In The 60s, There Was A Plan To Make Houses Out Of Heineken Bottles (Cool Weird Awesome 750)

It's National Beer Day, so it's a good time to talk about a plan from the 1960s, when beer magnate Alfred Heineken tried to rework his company's green bottles so they could be upcycled into bricks for low-income houses.

By |2022-04-07T10:35:56-04:00April 7, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

This Vole Protects Itself From Predators By Cutting The Grass (Cool Weird Awesome 735)

The Brandt’s vole has an interesting way to protect itself from predators overhead: a research project found that the little rodent cuts the grass so it can keep a lookout.

By |2022-03-18T09:20:14-04:00March 18, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Babies Babble, And So Do Baby Bats (Cool Weird Awesome 610)

If you’ve ever been around a baby you probably heard some cooing, gurgling and babbling, as the babies try to make the sounds adults make. Some new research finds if you spend time with baby bats, you might hear them doing essentially the same thing. Plus: the YouTube channel Steadycraftin finds a pretty cool way to reuse some of those old orange plastic prescription bottles. 

By |2021-09-10T06:11:35-04:00September 10, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

How To Make Protein Powder Out Of Waste Plastic (Cool Weird Awesome 593)

It's not a direct route, but two researchers have figured out a way to take waste plastic, feed it to special bacteria, and then end up with nutritious protein powder. We'll explain. Plus: a guy has been growing plants inside a big glass bottle for decades - and because the bottle is sealed, they basically water themselves over and over!

By |2021-08-18T07:48:33-04:00August 18, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

The Plastic Bags Of Today Could Be The Fashionable Fabric Of Tomorrow (Cool Weird Awesome 572)

A multi-country research team has found ways to turn polyethylene, a key ingredient in single-use plastic bags, into lightweight fabric. So those bags that we don't want to throw out but can't always easily recycle? We might end up wearing them. Plus: many of us spend a lot of our waking hours typing, but James Cook turns his typing into art.

By |2021-07-13T08:27:44-04:00July 13, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Turning Plastic Into Jet Fuel, In About An Hour (Cool Weird Awesome 538)

Researchers at Washington State University have found a way to convert plastic waste into jet fuel that takes only an hour. And it's also less energy-intensive, which could make recycling plastic more cost-effective and more common. Plus: today in 2017, a high school in Virginia made sure to include a beloved service dog in its yearbook photos! 

By |2021-05-18T08:12:11-04:00May 18, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

There’s A New Way To Recycle The Materials We Need For High-Tech Batteries (Cool Weird Awesome 521)

As automakers move toward all-electric vehicles, we're going to need a lot more batteries, only there are difficulties in getting some of the key elements. A startup called Nth cycle may have a way to help. Plus: meet a young reader who really knows how to multitask.

By |2021-04-16T12:05:13-04:00April 16, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

There’s A Way To Turn Old Chewing Gum Into Wheels For Skateboards (Cool Weird Awesome 516)

Two design students have come up with an idea to turn the stretchy, plasticky parts of chewing gum into new wheels for skateboards, so the gum isn't wasted. It's the kind of idea that just might stick. Plus: today in 1965, the Houston Astrodome opened. They had a plan to grow grass indoors, but they also had a Plan B.

By |2021-04-09T09:29:16-04:00April 9, 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: , , , , |

The Face Masks Of Today Could Become The Roads Of Tomorrow (Cool Weird Awesome 477)

Millions of people are wearing masks these days to protect themselves and others. And researchers in Australia have found a way to reuse those single-use, disposable masks to make new roads. Plus: it's National Pizza Day, so here's a very geometry-heavy way to slice up a pizza and still make it equal for two eaters.

By |2021-02-09T10:05:09-05:00February 9, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |
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