The Dunce Cap Was Once A Hat Worn By Great Scholars (Cool Weird Awesome 853)

School is back in session, and fortunately teachers aren't using dunce caps to shame their students. How did a hat that was once worn by prominent thinkers end up as the hat of choice for teachers trying to brand students as dopes?

By |2022-09-27T08:44:25-04:00September 27, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Queen Elizabeth II Had A Bunch Of Birthdays (Cool Weird Awesome 846)

The late Queen Elizabeth II once said being a royal meant your life was full of tradition. And there was a lot to tradition to keep track of - like how her birthday was celebrated more than once each year.

By |2022-09-09T06:32:33-04:00September 9, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Need A Little Pain Relief? Nostalgia Can Help (Cool Weird Awesome 740)

According to a new study, remembering old times can actually be good for your health - in particular, it may help regulate our response to pain.

By |2022-03-24T08:59:21-04:00March 24, 2022|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

Anybody Can Be An Olympic Star, At Least In A Video Game (Cool Weird Awesome 585)

The Summer and Winter Games are typically held once every four years, but for decades the rest of us have been getting into the Olympic spirit through video games. Here are a few of the most unusual ones. Plus: the story of a fencing match that definitely could've only happened in the real world. 

By |2021-07-30T08:15:40-04:00July 30, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

The Original Olympic Flag Went Missing For Over 70 Years (Cool Weird Awesome 583)

The original Olympic flag flew over the Games for the first time in 1920, in Antwerp, Belgium, but before it could be passed to the next host city, the “Antwerp flag” disappeared - for over seven decades. Plus: scientists have taught a robotic hand to play Super Mario Bros., because why wouldn't you? 

By |2021-07-28T08:18:30-04:00July 28, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

Keith Richards Started Writing “Satisfaction” In His Sleep (Cool Weird Awesome 531)

It was this week in 1965 that Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards got up in his sleep, started up a portable tape recorder, and recorded a guitar riff and an opening line that would soon be iconic: "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Here's more of how the song came together. Plus: if this year has left you stressed out, there's a new game that might help you find some calm. It's Literally Just Mowing is both the title and the premise. 

Pigs Can Be Video Gamers (Cool Weird Awesome 481)

It's true, a researcher at Purdue University and her team trained four pigs on how to use a joystick and play a video game. Pigs are pretty smart, after all. Plus: if you're in need of hugs these days but aren't able to get them safely from other humans, the robot named HuggieBot 2.0 might be able to help.

By |2021-02-22T08:32:02-05:00February 22, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , |

What Do Video Game Playing Monkeys Have To Do With The Sunk Cost Fallacy? (Cool Weird Awesome 456)

The sunk-cost fallacy - when we keep at something even when it’s really not worth it anymore, just because we’ve already put so much time or effort in - is a part of human nature. But new research shows it's also a part of the nature of - this is the best part - video game playing monkeys. Plus: our first story on world records of 2021. Meet the world's largest spam musubi!

By |2021-07-30T08:40:35-04:00January 11, 2021|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , , , |

The Game Boy That Doesn’t Need Batteries (Cool Weird Awesome 376)

A research project has built a handheld device modeled on Nintendo's Game Boy that gets its power from solar panels and the energy created by pushing buttons - no batteries necessary. Plus: a programmer has recreated the classic video game Doom inside an electronic pregnancy test. Technology is pretty versatile, isn't it?

By |2021-06-28T11:52:26-04:00September 8, 2020|Categories: Cool Weird Awesome, Podcasts|Tags: , , |

In The 1980s, You Downloaded Video Games Off The Radio (Cool Weird Awesome 337)

Today we download video games online all the time. Back in the 1980s, gamers without the Internet (such as it was) had to buy or borrow their games. But a few could download programs off the radio. Plus: there's a comet headed Earth's way, and it might make for some great viewing this month, or 6,000 years from now. Either one.

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