39 Years After Making The First Phone Call, Alexander Graham Bell Joined A Transcontinental Conference Call (Cool Weird Awesome 466)

Today's an interesting anniversary for those of us doing virtual meetings, parties and play dates: the anniversary of the first transcontinental conference call, starting at the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition in San Francisco and calling a very special guest in New York. Plus: a restaurant in Montreal is winning fans for a menu which weighs the pros and cons of the restaurant's own dishes.

2021-01-25T09:37:46-05:00January 25th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

We Can Keep An Eye On Elephants With Satellites (Cool Weird Awesome 465)

Scientists at universities in the UK and the Netherlands have been testing out a system in which algorithms parse through high-resolution images taken by satellites to identify elephants and their locations, which could help protect these endangered pachyderms from poaching and habitat loss. Plus: scientists discover a type of electric eel, previously thought to be loners, hunt - and zap - prey in groups.

2021-01-22T07:42:00-05:00January 22nd, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

When Pat Boone Made A Heavy Metal Record (Cool Weird Awesome 464)

In January 1997, Pat Boone - the pop and gospel singer - made a record where he sang Hendrix, AC/DC, Deep Purple and Metallica. How did he, of all people, end up "In A Metal Mood"? Plus: heavy metal is so popular in Finland that there's even a metal band geared toward little kids!

2021-01-21T08:31:01-05:00January 21st, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Martin Van Buren May Have Had The Cheesiest First Day Of Any U.S. President (Cool Weird Awesome 463)

Some presidential inauguration days are memorable; others are quiet. But the one for Martin Van Buren was probably cheesy, thanks to a giant cheddar sent to Andrew Jackson and a public party to eat it just before Van Buren moved into the White House. (Appropriately enough, today is also National Cheese Lover's Day.)

2021-01-20T08:28:28-05:00January 20th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Martin Luther King, Jr. Came Up With One Of His Most Famous Speeches In Under An Hour (Cool Weird Awesome 461)

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. could stir hearts and provoke minds through his writing and his speeches like few others in history. And so it’s even more amazing that his first speech as a public figure, at the outset of the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, came together with almost no time to prepare it.

2021-01-18T08:14:45-05:00January 18th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

The First Top Hat Got Its Inventor Arrested (Cool Weird Awesome 460)

The (possibly apocryphal) story goes that on this day in 1797, haberdasher John Hetherington walked onto the streets of London wearing the first top hat, which caused so much hubbub that he was arrested and fined for disturbing the peace! Plus: in January 1974, MIT professor James Henry Williams, Jr. built a 35 pound yo-yo made of two bicycle wheels, and dropped it off the side of a 21-story campus building.

2021-01-15T09:36:20-05:00January 15th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Sanford And Son Was Such A Hit, Its Star Briefly Walked Out And It Kept Going (Cool Weird Awesome 459)

It was today in 1972 that NBC first broadcast one of the most memorable sitcoms in TV history, “Sanford and Son." Here's a few facts about the show and its star, Redd Foxx. Plus: photographer Mike Mayou went out with a drone-mounted camera in Minnesota to catch the sunset but got something even more amazing.

2021-01-14T08:16:01-05:00January 14th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Beethoven May Have Had Metronome Issues (Cool Weird Awesome 458)

Judging by metronome marks on his sheet music, Ludwig von Beethoven wanted his compositions played really, really fast. Or did he? A new data analysis suggests that the master composer and early metronome adopter may have just misread his device as he wrote down tempos. Plus: Lady Gaga has her own cookies!

2021-01-13T09:32:55-05:00January 13th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

The People Of 1921 Had A Good Feeling About 2021 (Cool Weird Awesome 457)

I certainly did not expect 2021 to be what it is, but what did people back in the day predict our world would be like now? Entrepreneur Magazine looked back at predictions from a hundred years ago, and some of them were surprisingly close to the mark. Plus: Robert "Buz" Chmielewski, who's had only limited feeling and movement in his hands and fingers for 30 years, is using special gear and the power of his mind to control prosthetics and serve himself dessert.

2021-01-12T08:46:42-05:00January 12th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |
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