered red lentils in bulk so i've every reason to to go for it. Do make doll. I haven't in years. I used to allot But because scott doesn't really love lentils. I haven't made it in the years we've been together but it is such a good little kid food that it needs to bring it back. Yeah i can definitely imagine being hit with kids. Although of course no chili's now chilies but You know they they like savory flavors they've definitely gone through food like likes and dislikes shift again. Recently but You know they like they like refried beans and millennia time in beanie sabry thing and so i feel like doll is an easy sort of next step from refried beans. I agree yeah. Get your kids on the lentil train. I will i need to. Let's hope they don't take after their father in that way lentils or like a superfood i. I don't understand like the thing that never understand about scott dislike of lentils as he likes beans and there's so many lentils how can you just don't like lentils when there's a million different lentils out there and some of them like a black like caviar lentil is it has the same sort of texture and flavor profile as a bean. So how could you not like that if you like bean at don't understand i'm reaching into my local mouthful conversation archive in my memory and i seem to recall you saying that instead of refried being do sometimes like to refried lentils am i make that no. You're not i get that. By scott i can. Okay don't have any relationship to a lentil as far as he's concerned You know it's funny is i. I discovered refiled lentils. When i was writing for you at table matters so my goodness at a decade ago because i do worry about red lentils and i did three ways to do red lentils and those refried lentils of really stuck around because they can go from thick being. If you wanna do beans from scratch you need to plan ahead. You don't have to plan ahead with red lentils like it's a half an hour yeah so you can then take them and transform them into refried lentils onion garlic. Maybe you know a mild chili powder and then pour the man just mashed potato masher and you ready for burritos in the same way that you would be with refried beans so yeah i should. I should do that. Although rancho gordo stockpile is so enormous. Like i have just a lot of beans to cook as i think Yeah for. I'm right there with you. I made beans this week. That we then like turned into four different things and they were great. I made a pound of black beans. I think last weekend. I split them into two and put one put half in the freezer. Because you know there's only two of us here. Yeah and i was eating them. I made a taco salad inspired by you. You can see it on my instagram. If you're at all interested I made refried. Black beans for Oh i may toast atas. And then i did them like a soup by had them over rice like and i. Yeah i still have to go anyway. Yes that's why this is the only thing that ever makes me say. Maybe i should have had children. Is your desire to cook more food. Yeah because then there'd be more mouths to feed people would eat it. Be better if we were neighbors. Yeah he's like you need. You need to live closer. Yeah although she's got a lot of strange stop that she doesn't like she has a blanket. soup is out just the whole category. As a i know. I i don't get it. It's would have had kids. I would've experienced all that frustrating stuff as well. so perhaps it's all for the best I have freezers instead anything. What are you making this sleek. So i have been kind of tinkering around with a blender muffin recipe of late. Even go on question. Why why not why. Why not just with the skit in a bowl. Because i was making the flour from scratch. Oh then it was already in a blender yes so. It was argued lender so i was taking rolled. Oats and pulsing them in the blender to make oat flour. And then i thought i wonder if i could just mix everything in the blender because then i wouldn't have to get another thing dirty so it kind of turns your normal mixed the the way you would mix ingredients on its head but it really doesn't impact the quality the muffins. So what i do. Is i start by putting my oats in the blender. The recipe's a cup of flour. So i use one and a quarter cup of rolled oats and assume. That's gotten me close enough. Then once they're pulverized into flour had the baking soda baking powder salt and cinnamon. So i've mixed. I just pulse that until their combat and then to those dry ingredients i throw in three the ripe bananas a third of a cup of maple syrup two eggs and a quarter of neutral and then sharana. It's all mixed. Sometimes i have to stop and scrape the sides down but that takes you know seconds and then it's done and so the whole thing takes five minutes from start to finish to put together and then bef- you know i lightly oil twelve cup muffin. Ten just you know standard one. I don't use paper liners because that always feels wasteful and as long as you oil sufficiently. They pop right out. I divide the batter in between those twelve muffin cups. I bake it at three hundred fifty degrees for like fifteen to eighteen minutes and they're done and they're delicious. The the only thing i would say is that because there's a little bit of air in the batter from pure eing they rise and fall a little bit more than perhaps a just a hand whisked muffin might so you can tap the blender a couple of times to try to release some of the or once you portioned into the muffin. Tin tap the pan a couple times to try to release some of that air. But they're fast. They're easy there. You know full of Fiber and natural sweeteners and a little bit of protein from the eggs and my children will eat them happily for like as part of their lunch. They are delicious to me as an adult at also used apple sauce instead of the bananas. And so you use about a cup of applesauce and that works really nicely You could also sweetened with cane sugar if you wanted her honey And they're just great so then free. I may add for any included freely listeners. We may have and you could swap. In a flax to you know the equivalent to flex eggs are flag equivalent of eggs interconnects and make them vegan problem. Yeah i might. This makes me really want to second coffee. And a banana oberlander muffin. So yeah it made me think what other baked goods. Can i do from start to finish in the blender. Because it's so easy and i find. The blender is easier to clean than the food processor. Or the mixer. Because you just rinse it squirt little soap and put some water and and then you know run it for thirty seconds and clean so it has a lot to recommend it at least to me to my is like this is her then. I started to think i if i could do. A blender baked goods cookbook. Maybe it's an e book many cookbook for sharing ago but or baked goods. I do think so. I mean i don't know. Maybe there's enough for a whole cookbook. I've seen whole cookbooks built on last. That's for sure. Yeah but for someone who has two. Small people Not a lot of time has become my go-to baked good coolant. Add like once once. It's portioned if you wanted to add some nuts or raisins. Just add them. You know a few to each cup in. They kind of sync into the batter. As bakes it's delicious with golden raisins. Those tend to be a stumbling block for the people in my household. So i don't have like like a banana walnut muffin. Yeah you could add like if you really want to get fancy you could add a little Crumble topping. there's a million directions. You could go with these. i like it. I think this will be useful. Yeah and i've even written up the recipe so we're going to put it in the show. Now yeah i know. I made hopefully share final recipe. I know it doesn't happen that often but like a lot of recipes are for sale. Frankly you know but it is really great. I'm sure people will appreciate this. I wonder if it would work with holy flower as well. I'm sure it would. And then he wouldn't even really have you know you disclose everything into the blender at once and let it go right right interesting. Yeah man. I want to treat with a second coffee after we stopped recording. Thank you you're welcome So are we going to have a free ranging conversation about mellon's we are we are. You're going to have to lead it. Because i almost never have melons. I have to i. Okay so here. I love melon and for years especially watermelon. Like that is my favorite. But i love cantaloupe honeydew Any number of sort of less common but delicious melons. My grandma bunny was a big mellon person. She loved a cassava mellon. I think that's what they're called What is now. I have to feel look sorry qasaba. I'm saying around. Cassava not cassava cassava mellon They because she lived in california in southern california. When i was growing up it looks sort of. It's like a golden out exterior and honeydew like interior. That was one of her favorites. But you know throughout my childhood. When i go to her house she always had a melon right bidding on the counter. She also had this funny technique where she got like. Honey doer cantaloupe. That wasn't particularly right. She leave it in the trunk of her car and let it go the round up ripen it up So i have definitely grown up loving mellon having it be a big part of my summers and in the years that i lived in this apartment i was always sort of felt a little bit hamstrung because especially with the watermelon like you need to have the either need to have a lot of people coming over or you need to have the refrigerator. Space to handle a melon. And i didn't always like in the summers. I would intentionally like clear out space. So that i could buy a watermelon. Having to refrigerators has really made that a lot. Better over the years have really developed some tricks to Managing mellon especially with the watermelon. One of the things. That i always do is that i always cut the whole thing up. I don't like cut it in half in store half and then come back to it. I figure I should do all the work of crap because it lasts for two or three days. And i'm a melon fiend. I can eat a watermelon in two or three days now. I have two more mellon gene so it goes really fast. I late breaking down a melon. That's one reason that. I don't buy as many watermelons as i would like to have. I i do that to propel. I like such a to me. It feels like such a tour will here a couple of things. One is When i'm about to prep melon watermelon particularly. I lay a kitchen towel down. But my Cutting board on top of it to catch all the juice because that's one of the annoying things that it's going to get your candidate. Has i use cutting board. That has a carving channel that it catches some of the juice as well And then when i break it down. I don't cut it in half. I cut the top. And the bottom off so i have stable service and cut around the exterior and cut the the rind away. Like as if you were Said segmenting an orange or grapefruit. So that when you're all done basically have this just fascinated watermelon jewel. And i do this also with cantaloupe. I cut the top and the bottom any melon really i find that as much easier to carve the rind away when it's whole when it has that top and stability than it is to cut into wedges and then painstakingly slice your way through the exterior he. That's what i do. It is very painstaking irritating. And so With watermelon wants you have sort of just this round red orb I cut it into slabs. And then i dice though slobs into cubes. And then i put it in containers. And i'm going to talk about containers just a second with a cantaloupe. Once i have that cut in half. 'bout the seeds and then i like to instead of Cutting into wedges. I like to take a half. Cut it in half then. Cut that half into Kind of narrow flaps almost like slices. I don't want i don't really embrace the wedge. I cut it so that it will fit nicely containers. So i do that with honeydew Cantaloupe anything that has seeds inside like that So then when it's broken down. What i like to do is i With honeydew and cantaloupe. I use a four court delhi container with watermelon. I eight cup deli container. Essentially i bought these about a year ago and they have revolutionized the food storage in my kitchen. It is essentially a deli container so like the plastic deli containers. You and i love only. it's an eight cups so it's two courts and It's sort of like a deli container. That's been stretched sideways. So it has twice the circumference And they're great because they're really durable stack in the fridge. Really well they hold a lot And by pushing the melon out into into containers where you're like okay. This will last day and a half. You don't have to keep opening. it's like you have some not getting opened on a regular basis so it's going to hold its quality better because it's not coming out of the fridge 'cause i used to like put up my my put my cut mellon in one big container and then it's like i take it out. It would sit out for half an hour. I put back in the fridge and to have all of your melon. In one container it starts to degrade keep portion it into small containers. Just pull out what you need and leave the rest in the fridge and to be clear. The smaller container is a cup storage container. Her watermelon my guy. Can you make a watermelon. It is a lot for other melons to four cup of your results may vary in terms of how much your household can eat. But once i cut up melon. It fills two to three eight cups storage containers. I think of that eight cups a day serving between the boys and i. We can go through eight cups of watermelon without even blinking. Wow i'm gonna look at those containers you know. We love our storage containers. Call house there. So they're great I can't believe i've talked about them before Canadians watermelon question. Though before gone from watermelon seeded seedless or do not care. I prefer a seedless. I know that people say that seated watermelons have a lot more flavor But i don't find that. They have so much more flavor that i'm willing to deal with. All the seeds can especially now with toddlers choking hazard choking hazard. I don't wanna be painstakingly cutting around every seat for them so whenever possible. I by Seedless watermelon most of this most of the summer. What i do is like once or twice a week. I'll go to trader joe's and by one of their they are costing four ninety nine now. They used to be like two ninety nine but food. Prices have really gone up and so by four ninety nine watermelon and an. It's funny 'cause i'll have this like oh my gosh. That's so expensive. And then i think will if i were to buy a court of pre-prepared watermelon from a grocery store that would be the court amount would six ninety nine. Yeah i get. I can get four to five quarts from single watermelon and then it shows. Is it really very nicely. that's true. Sometimes i have accidentally purchased a seated one mellon and then. I already told you how annoyed i am. And having to cut up a watermelon so in those cases i often just turn them into watermelon juice. But once you've done that underrated and super delicious. Oh god with a yeah watermelon in the blender with a little bit of lime juice so good yes ice cold yum yet Well that's something that we love to talk about else your loving this week. Sure so i. My family had their first in person gathering last weekend. We had so nice. It was so good a brench potluck at my cousin's house and my cousin winnie ordered. This big smoked fish trey and one in my family. We cannot order just enough food and no one can just order what we need. There's almost always double the amount of food that is required. I think like any family event that i've ever been to is been true. It may have another cousin who married in and it makes her crazy. 'cause she's very much of the. Let's just have enough. The the overabundance makes her little insane. But that's okay So i ended up bringing home a bunch of smoked fish and one of the things that i've really been enjoying that. I don't think it's enough. Love in the world is what is technically. Like officially known as kipper d- salmon. It is hot smoked salmon. It's so it's different from a like a locks or nova. It's not the kind of shiny greasy. Sammy sammy i mean and i say that with love in my heart. I love I love locks. I love nova but this is more. It's slices if you had gotten a big fillet and it has the skin on it. And it's sort of adult color as apoe like doesn't shine so almost looks like poached salmon but hot smoked so just rich and smokey and so delicious and it's a kind of salmon. Where if you make a pasta dish and you want to just you know. Add some little thing. You can crumble up. Some of this hot smoked salmon tossed three or pasta It just delicious. And i have really been enjoying those leftovers and it just made me remember how much i appreciate it. Enjoy the world of smoked fish. And so i feel like this is going to be my summer of treating myself to little bits of smoked fish because so land. Do you have smoked fish. Purveyor in your neighborhood. I guess bruno's do it. Debris knows has some And it's like they. They have quite a bit actually in. It's one of those things that i always overlook and like. Oh those are just you know pieces of smoked fish. Lemme turkey for sandwiches. And i need to really explore their smoke Fish selection better this year. I have you been to beat herman's which is I think they are really smoked. Fish specialists in the italian markets. It's like an appetizing shop in the spirit of it yet. But i'm really looking forward to going down there. You should take a trip I haven't been. But i've heard it's fantastic. We included it in a recent issue of edible philly. Oh yeah oh that's exciting. I will definitely check it out i. It's funny how far the italian market feels now. Yeah i guess you'd have to drive with your babies until i guess it would be a very long walk. It would be a very long walk. I'll get there someday. Put it on the list the summer wishlist. I will. Maybe i can slip away and go by myself. That'd be the best thing and I think that about does it for this episode of local mouthful. Our thanks go out to dan. call for editing. The show to solve inbound for designing our logo and doreen arose for providing the music. And thank you for listening. If you like what you hear. Make sure to subscribe the i tunes or your favorite podcast app. Please follow us on facebook twitter and instagram at local mouthful. Sign up for our newsletter. Catch up on past episodes and check out our show notes at local mouthful dot com until next time happy eating.
The Science of Behavior-Altering Parasites
"It's Monday September Thirtieth Twenty nineteen and you're listening to inquiring minds. I'm enjoying this each week. We bring you a new in depth exploration. The space where science politics and society collide we endeavour to find it was true was left to discover and why it all matters you can find us online at inquiring dot show on twitter her at enquiring show and on facebook you can also get an ad free version of the show by supporting US Patriot dot com slash inquiring minds and you can subscribe to the show on Itunes or any other podcasting APP. This is part two of a three part series about very small things and progressively Sibley getting smaller last week we talked to ends. Federal Thijssen about insects and how important they are especially in a time when our climate is changing this week talk to Kelly Weiner Smith who's a parapsychologist so one step smaller things we can't see with the naked eye and it turns out that parasites can affect animal behavior including ours and that to me was always fascinating. Kelly and her partner Zach Weiner Smith wrote a book called Soon Ish ten emerging technologies that will improve and or ruin everything and it recently came out in paperback so I wanted to take this opportunity to talk to her just a tiny bit about the book but mainly about her research and about how amazing it is that things we can't even see can come in to our brains and affect our behavior although fair warning will mostly be talking about non human animals Kelly Wieder Smith welcome to enquiring minds. Thank you so much for having me on the show. I'm excited to be here so I'm really excited to talk to you as well because I've been thinking a lot about parasites. I recently hosted one in my belly and now she's a hobby outside regulation. Thank you so tell me a little bit about how you got interested in parasites. Oh demand so if you had told me when I was fourteen. I was going to be studying parasites. I would've told you no way that is way too creepy but I started studying animal behavior. While I was working now my master's degree and I read Carl Zimmer's book parasite rex and that was the first time I went from thinking of parasites being just straight up creepy with no redeeming characteristics caracteristics at all to realize that parasites are still straight up creepy but also fascinating and that they can teach us about how hosts work and just you know. There's a lot of cool stuff to know about parasites to and that was when I first started seeing parasites in a different light and then one day my adviser suggested while maybe it would be interesting for for you to work on your PhD looking at how parasites change hosts behavior and that is what I have done in the last decade or for the last decade yeah so so beyond beyond just being interested in things that take over their hosts how they change our behavior is like right up my wheelhouse psychologist and I'm interested in human behavior behavior of all animals as well and I just have to send you a Kudos like your title was. What's gotten into you this hilarious. I was you know I have. I have to admit that helped me with that one and when we came up with it I was like yes. That's perfect. I don't have to think about this anymore. All all right well okay so let's talk a little bit about so. Let let me let me start with your favorite parasite. That changes behavior. Tell us about it art. My favorite Paris Harrison changes behavior is the crypt keeper wasp or you dare set so this is a wasp that manipulates another loss and that wasp lost manipulates the tree that it lives on so it's a hyper manipulator so let me tell you about the host I so the host is a sign Nipah Gall Wasp. It called the crypt goal loss. What it does is the mom lays in egg in a developing stem and then the tree is manipulated into producing this compartment. It's called a crypt and the egg that was laid in that compartment is GonNa Hatch and then it eats nutritious tissue that now surrounds the crypt and then it goes through some development and when it becomes an adult it choose a whole out of the crypt and goes off to complete its life cycle now just like human pregnancy. It's a lot like human pregnancy and as a as the mother of two children I can tell you it's very similar and so so when when the mom was laying the egg into the stem the whole she was really tiny and so the adult wasp has to chew a hole out if it's going to get out so it's got to do that on its own so that's how things go with everything works well for the host but every once in a while a paranoid comes along and the parasite toyed lays an egg inside of the crypt where the host is living and the host is induced to make that emergence hole to get out but it makes it much smaller than it usually does and it doesn't get through all the way if you look get these branches whereas manipulation is happening in the Paris Toyota's president you have all of these tiny little holes with insect eyes peering out and it's kind of a creepy when you look at it under a microscope just all these eyes peering at you but they're all dead lifeless is because the Paris toy at this point eats the internal organs in the host and kills it and the host is dead now plugging this emergence hole and the Perez toyed when it becomes an adult the way it gets out is it chews a hole roll through the head of its host and emerges through the host head which is like the most metal life cycle ever and I love it allow. I think I need a nap. That's amazing. That's that's that is spectacular super cool so tell me a little bit about the process of studying these kinds of parasites. I mean you know I assume that you really are using tools that give snapshots but how do you actually observe them doing this kind of behavior since they're so tiny it so in general studying parasites that manipulate the behavior of host is really hard to do because you you don't just I have to have parasites and hosts and you have to capture them at the right time and you have to sometimes they'll keep both of their life. Cycles in the lab can currently and a lot of times. We don't don't know enough about the biology to to do that well so I work at another system where it's a little bit easier but in this system so far what we're doing is we go out and we collect a lot of different tree parts where we think we're where we can see a goal so we know there's a host there and we bring those into the lab and and what I love about this system is that the equipment is pretty cheap so we literally take stems leaves depending on the host that we're looking at because the crypt keeper. Wasp infects multiple different Gall Wasp lost posts and we stick them in little clear Solo Cups. You know like the cups that we all drink are beer in when we were in call in college and we put put up a coffee filter on top with a rubber band to hold it in place and we just kind of watch it over time and so in this system you bring the Gauls in and then you wait to see it does what emerges from that goal does a host emerge in which case everything went great for the host or do you end up with a whole host eye poking in it or poking out and that that means that we have the parasite in there and so but you don't actually insert the Paris a toy I mean and you know is once. You have a pair of Satori then. You know that you've got like a colony that you can create or is this something that is actually pretty common. How does that happen. That is a great question so we're currently trying to get this system system in the lab so we right now all we can do is sort of capture snapshots in nature and bring that into the lab and what we're trying to do is figure out you know so for the host for example. We don't know where the host lives next so they have two different stages in their life cycle at one part of their life cycle they live in the stems and we think for the next part in their life cycle they live in the leaves but we haven't actually found them yet so we're trying to find all of the different parts and figure out how to keep that alive in a greenhouse setting but we only discovered this system in two thousand fifteen sixteen seventeen ish so. Scott ICAN collaborator was the first one to sort of notice is all of these is peaking out of stems and try to figure out what's going on then he brought me on the project so we're still trying to figure out the life cycle and get it in the lab. I mean it's really amazing to think that you you know you can still discover something like this. In Twenty nineteen right I remember when I was an Undergrad thinking there is just no way that I can be a scientist. 'cause we know so much you know your text books are just crammed with information and there's millions of scientific papers being able to find your niche was just a daunting that just sounded super daunting but this system was literally in the trees outside of our offices at Rice University. There's just amazing stuff waiting to be discovered everywhere. Yes elastic on the show we we had a Norwegian researcher named Ends Federal Thijssen on the show she wrote a book called Buzz Sting. Bite which by the way if you haven't read yet you should be interested in it but she talks about how there's like two hundred million insects for every human and when you put it that way it does seem like there is an immense amount around these tiny beings around to study and of course there's so much diversity want one comment that she made was that it's actually common to be rare in the insect sect world is that true of the parasite world to what so parasites probably make up something leg forty to sixty percent of medicine biodiversity so there's maybe more parasites than there are hosts and you know how well okay so so you as a human. You know that you could be affected by lots of things you can get the flu and the cold but but let's just think about you know medicine parasites. There are hookworms squirm that live in our guts. There are Schistosoma that live in the veins of folks in Africa who are infected. There are other trematode that live in our livers. There's so you know we are one species with a lot of different parasites that live in us. The host that I talked about that is manipulated by the crypt keeper Wasp. If you keep those in in the lab you also get something like ten other parents. Detroit species emerging from those crips also so each of the Ho- each host has a lot of different kinds of parasites sites and there's some overlap between multiple host species you know cows and humans harbor some of the same trematode species but we do think that there might be more parasites on this planet Senate in terms of medicines and stuff than there are free living hosts and so if you think about how many people are studying parasites relative to free living animals. There's definitely definitely far fewer of parasitology so there's a lot left to discover and figure out for sure yeah so that kind of brings up the point of like you know. I guess if I think of a parasite as ultimately harming the host right so is that is that a wrong headed view because if we have so many parasites living in US widen what we die from Paris tarsus alert part of that is because we're just lucky to live in the United States right now. Plenty of people died from parasites in our evolutionary past so partly it's Waleed we now live in these more hygienic environments and so we encounter fewer parasites it's part of it is because a lot of these parasites it's not in their best interest either for us to be dying so a lot of them for example live in our gut and as we you go around defecating that's how they pass their eggs and so if we die they lose the ability to spread their eggs around the environment and so a lot of them just take you know they're small mall. They take some nutrients some calories some energy but not so much that we're totally debilitated or we die and so you know there's just very ability and how bad some some of these parasites are for us whether we even noticed were infected with them or not and then again we you know our our environments right now. Control the quite a bit by just you know hand washing and sanitation Asian and stuff yeah so going pass the joke of you know your children being parasites. One thing that I have learned a lot for my children is that they can be hosts hosts of parasites that existed so many sites so like just to trigger warning audience to say it's pretty gross so I recently got the dreaded letter from Preschool. They described the infection. Ah Parasite that has has been known to infect one of the other children and of course they don't don't tell you Hugh Hugh which is totally ethical but they described this parasite like literally Kelly. Let me tell you what it does. I'm sure you already know about this about like in the middle of the night crawls out of the anus of the child and causes this is extreme itching like but it were night gross why why it causes the itching no okay so so that is a mommy pin worm she is. She crawls out onto the innocent night. Itchy lays her eggs and then she makes I think she lays something else that causes extreme extreme itching and then our children who don't quite have you know the sanitary practices that we do yet they reach their hands into their underwear and they scratching they get those little eggs eggs underneath their nails and then later they stick their thumb in their mouths and they get reinfected or they go in they touch her at counters and then you get infected and that's. I think preschools have some some like crazy high prevalence of pin worms and you know not everybody is so itchy that you immediately know you have it so there might be kids in that classroom right now who have it and they we just haven't realized it yet because kids are scratching their all the time anyway. We'll thank you will not be sleeping tonight. Preschool director totally contradicted you. She's like Oh. You'll know they'll wake. Thank you up with an issue Batman. I was like okay great. My son hasn't done that yet but maybe they will. I mean I definitely have seen like dogs who have pin. Were doing the shuffle on the grass. They clearly trying to scratch their own butts. That's what we're talking about the same thing right. I I don't know if that's pin worm or a tapeworm. I definitely know that that's a parasite but I don't know too much about canine parasites but I should because we got a dog recently so I should have those things on my mind. Maybe he's like a DISA- living lab for you. Discover new parasites ooh. I'm not going to tell my daughter that that that that's what I'm doing to her dog support for today's as show comes from Mova Globes both Globes turn all on their own with or without a base in any setting with ambient lighting no batteries are needed and no sloppy cores to detract from your enjoyment instead hidden magnets provide the movement with over forty different designs including World Maps Outer Space and famous artworks. There's something for everyone the outer space collection even features graphics provided by NASA and JPL complete with planets moons asteroids and Constellation Designs. It's a great gift for the person who who has everything or parent with your own home decor. As a conversation starter. Recently I got a globe that's blue and silver and it's totally awesome and I put it in my office awesome. Whenever I'm trying to do some writing or some deep thinking I often find myself just mesmerized watching it. Turn turn turn. It's also a lot of fun when I have guests come into the studio because they often comment on it visit Mova Globes dot com slash minds and use the code minds for ten percent off your purchase. That's Mova Globes dot dot com slash minds and use the code minds for ten percent off your purchase. There's a new podcast from stitcher called last at the Smithsonian. It's a pop culture history podcast last exploring the little known stories behind conic artifacts from the National Museum of American history. The host is as off Monte from the daily show and he goes inside the National Museum of American American history and share smart and fascinating insights into cultural items like Fontes leather jacket and Dorothy Ruby slippers along with National Museum of American History History Curator's and celebs traces just how these special objects came to define our culture so listen subscribe to lots of the Smithsonian right now in institure apple podcasts or your favorite podcast App all right so let's let's move back a little bit to talk about Behavior Savior so I love your your example of the wasp. Are there parasites that we know of at I the only one I can think of as the toxic Plasma Gandhi that can influence human behavior well so there's some that influence in less subtle ways so for example if people who get rabies become absolutely petrified petrified of water major hydrophobia if you try to get a cup of water near them. They'll totally freaked out the GAG. If you try to make them drink it and I don't think they tend to get super aggressive and by the way dogs do but that changes behavior but that's more of Oleg when you are infected you know that you are infected in. It's a major personality. The change and I feel like you know obviously that's interesting diagnostically but from the perspective of like just being freaked out because it's scary to think of your behavior being controlled by something so you don't know it we we don't know of that many parasites that do that so toxic. Plasma Gandhi I seems to do that. Should I explain that parasite sir. I I love hearing about it and I'd love to hear your version of of of what's going on. Okay so Tuxedos Maganga is a protozoan parasite that lives. It's it lives in the guts of cats. That's the definitive host that's where it reproduces sexually and after it reproduces it makes something like an egg but it's called an assist and that gets defecated advocated by the cats into things like your garden and when an animal like you or I or a rat or a bird or mouse accidentally consumed consume the oasis it lives inside of us and then it forms a semi dormant stage that can live in or our muscles and it can live in our brain and that's it's the same for rats and mice and when it's in rats it seems to make them go from being afraid of the smell of cat urine to being attracted to the smell of cat urine so if you look at rat brains before they're infected if you expose them to the smell of cat urine the part of their brain that's associated with fear lights up whereas afterwards the part of the brain that's associated with sexual arousal seems to be activated so they go for being like being like. Ooh and they spend more time around almost Mela cat urine so this has been called fatal feline attraction by Joanne Webster and the other folks who have studied this and so we have this really great story about how this parasite almost certainly gets the rats eaten by CASK now they're hanging out in these areas where there's predators but even though this is one of the most popular popular examples of behavioral manipulation of a host by a parasite this is one of the systems where we really can't show that rats that are infected affected by the parasite are in fact more likely to get eaten by a cat that are uninfected rats and it's most of the problem is is ethical so the closer Sir you get to an animal being human and rats are mammals and we we think that they're cute and cuddly or some of us do you. You can't get permission nor Norwood. You probably want to get permission to infect rats and then released cats and see you know watched the slaughter ensue and so we haven't actually shown that this behavior gets rats eaten by cats more often. It seems like it probably does but we haven't shown that yet. and I don't know when we will if ever yeah it's really interesting. 'cause I actually lecture about this. When I teach biological psychology and I talk about the Magdala which is the fear center or one of the ways in which fear can modulate our memories and I talk about how it's affected in these these rats and I've always said that makes them docile and therefore easier to be eaten but I guess lots of change my lecture. I didn't realize that we hadn't actually proven that as far as as I've seen and I'm pretty sure that if that paper comes out that will immediately get a ton of press but I do not. I don't think we've done that and it is. I've talked to a couple people who study at Mare like yeah you know. I guess I would like to know the answer that experiment but I would never feel comfortable doing it. Yeah I guess so so yeah and so I I do know some people are trying to do some studies looking at rats in nature and so you can figure out if a rat is infected by seeing it has antibodies talk supplies Maganga and it has antibodies than you know that parasite is living in its body and then maybe you could track these populations over time and try to figure out which rats rats or eaten by predatory cats which ones orange and tried to track their behavior and maybe put cat. You're announced some areas and anyway some people are trying to see if you can do natural experiments mance just observing what happens to sort of get a handle on it but anyways as far as I know that has not been done yet but we do know that there are at least there have been some studies of human behavioral changes changes related to infection by this parasite yes and so you're a Slav. Pfleger is a check scientist who was kind kind of wondering about his own behavior that the way that I've heard this story is that he thought to himself. You know I have weird responses to things. I wonder if I'm infected by a parasite or I wonder if a parasite is to some extent controlling my behavior and he looked to see if he was infected by Taco Plasma Gandhi and indeed he was and this seems to have set him off on a path of really only being interested in seeing if people who are infected by this parasite on average act different than people who are not affected by this parasite so he's given psychology surveys as to a lot of people in the Czech army a lot of undergrads and then after they do the survey he draw some blood looks antibodies like I talked about what you can do with the Reds S. two and then he looks for correlations between infection status and responses on those psychology tests so he has found things leg women who are infected affected are more warm tearing and men who are infected are less likely to follow the rules and they get more jealous and so he has found some correlations with personality traits folks have also found that when individuals are infected their responses or just a little bit slower so people who are infected did are like I think it's two point six five times more likely to get in a car accident than someone who's uninfected and that's not because they're all over the road driving crazy. It's just it it because you know you have those moments where you have to make split-second decision and the people who are infected just make that decision a little bit more slowly and are more likely to get into that car accident and so yeah there's there's some like personality scores but one of the problems with these studies and I'm sure the researchers were would admit this as a problem too is that it's hard to know now if the behavior caused someone to get infected or if the parasite is changing the behavior so for example maybe men who are less likely. Alito follow the rules are also more likely to not cook their meat through all the way and get infected by the parasite that way so we can get infected if we accidentally ingest the oasis in the environment. Maybe a cat pooped in your garden but we can also get infected. If for example a cow infected the parasite is living in the cows muscle and and we don't Cook it through all the way then we can get infected by the parasite that way. There's actually a lot of different ways. Let me let me ask though our cat owners more likely to be infected than non on cat owners. Oh I can hold my gosh. I should know the answer to that question so so complicated because if you have an indoor cat that's a hundred percent indoor. That cat is almost certainly not going to be catching rats and mice so it's probably not getting infected so you're probably fine but pregnant women and are supposed to have somebody else changes. The litterbox in case there cat is infected because if you get back to when you're pregnant the parasite goes to the fetus in causes major neurological problems and so I I guess I don't know off the top of my head if it's actually the case that pet owners who have cats that are indoor outdoor cats have have a higher prevalence or are more likely to get by the parasite. It seems like that should be the case but I don't know that off. The top of my head actually okay well. I appreciate your scientific integrity and not making taking that as I have in the past and just written off all of these behavioral changes as cat people it is. It's very tempting yes but but no I'll joking aside yeah. It's good to know that we can't just write off these these personality traits as being akin to to making a person a cat person but but it's so much fun to talk about over mere like there've been studies showing that entrepreneurs are more likely to be infected and the idea here the parasite makes people take more risky or more risks in their career but it seems just as likely that entrepreneurs are people who take risks and maybe went to an area where the food safety laws are more lax or they're less likely to cook their food all the way or Blah Blah Blah anyway so there's all these studies that are very fun to talk about out but really it's really hard because again ethics. You can't infect people and they'd be like. Are you going to be an entrepreneur at age twelve. I'm GONNA infected with the parasite not infect your twin sibling and see what direction your life steak like. You know we can't do those kinds of things of course not yet anyway and our topic future maybe correct so speaking of our future and the things that are really fun to talk about over Beers. I want to let our audience know that. Your Book With Zach Jack is called ten emerging technologies that will improve and or ruin everything it's now available on paperback and it's an instant New York Times Times bestseller and looking at the sticker right now on that which is super awesome. I want to ask a little bit about the emergence of this book. How did did you come up with the idea. What what was your process as you guys. Were doing the research and ultimately producing this book well so I think we my husband and I both liked working on projects. We like doing something together at all times and for a while we were podcasting but then we had babies and nobody wants to hear people talking about science with Children's screaming in the background. We tried that a couple of times it didn't go real well and so we just we decided we needed a new project and that got approached by an agent in who wanted to know if he wanted to write a book and he said well. I do if my you know if I can do it with my wife 'cause we're. We're looking for a new project to do together so we decided we were going to write this book together. Are we were looking for something to research that we thought was interesting but was not something we were probably. GonNa read a lot about on our own an excuse for exploring the new research search topic and Zach suggested emerging technologies that sounded pretty cool so that sort of set us down the path we originally decided we were going to write short stories about our short essays about fifty technologies but it ended up just feeling like funny wikipedia articles instead of like x released released a nice satisfying deep dive into these technologies so we will be down to ten and we tried to find ten that didn't overlap too much and would just be something that would be fun to read about for months because for each of these technologies we did about a month worth of reading before we started writing and then we just kind of one of us led each chapter one of us did started off with the research wrote a draft and then we shot it to the other one who would sort of go through the draft make some edits figure out where we hadn't done enough research urge that I would do some interviews and then incorporate that and then he would add jokes in comics than we'd send it off to our friends who were smart people who didn't work work in the field who could hopefully catch areas where we hadn't explained things clearly and then we sent two experts who would hopefully catch any mistakes that we made and we stu- we did that ten times and wrote a book and it's awesome. It's it's it is really great. If if our listeners haven't picks it up yet I highly recommend it so can you pick your favorite one that maybe wouldn't be the same one that Zach would pick and tell us about it yet so honestly honestly my answer changes just about every day that I get asked this question because all of the technologies are cool but I sort of a more excited about some of them on different days so so I guess today my answer is bio printing so the idea that we might be able to use three D printers to reconstruct human organs so something like seven thousand dozen people die every year in the US on the organ transplant list waiting for organs to become available and those people would have to dive we could three D. print organs using our own cells and that would also have the benefit of making it so that people who received transplant organs wouldn't need to be on a suppressive drugs for the rest of their lives but this is actually really really hard problem to solve. Some of the problems are technical like how do you get a printer to extruded cells without popping the cells because you want to move quickly quickly to make this organ but if you move too quickly you start popping the cells as they go through the like the printer or maybe you make a structure you put the cells on top of it but then one of the more biological problems is that you need to have vascular. That's a couple millimeters away from every cell in the Oregon so that those cells else can get nutrients and get rid of their waste so right now just trying to three D print vascular which branches and becomes very very tiny and very very thin is one of the bigger problems that it's to get solved and it's just a really fascinating problem. How do you three D. print vascular. I agree with you that if we were able to solve this problem I know that a lot of people are kind of working on this from different directions but it but it is a really a useful thing to have to be able to do like taking this. Let's say beyond beyond the people who need transplants. Let's let's move a little bit further into the future. What do you see as the outcomes like. Let's say now we can three D. Print bio print organs sounds like are we going to kind of refresh our livers after a couple rough binges or what do you do. You think that that's something that would happen in the future with some regularity or do you think this will always be reserved for people who are at death's door well so I think I think the answer to that. Question has a lot to you with how unpleasant these surgeries are so even if you could get a new liver that is a really serious surgery. That doesn't always go super. Well and requires requires a lot of recovery time and so you know it could be the case that maybe someone drinks too much for too long and they're able to get a new liver and that kind of sets. It's them on the right track again. I would think that for a lot of people the process of needing that surgery would make them rethink whether or not they want to drink that that much going forward because yeah it's just really unpleasant surgery and so I think the unpleasantness of the procedure would make it so that people wouldn't think of their livers as completely expendable. Maybe people would would be a little bit less cautious about some of their behaviours but again between the money and the time in the pain. I think a lot of people would still not want to have to do these sorts of surgeries. He's regularly all right so speaking things that are unpleasant. I want to end on another note like that. which is what do you tell us about another parasite so that changes behavior and it doesn't need to be humans although bonus points if it is but but tell us about another story of of you know about that really alters the behavior of its host? I'll tell you about the other system that I studied because I think it's super cool so trophy. Transmitted Parasites are parasites that need their current host post to be eaten by the next host in the life cycle in order to get transmitted so there's a fair number of parasites that have that strategy that seemed to be able to manipulate their hosts. I in ways that get that parasite eaten or get that host eaten by the next host in the life cycle so Tuxedos mcgahn had at one stage in its life. Cycle is dramatically retransmitted. The rat needs to be eaten by cats but I study a fish that needs to be eaten by a predatory bird so that it's trematode parasites can get from one host to another so these fish swimming around and even when they're very recently hatched. There are all of these parasites swimming around in the water. These are trim toads is called you have work is California's and the parasite is able to burrow through the fishes skin and followed nerves up to the brain and then formed cysts that sit on top off of the brain not in the brain but on top and by the time these Fisher adults they can have something leg one thousand to eight thousand of the parasites on the brain while I I know and what blows my mind is that the fish mostly seem normal so they're not like swimming on their side. They don't look like majorly sick like you might expect a fish where like one and a half percent of its entire body mass is parasites living on its brain. You would think that would really mess a fish up but they mostly seem normal but every once in a while though like dark forward really quickly or scratched their body against Iraq and that reflects the light off of their silvery bellies and the more efficient infected the more often when they more Peres sorry the more parasites that live on the fishes brain the more often they do what we call these conspicuous behaviours darting forward very quickly an infected fish Asia are tend to thirty times more likely to be eaten by predatory birds that are uninfected fish so it looks like you know it's much easier to get permission to infect act fish and expose them to predatory birds than to infect rats and expose them to cats and so we have some data actually showing that this parasite does increase the rate that the Fisher consumed and that sort of one of the nice things about the system as we have a little bit of data to show that this manipulation really is relevant in ecological setting but yeah that's my favorite system. It's such a weird parasite yeah I mean is there any evidence that that parasite gives any benefit to the fish and if not why is it that those I was like why don't those fish then become extinct. You know what I mean. Given just the sheer magnitude the number of parasites involved. It seems like they should just decimate an entire entire population yeah so at the moment we we have not quantified any benefits yet that is on our mind the fish a lot of these fish which by the way it takes a long time to get a thousand or eight thousand parasites on the brain so it's possible that on average most of these. Fisher having a chance to breed before they get eaten eaten by predatory birds and the fish live something like a year and a half so if they get one chance to breed. That's probably all the chances they were gonNA. Get to breed anyway. In this parasite parasite might just be directing the fishes biomass to predatory birds as opposed to get maybe the crabs that would eat the dead bodies in this system so it might be moving energy she from the aquatic environment to the trio environment but not impacting the fitness of the fish you know dying is bad but from an evolutionary canary perspective if you die after you're done breeding you know evolution doesn't care anymore yet doesn't matter it doesn't matter so these fish might get a chance to breed there are there is some evidence in humans that having some parasites is important for fine tuning the way our immune system works. This is called the hygiene hypothesis offices so in that case maybe our bodies are compensating for getting infected by using the parasites as sort of information or cue to help our immune system do do the right thing and in the absence of parasites. It seems like our immune systems for some people not all people but for some people it seems like when you have no parasites our immune systems adams go after ourselves instead and this is why we have some autoimmune diseases and allergies to where things I don't think we have all of the details of that. Hypothesis figured out yet but there's some pretty strong data that as communities increase other hygienic practices in parasites become less and less common things like irritable bowel and other auto immune diseases increase in frequency so parasites might be good for us in some way. It's not because the parasites want to help us but it's because our bodies have sort of adapted to the presence of parasites and when you lose something that used to be there all the time before it seems like maybe that throws off a bit yeah. I mean I've heard that a lot obviously slee as a as a mother of two young children but I'm still going to teach him to wash his hands because pin worms so yeah you want to avoid pin worms for sure you have torn. I want my kids to be around soil bacteria because it's not just helmets. It's supposed to be like bacteria in the soil that are good for tuning your immune system but I also just do no not want inwards so they wash their hands all right well. Kelly wieners say thank you so much for being on enquiring minds please give our best regards to Zach and congratulations on the success of Sudesh. Thank you so much. Thanks for having me on the show. So that's it for another episode that it was part two of our three part series on little things next week we get even smaller into the quantum world and we talked to Caltech Physicist Sean John Carroll about quantum mechanics and amazingly how little physicists actually no I want to thank you for joining us for this installment of inquiring minds and we'd also like to thank our supporters on our new Patriot campaign especially David Noel Charles Lyles Clark Lindgren Michael Gal Goule Stephan Meyer Walled Kyle Jala Joel Jonathan worsely Yushi Lynn Eric Clark Jordan Miller Herring Chang and Shawn Johnson and if you hear some background noise in this episode my apologies there is major construction shouldn't going on just on the other side of the wall of my studio you can visit our website at increasing dot show and you can support us at patriotair dot com slash inquiring minds and get an ad ad free version of this show find us on twitter at enquiring show and facebook and you can send us comments feedback future guest ideas or anything else. You'd like to contact an enquiring dot that show. We're also looking for someone to help us with our social media so if that person is you please reach out to us at contact at enquiring show enquiring minds is produced by Adam. Isaac are music provided by award winning producer Rian Sheehan and I'm your host Indre Scotus. I'll see you next week.
37: Introducing: Lost at the Smithsonian
"Hey this is Sarah Wyman. I'm one of the producers of household name they're going to be new. Episodes of household name in your podcast feed very soon but in the meantime time if you want to keep up with us. There are two great ways to do that. I you can join our facebook group. Just search household name podcast and you can subscribe to our brand news newsletter. There's a link for you in the episode description but in the meantime I don't want to send you off empty-handed so while we work on new episodes of household household name I want to share another show you can listen to and I think you're really going to like it. It's called lost at the Smithsonian and it's a new pop culture history podcast from Stitcher pitcher but explorers the little known stories by an iconic artifacts at the National Museum of American history. The host is off Monte who you may know from the daily show and in every episode Mavi examines the impact of a fascinating cultural artifact think fancies leather jacket. Dorothy is ruby slippers. Even Jim Henderson's early prototypes for the muppets. Here's Monte coming across the Robe Muhammad Ali war while he trained for his famous rumble in the jungle against George Foreman. The Robe is a reminder of the political and cultural context of the Times made this one of the most important sporting and entertainment events of the Twentieth Century Tree back in Smithsonian storage would looks like an unassuming. Terry cloth training rogue with simple black lettering says Muhammad Alley and above is his signature so little frayed at the edges here a little yellow represents an icon and a legend who was the greatest that sports has ever produced here comes early. You can see in their very calm. It's age against you. They've got these two American African American boxers George Foreman Muhammad Ali is he lost his title Losses Bertel. Yes he was trying to jump to the current heavyweight boxing champion. The odds were stacked against L. E. Right out of gate because he was older form and had was undefeated formidable opponent Yasser when I'm meet this man if you think the world was surprised when when Nixon resigned wait allow with forms and in terms of the actual the fight in Zaire how did that come about it was with Don King I think they had connections with the people in Zaire and thought this would be like this great news sort of mass spectacle that would elevate interest just in not only the fight but also the nation of Zaire and also like a you know they had this big concert and James Brown in addition tend to be a major sporting event. The rumble in the jungle was also a major musical event James Brown. was there be king was there. The spinners were there this global spectacle well that was none other than legendary boxing promoter. Don King Jitney Super John's they come into one fold and do one thing six thousand miles from home that was blackness that was distributed to accept blackness to help platelets trust practice and into associated separate blackness. We all citizens of the world. It ain't about us being we WANNA be against. Nobody cares about us saying that we for each other so that there was this celebration aberration connecting African culture with African American poultry that both celebrated and exploited in some ways in order to get people excited about the fight by the time that was kind of a new concept but in terms of rumble in the jungle considered one of the most important sporting events at twentieth century. Why do you think that was no long run. There's a lot of big events but they don't always hold up so you have this huge audience championship fight that was like incredible years the Ali Lee story itself and I'll ease rope widow finish to that fight where you got let himself get punched basically and tricked form in and new yet one shot right and was able to accomplish it and that was huge. Ali's rope a dope finish was the key to his victory. He let himself get backed up against the ropes then used his arms to block as many a forms punches as he could once foreman was worn out. Ali made his move. We'll get into rope-a-dope put up a few minutes but just no it was all about outsmarting his younger opponent. Mohammed Ali dancing around the national anthem. I mean I know that like for myself growing up in a Muslim family and my parents grabbing India in the sixties and you know all the fact that he was this outspoken black Muslim. I think there are a lot of Muslims around on wall who sort of took ownership of him in some ways you know like he's one of us and I just remember as a kid the idea of sort of giving giving the middle finger to colonialism and the oppression by not going fighting in Vietnam. Why should I go and fight the White Man's man's war. What have they done for me as a black American so I think there was a real resonance about this fight being in Africa of all places right. I I think if it had been in America I don't think it would have had the same impact sure right yeah. The international scope of it was important and you know he won three lost at one three times james the belt so like that kind of like just adds to this kind of legacy stature that he had also so smart and funny he we know how to use his controversy to kind of help his bank account as well as the bugles fighting so. I think all around just like really is remarkable the term that he's worth remarking upon because he so distinctive when I got to Africa I had one hell of a mall. I had to be toxins behind. I for proclaiming to be the King of the jungle. That was a sneak peek of lost at the Smithsonian with Asif Monte. If you want to hear more confined the show in stitcher apple podcasts or were ever you listen keep an eye on our podcast feed for updates about the future of household name going to have new episodes for you very soon in the meantime we love hearing from you say hello email us at household name at insider dot com joined the household name facebook group or leave review. Wherever you listen we read all of your messages and thanks so much for listening. We'll be back soon.
The Artist Critics Love to Hate
"This is side door a podcast from the smithsonian support for npr x and was. This painting is enormous. This is even bigger than i imagined it was. Can you stand next to it for real. Yeah i'm just inside the entrance to the smithsonian's national museum of american history with curator. Eric jentzsch eric's going erica's six to it. Is like twice as tall as your. The museum isn't open yet. So this space which ordinarily would be echoing with visitors. Voices is quiet but towering over. Eric is a painting that's loud. It's like this big collage of like color and sound. Which is you know. I think what you have good way of describing jazz right. Painting is called big band it shows eighteen. American jazz legends playing together in a cacophony of color. You kind of have this vibrancy around billie holiday. This orange and yellow elvis gerald kind of goes into these paints and florals through charlie. Parker miles davis. You have these blues you know and then up near trueba. It's like more energetic with purple. Feels like swath color. But i think even though it's a visual medium you kind of get a sense of jazz and that is very fluid improvisational. Lots of colors shoes emotions characters voices in real life. These musicians never shared the same stage. Their different musical styles would have made collaboration tough. But here they are mike. A fantasy sports team of jazz players brought to life in the classic style of our leroy neiman. It's very much We ran eamon. Who is probably one of the first artists that i was ever really aware of as a kid. It's very distinct. Style is bright colors sort of celebrities. In this case jazz musicians you may not recognize neiman's name but you almost certainly know his style. It's an energetic. Mix of hyper real color. And hasty looking lines. The give it a sense of action. Its distinctive but surprisingly hard to define. Expressionism is impressionism is just like he's at neiman. Ism is a very. That's a good way to say it neiman's art work paper. The one thousand nine hundred fifty s through the ninety. It was everywhere especially places. You wouldn't expect to find art. Sports illustrated magazine chess tournaments the race tracks political conventions the olympic games and playboy magazine he painted entertainers athletes and celebrities and became friends with many of them. He made millions of dollars from his art and became a celebrity himself but not everyone loved neiman in two thousand twelve when he died the new york times published a review of his work and in it the critic called him a hack. The article reads mr neiman. Who died this week at ninety. One was not an artist. Who anyone in what i will here called a serious art world ever cared about. So this time on side door we take a look at the vibrant life and legacy of leroy neiman. The artist critics loved to hate what the artist so celebrated in popular culture. So scorned by the so-called serious art world and who gets to decide what art is good anyway. All that coming up after the break Can't get enough of side door. Well there's more sign up for the side door newsletter to get behind the scenes content for each episode. There's so much more to our stories than we can fit into each episode. The newsletter is worse cider producer. Justin o neil and i can share photos videos facts and favorite moments. That for whatever reason didn't make it into the podcast. You can also find links to articles and more specifics about the research being done here at the smithsonian across the country and beyond sign up at sl dot edu slash said door. That's sl dot edu slash side door. Side door is brought to you by progressive. Have you tried the name your price tool yet. It works just the way. It sounds utah progressive. How much you wanna pay for car insurance and they'll show you coverage options that fit your budget. It's easy to start a quote and you'll be able to find a rate that works for you. It's just one of many ways. You can save with progressive. Get your quote today at progressive dot com and see why four out of five new auto customers progressive progressive casualty insurance company and affiliates price and coverage match limited by state law. We weren't even. I got attention for his art in the. Us army while stationed in europe during world war. Two he Got sent off to camouflage on the roofs of the tents because they didn't want them to be bombed right. This is heather long. Leroy neiman's niece at instead of painting. Camouflage he painted a beautiful nude on top. I'm not sure that they would have avoided the volume that way. That sounds about as attention getting as you can get. Yeah we were even withdrawing from the time. He could hold a pencil as a kid growing up poor in the depression. He would draw temporary tattoos on his classmates arms and even earned some change drawing ads for the local grocer. He was drafted into the army as a cook but he found to paint a cheesecake nudes. Romping around jumping through donuts. This is neiman in an interview with the jazz. Oral history program at the smithsonian's national museum of american history back in two thousand. Six neiman was eighty five at the time. I made myself conspicuous special treatment. Towards so i i do everything. I never painted a mural but begin painter draw you can do anything. Leeward painted posters and backdrops for red cross productions in the army. He got his first inklings that he might be able to make a living as an i and when he got back to the united states he saw how he starts at. Stripes publishes stories. That for every day. You're in the army of free education. gi bill. And i knew the day the moment i read that piece her my life was going to be. I applied to bunch of our schools on the gi bill. Niemann went to the prestigious school of the art institute of chicago. And after graduating he joined the faculty and taught figure drawing fashion illustration renown galleries started buying his work like the minneapolis art institute and the corcoran gallery in dc. He was well on his way to becoming a respected fine artist and then he found playboy yes or playboy might have found him. I'm not sure but they needed some little drawing. You have to raise asking for some little drawing. I guess on the playboy joke page in the early nineteen fifties. Playboy magazine was hugh. Hefner's brand new idea. In each issue just behind the centerfold was a party jokes. Page hefner asked neiman to add an illustration and he did and that became the febblue for which he became so famous. The feminine was a female gremlin. Though to be honest she's not very kremlin more like a teacup sized cocktail waitress sketched in blacking. She scampered around the jokes page climbing into high ball. Glasses and making sexy mischief. The firmly is a saucy girl in black tights and not much else. She was a hit so popular that the framed prints at playboy clubs had to be bolted to the walls because they disappear proving says leroy. That larceny is the sincerest form of flattery. Neiman became playboy magazine's artist in residence. And this is a little hard to get from our perspective today but in its early days playboy wasn't just selling naughty pictures. It was selling a young male fantasy of the good life and to that end traveled all across the world writing and illustrating a feature called man at his leisure. his jet. setters guide to the world's leroy win around the world drawing and writing about these little episodes in rome in paris. I mean he was living this kind of high life. This is carol becker. She's dean of the columbia university school of the arts and also a friendly neiman's she says neiman went to the bullfights in spain film festivals on the rivera. He was having these adventures that everyone wished they could be having. And he was doing these little images of them and drying of them and that was all being reproduced in playboy and playboy was getting more and more readers every month. They went from selling a million magazines per issue in nineteen sixty two. Nearly six million by the mid seventies so leeway was in the middle of all of this and he was making all these images and he was becoming famous as a result of it won't even was in chicago working for playboy. He co out in search of live music jazz. Payback building was cross yelling from the shape and nightclub by walker officer in the afternoon. Sometimes somebody rehearse hagar check out what's going on over. There would sketch the jazz musicians. Louis was there at that time. Louis armstrong good company. He fun he would talk to you. I liked him very much. Sought out jazz for the action of it. The closeness and the physicality of the players it's also intimate any The people love to be close to these guys. The music was on bitter for far away. But they wanna be close. Do i do 'cause. I draw but There's something about the loudness of the flair that they have drawing jazz. Players was different from drawing. Other musicians can do. a string. Grew classical not identify the people when you get to jazz you gotta draw. The individuals people want to see an image of somebody. They recognize neiman painted. The faces people would recognize. He has stories about everyone from ella fitzgerald. She was a bird ten. Miles davis miles is always a problem because he always wanted to have your relationship cure woman to do killington and he was so classy guy he was the same things that drew neiman. Jazz clubs also took him to sports stadiums. The crowds the motion the big personalities. He take a sketch pad to boxing. Matches the racetrax baseball games neiman wrote in his memoir on most immediately i became immersed in the spectacle of big time sports and the hysteria and adrenaline of the spectators. He would sit at the nfl games and he would draw and He was like a people's artist. You know In an people recognized him in he dressed in this very flamboyant way always cave with stash. Oh yeah neiman had a look. He wore brightly colored linen shirts and his niece. Heather says matching colorful socks black socks and of course his handlebar moustache and under that mustache along cigar he always had his cigar with him. He generally stood out from the crowd and the strangeness of a guy sketching live on location at a sports stadium got him noticed by the local. Tv stations broadcasting the games. They'd pan in on his sketch pat while he'd flourishes pencil and with a few lines bring the action to life on paper leroy neiman says adversity brings out the best in him and after all he does work in watercolors and this tv clip neimanis catching a chiefs. Game in the pouring rain would be much more comfortable a telephoto lens and be up in upper. It's warming but here's where you see. The people. the way they are name has captured many kansas city star's along the way he's worked in bad weather before yourself. You're here we're all here. We're all crazy. Is the sports media empire grew through the seventies and eighties. Neiman rode that wave reaching massive audiences. Drawing on live tv. Long before. Bob ross set up his easel. His ear to ear mustache became a fixture on the sidelines of the super bowl and the world series wimbledon the kentucky derby he was the official artist of the olympic games. Five times and the new york jets made him their artist in residence once when the jets were playing really poorly. The crowd began to chant. Leroy in put leroy in. He was becoming as much a celebrity as the people on his canvas here. He is on tv with merv griffin in one thousand nine hundred a lot of love. We're all very proud of you. Leroy because i love what i do and i love the people that i do most of all you love action. Don't you. I love action. I love the people who do it. Well neiman painted and sketched over one hundred portraits of muhammad. Ali became his very close friend. One portrait shows ali mid punch his eyeballs and teeth startling flashes of white against splashes of red blue and yellow is there and aesthetic connection between sports or decidedly. Sports graceful beautiful. And i think any work a lot worth it substance where it's worth as being being done is to be strong. Strength is a part of beauty and string big part of sports. He was drawn to these incredible athletes and he was interested in drawing the body and we presenting the body. He was a wasn't ironic at all. I cared about it. He was and that's leaving reverential he was reverential. That's a good word. And i think that's why people want to own those prints and why regular people who may not have any other art near their house so even think about art will byerly winning grits and want to live with them because they are hopeful carol becker of the columbia university school of the arts says neiman was a populist artist when i sit populace. I mean appealing to a very large ways. He wasn't doing things that people would have a hard time understanding when someone told the story of someone leaping out of a manhole covers. Leroy somebody working on the sewer system new haven. But i don't think that that probably worked in his favor in terms of the art world That probably wanted him to be more leap and he was by the end of his career. Even was earning ten million dollars a year on his art. He'd been all over the world on every celebrity. You can think of but for the man who seemed to be able to go anywhere. Open any door. The door to the so-called serious art world remained shut tight for the most part art. Critics ignored him and if prompted to comment on his work rope things. Like what howard. Johnson's the taste. Buds leroy neiman is to the is neiman makes art for people who don't like art. His technique has been variously described as gaudy cheesy vulgar walkie and holiday inn expressionist. I asked his niece heather. What neiman made it this. He never said anything about that. He must have believed that. You know eventually people are going to recognize my work that respect from the fine art world never really came but why not after the break. We'll hear from the critics. Don't go away. Love learning new things on side door. Here's something you might not know. The smithsonian relies on support from people like you to make all of the research discoveries and exhibitions you hear about possible smithsonian are addressing critical issues in the field of science history art and culture issues that affect us all. And you can be a part of it. A lot of people listen to side door. Imagine what we could learn next if everyone chipped in just a little. Find out how at sl that edu slash contribute. We're back and we're talking. About the life and work of celebrity artists be roy neiman neiman was by all measures astoundingly successful artists. Well all measures but one. He was the artist that critics loved to hate when neiman died in two thousand twelve art critic. Ken johnson doubled down in the new york times. Writing is the serious art world wrong to exclude and disdain mr neiman and his art. I don't think so so. I called him up. I read your piece. And and i just kept thinking this is so mean. What made you write it at that moment. you know. he wasn't even buried. Oh boy you're not the first person to say to me a red room you that's kind of me and i don't know i think i'd my obligation to my audience. To be honest about right feeling can has worked as an art critic for most of his career. And he says it's his job as a critic to be frank about his opinion if everybody's sort of hides their opinions behind you from this then we don't know what we're talking about culture starts to become push you gotta call him like. I asked him to read a little more of the peace allowed. Mr even was the archetypal hack which is ever present cigar. An enormous moustache. He was a cliche of the bones yvonne in a bad artist in everywhere. But but it's a good question. Well was what was i thinking. His body was buried cold. I'm writing this stuff. But i think in some ways i when i'm writing something like that. I know people are going to go. What i can't believe he said that. And so there's a certain kind of fun that comes out in criticism when you're taking on something that you really think deserves it but i wanted to know what about neiman's work this criticism. Ken says take the big band painting. For example. this music mean to him. What you get are all these little fragments to look like people playing on color television or something. It's too sweet. It's this monotonously. Televisual of life in the world. Are you saying so. You're saying he didn't have a point of view or he didn't have an any point of view and it was very banal. it was just a banal. that's our said to to present in other words in other words. what what i think. You want from an artist. If his purview is society in outer to have some kind of critical element. You know just wanted a little more complicated. So do you think that. Neiman might have achieved more critical acclaim more critical himself. Yes so what is the role of the artist than in your mind to see the world wards and all and he didn't enough warts any you know it's it. Sounds like the very thing that made him so popular was what disqualified him from critical acclaim. He wasn't challenging anything. That's really a great observation. Naming does knocked challenge. Jerry saltz is the senior art critic for new york magazine. So he's a big deal to me. Leave roy neiman. Was this weird. Sort of hippie. Kirby street danby. Who always have the salvator dali moustache more colorful clothes and smoke wong cigars and hung out with half and playboy bunnies and drew. Sammy davis junior. And liza and rockies investors two well-known kentucky derby horses and more playboy bunnies and just on. What the hell is this guy now. His style is kind of a mishmash between abstract expressionism. Color field painting. Really bad school of paris crap. Gary says he never thought much about neiman until one day in two thousand nine. It was springtime and jerry was giving the commencement address to the columbia school of fine arts graduates on the stage about to give my address and there was leading wind neiman and i got completely pointing headed lead est art critic creature thinking i do not want to be seen with leroy neiman. My god. i'm this important art critic. What's he doing here. The ceremony began and jerry learned what neiman was doing there. He was receiving an honorary professorship of the arts. See there's this whole part of neiman's life that unlike most things he didn't flaunt and it has to do with how he spent his money. He never had other fancy houses. he didn't have boats. he didn't have fancy cars. He didn't have those things that you could do with all that money. He used his money in a different way. Carol becker says when neiman was teaching the art institute of chicago way back in the nineteen fifties. He was saturday admissions and he thought that was wonderful. Young woman that she should get study and no-one agreed with him and the reason didn't agree with him was she was african american. He was just horrified so when it became successful he wanted to be sure that anyone who had talent could go to school and become an ours and we put money towards that gave scholarship money for that purpose. Leroy donated scholarships for low income art students and started several art programs for high schoolers. He donated the center for prince studies at columbia university. Where young artists learn from more experienced print makers and we're artists who've never worked in print making it all can try their hand at it. Part of the proceeds from those prince fund. More student scholarships most super famous artist and made his kind of big bucks neiman gave back to back on stage at the columbia. Commencement ceremony jerry. Saltz was hearing a lot of this for the first time and realizing when it came to neiman i never relate spent much time. The truth is the whole art world never spent much time on the royal neiman. Gary gave his speech and at the end of the ceremony. Out of nowhere. Janet talked his wife. Came up to me with sheet of paper. And said leroy wanted you to have this and i looked down and saw an incredible quick sketch portrait of me talking with my hands. My big mouth open gesturing. And it said jerry saltz addresses columbia graduates leroy neiman. May something two thousand nine. And i looked down. And all on my i guess. Cloaking devices and defenses and our world self-importance dropped for a minute. I've always considered myself a kind of populous a people's critic and in this moment i suddenly realized lee y name in spite of me not loving or liking. His work had for a lifetime done. When i had been preaching to the students exactly to do which was your style finds you and that it is your trump to explore its furthest reaches and i suddenly understood that leroy name had done exactly this. And just like the grinch. On christmas. Jerry felt his chest start to twitch and swell. Why heart opened and thought well. Gosh darn it. I can accept leroy neiman. Even if he's not my cup of tea team he is a cup of tea is a real specific cup of tea. And you know what that's not easy to do. Listen one of the hardest things to do for any artist is to develop a style. That is both instantaneously recognizable as that person style and also the style says something. Neiman style definitely says something loudly and proudly but it doesn't say the same thing to everybody. If you walk into the smithsonian's national museum of american history you'll find a floor to ceiling painting of eighteen jazz masters. What's your first reaction when you look at the painter. i think it would be exuberant. It's incredibly vibrant. I think oh my god. That's so ugly. There's something very often. Celebratory and fon when i look at big bam. The problems fall away a little bit. I see launch. There's no one set of standards to judge art. The elite art world may prize a certain critical view of the world and exclusivity challenge whereas popular. Culture may respond to work. That feels relatable charismatic but insured. It seems like you could not have been both leroy neiman and accepted by art because he was accepted by everyone else and that seems like a paradox to me because the point of art is to show your vision of the world and neiman had his and the fact that it's accessible being a negative says more about the art world and its parameters than really whether neiman was a successor. Not in one thousand nine hundred. Five nieman told american artist magazine. Maybe the critics are right. But what am i supposed to do about. It stopped painting. Change my work completely. Go back to the studio. And there i am at the easel again. I enjoy what i'm doing. And i feel good working. Other thoughts are just crowded out. It was duke. Ellington told me when one favorite quota have from duke we all become more. We already are not a great student. We all become more of a we already are we roy. Neiman didn't make art for the critics. He made the art he felt compelled to make and jerry salt says. That's the only way to do it. I would only say to anybody listening to this. Podcast get to work you big babies. There's something really big in you. That wants to self replicate get out of its damn way and make some bad art. You've been listening to side door. A podcast from the smithsonian with support for npr x. For pictures of leroy neiman's big band painting check out our newsletter but also include links to the smithsonian's collection of leans personal papers in the archives of american art. It's like seventy linear feet of mostly playboy magazines. You can subscribe at sl that edu slash side door special thanks this episode to the leroy neiman and janet vernon nieman foundation. Especially tara's abor. Dan d'auray heather long and janet neiman. Thanks also to jerry saltz. Ken johnson and carol becker big shout. Out to our at the smithsonian's national museum of american history stephanie. Ten camry theo. Gonzalez's eric jentzsch john. Trautmann crystal klingenberg valencia. Helbig and laura. Deaf thank you to smithsonian focus recordings for contributing music for this episode and to our very own smithsonian jazz masterworks which you also heard to learn more go to smithsonian jazz dot. Org are podcast. Team is just. O.'neil james morrison stephanie. Delay on sick and cannon. Caitlyn schaefer timmy. O'neill just tzadek lehrer. Koch and sharon bryant episode. Artwork is by dave leonard. Extra support comes from jason genevieve at pr x. Our show is mixed tareq fuda. Our theme song and episode music are by brake master cylinder. If you want to sponsor our show please email sponsorship at p r x dot org. I'm your host lizzy peabody. Thanks for listening. Big babies. tell jerry. I said jere. Possibly in any way honestly like neiman's were he says he likes thinkings prevaricated. I'll tell him you said so can johnson. You are great critic and a good painter in newer one damn much. I'll pass the message along to use words like prevaricate. For god's they lie.
Best of the Rest II
"This is side door a podcast from the Smithsonian Support Pr. I'm Lizzy peabody is. Have you ever had that dream? Or you're outliving your life and you look down and you realize you're not wearing any clothes and then you see that everyone is looking at you your coworkers. Some government people may be even British royalty. You know that dream if you're lucky it's just a dream but I want to tell you about the time it happened for real for one notable Smithsonian staff member. It all started earlier this season when we reported episode called the Milkmaid spy in that episode. We visited the division of birds at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. Were Museum Specialist Christina. Gebhardt showed us a particular green woodpecker leave. The one you're looking for is in my hand. This woodpecker was shot in nineteen forty four by the sixth secretary of the Smithsonian S Dillon Ripley when he was working for the American spy network called the SS. But on the woodpeckers tag we read something curious shot at cocktail party towel fell off. I have no idea curious indeed to get to the bottom of it. We needed to talk to someone who knew really well. He's a passionate bird collector so he called Pam handsome and you have to understand passionate bird. Collectors will do anything to get a specimen pants. Job is to document the history of the Smithsonian as part of her work at the Smithsonian archives. She conducts oral history interviews and back in Nineteen ninety-one that meant sitting down with then secretary. S Dillon Ripley. And I did some forty interviews of him. Forty forty so if anyone would know about the towel noted. On the woodpeckers tag it would be pam and she did he was getting ready to go to a cocktail party with some real mucky mucks at the time of the story in nineteen forty. Four Ripley was posted to a tea plantation in Ceylon which is Modern Day Sri Lanka. His O s cover was that he was there as an ornithologist and conveniently. He actually was an ornithologist so one afternoon. Ripley's preparing for a party. Here's how he remembered it. In his oral history interview with Pam. Social. The very staff would have been buddies. He's in his tent and he's shaving after taking a shower and here's this distinctive woodpecker call. This was a bird he'd been trying to get and he had not been able to get a specimen of and he is not about to miss this opportunity. Despite the fact that the only thing he has on is a towel and I dotted out the towel around Middle Shotgun. Just shoot a specimen we. We've got a shot at that point if lecture of my stomach muscles towel law and I found myself after I picked up the specimen which ideally I staring up at the at the terrorists about to realize that number guest already arrived were period and there he is standing there you know in the altogether and Guetta she and he was six foot six so there was a lot of there and didn't bother him. He had his bird. He went back got as close on his uniform on and headed to the cocktail party but he he kinda got a kick out of that story. I think my my favorite thing about this. Is You giggling in the background? Your your dear. The new secretary shoots bird story is just one of many side door side stories. We've come across. While reporting episodes. These stories are fun. Make US laugh. And sometimes they stick with us a long time but don't quite constitute full episodes on their own so this time on side door. We've gathered some of our favorite short story for you. It's an idea we call the best of the rest and next up at tiny animal with a big temper. That's after the break. I WanNa take a minute to tell you about another show you might enjoy. This is love from the creators of the hit. Podcast criminal this is. Love is back with the kinds of stories. We need right now in their new season. They're taking US outside incredible stories about animals in the wild like a scuba diver who dives inside a glacier in Antarctica the family drama of rival Wolf Packs in yellowstone and a bumble date. That turned into an unbelievable encounter with the wild. This is Love was one of time. Magazine's top podcast picks of the year refinery. Twenty nine says this is love. Is The warm story based podcast to listen to when the news too much to bear? Check it out wherever you like to listen from. Nineteen Sixty eight to nineteen seventy five the Smithsonian astrophysical observatory had this thing called the center for short lived phenomena think of it like the Smithsonian X. files but without the paranormal stuff was pretty much exactly what it said. It was a place to document. Short-lived natural phenomena like meteor impacts volcanic eruptions floods. Each phenomenon was typed onto a little note card and one of them caught my eye. It's titled Brazilian Be Infestation. April seventh nineteen seventy-five. Isn't that something? This is Dave Brubeck. He studies BS. I've been employed for over four years as a staff. Research entomologist at this Tropical Research Institute which is in the Republic of Panama. And how many times have you been stung by bees conservatively to three thousand times? But not over just a couple of weekends you understand. I called Dave because what I'd read on this note. Cards sounded like bad news. I read it to and here's what it said. It said. A selection of apis queens were introduced into Rio Claro. Some kind of long. So here's the just in one thousand nine hundred eighty six. Researchers brought some African honeybees to Brazil for an experiment but the Afrique's didn't stick around. They escaped into the wild. You've probably heard of these BS. They go by a couple of different. Names DENIES BE African killer. Bee Yes killer bee. I put killer bees in the same category as quicksand things. You're afraid of as a kid and then you grow up and you don't think about anymore because you have bigger fears like taxes but this had me wondering maybe bees should go back on that list of fears and then it goes on to note that these are moving north toward the United States. And there doesn't seem to be any stopping them. I had one big question the same one tabloids ask of every child actor. Where are they now? But let's start at the beginning so these African bees were brought to Brazil why they wanted to try and build a better be struggling with the material. They already had honeybees. They kept in hives in eight periods. Which came from Europe? These European honeybees had been in Brazil since the mid eighteen hundreds initially brought over with Jesuits who wanted beeswax for their church candles. A wider people thrived honeybees with them when they brought their religion and their church to the new world. It was part of the same personal European honeybees produced some honey but they never really flourished in the Brazilian tropics so by the nineteen fifties. Brazilian beekeepers started looking to Africa because African honeybees seemed really good at producing honey in tropical climates. What was number one on their priority list was to make a b? That had the wonderful hunting hoarding or at least storage capacity. But at the same time they didn't want the these to behave like they do in Africa with a particular thing called stinging behavior. Stinging behavior is exactly what it sounds like but worse if you disturb African honeybees Erga roar out of there like a freight train and just invalid view in a cloud of bees. Where you can barely even hear yourself talk for the the angry buzzing sound also when they start stinging the the beasts thing itself releases some odors and you can smell this acrid smell in the air. It's it's the be alarm pheromones that attracts other honeybees. And they will come and they'll look for wherever that sting making that order is and they will sting there as well. Oh my so. I've had this happened just where the elastic at the edge of the glove presses up against the skin one be gets Stinger in there and suddenly you have fifty one hundred statements completely surrounding your arm at the at the base year club. And you think you have to be better ways making living. Obviously that's what I would be thinking. Researchers figured that by crossbreeding the African Honeybee with the European Honeybee. They could get the best of both worlds a laid back. Resilient tropical and things were off to a good start. Twenty-six colonies of African bees settle into their new Brazilian hives. Researchers blocked each hive entrance with a kind of Mesh door called a queen. Excluder which left the workers squeezed through without letting the queen out later was right into hive entrance to keep the queen from leaving with her entire colony. Which they knew they would do. Because that's the way they behave in Africa. And it worked until one day a well-meaning beekeeper noticed that these little doors were knocking pollen off the bees entering the hive and he thought this can't be good so he took off for the. Queen exclude very short time. All Twenty six colonies at. I would not want to be that guy. Well yeah that was a pretty serious error and those mere twenty six colonies. When out in randomly colonized the rest of Tropical America Turns Out African honeybees. Were really good at surviving on their own. In South America the same behavior that made them tougher beekeepers to manage made them exceptional defending their nests from big predators. They stung to death. Things as big as oxen and small predators like army ants overrunning their nest. Aitken Organiz and get out of there really fast. European don't do that very much the European would tend to just sit there and get overrun or starved. They start with the experience in the tropics. African and European HONEYBEES DID INTER BREED. But not in a controlled environment. Researchers had planned the few European Queens in the wild were more likely to meet with an African be than with another European. The the result is more and more honeybee colonies became quote. Africanist and these African is bees expanded their range quickly the Gross Panama Canal about nineteen eighty two got to southern new in the nineties nineties very early nineties and they abandoned the southern. Us ever since then so back to my original question. Where are they now? Dave says that by now it's safe to assume any honeybee you encounter in the southern most. Us We'll be descended from the African bees brought to Brazil in one thousand nine hundred fifty six. So if you were going to go back and put a note card into the files of the Center for short-lived phenomenon about the current state of African Bees in the Americas. Would it say well it would say in the American? Traffic'S WE HAVE A HONEYBEE. That's now here forever from Africa and it's not a short-lived phenomenon. This next story has sort of an Alice in. Wonderland feel you know out for a stroll and then I turned the corner and there is this enormous Jain. Almost clock I'm like what is this thing. Kim's yet is the director of the Smithsonian's national portrait gallery but on a visit to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American history. She stumbled on a clock. That left her intrigued. I think it would be absolutely true to say that. I became absolutely obsessed with the great historical and astronaut Michael Cluck of America. The great historical clock of America is thirteen feet tall and eight feet wide. That's as tall as to Michael Jordan's and wider than a king sized bed it has columns a Capitol Dome topped with a Bald Eagle a mini statue of liberty a waterfall and dozens of little figures arranged in Diorama like scenes from American history each painstakingly painted in exquisite detail and mechanized to move to music. Think about the old fashioned cuckoo clock you know the German cuckoo clocks with a little bird comes out. Yeah with this clock every fifty minutes it'll door opens and it's President George Washington and he comes out and I is a parade or revolutionary war troops. That he's inspecting and then on this revolving little plash our come a parade of presidents. The clock was built around eighteen. Ninety three but like today's smartwatch is telling time was actually the least important thing it did clock curator Carleen. Stephen says the clock was meant to entertain and educate as part of a traveling show. Think Vaudeville or the circus. In those days the entertainment would come to your town. You would pay money do win. Tend this clock falls into the category of mechanical wonders were very popular in the second. Half of the nineteenth century and so people were an entertainment by the moving figures and many people tend to figure out what made it go which was also kinda awesome in the in the original sense of the word. The clock traveled to Australia Hawaii and up the US Pacific coast where Carleen says it. It told the story of America to Americans. The clock represents a certain story of American history. Not Everybody's story but a certain story with the greatest hits of Paul reveres ride and Hoberman. This and these stories were what drew everyone together as a nation so it's sort of a self portrait of America at a certain era. Yes and so. The idea that there's common history is very powerful in that period American history. We're so many immigrants coming to the country. The idea that there's something bringing us together in is very compelling. It's not so surprising that the director of the National Portrait Gallery would be so taken with this clock. It's America's own mechanical selfie super coal. It's like portraiture mates history mates early. Hollywood I love that actually. In one way this is a great representation of the Smithsonian. You have the art on one side you history have culture but you also have this underlying idea innovation and science and technology and just like in the past the greatest circle clock can come to you or at least you can see it from your home will include a link in the show notes. Next up side door investigates a listeners. Tattoo went to local tattoo shop in the guy said never had that request from four wasn't really surprising. I guess that's coming up after the break. Love learning new things on side door. Here's something you might not know the Smithsonian relies on support from people like you to make all of the research discoveries and Exhibitions. You hear about possible. Smithsonian experts are addressing critical issues in the field of science history art and culture issues that affect us all and you can be a part of it. A lot of people listen to side door. Imagine what we could learn next if everyone chipped in just a little find out how at SL that EDU slash contribute. Welcome back to side doors. Best of the rest. This next story started with an e mail from a journalist with an unusual tattoo so we video called him. Will you describe your Tattoo to me? Assure on my right arm I have tattoo my very favorite object. He said I think I can. I can see have now. I could see it yes. It's the brand of Ice Paul. Lukas is well known in the world of sports for his writing on uniform design. But he says he's always had an eye for the overlooked and he's written about the branding device for years. What the heck is a brand device? You say everyone knows what. Lebron's devices most people just don't know what it's call you've definitely used one but it's still a weird object to be passionate about. Most people think of it as that Gizmo they use to measure your shoes shots. It's that Metal Foot measurer from the shoe store. The one you step into with a sly bars on the sides it makes me think of buying new shoes at the start of every school year. The smell of new rubber and leather. The salesman hitching up his little stool. That looked like a mini slide. Alison Oswald archivist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American history has a similar memory. I remember as a child having my feet measured using one of them but I didn't know the story behind it. So that's the story of Charles Branik So Charles Brenick was born in Syracuse New York in one thousand nine hundred three to Agnes Otis braniac degrade working in his dad's shoes store. So yeah he grew up among shoes. I guess she's were his his thing. Definitely Yeah Duck at college. Branch would wake up in the middle of the night to scribble sketches of his invention pencil drawings now at the Archive Center at the National Museum of American History. At the age of twenty two he patented his device was really a category killer it. There was no competition afterward. The for the brand device most shoe stores used the Ritz. Stick this thing that was sort of like a yard stick. You know kind of almost like a ruler but it only measured foot length and for a brief time there was something called the flora scope. You could put your foot in this little chamber and they would basically create an x ray to show you how. Your foot fit inside pair of shoes. Hi Tech Right. But it had a pretty significant drawback fluoroscope actually was. I think it was banned from use at some point. In the fifties in nineteen fifty seven Pennsylvania was the first state to ban the floor scope. They realized that they were exposing people to electric. You know without any kind of red covering in like that. But when Charlie Brandon came out with this it it was it was the first device that took both links and with an instep size and it really it it solved the problems the foot problems of the US military. They say an army travels on its stomach but of course they really at army really travels on its feet in the early. Nineteen thirty's a navy. Captain reported that many sailors were experiencing foot problems as the story. Goes you know the the ship comes into port on and they get off. The ship and a supply officer goes into a local shoe store and encounters brand device. There he orders a branding device for the ship and after all the sailors remeasured their feet for shoes. The naval captain wrote the foot troubles among members of the crew. Were entirely eliminated. And this I think really sets in motion. What would become significant import relationship for BRANIAC because he ends up doing units for not only the army and the Navy but the Marines the Marine Corps Women's reserve the Merchant Marines. The coastguard in the wax. You know he really was doing his part for the war effort. I mean he wasn't going overseas to serve but he was working on the home front and making a difference and I think that really matter to him. Charles Brenick only ever invented one thing. But that's all he needed to do to change the world of shoes Bronx really just a classic American inventor. He is what we call an independent inventor so he's working outside of government corporate or academia to create his ideas and bring them to marquette and you know he did this he did this on his own so okay I have to go back to the statue because you know people get tattoos of things that are really personally significant to them. So what? What makes the branding device so special to you? I've spent close to thirty years. Writing about the inconspicuous and branding device to me. Is the perfect symbol of that. It's the ultimate inconspicuous object. That's the thing that's right there but nobody really thinks about it except I think and so At some point I have my own Brennan's of Heison I had like Brandeis coasters and other little trinkets and I thought. I think it's time to get the Tattoos Brennan Advice Tattoo and and so I did just one day. You thought okay. It's time to escalate not sure could escalate elevate. We've arrived at our last story. And I do want to note that. This story contains some adult themes that may not be appropriate for all listeners. So if you're listening with kids you might WanNa come back later. I'll give you a second to hit. Pause please enjoy the side door. Hold Music both ready. Okay here. We go if you listen to our field trip episode last season you might remember frank. Felton's we met him at the freer gallery of Asian art. Where he talked with us about the Japanese artists hoax. has property nowadays best known for his famous print the great wave off the coast of Kanagawa in terms of Japanese cultural identity. He is really the most important artist by far hoax. I produced tons of work over the course of his life including one print. That really shocked me after the field trip episode. I kept wondering about it so I called. Frank turns out he was not surprised to hear from me I was. I was waiting for this to come to be sick cells. The print I wanted to talk about is called the dream of the fisherman's wife and it belongs to a category of art called schlage. Literally translated. Suga means spring pictures. It's a euphemism. For depictions of sexual encounters of all kinds men and women men and men women and women and the dream of the fisherman's wife as perhaps one of the most famous images of sugar because it doesn't depict man and a woman but a woman and an octopus or actually big octopus and a smaller one having sex one lady to cephalopods the print shows the woman reclining naked surrounded by a lot of tentacles. She's an oyster diver part of a long Japanese tradition of women who dove for pearls and they will often Irada cise because they dive you know largely naked and imagine these women diving into this unknown world that is the bottom of the seas that's sparked the imagination of a lot of people and including hoax. I the print actually appears in the show madman in the last season. Roger Sterling gives it to Peggy Olson. God what is this? It's octopus pleasure. Lady you can have you can put in your whole. They won't take me seriously a pretty serious one hundred fifty years. Old Sugar exploded in eight. Oh Japan the two hundred and fifty year era of peace and prosperity dating from the early sixteen hundreds to the mid eighteen hundreds. The Eto period was unprecedented in its embrace of sexuality in Japan. I mean the periods before that you do find allusions to the sexual congress but it's never depicted in the way that it is in Xinjiang. So that has led scholars to assume various theories about the nature of sugar that they weren't just meant to be erotic but they also were meant to be instructional to make life the bedroom a little more enticing and interesting. Oh like a communal something to be shared between couples exactly. Most stronger was made woodblock. Printing Frank says in Eddo Japan. You could buy a book of sugar prints for the price of a lunch or if you were wealthy. You can invest in a commissioned peace. The kind you'd pass down in your family for generations so major artist they also created a lavish deluxe versions painted scrolls and images that that show at the same subjects erotic encounters so hoax. I was not anomalous as a famous like well regarded painter. Who ALSO PAINTED EROTICA? No he was one among many many. If you're feeling a little taken aback by the openness with which erotica was sold and enjoyed in seventeenth century Japan. You're definitely not alone. So there is As Seventeen nineteen account of the Korean emissary coming to Japan and he's Commons in his report. That he was flabbergasted at how? Japanese a using these images that they were carrying them around and comments on the fact that the Japanese God forbid have sex with the light on and not in the darkness. Yeah what strikes me about the fact that this was a Korean military so it's not just a question of east versus West. It's really Japan stood apart as its own country in this regard exactly very very much so and I think to some degree. It seems that the Japanese aware of this friction between how the outside world looked at sex vis-a-vis how the Japanese actually a embraced that part of human nature as something wonderful something essential in eighteen sixty eight. Japan entered its period of modernisation and attitudes towards sugar changed. Japan was looking to the West and adopting Victorian era values prevalent in the United States and Western Europe. Chunga disappeared from public view. And it's only recently like in the past decade. That museums have begun exploring Tsunga in exhibitions Japanese. Stand in their diversity and their explicity and in the incredible numbers that were. I don't think there's anything like that in the world to be honest that was fun. What a weird assortment of stories. Who Knew you could get nude hunting antique clockwork feet? Bugs and yield Erotica in the same episode. It was like a bit of side doors spring cleaning. It's nice to sweep out some of the stories we've been hanging onto. Thanks for joining us on this caper through our second ever. Best of the rest. You've been listening to side door. A podcast from the Smithsonian with support from PR X. for photos of Paul's Tattoo. Ripley's Woodpecker the great historic clock of America and links to the freer sackler online shingle collection. Subscribe to our newsletter at SL DOT. Edu Slash side door definitely follow us on twitter and instagram. At side door pod. We have exciting news to share our episode. The worst video game ever has been nominated for a Webby Award. Webbie's are like the Oscars of digital media. So this is a big deal. So if we've made you laugh or if you've learned something new or satisfying the odd you can let know by voting for us. Please vote at. And here's the web address so this part is important. Vote Dot Webby Awards Dot Com. That's Webby with two BS. So it's the OT dot W. E. B. B. Y. Awa our D. S. dot com and search for side door. Our PODCAST team is just an O.`Neil Natalie. Boyd and Cannon Caitlyn Schaefer just sonic Larry Koch and Sharon Bryant special thanks to carriage Mo. episode artwork is by Greg Fisk. Extra support comes from John. Jason and GENEVIEVE AT PR axe. Our show is mixed by Tar Fuda. Our theme song and other Episode Music Are Brake Master Cylinder. If you want to sponsor our show please email sponsorship at Pri Dot Org. I'm your host Lizzy peabody. Thanks for listening. Did you get the invitation on you? Look inclined to pick up. Never Hang on. I'm closing on Zoom. You stay on the line. Can you hear me okay? Wow what a relief.
The Worst Video Game Ever?
"Hey there side door listeners. Happy Holidays from the side door team to you. We hope you're gathering with loved ones drinking something warm and celebrating the end of the decade and since the holidays are a time for sharing sharing gifts sharing memories and sharing favorite podcasts. We'd love it if you could tell two or three people about this podcast or better yet. Show them how to subscribe. It's like giving a gift. That is absolutely free today. We're playing a favorite episode of ours from earlier this season. It's a tale of great expectations and great disappointment on Christmas. Plus some aliens in the desert enjoy and stay warm. And we'll see you in two thousand twenty in this aside door a podcast from the Smithsonian with support for NPR ex. I'm Lizzy peabody body washed. I'm part of a crowd of some four or five hundred people waiting to get into a dump. This is Howard Scott warshaw and on in April twenty-sixth two thousand fourteen. He was part of an unusual. Seen something like a wildly out of place tailgate party people lined up with folding chairs. SUNHATS beverages in the middle of the New Mexico desert hot day. I mean it was hot but there was no desert it was just desert. Howard has a real thing for puns and the open up and here we go and we're all rushing into the dump and there's there's a lot of excitement and you know we're on a mission to uncover the truth or not of a very popular? Urban myth is the legend agent. Goes like this. Once upon a time in the land called Silicon Valley an American Tech Company invented video games that enchanted two children and brought billions of dollars flowing through its doors. The company was called Atari. Atari made many good Games until until one day in one thousand nine hundred eighty two. It made a bad one. Oh really bad. Won A game so bad it has been called the worst video game of all time the video game with e t the extraterrestrial according to the myth it was so bad add it put Atari out of business and to hide its shame Atari buried the unsold game cartridges in the middle of the desert where they would never ever be found. Did you believe that the myth was true. Did you believe that there were games. Buried in the desert I never believed it. Why would accompany that strapped financially and is really failing and having a lot of trouble staying afloat? Why would they spend extra money to go into the desert and Berry Something that supposedly is so worthless they wanNA throw it away. That doesn't make any sense at all. Right I mean that's just nonsense. So Howard was a skeptic but others in the crowd God I think they believed they were there. They wanted to see it. They wanted to see it. Come out of the ground so there was that there was a groundswell of excitement. You might say So Howard and the rest of the expectant crowd gather around the dump which is now a dig site. Hundreds of video gamers are. They're wearing all their favourite. Et gear their reporters and even documentary film crew. The DIG begins with. There's these huge huge machines that are super loud and clear they have these giant claws and excavating equipment and super drills. This giant stuff and there's loud machinery is all these piles of dirt that have been brought up and garbage intimate detritus. Because it was a dump that has you know. Decades dump after six hours taking through. Three decades worth of trash outcomes N. E. T. cartridge a kind of crushed very damaged. Et et cartridge in the end. The excavation team unearthed a total of one thousand thousand one hundred seventy eight Atari game cartridges enough to confirm that Atari had actually buried its games in a giant desert pit so this time on side door we explore just how those games wound up in the desert and why I popular history blames a tiny pixelated alien for bringing down one of the most influential video game companies of all time can't get enough of CIDER. Well there's more sign up for the side or newsletter to get behind the scenes content for each episode. There's so much more to our stories than we can fit into each episode. The newsletter letter is worth cider producer. Justin O'Neill and I can share photos videos. Facts and favorite moments that for whatever reason didn't make it into the podcast you can also find and links to articles and more specifics about the research being done here at the Smithsonian across the country and beyond sign up at sl dot edu slash side side door. That's SL DOT EDU slash side door. Unprecedented is as a new podcast about ordinary Americans who pushed the boundaries of the First Amendment. They were fined disciplined even jailed and they took their cases to the Supreme Court. Art Helping US figure out what freedom of speech really means like when the Westboro Baptist Church protests military funerals with signs saying thank God for dead soldiers. Elders is that freedom of speech. Can the government stop them or if you post threatening song lyrics about your ex on social media will the First Amendment protect you to hear these stories plus legal analysis from. NPR's Nina Totenberg checkout unprecedented. Wherever you listen to podcasts Long ago before there was playstation or Xbox or even Nintendo there was Atari it is undoubtedly part of kind one of American cultural landscape. If you grew up in the nineteen eighties you'd recognize that symbol immediately. I'm of that generation myself. This is Arthur dem rich. He's as the director of the Lemelson Center for the study of Invention and innovation in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American history. He explained that long ago there was really really only one kind of video game arcade games to play them. You had to put on Kant's leave Your House and go to a shopping mall bowling alley or bar and in the late nineteen seventies. Atari was the first company to create a smash hit game called Pong. They realized pretty quickly that they were onto. Something there's amazing stories in the early days of of the restaurant and bar owners calling them up and saying the machine's broken and they go in and it's not broken at all. It just completely jammed up with quarters and they suddenly realized so yes so many people were going out to bars just to play these games. Atari wondered what if they made a game that people who played at home at this time most people didn't have personal computers. Television was king. An Atari saw an opportunity so in one thousand nine hundred seventy seven attention shatters. The new Atari Cartagena's in the Tari appears with a game. Sir that any kid can use and it really transforms the home playing video game market. So what did you need to have at home in order to play Atari game the television. That's it that's right. All of a sudden TV which had always been passive entertainment became interactive. That's pretty cool very cool and no one had seen it before the first sort of demos of video games to play at home People were utterly confused. Used by what it was well. Adults may have been confused but kids got it immediately because for such cutting edge technology Atari was easy to use news. There was a simple console that plugged into your TV and it was controlled by a joystick with a single red button on this foundation. Atari sorry built entire digital worlds on screen and for one one hundred and ninety nine dollars plus twenty dollars per game cartridge. You could have those worlds in your own home. The new video computer system by Atari more more games more fun Atari took off. They brought the excitement of the arcade into the suburban living room and to do it. They hired the world's best Programmers these guys were geniuses at figuring out how to make interesting games and make fun many of these genius programmers. Were a young men right out of college and one of them was Howard. Scott warshaw our friend from the desert and he was pretty good at his job. I was pretty good at my job. My first game that I did for Atari was yours. Revenge that was the first game. I think that ever actually had a pause mode. It's the first full screen explosion. It was more elaborate use of sound than people have seen before. There was incredible amount of color. I wanted a frenetic medic action game that demanded attention that would grab someone right by their cognitive elements and not released them. That's what I was trying to do with yours. Revenge wow yours. Revenge Transformed Howard into what fans called a game. God Even though Atari didn't credit it's programmers publicly fans with sluice out the minds behind their favorite games. The growing community unity of American gamers was passionate. It was the golden age of Atari by nineteen eighty. Atari was the fastest growing company in the History Street of the United States. Commanding seventy five percent of the home video game market and bringing in more than two billion dollars a year. They produce thrown games but they also licensed their name to outside game developers slapping the Atari label on all kinds of third party games. No other company could keep up. In Nineteen eighty-one Atari conquered. Hollywood Howard spent eight months working on raiders of the lost Ark the video game strutting around Tari H. Q.. With a FIDORA and a whip the Daniel Day Lewis of Game Ghaderi. The game sold well so when Steven Spielberg made another blockbuster. E T the extra terrestrial in the summer of nineteen eighty two it was a no-brainer. Of course Atari would make e t the video game. Here's how Howard remembers it. We're hanging out my office. And then a call came in and it was the C. E. O. of Atari who actually never calls me He's basically my boss's boss's boss's boss's boss the CEO of Atari Calls Twenty Five Year Old Howard and says we want you to make e t the video game game and we needed done by September. I know this is July twenty seventh so at least five weeks and a half day to do the game five live weeks and a half day to give you a sense of how insane this is video games at the time took six to eight months to create and this guy is saying Howard. We need you to create a game for the highest grossing blockbuster film of the Year in just twenty percent of the time it usually takes. You can do that right and I I said to him absolutely I can. Did it ever occur to you that it might not be possible. Leaned with this. was there a part of you that acknowledged that like this might be impossible to be perfectly honest. I don't think it occurred to me that it couldn't be done. So Howard got to work and he worked and he worked how was brutal. It was grueling. They had a development system moved into my home so that no matter where I was I was no more than two minutes away at any point in time from actually sitting down and doing something on the again and even when he wasn't sitting down eating driving showering he was working in his head and when he was asleep still working. I thought you know what I need to do. Is Turn sleep into an asset. I would work until I ran into a problem and then I would go to sleep and I would think okay maybe if I can just sleep and come up with something. They can literally dream up a solution thought. That would be kind of cool and there were some times where that happened. So Howard. All this sounds crazy. Why did they even ask you to do this? So really good question right. Why would you put someone through something like this? Yes right and well you know if you were to ask the executive they would say they didn't even know what they were asking of. You know they had no concept onset. The management at Atari was completely disconnected from production according to management e video game needed to be in stores by Christmas or they lose millions of dollars in potential holiday revenue but Atari Spielberg had taken so long nailing down a licensing agreement the by the time they finally we did get pen to paper. There was almost no time left to make the game that never like occurred to anyone. This was a case of people believing they could do nothing wrong and myself included. Everybody at Atari thought you know. We're on top. No one can touch. We can do anything and honestly it seemed like they could against all odds Howard delivered e t the video game in just five weeks. I was a hero. There was a huge company. The meeting which you know they called me up on stage. Hey Harry came through Oh yeah Steven. Spielberg himself called Howard. A quote certifiable diabled genius and by Christmas time five million cartridges of the much anticipated. Et the video game stock. The shelves of stores nationwide in wide so mission accomplished right. Well not exactly more on that after the break Love learning new things on side door. Here's something you might not know. The Smithsonian relies on support from people like you to make all of the research discoveries agrees and exhibitions you hear about possible. Smithsonian experts are addressing critical issues in the field of science history art and culture issues issues that affect us all and you can be a part of it. A lot of people listen to side door. Imagine what we could learn next if everyone chipped in just a little find out how at SL that EDU slash contribute. Here's where we are. It's December number nineteen eighty-two Steven Spielberg's soon to be classic movie e t the extraterrestrial is out in theaters and Atari the American Video Game Titan. Peyton just released the thing. Every kid was waiting for the video game video game that lets you held. Et get home full time Christmas. Howard Scott warshaw? Atari Star Programmer created the game in only five weeks. Spielberg is happy Atari leadership. Happy Howard is happy. Guess who is not happy. Eight year old Jason Christmas morning thoroughly disappointed. This is a man that side door does not like to disappoint. Jason Are Fan and I'm the executive producer of CIDER AK your boss thanks for the reminder justifiably sounds like a lot hey or something preps Maroma therapy. We brought Jason into the studio because he has some personal history with E. T. when the movie came out I was eight and et was everything. I mean there were stuffed animals for E T. I had a ton of them. You know I I learnt how the dry et that was a big deal. so E T was a huge part of the summer of Nineteen eighty-two Jason was also into Atari he played every day after school and when he started seeing ads for e video game he had really high hopes. Oh my God I can play the movie. I was GONNA ride my bike in the game. Maybe fly through the air. Maybe Christmas morning there it was under the tree. ET The video game up to my room opened up the box. pull the game out. Stuck it into the Atari turned it on there's et on that first screen. Super exciting plays a little song. That's kind of like the song but not quite and started playing the game and that's when I realized that something was wrong. The game was nothing like the movie. The objective of the game is for et to collect pieces of a phone so that he can of course phone home e. the key. I never finished the game. It was so incredibly hard confusing. It doesn't sound that hard and Jason is older and wiser now so we decided to play it. Okay let's do it. Oh no I think that was nervous. I'm super nervous okay. Are you ready all right landing in his tiny little spaceship and now he's in. What looks like a forest? It didn't go so well. Nope Oh my God all right. There is a government man coming after me. And he's like what is he doing. He's just sort of bumping into me. Nothing happens in the game. It's hard to figure out where you're supposed to be going. And as you try to navigate the game world you keep falling into these pits that are everywhere all right. I'm in a pit. This is the worst part of the game and there are random characters trying to get you now. WHO's that guy but And you might be thinking. Hey but what Howard say about you. Talking smack talk about a game but he agrees. Et commits the ultimate video games. Sin To Orient the user and and you have to understand the difference between frustration and disorientation great frustration and a video game is essential. Write a video game must frustrate the user but you should never disorient them. Howard says that frustration ultimately creates satisfaction? It's a huge motivator in a good game to to get better faster stronger disorientation on the other hand is just a pit. I fell in another pit terrible back in the winter of Nineteen eighty-two Howard thought everything was peachy because e t the extra terrible game was selling pretty well but as soon as the young Jason are fans of the world started playing it word got out and sales virtually stopped leaving unsold et Games clogging the shelves of stores and by Early Nineteen eighty-three Howard. Our started to hear rumblings people from other parts of the company you know suits as we would often would come walking by an engineering time and people would look at me and they'd go you know Howard Howard. You really came through for us. We don't blame you and I'm thinking that's nice talking about i. I didn't know what was happening out. There what was happening out there. MILLIONS OF UNSOLD Games coming back to Atari Games. They banked on selling Atari sold them to a distributor who placed them in stores but the distributor had the full right of return. Oh L. so they could return their stock to Atari right so all the ones that they didn't sell the stores gave back to the distributor and the distributor then returns to Atari as unsold product. Okay and so they went belly UK. It was a big liability but it's very creation spoke to an even bigger problem for Atari. The company had made a habit of prioritizing sizing money over quality. Remember how in an attempt to get more games on the market Atari let outside companies make them while a lot of those third party games were bad too and so a tarez name gets associated with some really bad games that nobody really likes. That aren't selling well. What's what's more by? Nineteen eighty-three programmers had reached the Atari consoles limits for memory and graphics. All the games kind of started to look the same and gamers got bored. Board people stopped. Buying consoles. Atari was in big trouble so when Atari went down. Nineteen eighty three in eighty four The entire video game industry tanks in the United States but it basically wiped out sales of home game sets the history books. Call it the video game crash of Nineteen eighty-three American video game. Sales dropped by over ninety percent from nineteen eighty two to nineteen eighty-six. No new game systems introduced and hardly any new games were created at all until the late eighties. That's when Japanese companies Nintendo and Sega brought their consoles and their famous characters to the United States but it would be nearly two decades before another American made console would return to the market in any significant the way with Microsoft's xbox in two thousand one. So there's no question that when you have economic downturn you have a catastrophe a natural actual disaster. There's an effort to put a face on it an individual story on it you have to have a face right. Et became the face of the fall of the video game industry because it was very identifiable and I became the but behind that face on September twenty sixth exp. Nineteen eighty-three much like the character. In the game. E T fell into its own pit in Alamogordo New Mexico not for any symbolic reason reason but because dumping laws were laxed there. An Atari needed a cheap way to dispose of its fourteen truckloads of unsold game cartridges e t the. The video game was steamrolled covered in cement and largely forgotten until two thousand fourteen when those cartridges were exhumed and one of them found a home here in Washington. DC At the National Museum of American history. So it's kind of crunched. It looks cracked. If have you tried to play this. It probably wouldn't go well. We have not tried it for obvious. Reason Smithsonian Museum specialist Drew Bar Took E. T. out of the collections. Happens to show it to me but it still has dust on it. It still has like sort of like white crusty. Like is that a rock or what is it just gunk I think it's just gone honky. No this was in with tons of other stuff you know. Plastic Parts Paper instruction manual boxes on this kind of stuff. Drew's role doesn't usually involve involve collecting objects. But he's a Gamer himself. Joke that I was born with a controller in my hand when he heard that a film home crew applied for a permit to dig up the fabled Atari gravesite. He wanted to make sure the museum secured a cartridge because Ichi the video game tells the story of something something bigger than its own dirt crusted case. It's about the rise and fall of the company that pioneered video gaming in America. And although it's not very old it hints at the Digital Revolution that followed. It's a piece of American history. I was just afraid that if I didn't act now like probably nobody else would have realized this bit so I felt it was like the first time I felt like I had to do something. If not it that opportunity might have been lost. Howard Scott warshaw left Atari in Nineteen eighty-four and eventually became same a therapist but he recognizes his role in Atari Story and on that day in the desert when he was pulled from the ground? It looked around. I thought this awesome. This is so awesome because something that I did. You know a few thousand lines of code that I had written over thirty years ago is still generating all this excitement. In that moment I felt a A tremendous sense of satisfaction and that I had really created something that meant something to a lot of people and that that meant something to me. While Atari never regained video game supremacy the culture it created indoors in the fans who bow down before their game gods and stand for hours in the desert to see an old piece of plastic dredged from a dump a game cartridge now preserved in the Smithsonian collections actions once worthless now priceless. You've been listening to side door a podcast from the Smithsonian with support from PR EX E. The video game isn't currently on display at the National Museum of American history but you can find photos of the cartridge as well as a bunch of Zany. Fun Facts I ran into about video gaming in our newsletter subscribe SL dot Edu Slash side door that's S. I.. Dot Edu slash side door. CIDER is made possible with help from listeners like you your generous support helps make all the amazing work did you hear about at the Smithsonian possible. Our PODCAST team is Justin. O'Neill Jason Fane and Ellen. Ralph is Caitlin Schaefer Jessica. Lehrer Koch and I'm Greg. Fisk extra support comes from John Barth and genevieve sponsor our show is mixed by targe Fuda. Our theme song and other Episode Music Are Brake Master Cylinder. If you want to sponsor our show please email sponsorship at PX Dot Org. I'm your host Lizzy peabody. Thanks for listening. The mouse trap mousetrap is another one of those games where you see the commercial the era. Yes let's can. We do an episode on mouse trap. A common for you mousetrap.
Adam Rippon's Olympic Mesh-capades
"This is side. Hi Door A podcast from the Smithsonian support from Pierre Ex. I'm Lizzy peabody years ago. When I was in college I donated a sweater to a clothing? Drop and a few weeks later on my weight class I spied it across the quad in the wild my sweater on another woman woman. It felt so strange to see this thing that felt really personal to me. This black knit sweater that picked out with my grandma and worn for years on a stranger ranger. It was an odd thrill this mix of surprise and a twinge of betrayal. But most of all this sort of secret pride that someone else wanted something of mine and I it Kinda wanted to go up and touch it but that would have been inappropriate and you know creepy because it's not mine anymore. So imagine my I surprise when I learned that this is an experience that I share with American Olympic figure skater and bronze medallist Adam ripon. I wanted to touch it now. I know that if I touch it I'll get in trouble. So that's like good biggest difference from seeing it right now. A few weeks ago Adam rippon visited did the Smithsonian's National Museum of American history to see an item in their collection. That once belonged to him in fact it was made for him. It's the costume. He wore to the men's figure skating free skate event in the two thousand Eighteen Olympics. In Pian Chang South Korea. But now the costumes sits on a mannequin at the National Museum of American history and seeing it in the museum it seems like this is the first time ripon realizes it's not just his Olympic figure skating costume now. It's American history. A quick note. It was midday at the museum so it was a little noisy. It's also I gotta say it's even Shinier than it looked on television. I think thank wait until you see when there's like some spotlights on it it's It's quite the show but yeah it's really beautiful beautiful. It really is beautiful and those are the pants were yes. They are hoping skates and everything Adam responds. Two Thousand Eighteen Olympic performance. Formation's helped the United States win a bronze medal in the team figure skating event an atom himself was the first openly gay American to medal at the Winter Olympics. Ever his costume was the sparkling focal point of a powerful moment in our country's history and that is why the Smithsonian wanted it for our collections. So back at our studio I got right to the hard hitting questions. So do you think that you could still fit into that costume today. No fear of it. Yeah Yeah I'm sure you know there's like if you go to Petco there's like a small medium and large and your dog is like a medium dog but you know he's sort of a large dog see get medium and you shove them in this hot dog costume and he looks a mess. I think I would be the new the medium dog. Who's actually you know doesn't fit in the labradors this costume? But he doesn't fit in the French bulldog costume. Either sort of you know flat there in the middle of the dog. That doesn't fit in. The hot dog costume is basically what you guys have here here at the Smithsonian now fortunately responds costume doesn't accessorize well with mustard. Even so I had a lot of questions about what goes into creating a costume. That leaves such a strong impression because of where it's been and what it represents so this time on side Door Adam rippon on his Olympic Magic Mesh and the male private part. That I didn't even know was a private part at all. Don't Miss It. They can't get another side door. Well there's more sign up for the side door newsletter to get behind the scenes content for each episode. There's so much more to our stories than we can fit into each episode. The newsletter is where CIDER producer. Justin O.`Neil and I can share photos videos. Facts and favorite moments that for whatever reason didn't make it into the podcast asked. You can also find links to articles and more specifics about the research being done here the Smithsonian across the country and beyond sign up at sl hi dot edu slash side door that's SL dot edu slash side door to start our interview. I asked Adam rippon to close his eyes tickets deep breath and trust me okay. They're both closed. I'm really doing doing it now. He's doing I can confirm. His eyes are closed. So you're standing in front of a crowd of thousands in this arena plus of course millions more on TV. This is the sound of the crowd. Greeting Adam rippon in February two thousand eighteen at Gunung is arena as he skates out on the ice to begin his Olympic performance commits. And then there's this moment of stillness great before the first notes of music and you sort of touch your hand to your chest and you turn your ahead to the side. And what are you thinking. Okay truly I remember this moment. It's you know somehow closing your eyes is really like bringing me there in. My eyes are still closed My hand is on my chest. I'm thinking that I've never been more nervous in my entire life. I feel more ready than I've ever been and I remember thinking that there are probably a lot of people watching at home home and to remind myself of that even if this feels like a morning practice that don't forget that this is the moment this is the moment that really cups apps and then he begins to skate. His performance centers turns on this idea of light. That's reflected in the music. He chose coldplay's Oh fly on and arrival of the birds by cinematic orchestra. Which is what you're hearing now? Now but his costume is bird like as well. The colors are sort of reminiscent of a sparkling peacock. And what does it feel like to be in your body like when the music starts and you start to move I'm treating this like therapy by the way once. I'm like about ten steps in. I feel exactly how I feel all during every practice. So muscle memory kind of takes over and my commands to myself. I very basic before I do any performance. I choose Three to five different words that I'll repeat to myself have a meaning to me so I think the whole point of for me. He's saying those three key. Words repeatedly over and over is that I never gave myself the chance or the opportunity to trick myself into thinking. I wasn't ready or prepared. Pared that's great advice. So do you remember what words you're thinking. That day I was thinking breathe. I was thinking power and I was thinking jump and those are my the only three words so you do you. You take off your like this bird across the ice you're gliding gliding and you're jumping and you're spinning and then after this final incredible spin you stop and it's all over the. What does it feel like? The moment finally stopped spinning. In that exact moment. It feels like take any other practice but I also remember that. I told myself to celebrate because this was like the moment that I have actually been working for so I took a moment to celebrate and I remember for the first time thinking that there are a lot of people from all sorts of different pockets of the US and the world watching right now. And I felt like I was representing more than just myself the first time. What was it like after it was like to win a bronze medal title? It's a process because it almost feels like whiplash. The competition is like every other competition when you've done before but at the same time it's not The arenas field the same. They smell the same. They have the same temperature inside of them. Like everything thing is the same about them except it's completely different And the only difference is the media that comes along with it. People wanted to hear what I had to say. That's why if you follow these Olympics closely or even if you didn't Adam rippon was hard to miss. Everywhere he turned there was a reporter with a microphone an Adam was always ready with an answer. I WanNa make reese witherspoon proud. I love money. I can't explain witchcraft. But after a few hugh questions most of his interviews land here I'm really passionate about you know being an openly gay athlete. I'm of course. Ripon isn't the the first gay American Olympian to medal at the Winter Olympics. But unlike those who came before him repond was already out an able to talk about it. This brought him attention others hadn't faced so I wanted to ask Adam about this experience of being openly gay at the Olympics. The first I had to let him open his eyes. Okay so now now you may open your eyes. Yeah thanks for doing that. Yeah it's fun actually. That's a that works really. Well repond says. He likes to talk openly about not being gay because he has a platform since the Olympics he's continued his LGBTQ advocacy. He wants to be the athletic icon. He never had growing up to show the next generation. That it's okay to be themselves. But he first came out publicly back in two thousand fifteen before he was famous. You know I was not a national champion. Up to that point I was not an Olympian so for me to announce or say anything about me. Being gay was just not big news at all. It was just something I felt really strongly only about saying and just putting out there So in going into the two thousand eighteen Olympic Games I had already been out athlete for two and a half three years. It just felt very trivial like I'm from Scranton. I'm gay I have you know curly-haired that Brazilian blowout Out just felt like a fun. Fact and this curly-haired Gays Grand Tonia embraced his new place in the cameras lights here. He is in South Korea claiming his mantle. The other day I was joking to one of my friends and he was like. You're kind of everywhere right now. I was like I know. I'm like America's sweetheart coming up after a quick break. America's self proclaimed sweetheart walks me through the high stakes world of costume design and how too much mesh can get a skater into a lot of trouble glove learning new things on side door. Here's something you might not know the Smithsonian Sonian relies on support from people like you to make all of the research discoveries and exhibitions you hear about possible. Smithsonian experts are addressing critical issues in in the field of science history art and culture issues that affect us. Aw and you can be a part of it. A lot of people listen to side door. Imagine what what we could learn next if everyone chipped in just a little find out how at SL EDU slash contribute A few weeks ago Adam upon visited the Smithsonian for public signing of his memoir titled Beautiful on the Outside a memoir. Ripon is the first openly gay American to medal at the Winter Olympics. I was eager to speak with him in part because well how often does an Olympic athlete walk into your office but also I wanted to know what exactly goes into creating an Olympic figure skating performance. It turns out there are three main components music jumps and costume so I asked him what comes first. Everybody's different but for me. The music comes first then the jumps would come after that and then if things felt like they were going well and like I had made the right I choice with both the jumps and the outline and the spins and the music then the costume came last so based on the music he chose and the jumps choreographed ripon had a pretty good idea of his performances vibe. So he needed a costume that would work be medically and so we were really trying trying to find something that almost had this feel of looking like almost like a peacock feather but not being as in your face to turn his vision into reality Adam unto his close friend Brayden over it. He's a costume designer and former figure skater himself health and Ripon gave his friends some vague ideas of what he was looking for. Well I like to think of energy and I like to think of a feeling that that I like to have when I'm on the ice and sometimes colors of oak a certain energy and it was up to over to decipher exactly what that meant. After after they picked colors they needed a material to build the costume out of. I always love to compete in like a Mesh. Who Doesn't love something a little slot you know it's the Smithsonian but we're not dead so I and and to be honest an arena gets really hot anyway right right you know? We're on the prowl. You know but I also like to skate something. That was really tight because because I didn't like to have anything flying or floating around so for the material that wouldn't ripper distract animal. He skated they picked skin-tight Mesh so for for this costume. Brayden and I. We decided that the Mesh underneath would be the color of my skin so that when he would airbrush the different veins of this feather that the places of the Mesh that he would miss would peek through and they would be my own skin. Almost kind of feeling like you could feel all the wind blowing through the feather and once over it stitched the top together it was time for the crystals and there were over. You know five thousand different crystals on the shirt five thousand crystals on the shirt alone you say crystals what are they made of their glass us. Yeah crystals not not your average sequence of sequent. No it's not nineteen ninety. It's almost twenty twenty. Excuse me yeah. Do you forgiven. But I won't forget that's fair when over it was done. The costume was a masterpiece. There's a dark blue channel that runs up the centre of Atoms. Torso the effect is a little like the stem of a peacock feather toward his arms and shoulders. The colors get lighter. Are you see Bright Blues quals and Greens and the costume. Shimer's ripon skates across the ice. And so it might feel like a lot lot of crystals on the shirt but from any point in the arena. I will look like the most important thing there. And that's why the experience of seeing it up close close and seeing from far away is so different but this wasn't atoms first mesh paid. It's important to know when judges score figure skating performance. They take costume into consideration as well so costume choices have consequences and for a long time. Showing too much. Skin was against the rules. Yes very taboo for so long men in single skating. Were not allowed to expose their shoulders. You know it's a male private part. That's that's right skaters. Keep those shoulders covered but a couple of years before the two thousand Eighteen Olympics. The figure skating rules body decided tank-tops would be okay and so immediately I had this tank top for a short program tank. The top made of you guessed it the back was Mesh. The front was a full like a solid material and the first competition competition. I did four of the five judges declared they wanted to give a costume violation and then they said that they would convince the next flight of judges that my next event to fully give that deduction a costume violation is a penalty it would deduct points from his performance and this could hurt his ranking and potentially attention to jeopardize his shot at the Olympics. At first ripon was angry that the judges needed to read the rules. Clearly tank tops. Were fine but the judges. It is found another rule and they said that they were falling back on this other rule that they found were seventy percent of your body needed to be covered. Basically the effect effect of the Tank Top plus Mesh to judges felt like they were seeing a little too much atom so they said I only had you know the front of my chest covered and they felt like that that was not conservative. Enough wasn't like I had my phone number on the back so approaching his next competition. Adam needed a solution fast. What is a boy to do so i? It was in Paris and I took the subway to some random H. M. it was the only thing I could find And I went and got a black tank top and I got it so that I wore the tank top underneath with my costume. I had one of my friends cut out the sleeves so that the Mesh would be all gone in the back so the next day the judges came up to our team leader and they were like we are going to give them that deduction we've all decided so. Just prepare him for that and I was like all right. We'll watch this. I'm going H reponse new tank. Top covered his back so the judges saw less of atom. No skin no deduction no problem and as we know Adam Adam did go on to qualify for the Olympics and he won bronze but while figure skating dominated his life for so long. He's quick to add that this bronze medal doesn't define him It's just part of his story so being on the podium felt like a moment for my coaches from a family from my friends who have been with me for years and years and they've seen me through those ups and downs. The moment I felt like I'd been waiting for my entire life. Was All of this media today. Ripon looks forward to his next professional steps steps building on the profile that he established at the Olympics he continues to be a strong advocate for the LGBTQ community. He's even been honored by the Human Rights Campaign and his memoir was called comedic gold by the Washington Post which is sort of like a life defining moment ripon also one season twenty any six of dancing with the stars where he wore Mesh of course coming in twenty twenty. He's hosting a Web series. That'll that'll appear on a new on demand video platform. He's got plenty to look forward to and his Olympic costume is here at the Smithsonian forever. The costume that donated represented a lot to me It represented my whole journey a represented that a home moment and I wanted to be able to share that moment with everyone because as much as that moment was his mind and felt like a moment for a lot of other people as well. Truly you are as you say. America's sweetheart yeah no other like scam greater has been called but I pulled that I wanna give Adam rippon a special. Thank you for his generosity with his time. If you want to hear more from Adam you can get to know him very well and his new book beautiful on the outside a memoir. You've been listening to side door a podcast from the Smithsonian Smithsonian was support for NPR ex. If you'd like to see a video of Adam reponse skin-tight bird costume as well as his bronze medal winning Olympic performance you'll find them in our newsletter sweater. Subscribe at SL dot edu slash side door. There's also a link in our episode notes if you like the show. Leave us a review and apple podcasts. Because because the Smithsonian but we're not dead a good review makes me feel the way Adam rippon does when he's performing Mesh and crystals side doors. Made possible with help from people like you. Your generous support helps make all the amazing work you hear about it the Smithsonian possible special. Thanks to Adam. Ripon Jimmy Franko Paul peachy whose car was towed during our interview. Sorry Paul and Laura Deaf for their help in making this episode happen. Our PODCAST team is Justin. O.`Neil Jason or Fannin Michelle. Harbin Caitlyn Schaefer. Just Saad Lyric Koch and Sharon Bryant Episode Artwork is by Greg Fisk. Extra support comes from John Jason Genevieve at Pr X.. Our show is mixed by Tarak Fuda. Our theme song and other episode music are by Brake Master cylinder you want to sponsor our show please email sponsorship at Pri Dot Org. I'm your host was EP body. Thanks for listening. You know if you WANNA ask me. What was the last thing like tried? To Buy. An Amazon it will say Swarovski Swarovski Crystal Broach okay. What was the last thing? He tried to an Amazon Swarovski. Crystal Broach where you successful. No they don't make one then. Well there other crystals out there okay. I'll be looking own.
Episode 362: Andrew Marantz
"Hey before we get going. I WanNa tell you about a new podcast from stitcher called lost at the Smithsonian so they take us if Monte who who is one of my favorite daily show correspondents of all time and paramount with curator's and celebrities guests and they look into some of the most iconic nick artifacts from the National Museum of American history. We're talking about stuff like funsies leather jacket and Dorothy is ruby slippers they trace how all these special objects came to define our culture. It's available now. You can listen and subscribe to lost at the Smithsonian right now on stitcher or apple podcasts gas or wherever you're listening to this podcast subscribe today thanks to them for sponsoring the show. Here's the show hello and welcome to the PODCAST. I'm your Co Host Evan ratliff and joining me today Max Lansky and Aaron Lamour. You guys guys high another week. Long podcast and other week co hosts together having fun at three hundred and sixty two at some point. These numbers are getting getting arbitrarily right like a three hundred sixty two. It's four hundred eleven. It's two eighty nine. No one's really keeping track I'd like to I'd like this to be known as the Thirty Sixth Season Guest Hey Evan. Who'd you have on the show this weekend this week I had Andrew Marantz? Andrew Marantz is a staff writer at the New Yorker Worker magazine. He also has a book. That's coming out. It's called antisocial. Subtitle is online extremist techno utopianism and the hijacking of the American Conversation Conversation he has written a lot about the alt-right about online trolling about things going viral on the Internet and all of the darkness us that can ensue from that and also as you guys know every couple of years. I like to have my someone from my family on the PODCAST. He is my a cousin by marriage is as he's been to a lot of dark places like your family thinks I happened. listeners may not know that I happen to have married into a family full of writers this will not be the last that will come on castle. I'll say that by my mother-in-law Robin rants handing has been on and this is her nephew entrance dynasty if you've got a writing family you're going to need a newsletter. Keep all that stuff ready a family writing newsletter no no better place to do that then with mail chimp they make it very easy and I'll say this about a male Tim newsletter g Jima really knows how to handle a male chimp newsletter puts it nicely and it's in your tabs it is that's the kind of thing you want nice designed nine customizable. They got it all at Malcolm. Thanks to Malcolm now. Here's Evan with Andrew Marines. How's your family? They're great a couple of weeks. I know I know it's been in. It's been yeah I'm not even like doing the book tour thing yet but already feel like pre book tour you going out like doing some on the road. I'm doing San Francisco Oh. La Chicago DC so like you know a few things it's pretty good. That's a stadium tour yet but I you know like there's a thing where are there is the version of this that would be the pre having kids version having kid in my case version where I would like drive across the country and like do that Hashtag Van van life and like go out and you know see everyone I know in every town and now I'm just like. Could I take her at home. Yeah minimal amount I can do yeah. It's a good problem to have because I just legit WanNa get home but it's also there. I remember being an editorial assistant. Sitting this is like getting getting ahead of ourselves but I remember sitting in an inner ring of desks where like the help sits at the New Yorker and like the important people sit in outer ring and I it wasn't quite open plan office the way it is now but it was when you're in one of the editorial assistant seats you hear a lot of stuff so I would hear people who were a few years. My senior being offered crazy like things that I was like I would kill for that. You know like people who were like stories or stories stories like people. Who would you know I'm trying or anything of where I sat me? I was sitting near then McGrath roffe catch Dorian Keleaf Asana Ari Levy like the staff writers who is most admired who I was like fan blowing out about Jews even seeing them being offered like would you go to Antarctica and like find a tunnel that leads to a volcano oh and like we can get you on the helicopter if you go into days and they'd be like Oh man I dunno I gotTa Pick my kid up at preschool and I'd be like are you insane. Give it to me. I will do anything ah like I and they would be like it's not that safe. I don't care and now I'm like so I should say in a more Fiscal Policy Andrew Marantz rance welcome to the Longford puck and thank you for having me. It's actually it's it's tricky. It's tricky. There were family because it's kind of like I have resisted having you on the podcasts because that seems like do not participate Ya but also wanted to have you on the podcast because you happen to have written written many things you should see the fucking dog years. I have in the book this is this is the things I was Gonna ask you about that would be like an eighteen our podcast. Ah but I feel like the book gave like a very good solid reason to finally have you on the podcast also the titles antisocial and I feel alike the subtitle could be some version of like how did a Nice Jewish kid from the suburbs and of hanging out with trolls and Neo Nazis for several years and that is what I would like to explore so we know that you your family now now but let's go back closer to the beginning because the book does it actually actually does delve a little bit into your own background and you describe yourself as a bit of a continuing child yeah so I thought a lot about how I could. If there was any way I could relate to these people so like these people being people in the alright trolls yet the alt-right slash lights eight slash world of trolley so we can get into how I ended up immersing myself with these people it was not it was not for the sake of like Whoa oh these people are bad dudes and I'm really fascinated by in a kind of ethnographic way just like how they roll like that ended up being an interest but the original interest was more about about the Internet and how the Internet was tearing apart our society and kind of looking for a good case study of how that would work. I didn't just want to write an argument about theoretically what is the Internet and what could it do. I wanted to write a reported chronicle of what the Internet was doing in real time from the vantage point of the people who were using the Internet to fuck shit up a single and there are so many different ways it could have gone it could have been I mean there's a whole part of the book that goes pre two thousand fifteen two thousand sixteen pre the idea of trumpism as a political force. Just you know more with the click bait world of things in how the Internet was allowing our statistics and our economy and our culture of information sharing to be messed up and then it kind of transitions into to how it's doing that in politics and everything else but the part about you you as a younger person yeah and kind of glance at it. It's like not quite like I could have been one of these ample no but it's a little bit like I'm scared of what the world would have been for like a contrarian like anti-establishment teenager in the suburbs yeah exactly who encounters I want you encounter today on the Internet so but what it had that actually pan out for you exactly so this is the way I could find some hinge of connection with these people once I actually found myself in their world obviously what they do is repulsive and in many ways deploraball to use the word that Hillary Clinton used for them but there is something relatable about them and one of the things was this contrarian impulse so I mean I remember there was actually an earlier draft where I went into this in way more detail that I almost thought about sending you but then I was like Mardi asking him to read a four hundred page book but there was you know there was a version of me where I was you know I grew up in the Connecticut suburbs. There's nothing very interesting about the Connecticut suburbs at least you know there's nothing cool about the Connecticut suburbs so you know like I went to punk shows and I liked tried to like be escaped her here for about a week and I you know like I wore like thrift store blazers and got really into rocky horror picture show and like all the kind of signifier of screw you guys I'm different. I'm not one of you because like I don't know I just instinctively felt like there's no way I can carve out an identity out of being like I'm like you you but the cool version that was never gonNA have so it's like I got to carve out something else going. The other direction got to go in the other direction and also it's like there is something about this feeling of secret secret knowledge or a secret identity that there is just an amazing poll that that kind of offers to you where you feel like I'm in this kind of self contained self reinforcing universe but then also once you get there there is a community built into it and so you get to feel like an individual contrarian while also having the backup of a social world. Did you find some version of that yeah kind of I mean I had my people who were like wherever you know the kind of Abercrombie wearing masses are going. We're going to go the other way and that van becomes its own aesthetic unto itself you know so then you know mentioning going to punk shows like then you get into the references that the dead Kennedys cities are making and that you know Operation Ivy's making and then you go okay. There's a lineage here and then when I I don't really know what changed yeah I mean it's weird in a way that I went to Brown and didn't become like a bow tie wearing libertarian or a you know like A. I don't know there's a million contrarian things that you could have been compensated yeah when you go place like that. The real contrarian thing is to be the total at yes. There's death. There's always one or two per class who were like you you hacky sack liberal dip shits like I'm GonNa do my thing and my thing is going to be you know launching Dartmouth Review if you're dementia Sousa or launching the Stanford Review if you're Peter thiel always a review exactly I for some reason that didn't have you know I still had my controlling impulses ahead my like. I had my world that I had kind of built around myself but I think doing that politically. Just wasn't that interesting to me because I don't know but I do wonder if I had had a computer in my pocket that was able to give me these really sharp seductive talking points. I was GONNA say simple but not not simple like something to hook into. I don't really know where I would have ended up so then at the time what kind of pulled you into journalism because I feel like I didn't know the exact timing of your your college years but you are there. Were a couple of articles that were pretty early out of count like it seemed like you went right for that yeah and as a dedicated kid who listeners of the podcast will know your aunt is a journalist rovner as Hennig and but your parents are not I happen to know for my deep research that they're both doctors. was there something in particular that drew into it yeah I mean so there's I definitely learned and from Aunt Robin and from other people that I knew but mostly from our that it was a thing you could do but I didn't have. I was not very goal oriented chanted as they say I was very into exploring and like looking into different ideas. I mean I was that kid who so even though I wasn't a bow tie wearing libertarian I was annoying in other ways and when I got to Brown you know they have this whole thing where they don't have a core curriculum and they say like just go explore and do whatever you want and you know don't even take classes for grades needs if you don't want to and I was the kid the one kid who was like okay. I'll do that and then they were like. Wait a minute. You're supposed to like be a little structured a little link to evaluate you in some way. I was like like okay. I'm not gonNA take any classes for grades. I'm GonNa just try things out and see I took like every course that had the word consciousness in it somewhere and just sorta figured it out and eventually I got my was like okay. I am going to have to pay rent and but I want to contribute something thing. I don't know what exactly there was. This idea that I encountered in philosophy I started in philosophy and then ended up in religious studies and there was this idea in the philosophy of religion and philosophy proper. That's called the transcendental this idea of how you break down reality into its most basic irreducible components and in the seventeenth century kind of neo platonic era that starts being thought of as the good the beautiful the true those are like the three irreducible pursuits that human can strive for that can't be reduced one to the other that can't be broken down and I couldn't decide which of those ones to pursue like I couldn't so like pure beauty would be I'm a painter enter or a poet or a ceramicist and I live in a shack somewhere and I don't even care if anyone ever sees what I do you know I'm like Emily Dickinson. Pure goodness would be you know on the frontlines of fighting battles for social justice and you know I'm just mother Theresa and truth would be maybe like an academic who's like I'm GONNA spend ten years solving for MAS last year Emerson thing and the only one I could think of the touched on all of them was Cernan. Listen specifically long form journalism which wasn't called that then but just like something where you can re describe the world to itself in a way that felt ideally good and beautiful and true that's one of the most both intellectual and optimistic descriptions of German and it was mostly. I just wanted to make serious money and I was like McKinsey journalism. It's a toss up. No I just like an obviously. Obviously you know it's funny. You say optimistic because now whenever I'm asked to speak at a class or someone emails me and says should I do this. I always start by saying no. You should not do this and then you know. Sometimes they ignore you and or they say but I have to and then it's like okay. It's you know that thing of like if it's the only thing you can imagine doing but I really do try to impress on people like it's not just like a pro forma thing that people say like Oh. It's really hard out there. I think when you're in college you Sir here that and you go like yeah but everything's hard. Everything's hard people say that law firms aren't hiring the way they used to and people it's like this. There's no reason into think that there's a market for the shit like there's no like there's nowhere in the constitution. That says we're going to have journalists. It says we have the government shutdown journalist but it doesn't say it's GonNa Fund them right so it's like you can't. I don't know I do try to impress on people. It might not be a thing for very long but to the extent that exists I am optimistic about what the form can do because I think it's not only the truth function of like muckraking heartbreaking and you know ferreting out corruption at City Hall. That's great. It's also the function of that can aspire to be art even though it is written on deadline and it has ads for booze staple next to it and it happens within these constraint Senate has to happen within like a very mundane sort of logistical world. I do think that can be art and like I people give me shit for that and I feel pretentious. Sing it but like that's the thing that motivates I want it to be beautiful in addition. I mean it's like you feel dumb saying but it's like why try to do it if you're not dream is well admit that that's what you're striving for that Zuid if you're not gonNA try to do it yeah so will will will we will return to whether or not they will continue to be viable in the face of what has happened. in the last ten years but you also but you did go to journalism school I was laughing because I looked back at some notes that I had written about questions I wanted to ask you. One of them just said Jay school worthwhile question mark If you don't have to pay too much for I mean if you don't have to go into debt for it it kind of depends like will what was the logic was your your chain of logic that he fought. I had moved to Brooklyn like everyone else. I knew I kind of just like was like where did most of my friends go Muslim. Most of them went to Brooklyn. My Friend From College Jessica Weisberg also along from Journalists Farren. Was We got over on the she's great yeah. She's the best she works in way more mediums than can ever hope to learn she had found this apartment in for green that was like they should like the real world there it was internal spiral staircase and these can built in gilded mirrors. We called it scrooge mcduck mansion because it just looked in saint and so and it was like I paid like six hundred dollars a month or whatever this is how I'm officially old once you're like the rent was six hundred dollars but then so I was like okay I can make this work I had like a bill by the our day job at the New York Times putting stuff online by like converting it to html and I didn't know how to do that but I just taught myself enough html. I I mean really really basic like and you know I remember like messing up a diff- tag in some line of I don't even know what that is but I just was like like had to go through Google. Like why did I mess this up. That was my hourly wage job and then I would you know like find the email address of someone who worked at the New York press and be like can I write a review of this off Broadway play for free and then like Hound them seven times until they responded to that email you know is that glamorous life and I started doing a couple of things that I felt pretty good about like one of them. Was that Harper's peace. There was like mother Jones piece about working at a call center. Those were both before you went to yes so I had started. Doing those and you know I've done a couple couple other things they were starting up this thing at NYU called Kevin Uncle Kevin still makes fun of the name but they called it literary Reportaysia Taj so we still I still every thanksgiving I still get like so how's your report is going but it was the first year of it and they offered me a fellowship so yeah that's the calculation you can get behind and they had ketu mental as their Ted Connor was there Lawrence Wesley was there at the time Adrian Nicole Leblanc doc was doing a thing there so I was like I'll the heaviest hitters totally in this world totally so then did you go straight from there to editorial system The New Yorker. Bi basically early and the The New Yorker job was not a writing job. It was it was an editorial job and I had never done any editing before and actually my experience of being edited had not been uniformly family good but so when you get that job I mean I feel like that job of editorial assistant. New Yorker is the job that x number of people get and kind of think I wanna the writer at the New Yorker and then arrive and realize sometime later. That's not actually the way this yeah but you did eventually so. I'm interested in that evolution. 'cause there's a weird thing about being inside where you actually can't break up higher. so what happened. Would you move into editing at some point yeah that was an I knew enough about about that even before when I was offered the job to be like I don't know. Should I take this because I knew that they didn't want someone who showed up to not do the job and just be like hey can I right. Can I reckon right. They didn't want that's not what the job is so I was like if I'm going to do this I want to do. The job and I felt like I had at the time felt like I've written all these pieces and I'm a freelance journalist and I'm making it work. I actually felt like I was making a living as a freelancer but really what it was is in the process of the job interviews talking to the Guy Daniel who's GonNa hire me and being like Oh. I WANNA be around. People like this is Daniel Yeah like you know the best story editor I've ever seen work and you know the in addition to many other people who work at the New Yorker who are on a level that I couldn't really imagine at the time like I was was still kind of in a mode of thinking that editing was looking over something quickly cutting three of your favorite jokes adding to jokes that you didn't like and like hitting published like shepherding yeah shepherding like Oh. I don't know this this line. I don't know it's like too precious and then like hitting publish and seeing the way that people like thought about pieces like before any a word of it was written more than than I thought would ever have gone into like they what I got to see. When I started was a big part of my job was going to these Tuesday ideas meetings they had these editorial meetings where it was just basically everyone pitches three ideas allowed yeah and it was kind of this rotating cast estimate was mostly editors but writers would come through fact checkers would come through people in the art department people in makeup people and copy and everybody sort of would just sit and say here's what I think would be a good piece in the magazine and sort of seeing the level of you know sometimes? It was just like this person's big deal. I think we should profile them but more often it was like I think that a profile of this could be an embedded critique of this. I think that it could be set up in a way that would make people feel at odds with themselves when they like there was just a level of kind of crafting at the level of story concept that there is just a level of conceptual framing that goes into the piece. I mean going back to this sort of claim that is may be grandiose and pretentious that like journalism can strive to be artful. That's where I really. I just got excited thinking about how that process worked and that was another part of the job was I was thinking about okay going from only thinking about stories that I should do to thinking about stories that other people she had some big. That's a big difference and I mean but it's liberating in a way because there are stories that Jane Mayer could do that. Larry Right Do David grand could do that and cannot do so like that was a very that was a it allows you to you know paint with different colors but then you who I feel like you could have gone kept going down that road I mean I've talked to Francis James Verani. He loved you as an editor like you were. I liked it you you were in position to be editing features. What made you decide that? That's not what you wanted to. I loved the idea generation and the idea conceptualization process. I mean I loved you know James just as an example came in with this amazing multi continent cinematic peace and you know we had two story story board it and take it from fifteen thousand dollars to seven or whatever and do the whole thing. I love that I love the collaboration I love the feeling of being intent places at once like while I was thinking about Somali pirates on the James Piece I was also thinking about Liberian warlords on a Damon Taber piece. I was also thinking about Las Vegas deejays on a Josh Elespe and like they all had totally different tones in different conceptual frameworks. I love that but ultimately I just like writing more. I just like like I just writing. I just it's more risky. The job is less job security. It's less structure Bjorn accountable to go the office every day the same way I think someone said one of the editors there who does editing and writing. I can't remember who's not GonNa say but I think I know but that with writing the heiser hiring the lows are lower and I think that person was using it as an argument for why editing suited their temperament more and ending for me I just I'm okay with the higher highs and the lows logistically was that was a difficult to convince them that that's what you want you would rather be doing yeah. It's I mean you know a lot of people have gone through this period where they're kind of feeling out both and then they sort of have to choose. I really wanted to keep doing both and basically what happened was the subject matter that like I could start to see how I was dipping a toe. Oh indifferent edges of the same lake and that lake was GONNA be this book and I had to actually like hold my breath and swim across and and I just couldn't imagine doing that while also doing justice to lighting other people's pieces like it's one thing to say okay. I don't know how far can stretch this lake metaphor but it's one thing to say okay. I'M GONNA jump off this dock and like do a few laps and then come back which would be like a six thousand word peace while you know keeping track of what else is going going on on the shore. It's another thing to be like. I'm just GonNa go into the depths of this 'cause I. I had a feeling that these things connected up with each other but I didn't know how exactly Ackley and like you know this like doing a book length thing you kind of have to be like. I think there's something here. I've written enough of a proposal that I can convince other people that there's something here but I haven't really convince myself and so I just was like I got to see if there's something here and was this was like there was a time in October two thousand sixteen when I thought I had been the annoying speaking of being annoying ship had contrarian I had been the guy all along being like trump's GonNa win. Bet You money I actually like one a bunch of bets tragically but then remember Oh you know I mean I pissed off a lot of people so I was like and then November was like time to drop everything in about yeah now you so then I wrote a book proposal between then and Thanksgiving and then the book proposal went out and was you know now on inauguration day it was being read by people and then I was off to the races while I was trying to figure out in in looking back at your pieces when when you get sucked into this world a bit because for a while you're doing a lot of cultural stuff you're doing profiles and then you do this piece about Silicon Valley the TV show which contains one of my all time favorite scenes of any magazine story which is the people from the show go to meet someone who's like the person that the Google lax and the guy gets he's mad about the show and then he tries to storm out these were enrolled blitz and the kicker is all the writers who were there to Research Asia. They're like researching material for the show and they all look at each other like we can't use this right because it's too over the top and no one would believe it and they're like yeah it wouldn't it wouldn't play like it's too get so yeah. I'm doing pieces like that. I'm doing pieces about like you know Comedians Leslie Jones and Leslie Jones yet but then I feel like the was it the the story yeah about the Click Bait Guy. His name is escaping me right now. I feel like that to me was a moment where it felt like. You're doing something that maybe people the New Yorker didn't even quite understand understand. Possibly I WANNA say that but there's a bit in the book about how you're trying to convince people like this is a thing and it's the thing we should pay attention to. They're not they're not not like shutting you down but they're kind of like okay man. Do do what you want but I was curious of that. Was that story where we're Kinda pulled you into that world or had it already had ah yes so there's so in two thousand fourteen I think it was I met this guy. Emerson's parts Emerson sparked stream who we ended up in in one of the versions of the headline we ended up calling him the king of Click Bait which I felt was like a little mean but also fair and at the time like yet it's kind of like you're saying they weren't shutting me down but they they were Kinda like invading the other my bosses at the New Yorker were Kinda like all right prove. It prove that this is a big deal because there's a kind of pitch h that often happens at those Tuesday meetings that is there's a business doing something that sounds Kinda dodgy to which I think the appropriate sorta skeptical response is is there's lots of things that happen in the world that are people trying to make a buck and they kind of have to rise to a pretty high level of either outright criminality galaxy or there has to be some kind of real interesting scam. That's intrinsically interesting or there has to be some you know the thing I was describing was not like some criminal conspiracy or is it was just like there's this thing happening and it feels really gross and it feels like a harbinger of really bad things but I just didn't knowhow to conceive of it exactly so yes so they let me go do this thing because they could tell I was exercised about it. They could tell that it had like touched a nerve in me. Somehow they're like just yes you do it and actually that was one of the ones where I was still an editor at the time so I brought it into a meeting just for to put in the hopper for someone else to someone. Just take this yeah. I wasn't thinking thanks for myself and they I think correctly sense like you've got a feeling about this like you should be the one to do it because that's the other thing I mean a lot of these pieces. What matters matter is about? It is the alchemy between writer subject. It's not someone should really write a piece about Click Bait. It's like you. Should you have things to say and you're GONNA say them. In this imbedded way that infuses this is the voice and feeling of the peace so this kid you know I I was randomly seated next to him at a dinner and he started kind of imperiously explaining to me why hi his new media business model which was essentially just regurgitating garbage on the Internet. OMG FACTS DOT COM G. Fax Dot Com and uh-huh gives me hope dot com you know like kinda heartwarming facts chicken soup for the teenage soul for the twitter verse or something was one of their slogans like he would just turn this stuff stuff out and it would be one thing if he were Kinda like you know what man like I gotTa make a living and I just I found out that people will click on the shit if you serve it to them and that's just what I do like if it were sort of presented with some amount of humility but instead it was like the Internet is America crecy. I have figured figured out how to crack the code and therefore I am your overlord and like your dinosaur media will implode and I didn't think he was wrong about the employing part I just thought he was wrong to feel superior and so I was like exercised and I was like and I kinda was starting to put the pieces together in my head like okay and again. These are all obvious steps in a syllogism is just like I had never really liked worked it all out before it's like okay. There are very few checks on American businesses full stop. There are even fewer checks on American media businesses for very good reason like the First Amendment therefore any twenty six year old schmuck can come along mm-hmm and start a website for almost no money and disrupt the other websites such as and times dot Com and whatever like where does it stop what is to stop us from going from and I don't WanNa like paint a a an idealized vision of some golden age like there have always been penny papers burs. There's always been sensationalist. Yellow Journalism. Bob Is never been perfect. There's always been partisan press. There's always been open racism in the in the media but I guess what it was is that there was this tacit assumption that because it's technological improvement from a like cutting the fat you know business efficiency sense therefore it's civic improvement yeah we'll the disruption in and of itself as value yeah and it's like do you guys have ever looked up disruption the dictionary like why are you exalting this per se as a value value. There was just this basic on willingness to look at not even that I had some crystal ball and I was saying this will definitely turn out badly. It was just like it's possible that it will turn out badly and in fact you have to the burden of proof is on you to tell me why it won't as opposed to the opposite where at the time I mean it's hard remember now because this is turned so quickly yeah but it really was at the time two thousand fourteen even two thousand fifteen you show up at these parties like the conference where I met this dude and if you would say like I think this whole thing we're doing here is counterproductive. They wouldn't throw you out but they would like laugh at you like tonight yeah and it went. When did you start seeing the sort of like all right? Let's just say all right. There's a whole thing in the book about how difficult it is to categorize arises things but which we can get into but when did you start seeing that what was the first story that kind of like put those things together that it was going to be. It's not just a media. technological phenomenon people are creating platforms and they're being used certain way. It's actually like a political phenomenon yeah well. I kind of wish I could say that I was like really keyed heat into the Steph Rosie Gray and Charlie Zell and Joe Bernstein were writing and buzzfeed and I was really like following fortune and h obsessively and but that's not the truth is for me. Trump was the moment when I started going. Oh not only does this affect me and my relationships and not only is it annoying annoying when people pick up their phone during dinner and all that Shit but like who is in charge of the world's largest nuclear arsenal is dependent on the way like garbagey memes travel through these channels that people aren't even designing with any forethought that are just almost like emergent properties of capitalism. Uh so fair depressing yeah. It's not one of many things that I found depressing about your work Andrew. Sorry it's true I mean it's like it doesn't mean that this stuff was faded to happen or that. Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey wanted it to happen or that. They were sitting in a back room. You know going we will destroy democracy but it's not that it's like they wanted to make money. They wanted to make people addicted to their products. Just like any good good business person would WANNA do there. Were no checks on them in the way that like if you're making another addictive product like opioids or you know cigarettes or whatever it's maybe not not being the best example but like there were some there was something there is like a controlled drug schedules yes and this there was nothing to prescription. Exactly like that you can abuse is it but there's still something this was like nothing and also like this literally affects everything else like one of the analogies I ended up coming to was social media was that it's like a party like you started partying. At first. There's no one there and you feel pathetic and you're like how is this going to sustain itself and then a few of your friends French show up and then their friends show up and then you know you want it to be fun and interesting so you don't WanNa like hamper the mood you want to let everybody do whatever they want to do and let their freak flag fly and you know smoke a cigarette. If you WANNA smoke a cigarette like that's why this is cool party and then someone smokes a cigarette cigarette in someone else's like I have asthma really better if people didn't smoke in here and then you're like Oh okay now I have trade offs and I have to make rules you extrapolate that out and suddenly suddenly two billion people at your party. which has you know? FACEBOOK is what two point three billion people now. It's like bigger than Catholicism and Islam even that's too big of a party to control and so by the time you come in kind of ex post facto and start to try to make rules. It's like a little bit too late and also there's a very baked in ethos of we'll wait you said in the beginning of this party you said anything goes like you said this was going to be a cool party where people don't tell me what to do. Oh and then if you come in retroactively and start trying to make rules people start rebelling against you you start worrying that people are going to all decide to leave on mass and go to your rival party and or your or even worse like a party in China so you so you are constantly trying to maintain market share at the expense of making sure that people at your party aren't like burning couches and throwing them out the window. Although I feel like one of the things that is clear looking back that it wasn't like people were trying to control that at least until after the election it wasn't like people were trying to control that failing for the most part for the most part the kind of people people who started these companies were actually principally they had established the principle by which they would not try to do that. No matter what happened yet. It's like like if law enforcement comes to US and tells us that laws are being broken then maybe we'll look into it but other than that free speech and again like like a lot of these things free speech Great First Amendment great freedom of inquiry and freedom to be a contrarian and think for yourself like these are all good things but like all things they have have to be kind of held intention with other things and if you just become an absolutist and you just sort of say like dogmatically free speech is all that matters so therefore you can just shout racist insults at someone all day long and make them cry and leave and threatened to blow up their house like at a certain point there are limits. That's just how this stuff works works. When you're living in a society and these things the more they became less like a pathetic party with ten people and more like a society the more they had to kind of make up rules on the fly like as it was happening and they didn't know how to do it because they were coders who just wanted to make a cool thing? It was like if you had someone build a room for a party and then had them make up the laws by which that would they're like. I just want to make rooms so you have these things coming together. You're starting to see these things in your story. So there's there's the tech end of it which of the people who built these platforms and then there's sort of like the media part of it which is memes and Click Bait and things that that are sort of getting able to generate huge attention in a way that the old school media can't and then you have this kind of Lake right wing movement movement of ideas that's developing and you could write about it as those are ideas that are out there in the world but you wrote about them as reported pieces and it struck me that that raised like a bunch of interesting challenges one of which is the people in the right wing movement alright whatever the trolling and it's very difficult to tell when they're joking not joking. Sometimes they're doing both at the same time and how did you navigate that like you profiled Mike Stern of each that was like one of the big things and then he features in the book. How do you navigate this realm of like wind? Take people seriously especially people who are doing saying terrible things and then saying Oh. I was just joking yeah that that's like a horrible reporting jail. Yeah it's tough reporting challenge. It's also a tough ethical John's because it's like on one level. You're trying to get it right and make sure your correctly actly understanding the levels of irony in that they're not trolling you into printing things that aren't true or into taking literally things that were supposed to be jokes or vice versa. It's also an ethical legal challenge in the sense of like if there are people who are propagandists whose goal is to get enough attention from the mainstream media to smuggle their message through larger channels and and you are being used as an instrument of that like fuck that I don't WanNa be part of that and so that's the kind of third rail that like that New York Times and profile of Nazis and touched and and how do you stay away from that. I thought about it constantly. I I lost more sleep about it than I I mean. It's really really really hard like you again. You have to hold lots of different values intention right so it's not enough to take one and go well. I wrote something true and the point of journalism is to write something true so like yes. It might be true that Gavin McInnes is a naughty provocateur who wears natalie pressed wight dress shirts. Those are all true facts they Kevin McGuinness being the ex vice guy who the Exxon artists thing boys raise a essentially a white white supremacist violence group yes he would be shocked and chagrined to hear you describe it that way but yeah he there's one proud boy party that I was reporting from her were standing next to Gavin and he says it people are calling us a white pride organization but where do they even get that from like we some of my best friends black in like we're a civic nationalist organization not a white nationalist oriented and then he leaves the room and I turned to the guy next to me and like why are you here and he's like because I'm white and I'm proud to be white and then Gavin's always saying you're supposed to be proud to be white so it's like he heard the dog whistle pretty clearly even though Gavin will deny it if asked so again there's these levels of like if I had quoted the first part accurately there would have been no fact checking violation of me just saying then Gavin McInnes a very well dressed man with well sculpted facial hair told me that he denies any accusations of impropriety but if you don't dig a little more it's not even about like both sides or representing everything in an equitable way. It's just like you're not getting the getting fooled and I was constantly petrified that I was getting fooled by these people like they're there's so many layers there's of denials and jokes and you can get fooled by them by taking their denials too seriously you can also get fooled by them by getting so tired of being gasoline gaslight that you start going. We'll no matter what you say I know you're a Nazi and you can denied all you want and I'm still going to call you a Nazi. That's not good either because it's like then you cry cry wolf and you use up all your Nazi cards for when you actually meet the Nazis but then you also have to grapple this question of inevitably people are going to say why don't you just ignore them. Yes I grappled with that all the time and I should say most of the things I did ignore. I mean most of the Times that people would pitch me. Hey I'm a shitty person on the Internet and one profile me like I'm contacts they knew I was and they and and you know and people are constantly vying for attention in this world I mean one of the people who I I mean spoiler did end up spending time profiling. Was this Guy Lucien winter who you know Oh. One of my first big entrees into this world was the deploraball they called it their inauguration party get deplorable. I was there and it was fair. Fair inauguration bash of like we did this guy's we memed trump into the White House so like everyone in that room one meter profile them basically and mostly. I found it all skin crawley and I didn't want to do I mean it's weird like obviously I'm there. I'm reporting on it but I didn't want to be used as a a vector. I wanted to be in control of what I wrote. You know what I mean I didn't want to be I mean again. I think when this stuff is done right a certain kind of journalism awesome it's so filtered through the lens of the observer whether it's there's any first person pronouns in it or not that it's like here's my take on on what it looks like when our country starts going down the shitter so it's not like I'm being told by my subjects what's worthy of attention and what's not that always feels like an important portent distinction but so I'm at this party and one of the people who is vying for my attention is this Guy Lucien Lynch who just is obvious. He's like Milo light like Milo. Hello Milo Yannopoulos Miley pless had decided not to go to the party because he what he wanted to be the headliner and they didn't guarantee him headlined. These people are all just ego driven maniacs so I am so Milo wasn't there but Lucian was this other. You know he's gay. He's very interested in dressing in this very upscale kind of vintage preppy way he kind of really admires Anne Coulter as a kind of Proto troll and I was like go away I don't and then he says you know I'm going to go there. Was this kind Donovan M- all night there were these kind of people making speeches and was kind of this like half political rally half you know like black-tie gala and he's like listened to my speech so I I was like trying to see if I could grab Peter Thiel for like on the spot interviews financier Peter Thiel shows up. I'm like hey there's Peter deal but but I was like okay. I'm like wow I'm kinda hovering around Peter Thiel I'm gonNA listen to Lucien winters from the stage and or I I don't remember which order it happened in exactly but he goes on stage and he writes for this to call it. A tabloid is like mean to Joseph Pulitzer. It's like it's called the Gateway Pundit and it is this extremely popular website that you found this kind of a correlation between how bad website is for the world and how bad a website is for your ram on your computer like there's some websites that you open and you're just like I think computers just immediately GONNA die. The Fan starts worrying being like and you're like it's one of those where the correlation is strong enough. I'm weird. I just want to point out I feel like you also described salon that well actually with the with the exception of Salon I mean there's there's basically two camps there websites that are like that because they feel like they're just messing with you and then there's websites where it's like. We just gotTA run Ronald. Sorry we gotta do it. We will every possible add track will be placed on this site exactly so with the exception of salon but Lucien Lucians so he writes for this thing called the gateway pundit which is like Breaking Hillary Clinton has gum disease and is a member of Muslim Brotherhood then they they are very into counter narratives and conspiracies and they're an important link in the chain lending can't just be Sean. Hannity can't spend all day on Gab like there has to be something transmitting. The MEMES GAB is like a right wing Chat Yeah Cali twitter for yes. If you get kicked off twitter. Yes is kind of bizarre twitter so point being the gateway pundit is a shitty website Lucian winch rights for the Gateway Pundit. When I was at the deploraball he went up on stage age and said I just want to announce to all of you here in this beautiful occasion that I'm going to be the White House correspondent for the Gateway Pundit and then I kind of was like you know what U. N? Lucian I'm gonNA write about because he had made it inside. I mean it truly it was the ultimate manifestation of it was the the gatecrashers have breached the gates. It was like literally this you know the most sanctified I mean whatever we can argue about what kind of journalism happens within the White House briefing room and whether that is the most truly sanctified form of journalism but it's definitely a status symbol that in any other timeline of our universe that was not a demonic simulation lose interest should not be in that room and he got got in that room and even when I was on the mega bus down to DC with him. I was like still this could be a troll but even if this is a troll you know it won't be the same kind of peace. Maybe it will be a shorter piece. He's but even then I'll get a piece out of it like if he was just doing this to fuck with me like if he got to the White House Gates and they were like you're not on the list go away and then he made a video about how they were denying him access because they were censoring him and whatever even trump's America real journalism is still being shut out then that would be a talk peace but that that just highlights romy what is such a mind fuck about what you're covering which is that it doesn't fall into any category like if you look at it from afar you can just kind of say like others a thing hang the alright and they do this stuff but then when you look closely it feels like you have true anti-semites you have true Nazis. He's white supremacists than you have. People that are like dabbling in that and then you have people who are joking about it but also dabbling in it and it just feels to me like impossible to kind of reconcile it all yeah sometimes you could get to the bottom of it in a like investigative way. Then I had a few of those moments in the book where I was like just sat around for long enough that they kind of forgot I was there and then started saying what actually believed and sometimes they will even just say with actually believe like on their own podcast when they think nobody's listening so they'll just sort of let their guard down and you know Richard Spencer will you know go on CNN and and be like I just WANNA fight for a world of equality or whatever bullshit he says and then he'll go on a podcast like the daily show my favorite podcast and say yeah I mean obviously obviously I'm trying to like make sure the Jews leave this country because they are destroying everything like so. It's not like sometimes if you just hang around around for long enough the truth will reveal itself but in other cases like you're saying it's not that simple. It's not like these people just are Nazis and you just have to wait for the mask to slip. It's more like I mean to return to the example of Lucian like so I spent much of the first few weeks of the trump administration shadowing him through the trump White House and watching him kind of just suck at it like he never got ask a question. He wasn't really prepared hard to ask a question he was kind of just enjoying the exercise of being there because just even the fact that he was there was freaking people out and getting people like me to pay attention to him and so like you never to return to your like tradeoff ethics question. You never escaped from that. There's never a time when you go like I am in the clear ethically thickly here one hundred percent yeah. There's always some tradeoff yeah and I was always aware that there was some transactional thing going on and I guess you know you just run various trade-offs in your mind of like how much does it help my readers to be informed about this stuff and put that up against how much the art lighter outright people want me to be doing the thing I'm doing and try to weigh those in the balance will then I mean the other aspect of it is that you're Jewish and you're sitting sort of amongst them and their these moments where they kind of lake like especially with the daily show a guy where he's sort of leg he asks you you. That was a weird moment because I I mean this. This is a person who is explicitly antisemitic to the Plaza's Blake brand brand. I mean he's anonymous at the time of his identity comes out but and you are kind of like spending time with his family trying to figure out who this guy is and then in somewhere in the reporting process he realizes that you are like the target yeah and while it was while he was on the phone with but I mean that feels feels like another layer of discomfort that you would experience in the reporting process totally too difficult one to dislike mentally process when you go home totally. Why actually I was at home? I was on speakerphone with him at the kitchen table and Sahra. My wife was like kind of hovering around listening coming in 'cause she was like home to and it was Friday night. We are actually supposed to go out to dinner and I was like can't go. I've got a date with a Nazi and then I like and I it never occurred to me that he wouldn't know I was Jewish because he had been hearing rumors for weeks that I was kind of circling around him and we'd already emailed and he had already like told me like like uteri blown me off so he knew I was he knew my name. He had access to Google like I've written for magazine. I'm not like what are you doing buddy. I just read some of your film film Avatar. I stand by that Avatar of you. Sahra hates it and told me she almost wouldn't date me because she hated it so much but I feel like like the whatever they're called are the maccabees whatever they're called the doth Raqi or whatever their names are but and also I stand by Avatar is a film I would would see it again right now but disagree but we can. We can address that off. I think my dorm out but they look I actually it's weird because yes it's uncomfortable to be talking to someone who is a professional for a living anti Semite at the moment that they're finding now that you're the enemy it was comical. It was disturbing. It wasn't like a calming experience. It wasn't like I didn't like just sort of get off that phone call and be like art what's on TV you know but at the same time I didn't have the same ethical dilemma because in a weird way my like subject position as a journalist journalist was completely already predetermined I there was no with everything else I constantly felt the need to make clear to the reader and make clear myself that I wasn't getting fooled by the bullshit. Yes I can try to tease out all the layers of her trolling and joking not joking an irony and not irony while also trying to maintain enough of moral compass to be clear about like but they're fundamental enterprise is still a like fucked up propagandistic enterprise and even though I didn't want to have to say in in every paragraph parentheses I know that these people are shitty like you. Don't WanNa make it that explicit but I wanted that to be embedded in the approach in the voice in the whatever ever 'cause there's you know there's a more gawker version of that. which in a way is more honest which is dislike Shitty shithead does shitty thing is would be the headline yeah? The New Yorker is not going to do that version of the story and so I had to wrestle with how to do it in a New Yorker away that felt you know high minded or whatever without giving too much legitimacy and taking too seriously things that don't deserve to be taken seriously yeah with the Anti Semite that was kind of off the table because it was like okay. I don't have to worry about where I stand and where the reader thinks I stand I I am who I am and he is who he is and I can just write the story you know so in a way that was like the clearest one I mean to go back to the what you wouldn't do. Versus what you know like Gawker turn older Gawker. Let's say pre pre retail. Whatever you call it would do I mean this kind of takes us back to the beginning of being sort of like anti institutionalists kid is that it's interesting the story how you describe becoming you are the defender of traditional norms not not just the obvious one like the Nazis but but the people who were just messing around and the tech people who were saying what so bad anything goes is fine right the norms terms of like old traditional gatekeeper journalism young never thought I would end up there like I never thought that I would be the one when I was like a post-collegiate Brooklyn Acklin kid showing up at these like pretentious sort of like all the sad young literary men parties in like walk up apartments in Brooklyn and just having opinions just like all you are is just a machine of just like my opinions are better than Europeans? I was that guy. I'll admit it I was was that guy so those that room of people to them. The New Yorker is the man they're never going to be like we know it's really Great Than Yorker in the New York Times and CNN n. like that's not going to be. That's not the aesthetic so then a week later on working at the New Yorker and suddenly I'm the man like I didn't. I felt not like I had like betrayed. It's like the New Yorkers bad in that world. It's just not like interesting or cool. It's like you know the establishment and then I really had to wrestle with. How much am I really anti `institutionalised because even if I feel like there's some part of me that anti authoritarian anti `institutionalised when I actually sleep number actually had a job before so I'm like anti `institutionalised in theory because the institutions that I've been bucking against have been like ones that have nothing to do with me the other ones that are like my middle school or my college or whatever or like Wells Fargo exactly are well yeah Damn Wells Fargo but then I'm like actually working at a place where I'm like Oh wait? I am definitely the least smart person here and I definitely respect everyone who's here and they're just doing a really good thing really well. Like what am I going against exactly and again like it's hard to separate that from the completely legitimate argument that the mainstream media is flawed in a million ways. Yeah gatekeepers have presented huge problems out history yeah. They've made massive mistakes. They've let us into wars. They've there's all kinds of corporate control issues. There's all kinds of I mean. Those critiques are really robust and well taken but the the problem one of the many problems is that when the disrupters came along and said Hey we got this flawed system guess what we're going to. We're going to disrupt it. We're going top. We're GONNA shake it up. They had no even inkling think of a thought about what was going to replace it. It was just like I think that was just again seen as like a fusty Luddite you know oh well you don't get it bro like we just innovate and then like works itself out and I think we have now seen. It doesn't just work itself out and are you. Who Do you feel like you WanNa continue trying to figure out what these people are doing? Do you WANNA stay in this world or are you done and with this world. There are moments in the book where I feel like it seemed like you. You couldn't take it anymore hanging inside of that world yeah and do you feel like you're going to stay in there air and try to figure out what's going on and kind of like offer up this explanation on an ongoing basis because it's it doesn't stop the it doesn't stop now. I mean I did say throughout the book like my my next project is going to be about puppies and rainbows and ice cream and I don't feel like I'M GONNA burn. Burn a lot of bridges like I. I feel like I'm speaking pretty honestly in the book about how I'm not a fan of these people. I don't try to do the sort of straight ahead. Both sides Colonel Ism where I say like well. You must admit you know I mean again like I do. Try to be fair in the sense that I don't make things up and I don't sort of take cheap shots tonight. Try to keep it to like the ones we're not Caesar Nazis in the ones who are not or not and you know I try to be fair in that way and there are people in the book come off way worse than others and therefore there are people. Oh come up better than others but I don't know how many of these people are GonNa WanNa hang out with me for another three years. After this and I don't think I would want to do that. I think the underlying problems don't go away and in a way there are certain like underlying preoccupations with belief and end sort of concerns of like how do we form our beliefs. How do we know what's true? How do we justify our beliefs to each other that I think will stick with me forever and and I've always been drawn to writing pieces about in a way that I'm not really conscious of at the time but I'll kind of look back on a piece of like Oh that that piece was also about how we form our beliefs in how we make our beliefs intelligible to other people so that I think will stick with me and I definitely think I'll continue to be interested in whether democracy will survive it'll just be happy I mean I'm interested in media broadly concerned concerned and you know there's so many things I think part of part of why it took us as a society as weirdly long as it did to come around to listen even to the point when I was shopping this book proposal around it was still like Oh what are you some Kinda like starry eyed anti-capitalist list Weirdo who just wants to like tear down America's most successful companies and they weren't seen as robber barons they were seen seen as innovators and it was like well if you don't like what's happening on these platforms than you just don't like free speech and you just don't let people's representations of their Inter Psyche and it's like the very subtle ways in which it was working people's psyche? I mean again. I feel like there are there have been amazing investigative accounts of people uncovering documents and showing how people at these companies have engaged in malfeasance and all these things but that's not where my main skill set is my main skill set is trying to tell a story that describes the effect it's having on us and on the world and and that doesn't always come from like original material percent. I mean a lot of it is original but some of it is just taking things that are familiar and re describing them to a reader in a way that makes them go like it's more a feeling even set of logical conclusions like I again to dislike Lamai pretentious cards on the table like I really feel like nonfiction. Kinda gets a bum rap because everybody talks about nonfiction fiction in terms of oh well I have ingested this information and I now have these five facts that I can repeat at a cocktail party and it's like sure some nonfiction is it's like that. Some of it can be reduced to a bullet point primer of whatever but a good book is a good book whether it's fiction or nonfiction it should create a feeling of to create a world. It should be a thing you wanna live in in that tilts the way you see things I mean. Isn't that the point I it's always just been so weird to me. See that it's like if you were like looking at a painting in a museum and then someone was like oh you know those like apples and pears in that still life those actually existed those were real apples and pears and you're like Oh okay nevermind I don't care about this painting any like I don't care about the composition. I don't care about the colors I just you. I should've told me like Oh. It's three apples in two pairs. Okay and you walk away like what I don't understand. It's I don't get why the fact that it is based on real things or based on invented things. It's still oh a book right like that's why when people go oh it reads like a novel. I'm like a good novel or a bad novel. Like what do you mean like like. Could you imagine engine being like all right. I'm GONNA GIVE YOU GATSBY ten minutes. It's like there's rich people and there's like really excesses and Blah Blah Blah but like in the end. It's going to be okay like what again like. I'm not F Scott Fitzgerald. I'm not like that good but it's like. Shouldn't you try to be that good Andrew. Thank you for taking a conversation that is ongoing in our alive and reducing just some part of it into this part is by me Nice Bourbon so that's you know I didn't realize that's what it took. Thanks for coming on thank you. That's it for this week's long-term podcast. I'm Mira Co host Evan ratliff. Thanks to Andrew Marantz for coming in. Did he really have a choice choice. I don't think he did his book is coming out next week you can now it's called antisocial. Check it out thanks to my co host maximum skinner and Lamour and into our editors and Al Pifer to our intern Marina Clementi and as always to our sponsors
387- The Worst Video Game Ever
"This is ninety nine percent invisible. I'm Roman Mars. There are a few rules everyone should abide by to have a good life always carry a book to read never get involved in a land war in Asia and always make friends with people who work in museums. Because there's the museum that everyone else gets to see the exhibits DIORAMAS. I love them all. Don't get me wrong but behind the scenes there's a whole cabinet of wonder that only a few people get to see if you play your cards right. You can get an invitation to the real deal. The museums museum full of archives and things neatly lined up in drawers with handwritten tags a behind. The scenes tour of a museum is the greatest way to spend an afternoon barn on. This is why why I really enjoyed the podcast cider produced by the Smithsonian Institute in DC and hosted by Lizzie peabody feature stories from the more than one hundred and fifty four million a million treasures in the Smithsonian archives about art science and history. This is my favorite episode of there. It's a story of a video game. People call it the worst. I video game of all time based off one of the most popular movies of all time. You're going to love it. I'll let Lizzie peabody inside door ticket from here. I'm part of a crowd of some four or five hundred people waiting into get into a dump. This is Howard Scott warshaw and on April twenty six th two thousand fourteen. He was part of an unusual. Seen something like like a wildly out of place tailgate party people lined up with folding chairs sunhats beverages in the middle of the New Mexico desert. It it was a hot day. I mean it was hot but there was no desert it was just desert. Howard has a real thing for puns and the open up and here we go and we're all rushing into the DOPP and there's a lot of excitement you know we're on a mission to uncover the truth or not of a very repopulate urban myth? The legend goes like this once upon a time in the land called Silicon on Valley. An American Tech Company invented video games that enchanted children and brought billions of dollars flowing through. Its doors the company was called Atari. Atari made many good Games until one day in one thousand nine hundred eighty two. It made a bad one. Oh really bad. Won A game so bad it has been called the worst video game of all time the video game with e not the extraterrestrial according to the myth it was so bad it put Atari business and to hide its shame Atari buried the unsold game cartridges in the middle of the desert where they would never ever be found. Did you believe that the myth was true. Did you believe that there were games. James Buried in the desert. I never believed that. Why would accompany that strapped financially and is really failing and having a lot of trouble staying afloat why would they spend extra dreux money to go into the desert and Berry Something that supposedly is so worthless they want to throw it away. That doesn't make any sense at all. Right I mean that's just nonsense. So Howard was a skeptic but others in the crowd I think they believed they were there because they wanted to see it. They wanted to see it. come up out of the ground so there was that there was a groundswell of excitement. You might say so Howard and the rest of the expectant crowd gather around the dump which is now a dig site it. Hundreds of video games are they're wearing all their favourite. Et gear their reporters and even a documentary film crew. The DIG begins. There's these huge machines that are super loud and clear they have these giant claws and other excavating equipment and super drills this giant stuff and there's loud machinery there's all these piles of dirt that have been brought up and garbage intimate detritus because it was a dump that has as you know decades of dump after six hours of digging through three decades worth of trash outcomes. Et Cartridge it kind of crushed very damaged. At Cartridge in the end the excavation team unearthed a total of one thousand one hundred seventy eight Atari game cartridges enough to confirm that Atari sorry had actually buried its games in a giant desert pit so this time on side door. We'll explore just how those games wound up in the desert and why popular history blames a tiny pixelated alien for bringing down one of the most influential essential video game companies of all time long ago before there was playstation or xbox or even Nintendo there was Atari it is undoubtedly part of kind of American cultural landscape if you grew up in the nineteen eighties. You'd recognize CNN that symbol immediately. I'm of that generation myself. This is Arthur dench. He's the director of the Lemelson Center for the study of Invention and innovation in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American history. He explained that long ago. There was really only one kind of video game arcade games to play them. You had to put on pants leave your house and go to a shopping mall bowling alley L. E. or bar and in the late nineteen seventies. Atari was the first company to create a smash hit arcade game called Pong. They realized that's pretty quickly that they were onto something. There's amazing stories in the early days of the restaurant and bar owners calling them up and saying the machine's broken and they go in and it's not broken it all just completely jammed up with quarters and they suddenly realize Oh my God yes so. Many people were going out to bars. Ars just to play these games. Atari wondered what if they made a game. People played at home at this time. Most people didn't have personal personal. Computers Television was king. An Atari saw an opportunity so in one thousand nine hundred. Seventy seven attention shatters the new Atari Cartridge. The Tari appears with a game. Set that any kid can use and it really transforms the home playing playing video game market. So what did you need to have at home in order to play an Atari game television. That's it that's right all of a sudden TV. V which had always been passive entertainment became interactive. That's pretty cool very cool and no one had seen it before. The first I sort of demos of video games to play at home People were utterly confused by what it was well. Adults may have been confused but kids. It's got it immediately because for such cutting edge technology Atari was easy to use. There was a simple console that plugged into your TV and it was controlled by a joystick with a single red button on this foundation Atari built entire digital worlds onscreen and for one hundred and ninety nine dollars plus twenty dollars per game cartridge. You could have those worlds in your own home. The new video computer system by Atari More Games more fun Atari took off. They brought the excitement excitement of the arcade into the suburban living room and to do it. They hired the world's best programmers. These guys were geniuses at figuring out how to make interesting games and making fun many of these genius programmers. We're young men right out of college and one of them was Howard. Scott warshaw our friend from the desert and he was pretty good at his job. I was pretty good at my job. My first game that I did for Atari was yard. Revenge that was the first game. I think that ever actually had a pause mode the first full screen explosion. It was more elaborate use of sound than people would seem before there was an incredible amount of color. I wanted a frenetic action. Game that demanded attention that would grab someone right by their cognitive elements and not release them. That's what I was trying to do with yours. Revenge Wow yars revenge transformed Howard into what fans called called a game God. Even though Atari didn't credit it's programmers publicly Gli fans with sleuth out the minds behind their favorite games. The growing community of American gamers that passionate it was the golden age age of Atari by nineteen eighty. Atari was the fastest growing company in the history of the United States. Commanding seventy five percent of the home home video game market and bringing in more than two billion dollars a year. They produced their own games but they also licensed their name to outside game developers slapping the Atari label on all kinds of third party games. No other company could keep up. In nineteen eighty-one Atari conquered occurred. Hollywood Howard spent eight months working on raiders of the lost arc the video game strutting around Atari H. Q.. With a Fedora and a whip the Daniel Day Lewis game. Ghaderi the game sold well so when Steven Spielberg made another blockbuster. E T the extraterrestrial in the summer of nineteen eighty two. It was a no-brainer brainer. Of course Atari would make e t the video game. Here's how Howard remembers that we're hanging out my office and then a call came in and it was the CEO of Atari who actually never calls me. He's basically my boss's boss's boss's boss's boss the CEO of Atari because twenty five year old Howard says we want you to make e t the video game and we needed done by September. I know this is July. Hi Twenty-seventh so at least five weeks and a half day to do the game five weeks and a half day to give you a sense of how insane this is. Video Games at the time took six to eight months to create and this guy is saying Howard. We need you to create a game for the highest highest grossing blockbuster film of the Year in just twenty percent of the time it usually takes even do that right and I said to him absolutely I can. Did it ever occur to you that that it might not be possible. Leaned with was there a part of you that acknowledged that like this might be impossible to be perfectly honest. I don't think it it occurred to me that it couldn't be done. So Howard got to work and he worked and he worked. I was brutal was grueling. They had a development system moved into my home so that no matter where I was I was no more or than two minutes away at any point in time from actually sitting down and doing something on the game and even when he wasn't sitting down eating driving showering boring he was working in his head and when he was asleep still working. I thought you know what I need to do. Is Turn sleep into an asset breath. I would work until I ran into a problem and then I would go to sleep and I would think okay maybe if I can just sleep and come up with something the things I can literally dream up a solution. I thought that would be kind of cool and there were some times where that happened. So Howard all the sounds crazy. Why did they even ask ask you to do this? So really good question right. Why would you put someone through something like this right and well you know if you were to ask the executives they they would say So they didn't even know what they were asking of you know. They had no concept of management at Atari was completely disconnected from production auction. According to Management E T. The video game needed to be in stores by Christmas or they lose millions of dollars in potential holiday revenue but but Atari and Spielberg had taken so long nailing down a licensing agreement that by the time they finally did get pen to paper. There was almost no time left to make the game that never occurred to anyone. This was a case of people believing they could do nothing wrong and myself included. Everybody at Atari thought you you know. We're on top. No one can touch us. We can do anything and honestly it seemed like they could against all odds Howard delivered delivered. Et the video game in just five weeks I was a hero. There was a huge company Meeting which they called me up on stage. Hey Harry uh-huh through Oh yeah Steven Spielberg himself. Called Howard a quote certified genius and by Christmas time five million cartridges of the much anticipated. Et video game stock. The shelves of stores nationwide so mission accomplished right. Well not exactly. You're listening to side door on ninety nine percent of visible produced by the Smithsonian Institute. More after this from Sidra here again is Lizzy peabody. Here's where we are. It's December nineteen eighty to Steven Spielberg's soon to be classic movie. E T the extraterrestrial is out in theaters and Atari the American Video Game Titan just released the thing every kid was waiting for e t the video game video game that lets you help. Et get home just in intern. Christmas Howard Scott warshaw. Atari Star Programmer created the game in only five weeks. Spielberg is happy. Atari sorry leadership is happy. Howard is happy guests who is not happy eight year old Jason Christmas morning thoroughly disappointed did this is a man? That side door does not like to disappoint. Jason are fading on the Executive Producer of Side Door Aka your boss reminder justly currently a lot a a or something Perhaps more therapy. We brought Jason into the studio because he has some personal history with E. T. when the movie came out I was is eight and et was everything. I mean there were stuffed animals for et ahead. A ton of them. You know I I learned how to draw. Et that was a big deal. so E T was a huge part of the summer of nineteen eighty two. Jason was also into Atari. He played every day after school and when he started seeing ads for for e the video game he had really high hopes. Oh my God I can play the movie. I was GONNA ride my bike in the game and maybe fly through the air. Our Christmas morning there. It was under the tree e the video game ran up to my room opened up the box. pull the game out. Stuck it into the Atari turned ended on. There's e t on that first screen. It's super exciting. Plays a little song. That's kind of the zone but not quite and started playing the game. And that's when I realized that something was wrong. The game was nothing thing like the movie. The objective of the game is for e t to collect pieces of a phone so that he can of course phone home E. T. Et Phone. I never finished the game. It was so incredibly friendly hardened confusing. It doesn't sound that hard and Jason is older and wiser now so we decided to play it. Okay let's do it. Oh no that was nervous. I'm super nervous okay. Are you ready all right. You too is landing in his tiny little spaceship and now he's in this. What looks like a forest? It didn't go so well are there. There is a government man coming after me. He's like what is he doing. He's just sort of bumping into me. Nothing happens in the game. It's hard to figure out where where you're supposed to be going. And as you try to navigate the game world keep falling into these pits. That are everywhere. All right I'm in a pit. This is the worst part of the game. And they're random random characters trying to get you. WHO's that guy but And you might be thinking. Hey what Howard say about you talking smack about his game but he agrees. Et commits the ultimate video. Game San to Orient the user and you have to understand the the difference between frustration and orientation great frustration and a video game is essential right video game must frustrate a user but you should. I've never disoriented them. Howard says that frustration ultimately creates satisfaction? It's a huge motivator in a good game to get better faster stronger stronger disorientation on the other hand is just a minute pit. I fell in another pit terrible back in the winter of Nineteen eighty-two Howard thought everything was peachy because e t the extra terrible game with selling pretty well but as soon as the young Jason are fans of the world started playing it word got out and sales virtually stopped leaving unsold et Games clogging the shelves of stores and by Early Nineteen. eighty-three Howard started to hear rumblings flings people from other parts of the company. You know suits as we would all would come walking by an engineering sometime and people would look at me and they'd go you know Howard. You really came James through for us. We don't blame you. Oh and I'm thinking that's nice talking about. I didn't know what was happening happening out there. What was happening out there? MILLIONS OF UNSOLD Games coming back to Atari Games they banked on on selling Atari sold them to a distributor who placed them in stores but the distributor had the full right of return. Oh so they could return their stock to Atari Right. So all the ones that they didn't sell the stores gave back to the distributor and the distributor then returns to Atari as on sold product. Okay and so they went belly up back. Et Not was a big liability but it's very creation spoke to an even bigger problem for Atari. The company had made a habit of prioritizing money over equality remember how in an attempt to get more games on the market Atari let outside companies make them while a lot of those third party games were bad the two and so at Tarez name gets associated with some really bad games that nobody really likes. That aren't selling well. Let's more by nineteen eighty. The three programmers had reached the Atari consoles limits for memory and graphics. All the games kind of started to look the same and gamers got bored. People stopped stopped. Buying consoles. Atari was in big trouble so when Atari went down. Nineteen eighty three in eighty four The entire video game MM industry tanks in the United States but it basically wiped out sales of home game sets the history books. Call it the video game crash of Nineteen eighty-three American video game. Sales dropped by over ninety percent from nine hundred eighty two to nineteen eighty-six. No new game. MM systems were introduced and hardly any new games were created at all until the late eighties. That's when Japanese companies Nintendo and Sega brought their consoles and their famous miss characters to the United States but it would be nearly two decades before another American made console would turn to the market in any significant way with Microsoft soft xbox in two thousand one. So there's no question that when you have an economic downturn. You have a catastrophe a natural disaster. There's an effort to put a face on an individual story on it. You have to have the face right. Et became the face of the fall of the video game industry because it was very identifiable and I became the but behind that face on September twenty sixth. Nineteen eighty-three much like the character. In the game. E T fell into its own pit in Alamogordo New Mexico not for any symbolic reason but because Dumping Ping laws were laxed there and Atari needed a cheap way to dispose of its fourteen truckloads of unsold game cartridges. Et the video game was steamrolled enrolled covered in cement and largely forgotten until two thousand fourteen when those cartridges were exhumed and one of them found mm to home here in Washington DC at the National Museum of American history. So it's kind of crunched. It looks cracked like if you tried to play this. It probably wouldn't go well. We have not tried it for obvious. Reason Smithsonian Museum specialist drew rebar took E. T. out of the collections to show it to me but it still still has dust on it. It still has like sort of like white crusty rock or is that just gung I think it's just Gone Keno. This was in with tons of other stuff. You know plastic parts and you'll paper instruction manual boxes on this kind of stuff. Dreams role doesn't usually involve collecting objects. But he's a Gamer himself. Job That I was born with a controller in my hand when he heard that a film crew applied for a permit to dig up the fabled Atari gravesite. He wanted to make sure the museum secured a cartridge because e t the video game tells the story of something bigger than its own dirt. It crested case. It's about the rise and fall of the company that pioneered video gaming in America. And although it's not very old it hints at the Digital Dole Revolution that followed. It's a piece of American history I was just afraid that if I didn't act now like probably nobody else had realized this a bit so I felt it was the first time I felt like I had to do something. If not it that opportunity might have been lost. It's Howard Scott. warshaw left Atari in nineteen eighty four and eventually became a therapist but he recognizes his role in Atari Story and on that day in the desert when et was pulled from the ground. It looked around. I thought this is awesome. This is so awesome because something that I did. You know a few thousand lines of code that I had written over thirty years ago now is still generating all this excitement. In that moment I felt a tremendous sense of satisfaction action and that I had really created something that meant something to a lot of people and that meant something to me. Well Atari never regained video game. Supremacy the culture it created indoors in the fans who bowed down before their game gods and stand for hours in the desert to see an old piece of plastic dredged from dump a game cartridge. Now preserved in the Smithsonian's collections wants worthless now priceless side. Door is hosted. Carr's EP Bonnie it's produced by Justin O.`Neil Jason Fane Ellen Real Caitlyn Schaefer Sonic Larry Koch and cannon in Sharon Bryant Music Brake Master cylinder with support from John. Barth Jason Donna and genevieve sponsor at x mixing by Director The show is produced produced by the Smithsonian with support from Iraq's the public radio exchange. You can find the show at SL DOT. Edu Slash CIDER is up ninety. Nine percent. Invisible was bowled together by right Chris. Peru Bay and me Roman Mars. We are project of ninety one point seven. KLW In San Francisco and produced on Radio in beautiful downtown in Oakland California. Ninety nine percent of visible is a member of Radio Tokyo from PRI a fiercely independent collective of the most innovative shows all podcasting esteem. Find them all at Radio Topa Dot. FM and you can find us at nine. P I dot Org Radio Community Ex.
The unlikely beginning of paint-by-number
"Hey history lovers. I'm Mike Rosen walled with retro pod. A show about the past rediscovered. In one thousand nine hundred fifty one a man named Dan Robbins began working at Palmer paint company in Detroit. He had just left the army signal corps where he was a cartographer now instead of spending his days making maps Robbins was learning to design children's coloring books. He was a real go-getter. He wanted to take coloring to a whole new level. So he went to the company's owner max Klein in proposed a product not for children, but for adults instead of a coloring book, Robin suggested a coloring canvas with pre drawn lines. It would look like a colorless stained glass window each blank segment. We contain a number corresponding to a capsule of paint included with the set sound familiar. It was an idea that eventually became a phenomenon for kids and adults alike. Paint by number. Robbins put together a prototype of his idea a canvas with a still life drawn on it called abstract number one. He described the design as a mix of puck. Cosso Brock and Robbins, which sounds interesting. Kline. Immediately rejected it he was a breast boss who wasn't into abstract art abstracts. He said are for people who call themselves artists, but can't pay worth a damn. He asked Robbins to explore more classic images, landscapes florals animals things people would want to hang in their own home. So that's what Robbins did. Sales started slow but took off after a big New York toy show paint-by-numbers was a huge hit for two dollars and fifty cents a set parents could occupy their children with an artistic activity. Adults could dig into a new hobby painting canvases to impress friends and family there were patterns for everyone Parisian street scenes kittens with balls of yarn, even biblical scenes. More discerning customers could even paint Leonardo davinci's last supper or the Mona Lisa there were even some tasteful nudes for the vont guard crowd. In fact, it was Davinci who inspired Robbins creation. I had heard Robin said that Davinci used to use diagrams in number them when he was instructing his students in painting. It was a different artists who inspired the company slogan. Every man a Rembrandt. By the early nineteen fifties paint by number kits became a common. Household item reaching eighty million dollars a year in sales even j Edgar Hoover, the Mr. no fund FBI director and President Eisenhower joined the craze paint by number masterworks. They were displayed even in the White House. But despite its high profile fans art and cultural critics did not respect the invention. One person wrote into American artist magazine bemoaning the laziness of paint by number set users. Can't you rescue these souls or should I say morons? The phrase paint by number became a synonym for lack of creativity. But it also came to a vote greatness, stellar even after the sets disappeared from the shelves around nineteen sixty Robbins idea left a colorful Mark on people's lives. In two thousand one the Smithsonian's national museum of American history premiered in exhibit called paint by number accounting for taste in the nineteen fifties the exhibit showcased paint by number canvases from the famous like J Edgar Hoover to the not so famous many people still own those creations. Even if they are sitting in a dusty basement somewhere, the exhibit's curator said the museum was flooded. With letter writers who described paint by number as an introduction to art a pastime for families and escape in difficult times Robbins, Dodd in early April back in one thousand nine hundred nine in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, he reflected on what it was like to know that has designs were the basis of so many amateur paintings all over the country. He said people took pride in their own creation. It's really their painting. I'm Mike Rosenfeld. Thanks for listening. This episode was adapted from a story written by Emily Langer for the Washington Post for more forgotten stories from history. Visit Washington Post dot com slash retro pot.
The Worst Video Game Ever
"This is side door a podcast from the Smithsonian with support from PR ex, I'm Lizzy Peabody. I'm part of a crowd of some four or five hundred people waiting to get into a dump. This is Howard, Scott warshaw, and on April twenty six two thousand fourteen. He was part of an unusual seen something like a wildly out of place. Tailgate party people lined up with folding chairs sunhats beverages in the middle of the New Mexico desert. It was a hot day. I mean it was hot but there was no desert. It was just desert. Oh, yeah. Howard has a real thing for puns, and the open up and here we go and we're all rushing into the dump, and there's a lot of excitement. You know, we're on a mission to uncover the truth or not of a very popular urban myth. As the legend goes like this. Once upon a time in the land called, Silicon Valley, an American tech company invented video games that enchanted, children and brought billions of dollars flowing through its doors. The company was called Atari Atari made many good games until one day in nineteen eighty two. It made a bad one. Oh, really bad won a game so bad it has been called the worst video game of all time. The video game with e t the extraterrestrial according to the myth, it was so bad. It put Atari out of business and to hide its shame Atari buried the unsold game cartridges in the middle of the desert, where they would never ever be found. Did you believe that the myth was true? Did you believe that there were games buried in the desert? I never believed it. Why would accompany that strapped financially and is really failing? And having a lot of trouble staying afloat. Why would they spend extra money to go into the desert and bury? A something that, supposedly so worthless. They wanna throw it away that doesn't make any sense at all right. I mean that's just nonsense Howard was a skeptic. But others in the crowd. I think they believe in, they were there because they wanted to see it. They wanted to see it come up out of the ground. So there was that there was a groundswell of excitement. You might say. So Howard and the rest of the expectant crowd gather around the dump which is now a dig site hundreds of video gamers. Are there wearing all their favourite ET gear their reporters, and even documentary film crew? The dig begins. There's these huge machines that are super loud. And they have these giant claws, and other excavating equipment, and super drills, and this giant stuff, and there's loud machinery, all these piles of dirt that have been brought up and garbage intimate detritus because it was a dump that has, you know, decades of dump. Six hours of digging through three decades worth of trash. Outcomes and ET cartridge, a kind of crushed very damaged AT cartridge. In the end, the excavation team unearthed a total of one thousand one hundred seventy eight Atari game cartridges enough to confirm that Atari had actually buried its games in a giant desert pit. So this time on side door, we explore just how those games wound up in the desert, and why popular history blames a tiny pixelated alien for bringing down one of the most influential video game companies of all time. Can't get enough of side door. Well, there's more sign up for the side door newsletter to get behind the scenes content for each episode. There's so much more to our stories than we can fit into each episode. The newsletter is worse cider producer, Justin. Oh, neil. And I can share photos, videos facts and favorite moments that for whatever reason, didn't make it into the podcast you can also find links to articles and more specifics about the research being done here at the Smithsonian across the country and beyond sign up sl that EDU slash side door. That's sl dot EDU slash side door. One more side door. Get even more behind the scenes access by joining our Email list for new episode notifications and exclusive behind the scene content from side door episodes directly from Tony. You'll also get to hear about news and updates across the Smithsonian including new exhibit and discoveries. This miss Ona's, powered by people like you sign up today at sl that EDU slash side door to hear more that's as I that EDU slash cider. Long ago before there was PlayStation, or XBox or even intendo. There was a Tari. It is undoubtedly, part of kind of American cultural landscape. If you grew up in the nineteen eighties, you'd recognize that symbol immediately. I'm of that generation myself. This is Arthur, Derrick. He's the director of the Lemelson center for the study of invention and innovation in the Smithsonian's national museum of American history. He explained that long ago. There was really only one kind of video game arcade games. To play them, you had to put on pants leave your house, and go to a shopping mall, bowling alley or bar and in the late nineteen seventies Atari was the first company to create a smash hit arcade game called pong. They realized pretty quickly that they were onto something amazing stories in the early days of the restaurant and bar owners, calling them up and saying the machine's broken, and they go in and it's broken at all. It just completely jammed up with quarters and they suddenly realize. Yes. So many people were going out to bars, just to play these games, Atari wondered what if they made a game that people played at home? At this time. Most people didn't have personal computers. Television was king, an Atari saw an opportunity so in nineteen seventy seven. Attention shoppers. Atari Karcher team is in the Tari appears with a game set that any kid can use and it really transforms the home playing video game market. So what did you need to have at home in order to play an Atari game television? That's it. That's right. All of a sudden TV which had always been passive entertainment became interactive. That's pretty cool. Very cool. And no one had seen it before the first sort of demos of video games to play at home, people were utterly confused by what it was. Well adults may have been confused, but kids got it immediately. Because for such cutting edge technology Atari was easy to use. There was a simple console that plugged into your TV, and it was controlled by a joystick with a single red button on this foundation. Atari built entire digital worlds on screen. And for one hundred and ninety nine dollars plus twenty dollars per game cartridge? You could have those worlds in your own home video computer system by more games, more fun Atari took off. They brought the excitement of the arcade into the suburban living room and to do it. They hired the world's best programmers. These guys were geniuses at figuring out how to make interesting games and making fun. Many of these genius programmers were young men, right out of college. And one of them was Howard, Scott worship our friend from the desert and he was pretty good at his job. I was pretty good. My job. My first game that I did for Atari was yours revenge. That was the first game. I think that ever actually had a pause mode. Is the first full screen explosion? It was more elaborate use of sound than people seem before. There was an incredible amount of color. I wanted a frenetic action game that demanded attention that would grab someone right by their cognitive elements and not release them. That's what I was trying to do with yours revenge. While yours revenge transformed Howard into what fans called a game God. Even though Atari didn't credit. It's programmers publicly fans would sleuth out the minds behind their favorite games, the growing community of American gamers. Was that passionate it was the golden age of Atari by nineteen eighty Atari was the fastest growing company in the history of the United States. Commanding seventy five percent of the home video game market, and bringing in more than two billion dollars a year. They produce their own games, but they also licensed their name to outside game developers slapping, the Atari label on all kinds of third party games. No other company could keep up. In nineteen Eighty-one, Atari conquered Hollywood. Howard spent eight months working on raiders of the lost ark, the video game strutting around Atari H Q with fidora and a whip the Daniel day Lewis of game Ghaderi the game sold. Well, so, when Steven Spielberg made another blockbuster. E t the extra terrestrial in the summer of nineteen eighty two it was a no-brainer. Of course, Atari would make ET the video game. Here's how Howard remembers that. Office, and then a call came in and it was the CEO of Atari who actually never calls me. He's basically my boss's boss's, boss's, boss's, boss. The CEO of Tari calls twenty five year old Howard and says we want you to make e t the video game and we needed done by September. I now this was July twenty seventh so at least five weeks and a half day to do the game five weeks and a half day to give you a sense of how insane this is video games at the time took six to eight months to create. And this guy is saying Howard, we need you to create a game for the highest grossing blockbuster film of the year in just twenty percent of the time it usually takes even do that. Right. And I said to him. Absolutely. I can did it ever occur to you that it might not be possible. Was there a part of you that acknowledged that like this might be? Impossible to be perfectly honest, I don't think it af- recurred to me that it couldn't be done. So Howard got to work and he worked. And he worked how brutal grueling they had a development system moved into my home. So that no matter where I was, I was no more than two minutes away at any point in time from actually sitting down and doing something on the game when he wasn't sitting down eating driving showering. He was working in his head. And when he was asleep still working. I thought you know what I need to do is turn sleep into an asset. I would work until I ran into a problem, and then I would go to sleep, and I would think, okay, maybe if I can just sleep and come up with something I can literally dream up a solution. I thought that would be kinda cool and there were sometimes where that happened. So Howard all this sounds crazy. Why did they even ask you to do this so really good question? Right. Why would you put someone through something like this? Right. And well, you know, if you were to ask the executives, they would say. So they didn't even know what they were asking of, you know, they had no concept, the management at Atari was completely disconnected from production according to management, the video game needed to be in stores by Christmas, or they lose millions of dollars in potential holiday revenue, but Atari and Spielberg had taken so long nailing down a licensing agreement that by the time they finally did get pen to paper, there was almost no time left to make the game never occurred to anyone. This was a case of people believing they could do nothing wrong and myself included everybody at Atari thought, you know, we're on top no one can touch us. We can do anything, and honestly, it seemed like they could against all odds Howard delivered e t the video game in just five weeks. I was a hero. There was a huge company meeting, which, you know, they called me up on stage. Hey, Harry came through. Oh, yeah. Steven Spielberg himself called Howard, a quote certify, -able genius. And by Christmas time twelve million cartridges of the much anticipated e t the video game stock the shelves of stores nationwide so mission accomplished, right. Well, not exactly more on that after the break. What's an Gaito? How do you preserve talk? Let's culture did big bird really almost go into space, if you question that you'd like answered by the Smithsonian. Now's your time to be heard. No, actually, your voice may end up on the show. All you have to do is leave. His voicemail had the cider hotline, which is two two six three three four one two. I'll say it again. That's two two six three three four one to give your first name where you're calling from and what you want to know more about who knows it may even be our next door episode. Here's where we are. It's December nineteen eighty two Steven Spielberg's soon to be classic movie e t the extra terrestrial out in theaters, an Atari the American video game titan just released the thing every kid was waiting for e the video game video game. Let you help ET get home just in time for Christmas Howard. Scott worship Atari star programmer created the game in only five weeks. Spielberg is happy, Atari leadership is happy, Howard is happy guests who is not happy, eight year old Jason Christmas morning. Thoroughly disappointed. This is a man that side or does not like to disappoint days, on the executive producer of cider, AK, your boss. Thanks for the reminder. Just. Something perhaps more room with therapy. We brought Jason into the studio because he has some personal history with e t when the movie came out, I was eight, and it was everything, I mean, there were stuffed animals for ET had a ton of them. You know, I learned how to draw ET that was a big deal. So ET was a huge part of the summer of nineteen eighty eighty-two. Jason was also into Atari. He played every day after school. And when he started seeing ads for t the video game he had really high hopes. Oh my God. I can play the movie I was going to ride my bike in the game. And maybe fly through the air, you know, maybe Christmas morning there. It was under the tree e t the video game Ren up to my room opened up the box pull the game out stuck it into the Atari turned it on. There's ET on that first screen super exciting plays a little song, that's you know, this on, that's kind of like the zone, but not quite and. Started playing the game. And that's when I realized that something was wrong. The game was nothing like the movie, the objective of the game is for e t to collect pieces of phone so that he can, of course, phone home. T. Phone. I never finished the game. It was so incredibly hard and confusing. It doesn't sound that hard. And Jason is older. And wiser now so we decided to play it. Okay. Let's do it. Oh, no. That was nervous. I'm super nervous. Okay. Are you ready? Don't go to landing his tiny little spaceship, and now he's in this what looks like a forest. It didn't go. So well, are there's a government man, coming after me? And he's like, what is he doing? He's just sort of bumping into me. Nothing happens. In the game. It's hard to figure out where you're supposed to be going. And as you try to navigate the game world, keep falling into these pits that are everywhere. All right. I'm in a pit. This is the worst part of the game, and they're random characters trying to get you who's that guy. But and you might be thinking, hey, but what Howard say about you talking smack about his game, but he agrees Ichi commits the ultimate video game sent to disoriented the user, and you have to understand the difference between frustration and disorientating right frustration and video game is essential. Write a video game must frustrate a user, but you should never disorient them. Howard says that frustration ultimately creates satisfaction. It's a huge motivator. A good game to get better faster stronger disorientation on the other hand is just. I'm in a pit I fell in another pit terrible. Back in the winter of nineteen eighty two Howard, thought everything was peachy because e t the extra terrible game was selling pretty well. But as soon as the young Jason are fans of the world, started playing it word got out and sales virtually stopped moving unsold ET games, clogging the shelves of stores. And by early nineteen Eighty-three Howard started to hear rumblings people from other parts of the company in suits, as we would would come walking by engineering sometime and people would look at main they'd go, you know, Howard you really came through for us. We don't blame you. And I'm thinking, that's nice. You talking about. I didn't know what was happening out there. What was happening out there? Millions of unsold games coming back to Atari games. They banked on selling Atari sold them to a distributor who placed them in stores. But the distributor had the full right of return. Oh, so they could return their stock to Atari. So all the ones that they didn't sell the stores gave back to the distributor, and the distributor, then returns to Tari as on sold product. Okay. And so they went belly up. Wow. Ichi was a big liability, but it's very creation, spoke to an even bigger problem. For Atari the company had made a habit of prioritizing money over quality, remember how in an attempt to get more games on the market Atari let outside companies make them. Well, a lot of those third party games were bad, too. So Atari name gets associated with some really bad games that nobody really likes that aren't selling. Well, what's more by nineteen Eighty-three programmers had reached the Atari consoles limits for memory and graphics. All the games kind of started to look the same and gamers got bored, people stopped buying consoles Atari was in big trouble. So when Atari went down nineteen eighty three in eighty four the entire video game industry tanks in the United States, but it basically wiped out. Sales of home game sets the history books, call it. The video game crash of nineteen Eighty-three American video game sales dropped by over ninety percent from nineteen eighty two to nine hundred eighty six no new game systems were introduced and hardly any new games where created at all until the late eighties. That's when Japanese companies Nintendo and Sega brought their consoles and their famous characters to the United States, but it would be nearly two decades before another American made console would return to the market in any significant way with Microsoft's XBox in two thousand one so there's no question that when you have economic downturn, you have a catastrophe a natural disaster. There's an effort to put a face on it an individual story on it, you have to have a face. Right. ET became the face of the fall video game industry because it was very identifiable, and I became the but behind that face. On September twenty six nineteen Eighty-three much like the character in the game ET fell into its own pit in Alamogordo New Mexico, not for any symbolic reason, but because dumping laws were laxed there and Atari needed a cheap way to dispose of its fourteen truckloads of unsold game. Cartridges ET the video game was steamrolled covered in cement, and largely forgotten until two thousand fourteen when those cartridges were exhumed and one of them found a home here in Washington DC at the national museum of American history. So it's kind of crunched it looks cracked like if you tried to play this, it probably wouldn't go. Well, we have not tried it for reason. Smithsonian museums specialist. Drew regard took E T out of the collections to show it to me, but it still has dust on it, it still has like, sort of like white crusty like, is that a rock or what is, is just gung? I think it's just gone. You know, this was in with tons of other stuff. You know, the parts paper instruction manual boxes on this kind of stuff dreams role doesn't usually involve collecting objects, but he's a gamer himself joked that I was born with a controller in my hand. When he heard that a film crew applied for a permit to dig up the fabled Atari gravesite. He wanted to make sure the museum secured a cartridge because Ichi the video game tells the story of something bigger than its own dirt crusted case. It's about the rise and fall of the company that pioneered video gaming in America. And although it's not very old it, hints, at the digital revolution that followed. It's a piece of American history afraid that if I didn't act now. Like, probably nobody else had realized this intimate Ginza bit. So it was like the first time I felt like I had to do something if not opportunity might have been lost. Howard Scott warshaw left Atari in nineteen Eighty-four, and eventually became a therapist, but he recognizes his role in Atari story and on that day in the desert when ET was pulled from the ground looked around. I thought this, this is so awesome because something that I did a few thousand lines of code that I had written over thirty years ago. Is still generating all this excitement in that moment. I felt a tremendous sense of satisfaction that I had really created something. That meant something to a lot of people and that meant something to me. While Atari never regained video games, the Premacy the culture it created indoors in the fans who down before their gain gods. And stand for hours in the desert to see an old piece of plastic dredged from dump a game cartridge now preserved in the Smithsonian collections once worthless now priceless. You've been listening to side door a podcast from the Smithsonian with support from PR X ET the video game isn't currently on display at the national museum of American history. But you can find photos of the cartridge, as well as a bunch of zany, fun facts. I ran into about video gaming in our newsletter. Subscribe at sl dot EDU slash side door. That's S I dot EDU slash side door cider is made possible with help from listeners like you, your generous support helps make all the amazing work. You hear about at the Smithsonian possible. Our podcast team is just an O'neil Jason or fannin Ellen. Ralph is Caitlin Schaefer, just sonic. Larry Koch, and Greg Fisk, extra support comes from John Barth, and Genevieve sponsor, our show is mixed by tar Fuda, our theme song, and other episode music are brake master cylinder, if you want to sponsor our show, please Email sponsorship at PRI x dot org. I'm your host Lizzy Peabody. Thanks for listening. Mousetrap mousetrap is another one of those games where you see the commercial. Yes, let's do an episode on mousetrap. Coming for you. Mousetrap. If you like side door, you'll definitely like our other Smithsonian podcasts, airspace takes us into the stratosphere with stories that defy gravity from the national airspace museum and portrait brings art biography and identity together through interviews with famous portrait artists, and their subjects at the national portrait gallery. Search for them by name airspace and portrait's wherever you get your podcasts. Ex-.
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"Odu suite of business apps has everything you need to run a company. Think of your smartphone with all the apps right at your fingertips odu is just like that for business but instead of an app to order takeout. Or tell you the weather you have sales inventory accounting and more you name the department odu has it covered and they are all connected. Join these six million odu users who stopped wasting time and started getting stuff done go to odu dot com slash invisible to start a free trial that's odio dot com slash invisible. Nine percent visible is brought to you by progressive one of the country's leading providers of auto insurance with progressive. his name. your price tool you can say what kind of coverage you're looking for and how much you wanna pay. Progressive will help you find options that fit within your budget. Use the name your price tool and started online quote today at progressive dot com price and coverage match limited by state law. Low beautiful nerds. I have a big announcement after ten years of being an independent production with our tenth year. Probably being our biggest ever putting out three special projects office and a bestselling book. I've decided to sell the show to sirius. Xm specifically to stitcher which is their podcast company. The same ninety nine crew are going to make the show. I'm still going to host at. We're our own editorial unit. Still be available anywhere to everyone. If you're subscribe now you will stay subscribed it's the same show. Someone else just collects the ad money and guides the business stuff. You'll never notice the sound of anything different. Except i get to be involved more. So much of my job has become running. A business. And not making a podcast. I desperately needed that to change stitcher as my new partner because i already knew trusted and respected everyone there. The ball got rolling. When i called colin anderson. He's the vp of comedy. At your wolf part of stitcher. I literally signed his paperwork a decade ago for him to work in this country. He was on furlough from the company. Production group at bbc radio and i worked for him to work at w in san francisco and then he hooked me up with. Nellie moylan that'd be business development. And she and i hit it off right away because she also happens to be the sister of john welham who wrote and performed the amazing song story collaboration wild ones and jeannie chance which are like our best episodes ever so talking to her was talking to a cousin and the person who will be. My boss is peter clowney. He's the head of original content stitcher and he was my editor fifteen years ago. We worked on pilots for public radio. And it's to say that. Peter had been my editor then ninety nine percent invisible. Wouldn't exist today. Then i met a bunch of the serious folks and a lot of them had never heard of the show. Before but by the end of our negotiations they had heartfelt and insightful comments about episodes deep in the back catalogue that i barely remembered. I like these folks and you'd like them to but you'll never notice them. They just give me comfort. So what's going to happen with radio. Topa i am so proud of the things that. Px's yo carry hoffman executive producer. Julie shapiro network director audrey markevic and fundraiser gina. James and all the rest of the behind the scenes crew built with radio topa. It became more successful than i ever imagined. When we dreamed it up in a cabin in rural massachusetts several years ago. I raise money and work side by side with amazing podcasters retaining ownership and control over their own work where you topa is a groundbreaking work and nonprofit collective. It has never been a company on purpose and as such even though i was the co founder. I never owned any part of it. I think that was so weird people that no one really understood it. I still believe in the ongoing mission radio. Pierre and the amazing work appear acts in the forefront of public radio. And i hope you continue to support them is certainly do. I'm personally donating a million dollars to r. x. Radio tovia so they keep going strong whatever cliche. You have in mind about what happens in an acquisition when shows moved to other networks. This isn't like that. A bunch of people from the pr ex-interior teams were together with good intentions to transform a show that needed to evolve for the sake of its creator. And i'm grateful for that. And i'm grateful to you for listening. I am presented. What will keep on and grow in the team will have even more opportunities to make more stuff. Spinoffs with the full support of stitcher and sirius. Exam i'm really excited to collaborate in ways i never imagined so thank you for gains here and thanks for listening. We were all extremely busy. The past couple of weeks so right now. I'm going to play for you. A repeat which by delaney all but nothing should be read into that. I'm still the host. This one just happened to be one of my favorite episodes. Probably because it was hosted by tony hall go. This is ninety nine percent invisible. I'm delaney hall filling in for roman mars nineteen ninety-seven. A curator named kathryn ought was learning her way around the smithsonian national museum of american history. She was new to the job. She specialized in medical science and there was this one storage room in the building where she worked. It's like that classic what you'd think of as a dark dusty sort of scary mildly mysterious storage room in a museum. There were drug jars was parts of mannequin bodies laying around. But the weirdest thing was there. Was this wheelchair that had go kart wheels. It was completely customized. Had a ricardo that was used in porsche cars but i kept tripping over it and finally i'm like what the heck is this thing so catherine ought started asking around. Where did this wheelchair came from. Why is it in storage. And no one at the castle which is what the staff calls the main smithsonian building could really tell her nobody completely understood who had owned it. It had been left at the door of the castle with a note pinned to like an orphan in a basket in the note said this was a chair that belonged to ed. Roberts we think it should be at the smithsonian ed roberts. I didn't recognize the name not yet. If you live in an american city and you don't personally use a wheelchair. You probably don't pay much attention to the small slope at most intersections between the sidewalk and the street. It's just a ramp a cut in the curb. They're all over the country. Now just about any place you find sidewalks. That's reporter cynthia. Gorny but sixty years ago. When ed roberts. The owner that wheelchair was young. The sidewalks at most urban intersections ended with a sharp off. That's enough to stop a person in a wheelchair from reaching the next block without help and the story of how the first widespread early curb cuts came to be. it starts with a movement. The demanded society see disabled people in a new way and roberts was central that movement and so were the hundreds of people who helped drag his wheelchair up. Constitution avenue. Right in the middle of washington. Dc so it could end up at the smithsonian. They insisted it was a piece of american history. Ed roberts grew up in burlingame near san francisco. He was the oldest of four boys and he loved to play baseball but one day when he was fourteen years old. He got really sick with a fever within a few days he was in the hospital. That zona roberts ed's mom she's ninety eight now and within two days of that he was in rush to an iron lung because he couldn't breathe anymore on his own had polio it had damaged his respiratory muscles so much that he needed the iron lung to stay alive. Iron lungs aren't made anymore but back in the day they were these full-body respirators that encased polio survivors in metal up to the neck and pulled air in and out of their lungs and polio wrecked a lot more than his breathing. It left them. Paralysed below the neck. He could move two fingers on his left hand and that was it is paralysis was permanent. The doctor who told ed's parents their son had survived high. Fever did not present this as good news. He said well. How would you feel if you had to live in an iron lung the rest of your life. I don't imagine you've ever been in one. I've been in one and it's not a very good way to live in order to escape the iron lung once in a while. Ed taught himself on his own technique called frog breathing. That's a deep sea divers trick where you go pox and into your lungs. The way of frog does for polio survivors. Whose weakened breathing muscles weren't strong enough to inhale that needed oxygen frog reading met. A person could get out of the iron lung for short stretches of time. You swallow air like that. You swallow it and then you can breathe. And they kept telling him to stop at. That was not good for his body and of course he kept doing it because kept him alive and was determined to stay alive on his own terms here. He is in a sixty minutes interview from one thousand nine hundred nine. Very few people even with severe disabilities who can't take control their probable. Is it people around us. Don't expect to about your if you have you taken care of you all your decisions. What is life. Ed was tenacious but everything was hard. He needed the iron lung while he was asleep. But the frog breathing. Let him leave it for a while during the day so he stayed in school going to campus once a week. When ed did leave the house his family ran the maneuvers. They were helping them navigate a world that wasn't built for a person in a wheelchair ed's brothers or his dad would help lift him into his chair. Drag the chair out of the house and then lift the chair over curbs and up and down stairs or zona were alone. She would wrangle strangers. Get somebody help me get the chair up the stairs so it would be In the back somebody on the frame and get it up or sometimes it would just be me. Ed graduated from high school then from a local community college but when he wanted to go on to berkeley nineteen sixty to the university at. I said no he was just too disabled. And where could he safely live the iron lung which he still used. Every night wouldn't fit in a dorm room until finally somebody suggested housing him at the campus hospital. A patient's room remade into a living space for ed and all his equipment roberts fide to type one september fifteen in a series of oral history. Much later ed remembered what it was like to start as a berkeley undergrad. Remember you're the day you look what it was what. It was like a combination of flight scarier. An attendant would wheel add to each class and then edward recruit a classmate to help him take notes announced the beginning class usually good-looking he'd give the woman a piece of carbon paper. She would take notes during the lecture. And then she'd give the carbon copy back to ed at the end of course people and get the so there were there were always get. It ended so much studying and reading that the mouth want he used to turn the page. Books started pushing his teeth out of shape so campus officials saw. This experiment was working. Newspapers wrote stories about his mom still likes to make fun of the headlines. Helpless cripple goes to college When we all loved And then a second quadriplegic student moved into ed's makeshift hospital dorm. A young man who'd been paralyzed in a diving accident and was initially told he should just get used to. Life is a shut in then. A few more arrived both to live in the hospital and to find lodgings off campus. the word started to spread. Something unusual was going on at berkeley. These students had profound and visible disabilities. The state paid special attendance. Heft their wheelchairs up staircases an intellectual halls. You couldn't miss the new presence on campus. And don't forget. This was the nineteen sixties. Ed went to berkeley at the same year. That james meredith black man went to university of mississippi integrated it. That's historian steve brown. He has a genetic syndrome that among other things makes his bones break easily so he's a sometimes wheelchair user and a co founder of the institute on disability culture so the sixties were a time of lots of protests in lots of reform in lots of change. And you know there's this very technical historical term it was in the air and it was in the air. It was in the air for disabled people to that improvised dorm and the campus hospital. Those rooms turned into the headquarters for an exuberant and irreverent group of organizers. Like ed and hale zukas on assertive guy with cerebral palsy. Who communicated with a word board and a pointer strapped to his head they call themselves the rolling quads and like a few other coalitions of disabled young people around the country. They started using a new kind of language to talk about their needs and rights. The radical idea that people with disabilities had civil rights the right to education jobs to respect to real inclusion in public life this fit right into the revolutionary spirit of the nineteen sixties and early seventies and the berkeley disabled students had a berkeley reputation. At that time it was an explosive place. That's judy human. Who had polio. As a kid back in the nineteen forties in his used wheelchair since then she was a young new york. Disability rights agitator when she moved to berkeley for graduate. School was our responsibility to break down the doors and we had a lot of fun because it was much easier to organize a demonstration in berkeley than in manhattan. You know so. We could get thirty to fifty wheelchair riders to come to city hall. There's a pretty large number notice. She said wheelchair riders with a d. Like bicycle riders. It doesn't really have the same feel as wheelchair bound right and disabled people from other parts of the country. We're coming to berkeley to go to school. To work to be a part of a disability vibrant community thought it was instantly attracted to them and what they were doing. Debbie kaplan broke her neck and a diving accident just after college when she decided to study law. Berkeley admitted her. And ed and the rolling quads said right away come work with us. I mean to people in the disability community we hung on to each other because we all had this idea about who we were and nobody else around us. Did you know. I mean everybody else was stuck in the standard way of thinking about disability back then Charity and public welfare and disability means. You can't do anything meaning you know. Jerry lewis telethon in order willing to with show for you now twenty hours coast to coast. You know that okay now. Let's see if we can get the people out there. I love you to jerry. Lewis telethon was the late comedians annual marathon fundraiser for muscular dystrophy. He mugged for the camera and brought in celebrity singers and spent a lot of time. Smiling down at cute well-dressed children in wheelchairs. The rising generation of disability rights activists hated it. Well we just would cringe every memorial day weekend knowing that all these people were watching jerry. Lewis squeezing money out of people by a dramatically playing up the most horrid stereotypes about disability that having a disability is a fate worse than death that we should be pitied that if we do anything we are brave and yet really not real people. I knew that the the only other time. I saw disabled people on tv. We're doing those telethon. This is lawrence carter long. He's communications director for the disability rights and education defence fund when lawrence was five he was a literal poster child for the united fund charity because he was born with cerebral palsy and he was cute. I was on the side of buses. I was in fundraising appeals. And everybody would go on. I think opened up the checkbooks. It wasn't until. I got a little bit older when i was in college and i thought wait a minute. What's the subtext of that. In the subtext was well. You don't want to end up like this poor kid do you. Then give us some money as an adult lawrence would go on to study the way. Disabled people were portrayed in the movies and on television and generally in the public consciousness. What became very clear as there were certain narratives that told often you know that disability was something that we were to be afraid of that disabled people were objects of pity and i remember one thousand nine hundred ninety two. There was a controversy around the jerry. Lewis telethon where jerry. Lewis said the man upstairs goofed. I think the man upstairs goofed. He made a mistake. And i think he put people like myself. And all these lovely people at the celebrity here to repair. That goof rang that bell when my mind in terms of is that what people think of me. That i'm one of god's mistakes back at berkeley. The rolling quads. And ed roberts in particular or one big antidote to the jerry lewis telethon. Ed flirted with women. He got arrested in college for pin outside a bar. He told dark jokes about quadriplegia. Like when a doctor told him he was gonna be a vegetable and ed replied fine. I'll be an artichoke. Tough and prickly on the outside with a tender heart. Attesting counselor was pronounced ed to be very aggressive. Ed like recounting his response. Well if you were paralyzed from the neck down. Don't you think aggressiveness would be an asset. The nature of access of being included meant that you had to in some ways. Force yourself upon the world and say we're here. Hey hey because the tendency. The programming for the rest of the country even in berkeley at i was to say. We don't want to see that you're going to make those people uncomfortable. But by the time. Ed roberts was in graduate school at berkeley. The disabled students were noticeably unmistakably part of the community even more so because some were zipping around in power chairs which had been invented to help wounded veterans and we're starting to be more available to the general public edgar really interested in power chairs when he i watched another quadriplegic try one out and now he had one of these new portable ventilators attached to his wheelchair so even though he still used the iron lung at night he could stay away from it for a lot longer and there was a girl. Love like vinnie people to do that as well had It became ridiculously inconvenient To have attended pushing me around in my wheelchair with a girlfriend. It was an extra person that i need to be intimate for the power chair. A person like ed wood still need an attendant for some things not for locomotion though not to go on a date. I learned how to drive a power wheelchair in one day. I was so bought. Debate the chaged ways by perception of disability myself she jumped on my lap and we wrote off into the sunset our closest bartell but think about this for more than a decade. You've been able to get around because somebody's behind you pushing your chair. And now you're under your own power you get to weave that wheelchair attendant behind but you still have to contend with curbs if you're trying to get across the street and there are no curb cuts six inches as will be mount everest. Six inches makes all the difference in the world. If you can't get over that curb. These guys could only role independently once they could get over the curb. Drop-offs on the way and yeah. They could go hunt for a driveway. But that's dangerous for somebody in a wheelchair. Driveway sends you right out into traffic. The whole point of a marked intersection is that it shows you. This is where it's safe to cross departure writers actually all the wheelchair writers needed what we now call. Curb cuts those slopes at the corners. That make it easy to roll between sidewalk and street. And here's where it would be great to be able to tell you about the inventor of the curb cuts. The clever person who i thought of cutting little ramps so people could roll into intersections instead of having to step off curbs but nobody knows who that was. All we know is that they were not a standard feature yet and most intersections. Not in berkeley. Not anywhere back. In the nineteen forties and fifties. There were a few communities across the country where people had tried to make parts of the built environment more accessible for example there was a coach in illinois working with disabled soldiers who badgered reluctant officials at the university of illinois. Like shame. shaimaa. You these men and women were injured fighting for us until finally the school set up a rehab education program on. Its most important campus with wheelchair. Sports and would ramps into buildings. But by the late nineteen sixties seventies. This new wave of young disabled activists like the rolling quads. They weren't going to wait. Around for the occasional enlightened college coach. They demanded they were insistent. They didn't wait for permission. You still hear these stories about the rolling quads going out on commando raids at midnight guys in wheelchairs with their attendance using sledgehammers or jackhammers to bust up curbs build their own ramps and force the city into action but the story that there were midnight. Commandos is a little bit exaggerated actually exaggerated. He said. that's eric dinner. In the early nineteen seventies. He was a disabled student attendant at berkeley sort of a rolling quads fellow traveler. And yeah he says maybe a few of them got impatient. Maybe they did go. Pour a few ramps themselves We got a bag or two of concrete and mixed it up and took it to the corners that would most ease the route. So that occurred. On i'd say less than half a dozen corners. Did any of these runs occur at midnight. Yes they were all done. In under the cloak of darkness it may have been against the law right and so you can call them commando raids to whatever those commando raids never happened on a grand scale instead. Most of the progress made by the ruling. Quads was a little more bureaucratic a little more. How real change often gets made one day in one thousand nine hundred eighty one. The rolling quads. Show up at the berkeley city council in a posse. Ed roberts who by now is a polycyclic grad student hale. Zukas guy with a pointer in the word board learned russian and his finishing a math degree and all their friends disabled. And not. when you picture this. Remember that berkeley's council chambers are not very big we've really We're kind of stunned to see a whole lot of people in wheelchairs wheeling into the council meeting and saying that they wanted to have curb cuts on every street corner in berkeley because they needed to get around and they want to be able to get around by themselves. That's funny hancock. Who was a berkeley city council member. And then the city's mayor before joining the california state legislature. We were on a stage us. I remember so we were elevated and the people in wheelchairs were down below us looking up at us and just looking into their faces and realizing the effort that it took for them to be there and that they were requesting something that had never been done to our knowledge. Anywhere on earth wasn't overwhelming sensation but realizing that it's something that we could do and should do and would do and so they did. The world's first widespread curb cuts city council minutes. September twenty eighth nineteen seventy-one declaring it to be the policy of the city that streets and sidewalks designed and constructed to facilitate circulation by handicapped persons within major commercial areas that curb cuts be made immediately at fifteen specified corners throughout the city the motion carried unanimously by the mid nineteen seventies. The disability rights movement was growing and spreading groups with rolling quad sort of attitude or multiplying around the country and even world and one adjective was pretty much key to the new movement over the next two decades independent and for everybody in this crusade. The physical fixes list was ambitious. Things that had to change in the built environment to make real independence possible not just curb. Cuts wheelchair lifts on buses ramps alongside staircases elevators with reachable buttons and public buildings and accessible bathrooms service counters. Low enough to let a person in a wheelchair be attended to face to face respectfully not pure down that from way on high so they got to work. They're tired they're grubby. They're uncomfortable but their spirits are soaring. The senate san francisco's hew. Headquarters now is in. Its third day. And one hundred and twenty-five disabled and handicapped are pledging. They'll continue the sit in through tomorrow night if not longer nineteen seventy seven disability rights. Protesters hit federal office buildings in eleven cities at once. They were pushing the government to act on long-neglected rules protecting the disabled and all facilities taking federal money. The san francisco protests turned into a month. Long sit in with steady news coverage of people in wheelchairs taking care of each other and refusing to leave a wheelchairs shows. No signs of calling the decision worked and these images of the grownup disability demonstrator uninterested in. Pity kept accumulating nine thousand nine hundred eighty disabled people in denver staged protests demanding curb cuts. They've already blocked traffic until city. Transit officials promised to put in wheelchair lifts on all the buses now a couple of guys in their own. Wheelchairs lean over for the photographers to whack down at concrete curbs holding sledgehammers nineteen eighty-eight trustees galata at the national university for the deaf tried to appoint a president who like every other so far is not deaf. Angry students boycott classes and shut down the campus until their candidate becomes the colleges. I deaf president and in nineteen ninety. When the sweeping americans with disabilities act gets hung up in the house of representatives disabled demonstrators in front of the capitol building leave their wheelchairs and crawl up the marble steps to make sure that bill gets through wherever you turned on the television. That was the image that you saw that. Millions of americans saw were disabled people crawling up the stairs of the united states capitol not asking not begging to mandate demanding to be a part of society. Holy going where everyone else. Head gone before the. Ada wasn't the first federal legislation designed to remove barriers for disabled people. But it's reach was unprecedented it mandated access and accommodation for the disabled in all places open to the public businesses lodgings transportation employment and it had qualifiers to be sure the ada required only. What was quote unquote reasonable for employers and builders and so on and there was a lot of argument about that word reasonable but at the bill signing ceremony in nineteen ninety president george h w bush spoke with emotion about the recent fall of the berlin wall which had divided communist east germany from the west. Note the tool he mentions and now i signed legislation which takes a sledgehammer to another wall. One which has has for too. Many generations separated americans with disabilities from the freedom. They could glimpse but not grass and once again we rejoice is this barrier falls proclaiming together. We will not accept. We will not excuse. We will not tolerate discrimination. In america ed roberts the guy uc berkeley officials once thought was too crippled for their university finished. His masters degree taught on campus and co founded the center for independent living disability service organization. That became a model for hundreds of others around the world. He also married father to son. Divorced one macarthur genius grant and for nearly a decade ran the whole california state department of rehabilitation services. He was fifty six on international name in independence for the disabled when a heart attack killed him. I was done d-. Julius sane runs disability rights and resources in charlotte north carolina. It's one of those programs based on the center for independent living model and nineteen thousand nine hundred five. Julia was at the annual march and meeting of the national council for independent living in washington dc. Ed had died a few weeks earlier and a special memorial for him was now on the schedule. We were going to be marching down the main streets to the capital. They were going to put ed's Wheelchair be at the front of the march. The marchers followed the empty wheelchair which was being dragged along by ed's attendant until they reached the senate office building and then once inside speakers got up to honor ed's life and legacy and senator tom harkin from iowa gave the eulogy and he said you know when martin luther king junior pass they built statues to him in honor of him. But ed roberts harkin said there was a better way to honor this warrior for another kind of civil rights. They're gonna tear down barriers in his name. And every curb. Cut is a memorial to ed roberts and sometime later after the marchers gone home or back to their hotels ed roberts attendant pushed the wheelchair the rest of the way and left it on the front steps of the smithsonian cheers beautiful to me. That's catherine ought the curator at the smithsonian national museum of american history. She's the one who found as wheelchair in the storage room. His chair now remains on. Permanent display on the smithsonian's website. It's all banged dinged and the imprint of him. There's a big battery cage in the back. It's all customized. He has a bumper sticker with the statue of liberty on with in big letters. Yes exclamation point but having ed's wheelchair at the smithsonian does not mean everything is now okay as anybody in the disability community will tell you every broken bus wheelchair. Lift every temporarily out of functions subway elevator. Every uber driver who won't take a wheelchair every open manhole cover or car blocking the sidewalk. Most of the new york city subway system which city leaders years ago decided was just too complicated to make fully accessible. The built environment is still littered with barriers. Curb cuts are common now. But they're not at every intersection in berkeley. And when it comes to attitudes and prejudice and assumptions about what people with disabilities can do an achieve and enjoy. We've not yet accomplished full inclusion. We have managed to make it easier by and large for people to get into the building. But have we done the work. That's going to make it easier for them to get the education for him to not only have a job but have a career. Those things don't yet exist for many people even in for. But here's what hits you when you go into lawrence's office. It's in a building called the ed roberts. Campus and there are actually about a dozen other disability rights organizations in that building to the place sprawls over an entire block in berkeley and every single thing about it is designed for everybody to use inside like a great. Celebratory piece of art is huge. Orange spiraling ramp. It's two stories high. It's one of the ways to move between the first and second floors and all around the ramp. The curved walls are lined with giant photos of demonstrations over the years. So if you're listening to this wal walking and you happen to reach an intersection. That's got a curb cut. Maybe a bumpy one that lets blind people feel by kane where the sidewalk ends and the street begins. You might hold up for just a second. The most important thing. I think people can realize is that by noting stopping positive paying attention the next time you walk down the street next time you try to cross the street. Say thank you if you will. Curb cuts haven't just been helpful for wheelchair riders but also for people pushing strollers and shopping carts for elderly people who use walkers for bicyclists and this phenomenon has come to be known as the curb cut effect. Roman mars will be back to talk with reporters. Cynthia gorny about it right after this. You've always thought about starting a website or you have one. It really isn't giving you what you need. Now is the time to move to squarespace. Scores ways gives millions of people the tools they need to bring their creative ideas to life. I'm talking about artists. Selling the work nonprofits raising funds and of course podcasters sharing their audio. What may squarespace work for me. And all those other people is how it combines. Great design with world class engineering. But you don't have to be a world class engineer to use it. 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What is the curb cut affect the term gets used to describe a fix that has made to help a particular disadvantaged group of people in this case for example putting ramps into sidewalk so that people who role because they have to can get across the street seventy at an intersection but it's got much wider applications because it turns out that there are a lot of these fixes you do that end up having helpful ramifications for a huge group of people the g. i. bill for example after world war two designed specifically to help veterans ends up helping an enormous wide ranging population in the united states the homebuilding industry entire suburban communities and cetera. And so. who's the first person to apply the curb cut metaphor to this idea. Nobody knows who came up with the term. The curb cut effect. At least let me rephrase that. I don't know came up with the term somebody out there surely knows i was not able to find out The idea however has been around for quite some time and the most interesting example of Recent times that i learned about came from steve brown the disability historian we heard from earlier. Steve told me that at one point recently while he was doing a radio program about his work and disability history. He got a phone call from his own parents. Who said well steve. That was all very interesting. You were good on the show but Don't you remember that back in kalamazoo michigan where you grew up by the way we had some curb cuts. And steve said what. And it turned out that in the nineteen forties in kalamazoo. A disabled or injured veteran had gotten so fed up watching other disabled vets. Struggling up and down the curbs in kalamazoo kalamazoo turns out apparently at least at that time to have extremely high. Unusually high kerbs because of river flooding and this guy talked the city officials into just in a very few corners downtown. Cutting ramps into the curbs. They did it. People start using it and they got so interested in what was happening that they decided to study at somewhat formerly and see what effect they having. And so steve told me. The officials commissioned a report so it said that the curb ramps not only helped people in wheelchairs and people use crutches but women and it did take women pushing strollers and deliveryman with their deliveries and bicyclists and then it kind of ended with something like it was creating freedom of movement for everybody and it turns out. There are lots of examples of this that were devised for people who had certain vintages really benefit all of us. Okay year in a really noisy bar watching the basketball game. You're following it With the captions your experiencing the curb cut effect. You're trying to get into a building. Your hands are full of packages. You use the special electronic button or the button that you can just hit with your hip. You've just used a thing that was made for somebody who can't push door or in the earlier example. Somebody who can't here. We run into examples like this all the time without being aware of it and in fact when i started working on this story whenever i would say to people curb cuts they would generally specially if they were under the age of about sixty and had not been around berkeley. When the stuff. I'm talking about what's happening. They would say. Oh you mean those things that are in the sidewalk so you can put your bag or your stroller more easily. You can get those off the kurds. They thought it was meant for them. That's correct that's right. That's what was the strangest most unexpected curb that you found in your research so the football huddle turns out to have been invented at gallon at university national university of the death for students who couldn't hear because gala dead in the late eighteen hundreds early nineteen hundreds for had a football team and They had figure out a way to communicate with each other so they got in a huddle in we're signing to each other and therefore became the huddle so it's true like it up so i looked up it is true they were signing because they were playing other deaf teams and they got into a huddle because they didn't want the other teams to be able to read their signs so now every team in the nfl uses the football huddle bet make. Su wouldn't have thought of that because across a field. You could talk openly for if you had hearing teams in. They couldn't hear you fine. Exactly that's amazing so this is connected to a bigger idea that i think a lot of designers and may be a lot of other people know called universal design. So how how is this all connected. Well the person who is generally cited as the father of universal design. Although it's not clear that he actually invented that term He's deceased now. Was an architect named ron mace out of north carolina. He himself was a wheelchair user and he did a lot of very influential writing The general message being look we shouldn't be thinking about just people in wheelchairs. Just people who can't see or hear when we designed we should be thinking about designs that work for everybody regardless of their mobility their ability to see their ability to hear their age. And there's among architects who are advocates of universal design. There's a set of seven principles which are to elaborate to enumerate straightforward there. Like things should be simple. They should be easy to use. They should be widely accessible. They should use the best available materials and so the curb cut has turned out to be a classic example of universal design. Because anybody who rolls uses it. Mostly i think that people think of universal design in the physical space with like nice gripped handles for people who maybe are arthritic and curb cuts and things but the next frontier. Universal design is in the virtual space because the internet is the place where all of us are living for more and more of our lives more time. How is universal design being applied to the virtual worlds aside from the football huddle start being started for the deaf. My second favorite phrase in all of this reporting was electric curb cuts which is the term that people who work in information technology are now using to talk about ways to make that technology accessible available to people who can't see can't hear can't use a mouse in the old days can't type on a keyboard and Debbie kaplan the person who had originally been involved in the center for independent living. That we met earlier in the program does this. This is her specialty. Now she works on accessibility of technology. Information technology i e electronic curb cuts those of us who fought for accessibility of the built environment. When we realized that the electronic environment was getting built all around and and becoming more and more apart of of daily life We realized that we needed to get involved quickly. And how did they get involved. I think that some of the earliest problems that they wanted to address were. How do you make computer information available to people who cannot see cannot here who can't use a keyboard so a lot of the work that they produced ends up being a factor in our daily lives. Syrian alexa can recognize your voice because of technology that was originally designed for people who need to be able to address a computer in that way. There is a program that let the record show. I will never use that allows Your email to be read back to you while you're driving your car right That again comes from the kind of technology that was developed by people working on electronic curb cuts what was originally thought of as something just for people in wheelchairs and being just taken for granted by everybody and used in ways that weren't even originally anticipated For the benefit of of many many more people than originally thought of and that's true for the things that we do to make the electronic environment accessible also soon now that universal design the curb cut effect is a pretty widely-held uncontroversial opinion of how design should be done. Well where are we in the state of design in the bill world or the electronic world. Well i would sort of sum that up in my own experience of about this by describing a little bit about my time with debbie kaplan at the time that we were meeting with each other Debbie live just outside washington. Dc and spending an hour with debbie kaplan is like a crash course in the advances and ongoing challenges of disability fixes at least in the united states and we are more advanced than most societies in this regard. So debbie's an attorney. She's actually an old friend My husband and i have known for many years. She has a very interesting job working on electronic curb cuts information design. She lives in a community that has been designed with universal design principles accessible to everybody. She has a handy power wheelchair that gets her everywhere she needs to go. We were there in the winter. So you go down in nice accessible elevator with debbie and you go out in the street and it's tough. There are curb cuts in silver spring. But there's also snow on the sidewalk. There's people who lift their bicycles on the sidewalk. Now here where we are in the bay area there's people leaving these news scooters all over the place every time. I see a scooter. Now i think people in wheelchairs right. There was snow. And i said i turn to debbie at one point and said we'll do they make an extra effort to come in clear the snow for people who are in wheelchairs who can't just dart around at the way somebody on foot can't and she looked at me and just burst out laughing and said are you joking so we've come a very long way and i think anybody who is presently or about to be he grappling with disability will understand how long away we still have to go and it's not just about universal design principles in the making of things we to incorporate that in just our behavior in our sense of courtesy towards one another precisely precisely. Thank you so much. Thank you ninety. Nine percent invisible was produced. This week by cynthia. Gorny edited and guest hosted by our executive producer delaney hall back in two thousand eighteen mix and tech production was by seref. Yousef music by sean. Real kurkova is the digital director. There was a team includes christopher johnson. Marsh madan vivian. Lay joe rosenberg. Katie mingle and fitz gerald crisper ruby. So via klotz car and me roman mars. We are now part of the stitcher and sirius. Xm podcast family now. Headquartered six blocks north in beautiful uptown. Oakland california you can find the show and join discussions about the show on facebook. You can tweet at me at ruin marson the show at nine b. I org or on instagram and ready to you can find other shows. I love from stitcher on our website. Nine p i dot org including the sport. Full from dan passionate. I've known dan for years and years and he was the first person to say. Hi to me on the company slack. So you should listen to this if you wanna listen to any of the older nine episodes or read any of the articles. They're all there. And i p i dot org. The new company didn't give me one of those official audio logos yet so but the blue stitcher. Sirius xm coal.
Tue. 02/23 - The History (and Erasure) of Black Brewers
"Welcome to the ride home for tuesday february twenty third twenty twenty one. I'm jackson bird. Beer culture is overwhelmingly weitz but its history and its presence is not a historical look at the erasure of black brewers the impact of pandemic boredom on the economy and a new app. That will put david attenborough in your living room to teach you about the prehistoric world. Here are some of the cool things from the news today whether you think about craft beers home brewing iconic budweiser super bowl commercials or even frat parties. The image you probably conjure up is of white men some more bearded or fashionably dressed than the others but generally pretty homogeneous never fall. There's more and more jokes about as just being white moons. Pumpkin spice latte as the quick shorthand for white women's punitive lack of taste but despite the overarching image of whiteness. When it comes to beer there is a vast history of black brewing culture. Which like so many things has been largely erased from the history books and cultural consciousness. James bennett the second dove into this for a recent peace in eater. He acknowledges the huge influences of german and irish culture in america but points out. That's not the only source when it comes to beer quoting eater. The ancestors of african americans. They were fermenters. They were really good at making their own liquor and making their own beers and also making wine from fruit says the culinary historian and writer. Michael w twitty one of our african 'isms in fact was producing all of these things and one of the reasons why we did. That was because it was related to our traditional spirituality libation twitty. Ads is the heart of african spiritual worship. He recounts seeing this firsthand on a trip to takhar village in cameroon. They pull out a big ceramic vessel full of their traditional beer. He says and even though a lot of takhar our muslim this is one of the traditional religious practices that they keep alongside islam. What beer-drinking may be nonexistent on friday. Would he notes. You better believe that at social functions to honor youth. Celebrate a marriage or the deceased in the ground. Alcohol is poured out and passed among the elders and quotes alcohol and in many cases. Beer was and is important. Spiritually and culturally to many different communities in africa throughout the ages as european colonizers began enslaving people and forcing them to work on their stolen land. The knowledge and skill sets of many enslaved black people surrounding bruin were exploited quoting again. The prevailing image of enslaved black person is that of someone laboring in the fields were being ordered around the big house but american slavery built in sustained a pretty much every aspect of this american life and that included beer again the west african societies. From which so many bodies were stolen. Were no stranger to the mechanisms of fermentation. We know that. Enslaved africans and african caribbeans were brewing beer or were cultivating hops or other grains. That would have been used in the brewing process. Says theresa mccullough of the smithsonian's national museum of american history. Black brewing skill was no secret. She adds advertisements for enslaved. People who were skilled. Brewers -absolutely wanted posters that identified fugitives as skilled brewers or otherwise involved in the brewing industry. As american as apple pie. Peter hemmings enslaved at monticello was a master brewer and quote but even if their expertise was being used to produce beer many black individuals who were free at the time. Weren't drinking much of it. Part of it was because temperance. Got rolled into the abolitionist movements. Most abolitionists were anti alcohol. Seen it as a toxic influence and a tool of the oppressor now. That's not to say that all temperance advocates were abolitionists. Far from it but most abolitionist were teetotalers. But there is also a practical angle. Bennett explains black. People were wary of being taken advantage of by white people while drunk and also simply didn't have the money or time for drinking while they were figuring out more important matters like getting an education job and securing semblance of safety in a dangerous climate then in the second half of the nineteenth century beer and cider went from being a smaller mostly at home type of operation to a profitable business largely. Thanks to the influence of german immigrants in america and of course now that it was profitable. Black brewers were shut out and being that beer was now more something to be purchased at an establishment like a saloon versus consumed at home. Black people were also often refused service. Then prohibition hits and when it was repealed with many federal regulations in place breweries were fearful of being shut down so they leaned hard into patriotic. Branding the kind of whitewashed stars and stripes apple pie type of america that is definitively white as been it says. Advertising has more to do with what we buy than most of us care to admit and by his accounts that adds up with the consumer trends that we saw throughout the second half of the twentieth century as white flight brought middle and upper middle class white people to the suburbs where they could host parties at home and had a bit of bigger budget a lot of them swapped beer for cocktails and thinking that they could get them back with a beer that had as high as cocktails beer. Companies tried to sell the white suburbanites on malt liquor but the attempt flopped most likely minutes opposes. Because it's something of an acquired taste so then a pivot happened quoting again. How did malt liquor go from garden. Party aspirated two boys in the hood levels of despair. The exact y. Is a matter of law but jane. Nicole jackson beckham diversity ambassador for the brewers association has a pretty good idea. The story i've been able to get is that there was some kind of persistent market research saying that. Urban audiences make more purchasing decisions based on. Abc and that urban audiences tend to buy for volume. She says the decision was made to market malt liquor not as an upscale product but a specifically urban products and to put it in a large vessel boom the forty and quotes malt liquor proliferated for years in ads media and celebrity brand deals targeted at black americans. Major beer companies hardly advertised their other products to black communities at all but malt liquor. They went all in on. And because of the complicated associations eventually had in black communities some turned to finer premium spirits but beers writ large still remained low on the list of picks more about today while acknowledging that. There's no one black experience bennett points to the relatively common tradition of cookouts in black communities. And how you may bring beer. But it better be a macro brew like heineken or corona. Not some craft beer because that would mess with the social contract and sacred rules of the cookout as been it puts it for him and many others. He spoken with and other alcoholic drinks a regular presence in their parents homes growing up but they were brought out for special occasions. Hearkening back a bit to the use of beer is a spiritual rate in some african cultures. And these days there are a ton of black brewers getting in on the craft brew game from fresh fest. America's first beer festival focused on brewers of african descent to the harlem brewing company. Run by celeste beatty. The first black woman in the country to own her own brewery and thanks to the work of many of those brewers. The field is continuing to more diverse. Christopher ganzi the owner of deal view biscuits and beer who makes bruise named after black heroes and prince biographies of them. On the labels has started an internship program to train people of color as brewers and get them jobs in the industry and history is important to a lot of these brewers learning the history that hasn't been told and tapping into the influences of their ancestors. Sankoh for beer company in dc for example incorporates west african fermentation processes styles in ingredients into their brews and for those of us who aren't black. I think it's good to learn these two little told histories to question. Why something whether it's beer or anything else is predominantly associated just with white people. What are the influences in the past that led to that and how does or should it change our relationship to it now. Questions too big for this little podcast but just some food or i suppose a drink for thought. Today's sponsor is a podcast. I think all of you listening would enjoy. It's called the jordan Show in a wide reaching show. In which host jordan harbinger sits down with the different fascinating guests. Each episode named by apple is one of the best podcasts of two thousand eighteen jordan. Harbinger show is aimed at making you. A better informed more critical thinker. Each episode is a conversation with a different fascinating guests and turns their wisdom into practical advice. That you can apply to your life. I recommend listeners of our show checkout jordan's conversations with bill nye about approaching the world with radical curiosity and with rene directa about tech platforms role in spreading disinformation conspiracy theories and more that is just scratching the surface though. There really is something for everyone. The jordan harbinger show has collected so many different stories and viewpoints. That you'll be spoiled for choices. I really enjoyed the show. And i think you will as well. There's just so much here. So search for the jordan harbinger show. That's h. a. r. b. as in boy i n. As in nancy g. e. r. On apple podcasts. Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts or go to jordan harbinger dot com slash. Subscribe if you've been trying to fit more learning into your schedule. Look no further than today's sponsor audible not just for audiobooks. Audible is the leading provider of spoken word. Entertainment that includes podcasts guided fitness and meditations audible originals and more across their thousands of titles. You'll find topics ranging from bestsellers and new releases to true crime business science fiction wellness and more audible members. Get one credit. Every month which can be used for any title in the entire premium selection of bestsellers and new releases regardless of price to keep forever. And you get full access to the new plus catalogue and has an audible. Member can listen offline anytime anywhere. I highly recommend hank. Greens do all aji in absolutely remarkable thing and a beautifully foolish endeavor which read by a whole team of actors and the novels are sort of sci-fi and very much in eerily inciteful take on our present moment of tech social media and online fame written by dude who knows a heck of a lot about all of those things strong recommend and you can listen to both when you visit audible dot com slash. Copy or text cocky to five hundred five hundred and start your free thirty day trial again. That's audible dot com slash cocky or text. Cut key to five hundred five hundred to start your free thirty day trial though. It is not the lived experience of everyone. The prevailing narrative for the last year has been one of boredom board in the house in the house board. Even those who have been physically going into work somewhere have likely experienced boredom due to the fact that basically all sites of recreation and social activities have been largely closed. Can't stop thinking about a tweet. I saw a while ago. That i can't seem to dig up the source of but with someone effectively saying i can't believe our strategy of telling people. It was unsafe for them to go and spend time with friends but safe enough to go work hasn't panned out and there's for sure certain luxury to the experience of boredom as there always has been while some point to the invention of leisure around the nineteenth century in concordance with the industrial revolution. The truth is that leisure was only for the upper classes as true now to a certain extent as well those working demanding jobs or those taking on extra caregiving responsibilities or the many people especially women doing both. They have not been bored. During the pandemic far from its but enough people have been experiencing boredom that are trying to figure out what it means for the economy especially for predicting certain and are coming up short. because there's no modern equivalent to this phenomenon known metric by which to study. It's the new york times suggests. Perhaps we need a boredom index similar to the consumer confidence index which gauges about the future among other things. Because it's true for those who can big result of being so bored is increased spending especially marshall cohen. Chief retail analyst at the npd group says spending on the home and more specifically on home improvement. Things that can both keep us busy and can change up. Our space from may to november eighty one percent of americans bought home improvement items according to the npd group but to understand consumer behavior. You have to understand the psychology of consumers quoting the new york times. Boredom is often a signal that something does not feel meaningful said aaron west gate assistant professor of psychology at the university of florida. Who studies boredom. Emotions act is these quick automatic signals that provide feedback for what we're doing she said in boards case. It's a way that our body and mind or alerting us that something is wrong. The pandemic however limited what we can do to make things. Feel right and quotes. West gate adds that boredom can increase behaviors like novelty seeking risk taking and our sensitivity to rewards. Which is all good news for the economy especially as west gate says it can make us more impulsive and see less cons in our decision making. It's not all exactly impulsive. Though we sometimes make decisions in order to fend off future boredom so by a bunch of ingredients and utensils to bake bread or a bunch of gardening gear or puzzles. But while there's been a boost in purchasing of some types of self care items and a sixty percent bump in purchases of loaf pans there's also been an increase in alcohol purchases and other items reflective of some self destructive behaviors and. There's another interesting impact for people working from home a possible dip in productivity due to our boredom occurring at a different time of day. Because we don't have a morning commute during which to be bored and let our mind wander now. Our mind might veer off into daydreaming or worrying when we're supposed to be working but just because it's happening when we're technically supposed to be working doesn't mean that can't still have net positive benefits that boredom induced mind wandering is great for creativity so maybe we'll see a long-term boost in creative innovative ideas among individuals and businesses with a little more than half of the nation reporting last may that they felt more board during the pandemic than before a number that has surely risen it may remain to be seen if there are any long lasting effects on the economy or more largely on society as a result of this sustained boredom among limited but substantial chunk of the population. Well speaking of boredom. Here's something that could entertain you for a bit. There's a new apple out from alchemy. Immersive that will let you explore the prehistoric world in your living room with david attenborough. It's in a are based app called museum alive so the ideas that it kind of recreates a museum for you at home with this particular exhibit focusing on extinct creatures in earth as it appeared. Millions of years. Ago is a super well-designed app. Aesthetically speaking super clean with gorgeous accurate renderings of the flora and fauna as you explore going between interactive fact sheets and dioramas guided by david attenborough. Both as a narrator and incorporating some video clips from throughout. his career. looks like an incredible app for families. If you've got kids doing school at home. But it's designed for all ages. And i can confirm that it is just as fun for us adults but if you don't want to spend the three bucks on it just yet you know that if you google basic animals on your phone in the google card to tap view in three d and then using a are you can plop a life size representation of the animal into your room. I discovered this on accident oil back and it turns out it works for a number of animals objects and cultural heritage sites everything from penguins to the digestive system to the thomas jefferson memorial not really sure what qualifies something to make the list. But it's free to try out on your phone. No david attenborough on this one though. You'll just have to do his voice yourself. So we've got our first video and audio of mars from the perseverance. Rover the high-quality video of the landing is pretty fascinating to watch but as exciting as the audio is to have. It's a bit less so to listen to. He's basically just winded. But still i got a bit of chill listening to it knowing that it was sounds from mars a few other minor. Bits of news to shout out at the end here. Hillary clinton is working on a novel in collaboration with author. Louise penny a political thriller to be precise starring the secretary of state of america. That is no longer player on the world stage. You might recall that. Bill clinton also published his first novel. Also a political thriller three years ago in collaboration with james patterson a lot of political thriller reading going on in the clinton house. It seems and dunkin. Donuts is debut in a macho. Donuts a glazed donut with a green macho powder on top as well as a blueberry macho allante which is described as quote combining dunkin's sutin macho green tea powder blend with blueberry flavor and arrogance choice of milk in quotes which considering how rarely blueberry flavored products are actually made of blueberries. This is basically just going to be a purple tinted green tea. Lots but at the very least. This news gives me an excuse to bring up. The unfortunately will documented regularly recurring instances of ben affleck trying and just about failing to carry too many dunkin donuts. Coffee is at once in unintentional. Meme that speaks to me. On a deep core level in any case links to all of this from mars to athletic are in the show notes wanna peru's further that has always this show was produced by ride home media and cocky dot org. I am jackson bird. And i will talk to you again tomorrow.
XX Factor | Margaret Knight | 3
"It's a cold winter morning and eighteen fifty in Manchester New Hampshire Margaret night twelve years old because just arrived to work along with her older brothers. She follows them into a massive brick building inside it's loud, dusty full of giant machines loans that door for insides. Like most factories, it's filled with men women and even some other children. They're all busy weaving long bolts fabric out of cotton, one of Knight's brothers, grabs her hand, Mattie. Hurry up. Did you hear that whistle? We'll wait and coming he rushes through over to the former Sheen's she's in charge up and she gets to work, Mattie. Remember careful and always she stops him before he can finish his sentence. Keep my eye on the shuttle. Yeah, I remember it's not the first Time Warner night looks down on her loom and watches the bullet shaped shuttle fly back for the cross it carrying the cotton thread when they're so reaches one side. It lands in a box, which then mechanically flings it back long track to the other side. What was that? That was one of the shuttle's like I've been telling you gotta watch out for them. They can fly out there track night looks over her shoulder and sees the shuttle on the ground next to one of the workers. She's wincing and our arms, bloody Maddie. Stay focus that woman's arm. Looks bad. Yeah. The shuttle flies really fast. She'll be see if she's okay harsh. Mattie, happens all the time. It's just part of job. That's why you need to look out for yourself. But night is in with your brothers response. She keeps thinking about that woman who got injured Lou shuttle. Over time night came up with an idea a mechanism to keep the shuttle's place. Her bosses at the factory were skeptical about the invention, and it's young inventor. But after seeing how it could prevent injuries, which would mean more productivity at the mill they adopted mechanisms like the one night conceived of soon became the new standard of safety in cotton mills across the country. And night. Not get thirteen years old became directly responsible for protecting countless American mill workers. But this was only the first machine she would revolutionize. She had plenty more ideas to come. American innovations is sponsored by ADT. This is real protection when it comes to something as important as your family safety. You deserve real protection. From ADT. Real protection means the nation's number one smart home security provider is standing by. And there for you. When you need them. Real protection means having a safe and smart home, custom fit to your lifestyle with everything from video doorbells. Surveillance cameras stream to your phone smart locks and lights and carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Real protection means wherever you go. The safety net of ADT is with you with their eighty go app. An SOS button. No matter how you define safety for you, your family or your business ADT is their visit ADT dot com slash podcast to learn more about how eighty can design and install a secure smart. Home just for you ADT real protection. From wondering, I'm Steven Johnson. And this is American innovations. This is the third episode of a special series. We're doing with Smithsonian magazine for women's history. This Smithsonian is inviting us into its museums its archives, and it's back offices to learn more about the women whose inventions changed world and our lives each week will feature one object from their collection until you the story of the woman behind it. I think it would be very difficult for our audience you visualize it because it's quite a complex machine. That's Joyce Beatty. I'm the senior historian with the limousine center for the study of invention and innovation here at this miss Onen. She's got an artifact with her from the national museum of American history. A model machine about the size of shoebox. It has a wooden frame and a lot of gearing and springs the device a patent Ma. Title is from the eighteen seventies. And its inventor was a woman named Margaret night. There's a good chance you've never heard of night, but you have most certainly interacted with her best known invention this machine took the sheet of paper. I folded into a tube. Then made three slits in one end of the tube. Folded in a diamond shape glued that together. And then spit out the bag at the other end bag after bag after bag. The ubiquitous items produced by nights machine are in every supermarket every pharmacy. Every hardware store. There's a stack of them at the end of checkout lines the world over square bottom paper bags paper bags with flat bottoms. Mass produced seems unremarkable today, but back then this was kind of a big deal most bags at the time. This is from eighteen hundred. Seventies were shaped like envelopes and well awkward, you can imagine. If you load an envelope shaped bag up with groceries, it's a little difficult to to carry to maneuver. That's how night's mind worked. She witnessed the problem and used her ingenuity to solve it. She was practical. She was creative and she loved a challenge. But it's any innovator knows. It's a long journey from idea to reality and from reality to reward, their the usual obstacles, any inventor faces time and money. But in Margaret nights case there were a couple more her gender and one competitor who wanted to take her ideas for his own. She'd have to fight to be heard and that fight would take all the way to court a court, and it systems stacked against her in the end, her invention would change daily life, would it change her life? For the better. This is the story of the fixer. As a child Margaret night didn't care for the things girls usually did instead of dolls she chose to carve pieces of wood with her Jack knife and Gimblett, and she seemed to have a predator natural sense for engineering whenever her brothers wanted a new toy that goes straight to her to make it the high fine kites and lightning fast. Ledge? She built the envy of all the kids in the neighborhood and all the while night worked to support her family. It was the mid eighteen hundreds on the heels of the American industrial revolution, countless factories were expanding and belching black smoke into the air, the promise of work drove in urban boom in the United States. The work was dangerous. But it was also plentiful to maximize productivity shifts often lasted twelve hours a day and people were six days a week. It was a brave new world machinery and America. And for night was also a laboratory working the factory floor gave night ground level view of the most cutting edge technologies of her time as a teenager she bounced between factory jobs and with each new position night was exposed to exciting new tools on one job. She worked with machines that mechanized production of upholstery at another. She studied the latest photographic tech of the day. The Garrett types at another. She learned the art and science of engraving. Recognized the potential of each new machine she encountered as well as it's tremendous risks and limitations. And so as she made her way from factory to factory nights strove to improve the machines. She worked with her natural engineering. Prowess was clear she knew she had good ideas. But it would take time and much more hard work before the world would realize the value. Her ideas help. By the time night was in her late twenties. She had landed in Massachusetts the center of the country's industrial boom. Up to the position working in the factory of the Columbia, paper bag company and the burgeoning city of Springfield. Each day. The factories machines churn out scores of envelope shaped bags night, and our fellow workers would make stacks upon stacks of these bags and bundle them together for shipment. The work was incredibly monotonous and the days for terribly long. It didn't take long for night to start getting frustrated one afternoon on the factory floor is staring blankly, not the bag. She's supposed to be bundling. But off into the distance at the bag folding machines. You better start stacking your bags or the boss is going to have your head. I know I know, but look these bags are, so useless. What if the machines could make bags that are square in the bottom? Instead, do you wanna fold bags by hand? There's no machine that can cut and fold such a complicated design. I don't know about you. But bundling sounds better than folding to me. Small notebook she snuck into the factory with her. She makes a few quick notes and hives it back pocket after long days. The paper bag factory night Spencer evening sketching out plans for machine that can take care of the tedium and make a better paper bag pages of her diary with thoughts. Sketches many other women at the time didn't have any formal education or training. Just your experience working with machines and factories. She had to come up with their designs purely from scratch, an engineer or industrial designer might have known exactly how to devise such a complicated machine but night had to rely on her eight creativity drive to solve problems she had to interet workout problems. And sometimes like any inventor, she got stuck. Although the sketching and tinkering must've eaten into night's work time. She persisted. She couldn't have known. Ideas would pay off. But eventually your designs did start to become clearer and her sketches or refined, and those sketches turned into plans complete with precise dimensions for every and arm, and he'll soon she of hobbled together a prototype. It was rickety, but it worked. One day nine decides to bring her prototype to work with her. She places the unsteady machine on her workstation and begins to operate it. As her boss makes us around. He strides angrily up to her, and what are you doing, sir? What does this contraption you're playing with well, sir? It's a machine that folds paper bags reflect bottoms is that so not so easily do sure you buy into this, Tom foolery. But then. Posits to actually watch. What's happening is is begin to wipe machine. Polls on a roll of paper to form a to the tube shots next and a series of three precise folds the machine forms the bottom of the tube into classic flat. Bottom back at Saint time. It glues those folds in place. Abilty knife slices the tube off the paper world and a perfect paper bag plans neatly on her workstations. Well, I'll be see I'll show you again. I the machine pulls the piece of paper through it cuts. Here it folds it here here and here and glues the bottom together. And look it's identical to the last one. How many of those bags cannot think crank out as many as you like see here make another Frank over here. Take a look at this thing. Well, that's an interesting device who made this. No really did your husband build it. I don't have a husband, sir. Your brother? No, sir. I built it. It takes some persuading. But eventually the growing stack of bags convinces nights superiors at the factory that this is a good idea after all these flat. Bottom bags are far more valuable than envelope. Kind. The factory is currently making. Today, paper bags are humble containers. But in the eighteen sixties when night was building her prototype of the bag making machine flat. Bottom paper bags where luxury good each one was cut folded, including by hand the bags that were made by machine look more like glorified, envelopes, couldn't hold more than a few small items. They were awkward to pack and inefficient to transport but nights could cut fold and glue Brown paper bags together faster and cheaper than workers. Could each one was identical and perfect without variation between different workers folding, and because they had a flat bottom they were easier to fill and they could carry far more goods. Was on the brink of something big. But even she couldn't have imagined. How you big witness? These bags would become still there were plenty of hurdles to clear, I being a young single woman in the mid eighteen hundreds is hardly an advantage for an inventor. Armed with your bosses blessing night, sir model machine under her arm, but coat and boards a carriage for Boston looking to window. She sees shoppers walking along the streets that the thought of them tearing her bags appears into shop windows and imagine the owners organizing stacks for bags on the counter nights trip to Boston as a clear purpose. She's looking for a machinist who can work out some of the kinks prototype with her. As she walks into the workshop machinist, she surrounded by massive tools on all sides, they with in wines workers diligently shape, their medal wears timidly. She tries to get someone's attention. Excuse me. Excuse me. Excuse me. Can I do? Wire about having some improvements made to a prototype approval. A paper bag making machine Margaret from the sheen out from under her arm. It catches the eye out only machinist other workers customers. Shop EC the arm pulls initiative paper like this one customer in particular seems eager to learn more it then creases the paper here here and here. Of course, see the first one is here. And then the second one is over here. Our senior see then it makes a final full right here. Right here. You see? Curious customer, barely takes us is machine. Augured is pleased that others concede. The promise in her idea machine has finally begins to understand the night is serious about this prototype. But he's still got a few more questions for and where did you find this bag machine? I felt it, sir. I'll bet you did. Let's enough. Charles leave the lady be she's got the money to pay. It's time for me to get back to work a few weeks later night returns to the machinist shop to pick up the finished product, Logan misnamed. We have your prototype. All ready for you. Hey, well, one of you guys grab that paper bag machine from the back. I think a left it on one of the shelves. I can grab it. I know. Right. Where it is. Surprised to see the same eager customer in the shop. Again, he retreats to the back room and the machinist shakes his head. We just can't seem to get rid of you can't journals. No, sir. Well, it certainly is helpful to have an extra set of hands around here. Yes, here it is miss night transfixed as she watches the machinist place. Her new prototype on the counter, she lifted up and turns it over in her hands. It's sturdy the metal gears moves and the machine no longer squeaks the weight of it and presses her. Impresses her nights hopes are lifted by this tangible evidence of her design after suffering through terrible working conditions for whole life. She may never have to toil in a factory again, she can support her aging mother with her brains instead of her hands that is if she can figure out a way to make money off her idea, she knows it won't be an easy task the only occupation less feminine, given the customs of the nineteenth century. And being an inventor is being a business person night pays your Bill and thanks to machinist. But this Mark she says goodbye to the gentleman whispering in the shop and strides confidently. Nights next move is to patent her machine for she cents inter application. She wants to make sure it's perfect. She agonizes over the final details for months every sketch has to be just right night is well aware that being a woman is not going to help her chances very few patents or issued to women in her day. But if she can make sure there are no ambiguities or errors. How can they deny? Finally, should males her written description machine or drawings a model and her signed of invention to the patent office in Washington DC along with thirty five dollar fee, and then she waits and waits her impatience grows type passes. She's eager to see the fruits of our labor formally recognize men day comes she returned home to the boarding house. Or she lives to find a letter waiting for her. The return address is listed as Washington DC. Tears open. The letter. Dear MS night. Thank you for applying for US patent. We regret to inform you that your application has been denied the patent office has already granted a patent for a paper bag making machine to Mr Charles F M in he holds, the exclusive rights to this machine for a period of seventeen years if you would like to contest this decision. You may file an appeal all parties will be required to appear in court things back to the machine shop and the overheat. Didn't the machinist Charles infuriated night. Take this Mr Annan to court. She wants the rightful ownership of her idea. But it will be battle to get. Shaving, you know, you look great, but it can be such a chore. Enter the art of shaving a company that was created to help men. Enjoy every moment of their shave by elevating it from a mere act too. Well, an art the art of shaving began with a husband wife devoted to helping men solve everyday shaving issues. Their original recipe for pre shave oil soon evolved into a complete start to finish shaving ritual called the four elements of the perfect shave. They've gone on to develop the ultimate male grooming experience with products for Beard's skin-care body and fragrances elevate your shaving routine today. Listeners of American innovations can get fifteen percent off their first order at the art of shaving by using the promo code AI. Experience the perfect shave for yourself or discover perfect gifts for every guy by visiting any of the art of shavings hundred. Doors are going to the art of shaving dot com. Just enter promo code AI at checkout to get fifteen percent off your first order and learned to love grooming again at the art of shaving. Nights day in court comes on February twentieth. Eighteen seventy one she travels all the way to Washington DC to present her case to the Commissioner of patents a man named Samuel eight Dunkin and scroungers together her savings to hire. A lawyer the fee is a handsome some one hundred dollars a day. She's risking all. She has in the hopes that Justice will be on her side. We will now hear the case of night versus Annan and the manner of the interference between the application of Margaret ignite or a patent for a machine for folding paper bags and a patent branded Charles f anon or similar invention. What the defendant, please come forward and make his case. Yes, sir. As proven by the patent. I hold this paper bag machine is my own invention. And what evidence do you have of this, sir? Well, I had the official paperwork from the patent office. Of course. And then I have these drawings. She'll. How it works? Please oppose the bench with the drawings. Yes, sir. When did you first come up with the idea for this device last year or rather early the year before it was in the spring? I think it must have been in March or April, and could you please describe for me the process of how your idea came to be, of course, sir, while I realize paper bags were very expensive to produce. Until I well, I started trying to come up with the machine that could make them. I have a really good I for this kind of thing. So from there, it was a pretty quick process documentation of this process. Certainly, sir here on my notes. See you can see by the level of detail. Oh, my drawings. This woman could not possibly understand the mechanical complexities of this machine. This is a fair point. Thank you. You may now be seated the Korbel now take a recess to review the evidence night knows that her chances of winning are slam. But she also knows that intellectual property enjoys unique protections in the United States. Some thirty five years earlier in eighteen thirty six the US became the first country to create a modern patent institution complete with formal courts for resolving disputes. That's why she's here today the laws. Protect the intellectual property rights of women foreigners and other marginalized groups at least on paper, but patents are still largely the domain of men and the patent office is known to be less than equitable out. Applies those. Night takes deeper and looks down at her notes one last we will now hear from Margaret e night in her attorney nights attorney stance. Thank you. Margaret unite is the rightful owner of this patent, and she has the evidence experience and know how to prove it would you? Please approach the bench would said evidence. The attorney struggles bit with a huge stack of papers setting them down on the Commissioner's bench. Well, this is certainly a lot of documentation. Yes, sir. These are almost sketches showing the various iterations at the device, and how it evolved over time. See? When did you first come up with the idea for this device, February eighteen sixty seven four years ago this month as you can see from my sketchbooks, it's gone through many rounds of refinement since then I built my I wouldn model in July of eighteen sixty eight we would like to call our first witness one Mr. Knox of the Columbia paper bag company, please proceed? Thanks, former boss settles into the witness stand as the attorney approaches, Mr. Knox. Did you employ miss night in your paper bag folding factory? Yes, sir. I did a number of years. And during those us did you ever see her working on the machine in question? Oh, yes. She brought it with her to the factory one day a few years back. It was a rickety thing all shaky but it shook and make a lot of bags. I saw it produced hundreds with Mylan is they were good handsome bags two. So then what happened? Well, having seen. What a good idea. This young lady had come up with I encouraged her to make the. Machine. Well, a little sturdier. So it would hold up longer. You know, she was on the right track with their prototype, but immediate refinement. So I suggested she bring it to the machinists in the city and Boston think you Mr. Knox. No further questions. And when did you make this trip to Boston miss night, April of eighteen sixty nine, sir? I remember it very clearly we would now like to call its second witness, Mr Graham from the Lincoln and Graham machine shop in Boston Knox was an important witness. But the attorney must've known that the real proof that night invented this machine was about to become evident please proceed. Thank you. Now. Mr Graham, when did you first meet miss night? Well, sir, she came into my shop in the spring of eighteen sixty nine and what was she looking for? Well, she was carrying the darnest little device underarm some invention. She had cobbled together. She was hoping to replace the gears with police in the like, and how did you respond to her request? Well, I had to ask her what it was. She said it was a paper bag making machine. I never heard of such a thing. So she showed us how it worked. I've got to admit we were all pretty impressed. And who does we refer to well me, and my partner Lincoln, and if you have customers who were in the shop at the time was Mr Annan among those customers in your shop that day. Yes, sir. He was and he returned frequently in the days that followed as we develop the iron model. No further questions, we rest our case. In all the proceedings last about sixteen days. And when each side is presented its case. It's all down to the Commissioner to decide whether anon or night should be the rightful owner of the patent. Mr Annan may have perfected the machinery by superior skill in the mechanical arrangement and construction of the parts such a court's opinion is long at this point must be worrying would the Commissioner really side with this thief. But then MS night is introduced volumes testimony and stated fully the history of invention from its first inception down to the present time. Her diligence must be regarded as sufficient to constitute a defence against Anna's patent. And consequently entitles her to the protection she now seeks the court therefore rules in favor of miss night. The rightful owner of the patent for the paper bag making machine the patent previously granted to Mr Annan is now Nolan. Void. With this win under her belt night. Again applied for the patent on her paper bag making machine in eighteen seventy one and this time, she got it. Margaret night received patent number one thousand sixteen eight hundred forty two for her automatic paper bag machine and that made night something of a revolutionary most women Verde were relegated to domestic work. There was very little opportunity to study certainly non in areas like engineering the few women who did file for patents in the nineteenth century. Usually did so under their husband's name others decided to use their initials to cover up. The fact they were female J Smith, for example, could just as easily be Jim Smith instead of Jane, but night was not type toback down. And she wasn't about to hide her identity. She had earned her patents and wanted to be recognized for them, fair and square. So in large curse. Letters on the corners of her patent paperwork. It read Margaret e night eighteen seventy one things were looking up for night. She had won her case received her pet, but she used her savings to pay for the lawyer. Yes, she owned the rights the machine now. And she knew that it worked if she couldn't make money off it she likely be worse off than when she began. Multiple job sites. Stacks, resumes, confusing review process, there are countless ways. The hiring process can be challenging the good news is there's one place. You can go were hiring is simple, fast and smart a place where growing businesses connect to qualified candidates. That place is recruiter dot com slash AI, ZipRecruiter sands, your job to over one hundred of the web's leading job boards, but they don't stop there with their powerful matching technology. They scan thousands of resumes to find people with the right experience and invite them to apply to your job as applications come in ZipRecruiter analyzes each one and spotlights the top candidates. So you never miss a great match. Ziprecruiter is so effective that eighty percent of employers who post on ZipRecruiter get a quality candidate through the site within the first day right now listeners of American innovations. That's you can try. Ziprecruiter for free at this exclusive web address, ZipRecruiter dot com slash AI. That's ZipRecruiter dot com slash AI. One. More time ZipRecruiter dot com slash AI. Ziprecruiter, the smartest way to hire. American innovations is brought to you by wicks dot com. The prospect of building a website can be overwhelming you feel like you need all those skills. You don't have coding design SEO the list goes on. That's how I felt. And then I found wicks I needed a website to showcase the kids out of tation of my book how we got to now. And I was able to get started for free with wicks choosing from over five hundred templates that are built to look beautiful and intuitive to use if I had had to design something myself from scratch, I would have been lost. I'm still working on the site making tweaks here, and there to make sure it's exactly how I wanted to be before I launch and with wicks it's been quick and easy to change customize and add anything I like. I'm excited to get it live soon. So you can see it. And with the built in SEO tools that come with all wicks websites. I know it will be easy for people to find build a website of your own with wicks today for free. And if you get a Wickes dot com and use the coupon code AI, you'll get ten percent off any premium plan with wicks premium plans, you get more storage a free Demane for a year and much much more. That's wicks dot com code AI for ten percent off any premium plan. Knows she needs to find an investor. So she sends a letter to a Massachusetts businessman, outlining her idea for paper bag company of her own night. Is pleasantly surprised when a few weeks later, she receives a reply inviting her to come to discuss the idea in person, but then the nervousness sets in she taken seriously or will he laugh like so many others have at the idea of going into business with a young female inventor? Still the next day night sets off in a carriage on route she practices her pitch when she arrived. She hardly gets out greeting before launching in. Thank you so much for green to meet with me, sir. I know you're a busy, man. That's quite all, right. Miss night. Your litter? Intrigued me I'm curious to hear more about this machine night puts the model on the table and begins to demonstrate how it works here. It is a machine to produce paper bags each bag is uniform has a flat bottom, so it can carry far more goods than the envelope. Style. Bags coming out of most factories these days, tell me more well each machine can produce as many bags of several factory employee folding by hand. So if you think about the number of machines, you could fit on one floor of a warehouse and subtract out the normal labor costs just think how much money such an operation could make. So what do you think? Businessman was likely skeptical going into a partnership with the woman wasn't all that common in the eighteen seventies. And this was brand new technology. Knight tries to remain calm and confident, but she can't read him. The businessman's poker face is inscrutable. She does her best to make a convincing case in spite of this night knows how much is on the line here. She may not get another opportunity like this. Okay. Then here's my offer twenty five hundred outright for the invention. You'll get stock in the company as well as royalties up to twenty five thousand dollars, Margaret malls this over for a moment she's relieved to hear that he's interested. But it's not as much as she was hoping for so Margaret, what are you saying? Well, sir. I'm very glad to hear that you're interested he nods, and she pauses again to think twenty five hundred dollars is a question of about fifty thousand in today's dollars. It's certainly not a lot considering the years. She spent building the idea and the rest of the payments will depend on their success as a company, it's not a home run on the other hand, some should cover most of her debts. She clears her throat and look some in the I I'd be pleased to be your business partner it to deal the to shake hands and the eastern paper bag company is board. They set up shop and sprawling building in Hartford. Connecticut day in and day out the factory pumps out flat-bottomed paper bags department stores and grocery stores happily start using them since the bags are mass produced the stores can afford to buy them in bulk. They're easier for shopkeepers cock with their wares. Bill more wrapping each item by hand. And can fit more items are easier to carry which means customers like them too soon. It was hard to go shopping without seeing paper bag purchases all around. Didn't stop there. She went on file dozens of patents after paper bag machines. She turned his shoe factories night came up with the device to cut the soles of shoes. More precisely and then she turned a home repair and came up with a new kind of window sash a number of nights mentions for domestic such as dress skirt shield a class for holding robes and a spit for roasting meat, but she was best known for her work with heavy machinery equipment, for example night, patented improvements to the automobile engine despite being inter sixties. When cars, I hit the streets. Never struck it rich, but she was recognized for her contributions one paper described her as the quote, most famous nineteenth century American woman inventor in nineteen thirteen the New York Times featured her work mum, the great female inventors of her day by then at age seventy-five. She was still inventing working twenty. Hours a day on her eighty ninth innovation inventing was in her blood. Even in her old age was eager to share her ideas. But still she met resistance from society from businesses and even from her friends. One afternoon in her last year of life night takes a rare break to show a friend around her workshop, she points out her tools and her favorite designs. It certainly is interesting. Let me show you what I'm working on. Now. It's a new engine for automobiles. I added some officiency in the pistons here by I'm sorry to interrupt Margaret. But don't you get bored with all this puttering? We're old women. Now, don't you ever wish you had a husband or children to pass onto instead of all these silly contraptions? You know, I don't I admit I side sometimes because I was not like other girls, but I widely concluded that I couldn't help it. And so I thought consolation from my tools, I'm only sorry. I couldn't have had as good a chance as a boy. Knight died in October of nineteen fourteen. No, what miraculously ideas night could have come up with. She were given the same chances as a man, but if she'd been able to go to college or to study engineering where to apprentice with machinist, indeed, how many inventions never seen the light of day because women like her or not forwarded these kinds of opportunities. Margaret night still made her Mark her bravado left an impression not only on the men of her day. But also on our female, contemporaries nights, freezing assertions about her rights likely powered other women to do the same eighteen seventy women held only about two percent of patents in the US. Today that number's closer to nineteen percent. Let's still far from parody. But we've come a long way and get some of the credit for that her paper bag machine is simple. Yes. But it has stood the test of time and improved version of machine still produces the paper bags views today. All around the world. I think if if she were alive today, we would say she be part of the maker movement. I she loved her tools. That's Joyce Beatty again from the Smithsonian. She sat down with Beth pie Lieberman of Smithsonian magazine to talk more about Margaret night and her legacy. I've got bath here with me today. Hi, beth? Hi, Steven great to be here. I thank you. And and the rest of the folks Smithsonian for opening your doors to us. Well, you're quite welcome. It's really been a lot of fun. So you went to meet with joy speedy to talk about Margaret night. And and you actually took a look at nights paper bag machine model. Yes Joyce, and I met in her office at the Smithsonian's Lemelson center for the study of invention and innovation and just like any scholar dozens of books line desk but significantly she had arranged for the patent model to be available for us. To look at. It's really a pleasure to get to be able to go behind the scenes with the institutions historians and curator's not many people get to see these private spaces enjoys an I talked about the patent model. The museum holds some ten thousand of these three dimensional working models that came from the patent office to the Smithsonian and the nineteenth century enjoys told me a little bit about Margaret night. And what really motivated her as an inventor. Here's some of that conversation. I think in the mid to late nineteenth century being an inventor, whether male or female was not the easiest path to choose. But inventors are tenacious people say cannot stop themselves from inventing. So it's not really a choice in some ways. She seemed to have many of those characteristics that we see in eventers the ability to take a failure. And turn it into a success. The ability to hang onto. Idea to tweak an idea to visualize to understand what she wanted to accomplish and work very hard to get there. But for women inventors at the time, they did have strikes against them in in some ways there were legal hindrances to to their work, for example. Although anyone any American citizen could get a patent from the patent office, married. Women in very few exceptions did not have property rights. They did not own their own property. So woman who was married and received a patent any of the proceeds from that would belong to her husband. This did not apply to unmarried or widowed women's so for Matty as an unmarried woman, she was able to profit from her inventions, but they're also social hindrances to becoming inventor and probably the biggest one is a lack of access to any kind of technical education. She didn't even graduate high school, which was not all that unusual for working class people at this time, but even middleclass women middle-class girls did not have access to technical scientific education and even in the working class. She might have if she were boy, a working class, boy, she might have even apprenticed to a carpenter a metalworker to to some trades person. This was not an option. So she needed to learn how to do these things herself. She needed to watch other people get advice from other people. We don't know exactly how she did this. But obviously, she trained herself to understand how to create machinery the mechanisms that she did. And was it surprising at all for the judge in the patent dispute to rule in her favor. I think it was surprising only because he said it himself sort of the judge said that it was amazing. Being I'm paraphrasing. He said that it was amazing that someone who has so little experience with machinery could create this machine. And yet, we know very, well, she had lots of experience with machinery, and she refuted that by saying that pretty much everything she ever did had to do with mechanisms. And what was the full impact of this paper bag machine for Margaret night? The full impact was it really started her career as a professional inventor you referred to her earlier as a tinkerer while that might have been true while she was child it certainly was not true as an adult. She was professional inventor. She made her living by creating and commercializing her inventions, and the paper bag is really volved since then right, right? The paper bag that came out of this machine. And and her original machine did not have the folds that we are used to where you can flatten the bag. This machine made a bag that started out as a tube of paper, and then cut and folded one end of it pasted together. So the bag itself was still somewhat round. When it when it came out of this is chain. I mean it had flattened out because of the folds, but it wasn't exactly the same. I have found a reference to a patent only a couple of years later than her original one four the kind of paper bag that we are used to getting at the grocery store, we asked for paper that folds in the accordion fold to it. However that person from what I've read did not patent a machine to make the bag just patented the design of that bag. So we still needed someone like Mattie to create a machine to automate that process. What impact do you see her as having on women in technology today? Margaret night is quite possibly the most. Well known. Nineteenth century woman inventor even during her time. She was held up as a guiding light for women in technical Greer's. She was grasped pawn by the blooming sever just movement. She was really seen as a as an icon of what a woman of her time could do if she said her mind to it. I think that the traits the characteristics that that she embodied the tenacity the creativity the imagination the willingness to learn how to make a machine and then the entrepreneurial bent to get out and sell it and profit from it. I think those are all things that we learned from her that we learned from other inventors writ large that are inspiring to this day. Sonian magazine's Beth pilot Berman speaking with Joyce feeding a senior historian with the Lemelson center for the study of invention and innovation at Smithsonian's national museum of American history. The patent model for Margaret nights paper bag machine will be on display at the national museum of American history later this year. For an even deeper dive into Margaret night and other women inventors and to hear more about the related exhibits and resources at the Smithsonian Institution Goto Smithsonian dot com slash wondering. You'll also find an image there Parker nights model paperback machine. On the next episode of American innovations heady Lamar story of a Hollywood bombshell and the bombs. She was trying to impair thank you for listening to American innovations if you like our series, please give us a five star review until your friends. Subscribe available on apple podcast Spotify Google podcast every major listening app as well as dot com. It also like to learn more about you. Please complete short survey at wondering dot com slash survey. That's wondering dot com slash survey. You'll have an opportunity to tell us what you like about the show and what you'd love to hear in future episodes. If you're listening on smartphones Taffer swipe over the cover art this podcast. You'll find the episode notes including some details. You might have missed a quick note about these historical re-creations you've been hearing. In most cases, we can't know exactly what was said these scenes are dramatization, but there based on historical research, we can find some of the articles. We found useful. In the episode notes. American innovations hosted by Steven Johnson. For more information about my books on the history of ideas and innovation can visit my website. At Steven Berlin, Johnson dot com. Found his on the episode is by spoke media. This episode was written by brianna track. Flirt with editing by Lindsey crowd will special. Thanks to Beth buy Lieberman. Megan Camino, Brian Wally, joy, speedy and all the folks at the Smithsonian magazine, our producers or Katie long and George lavender American innovations is executive producer Marshall Louis for wonder.
MFM Minisode 92
"Hi and Hello and welcome to my favorite murder the Minnesota, where we read you your shit. These are your stories of true crime. The ones you grew up with the ones you experienced. I let go stories that year. Mom won't stop talking about things that happened in your family that are big secrets that aren't anymore really funny, weird shit. You found in walls other stories that have nothing to do with true crime. This is a random, Minnesota, whatever we decide do you want me to go? I go, I'm just chomping at the. It's great when we're reading these, and then one of us like to ourselves to to find out which ones we're going to tell. One of us starts cracking, yes, like, yeah, this is gonna be fun and it happens a lot this subject line and this is the chainsaw chicken buck. Yeah, hydrogen Karen Stephen in for podcasters. No, absolutely not love it. My hometown murder isn't exactly a murder, but it's pretty freaking crazy. And I feel like you'll both enjoy it. I grew up in a small town outside of Portland, Oregon. When I was in middle school, a string of unexplained acts of Angelism shook my. Little town or for several weeks under the cover of night, a mysterious individual would take a chainsaw and cut down various trees and utility. Causing them to land on nearby country roads and even follow cross the town's main four-lane highway familiar to many as highway twenty six. The perpetrator always avoided capture and the trees and utility poles often would cause power outages across the whole world countries to my friend's older sister even drove her car head on into fell tree because she didn't notice it in time. That's what I was gonna say this super dangerous God. It says in parentheses, don't worry. She's servive with minor injuries. The individual was nicknamed the chainsaw chicken by the town and local news stations. I know super catchy. Finally vandalize her is that a word in parentheses was arrested and turned out to be none other than a boy from my middle school, a little fucking shit. Go to your room. A couple of grades younger than, wow, he would use his Phillies. Chase and disappear into the night. Like committing these crimes as some kind of outlet. I really didn't know him that well, but he always seemed to be pretty quiet but kind and unfortunately, rather friendless after his arrest, he disappeared the juvenile detention system for all. I know he could be out of juvie by now. I would hope so. But like I said, this will happen in middle school which was like eight years. Anyway, thank you for your time and always remember to stay sexy and don't hang out with chainsaws or chickens by Manny. My God. What if he's like a forest or now or like works for the company, whatever he's doing now, I need him to know that I'm in love with him the spirit, the odd acidy. It takes to get up in the middle of night and grab your parents chain. I mean, just breaking havoc just what a little shit, loudest Vic could wreak and how do you not get caught? He's a super genius like the, you're taking down electrical poll when you to get away before anyone spots. And then suddenly you're a twelve year old like out of the blue just like, boom, I'm twelve folk. You mother fucker twelve that do you think he wrote around on his on his BMX bike with the chainsaw around, like I like guitar. As I love him so much his name. I bet. It's like it's Jimmy Derek, Jimmy, Jimmy, is something with the why? Yeah, it's yeah, it's something like that. Yeah. Or like a Codey Codey Codey move. That's such Cody taking a chainsaw Eddie. You little shit coating your room when he God, damn and Cody. Cody has six other brothers. So he has no choice. Get beaten up every day. So I need to take a chain. So the only thing I can do it. I mean, I can't tell you how many times of my childhood. I wanna take a chainsaw everything in the town. Your sister Laura. Your sister Laura made me this is abounding wall story. Oh shit. What? We always love. It's a pretty good one. Okay. Hi, MFM crew. My husband is a contractor and Seattle. Oh, these are all Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver stories since we're going to be this weekend for live show, teeing it up what's up. My husband is a contractor and Seattle recently started working on a new project, renovating a commercial space that is on a busy road in town. Yes, he began demolishing the walls and those few odd, small vials fall out of one, oh, the vials are pinky sized clear and with some white powdery residue inside. Okay. They are also very old old cocaine. Just aged to perfection. Okay. This tastes like a nineteen. Twelve? Oh yes. In the Basque region. You're the byles have labels that are still intact and very clearly legible and say, quote, the name is Zonta tors. My husband immediately thought it was some something to go in a nose to stop nosebleeds cocaine. But as he found one with completely well, he realized he was wrong. These are old school. Vaginal suppositories says WTO that is correct. I work at a nearby clinic and he rushed over to show everyone and we had a good time like about what they did for the Jonah. And more importantly, why they'd be in a wall. Perhaps the space used to be a pharmacy, a medical clinic of brothel. Some old gal secret stash the quick internet search gave us more info about what, but not why. According to the national museum of American history, these date back to the mid fifties and as a feminine hygiene, deodorizing, duct man, the shit that women are supposed to put up their is not good. It's never good. It's bad for you. The main ingredient was chlorine, which is. No longer used honor inner bodies as it a similar to chlorine. Oh no. There's one exclamation Mark in parentheses, and can cause tumors to grow. Sounds like these poor women were bleaching their vaginas. Here's a copy of the vintage Adwi found stating ready for this. Yes. The only. Hygiene, Lana does completely deodorizers. They keep your person dainty, feminine, and blessing to Seattle wives. Oh, I know I work with women. I work with women in my clinic, so we all thought it was pretty fitting a pretty fitting fine. I have a couple of the vials now on display in my office and giggle every time I see them. Thanks for keeping me entertained on my commute's, stay sexy and keep your badge dainty. Melissa really just keep it as dainty as I honestly wanted you and was hoping to God. You're gonna say it was like called liberal from old fashioned like. I mean, just say idea that it was bleach is so fucking China. I know it's disgusting. Mother fuckers, God dammit. Patriarchy knocking it out of their Cody. Take coding meets your fuck and system can cut you down with chainsaw motherfuckers. No wonder. I take a chainsaw every goddamn light pole in my tiny country town. Okay. This subject line of this is my dad kicked Paul Snyder out of a bar high, all everyone's great onto the story. Yes. Perfect. My dad was born in Vancouver in his twenties. He worked in played a lot in the more infamous bars nightclubs like the marble arch and the number five orange. That's a good sound. Sounds like they're fun time. That's a real cigarette holder kind of play. Those are. They got jazz cigarettes. Let's go get baked at the number five Orrin. Absolutely. He was a bartender for many years before me and my siblings the for me and my s- game once. I asked him if he'd ever had a had to break up of movie style bar brawl he did. That's how he met my mom. That's hilarious and awesome. And if he'd ever had to kick anyone famous out his answer, I nearly got glass by that whole who killed Dorothy strap. And of course being a murdering out my ears perked up and I asked for more details, pulse Neider the eventual estranged husband and murder of Canadian playmate and actress, Dorothy Stratton was once a regular on the Vancouver nineteen. My dad didn't know him but said that no one seemed to actually like, no, you piece of shit. Everyone knows his mom bit. Okay. Despite this, I actually started this book about her and it goes into details. Any is like the well, I'll read this because her dad knows best. My dad didn't know my no, but no one seemed to like despite this, he had connections and access. So maybe they couldn't get rid of him. I'm kind of picturing Canadian Begbie from Trainspotting layers according to my daddy had a reputation for trying to pick up girls in bars and clubs, and sometimes them to a stable of sex workers that he kept kept as a small time pimp. He was even known to wear a long fur coat leave. One night Snyder was a club. My dad worked at and he was being super loud and obnoxious. My dad finally had enough and asked him to leave, but instead Snyder tried to break glass across my dad's head of bunch of people jumped in and helped my dad and get him out. The woman Snyder had been trying to get to leave with him. Thank my dad and offer some cocaine things as things. My dad is full of crazy stories like this. He said that when he and his friends heard that Dorothy Stratton had been killed. They like many others in the community felt a sense of guilt and laws like they'd let their little sister get eaten by the big bad wall that's on. Anyways. Thanks for reading. I'm so excited to see in Vancouver and a few weeks, and my boyfriend is flying in from England to see your to him ju. Hello. You go to your room. You can tell we haven't recorded in a while. L. dang, forgot how to do Madison Reed is a company that Amy era, the founder named after her daughter and their revolutionizing, the way women color their hair for decades had to options outdated at home hair-color or the time and expense of a salon. That's me. But Amy created Madison Reed because she believes women deserve better than the status quo. Karen, we fucking do. We do medicine readers reinventing the way women color the hair, but offering the quality of salon color, the convenience affordability of that home hair-color an ammonia free formula with ingredients that you can feel good about, and I do. You'll look like you just came from a salon, but the reality is you had more Karen time to do what you love. Karen complain experience, beautiful multidimensional hair-color that's made in Italy delivered to your door on your schedule for under twenty five dollars. The hundreds of thousands of women who have tried in love Madison Reed. 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Are we talking about pajama the styles are effortlessly could function just the way you need them perfect for sleeping and feeling like you're bestself when you lounge around the house. Hi, that's me all the time under present. This is your life. And if you sign up for their Email list, you'll get to hear about their secret upcoming men's holiday Jepson mood secrets, I am men. I am really stuck up about clothes. I wear around the house into bed like I have a specific thing I have to wear Linea does have the softest frigging like I don't care what they give me all where it because it soft, but also really flattering and cute. It's really nice find out. Fast company, Forbes and women's wear daily are I'll raving about Luna and get fifty dollars off your first purchase at Luna dot CO slash martyr. That's l. u. n. y. a. dot CO slash murder for fifty dollars off your first versus Luna sleepwear for the modern woman. Let's see here come for is the impression right to be sent to their ru. Okay. This one I think is the funniest one I've ever. Okay. I don't get ready. This is called. This is called the haunted, flip phone. Perfect. Beginning high ladies and Stephen. Just a really quick story. I had forgotten forgotten forever until it reappeared in my memory Bank late last night in bed. When I should've been sleeping in the early two, thousands, I was a preteen and very excited when I got my first flip phone mostly just to call my family members and one friend every few weeks. I remember receiving text randomly from my mom one day that said, Terry is dead now and Terry spelled t. e. r. y.. I was so confused and ask my mom, and she said, she definitely did not send that and had no idea who Terry was for weeks. My sister and I were so freaked out trying to figure out who Terry was. We were so worried she died or some some creepy ghost or murderer texted me. And I was only one who knew even thought of telling the police. In this case, in case of woman named Terry had turned up dead, held a missing clue. Maybe this, maybe this is the beginning of my true crime facination Laden bed every night for weeks. So worried that Terry was dead and no one knew, but me and the flip phone ghost might return to haunt my text messages to me. It seemed like months. This went by, maybe it was days. My memories are a little skewed from that. Then by only one day after talking about dead, Terry again, my mom suddenly had an epiphany. She looked at our old text messages and her flip phone and started cracking up. She exclaimed that she had solved the Terry mystery. She showed us a text message that was supposed to be sent to me that said, my battery is dead. Now somehow that. Part have been cut off and said, the biggest mystery of my life was solved. Shitty cell service has created the most creepy texts that haunted my dreams, not a ghost or a murderer. Terry was knock dead always well world. That's all love you guys. And can we to see you in Portland? I'm dragging my non Marino front. Please tell very disturbing stories and freak the fuck out of her love. Samantha. Oh my God, various areas Ed now I didn't send that. I deny everything also terriers such a specific. It's like a British man from the seventy two ER. Why? It's like you can picture it. Yeah. Okay. This is similar. This is similar, but it's the subject line. Is deathbed confession hearted. Karen, Stephen pets, three years ago, my mom was in the last stages of dying of cancer. In the last week, she told me she had a confession to make that she had kept a secret from me for almost thirty years God. I was expecting some sort of tragic accident or I was adopted or something. No, when I was a kid, I wrote a letter to the lucky charms. People that I had gotten a box of Sierra with almost no marshmallows. The company sent me an apology letter and coupon for a free box. My mom admitted to me that she'd actually eaten the marshmallow, but hadn't want it to or thirty years. I can't wait to see when Vancouver October, oh my God, and that she had she couldn't pass on without admitting. It had to tell her the truth about the look. Sweet most adorable thing. She's like, and you're up to. Oh my God. Everyone needs to have a deathbed confession that's like also save them for the death penalty. It's how funny would that. I mean, it's still, it's also you know what it is. It paints a picture of what her mom was like. Yeah. 'cause I immediate was like, I bet you. She's one of those moms. She probably didn't overeat. She was like. Zoned out in the kitchen and started doing and then caught herself. It was freaked out. Yeah. And then the next morning, her daughter was like, why are there in her daughter freaked out, wrote a letter and she just had to stand. I that there's no marshmallows. You know, you have to do in a situation like this have to stand up, stand up for yourself and you lift as people know on ferreted name's Cody with an eye Cody. You need to write a letter to your room. Sinister. Funny, weird. Fucked up. Shit our great. I. I want to know more. They don't have to be good. They can just be like that one. Yes, exactly. They don't. Well, they don't have to be like Dray. I didn't mean good as in like, I'm not calling you Cody. I'm sorry. Elizabeth Elizabeth. I'm sorry, Cody Cody is the codename for the destructive Cody short, Elizabeth, isn't it? Up in the north, northwest in the Pacific, northwest, do things a little differently. Weird steers bladder, my favorite murder Jimoh. We want to hear anything weird and funny. Yeah. And we can't wait to come and see you Pacific northwest, the home of all murders stay sent, get murdered. This cookie.
Fashion History Now #30
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The history of fashion is the production of iheartradio over seven billion people in the world. We all have one thing in common every day. We all get dressed. Welcome to dress the history of fashion. A podcast where. We explore the who. What when of why we where. We are fashion historians and your host cassidy's accuracy and april callaghan dress. Listers welcome to yet another edition of fashion history now. Cows as of recent we have been really enjoying interviewing cut us more contemporary players in the world of fashion and learning about what they're doing in terms of fashion history now creating fashion history now. But it's been kind of a hot minute since we have discussed books articles products and whatnot of our own choosing so that is actually what we're going to get into today. Yes yes yes. It's been a while but we like april said. We've had so much fun meeting people who are making fashion history today but we wanted to jump back on here and share some exciting Who what win things to do today to enjoy over the summer so here we go all right. Well an my first topic. That i would like to talk to you about stay is a rather warm fuzzy topic. So maybe it's not necessarily suited to summer per se casts. Would you like to be my neighbor. I would love to be your neighbor icing on every morning when i open my blind so obviously you also have washed mr rogers growing up. Yep so for some of our younger or perhaps international who might not be familiar with the television program. Mister rogers neighborhood Just a little bit of background. It was and remains this sort of icon. Ick children's television show which began airing nationally in the us. During the late nineteen sixties. I think specifically nineteen sixty eight it had existed in previous incarnations before that i think it canada and then specifically locally in pittsburgh but it was in nineteen sixty eight that it started to air nationally. Which did all the way up until two thousand one so you would really be hard pressed to find somebody who grew up in the us during this thirty five issue period. Who doesn't already know. And love mr rogers who really became famous for this beginning of his show right. He thinks the song that casts was just referencing Which is about being his neighbor and while he's doing this he's kind of returning home coming into the interior of his home and he's slipping on a cardigan sweater and he's exchanging. His outdoor shoes has more dress shoes for casual sneakers. So you know This whole thing this whole setup might be not the most thrilling children have now of twenty twenty one who grew up with you know with the internet with screen time on iphones and apps that are really geared towards children's education moment education and entertainment russo groundbreaking and so many ways right. Yeah so but for many of us are a bit older. Mr rogers was really a childhood friend of sorts and he is considered such a part of american culture that one of his signature sweaters is currently in the collection of the national museum of american history and the museum is part of the smithsonian. So what i do want to talk about. Today is fascinating article that i read recently. Is the sony magazine. That's kind of touching on the fact. They have one of his signature sweaters and also it goes into a little bit of the history of how these sweaters came to be on the program because he had a whole rotating wardrobe a sweater. It wasn't just one. And the first season i think they were button up cardigan but after that they were zip up. Cardigan and i did not know this. Apparently they were all handed by his mother of up until her death in one thousand nine hundred eighty one and so for the next decade into the nineties. They were still using the same cache of cardigan. 's but of course cast. You have worked as a as a costume designer and set costumer for very long time. What happens after a decade of use of these same cardigan decade of use. The same. i mean if it's made out a wall it's going to get moss inevitably It's gonna wear and tear at the elbows. Yeah there's all kinds of things that can happen when you wear something a lot. Yes so and that's exactly what happened by the nineteen ninety s early nineteen ninety s a lot of these cardigan. 's we're really wearing out and weren't considered up to par for screen time essentially so the production team had to scramble to figure out how they're going to replace these items and mister rogers wardrobe and some local niggers pittsburgh where the show is still films initially kind of lent their skills. But the producers didn't feel like these sweaters burly working for television. The colors weren't writes. Maybe they're a little bit too hard for him to get off on. They tried sourcing off the rack sweaters but apparently in the nineties s they were saying that these were really hard to come by. because zip up. Cardigan for men just weren't fashionable. So hardly anybody was making them. And then i love this next part of the story. One of the producers of the show was walking down the street one day and she saw her local postal worker and she was like his sweater is perfect so she stops someone history. He takes the sweater off. Let's check the label. She starts contacting the manufacturers of the sweaters that the. Us postal service is using Right so what one would think now like. Oh now there's mass access to all these zip up cardigan. Problem solved right now. There's a whole other bit to the story about how from the ninety s into the two thousands. Mr rogers got his sweater. So the color palette of his sweaters had really been established over the previous decades so now the order of team could only order white sweaters that in turn. They had to hand die which they didn't these giant restaurant soup pots and when they started doing this they also discovered that the fabric zippers was resistant to the die. Like you know the little strips that like adhered the zipper to the sweater so then they had to go in and hand color with permanent markers in this specific shade of the sweater to match and then they also had to go in and ultra the callers of these mass produced sweaters because they weren't exactly the same style of color that mr rogers mother had knitted they also had to remove the manufacturers labels. You know i don't know my mind was blown. That's all of this. Work went on behind the scenes to kind of recreate. The look of the original sweater. Set that mr rogers. Mom made so i love that we could have a whole segment called behind the scenes. Have you about where we go into. All of these behind the scene stories a lake iconic pop culture wardrobe like mister rogers sweater. That's really fascinating. I would have had no idea that that was the case. Thank you for sharing. Yeah i just a one little quick quote for a couple of different people. One of the fellow actors on set that actually played the postman. He said of the sweaters said that the sweaters were always more than a costume or a prop. They were a symbol of play clothes. And that mr. Rogers was meeting children on their level which is very charming. And also one of the smithsonian curator's remarked that mr rogers style of comfort and warmth of one on one conversation is conveyed in that sweater. So i just thought that this was such a sweet charming tidbit of childhood nostalgia and i wanted to share it with all of our listeners. Yeah and there's an excellent documentary. I think it's on. Hbo about mister rogers. Won't you be my neighbor if you're interested in learning more about This wonderful wonderful man. Who really was so groundbreaking in his engagement with children at a period. When you really didn't engage with them on this level so love love mr rogers. And while we're on the topic of childhood pop culture icons actually ties perfectly into an instagram account. That i want to direct all of our listeners. To pop culture fashion icon who recently opened it in instagram account. And if you're not following real miss piggy were missing out everything you need it in your life is now here. Are you even know you did. I mean honestly. When i found this account and i think it was vicky pass. You posted a pass stress guests. And i was just blown away since debut in jim. Henson's the muppet show in nineteen seventy six miss piggy rose to meteoric success. She became this beloved star. She's an infamous diva which was also hilarious of the stage and screen and she's always had this impeccable fashion sense and this account is just wonderful. It's fashion combined with miss piggy signature. Humor so you know. There's this image that she recently posted in it and she says she writes many have said that ma is a pillar of the performance community there right of course and to prove it. I regularly posed with pillars. As seen here thursday learning this like white grecian inspired of vienna like pleaded and draped gown with pearls and purple gloves. And she's leaning against this pillar. There's also high fashion photo shoots. She has her flowing blond mane and one voter. She's wearing what looks like a printed wrap dress for version of it and she says i simply love the runway. You're the center of attention. Dozens of adoring fans gasp. When you appear and best of all it's a short walk in six inch heels. That's a good things so just it's just really really fun. I highly suggest you follow. And i would. I'm just putting this out there. I would love to have her as a guest on the show and visit miss. Piggy the very least. Maybe her stylist and costume designer. She's had many over the years. Callisto hendrickson was responsible for her iconic. Looks in the early phases. Of the mapping ears polly smith started designing costumes for the muppets and seventy eight after hendrickson. She's still think designs for sesame street. She also did the costumes april of labyrinth and the dark cristo and she's credited as one of the three inventors of the sports bra literally patented it. It's super interesting. So i'm going to work on getting her on the show for sure that would be basing. I mean jim henson created this whole universe of characters not only the muppets but even outside of that that are so central to kind of like american childhood. I would argue. I loved watching the muppet show. I was a kid. I was a huge muppet show. Fan yeah i think rachel frost who has a hat maker who was at one of our past guests. She wanted her early career jobs in her career was working at the john hanson studios which i believe were in london. I could be wrong. But yeah i mean it's such a central part of of so many people's upbringings. There was a fabulous exhibit. Here a couple years ago on jim henson's career and really just the role that his work continues to play in our societies. Today one of my very favorite objects that we have at. Fit special collections. is actually the muppet style. Guide of ood. It's very cool. It's definitely from the seventies and what it is is telling you like all the kind of information that you might need if you were participating in licensing muppet products. So incidents like this character is proportionately this tall to this character. A and gives you like little bits of details about their like the colors that they should be like one of the things in there. It tells you pms color. Miss piggies eye shadow is fun. Quirky little details about all things methods. So oh that's wonderful. I liked the best that out when people when classes coming to visit the only luxury lifestyle membership you'll ever want is here. Meet curator created by fashion authority and television personality. Rachel zo each seasonal box features. Five must have items hand selected by rachel and delivered to your door with a guaranteed retail value of over four hundred dollars worth of fashion beauty and lifestyle and accessories and every single box but right now for new members. You can choose your own welcome box featuring three items for under twenty five dollars with code rachel ten. Choose from three boxes that welcome you into the curator community. Rachel knows everyone's personal style is a bit different. So when you become curator member you can customize your boxes by selecting your own choice item. Every season occurs her membership comes with access to exclusive e commerce marketplace full of incredible products at up to sixty percent off retail value. Let cure elevate your look and start your summer off in style if you've ever wanted to be styled by rachel also then look then curator. Get your welcome box now for less than twenty five dollars by using the code rachel. Ten on curator dot com. That code is our a c. h. e. l. one zero. We all have one that unwanted guests at stays way past. Welcome and just will not go away. Oh yeah and they are extra noticeable now that we have all been spending more time at home and of course apron talking about that nuisance odor. You just cannot get rid of no matter. How many said candles or in my case incense you and that's why we've added fresh wave. Who are regular cleaning routines you know if you have a musty basement or some funky fitness gear your pets favourite couch spot which i know a lot about that no matter what the problem odor fresh wave can solve it plus fresh wave room and fabric sprays and slow release gels absorb odors using safe plant based ingredients. Which of course. April and. I both love so we can all feel good about what ourselves and our families are breathing in my favorite is fresh wave. Lavender with just a hint of natural language oil essence so kick unwelcome odor to the curb. And restore your home's harmony with fresh wave. Get yours at target bed. Bath and beyond amazon or fresh wave. Works dot com. Speaking of entire universe is dressed listeners. You heard it here first. The metaverse is coming and cast. I want to ask you if you are familiar with this term metaverse familiar with the term meta and universe. And i'm assuming those things that's they become something to do with each other's enlighten me. Because i have no idea what you're actually talking about guests so this whole concept was new to me and super fascinating and i was reading about it recently. This quite lengthy article and business a fashion that was written by doug stevens articles. If anybody wants to head over there and check it out entitle the metaverse will radically change retail and again this articles substantive. I am just kind of going to give you the cliff notes version. The basically what he's talking about is that while virtual reality at the moment is kind of relegated to gaming and entertainment platforms one of his arguments. Is that some of the most momentous instruments of technical and societal change have i been perceived as toys right or placings and he talks about how you know in the mid seventies. The first mobile phones weighed four pounds. They served one purpose right to make and receive calls but now our iphones fit in our pockets just a few decades later and this was this kind of also blew my mind. Your iphone now has times more computing power than the apollo eleven space craft. Holy moly right so stay with me here. This really got me thinking. And it's complicated. But stephen says put us simply as possible. The metaverse collective persistent parallel reality created by stitching together of all virtual worlds to form a universe that we can seamlessly traverse. So i think the key word here is persistent right. So what he's talking about is more than than how the internet functions today as kind of like the static space where we go to the place and you know by the thing and it ships to us but what he's really talking about is like this immersive physical world and a good example of that could be some of these gaming platforms like fort where characters and avatars exist and you you're participating in it like almost like real life and what we're starting to see right now is that of fashion. Brands are kind of like dipping their toe into some of these worlds. I found it really really interesting. That travis scott. The rapper did a five series concert in fortnight. Not too long ago and apparently fifty million users attended the series concerts. Wow right so we're here to talk about fashion. of course. so how does this kind of apply to fashion and the future of retail. Well stevens kind of his sayings one of his arguments. And i'm quoting him here is the creation of the metaverse will allow us to break free from the current industrial form and function of physical stores and move lightyears beyond even the best digital shopping experiences of today. Why would one create a virtual replica of kennedy's store. When in the metaverse you could potentially shop for canada goose cote from inside and arctic exploration experience led by araj and canada goose spokesperson lance mackey marketers store designers merchandisers and more will have to begin thinking very differently about what a store is and with increasing amounts of time spent in the metaverse the ratio between the virtual and physical possessions. We now own will increase dramatically. I mean who wants to wear the same virtual outfit to two different virtual parties in the same virtual weekend. And i just i just think this is. There's a lot to think about here right. I'm like it's it's fascinating but also terrified this kind of like blade runner in all these movies. Come through right and we've already briefly discussed cyber fashion on dress before in the past but we're seeing more and more of these companies come out with digital only fashion products for sale. And you can kind of think of it as like a digital overlay. that makes an outfit. You can quote unquote dress yourself. Twist an avatar or an actual in real life photo of yourself that the digital outfit gets put on your body and then you can re post it on social media and pass dressed guests. Criminal layer has actually written about this for a vote and tried on some of these digital outfits. You can head over there and kind of see what he's talking about. He's specifically focuses on a croatian brand called tributes cyber fashion offerings but even now gucci has recently entered the digital cyber fashion game. How much these outfits cost. When you're talking gucci because are they going to start charging ridiculous amounts of money per fashion world right so some something. Some brands can be expensive. I've seen some prices for a file. Be like seven hundred dollars for my goodness. But for instance in terms of gucci. You can actually buy a pair of gucci's virtual twenty-five sneakers which according to the company are meant to be worn online and virtual reality social platforms for the bargain basement price of twelve ninety nine. So okay right. It's interesting because it's like. This has the potential to democratize luxury. Fashion you know but it's very clear that these luxury brands intend to keep the hierarchy you because everyone can afford it. It's no longer exclusive and it's no longer luxury so that's super interesting to think about how that translates into a virtual world. Yeah and i think the most in like the most interesting thing about it. Is this like you know the term that he is persistent. Because it's going to be this separate virtual sphere where things are constantly happening. Twenty four hours a day and and it really does feel like this natural progression of the internet internet retail plus social media as technology kind of pushes forward. And at one of the things i was thinking about is fashion frequently functions as this sort of aspirational desires of the consumer. So what if not only aspiration. That is kind of pushing. Purchase forward in in terms of like aspiration in terms of status. But what if it's also like this element of fear of missing out fomo. Have you follow fashioned right if this whole other. Virtual sphere of fashion is happening in addition to your in real life on samba. If you need a wardrobe for the digital you. That's completely separate. What is this is this. You know is fear missing out which fashion in this other direction. I don't know i thought really interesting. I mean i'm going to go on record and say that as a fashion story and i will be wearing only fashion history related garments in this verse. Whatever you want white. talker ruben. Chainmail or christian dior venus gowns or brienna. Pammy as i mean the world is basically your choice. Ter- yes yes. Yes so so friends You know we are already seeing. Think many brands maybe not all like go into cyber fashion. But we're already seeing a lot of brands transition to wards away from brick and mortar flagship stores and into putting their marketing efforts into more brand experiences like events spaces where they do film screenings at cocktail parties and meet greets but you know increasingly. We might see these experiences transition online to extend their sort of experiential reach globally. And i think that's really that's really what but stephen was trying to get out with this article so yeah and we've seen that a lot with kovic to a lot of brands how to get super created because they couldn't have in real life runway shows anymore so we've seen some really creative like alternatives to these traditional types of marketing and displays. So i mean. I think it's really exciting. Hoping that all of these brands consider their carbon footprint etc etc moving forward because even if it goes online carbon footprint does not disappear so it's super interesting to think of it from a sustainability a platform as well so Welcome to the metaverse i get. This is what i'm saying. Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percents or more shakespeare. It's geigo that. Shakespeare from one of his unpublished works which be not for awakening. Give the berries. Four fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. No it's from geico. Because they help save people money. Well i hate to break it to you. But geico got it from shakespeare geico. Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. Here's something good. From the seneca women podcast network and iheartradio is a great way to start your day on the positive side of life. We're bringing you inspiration advice and practical ideas. So here's something good for today. Brought to you in partnership with bounty paper towels. Wanna feel better about your home one home. That not only looks clean but is clean and safe. Then check out our episode on home hygiene. It has excellent advice from a doctor who's in infectious disease specialist. And you'll also get some great cleaning tips from bounty paper towels the not only make leading more convenient but they also leave your surfaces theater than used clouds and they're disposable for great advice and tips listened to the. Here's something good. Podcast on the iheartradio app apple podcasts. Or wherever you get your podcast april. Our listeners know by now that you are a huge fan of jumpsuits yeah and our listeners might also remember the hilarious a bustle dot com article that you discuss on our history of the jumpsuit episode with andrea lower last season it was entitled eight struggles of peeing while wearing a suit and it was like how do i get this offing. Zaidi how will i will find a way out without damaging this resolve. I'm the great houdini relief. It was really funny and playful but in all reality that is like a huge issue. That women in particular. Have you take your jumpsuit off. And you're basically naked. And the stall so and i know i've been telling you and hinting at this for a while april. But i'm very pleased to share with you and our other jumpsuit. Wearing dress listeners. That ping while jumpsuit wearing is no longer an issue to the launch of the groundbreaking new jumpsuit though one z and that's the number one and the letter z and it's billed as the world's only functional wednesay. The onesie is the first product from we are weld. Work wear the brainchild of angelique. Paul and amelia rivera. Who are to hollywood costumers. with a combined. Thirty of experience in the industry and wearing coveralls they knew the benefits and the issues of this goto garment and they. They have sought to make it functional and fashionable so they basically asked the question. How could humanity be faced with such a pressing problem no way to a cover all and how could this problem have gone unsolved for so long We decided to give it a shot and try to find a solution and their solution was the patent pending wiz tech easy technology that lets you p with ease. I was actually just telling them fellow fashion historians about this recently. And they're like let us know when it's out he has so it's on its way it's basically if you're wondering in your head there's a zipper. That's across your boo tay and so you basically can unzip from the bottom half of the garment it doesn't it just ends. It's like the back. Flap allows you to go and zip it back on with e. so it's really really cool. Women owned and operated company designed and manufactured in the us. They're really looking to take a fresh take on classic work where and they want to protect. You know our bodies while looking as good as possible and they're really really looking to make it inclusive could fit anyone and all varieties of shapes and sizes. They're really working with you. Know keeping their supply chain transparent fair wages. Happy working facilities so all of these things closed loop production all of these things that we support undressed so super super excited i can. I order my onesie. Now you can. Yeah you can learn more about the company and help support the launch of this incredible product on. We are well. We are w. e. l. d. on instagram to learn more so We will check that out. uh them. I can't wait. I'm headed there Immediately i just had to write that down a note. Okay hey my last thing justice. I'm not sure if we've ever really talked about this on. The show cast knows this of course but i love to cook. It's one of my great hobbies Whenever i travel abroad one of the things i really liked to do is go to cooking school for a day or two. So you know y y bring back a bunch of stuff i mean. Don't get me wrong. Stuff is great to but why not also bring back knowledge rate so i try to go to cooking school when i'm out and about in the world so it comes as no surprise that cookbooks of great interest to me and i did not know this. Recently but casts. Did you know that christian. You're has cookbook. I i've heard that. But i've never seen it. I've never had it so pleased homey more. Yes yes address listeners. If you have ever had that the played that little fantasy game of if you could have a dinner party with anyone dead or alive. Who would it be if christians your are was ever on your list of dream guest. Here's hypothetical dinner party. You can get excited christian. Your we cast and i both kind of knew this was a bit of a garage just like par was and he was quite a good cook but i didn't know until very very recently that he actually had a cookbook of his favorite recipes produced and published post humorously. So do your of course died in. Nineteen fifty seven and This this cookbook came out in nineteen seventy two and it's called in french cuisine zuma or an english that's kind of translated to tailor made cuisine and it is a collection of his very favorite recipes for dishes including a shocking number of egg dishes so many egg dishes in an interesting recipe for shrivels soup a recipe for cold mullet which is of course fish. Top i fish jelly and critics say lamb's lettuce salad dressing with lard and other intriguing chicken dish which i just might have to try which is stuffed with washing blank truffles before his flam made with cognac and dinner roasted so the cookbook and i was like. How do i get my hands on this. A cookbook was published as a limited edition when it was first published in nineteen seventy-two only four thousand copies and today to get your hands on one which i clearly will not be doing as a hard copy. It's about fifteen hundred dollars. Wow they're quite the quite sought after on their ns really beautiful. It has an embossed. Aluminum cover the illustrations and the cookbook are actually contributed by famed illustrator. Renege row row. And get this. There's even ten ultra luxury copies. Like the i ten. And in the number two thousand contained a suite of spry grew out instead of just the printed illustration so. Don't worry though the reason why. I'm bringing this up is to not just tease you. All with this little bit of culinary trivia if fifteen hundred dollars is outside of your cookbook budget as it is mine. And i'm sure ours. Fear not because last year. Twenty twenty dior did us a solid and actually created a digital version of the cookbook is available for free for download and we will put a link to it in the episode description. You can also just googled your cookbook. Look cuisine kasuma. Do our cookbook. And there's more than a few articles that will pop up that were written last year about the digital release of the cookbook. Cast you and i are going to be seeing each other next week. So i propose that we make an event of this. Dinner allah your. I was gonna say that or suggest that you actually cook for me. When we're in paris in august two are perry which dress listeners. Still has a few spots left. So if you're interested in joining us for ruutel pay tour. You know walking the grounds of picnicking. Verse cy cy. Cetera et cetera. We have so many wonderful things plan. We'd love rita join us. You can find out more. Unlike minds. Travel dot com. Yes then and youtube sunday law. We that does it for us today. dress listeners. Thank you so much for joining us on our fashion history now and we will talk to you on tuesday dress. This fashion is a production of iheartradio from our podcast from my heart radio. Visit the iheartradio app apple podcasts. Or wherever else you listen to your favorite shows. We all have one that unwelcome gas. That just won't go away and of. I'm talking about the nuisance odor that you just can't get rid of knowing how many senate candles you light or air. Fresheners that you spray. And that's why i've added fresh wave to my regular cleaning routine musty basements funky fitness gear last night's recipe experiment. No matter what the problem odor fresh wave can solve it. Plus fresh waves sprays and slow release gels absorb odors using safe plant based ingredients so i can feel good about what my household is breathing in so kick unwelcome odors to the curb with fresh wave. Hit years at target bed bath and beyond amazon. Fresh wave works dot com. I'm pinterest you can find shape do and enjoy things that just might surprise you for episode research. I will start. Researching one specific fashion history topic like nineteenth century lingerie and inevitably end up learning about delightfully unexpected undergarments. Such a sixteenth century italian embroidered smocks. And that is because pinter's is where you find and do the things you actually enjoy. Pinter's diverse creators. Hope you find what you enjoy doing with fresh actionable ideas that get your creativity flowing. Inspiring you to explore. What's possible try new things and move forward. Surprise yourself with what you can get into on pinterest.
The History Behind 2020's Record Voter Turnout Numbers
"Presented by raytheon technologies our nearly two hundred thousand engineers researchers and people with purpose are building the future today. We're pushing the limits of known science to go deeper into space advance aviation and build smarter defense systems that protect all of us here at home. That's the future of aerospace and defense learn more at rtx dot com the twenty twenty election. Set a record for voter turnout. But why is it normal for so many americans to sit out elections by olivia be waxman. Americans were prepared for the two thousand twenty presidential election to be historic for a number of reasons and so far data is backing that up at least in one aspect. Voter turnout more. Americans voted in two thousand twenty and voted by mail than in any other election in. Us history while the final turnout number will be available when all ballots counted in the coming weeks already. Two thirds of americans eligible to vote participated. Nearly one hundred sixty million people up from around one hundred thirty eight million in the twenty sixteen election a proportion not seen in more than a century according to preliminary estimates posted wednesday by michael mcdonald professor of political science at the university of florida who runs the united states elections project a website that tracks voter turnout data because the voting population is larger than it was one hundred years ago. That two-thirds rate equates to more voters in terms of sheer volume. The above average voter turnout rate in. Twenty twenty is noteworthy as the. Us usually has some of the worst turnout rates in the world in a pure research ranking of voter turnout in the most recent nationwide elections the us placed thirtieth out of thirty five nations. But it wasn't always the case that a solid chunk of the american electorate sat out the opportunity to vote. Experts say see a parallel to twenty the polarization and anger about the incumbent. That drove high turnout in the mid eighteen. Hundreds and eighteen twenty eight voters turned out in high numbers to deliver andrew jackson. The white house victory his supporters thought. He deserved for years after he lost a four way race. That was so close. The house of representatives had to decide the outcome which jackson's supporters alleged. It did through a compromise known as the corrupt bargain and the aftermath jackson supporters successfully coordinated local party groups to continue to mobilize voters that groundwork helped set the stage for rising voter turnout rates in the eighteen thirties and eighteen forties according to john. Greenspan historian at the national museum of american history and author of the forthcoming the age of acrimony americans fault to fix their democracy. Eighteen sixty five to nineteen. Fifteen people are starting to fight over slavery. They are starting to fight over immigration. More greenspan tells time this partisan world emerges of really intense tribal partisanship that ultimately leads to the civil war at the time. Politics was a form of entertainment for the public. Which didn't hurt the turnout. Eric phone a pulitzer prize. Winning historian an expert on the post civil war period known as reconstruction tells time that political figures of the era like henry. Clay and james g blaine were like national celebrities like movie stars tv personalities sports figures in fact polling locations were a major source of fun on election day the liquor flowed and people dressed up to see and be seen people also voted publicly and grass ballot box was designed to show that votes were being counted and assuage fears of fraud. Normal turn out in. The mid. nineteenth century was around eighty percent. The mechanics of voting were also different. People would hand their ballots to a party official who inserted it into the ballot box. Secrecy was not a concern and in many places get out. the vote. efforts were conducted by party machines and political bosses using tactics. That would be considered unethical or illegal today. As macdonald noted in a two thousand eight brookings op ed local ward bosses who knew their neighbors intimately dispense jobs and favors for votes and political machines paid supporters taxes in states. That disenfranchised tax delinquents in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These political machines were the target of reform efforts which led to the introduction of such innovations as the secret ballot but while some of these progressive era reforms were meant to prevent corruption. They were also meant to prevent certain people from voting especially immigrants and people of color. The parties also stopped holding the celebrations had once drawn people to the ballot box opting for pamphlets instead of parades. Meanwhile especially in the south the rise of jim crow brought its own wave of restrictions on voting to get around the fifteenth amendment to the constitution. Which is supposed to prohibit. The restriction of voting on account of race states passed laws requiring citizens to pay fees to vote which became known as poll taxes or pass tests. That had no correct answers known as literacy tests and enforce them unequally subjecting black americans to these hurdles more than white americans and other words greenspan says the effort to be lower. Voter turnout was deliberate. There is a big culture of huge turnout in the late nineteenth century. And it's mostly kind of working class. Americans emigrants and urban americans. He says the upper class doesn't like the idea of a political system dominated by these political machines that are made up of irish german. Jewish immigrants run out of saloons in the cities and they succeeded for the encyclopedia of us. Political history by world war one northern states like new york or again pennsylvania and indiana adopted procedures that made voting and registering to vote more of a pain for example a nineteen eleven new jersey law requiring residents to register to vote in person before election. Day is largely responsible for state. Voter turnout dropping from eighty two point four percent in nineteen. Oh eight to sixty nine point. One percent in nineteen twelve. Such requirements are enough of a deterrent to voting that the number of people who abstain have a significant effect on the result says greenspan. I think of voting as a faucet you open it wider or tighten it up and it's like tightening the faucet on turnout and engagement. He says as a result voter turnout hasn't reached the heights of the nineteenth century since nineteen hundred when the presidential election saw a seventy three percent. Turnout there are some upticks and turn out in. The nineteen thirties tributed to the crisis atmosphere of the great depression and the charismatic. Fdr's president shortly after world war two riding on general patriotic fervor of the war and during the social movements of the nineteen sixties but even after the passage of the voting rights act of nineteen sixty five voter participation. Didn't go back to the way at once was and it stayed pretty consistently just over fifty percent since president richard nixon reelection in the nineteen seventy-two race. The decline in voter turnout rates from the mid sixty s to the early two thousands can be pegged to a range of reasons including less trust and government and the loss of the sense of civic duty felt by voters from the greatest generation while the twenty sixth amendment ratified in nineteen seventy one to lower the voting age from twenty one to eighteen in theory introduced younger voters to the electorate their lower voting rates have been seen as contributing to lower turnout overall but the last two decades suggested that things may be changing since two thousand four. We've been at the higher range of turnout of the past century of our politics. Mcdonald's says political scientists and historians. Note the two thousand election exacerbated political polarization and political parties and advocacy groups have improved at mobilizing voters on the grassroots level. And perhaps it's not surprising. Given the polarization and high passions of twenty twenty that the trend has continued a lot of people got disengaged after a series of assassination of martin luther king junior and bobby kennedy and nixon election during that period even though the laws helped bring people into the political system. The decline of those social organizations and collective movement had a negative impact. Says paul junkie. A professor of political science at reed college and founder and director of the early voting information center. The nineteen sixties were an optimistic period and the nineteen seventies period was not. That's what really drives people to the ballot. Box they cared.