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Burglar's Guide to the City, Gender Reveal Parties, & Wedding Cancellations

To catch a thief, you have to think like one. To prevent a crime, you have to case a joint like a potential infiltrator and find the weak spots. On today’s show, a design critic gives us a burglar’s eye view of the built environment.

Plus, canceling a wedding isn't just emotionally traumatic - it can be a financial disaster. Now, websites are popping up to help unhappy couples sell their canceled weddings & give thrifty couples a chance to get hitched on the cheap.

Listen to the full show: 

A Burglar's Guide to the City

It’s the detective’s dictum: to catch a thief, think like a thief. To prevent a crime, you have to case a joint like a potential infiltrator. Look for the weak spots - the air shafts, sewer tunnels, the exposed walls and rooftops that become scenes of crimes - and getaways. Which means you have to think like an architect.

That’s one tactic, anyway, played out with a mad scientist’s delight by Geoff Manaugh in A Burglar's Guide To The City. The book gives us a pair of x-ray glasses - presenting the built environment through the eyes of former bank robbers, cops, FBI agents, and panic room builders, along with the mechanics of some historic heists. Manaugh is also author of BLDGBLOG

A Burglar's Guide to the City

MGM Lion

Film studios all have signature logos to start of their movies. Paramount's - that ring of stars around a snow capped peak - is the oldest surviving Hollywood film logo. Pixar shows an animated desk lamp that hops into the frame and becomes the letter "I" in the name. Producer  Nate DiMeo from the podcast The Memory Palace brings us the history of MGM's roaring logo.

You can listen to this story again at

Gender Reveal Parties

North Carolina's so-called “bathroom law” has put gender identity and trans rights into the national spotlight. A quick primer here: biological sex is what's on your birth certificate - gender identity, which may or may not correspond, doesn't develop for years.  For people who have had little to no exposure to the trans experience, this issue has come out of nowhere - but Jessica Winter, features writer at Slate, isn't too surprised.  She says society is re-enforcing gender norms - incorrectly - before babies are even born. 

Related: Are You a Boy or a Girl?

The Dark Side of Gender Reveal Parties

Wedding Cancellations

We're in the high holidays for wedding planners. But what happens to when someone decides not to go through with it? All those invitations out, those deposits paid, all those guests booked?

Contemporary couples are seeking less dramatic ways to tell guests and even recoup some money by selling your canceled wedding package to another couple. Brooklyn-based novelist, columnist & screenwriter Amy Sohnwrote for the New York Times Style section about how some couples are dealing with calling it quits before getting hitched.

Related: You've Canceled the Wedding, Now the Aftermath

The Economics of Wedding Cancellations

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