It really happened! On Thanksgiving 2008, a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade came to a halt, there was a record scratch, and none other than Rick Astley came out to perform "Never Gonna Give You Up." Plus: a pianist in Thailand is never going to give up his very unusual audience.
The man known as the Father of the Blues, W.C. Handy, was born on this day in 1873, and it's not exaggerating to say rock and popular music wouldn't have played out the same way without him. Plus: if you have the blues because your cat keeps waking you up in the night, you may want to check out this new cat-friendly bedframe.
If you're an astronaut, way up there in space, chances are you started the day with a song. Why? It's a NASA tradition. Plus: an artist in California has turned "Star Trek" into a widescreen format, so it fits on modern TVs.
The Oomphalapompatronium Is An Instrument That Lives Up To Its Unusual Name (Cool Weird Awesome 366)
What's In A Name Week continues with a look at the Oomphalapompatronium, a creation of Boston-area musician, composer and inventor Len Solomon. And it definitely fits the name. Speaking of words that fit with what they describe, did you know about the word "aptronym"?
Researchers at the University of Washington call it a "GoPro for beetles" - a ultralight, wireless, steerable camera that can ride on the back of a bug. And it's pretty effective at letting us see what these bugs see. Plus: a new online chart tracks the vocal range of famous pop singers, by measuring the highest and lowest notes they ever sung on a recording.
You know how some couples have their own song? There’s actually psychological research into what are known officially as “couple-defining songs," and there are legitimate benefits to the relationship to choosing a tune to share. Plus: next time you're in Japan, drop by Neko Neko Shokupan and share one of their famous cat-shaped breads with someone special.
It would be understandable if you felt a little cut off from the rest of the world these days. Hopefully it won't be as challenging as it was for Dr. Leonid Rogozov, who on this day in 1961 had to remove his own appendix while stationed in Antarctica. Plus: today in 1970, Pink Floyd played a concert for public TV in San Francisco. Silence in the studio!
This month marks 50 years since the world learned The Beatles were calling it a day. So we're telling the story of the American Beetles - a knockoff band that toured South America, without quite
Now That’s A Deep Cut: Music Scholars Bring Back “Lost” Songs From 1,000 Years Ago (Cool Weird Awesome 283)
Music scholars at Cambridge University studied musical manuscripts without modern notation and after years of detective work, reconstructed what they would have sounded like. Plus: on this day in 1982 Key West, Florida declared independence from - and war on - the United States. For not very long.
The University of Virginia's Disabilities Studies Symposium has produced a version of a 1950s opera called “Dialogues of the Carmelites" featuring both traditional opera singers and Deaf actors performing together and living up to the name of their workshop, "Breaking the Sound Barrier." Plus: a cat played a Theremin on the internet, because why not.