Why So Many Old Paintings Have Dogs Holding Lit Flares In Their Mouths (Cool Weird Awesome 822)

There's a phenomenon in art history where some paintings feature dogs with lit flares in their mouths. They're not committing arson or leading Indiana Jones through a dark cave... but what are they doing?

By |2022-08-08T09:23:21-04:00August 8, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

“Mummy Brown” Was A Paint Made From Actual Mummies (Cool Weird Awesome 718)

Today in 1923, King Tut's tomb was opened and entered. That may not have been the afterlife the young pharaoh had hoped for, but it could have been worse: for centuries artists used a paint called Mummy Brown, which was made with actual mummy parts.

By |2022-02-16T06:39:04-05:00February 16, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Pigeons Would Make Pretty Good Art Critics (Cool Weird Awesome 637)

Today in 2001 that a scientific journal published a study with an interesting name, which read in part: “Van Gogh, Chagall and pigeons." There's been a lot of research into how pigeons take in and process visual information, like art, and apparently it's pretty complex. Plus: in Detroit, a local news reporter does a story about a local skateboard park, and flawlessly rides a skateboard in the middle of his report! 

By |2021-10-19T06:27:25-04:00October 19, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

Some Olympians Won Medals For Painting And Shooting Cannons (Cool Weird Awesome 580)

For better or for worse, the Summer Olympics are finally here. We thought it would be a good time to look back at some of the lesser-known events in the history of the Games, like painting and cannon shooting. Plus: Tomas Gomez headed to the driving range just ahead of a storm, and his ball ended up getting hit by lightning. 

By |2021-07-23T09:24:36-04:00July 23, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

The Mystery of the Georgia Guidestones (Cool Weird Awesome 502)

In northeast Georgia, there are giant stone slabs inscribed with ten rules to lead the world toward "an Age of Reason." But the reason for the rules - and who had them installed there - remain a secret. Plus: a new exhibition features works by acclaimed artist Jackson Pollock and his brother and fellow painter Charles Pollock, the first time their art has been shown together.

By |2022-07-07T10:04:42-04:00March 22, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

This Device Turns Your House Into A Mini Recycling Center (Cool Weird Awesome 483)

Lasso is a prototype for an in-home recycling system. Instead of dropping your recyclables on the curb, you'd put them in the machine, to be scanned, cleaned and broken down into the raw materials that companies buy to make new cans and bottles. Plus: meet AI Art House, a site selling wall art designed by software trying to emulate some of the all time great (human) painters.

By |2021-02-24T09:00:21-05:00February 24, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Ruth Faison Shaw Is The Founding Mother Of Fingerpaint (Cool Weird Awesome 403)

Today is the birthday of Ruth Faison Shaw, an art teacher who spotted a kid smearing iodine on the school walls and saw a way kids could express themselves. Plus: art is alive and well in cats, or at least in a photographer taking portraits of cats going wild for - and sometimes on - catnip.

By |2021-06-27T14:21:34-04:00October 15, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Why Is It So Hard To Tell A Real Rembrandt Painting From A Copy? (Cool Weird Awesome 372)

Decades ago researchers announced a Rembrandt painting was not actually by Rembrandt at all. But on Sunday, researchers said they'd looked again and the painting probably was an actual Rembrandt. There are lots of challenges to verifying whether a Rembrandt is really his work or just a simulation. Plus: an interactive online map of continental drift can show you where a town or city used to be hundreds of millions of years ago.

By |2021-06-22T11:41:17-04:00September 2, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

A New Device Can Tell When An Avocado Will Be Ripe (Cool Weird Awesome 347)

A team of engineering students at Harvard is teaming with a startup called Savormetrics to develop a device that can tell us when avocados will be ripe. It's one step on the way to solving the costly problem of food waste. Plus: a project in Belgium called #ArtGenetics is learning about the evolution of fruits and vegetables through classic paintings.

By |2021-03-20T09:42:38-04:00July 29, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

The World Shuts Down, But “Art Doesn’t Stop” (Cool Weird Awesome 259)

Staff at a museum in Turin, Italy called Castello di Rivoli have been working marathon days to digitize their entire collection so that art lovers who can't see the pieces in person can still enjoy them online. Plus: volunteers at a thrift shop in North Carolina spot something unusual in a stack of paintings - a work by none other than Salvador Dali!

By |2021-12-23T07:38:33-05:00March 16, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |
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