NEWS2014-12-21T08:25:07-05:00

Félicette, The First Cat In Space (Cool Weird Awesome 636)

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Today in 1963, a black and white cat from the streets of France became the first cat to go into space. She didn't choose to go, of course, but she's a pioneer just the same - and until a few years ago, a greatly underappreciated one. Plus: today in 1922, a girl in Illinois made it to school after being run over by a train?!? 

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Grace Bedell, The Girl Who Got Abe Lincoln To Grow A Beard (Cool Weird Awesome 635)

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Today in 1860, an 11 year old wrote to not-yet-president Abraham Lincoln, suggesting he grow some whiskers because "your face is so thin." Later, a bearded Abe visited the letter writer, Grace Bedell of Westfield, New York, and showed off his new look. Plus: today in 1957, an unusual demonstration in Port Washington, Wisconsin: the “Power Mower of the Future”!

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Indiana Bell Rotated And Moved Its Office Building – And Kept Working There During The Move (Cool Weird Awesome 634)

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This week in 1930, a phone utility in Indianapolis started moving its headquarters and rotating the building 90 degrees, all while keeping service going for customers and workers in the building. Plus: a state with no sharks brags that it has the fewest shark attacks of any state. 

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Ellen Ochoa Blazed Trails In Space (And Played The Flute Up There) (Cool Weird Awesome 633)

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For National Hispanic Heritage Month, here's the story of the first Hispanic woman in space, Ellen Ochoa, talented and versatile even by astronaut standards. Plus: an art student in China breaks stuff for art's sake, through a very peculiar vending machine.

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The Next Big Thing In Home Insulation? Mushrooms (Cool Weird Awesome 632)

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A startup in the UK has found a way to use mushrooms to create a new, greener kind of home insulation. But don't worry, it isn't just growing mushrooms inside the walls of your house. Plus: an Australian company that delivers coffee by drone is reworking its business model because nesting ravens are attacking their aircraft. 

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Edmonia Lewis, A Sculptor Who Brought Her Subjects To Life (Cool Weird Awesome 631)

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On Indigenous Peoples Day, here's the story of sculptor Edmonia Lewis. She was born in the 1840s to a Black father and a Chippewa mother, and became the first Native American and Black woman to become an acclaimed sculptor. Plus: Happy Thanksgiving to our listeners in Canada. It’s a big country, except for the exhibit known as Little Canada, which features miniature versions of some of the country’s most famous cities, landmarks and attractions.

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