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Evelyn Berezin And Her Word Processor Brought The Computer Age Closer To Everybody (Cool Weird Awesome 517)

Today is the birthday of Evelyn Berezin, whose inventions include the first computer-based word processor, the first computerized airline reservations system, and so much more that so many of us use regularly today. Plus: artist Nadia Gonegaï has made the Portrait Urn, a pretty special way to remember someone special. 

2021-04-12T09:34:57-04:00April 12th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

There’s A Way To Turn Old Chewing Gum Into Wheels For Skateboards (Cool Weird Awesome 516)

Two design students have come up with an idea to turn the stretchy, plasticky parts of chewing gum into new wheels for skateboards, so the gum isn't wasted. It's the kind of idea that just might stick. Plus: today in 1965, the Houston Astrodome opened. They had a plan to grow grass indoors, but they also had a Plan B.

2021-04-09T09:29:16-04:00April 9th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Goodbye Yahoo Answers, Home Of The Most Bewildering Questions Ever Asked (Cool Weird Awesome 515)

Next month the website Yahoo Answers is shutting down, after 16 glorious years of... everything that went on over there. We look back at the most famous moments on a site that became, as the New York Times put it this week, a “haven for the confused.” Plus: a company is making a pair of sneakers that was produced in part from grapes.

2021-04-08T09:27:32-04:00April 8th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

The Parachuting Beavers Of ‘48 (Cool Weird Awesome 514)

On this day in 1948, Idaho Fish and Game moved beavers to a new habitat in a very unusual way: they had the beavers parachute into the wilderness! We'll explain how they did it. Plus: a new map of New York City's most notable trees helps people find some unique green space even in the big city.

2021-04-07T09:07:05-04:00April 7th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

The Actor Who Made A Living Playing Dead (Cool Weird Awesome 513)

Chuck Lamb found a unique way into TV shows and movies: he became "Dead Body Guy," playing a range of characters who had already passed on. And, of course, he took an unusual path to get there. Plus: it's the birthday of Billy Dee Williams, so here's a few lesser-known facts about the actor who brought Lando Calrissian to life.

2021-04-06T08:15:42-04:00April 6th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , |

Waterways Could Get Extra Clean After They’re Cleaned By These Drones (Cool Weird Awesome 512)

A device in Denmark, WasteShark, has been roaming through water to scoop up floating debris. Now it's going to have a flying companion drone to help spot waste and maybe even clean up oil spills. Plus: photographer Nancy Floyd has been taking self-portraits and other images, structured the same way, day after day since 1982, to show the passage of time. Talk about playing the long game. 

2021-04-05T08:31:58-04:00April 5th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Here’s How The Pencil Left Its Mark On The World (Cool Weird Awesome 511)

Today in 1827, Joseph Dixon began manufacturing pencils at his factory in Salem, Massachusetts, so it's a good day to go back through the centuries and centuries that helped make the pencil what it is now. Plus: there's a vintage and specialty pencil shop in Wisconsin called the Pencillarium!

2021-04-02T07:32:52-04:00April 2nd, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

A Sustainable Pacific Island Community That Floats (Cool Weird Awesome 510)

As sea levels rise, small island nations like Kiribati face some tough choices. A European design studio has an idea that might help: sustainable buildings that can collect rainwater, generate electricity, and help grow food. And they float. Plus: Boston's Museum of Science joins with Leonard Nimoy's family to mark his 90th birthday in a fascinating way.

2021-04-01T08:35:25-04:00April 1st, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Here’s What Else Could Have Been Built Where The Eiffel Tower Now Stands (Cool Weird Awesome 509)

Today in 1889, the Eiffel Tower was dedicated and opened, but it was only one of hundreds of ideas for what should be built there. And some of the other proposed designs were wild. Plus: a new device would be able to extract water from the air wherever the user already is.

2021-03-31T08:12:26-04:00March 31st, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

A High-Tech Bed That Can Help Rock A Preemie (Cool Weird Awesome 508)

Babies born ahead of schedule can benefit from close contact with parents and caregivers - and for the times they're not available, there's a new hospital bed called Calmer that can simulate the rocking motion they feel when they're being held up close. Plus: anybody need a fancy door that can fold down into a ping pong table? Cause that exists now.

2021-03-30T07:30:04-04:00March 30th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |
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