People like to collect all kinds of things, but Mark Davis had a collection that even he thought was a little unusual: cassettes containing the music and announcements that K-Mart stores used to play over their speaker systems, complete with announcements from "KMRT - K-Mart Radio." Plus: on National Pig Day, a story about a pig in the 70s who had an unusual job.
Today is (we think) the birthday of Victor Lustig, perhaps the most notorious scammer of all time. He swindled Al Capone once and "sold" the Eiffel Tower twice! Plus: if you need help relaxing these days, try the ambient soundscapes of Swiss artist Zimoun.
A Guy Who Snagged Richard Nixon’s Half-Eaten Sandwich Still Has It 60 Years Later (Cool Weird Awesome 388)
This week in 1960, Richard Nixon campaigned at a cookout in Sullivan, Illinois, eating some of a Buffalo barbecue sandwich before giving his speech. A young Boy Scout, Steve Jenne, took the rest of Nixon's sandwich home and has kept it in the freezer for the last 60 years! Plus: if you're missing cubicles and conference tables these days, there's a new soundscape, Calm Office, that might help.
In 1939 some ranchers in the West proposed taking parts out of Wyoming, South Dakota and Montana and creating a new state, called Absaroka. It never won approval from Congress but it did have its own license plates and beauty pageant. Plus: how come a spot in Tulsa is known as the center of the universe?
Before there was digital recording, we had cassettes, reel to reels, phonographs, and even wire recordings! That's a little-known system that was invented at the very end of the 19th century. Plus: meet a building in Italy that's been designed to replicate the shape of an orchestra.
Most audio these days (including this show) is recorded digitally, but there are lots of ways to document sounds, including one that's built around a paper cup-turned-microphone. Plus: a programmer has designed a face mask with a lit up, virtual mouth!
If You Miss Eating At Restaurants, Maybe These Ambient Sound Playlists Will Help (Cool Weird Awesome 291)
Missing the sounds of a full restaurant on a Saturday night? Several well-known ambient sound apps and platforms feature a wide range of soundscapes, including restaurants, that might bring those familiar sounds back to you. Plus: the story of a dude in Wisconsin who woke up the neighborhood with his guitar shredding.
A team Purdue University developed a device that uses sound waves that can help determine if and when a disease has started to invade our body cells. That SOUNDS like a good idea (see what we did there?) Plus: a sports commentator in the UK is keeping his skills in shape during the sports hiatus by doing play-by-play on non-sports activities.
Some moths are built to essentially cancel sound - and it's a pretty effective defense mechanism against bats and echolocation. Plus: a heart-shaped work of art made by bees!
Some sounds are pleasing, others not so much. And a few can actually be destructive, like the sound ZME Science identified is probably the loudest sound humans have ever heard. Plus: how about some loud applause for an octopus who managed to escape four octopus escape rooms?