Monday, March 23, 2015

Sharing a Smile-#1

Each Monday I'm going to try to share something that made me smile--a blog, podcast, website, book--just something that got my attention and might bring a smile to your face, too.  

While driving to New Mexico this weekend, my daughter snapped this photo through the car window:  

We drove through miles and miles of Texas, to quote Bob Wills, that looked exactly like this.  Scrub brush, interspersed with cotton  fields and pump jacks, was all you could see in the fading daylight.  There aren't any radio stations out here and I didn't want to argue over playlists, so, we listened to several podcasts I had downloaded.  One of them was 99% Invisible.  From the iTunes website:   "Design is everywhere in our lives, perhaps most importantly in the places where we've just stopped noticing. 99% Invisible (99 Percent Invisible) is a weekly exploration of the process and power of design and architecture. From award winning producer Roman Mars, KALW in San Francisco, and Radiotopia from PRX."  That sounds a little high brow and maybe even a little boring, but it's a GREAT podcast.  The episode we listened to was #157, called Devil's Rope.

For those of you from ranching or farming backgrounds, you know they're talking about barbed wire (or bob wire, if you're from West Texas).  The podcast gave the history of the range wars, referenced Lonesome Dove (which kicked it up a notch in my husband's opinion) and was very informative.  And THEN, right at the end, was the tidbit I had never heard before.  The one use of barbed wire that wasn't for keeping people and animals in or out of places was... the telephone.  

This was brilliant, especially when you looked at the landscape we were driving through.  Rural telephone cooperatives were springing up to bring this new invention to homes and farms and it would take thousands of miles of wires.  Guess what they used?  Barbed wire!  It made the connection a little fuzzy, but using the fencing that connected all these farms, allowed these families living out far from town to be a little more connected to family and friends.  That, to me, is great design and even though it's in plain sight, barbed wire fencing is definitely 99% invisible--just something we see without noticing.

Here's a link to that podcast.  I hope you check it out!
99% Invisible Podcast

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