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: , , , , , , |

A Typewriter Inventor Was Trying To Help A Blind Friend Send Letters (Cool Weird Awesome 795)

For National Typewriter Day, some of the stories that helped bring this device to life, including a guy in Italy who was trying to help a blind countess write letters.

By |2022-06-23T10:55:29-04:00June 23, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

These Smart Glasses Can Describe The World For Blind Wearers (Cool Weird Awesome 772)

A company called Envision has designed a set of glasses that uses artificial intelligence to help blind people with a wide range of activities. They can decode text, detect color and describe outdoor scenes to the wearer, among many other functions.

Trischa Zorn, The Swimming Great With 55 Paralympic Medals (Cool Weird Awesome 600)

Paralympic athletes are in Tokyo to compete and maybe to win a gold medal, if they can. The benchmark for Paralympic gold, by the way: 55 medals by a single athlete, swimmer Trischa Zorn. Plus: today in 1936, a newspaper ran a short piece about inventor Isabella Gilbert and her dimple-making machine. 

It’s Not Just A Giant American Flag, It’s Superflag (Cool Weird Awesome 556)

For Flag Day, we present the story of Superflag, a 505 foot long, 255 foot tall American flag that was once flown over Hoover Dam (because they don't make flagpoles that large). Plus: a Durham University study finds people can use click-based echolocation effectively in the real world after just 10 weeks of practice! 

By |2021-06-14T09:38:53-04:00June 14, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

“Say My Meme” Is The Podcast That Makes Memes More Inclusive (Cool Weird Awesome 492)

The internet and social media don't do a great job making the very visual world of meme culture accessible to blind users. The new podcast "Say My Meme" describes those memes so everyone can enjoy them. Plus: Madagascar is home to the "nano-chameleon," believed to be the smallest lizard in the world.

By |2021-03-09T07:53:42-05:00March 9, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

A Brain Implant That Can Bypass A Damaged Eye And Send Images To The Mind (Cool Weird Awesome 244)

The technology I like best is the technology that helps people do what they couldn’t do before, like a new brain implant that can put images from a camera in front of blind people. Plus: Rita Ebel is making the German town of Hanau more accessible for wheelchair uses, by using LEGO.

By |2020-02-24T09:41:09-05:00February 24, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

If You Like Hockey, You’ll Like Blind Hockey (Cool Weird Awesome 228)

A growing number of hockey fans are paying attention to blind hockey, where players have either full blindness or 10 percent vision or less. That puts the emphasis on sound. Plus: introducing the Telecaster guitar that's been signed by 16 Navajo code talkers!

By |2020-02-01T20:21:19-05:00January 31, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

I See What You Did There, Brain Implant (Cool Weird Awesome 135)

UCLA is testing a brain implant that takes the images captured by a tiny camera and converts them into electrical impulses that stimulate the part of the brain responsible for sight. It helps blind people detect darkness and lightness, as well as sensing motion.

By |2021-03-25T10:37:50-04:00September 25, 2019|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , |

Bah Gawd It’s A Smart Cane (Cool Weird Awesome 132)

The weWALK is a smart cane for blind pedestrians, with ultrasonic sensors to detect obstacles ahead and Google Maps connections to navigate through and describe the surrounding area. Plus: if you like pickles, the Big Dill festival is back this weekend in Baltimore.

By |2020-02-24T09:50:35-05:00September 20, 2019|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |
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