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To Protect Themselves From Lions, Cattle In Botswana Have Eyes On Their Backsides (Cool Weird Awesome 359)

"Ambush predators" like lions go after livestock while those animals aren't looking. So scientists at the University of New South Wales tested a theory in Botswana: what if we painted eyes on the back ends of cattle so the lions thought they were watching? Plus: National Roller Coaster Day is coming up, make your plans to visit Japan's famous pedal-powered SkyCycle. 

By |2020-08-14T08:30:54-04:00August 14th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

That’s No Moon, It’s An Underwater “Space Station” (Cool Weird Awesome 358)

Fabien Cousteau is looking to build PROTEUS, a 4,000 square foot underwater research station that has research facilities, a multimedia production studio and an underwater greenhouse. A much more productive use of underwater space than Dr. No and SPECTRE had. Plus: the Racine Art Museum has brought back the annual Peeps Art Exhibition, and this year's submissions are extremely sweet. 

By |2020-08-13T07:48:23-04:00August 13th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Fluorescents Just Got Even Brighter (Cool Weird Awesome 357)

Judging by my kids' toy collections I thought fluorescents were already about as bright as possible. But chemists at Indiana University and the University of Copenhagen have found a way to make the brightest fluorescent materials ever made. Plus: for World Elephant Day, meet Lucy, the elephant-shaped hotel on the Jersey Shore.

By |2020-08-12T07:29:57-04:00August 12th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

After The Moon Landing Came The Astronaut Quarantine (Cool Weird Awesome 356)

Today in 1969 was the first day off for the Apollo 11 astronauts in more than a month. Yes, they'd finished their moon landing weeks earlier, but they had to go into quarantine in case they'd picked up some "moon germs" that could lead to a plague on Earth. (Fortunately, they hadn't.) Plus: there's a new augmented reality tour of a church in Florence, Italy that was deconstructed in 1784. 

A City In New Zealand Has Its Own Wizard (Cool Weird Awesome 355)

There is at least one person in the world who's paid to be a wizard. The city of Christchurch, New Zealand, contracts with him to "provide acts of wizardry and other wizard-like-services as part of promotional work for the city of Christchurch." Plus: there's a museum exhibit in Switzerland featuring works of art that showcase imaginary or invented languages.

By |2020-08-11T07:54:09-04:00August 10th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Alice Coachman Raised The Bar For Team USA (Cool Weird Awesome 354)

We don’t have the Olympic Games right now, but we can still mark a big Olympic moment that happened on this day in 1948: the day Alice Coachman became the first Black woman to win Olympic gold. Plus: a chocolate company and an engineer say they've redesigned the chocolate chip. Is it more efficient? I don't know, but I'll be happy to test it out.

Your Phone Can Tell You If That’s A Dangerous Spider Or Just The Regular Kind (Cool Weird Awesome 353)

There are parts of the world where some of the local spiders are very dangerous to humans. A new app called Critterpedia can scan your spider photos and tell you which spider is which. Plus: on National Root Beer Float Day, a root beer maker in Wisconsin is trying to set a world record for biggest root beer float drive-thru.

By |2020-08-06T08:00:56-04:00August 6th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Why You Can’t Use Pepsi Points To Get A Fighter Jet (Cool Weird Awesome 352)

On this day in 1999 a court rules in a case involving a guy who tried to use a huge number of points in a Pepsi reward program to buy a fighter jet, which the soda maker had jokingly offered in one of its ads. It didn't work, but still, an A for effort. Plus: there's a new uncuttable substance that might make for a great bike lock.

By |2020-08-05T08:11:19-04:00August 5th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

The Fabric With A Built-In Cooling System (Cool Weird Awesome 351)

Maybe everyone in junior high was right: the clothes you wear really can make you cool! At least if those clothes are the new fabric developed in China with a kind of cooling system embedded inside. Plus: it's National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, so let's find out about the largest chocolate chip cookie of all time.

By |2020-08-04T06:31:31-04:00August 4th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Scientists Are Putting Little Cameras On Beetles (Cool Weird Awesome 350)

Researchers at the University of Washington call it a "GoPro for beetles" - a ultralight, wireless, steerable camera that can ride on the back of a bug. And it's pretty effective at letting us see what these bugs see. Plus: a new online chart tracks the vocal range of famous pop singers, by measuring the highest and lowest notes they ever sung on a recording.

By |2020-08-03T08:29:29-04:00August 3rd, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |