When A Giant Safe Showed Up In His Yard, A New York Farmer Decided To Embraced The Mystery (Cool Weird Awesome 364)

A farmer in Barre, NY found a massive old safe in his fields, with a note on the side saying whoever could open it could have what was inside. But he decided maybe it would be better not to spoil the surprise. Plus: scientists studying satellite photos of Antarctica were able to spot new colonies of Emperor penguins! From space!

By |2020-08-21T07:35:24-04:00August 21st, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

After The Moon Landing Came The Astronaut Quarantine (Cool Weird Awesome 356)

Today in 1969 was the first day off for the Apollo 11 astronauts in more than a month. Yes, they'd finished their moon landing weeks earlier, but they had to go into quarantine in case they'd picked up some "moon germs" that could lead to a plague on Earth. (Fortunately, they hadn't.) Plus: there's a new augmented reality tour of a church in Florence, Italy that was deconstructed in 1784. 

In The 1980s, You Downloaded Video Games Off The Radio (Cool Weird Awesome 337)

Today we download video games online all the time. Back in the 1980s, gamers without the Internet (such as it was) had to buy or borrow their games. But a few could download programs off the radio. Plus: there's a comet headed Earth's way, and it might make for some great viewing this month, or 6,000 years from now. Either one.

Time To Upgrade The International Space Station’s Bathroom (Cool Weird Awesome 321)

Sometimes you go into space to land on the moon, and other times it’s for maintenance purposes. NASA is planning a mission to replace the toilet on the International Space Station. Plus: this is Waste and Recycling Workers Week, are you paying tribute to those who collect all the stuff we toss out?

By |2020-06-16T08:10:01-04:00June 16th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

The Hubble Telescope’s First Space Photo Was Kind Of Blurry (Cool Weird Awesome 302)

It was on this day in 1990 that the Hubble Space Telescope took its first photo from space. Unfortunately the telescope had a problem with one of its mirrors that required astronauts to go up and fix. Plus: for World Bee Day, the story of an Irish bee enthusiast who built a hive out of LEGO.

By |2020-05-20T08:05:38-04:00May 20th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Running The Mars Rover From Home Is The Coolest Remote Work Ever (Cool Weird Awesome 282)

Like people in other industries who have the means to do so, the scientists who operate the Curiosity Rover are working away from their office at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in southern California. Though technically when you run a craft that's on another planet, you're always working remotely. Plus: artist Greg Olijnyk makes intricate sculptures of robots, telescopes, ships and more out of plain old cardboard.

By |2020-04-22T08:58:51-04:00April 22nd, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , , |

The Mars Lander Can Give Itself A Helping Hand (Cool Weird Awesome 267)

NASA has fixed a problem with its Mars lander, essentially by telling the lander to use a robotic arm to help itself - or, depending on the headlines you read, to whack itself. Plus: a Wisconsin man finds a clever way to share a beer with his neighbor in the era of social distancing.

By |2020-03-25T14:38:11-04:00March 25th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

The Earth’s Rotation Is Slowing, Thanks To The Moon (Cool Weird Awesome 257)

We’re hearing a lot about how a research project has shown that Earth days used to be about a half-hour shorter than they are now. Why is our planet rotating more slowly now? It's mostly because of the moon. Plus: in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, the National Shag Dance Championships are getting underway.

By |2020-06-11T08:37:08-04:00March 12th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

How Do We Talk To Voyager 1 and 2 When They’re So Far Away? (Cool Weird Awesome 254)

Earlier this year NASA got Voyager 2 to restart systems it had shut down through the ultimate in working remotely: sending directions beyond the reach of the sun! The way we send those commands to Voyagers 1 and 2 is pretty basic, but with twists to make up for the extremely long distance. Plus: ISS astronauts have been growing space veggies, and they're pretty good for us.

By |2020-03-09T09:00:10-04:00March 9th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

If You’re Making Cookies In Space, Be Patient (Cool Weird Awesome 227)

Of all the great breakthroughs we’ve made in outer space, there are none sweeter than this: last month, astronauts on the International Space Station baked chocolate chip cookies. But baking cookies in space is a little different than baking them on Earth. Plus: a new device called the Exolung can keep air flowing for virtually as long as a diver likes.

By |2020-01-30T07:36:14-05:00January 30th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |