Today in 1947 was the first performance of the Weeki Wachee Mermaids, professional mermaids in Florida who put on choreographed shows for hundreds of thousands of visitors a year, completely underwater. Plus: the Oklahoma Banjo Fest is now underway, completely virtual and still completely banjo-ey.
It's a very odd anniversary in the history of the US presidency. Today in 1979, President Jimmy Carter got into a fight (of sorts) with a swamp rabbit. Plus: today would normally be a big day
This sounds bonkers, but apparently a robotic cleaning system called HullSkater can remove bio-gunk off the hulls of ships, helping them reduce their carbon footprints. Plus: Freeman, South Dakota was to have SchmeckFest this weekend. It will be back, so until then keep the spirit of SchmeckFest going.
This weekend voting gets underway for one of the most unusual contests you’ll find anywhere in the world: the Takhini Hot Springs Hair Freezing Contest. Plus: Colorado is honoring a dude who's spending his afterlife surrounded by a great deal of dry ice. Introducing Frozen Dead Guys Days!
There's a project out of the University of Maine that's found that wild blueberries can help us heal cuts and other wounds. Plus: this weekend the 3rd annual Hawaii Island Steel Guitar Festival gets underway.
On National Peanut Butter Day, a reminder that peanut butter is so versatile it can be turned into diamonds. It actually takes more time to explain why you can turn peanut butter into diamonds than to explain how. Plus: this weekend in McCall, Idaho, the Idaho State Snow Sculpting Championships are taking place.
On this day in 1948 of the mayor of Boston, James Curley, wrote to the president of MIT, asking that the school's top engineers find a way to get rid of the huge amounts of snow, maybe with flamethrowers. Seriously. Plus: in Chico, California, a much more calm event is getting underway, the the Snow Goose Festival of the Pacific Flyway.
Benjamin Franklin was a lot of things, but he always saw himself as a printer - and some of what he printed was currency for American colonies. Turns out he had some pretty creative ways to try to keep counterfeiters from copying his bills. Plus: New Orleans is hosting the Samantha Fish Cigar Box Guitar Festival this weekend.
Color-Changing Chocolate Sounds Like A Willy Wonka Invention Brought To Real Life (Cool Weird Awesome 205)
Researchers in Switzerland say they’ve found a way to change the color of chocolate, and without adding any colors or dyes to it. Instead, they use a special imprint to give it a glowing, rainbow-y patina. Plus: the annual PeepsFest is getting underway, and they're going to do a ball drop for New Year's with a giant Peep!
This is a guitar that will literally help you nail a solo: maker and woodworker Tim Sway built a guitar out of reclaimed nails, which he calls the "Tetanuscaster." Plus: the It's A Wonderful Life Festival is in full swing in Jimmy Stewart's hometown of Indiana, PA!