Evelyn Berezin And Her Word Processor Brought The Computer Age Closer To Everybody (Cool Weird Awesome 517)

Today is the birthday of Evelyn Berezin, whose inventions include the first computer-based word processor, the first computerized airline reservations system, and so much more that so many of us use regularly today. Plus: artist Nadia Gonegaï has made the Portrait Urn, a pretty special way to remember someone special. 

2021-04-12T09:34:57-04:00April 12th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Here’s How The Pencil Left Its Mark On The World (Cool Weird Awesome 511)

Today in 1827, Joseph Dixon began manufacturing pencils at his factory in Salem, Massachusetts, so it's a good day to go back through the centuries and centuries that helped make the pencil what it is now. Plus: there's a vintage and specialty pencil shop in Wisconsin called the Pencillarium!

2021-04-02T07:32:52-04:00April 2nd, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

Henry Brown Escaped From Slavery By Mailing Himself To Philadelphia (Cool Weird Awesome 507)

On this day in 1849, Henry Brown escaped slavery from a Virginia plantation in a very unusual way: he arranged it so he could hide in a small wooden box that was sent to Pennsylvania. Here's some of his story. Plus: it was on this day in 2011 that a paramedic rescued a doctor from a fiery car crash, 30 years after that same doctor had helped the paramedic survive as a newborn.

2021-03-29T08:13:24-04:00March 29th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

A “Mammoth Loaf” Once Turned The U.S. Senate Chamber Into A Big Bread Box

Today in 1804, the US Senate held a party featuring something called the “Mammoth Loaf.” To explain, we have to first tell you about Thomas Jefferson, an enormous block of cheese and an archeology project. Plus: a very cold town in Siberia has some very cool music, thanks to spring ice drums.

How Elevators Started Moving Up In The World (Cool Weird Awesome 503)

It was on this day in 1857 that the first commercial elevator began operating at a department store in New York City. And once elevators took off, they started shaping the world around us in some pretty big ways. Plus: a city in Oregon is home to an elevator that is technically a street!

2021-03-23T07:58:35-04:00March 23rd, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

“Stagecoach” Mary Fields, Montana’s One-Of-A-Kind Mail Carrier (Cool Weird Awesome 496)

Mary Fields was the first Black woman to receive a Post Office contract to deliver the mail, and in the Wild West, no less. Here's a little more about a pioneer who definitely made some history. Plus: the story of a sibling who found a practical use for her identical twin.

2021-03-15T08:45:15-04:00March 15th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

How The Hula Hoop Got The World Up And Moving (Cool Weird Awesome 490)

Today in 1963 the Hula Hoop was patented, although by that point it had already become a worldwide phenomenon. And toy hoops go way, way back even before the toys we know today first became popular. Plus: how a very unusual photographer won the Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition.

2021-03-05T07:59:51-05:00March 5th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

The Time Kate Warne, America’s First Female Detective, Saved Abraham Lincoln’s Life (Cool Weird Awesome 482)

Today in 1861, President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrived in Washington, having been snuck into the city to avoid a plot against his life in Baltimore. Kate Warne, the first women detective in America, was key to getting him there safely. Plus: Alex Trebek's family has donated some of the late Jeopardy! host's suits for a very fitting cause.

2021-02-23T08:15:33-05:00February 23rd, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

The Proto-Guitarist Who Rocked Ancient Egypt (Cool Weird Awesome 475)

Guitars as we know them date back to 16th century Europe, but stringed instruments have been around for even longer. And the earliest guitar-like instrument we've been able to find appears to have belonged to Har-Mose, who played for Queen Hatshepsut 3500 years ago in ancient Egypt. Plus: it's National Weatherpersons Day, and boy are we getting lots of weather at our show's HQ.

2021-02-05T08:40:23-05:00February 5th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Elizabeth Prettejohn, The Last Person In Hallsands Village (Cool Weird Awesome 467)

On this day in 1917, a massive storm destroyed most of the small village of Hallsands, in southern England. Nearly everyone in town moved away after that, but one resident, Elizabeth Prettejohn, stayed for the rest of her life, until the mid 1960s. Plus: why a university in Melbourne, Australia has an upside-down statue.

2021-01-26T08:25:18-05:00January 26th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |
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