Cool Weird Awesome with Brady Carlson

Cool Weird Awesome with Brady Carlson

anchor.fm/coolweirdawesome
Three minutes each weekday of cool facts, weird news and awesome discoveries with Brady Carlson. Back us at http://patreon.com/bradycarlson


If I Could Save Time In A Time Capsule
Aug 23 • 3 min
The Derry, New Hampshire library had a time capsule that was sealed 50 years ago. When they took a look inside it contained… absolutely nothing. Why? We don’t know. But we do know that time capsules can get weird. Plus: today in Finland is the 2019 AIr…
Elizabeth Freeman Makes Herself A Free Woman
Aug 22 • 3 min
An enslaved woman in 18th century Massachusetts overheard all the talk about freedom and equality and decided it should be put to the test. On August 22, 1781, a court found the woman known as Mum Bett, later as Elizabeth Freeman, could not be the…
Ketchup Packets Last Somewhere Between Nine Months And Forever
Aug 21 • 3 min
Little sauce packets. We hang onto them because they’re too small to notice much, or because we don’t want to throw them out if they haven’t been used. But at some point they have to spoil, right? We now have a pretty definitive answer on their shelf…
How To Find Where You Are In Just Three Words
Aug 20 • 3 min
The app what3words breaks down all the spaces on earth into 3 meter by 3 meter squares and assigns each of those squares a unique set of three words. Anyone who knows the three words for a square can pinpoint it with GPS - just ask the group of lost…
The Future Of Health Care Is Alpacas
Aug 19 • 3 min
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have been looking at the unusual immune system of alpacas. Their antibodies are not only effective, they’re also easier to harvest than most other animals’ antibodies, so they could help develop ways to treat or…
The Ups and Downs Of Rollercoaster History
Aug 16 • 3 min
It’s National Rollercoaster Day, and while there have probably been thrill rides since humans first figured out the concept of ramps, the roller coaster as we know it has a direct ancestor that dates back to 15th century Russia. Plus: a RollerCoaster…
Keep Playing, Richie Havens, The Rest Of Woodstock Is Coming
Aug 15 • 3 min
Richie Havens wasn’t supposed to be the first act at the Woodstock festival, which started 50 years ago today. But like so much of Woodstock, what was supposed to happen was very different than what actually took place. Oh, also, there were cows there!…
The Alabama Bridge That Roosters Built
Aug 14 • 3 min
It’s the 100th anniversary of a time that roosters built a bridge. Ok, not literally, but an auction of roosters donated by the most prominent people in the world helped raise the money needed for a bridge over the Tombigbee River in western Alabama, a…
Checking In To The House Plant Hotel
Aug 13 • 3 min
The online plant store Patch is offering to take care of the house plants for you while you’re on holiday, in what it’s calling the world’s first plant hotel. Plus: meet the Social Escape Dress, which tracks your stress and activates built-in fog machines…
The Best Defense Against Cougars Is Metallica
Aug 12 • 3 min
When a cougar started walking toward her on a logging trail in British Columbia, Dee Gallant used the power of rock to protect herself. Plus: in a move that might make heavy metal even heavier, guitarist Takamizawa Toshihiko designs a guitar shaped like…
Elvis Almost Threw Down At A Wisconsin Gas Station
Aug 9 • 3 min
Elvis Week is getting underway in Memphis, Tennessee, and while I can’t be there, I can still celebrate, because my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin is where the King once broke up a fight at a gas station in the middle of the night. Plus: Hastings,…
All Hail Iowa’s Butter Cow
Aug 8 • 3 min
It’s day one of the Iowa State Fair, and what would that fair be without its centerpiece - the butter cow! The most bovine of butter sculptures made its debut in 1911, but the long and interesting history of butter-based art goes back even further. Plus:…
The Festival That’s Mostly People Throwing Tomatoes At Each Other
Aug 7 • 3 min
Later this month tens of thousands of people will head to Buñol, Spain for La Tomatina, otherwise known as the world’s largest tomato throwing festival. Also, today is day one of the World Yo Yo Contest in Cleveland, Ohio. But most of all, it’s Cool Weird…
Neat Freaks, Be Glad You Didn’t Live In A Medieval Castle
Aug 6 • 3 min
If you were a royal back several hundred years ago, this might be a time when you’d pack up and leave the castle for one of your other castles. This wasn’t just because that’s what you do when you’re wealthy; it was because the castle staff needed…
Dear Family, Camp Is The Worst, That’s The Entire Letter
Aug 5 • 3 min
It was a hard, hard weekend - so we thought it would be a good day to just take the few minutes we share together and have a little fun, before we have to go back out into the world. So here’s an Instagram account called Homesickdotcom, which shares…
A Garbage Cafe Is Much Better Than Its Name Suggests
Aug 2 • 3 min
There’s a new cafe in the Indian city of Ambikapur known as a “garbage cafe.” It aims to help very poor people by offering them meals and/or shelter in exchange for the trash they often pick up and try to sell - and it uses the reclaimed plastic to build…
Save The Washing Machine Museum!
Aug 1 • 3 min
The Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum in Eaton, Colorado, is facing an uncertain future. Its namesake wants to pass on his collection of some 1,600 machines to the next generation. Hopefully someone takes him up on that offer, because there’s a lot of…
Depression-Detecting AI Is Much More Than A Virtual Mood Ring
Jul 31 • 3 min
Someday, smart speakers might be able to sound off if we don’t sound quite ourselves. Researchers at the University of Alberta have been working on a way for AI to detect depression through voice recordings. Plus: Today in 1989 is when Nintendo brought…
Here’s Why Nellie Bly Is Getting Her Own Monument
Jul 30 • 3 min
Trailblazing journalist Nellie Bly once feigned severe mental illness to expose abuses at an asylum from the inside. New York City is now putting up a monument in her honor on the site where the asylum once stood. Plus: today is the birthday of the…
Where We Got Olympic Medals From Before Recycled Cell Phones
Jul 29 • 3 min
Last week the organizers of the 2020 Olympic Games revealed that 100 percent of the gold, silver and bronze used to create the Olympic medals is recycled - the metal comes from used cell phones. But the ancient Olympians got olive branches as prizes. Why…
Meet Owney, The Legendary Postal Dog
Jul 26 • 3 min
The National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, has an exhibit telling the story of Owney, the dog who loved the mail so much that he helped deliver it all over the world. Plus: Freeman, South Dakota is holding its annual Chislic Festival, a two day…
The Most Powerful Cat May Be The One At 10 Downing Street
Jul 25 • 3 min
Whenever a new Prime Minister takes office in the UK, the first question many people ask is: what happens to the cat living at the official residence at 10 Downing Street? We’ll look at some of the most famous felines to ever hold the title Chief Mouser…
Drones Can Go Through Windows Now. That’s Good, Right?
Jul 24 • 3 min
There’s a quadcopter drone that uses spring-loaded arms and a process called “rapid aerial morphing” to fold itself up as it flies. So we’re a step closer to real-life Transformers. Plus: the story of the all-robot band Compressorhead, whose members twist…
She Ran A Marathon While Pushing A Triple Stroller Full Of Kids
Jul 23 • 3 min
Lots of parents multitask but Cynthia Arnold is completely off the charts, having just run the Missoula Marathon while pushing a triple stroller containing her three kids. Meanwhile, Tony Fisher bought some salami and did the only logical thing with it:…
Point No Point And Other Amazing, Actual Places
Jul 22 • 3 min
The website and book Sad Topographies teaches us that our planet is home to some unusually-named places, like Gloomy Lake in Ontario, Divorce Beach in Mexico, New Jersey’s Shades of Death Road (!) and a spot in Washington state known as Point No Point.…
That Time Pink Floyd Jammed Out During The Moon Landing
Jul 19 • 3 min
50 years ago, the BBC brought in the band known for playing space rock to improvise on-air for its coverage of the Apollo 11 mission. Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour said, accurately, that “the programming was a little looser in those days.” Plus: it’s…
You Know Mack Robinson’s Brother, Now Get To Know Mack Robinson
Jul 18 • 3 min
On this day in 1912, the birth of the greatest athlete you might never have heard of - Olympic silver medalist and community advocate Mack Robinson. His brother, Jackie, is better known, but there’s a reason their hometown of Pasadena, California…
Vegetable Displays Are The New Black
Jul 17 • 3 min
Veggies are good for us - but some households can’t buy them, and others don’t want to. What is it that will get eaters more interested in buying and eating their vegetables? One answer may be: the color black. Plus: the Vent Haven International…
Airports Aren’t Just For The Journey, They’re The Destination
Jul 16 • 3 min
A growing number of people are heading to the airport not to catch flights, but just to hang out at the airport itself. And why not, given how many cool amenities airports have added over the years? Plus: a top destination for Instagram travelers is maybe…
Yours ‘Til Niagara Falls
Jul 15 • 3 min
Going over Niagara Falls with or without a barrel is a bad idea and you shouldn’t do it. It’s safer, easier and a lot more fun to cross over the bridge between Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario - or, if you’re a daredevil, to cross the…
Drinking Coffee Out Of Coffee Cups Made From Coffee
Jul 12 • 3 min
Coffee grounds can be recycled in all kinds of ways, including lots of products. And the most meta product of all is from KaffeeForm, which uses coffee grounds to make coffee cups. Plus: if you can’t wait a couple years for the Little Mermaid remake, why…
Rhinelander, Wisconsin Is America’s Hodag Headquarters
Jul 11 • 3 min
Wisconsin’s most fearsome folk monster been in Harry Potter and tangled with the Scooby Gang, but the Hodag is beloved in the community of Rhinelander, where it’s the high school team mascot and there are many Hodags to find around town. Plus: it’s a big…
When The Flyover Flies Over The Wrong Spot
Jul 10 • 3 min
Patrouille Swiss is the official aerial acrobatics team for Switzerland. Last weekend they were in fine form as they flew over the community of Langenbruck for a festival honoring a local aviation hero… except for one thing: they weren’t actually over…
Getting All Our Robot Ducks In A Row
Jul 9 • 3 min
In Japan, there’s a little white robot swimming through rice fields, imitating a duck! It’s actually helping to grow the rice by aerating the water and stopping weeds from growing. Plus: if you prefer non-robotic ducks, then you’ve got some options with…
Rise Of The Tortilla
Jul 8 • 3 min
Taco Bell says it’s been dealing with a tortilla shortage. Those craving inexpensive tacos and burritos at odd hours are bearing the brunt of this crisis, but it’s affecting all of us - after all, tortillas have been a part of our culinary lives for…
We Have A Lot Of UFO Historical Markers Now
Jul 5 • 3 min
It’s day one of the Roswell UFO Festival in New Mexico. Whatever happened there in 1947, the incident put Roswell on the map - and other towns that have their own UFO stories have been increasingly playing up those stories, including through historic…
What Was July 4th Like Before The Fourth Of July?
Jul 4 • 3 min
It’s the 243rd birthday of the United States, and we’ve done a lot of celebrating over those years. But what were people doing on the Fourth of July before American independence? One of the most interesting stories is from July 4, 1054 - in China. Plus:…
I Wear My Smart Glasses At Night
Jul 3 • 3 min
Smart glasses are a thing! Not augmented reality, but an actual pair of glasses that can sense what we’re trying to look at and make it easier to see it clearly as our eyes age and lose some of their ability to focus. Plus: the National Paper Doll…
Lawn Chair Larry Takes To The Sky
Jul 2 • 3 min
On this day in 1982, a dude named Larry Walters entered aviation history as the pilot of a craft called Inspiration I - which was a lawn chair attached to 42 large weather balloons. Plus: the story of some high school students in Toronto, Ontario, who…
Please Consider The Environment Before Printing And Reprinting On This Paper
Jul 1 • 3 min
Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a system to unprint the printing on standard printer paper, in a way that uses less energy and material than the conventional paper recycling process. Plus: the new Medi-Teddy aims to make a trip to the…
Medical Glue. Strong Stuff.
Jun 28 • 3 min
A team at Technion–Israel Institute of Technology developed a way to use medical glue to bind human tissue together instead of stitches and medical pins. They heat it up using, essentially, a hot glue gun - one that they hopefully don’t leave in with…
Anyone Need Some Sponge Candy While I’m In Buffalo?
Jun 27 • 3 min
I’m traveling to Buffalo, New York for a book event today, so I thought I’d celebrate one of the city’s beloved foods: sponge candy. Meanwhile, an ice cream shop in Buffalo has done what you might expect an ice cream shop in Buffalo to do: add Buffalo…
The Babe Is Here, Who’s Coming In Second?
Jun 26 • 3 min
Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias could do it all - she was an Olympic gold medalist, champion golfer, basketball and baseball player, vaudeville performer, celebrity and more. Once she won the US national track and field championships by herself - as in,…
The World’s Greatest Robotic Pig Food Truck
Jun 25 • 3 min
Today is #BourdainDay, where we celebrate Anthony Bourdain’s enthusiasm for traveling, eating, learning and especially for going off the beaten path to really get to know people and recipes and places. In that spirit, we talk about food trucks with…
Selfies On Mars
Jun 24 • 3 min
The Curiosity Rover takes selfies on Mars - so how does it do it without having its robot arm in the foreground of every shot? Plus: the University of St. Andrews teaches grey seals to sing the “Star Wars” theme. For research. Why Don’t We See the…
The Fastest Lawn Mower In The World, And How We Got To It
Jun 21 • 3 min
Earlier this month a prototype mower in Germany set a new world record by going from zero to 100 miles an hour in 6.29 seconds… while still cutting grass! Not bad for an invention that’s not even 200 years old. Plus: this weekend is the grand finale of…
Turtle-Friendly Fishing Nets Are Lit
Jun 20 • 3 min
Bycatch is what fishing boats catch that they’re not trying to catch. It’s bad for them, their nets and the bycatch - especially for turtles, which are difficult to disentangle from gillnets. But new research suggests illuminating nets with LED lights may…
Riding a Horse Down Fillmore Street For Juneteenth
Jun 19 • 3 min
Juneteenth is the annual celebration of the end of the institution of slavery. Today we give some props to the African-Americans who have built the holiday over the year, including the Texan-turned-San Franciscan who used to don his ten-gallon hat and…
Do You Feel Like Peter Frampton’s Talk Box Does?
Jun 18 • 3 min
Guitar great Peter Frampton starts his farewell concert tour, which means if you want to hear him use that famous voice box in “Do You Feel Like We Do,” now’s the time to do it. How does that talk box work, anyway? Plus: meet Ahmed Ali, a graduation…
How To Move A 12 Ton Sphinx
Jun 17 • 3 min
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology - known better as the Penn Museum - needed to move its most famous object, a 3,000 year old Egyptian sphinx, from a gallery to the main hall as part of a renovation project. The move…
For Dads, The Story Of A World Record Burp
Jun 14 • 3 min
Sorry, Simpsons fans: the world’s greatest burper is neither “The Critic” Jay Sherman nor Eudora Welty, but an Italian guy in a wrestling mask who calls himself Rutt Mysterio. Plus: for Father’s Day weekend, the story of the only time in big league…
That Time Cat Stevens Wrote A Dog Song
Jun 13 • 3 min
The Songwriters Hall of Fame is inducting Yusuf Cat Stevens for his classic, mostly acoustic songs like “Moonshadow,” “Peace Train” and “Wild World.” But did you also know that Yusuf Cat Stevens was a pioneer in electronic music with his 1977 song “Was…
Row, Row, Row Your Bot
Jun 12 • 3 min
Autonomous robot boats are a thing! Over time, researchers have taught them to row themselves gently down the stream and to connect to each other autonomously - soon they could help clean the water or even turn themselves into temporary footbridges. Plus:…
Sensors Report Leftovers Are Still Fresh
Jun 11 • 3 min
We may be taking a big step forward in the effort to stop food waste! A research team at Imperial College London has developed food freshness sensors that can be embedded in the packaging of meat and fish and detect the gases that show up when food…
Cloudy With A Chance Of Ladybugs
Jun 10 • 3 min
Last week Southern California saw a bloom of ladybugs so big it showed up on radar! As it turns out, there’s a whole field of science called aeroecology that’s using our increasingly accurate radar to track insects, birds and bats. Plus: ladybugs have had…
The Great Banana Split Rivalry
Jun 7 • 3 min
Today is the start of the Banana Split Festival in Wilmington, Ohio, where the banana split was born. Of course, if you were in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, locals would point out their town had banana splits three years before Wilmington. Plus: the…
To Get Plastic Out Of The Ocean, Put It On A Plane
Jun 6 • 3 min
Researchers at Washington State University say they’ve found a way to make jet fuel out of something the world throws out in great quantities every day: household plastic. Plus: something you might want to fly overseas and check out is the new Easy-E…
From Storms Chasing Us, To Us Chasing Storms
Jun 5 • 3 min
Storm damage isn’t cool, weird or awesome, but the ways we spot storms and warn people about them are pretty great. And they’ve come a long way from the time when the US Army Signal Corps banned anyone from using the word “tornado” in forecasts so as not…
The Minor Leagues Got Majorly Weird
Jun 4 • 3 min
Attractions - especially weird ones - are a time-honored way to drum up business from people who are at best casual baseball fans, and lately that’s extended to team names, including the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the Vermont Lake Monsters, the Binghamton…
And Then One Day You Find 10,000 Years Have Got Behind You
Jun 3 • 3 min
A project to build a clock that will run for 10,000 years got us thinking about how we measure time - and amazingly, 10,000 years is more time than has passed since the invention of hours, minutes and seconds. Plus: a quick look at the shortest official…
I Review The Body Electric
May 31 • 3 min
It’s the 200th birthday of Walt Whitman, the poet best known for his landmark work Leaves of Grass… and the guy who anonymously wrote glowing reviews of his own writing in the newspapers of the day. Plus: Plymouth, North Carolina is hosting the North…
The Only Headless Chicken With His Own Festival
May 30 • 3 min
We’re on the eve of this year’s biggest event in Fruita, Colorado - the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival, where people all gather to celebrate the miracle chicken who had his head chopped off, and carried on as if nothing had changed. Plus: residents of…
After-After-After-shocks
May 29 • 3 min
Today’s show is about a series of earthquake aftershocks in the Hebgen Lake area of Yellowstone National Park measured in 2017 and 2018. That’s not in and of itself unusual, except that the original earthquake happened in August of 1959. Plus: a dude…
What Is The Euphemism For “I Dropped A Frog”?
May 28 • 3 min
As much as we all like to consider ourselves straight talkers, we all use certain euphemisms when we’ve done something we wished we hadn’t. Scientists are particularly good at this because they can envelop a faux pas in layers and layers of academic…
The Many One True Birthplaces Of Memorial Day
May 27 • 3 min
Officially, the community that started Memorial Day is Waterloo, New York - in May 1866, the community spent the entire day honoring those killed in the Civil War by placing wreaths and flowers at their graves, then holding a parade, giving speeches and…
The Jumpsuit Century
May 24 • 3 min
There’s nothing more fashionable than the jumpsuit - right? Right? Anyway, it was a century ago that the Italian artist Thayaht proposed a one-piece garment with buttons down the front as the next big thing in fashion. The jumpsuit hasn’t quite become as…
Dance Breaks and Deathfests
May 23 • 3 min
May is Asian/Pacific-American Heritage Month, and a great time to talk about two exciting, important and sometimes underappreciated Asian-American performers. The dance team of Jew Wing Dong and Dorothy Takahashi, known professionally in their heyday as…
If You Want To Stop Burglary, Then Study Burglars
May 22 • 3 min
And now, a look at a study that’s the kind of research Batman would do if he were an academic instead of a crimefighter: a scientific study of virtual burglary. By watching how burglars burgle, we might learn the difference between how most of us think…
Excuse Me, My Suitcase Would Like To Get By
May 21 • 3 min
The busiest part of the year for travelers is coming, meaning that at airports, there will be a lot of people around to clonk into each other. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University may have a solution: a collision-detecting suitcase. Plus: a brewery…
Is It A Tortoise, Or Home Improvement Project?
May 20 • 3 min
Two weeks ago, the staff at the Humane Society of San Diego had to figure out how to help a tortoise with a hole in its shell. Veterinarians Daniel Barbour came up with a plan involving a trip to the hardware store. Plus: meet Ron Minis, a musician who…
Sure, I’m Petty, Just Not Paypal-Petty
May 17 • 3 min
A group of researchers has been looking at the science behind digital pettiness - that’s like if you go out to eat with somebody and then use Paypal or Venmo to send them the exact amount of money to cover your order, down to the penny. Maybe this isn’t a…
Venus: If You Lived Here, You’d Have Melted By Now
May 16 • 3 min
Today’s the 50th anniversary of an overlooked but important visit to a fairly nasty place… the planet Venus. The Venera 5 craft isn’t well remembered, partly because it only got to do its atmospheric testing for an hour before the hellscape that is the…
Ooh, That Smell: A Corpse Flower Blooms In Chicago
May 15 • 3 min
What’s in a name? That which we call a corpse flower by any other name would smell as bad. The Chicago Botanic Garden has issued a bloom watch for one of its corpse flowers - not humans’ favorite scent ever, but still a special occasion, because a corpse…
Do Tacos Dream Of Electric Tongues?
May 14 • 3 min
For this Taco Tuesday we salute the Washington State University researchers behind the latest in electric tongue technology. The virtual tongue system can better distinguish spiciness than human tongues - and for longer periods of time, too. Plus: a visit…
Australia’s Biggest Little Spelling Error
May 13 • 3 min
Australians have been laughing, cursing, sighing and facepalming over a misspelled word on the newest printing of the Australian $50 dollar note. They left out an I in the word “responsibility,” and no one in the country is apparently missing the irony of…
Treat Your Mother Subreddit Right
May 10 • 3 min
It’s 150 years to the day that the presidents of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads drove a ceremonial golden spike into the first railroad line to cross North America. That’s the big event of the weekend - oh, there’s also a thing called…
Dear Ralph Baer, Thanks, Signed, All The Video Gamers
May 9 • 3 min
Ralph Baer invented home video games from his workshop in Manchester, New Hampshire - and now the city is honoring this gaming pioneer with a “Baer Square,” complete with a statue, in a city park. Plus: this weekend, a place called the Maritime Republic…
The Spy Whale Who Loved Me
May 8 • 3 min
The story of the whale wearing a GoPro that might be some kind of Russian surveillance agent is pretty wild, but it’s not even close to the first time governments have turned to animals for surveillance purposes. In the Cold War, the CIA tried to train a…
The Biggest Binge-Watch Ever
May 7 • 3 min
The new film “Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project” tells the story of a Philadelphia librarian and activist who spent decades recording every TV program she possibly could. She left 70,000 videocassettes in all, which is now being digitized to help us…
Change The (English) Channel
May 6 • 3 min
Today is the 25th anniversary of the formal opening of the Channel Tunnel, a 31.4 mile long, mostly undersea rail tunnel connecting the city of Calais in northern France with the English town of Folkestone, Kent. The commemoration ceremony was a…
Here In My Hollywood Car Exhibit, I Feel Safest Of All
May 3 • 3 min
The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is about to open a new exhibit called “Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy.” If you’ve ever wanted to get close to the coolest rides the big screen ever shared with us - like,…
2 Dope Pirate Queens
May 2 • 3 min
The Louisiana Pirate Festival is getting underway in Lake Charles, which is as good a reason as any to talk about two of the most remarkable stories in pirate history: Cheng I Sao, a Chinese pirate queen who commanded 400 ships and 70,000 men and never…
The Ballad of Heckboy
May 1 • 3 min
In Dickson, Tennessee, a movie theater showing a certain movie about a certain bright red dude with horns decided the name was a little too brash to put on a marquee facing a church, and decided to clean it up a little and advertised a showing of, and I…
Sad-Eyed Wallaby Of The Lowlands
Apr 30 • 3 min
Bob Dylan still doesn’t like cell phone cameras at his concerts, judging by the admonition he gave a crowd this month. And yet, one of the most famous images was a concert photo taken by a random guy in the crowd! Plus: a group of poppy-fueled wallabies…
De-ice De-ice, Baby
Apr 29 • 3 min
A team at the University of British Columbia has developed a coating that has something called low interfacial toughness - in short, instead of ice building up on your car until it’s almost impossible to scrape off… it collapses under its own weight and…
Ship To Shark Communication
Apr 26 • 3 min
A new study led by a researcher from Duke University has spotted female sand tiger sharks returning to the same shipwrecks, sometimes over months or even years. Are they taking a rest stop on their migration routes? Are they mating there - like a…
I Love Drone Lamp
Apr 25 • 3 min
Japanese designer Kazuhiro Yamanaka has just released a flying drone lamp - this little light of yours will fly around the room with you as you move. Imagine how cool an episode of Ghost Hunters would be if they had one. Plus: what would an exercise video…
Take Off Your Password and Jacket
Apr 24 • 3 min
Passwords are totally out of control and no one’s happy about it. On the plus side, the security studies about how bad we are at passwords are pretty funny to read - like the new one from the UK that says one of the most common breached passwords is……
The Many Moods Of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Apr 23 • 3 min
Thirty years ago today was the last regular season game of one of the greats on and off the court. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored more points than any NBA player ever - and he may have set the record for most kinds of post-basketball success, from doing fight…
Roombas! In! Spaaaaaaace!
Apr 22 • 3 min
Being an astronaut is hard work - not only are you floating up in space, away from the rest of the world, you have a lot of cleaning to do. But there are plans for a new system that would disinfect the interiors of spacecrafts and space stations with…
What A Time To Be A Hologram
Apr 19 • 3 min
Frank Zappa is back out on tour, doing nine shows in the US and seven more in Europe. Now if you’re scratching your head here and saying, wait, isn’t Frank Zappa dead - well, yes, but this is the era of hologram concert tours, there’s no reason a dearly…
Break up with your pension, I’m bored
Apr 18 • 3 min
Everything is connected to everything else - and there’s no better example of that than this week’s news that a song by Ariana Grande is putting money into the state pension program in Michigan. And speaking of Michigan, did you know the state is home to…
I’m Going Out For A Scent
Apr 17 • 3 min
Tired? Smoke breaks. Inspired? Scent breaks. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Brown University are looking at whether pleasant smells can help curb cravings for nicotine. Plus: for the new short film NYC Textures, director Ynon Lan took…
The Long Lost Heads of Notre Dame
Apr 16 • 3 min
If you’re mourning Notre Dame cathedral today, well, you’re not the only one. Here’s a story from its long history that might make you feel a little more hopeful, a story of stone heads that disappeared - and reappeared hundreds of years later. Plus: a…
Bess and Taxes
Apr 15 • 3 min
Tax Day gives a lot of us the blues - which, as it turns out, actually kind of works. April 15th is the birthday of one of the greatest singers of all time: the Empress of the Blues, Bessie Smith. As for taxes, we have some news you can use - at least if…
You Call This Archaeology?
Apr 12 • 3 min
During the Cold War, the CIA flew U2 planes all over the globe, to see what the Soviets were up to. And in doing so, documented all kinds of geographical features from up above. Two researchers decided to go back through these photos - not for their Cold…
This One Goes Out To All My Peeps
Apr 11 • 3 min
The surest sign of spring is neither the calendar nor the weather. It’s the reappearance of Peeps, which are the stuff of candy and cultural legend now. Not only are there billions of them produced, eaten and/or used in dioramas every year, there’s a…
May The Force Sisters Be With You
Apr 10 • 3 min
The family that races hot rods together… stays together. For National Siblings Day, the story of Brittany, Ashley and Courtney Force, three sisters who have found an unusual way to spend time together: they’re professional funny car drivers. And if you’re…
All I’ve Got Is A Phonautograph, But It’s Not Enough
Apr 9 • 3 min
Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville invented a way to document sound more than a decade before Thomas Edison developed his wax cylinders. So why isn’t he remembered as the king of recording? Because he hadn’t figured out one key feature: playing the sound…
Come On Feel The Airplane Bathroom Noise
Apr 8 • 3 min
Researchers out of Brigham Young University have been working to quiet one of the most ungodly noises in the world - airplane bathrooms. Turns out changing the design of the pipes can make it a lot quieter, unlike that snoring guy in the next row. Plus: a…
Tweens vs. Potholes
Apr 5 • 3 min
A long cold winter is behind us - unfortunately potholes are underneath us. In Michigan, 12 year old Monte Scott counted 50 potholes on his street alone - and started filling them in himself. Fortunately, a research team at Drexel University is working on…
A Big Transplantiversary
Apr 4 • 3 min
It was 50 years ago today that a doctor implanted a temporary artificial heart in a patient - a pretty big leap forward in heart surgeries, given that transplants were only about a year old back then. Plus: since April is National Donate Life Month, and…
Laser Apple Robots
Apr 3 • 3 min
An apple a day keeps the coming war with robots away? A New Zealand company is testing a robot that’s supposed to move through an apple orchard, spot ripe fruit, yank it from the tree and bring it back to the farmer. They’re either helping us do a hard…
I Wish They All Could Be California Plates
Apr 2 • 3 min
You can apply for just about any set of numbers and letters to adorn your motor vehicle, so long as they’re a) not already taken and b) abide by your state’s rules. California residents have been putting the Golden State’s rules to the test in some odd…
The Pizza and Pipe Organ Connection
Apr 1 • 3 min
I spent part of the weekend chasing down a little bit of musical and culinary history in Greenfield, Wisconsin, just outside Milwaukee. That’s home to Organ Piper Pizza - as you eat, an organist plays an enormous Wurlitzer organ, which also controls stage…
The Goat Mayor Of Fair Haven, Vermont
Mar 29 • 3 min
On this day in 1861 the tiny European country of San Marino presented President Abraham Lincoln with honorary citizenship. There’s another leader named Lincoln who’s aspiring to greatness, and may yet achieve it - if, like Honest Abe, she can clean up the…
Baseball’s First, Fightingest Umpire
Mar 28 • 3 min
It’s Opening Day - and no matter who wins and who loses, baseball fans will have something to say about the umpires. The first pro ump in the big leagues was a man named Billy McLean - who, when he wasn’t calling balls and strikes, was occasionally…
Drunk Online Shoppers Of The World Unite
Mar 27 • 2 min
This year’s big growth industry: buying stuff online while you’re hammered. That’s according to a new survey that finds one in four respondents admitted to buying stuff on the internet while they’ve been drinking. Drunk buying is now a $39.4 billion…
A Salute To Great Eight Year Olds
Mar 26 • 3 min
Brady has an eight year old in the house today! To celebrate the big guy’s birthday, we’re taking a look at the many great eight year olds out there, making things a little more awesome. And check out the Memphis Zoo’s new Lego sculptures, including a…
We Got (The Cheese)
Mar 25 • 3 min
Researchers in Europe make a stunning discovery: playing hip-hop to cheese makes it taste better. Maybe they should have played a few songs to a collector’s coin in Germany that’s not getting a great reaction. Link: Cheese Exposed To Hip Hop Tastes Better…
Millennials Are (Not) Killing Lunch
Mar 22 • 3 min
Millennial memes are a crock. They’re not really killing lunch. Or bar soap. Or doorbells. But an often-discarded piece of their beloved avocados may end up saving lunch, thanks to a new kind of cutlery made from bioplastics. This weekend head to Virginia…
Mystery Beer Fridge
Mar 21 • 3 min
That feeling when you’ve had a horrible day and everything’s gone wrong and all you really want is to sit down and have a beer… and then a beer shows up. It’s the real-life story of a giant flood, two guys who lived through it, and what they found after.…