Around this time in 2018 humans started removing mountain goats from Olympic National Park in Washington state. But for a range of reasons, they had to do it by putting the goats in harnesses and flying them out with a helicopter. Plus: around this time in 1997, Elton John improvised a song on a TV show using words from some guy's oven manual.
Research from 2018 at Princeton University found that male fruit flies use their wings to improvise musical sounds to win the attention of females. I just wish they didn't try to do all of it in my house. Plus: a teen in the UK makes friends with a bee!
Whenever the Olympic Games take place we see athletes giving their all to win gold and glory - but we also see great examples of competitors who show character and kindness toward each other. Here’s the story of two of those athletes, who ended up winning the only half-silver, half-bronze medals in Olympic history. Plus, a musical group finds out that the International Olympic Committee does enforce its trademark rights.
It was this week in 1965 that Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards got up in his sleep, started up a portable tape recorder, and recorded a guitar riff and an opening line that would soon be iconic: "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Here's more of how the song came together. Plus: if this year has left you stressed out, there's a new game that might help you find some calm. It's Literally Just Mowing is both the title and the premise.
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.
Judging by metronome marks on his sheet music, Ludwig von Beethoven wanted his compositions played really, really fast. Or did he? A new data analysis suggests that the master composer and early metronome adopter may have just misread his device as he wrote down tempos. Plus: Lady Gaga has her own cookies!
When Czechoslovakia Split, The Two New Countries Also Split The National Anthem (Cool Weird Awesome 449)
On this day in 1993, two new countries were born out of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. The Czech Republic and Slovakia spent months negotiating all of the old country's assets, even which side got which verses of the national anthem. Plus: many of us have tried to learn new skills during our extra time at home. Anna Chojnicka was one of them, and the skill she chose was to make art out of bananas.
Looking back at this odd year, there was a lot of great music floating around. Here are a few favorites.
It really happened! On Thanksgiving 2008, a float in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade came to a halt, there was a record scratch, and none other than Rick Astley came out to perform "Never Gonna Give You Up." Plus: a pianist in Thailand is never going to give up his very unusual audience.
The man known as the Father of the Blues, W.C. Handy, was born on this day in 1873, and it's not exaggerating to say rock and popular music wouldn't have played out the same way without him. Plus: if you have the blues because your cat keeps waking you up in the night, you may want to check out this new cat-friendly bedframe.