Maryland’s Official State Sport Is Jousting (Cool Weird Awesome 505)

It's a state holiday today known as Maryland Day, so it's a good time to talk about how in 1962 Maryland named jousting its official state sport. Plus: in New York City there's a "space clearer" who removes the negative energy from homes that won't sell and apartments with unsettling or tragic histories.

2021-03-25T08:43:53-04:00March 25th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

In The 1920s There Was A Footrace From Los Angeles To New York (Cool Weird Awesome 489)

On this day in 1928, the start of the Trans-America Foot Race, aka the "Bunion Derby," in which about 200 runners in Los Angeles set out to run all the way to New York City. Only 55 of them made it through the entire grueling route, which could be called a spectacle, boondoggle and landmark all at once. Plus: in honor of Vermont becoming a state today in 1791, a look at the state's famous Long Trail hike from one end to the other.

2021-03-04T08:10:44-05:00March 4th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

The Netherlands Turned Pole-Sitting Into A Competitive Sport (Cool Weird Awesome 452)

The U.S. had flagpole sitting a century ago, but the Netherlands has Paalzitten, a sport in which people try to outlast each other sitting on poles. It can get competitive, though finding a crowd to watch people sitting on poles can be tricky. Plus: on National Bird Day, we pay tribute to the shoebill, a large bird that looks a bit like a pelican crossed with a dragon.

2021-01-05T09:49:18-05:00January 5th, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

It’s The Birthday Of The Jukebox, The Old-School System For On-Demand Music (Cool Weird Awesome 425)

Today in 1889, inventor Louis Glass moved his "nickel-in-a-slot" into a saloon in San Francisco, beginning the age of the jukebox and giving the generations without smartphones and streaming services the chance to push a button and listen to a song. Plus: Chris Nikic has just become the first person with Down syndrome to finish an Ironman triathlon.

2021-03-30T07:53:58-04:00November 23rd, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

Two Football Teams Merged And Became The “Steagles” (Cool Weird Awesome 394)

When World War II put many pro athletes into military service, pro sports leagues had to get creative. That's how on this day in 1943, two pro football teams that normally competed against each other joined forces. Plus: for World Smile Day, we check in on the story of the guy who first designed the smiley face.

2020-10-02T09:45:43-04:00October 2nd, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

The Swimming Champion Who Became A Real-Life Superhero (Cool Weird Awesome 382)

44 years ago today, Shavarsh Karapetyan, a finswimming champion in Armenia did something extraordinary, saving at least 20 passengers who were trapped in a trolleybus that had gone into a lake. Has anybody done a biopic about this guy yet? Plus: meet Mieko Nagaoka, who in April 2015 became the first 100-year old swimmer to finish the 1,500 meter freestyle.

2020-09-16T07:20:49-04:00September 16th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Alice Coachman Raised The Bar For Team USA (Cool Weird Awesome 354)

We don’t have the Olympic Games right now, but we can still mark a big Olympic moment that happened on this day in 1948: the day Alice Coachman became the first Black woman to win Olympic gold. Plus: a chocolate company and an engineer say they've redesigned the chocolate chip. Is it more efficient? I don't know, but I'll be happy to test it out.

Satchel Paige Was So Good He Could Still Get Batters Out In His Late 50s (Cool Weird Awesome 336)

Today is believed to be the birthday of Leroy "Satchel" Paige, perhaps the most legendary pitcher baseball ever saw. Paige was a star for decades, and once pitched three scoreless innings in the major leagues at age 59. Plus: we'll visit the man who earned the world's first degree in ninja studies.

2021-03-23T09:59:10-04:00July 7th, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , |

The Longest Tennis Match Ever Started 10 Years Ago Today (Cool Weird Awesome 327)

Today at the 2010 Wimbledon tennis tournament was the first day of the longest professional tennis match ever played. John Isner and Nicolas Mahut played for more than 11 hours over three days! Plus: since Wimbledon 2020 has been canceled, what are they doing with all those strawberries they usually sell?

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