Two Tennis Greats Played A Match On A Half-Grass, Half-Clay Court (Cool Weird Awesome 762)

Today in 2007, the king of grass court tennis, Roger Federer, played an exhibition match against his rival, clay court great Rafael Nadal. Not their only matchup, but for this one, the court was half grass and half clay, making it a so-called "battle of the surfaces."

William Mumler, The Photographer Who Had “Spirits” In His Pictures (Cool Weird Awesome 755)

Today in 1865, Abraham Lincoln went to Ford's Theater, and we all know how badly that ended. But five years later, William Mumler "photographed" the spirit of Honest Abe comforting his widow Mary Todd Lincoln. Here's the story of Mumler and his very controversial "spirit photography."

By |2022-04-14T08:38:19-04:00April 14, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

“The Fastest Cyclist In The World,” Major Taylor, Was A Black Sports Pioneer (Cool Weird Awesome 729)

There's a new exhibit at the Indiana State Museum about Marshall "Major" Taylor, a Black cycling star who became famous before Jack Johnson, Joe Louis or Jackie Robinson. Here's some of his story.

Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 Point Game Was Truly One Of A Kind (Cool Weird Awesome 723)

Today in 1962 one of the most stunning performances in the history of basketball, or really in all of pro sports: Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a game.

By |2022-03-02T06:35:48-05:00March 2, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , |

In One Game, Jason McElwain Became A High School Basketball Legend (Cool Weird Awesome 717)

Today in 2006, a high school basketball team put its manager into the game. Jason McElwain not only played, he stole the show.

By |2022-02-15T06:45:28-05:00February 15, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Bruce Kennedy Qualified For The Olympics Three Times, And Missed Out Three Times (Cool Weird Awesome 710)

For the next two weeks, Winter Olympians will be going for the gold. That's what javelin thrower Bruce Kennedy tried to do in 1972, 1976 and 1980, but that's not quite how things played out.

By |2022-02-04T06:51:18-05:00February 4, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

The Chicago Cubs Once Had A “College of Coaches” Instead of a Manager (Cool Weird Awesome 693)

Today in 1961, the Chicago Cubs announced they wouldn't hire a manager for the new season, and would instead use a rotating "College" of coaches. You can probably guess how well that worked out.

By |2022-01-12T06:49:54-05:00January 12, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Table Tennis Is Also Called Ping Pong, And Was Almost Called “Whiff-Whaff” (Cool Weird Awesome 671)

Today in 1901, the first table tennis tournament concluded in London. It's also known as ping pong, and there were plenty of other proposed names back in the early days.

By |2021-12-14T06:48:49-05:00December 14, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Three Pro Basketball Players Once Played For Both Teams In A Single Game (Cool Weird Awesome 651)

Today in 1978, the New Jersey Nets lost to the Philadelphia 76ers. But part of the game would be replayed the following March, and when it was, several of the players on each team had been traded to the other, and ended up playing in the game! Plus: two artists have built a "stairway to heaven" in Taiwan. Someone let Robert Plant know please. 

By |2021-11-08T07:37:03-05:00November 8, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

The Undertaker Who Developed Automatic Phone Dialing (Cool Weird Awesome 648)

Today in 1892 a phone system that made automated calls - no switchboard operator - began operating in Laporte, Indiana. The first automatic dial network happened, as the story goes, because of a business dispute between two undertakers. Plus: today in 1882, the birthday of John Baxter Taylor, Jr, the first Black American to win an Olympic gold medal.

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