“Mummy Brown” Was A Paint Made From Actual Mummies (Cool Weird Awesome 718)

Today in 1923, King Tut's tomb was opened and entered. That may not have been the afterlife the young pharaoh had hoped for, but it could have been worse: for centuries artists used a paint called Mummy Brown, which was made with actual mummy parts.

By |2022-02-16T06:39:04-05:00February 16, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

What Did Ghosts Look Like To People 3,500 Years Ago? (Cool Weird Awesome 643)

The new book "The First Ghosts" looks at how humans have been describing and depicting ghosts for thousands of years, including a Babylonian tablet showing a lonely, bearded ghost dude from 1500 B.C.E. Plus: today in 2013, a merchant naval officer said a great way to deter pirates off the Somali coast was to blast Britney Spears tunes. 

By |2021-10-27T07:24:12-04:00October 27, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

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

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.

Mount Everest May Soon Be Getting Cleaner, And More Arty (Cool Weird Awesome 472)

Sagarmatha, aka Mount Everest, is the world's highest mountain, and the site of a growing environmental problem. A new initiative wants to remove trash and recyclables from the peak and turn some of them into art. Plus: a year after its founding, the Black Art Library is bringing new attention to great Black visual artists and is itself an exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

By |2021-02-02T08:29:14-05:00February 2, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Ruth Faison Shaw Is The Founding Mother Of Fingerpaint (Cool Weird Awesome 403)

Today is the birthday of Ruth Faison Shaw, an art teacher who spotted a kid smearing iodine on the school walls and saw a way kids could express themselves. Plus: art is alive and well in cats, or at least in a photographer taking portraits of cats going wild for - and sometimes on - catnip.

By |2021-06-27T14:21:34-04:00October 15, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Two Football Teams Merged And Became The “Steagles” (Cool Weird Awesome 394)

When World War II put many pro athletes into military service, pro sports leagues had to get creative. That's how on this day in 1943, two pro football teams that normally competed against each other joined forces. Plus: for World Smile Day, we check in on the story of the guy who first designed the smiley face.

By |2020-10-02T09:45:43-04:00October 2, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Victorians Made Art Out Of Locks Of Hair (Cool Weird Awesome 380)

A lock of Abraham Lincoln's hair just sold for $81,000 at auction, a reminder that a) people will pay lots of money for lots of things, and b) hair was a pretty important keepsake in the 19th century - people back then even made it into art. Plus: a couple in England decides to upgrade their garden, which the husband decides means installing a 12-foot statue of a T. rex. 

By |2020-09-14T08:10:13-04:00September 14, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Why Is It So Hard To Tell A Real Rembrandt Painting From A Copy? (Cool Weird Awesome 372)

Decades ago researchers announced a Rembrandt painting was not actually by Rembrandt at all. But on Sunday, researchers said they'd looked again and the painting probably was an actual Rembrandt. There are lots of challenges to verifying whether a Rembrandt is really his work or just a simulation. Plus: an interactive online map of continental drift can show you where a town or city used to be hundreds of millions of years ago.

By |2021-06-22T11:41:17-04:00September 2, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

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 |2021-03-20T09:42:38-04:00July 29, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

The Day The Sun Left New England (Cool Weird Awesome 301)

This day in 1780 was a very strange day for New England. The sun decided to leave the sky around 10 in the morning, leaving everything pitch black and scaring the heck out of the locals. Plus: this day in 1964 was a very strange day for Andy Warhol, who received a very interesting letter from the Campbell Soup Company.

By |2020-05-19T07:52:04-04:00May 19, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |
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