You Should Listen To Friday

Sam Greenspan from 99% Invisible curates his favorite radio stories from the week and of all time.


12/11/2015 Transparent is an Amazon original series, created by Jill Soloway. The story centers on a family where the father, played by Jeffrey Tambor, comes out to his children and the to world at large as transgender. The first season was released in September 2014. It was critically acclaimed and won a lot of awards, including an Emmy for Outstanding Main Title Theme Music. In this episode, composer Dustin O’Halloran breaks down how he made the Transparent theme, using an 80-year old piano and channeling his own family nostalgia. This episode is sponsored by Hover, Lagunitas Brewing Company, and MeUndies.
Like all the characters in Transparent, there's more to the theme song than you might think. From Song Exploder.
05/05/2015Nate DiMeo is the host of The Memory Palace. "I struggled a lot when I first got into journalism because I knew every Q&A I edited ... something would get cut. And that the person interviewed would not be entirely represented the way they wanted to be. ... So the best way to honor that person and to get at the heart of it was by writing really well. If their literal voice didn't carry and didn't get enough airtime the spirit of what they were saying was effectively and pointedly articulated by me as a writer."
Quit making cold-calls and writing host ledes—just write like Tracy Chapman.
03/19/2015In the mid 1800s, not many (non-native) Americans had ever been west of the Mississippi. When Frederick Law Olmstead visited the west in the 1850s, he remarked that the plains looked like a sea of grasses that moved  “in swells after … Continue reading
How barbed wire divided and united (but mostly divided) the American west.
04/15/2013En 2011, River Plate, uno de los clubes más famosos de Sudamérica, descendió a la segunda división del fútbol argentino. Desde Buenos Aires, Cristian Alarcón nos presenta la historia una catástrofe futbolística que convulsionó a todo un país. / In 2011, River Plate, one of the most famous clubs in South America, was relegated to the Argentine Second Division. From Buenos Aires, Cristian Alarcón shares the story of a soccer catastrophe that shook an entire nation.
The soccer catastrophe—and radio broadcast—that shook a nation.
04/04/2015Maddie Messer is 12, and she loves a good video game. One of her favorites is called Temple Run. In fact, it's one of the most successful games out there. Temple Run is free to play—if you play as the default character, Guy Dangerous. But playing as a girl character can cost extra. Maddie found out this was true for a lot of games, and she didn't think that was very fair. Today on the show: a 12-year-old girl takes on the entire video game industry. Image Credit: Imangi Studios
12-year-old-girl investigates video game makers for sexism, wins.
05/13/2015Norah Vincent is a former “immersive journalist,” but she’s left that all behind now. (Vincent’s latest book is Adeline: A Novel of Virgina Woolf.)
Genderbending, immersion journalism, and the pyschedelic experience of Virginia Woolf.
03/10/2015What happens for a visually oriented person when the darkness of night takes away all of the reference points for making a memory?
On being blind at night.
04/09/2015A girl is lost and can't find her mom. Why won't anyone help her? Performed by Bee Herbstman, Melanie Hoopes, Ed Herbstman, Evan Sudarsky Abadi, Gregory C. Jones, and Blanche Ames. Written by Diana McCorry, Produced by Jonathan Mitchell. (Image by Luis Mariano González)
04/08/2010"Night in London is a brief period of infinite possibility" wrote the journalist and travel writer HV Morton in the 1920s, and nowhere is this truer than in Hackney, which from doors open till dawn chorus becomes an asphalt jungle for revellers, criminals, artists, lovers, all night eateries and taxi drivers. In the latest and […]
04/03/2015Police officer John Edwards was patrolling a quiet neighborhood in Bellaire, Texas when he saw an SUV driven by two young African-American men. It was just before 2am on December 31, 2008. Edwards followed the SUV and ran the license plate number. His computer indicated that the SUV was stolen, and Edwards drew his gun and told the two men to get down on the ground. It wasn't until later that he realized he'd typed the wrong license plate number into his computer. He was off by one digit. By the time he realized his mistake, one of the men had already been shot in the chest at close range. To learn more about Criminal, visit us at Criminal is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX.
The unarmed African-American man who was shot by a police officer—and lived to tell the story.
04/08/2015The financial crisis of September 2008 overshadows one of the most important events in recent New York History: the arrival of Airbnb. And while your host wasn't paying attention back then either, today he is fed up with the commodification of every square inch of the city. But what if the Airbnb economy is also changing the way New York City dreams and makes art? Can it be stopped? Housing Activist Murray Cox gives us a tour of his insideairbnb project, Sociologist Richard Ocejo takes us on a jaunt through Hell Square, and legendary performance artist Penny Arcade shows us around "the big cupcake".
05/08/2015An aspiring writer tries to channel David Foster Wallace, and a man comes to terms with his given name.
03/27/2015For the past year our resident philosophers Natalie Kestecher and Sophie Townsend have been sharing deep thoughts on shallow subjects, also known as Frozen Garbage. They have covered such topics as dreams, voice coaching, garbage, onions as flu remedies and weevils. In the season finale: ruining things.
Something about the fringe. If you know what, please let me know.
07/14/2015Seventy years ago this week, the U.S. Army detonated the first atomic bomb in New Mexico. To mark this anniversary, we look at where America’s nuclear program is today and whether the U.S. is living up to its promises not to increase its nuclear capabilities.
No new nukes? Then what are these? A deep dive into America's nuclear bomb industry.