Today marks one hundred years since the community of Enterprise, Alabama, put up a very special monument in the middle of town: a statue of a Greek woman holding a boll weevil, an invasive pest that had ruined the local cotton crop. Wait, what? Plus: meet the most destructive holiday force ever, Treezilla!
If you want a good party, you need the right soundtrack: researchers set up underwater loudspeakers in dead sections of the Great Barrier Reef, and playing sounds of healthy reefs attracted twice as many fish as areas where there was no sound. Plus: Pocatello, Idaho will give you something to smile about today. It's the law there.
There are tens of thousands of pieces of space debris orbiting the Earth. We've tried a few different ways to bring them back down over the years. Plus: in Huddleston, Virginia, a giant hay sculpture of a country music legend. Meet Will-hay Nelson!
Today in 1877 the Washington Post published its first edition. It brought us landmark coverage of Watergate, and John Philip Sousa named a march for it. But the Post's biggest achievement is helping to create the teddy bear. Plus: this weekend in Ashland, Nebraska, Santa Goes To Space!
The “World’s Smartest Chess Board” Is The Closest Thing To Wizard Chess We Have (Cool Weird Awesome 186)
The chessboard known as Square Off works if your opponent is nearby or not, because it can use Bluetooth technology to move the pieces for them on your board, and your pieces on theirs. Ron Weasley would be impressed. Plus: you haven't heard "Jingle Bells" until you've heard "Jingle Bells" played on a comb.
There's a new medical startup called Cast 21, and, as startups do, they’re looking to disrupt those traditional plaster cast paradigms and make a cast so flexible that wearers could even go swimming. Plus: for National Cookie Day, we pay a virtual visit to the National Cookie Cutter HIstorical Museum in Joplin, Missouri.
It was 48 years ago today that kids first got to play the video game Oregon Trail - the invention of three student teachers from Minnesota who ended up changing video game history without realizing it. Plus: a hospital in San Antonio, Texas marks the holiday season by sending all its December newborns home in red and white hats… and stockings!
It was the giveaway to end all giveaways: 70 years ago almost to the day, a store in Oregon advertised a drawing for a baby. How the heck did this actually happen? Plus: it's December and a good way to enjoy the season is a little thing called ice bumper cars.
In 1953 Swanson had several hundred tons of leftover Thanksgiving turkey - so they created the TV Dinner and changed how we eat. Plus: the 40th annual Holiday Cave Sing is this weekend at Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.
Happy Thanksgiving - and are you really gonna eat that? This holiday edition of Cool Weird Awesome celebrates that for which we are all most grateful: the bewildering foods that inexplicably become part of our annual Thanksgiving dinners, from "seafoam salad" to "tunies" to hot dog chunks warmed up in pizza sauce. Plus: holiday lights are coming, and "Peteyville" in Hammond, Indiana is one of the best and brightest displays you'll find.