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What happens when an image changes our worldview? In this episode, Olivia tells the story of Earthrise, the era-defining photo that almost wasn’t taken. Cue astronauts bickering over color film and stars aligning.
Then, Elise tells the story of a well-meaning architect whose design was co-opted by Big Plastic. A stealthy meeting at the Ritz Carlton led to a recycling symbol that has been confusing consumers for decades.
Other topics include harnessing your pissed-off energy, new music, and The Container Store’s alter ego.
Story #1: Earthrise (Olivia)
The Story Behind Apollo 8’s Famous Earthrise Photo, short film by Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee for National Geographic
Earthrise and Apollo 8, Wikipedia
The Story Behind Apollo 8’s Famous Earthrise Photo, NASA Science (you can hear the audio in this one and see the tiny windows!)
Solving Space: Earthrise, Space Center Houston
What Did People Think Earth Looked Like Before We Actually Saw It?, Factinate
Earthrise: How the Iconic Image Changed the World, The Guardian, December 24 2018
Timeline of Images of Earth Before 1969, Abroad in the Yard
Timeline of first images of Earth from space, Wikipedia
Notes on shooting in the dark in the field, Peter Thompson (on the Viewosphere)
Shoutout to Earthrise Studio for their incredible visual storytelling work on the climate crisis, particularly their recent coverage of refugees from Ukraine and elsewhere. Their studio is named after this photo!
You can see why, although these photos are amazing, they didn’t have the emotional impact that Earthrise did decades later.
The Blue Marble was taken in 1972, four years after Earthrise, on the Apollo 17 mission. It became one of the most reproduced images in the world.
Story #2: Big Plastic’s Scam and the Real History of the Recycling Symbol (Elise)
How Big Oil Misled The Public Into Believing Plastic Would Be Recycled, NPR, Sept 2020
Why Have We All Been Recycling For 30 Years, Planet Money, NPR, Sept 2020
States take aim at ubiquitous “chasing arrow” symbol on products that aren’t recycled, CBS, Sept 2021
The Theft of the Recycling Symbol, Deal Design, July 2020
The History of Plastic: The Theft Of The Recycling Symbol, Dieline, April 2020
Recycling Myth of the Month: Those numbered symbols on single-use plastics do not mean ‘you can recycle me’, Oceana, March 2020
And a brilliant comedic 8-minute breakdown of the issue by Rollie Williams:
Plastic Recycling is an Actual Scam, Climate Town
Elise’s vintage shop Heiss Vintage will be doing pop-ups at SXSW this week! Come say hi if you’re in the area.
We also talk about the new Batman (and some climate themes??), new music (Big Thief, Rex Orange County, and Stromae), and how Adrianne Lenker has always been a star.
The World Is Burning bookshop is live! Help us come up with book list titles and bulk up our reading list.
Our World is Burning themed playlist is on Spotify.
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Thanks for listening!