Interesting Stories From Everyday Objects (Vol. 1)

A curated episode list by
Creation Date April 11th, 2020
Updated Date Updated April 22nd, 2020
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Mundane objects that cross our path every day usually hide interesting origins and mysteries. This a sample of stories from glitter, flip flops, pockets and more.
  1. Endless Thread solves one of the internet’s most compelling unresolved mysteries. Inspired by a New York Times feature about glitter last year, Redditors have obsessed over identifying the mysterious industry buying huge amounts of glitter – information which glitter-makers have now famously refused to divulge. No one has been able to find any answers…until now!
  2. Slate Plus members get ad-free podcasts and bonus episodes of shows like Dear Prudence and Slow Burn. Sign up now to listen and support our work.Over the last half century the decorative pillow has been crowding out our sitting and sleeping spaces, multiplying across our beds and couches decade by decade. For some, decorative pillows are a fun design accent, for others a symbol of useless overconsumption. Today on Decoder Ring we explore the world of the decorative pillow to try and figure out why they've become so ubiquitous and what they tell us about our homes, interior design, and the way we develop our tastes.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
  3. From Japan to Hawaii to California, this week we learn about the origins of the ubiquitious flip-flop.  Learn more about your ad-choices at
  4. James Ward introduces another curious talk about a subject that may seem boring, but is actually very interesting.... maybe. Brian Mackenwells is passionate about pencils. In this Boring Talk he shares his passion for good pencils. He talks us through their history, and explains why having a good pencil gives you a pleasurable 'small pivot point that can change your whole mind set'. He also talks us through his favourite pencils, and shares the very personal reason that he can't part with one particular pencil in his collection. Presenter: James Ward Contributor: Brian Mackenwells Producer: Luke Doran
  5. Some brands aren’t cool no matter how hard they try. Others start out cool, but lose their cachet over time. Then there are the brands that somehow, surprisingly turn cool. Without really changing their products, LaCroix, Canada Goose, and Carhartt became the hottest things around. How did that happen?Sign up for our newsletter:
  6. What do you hear when you walk into a Casino? It can feel like chaos, but each sound is carefully curated to draw you in and make you stay. One collection of sounds are scientifically and artistically designed to keep the gambler, gambling. Slot machines. This episode features interviews with Willie Wilcox, Chief Sound Designer at Scientific Games in Las Vegas, Laura Taylor, composer and sound designer for a number of slot machines across the US, and Karen Collins, who has led extensive research into the sound and music behind these games. Is it addiction or entertainment? Maybe it's both. Pull the lever and listen for yourself. Twenty Thousand Hertz is produced out of the studios of Defacto Sound and hosted by Dallas Taylor. Check out for all of your file sending needs! Try ZipRecruiter for free at Consider supporting the show at Episode transcript, music, and credits can be found here:
  7. Womenswear is littered with fake pockets that don’t open, or shallow pockets that can hardly hold more than a paperclip. If women’s clothes have pockets at all, they are often smaller and just fit less than men’s pockets do. And when we talk about pockets, we are talking about who has access to the tools they need. Who can walk through the world comfortably and securely? Articles of Interest is a show about what we wear, created by Avery Trufelman; a six-part series within* 99% Invisible*, looking at clothing.
  8. Alexis Madrigal brings you the gripping story of how a new way of shipping stuff across the ocean fed the Vietnam War, destroyed America's great port cities, and created global trade as we know it. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit
  9. Producer Christine Driscoll meets an alleyway plant dealer and discovers an industry right under our noses. Our SponsorsEveryday Bravery - subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts Sonos - Sonos is a smart system of wireless speakers. To learn more go to sonos.comVirgin Atlantic - Listen to their podcast, The Venture, wherever you get your podcastsWordpress - To get 15% off your website go to
  10. The origins of the office cubicle and it's creator's ideas about office design might surprise you. Open vs closed offices? Oh yes, we talk about it. In this episode, we delve into the history of the company now synonymous with Mid-Century Modern design, Herman Miller . Throughout the conversation we discuss current research and trends about the workplace; the ways it affects us and why we all find it so dang funny. We owe a big thanks to Meghan McCarty Carino of Marketplace, Harvard Business School’s Dr. Ethan Bernstein , and Dr. William Kramer of the University of Nebraska, Omaha. Thanks also to the Herman Miller Archives for the photographs featured on our website for this episode, as well as Amy Auscherman and Joseph White of Herman Miller for their historical accounts of the this American icon. Special thanks to our in-studio guest, Jason Shawrz and to my father, Gordon Freeman Newton. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify to never miss an episode. Reach out with comments or citation

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