Wally Funk, At Long Last An Astronaut (Cool Weird Awesome 707)

Today in 1939, the birthday of Wally Funk. She first passed astronaut training in her 20s and could have been one of the first US astronauts, but after some 60 years of trying, she finally got into space.

By |2022-02-01T06:31:12-05:00February 1, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Nellie Bly Made It Around The World In 72 Days (Cool Weird Awesome 702)

Today in 1890, Nellie Bly finished her trip around the world. She was trying to do what Jules Verne's character Phineas Fogg had done in 80 days, and she took just 72.

By |2022-01-25T06:43:22-05:00January 25, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Stretchable Batteries Could Make Wearable Tech More Wearable (Cool Weird Awesome 699)

A team at the University of British Columbia has come up with a way to make durable, stretchy and waterproof batteries that could be useful in wearable devices. Plus: three crew members on the International Space Station try out what they call orbital badminton.

Dancers At This Glasgow Club Are Going To Heat The Place With Their Moves (Cool Weird Awesome 660)

Dance clubs can get hot when things are in full swing. So why not turn that extra heat into green energy? A nightclub in Glasgow is teaming up with a geothermal power company to use the energy dancers put out to heat and cool the place. Plus: when Apollo 12 reached the moon, astronaut Pete Conrad said some stirring words... that helped him win a bet. 

By |2021-11-19T05:43:29-05:00November 19, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Could Jokes About Uranus Prevent A Mission To Uranus? (Cool Weird Awesome 641)

Humans make a lot of jokes about the seventh planet from the sun. But do scientists who study Uranus think the jokes are funny? The website Futurism found out. Plus: today is the first day of Magic Week, and there's a magic shop in Burnsville, Minnesota that's the oldest in the US. 

By |2021-10-25T07:34:12-04:00October 25, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

Félicette, The First Cat In Space (Cool Weird Awesome 636)

Today in 1963, a black and white cat from the streets of France became the first cat to go into space. She didn't choose to go, of course, but she's a pioneer just the same - and until a few years ago, a greatly underappreciated one. Plus: today in 1922, a girl in Illinois made it to school after being run over by a train?!? 

By |2021-10-18T06:42:55-04:00October 18, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Ellen Ochoa Blazed Trails In Space (And Played The Flute Up There) (Cool Weird Awesome 633)

For National Hispanic Heritage Month, here's the story of the first Hispanic woman in space, Ellen Ochoa, talented and versatile even by astronaut standards. Plus: an art student in China breaks stuff for art's sake, through a very peculiar vending machine.

Two Tortoises Orbited The Moon Before Humans Did (Cool Weird Awesome 612)

Apollo 8 brought the first human astronauts to lunar orbit in late 1968, but a few months beforehand, the Soviet Zond 5 mission sent two tortoises (and a few other living things) for a trip around the moon. Here's what happened. Plus: today in 1890, Mexican singing and songwriting great Maria Grever was born. Whether or not you know her songs, you know a phrase that comes from one.

By |2021-09-14T07:42:30-04:00September 14, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

A Piece Of Sputnik Once Landed In Wisconsin (Cool Weird Awesome 606)

Sputnik IV, to be specific, had some trouble getting back to Earth as planned. Today in 1962, pieces of the Soviet spacecraft ended up crashing into a street in Manitowoc, Wisconsin - so the town started holding a SputnikFest to celebrate their place in space history. Plus: today in 1870, Louisa Swaim made herstory by casting a ballot in Laramie, Wyoming.

Why Don’t Astronauts Do Laundry In Space? (Cool Weird Awesome 569)

There was a story recently about how NASA was partnering with Tide laundry detergent to work on a way to do laundry in space. Which means we don’t already do laundry in space, and there are some pretty big reasons why. Plus: the Royal Mail delivers a letter addressed to a woman who’d been on TV, only the writer didn't exactly have the woman's address. 

By |2021-07-08T09:25:50-04:00July 8, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |
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