Ruth Faison Shaw Is The Founding Mother Of Fingerpaint (Cool Weird Awesome 403)

Today is the birthday of Ruth Faison Shaw, an art teacher who spotted a kid smearing iodine on the school walls and saw a way kids could express themselves. Plus: art is alive and well in cats, or at least in a photographer taking portraits of cats going wild for - and sometimes on - catnip.

By |2020-10-15T07:52:06-04:00October 15th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Two Football Teams Merged And Became The “Steagles” (Cool Weird Awesome 394)

When World War II put many pro athletes into military service, pro sports leagues had to get creative. That's how on this day in 1943, two pro football teams that normally competed against each other joined forces. Plus: for World Smile Day, we check in on the story of the guy who first designed the smiley face.

By |2020-10-02T09:45:43-04:00October 2nd, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Victorians Made Art Out Of Locks Of Hair (Cool Weird Awesome 380)

A lock of Abraham Lincoln's hair just sold for $81,000 at auction, a reminder that a) people will pay lots of money for lots of things, and b) hair was a pretty important keepsake in the 19th century - people back then even made it into art. Plus: a couple in England decides to upgrade their garden, which the husband decides means installing a 12-foot statue of a T. rex. 

By |2020-09-14T08:10:13-04:00September 14th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Why Is It So Hard To Tell A Real Rembrandt Painting From A Copy? (Cool Weird Awesome 372)

Decades ago researchers announced a Rembrandt painting was not actually by Rembrandt at all. But on Sunday, researchers said they'd looked again and the painting probably was an actual Rembrandt. There are lots of challenges to verifying whether a Rembrandt is really his work or just a simulation. Plus: an interactive online map of continental drift can show you where a town or city used to be hundreds of millions of years ago.

By |2020-09-02T08:02:56-04:00September 2nd, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

A New Device Can Tell When An Avocado Will Be Ripe (Cool Weird Awesome 347)

A team of engineering students at Harvard is teaming with a startup called Savormetrics to develop a device that can tell us when avocados will be ripe. It's one step on the way to solving the costly problem of food waste. Plus: a project in Belgium called #ArtGenetics is learning about the evolution of fruits and vegetables through classic paintings.

By |2020-07-29T07:30:23-04:00July 29th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

The Day The Sun Left New England (Cool Weird Awesome 301)

This day in 1780 was a very strange day for New England. The sun decided to leave the sky around 10 in the morning, leaving everything pitch black and scaring the heck out of the locals. Plus: this day in 1964 was a very strange day for Andy Warhol, who received a very interesting letter from the Campbell Soup Company.

By |2020-05-19T07:52:04-04:00May 19th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

The Race To Keep Day-Glo Paints Glo-ing (Cool Weird Awesome 130)

Paintings made with Day Glo paint - some by well-known and influential artists - are losing their glow over time. Conservationists don't yet know how to solve this puzzle, but we do at least know how Day Glo got started.

By |2019-09-18T09:04:20-04:00September 18th, 2019|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |