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What Kool-Aid Was Like Before Kool-Aid Man Started Busting Through Walls (Cool Weird Awesome 455)

Today is the birthday of Edwin Perkins, who invented a sweet drink known the world over as Kool-Aid. It's the only drink with a mascot that can smash through walls and shout "OH YEAH!" Plus: it's also the birthday of Elvis Presley, who in 1956 volunteered to be photographed getting the then-new polio shot to encourage mass vaccinations. Another way he used his immense fame as a singer to take care of business.

2021-01-08T09:36:57-05:00January 8th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

A Three Minute Audio Tour Of The U.S. Capitol (Cool Weird Awesome 454)

After yesterday's stunning, discouraging events at the U.S. Capitol, we decided to make today's show a chance to get to know our Capitol building a little better. Here's some of what we learned, though we could do a whole week's worth of shows about the Capitol and the people who have made it what it is.

2021-01-07T07:53:43-05:00January 7th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Snow Is White In Real Life; In Paintings It Can Be A Different Story (Cool Weird Awesome 453)

Snow gets its white color because of the way light and color work - but in paintings, artists use a few other tones to make their snowscapes look more realistic and more interesting. Plus: why a New York City department store once tried to sell chips of 100,000 year old ice.

2021-01-06T09:49:46-05:00January 6th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

The Netherlands Turned Pole-Sitting Into A Competitive Sport (Cool Weird Awesome 452)

The U.S. had flagpole sitting a century ago, but the Netherlands has Paalzitten, a sport in which people try to outlast each other sitting on poles. It can get competitive, though finding a crowd to watch people sitting on poles can be tricky. Plus: on National Bird Day, we pay tribute to the shoebill, a large bird that looks a bit like a pelican crossed with a dragon.

2021-01-05T09:49:18-05:00January 5th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

When Czechoslovakia Split, The Two New Countries Also Split The National Anthem (Cool Weird Awesome 449)

On this day in 1993, two new countries were born out of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. The Czech Republic and Slovakia spent months negotiating all of the old country's assets, even which side got which verses of the national anthem. Plus: many of us have tried to learn new skills during our extra time at home. Anna Chojnicka was one of them, and the skill she chose was to make art out of bananas.

2021-01-01T09:33:13-05:00January 1st, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

Once Upon A Time, Human Ancestors Tried To Hibernate (Cool Weird Awesome 448)

A paleoanthrological study in the caves of Atapuerca, Spain, finds that hundreds of thousands of years ago, human ancestors tried something along the lines of hibernation, holing up in the caves for months during winter. It didn't go all that well, though. Plus: you've heard of the ball drop on New Year's Eve in Times Square. But have you heard of the new year's pickle drop in Mt. Olive, North Carolina?

2020-12-31T10:07:58-05:00December 31st, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

For A Person Who’s Hiding Something, Time Slows Down (Cool Weird Awesome 446)

A new study from researchers at Aoyama Gakuin University and Osaka University finds that something interesting happens when we’re trying not to reveal something: our perception of time slows down. Plus: MIT physicists have designed a model for a super-accurate atomic clock that even accounts for quantum physics.

2020-12-29T07:56:08-05:00December 29th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

A Strike (Or A “Sensitivity Session”) Aboard A Space Station (Cool Weird Awesome 445)

On this day in 1973, something happened aboard the Skylab space station. Depending on who you talk to, it was somewhere between a "sensitivity session" between astronauts and ground crew, and a full-on space mutiny. Plus: Japanese Lego artist Jumpei Mitsui just created an all-brick version of Hokusai's famous print "The Great Wave off Kanagawa."

2020-12-28T08:12:33-05:00December 28th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |
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