On this day in 1948 of the mayor of Boston, James Curley, wrote to the president of MIT, asking that the school's top engineers find a way to get rid of the huge amounts of snow, maybe with flamethrowers. Seriously. Plus: in Chico, California, a much more calm event is getting underway, the the Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway.
April 1st is officially Census Day in 2020, but today is the first day of counting, and the first town to be counted is Toksook Bay, Alaska, near the Bering Sea. Plus: meet Aleia Murawski and Samuel Copeland, who build little environments for snails and then film and photograph the results.
The most prominent civil rights leader in US history was a Trekkie, and a big reason why was the character of Lieutenant Uhura, played by NIchelle Nichols. Here's the story of how Dr. King convinced Nichols to stay on the show when she had plans to leave.
Benjamin Franklin was a lot of things, but he always saw himself as a printer - and some of what he printed was currency for American colonies. Turns out he had some pretty creative ways to try to keep counterfeiters from copying his bills. Plus: New Orleans is hosting the Samantha Fish Cigar Box Guitar Festival this weekend.
And now the episode I’ve wanted to make since I started the show: we’re celebrating the Zamboni! And we're meeting its inventor, Frank Zamboni, who was born on this day in 1901. Plus: a company calculates out just how long it would take a Zamboni to resurface the greatest of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior.
On this day in 1927, the BBC tried something new for their broadcast of a rugby match between England and Wales: they partnered with Radio Times magazine to publish a diagram of a rugby pitch to help the audience follow the action. Plus: on National Hat Day, where better to be than the one and only National Hat Museum?
The New York Public Library released a list of its top 10 all-time most borrowed books. One book you won’t find on the list is “Goodnight Moon.” Despite being one of the most iconic children’s books of its time, the New York Public Library didn’t have a copy for decades, because an influential librarian didn’t like it. Plus: the amazing origins of Silent Record Week!
On this day in 1942, the patent was issued for a car that was to be (at least partly) made from soybeans. And it was the idea of none other than Henry Ford. Plus: Steven Paul Judd is an Oklahoma-based artist of Kiowa/Choctaw descent, and last month he made a portrait of Sitting Bull using just over 20,000 black and white dice.
Humans have been trying to figure out how to replicate plant photosynthesis for a long time - and we’ve had some successes, but a team at the University of Michigan has taken one of the biggest steps forward, with a process that uses metals as catalysts to turn light, carbon dioxide and water into methane. Plus: a company in Japan will make a personalized mask for you in the shape of your pet’s face.
Dental history is, shall we say, complicated. Fortunately we have all sorts of ways to minimize pain today, but none may be as exciting as those used by Edgar "Painless" Parker, a dentist who would distract his patients by putting on a vaudeville show as he worked. Plus: V2P technology could help us keep cars and pedestrians from crashing into each other.