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: , , , , |

Humans Have Their Fingerprints All Over The History Of Fingerprinting (Cool Weird Awesome 346)

Today is said to be the day in 1858 that a colonial magistrate in India began using fingerprints for identification. But that's just one part of the history of how and why our prints are such a valuable bit of biometric information today. Plus: a guy in Jamaica showed up to collect a big lottery prize in a Darth Vader costume, because why not?

By |2020-07-28T07:40:32-04:00July 28th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

A Minor League Team Once Held A Game Without Fans As A Publicity Stunt (Cool Weird Awesome 345)

Most sports teams do promotions to get more fans into the games, but in 2002 the Charleston, S.C. RiverDogs held "Nobody Night," turning fans away at the gate to have an official attendance of zero. Plus: want to see a giant metal baseball? Drop by next time you're in Muscotah, Kansas.

By |2020-07-27T05:45:29-04:00July 27th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

The “Vantafish” Is A Fish That Absorbs Light (Cool Weird Awesome 344)

Vantablack is a color that's so black it absorbs almost all of the light nearby. There's new research out about a "vantafish" that does almost the same thing to avoid its hungry bioluminescent neighbors. Plus: you've heard of drive-in theaters; Paris is going to have a "float-in" theater featuring "socially distanced boats" on the Seine.

By |2020-07-18T21:04:00-04:00July 17th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

The County Fair That’s Moving To Minecraft This Year (Cool Weird Awesome 343)

While county and state fairs are canceled for 2020, the 4-H group In Morris County, New Jersey, has found a way to bring the fair experience online, as a virtual fair inside the game Minecraft. Plus: Iceland wants you to send them the sounds of you screaming about this frustrating year so they can play those screams on loudspeakers.

By |2020-07-16T07:50:51-04:00July 16th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Can Drones Help Make Bridges Safer? (Cool Weird Awesome 342)

The drone company Skydio has just announced a new 3D scanning software that’s intended for use on large-scale structures like bridges. That may help us deal with the tens of thousands of "structurally deficient" bridges in the US. Plus: ever seen a guy do a shredding guitar solo riding on a OneWheel skateboard?

By |2020-07-15T08:23:40-04:00July 15th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

The Speed Camera That Thought It Caught A Car Going 437 MPH (Cool Weird Awesome 341)

There was a story out of Italy where a driver got a ticket for driving 437 miles per hour. Since that's almost three times as fast as the car could legitimately go, it's believed to have been a malfunction of a local speed camera. Plus: the creations of cabinet maker Henk Verhoeff aren't malfunctioning, they're meant to be, as the artist put it, "broken and weird."

By |2020-07-14T08:00:01-04:00July 14th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Brooklyn Still Loves The Blackout Cake (Cool Weird Awesome 340)

Pastries come and go, but in Brooklyn, people still talk about the blackout cake from Ebinger's, a cake so beloved that when the bakery closed, people bought up cakes, kept them in their freezers and ate them only on special occasions. Plus: it's the birthday of Erno Rubik, so maybe someday visit the Rubik's Cube-themed hotel room in Houston, Texas.

By |2020-07-13T08:04:27-04:00July 13th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Humans Actually Do Perk Up Their Ears At Interesting Noises (Cool Weird Awesome 339)

Our entire show is based on the idea that we might say something interesting enough that it might get you to perk up your ears, figuratively speaking. Or, as a team at Saarland University has found, maybe not so figuratively speaking. Plus: a sculpture garden in Dublin, Ohio pays tribute to ears of a different kind.

By |2020-07-10T08:45:37-04:00July 10th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Having Knee Problems? Try This Artificial Cartilage (Cool Weird Awesome 338)

Every year in the US there are some 600,000 knee replacement surgeries. But a team at Duke University might help some people avoid those surgeries with a hydrogel that can stand in for cartilage. Plus: engineers at NIKE develop a ball that can really soar.

By |2020-07-09T07:48:16-04:00July 9th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |