Helen Keller Once Flew A Plane, No Matter What People On The Internet Think (Cool Weird Awesome 797)

Today in 1880, the birthday of Helen Keller, the activist, author, speaker, and, on one occasion, a pilot. Never mind what randos on social media have claimed, here's the real story.

By |2022-06-27T09:35:22-04:00June 27, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

When Jacqueline Cochran Broke The Sound Barrier (Cool Weird Awesome 774)

Today in 1953, Jacqueline Cochran became the first woman to break the sound barrier. Then again, Cochran moved at high speed her whole career. Plus: today in 1838, the birthday of Alexander Miles, a Black inventor who made elevators what they are today. 

By |2022-05-18T06:19:11-04:00May 18, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

This Vole Protects Itself From Predators By Cutting The Grass (Cool Weird Awesome 735)

The Brandt’s vole has an interesting way to protect itself from predators overhead: a research project found that the little rodent cuts the grass so it can keep a lookout.

By |2022-03-18T09:20:14-04:00March 18, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Jets Can Burn Less Fuel Thanks To Electric Towing (Cool Weird Awesome 719)

Taxiing accounts for about 5 percent of a jet's fuel consumption, so one way to make flying greener is making taxiing greener, like through an all-electric towing system.

By |2022-02-17T06:49:25-05:00February 17, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

The “Cornfield Bomber” Landed Itself Without A Pilot (Cool Weird Awesome 708)

Today in 1970, an Air Force pilot had to eject from his fighter jet during a training exercise. So the plane just sort of got itself back onto the ground, mostly successfully.

By |2022-02-02T06:34:21-05:00February 2, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

The First Skywriting Was, No Surprise, For Advertising (Cool Weird Awesome 668)

On or around this day in 1922, a pilot wrote the first skywriting message in the United States. It was a way to demonstrate an advertising technique that would be a big part of business for the next few decades.

By |2021-12-01T06:54:36-05:00December 1, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Incubus, The Esperanto-Language Movie Starring William Shatner (Cool Weird Awesome 642)

Today in 1966, the official release of "Incubus," the only Esperanto-language movie starring a pre-Star Trek William Shatner. The movie had such bad fortune some people actually thought it was cursed. Plus: a guy buys an airplane, and though he's never flown before, he taxis it down the runway, takes off and has to figure out how to land. 

By |2021-10-26T07:43:56-04:00October 26, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Boeing Once Used Potatoes To Test In-Flight WiFi (Cool Weird Awesome 594)

It’s National Aviation Day and National Potato Day, and amazingly, there's a story that brings them both together. Boeing used sacks of potatoes in place of humans when it began testing in-flight WiFi. Plus: in 1994, American Airlines released an 18 page book of its in-flight recipes, for anyone looking to recreate airline food at home. 

By |2021-08-19T09:12:25-04:00August 19, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Before There Was CGI, There Was Special Effects Master Ray Harryhausen (Cool Weird Awesome 562)

Today was the birthday of Ray Harryhausen, a pioneer of special effects in movies in the days before computers. And while special effects are more high tech now than in his day, his influence is still all over the world of movies in our time. Plus: a veteran flier from World War II gets to take another flight, some 75 years later. 

By |2021-06-29T09:32:51-04:00June 29, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Turning Plastic Into Jet Fuel, In About An Hour (Cool Weird Awesome 538)

Researchers at Washington State University have found a way to convert plastic waste into jet fuel that takes only an hour. And it's also less energy-intensive, which could make recycling plastic more cost-effective and more common. Plus: today in 2017, a high school in Virginia made sure to include a beloved service dog in its yearbook photos! 

By |2021-05-18T08:12:11-04:00May 18, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |
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