The Oomphalapompatronium Is An Instrument That Lives Up To Its Unusual Name (Cool Weird Awesome 366)

What's In A Name Week continues with a look at the Oomphalapompatronium, a creation of Boston-area musician, composer and inventor Len Solomon. And it definitely fits the name. Speaking of words that fit with what they describe, did you know about the word "aptronym"?

Scientists Are Putting Little Cameras On Beetles (Cool Weird Awesome 350)

Researchers at the University of Washington call it a "GoPro for beetles" - a ultralight, wireless, steerable camera that can ride on the back of a bug. And it's pretty effective at letting us see what these bugs see. Plus: a new online chart tracks the vocal range of famous pop singers, by measuring the highest and lowest notes they ever sung on a recording.

By |2020-08-03T08:29:29-04:00August 3rd, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Couple Songs Are A Thing, According To Science (Cool Weird Awesome 289)

You know how some couples have their own song? There’s actually psychological research into what are known officially as “couple-defining songs," and there are legitimate benefits to the relationship to choosing a tune to share. Plus: next time you're in Japan, drop by Neko Neko Shokupan and share one of their famous cat-shaped breads with someone special.

By |2020-05-01T09:06:42-04:00May 1st, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

The Doctor Who Took Out His Own Appendix (Cool Weird Awesome 288)

It would be understandable if you felt a little cut off from the rest of the world these days. Hopefully it won't be as challenging as it was for Dr. Leonid Rogozov, who on this day in 1961 had to remove his own appendix while stationed in Antarctica. Plus: today in 1970, Pink Floyd played a concert for public TV in San Francisco. Silence in the studio!

By |2020-04-30T08:28:53-04:00April 30th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Now That’s A Deep Cut: Music Scholars Bring Back “Lost” Songs From 1,000 Years Ago (Cool Weird Awesome 283)

Music scholars at Cambridge University studied musical manuscripts without modern notation and after years of detective work, reconstructed what they would have sounded like. Plus: on this day in 1982 Key West, Florida declared independence from - and war on - the United States. For not very long.

By |2020-04-23T09:07:54-04:00April 23rd, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

How To Perform Opera In American Sign Language (Cool Weird Awesome 281)

The University of Virginia's Disabilities Studies Symposium has produced a version of a 1950s opera called “Dialogues of the Carmelites" featuring both traditional opera singers and Deaf actors performing together and living up to the name of their workshop, "Breaking the Sound Barrier." Plus: a cat played a Theremin on the internet, because why not.

By |2020-04-21T07:11:39-04:00April 21st, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

In Which Four Guys With The Same Name Start A Band (Cool Weird Awesome 261)

The Atlantic just did an interview with some musicians called the Paul O’Sullivan Band. There are four guys in the group: Paul O’Sullivan, Paul O’Sullivan, Paul O’Sullivan and (wait for it) Paul O’Sullivan. Here's the story of how they got together. Plus: some musical animals come together for a song? Sort of?

By |2020-03-18T07:20:57-04:00March 18th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

There’s Music For Cats And It’s Apparently Very Good For Them (Cool Weird Awesome 249)

Can music help cats relax during their visits to the vet? Apparently so - but would music specifically made for cats be even more helpful than music made for humans? Plus: if you missed Justin Bieber's birthday yesterday, visit a museum in his hometown that features all the stuff from his career that his proud grandparents saved!

By |2020-03-02T06:18:39-05:00March 2nd, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |