If

Several months ago, I started listening to archive episodes of the RadioLab podcast. If you don’t listen to RadioLab, you should listen to RadioLab. These guys take interviews from scientists and historians and do this public radio mashup kind of thing. Every time I listen I learn something new, have a story to share at the dinner table, and, usually, an idea to add to my drawing notebook.

This is the first image created from that page of the notebook:

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It came from a short podcast that they did in 2008 where they actually played a bit of radio art from Australian artists named Sherre DeLys and John Jacobs.

In the RadioLab podcast, the host does not frame the piece in any way. When you listen without knowing what’s coming up, it’s like walking into a building you’ve never been to before with a lot of activity, like a hospital, maybe. At first, you are overwhelmed trying to figure out where you need to check in, who you can ask for help, why all the elevators don’t go to all the floors, trying to keep all your important papers and insurance cards close while also trying to remember the way back to your car.

But when I was little, I used to try to get lost in my neighborhood on purpose. I almost enjoy feeling a little disoriented, maybe. So, I like the way RadioLab presented it, at least as a first listen. As a downside, if you listen to this piece on RadioLab, you don’t get to hear the end of the story. 360documentaries replayed the piece earlier this month, and, thankfully, they give a bit more background information and a little update at the end. I’m adding 360documentaries to my list of podcasts. They can dig up some interesting stories as well.

“If” tells a beautiful story, and you should go listen to it. Probably right now.

RadioLab (if you want to feel disoriented, in a good way)

360documentaries (if you want the background story and closure)

And, as an added bonus, if you look at the 360documentary page, you can see the image above in action. The kind folks at 360documentaries used my image as the art for the radio segment. Yeah!

Do enjoy “If,” however you choose to listen. I’m sure it will inspire you, as well.

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