Cool Weird Awesome with Brady Carlson

108 EpisodesProduced by Brady CarlsonWebsite

Three minutes each weekday of cool facts, weird news and awesome discoveries with Brady Carlson. Back us at

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The Future Of Health Care Is Alpacas

August 19th, 2019


Researchers at Vanderbilt University have been looking at the unusual immune system of alpacas. Their antibodies are not only effective, they’re also …

The Ups and Downs Of Rollercoaster History

August 16th, 2019


It's National Rollercoaster Day, and while there have probably been thrill rides since humans first figured out the concept of ramps, the roller …

Keep Playing, Richie Havens, The Rest Of Woodstock Is Coming

August 15th, 2019


Richie Havens wasn't supposed to be the first act at the Woodstock festival, which started 50 years ago today. But like so much of Woodstock, what was supposed to happen was very different than what actually took place. …

The Alabama Bridge That Roosters Built

August 14th, 2019


It’s the 100th anniversary of a time that roosters built a bridge. Ok, not literally, but an auction of roosters donated by the most prominent people in the world helped raise the money needed for a bridge over the …

Checking In To The House Plant Hotel

August 13th, 2019


The online plant store Patch is offering to take care of the house plants for you while you’re on holiday, in what it’s calling the world’s first …

The Best Defense Against Cougars Is Metallica

August 12th, 2019


When a cougar started walking toward her on a logging trail in British Columbia, Dee Gallant used the power of rock to protect herself. Plus:  in a …

Elvis Almost Threw Down At A Wisconsin Gas Station

August 9th, 2019


Elvis Week is getting underway in Memphis, Tennessee, and while I can't be there, I can still celebrate, because my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin is where the King once broke up a fight at a gas station in the middle …

All Hail Iowa’s Butter Cow

August 8th, 2019


It's day one of the Iowa State Fair, and what would that fair be without its centerpiece - the butter cow! The most bovine of butter sculptures made …

The Festival That’s Mostly People Throwing Tomatoes At Each Other

August 7th, 2019


Later this month tens of thousands of people will head to Buñol, Spain for La Tomatina, otherwise known as the world’s largest tomato throwing …

Neat Freaks, Be Glad You Didn’t Live In A Medieval Castle

August 6th, 2019


If you were a royal back several hundred years ago, this might be a time when you’d pack up and leave the castle for one of your other castles. This wasn't just because that’s what you do when you’re wealthy; it was …

Dear Family, Camp Is The Worst, That’s The Entire Letter

August 5th, 2019


It was a hard, hard weekend - so we thought it would be a good day to just take the few minutes we share together and have a little fun, before we …

A Garbage Cafe Is Much Better Than Its Name Suggests

August 2nd, 2019


There’s a new cafe in the Indian city of Ambikapur known as a "garbage cafe." It aims to help very poor people by offering them meals and/or shelter in exchange for the trash they often pick up and try to sell - and it …

Save The Washing Machine Museum!

August 1st, 2019


The Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum in Eaton, Colorado, is facing an uncertain future. Its namesake wants to pass on his collection of some 1,600 …

Depression-Detecting AI Is Much More Than A Virtual Mood Ring

July 31st, 2019


Someday, smart speakers might be able to sound off if we don’t sound quite ourselves. Researchers at the University of Alberta have been working on a way for AI to detect depression through voice recordings. Plus: Today …

Here's Why Nellie Bly Is Getting Her Own Monument

July 30th, 2019


Trailblazing journalist Nellie Bly once feigned severe mental illness to expose abuses at an asylum from the inside. New York City is now putting up a monument in her honor on the site where the asylum once stood. Plus: …

Where We Got Olympic Medals From Before Recycled Cell Phones

July 29th, 2019


Last week the organizers of the 2020 Olympic Games revealed that 100 percent of the gold, silver and bronze used to create the Olympic medals is …

Meet Owney, The Legendary Postal Dog

July 26th, 2019


The National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, has an exhibit telling the story of Owney, the dog who loved the mail so much that he helped deliver it …

The Most Powerful Cat May Be The One At 10 Downing Street

July 25th, 2019


Whenever a new Prime Minister takes office in the UK, the first question many people ask is: what happens to the cat living at the official residence at 10 Downing Street? We'll look at some of the most famous felines …

Drones Can Go Through Windows Now. That’s Good, Right?

July 24th, 2019


There’s a quadcopter drone that uses spring-loaded arms and a process called "rapid aerial morphing" to fold itself up as it flies. So we’re a step …

She Ran A Marathon While Pushing A Triple Stroller Full Of Kids

July 23rd, 2019


Lots of parents multitask but Cynthia Arnold is completely off the charts, having just run the Missoula Marathon while pushing a triple stroller …

Point No Point And Other Amazing, Actual Places

July 22nd, 2019


The website and book Sad Topographies teaches us that our planet is home to some unusually-named places, like Gloomy Lake in Ontario, Divorce Beach in Mexico, New Jersey’s Shades of Death Road (!) and a spot in …

That Time Pink Floyd Jammed Out During The Moon Landing

July 19th, 2019


50 years ago, the BBC brought in the band known for playing space rock to improvise on-air for its coverage of the Apollo 11 mission. Pink Floyd …

You Know Mack Robinson’s Brother, Now Get To Know Mack Robinson

July 18th, 2019


On this day in 1912, the birth of the greatest athlete you might never have heard of - Olympic silver medalist and community advocate Mack Robinson. His brother, Jackie, is better known, but there's a reason their …

Vegetable Displays Are The New Black

July 17th, 2019


Veggies are good for us - but some households can’t buy them, and others don’t want to. What is it that will get eaters more interested in buying and …

Airports Aren’t Just For The Journey, They’re The Destination

July 16th, 2019


A growing number of people are heading to the airport not to catch flights, but just to hang out at the airport itself. And why not, given how many …

Yours 'Til Niagara Falls

July 15th, 2019


Going over Niagara Falls with or without a barrel is a bad idea and you shouldn't do it. It’s safer, easier and a lot more fun to cross over the …

Drinking Coffee Out Of Coffee Cups Made From Coffee

July 12th, 2019


Coffee grounds can be recycled in all kinds of ways, including lots of products. And the most meta product of all is from KaffeeForm, which uses coffee grounds to make coffee cups. Plus: if you can't wait a couple years …

Rhinelander, Wisconsin Is America’s Hodag Headquarters

July 11th, 2019


Wisconsin’s most fearsome folk monster been in Harry Potter and tangled with the Scooby Gang, but the Hodag is beloved in the community of …

When The Flyover Flies Over The Wrong Spot

July 10th, 2019


Patrouille Swiss is the official aerial acrobatics team for Switzerland. Last weekend they were in fine form as they flew over the community of Langenbruck for a festival honoring a local aviation hero... except for one …

Getting All Our Robot Ducks In A Row

July 9th, 2019


In Japan, there's a little white robot swimming through rice fields, imitating a duck! It's actually helping to grow the rice by aerating the water and stopping weeds from growing. Plus: if you prefer non-robotic ducks, …

Rise Of The Tortilla

July 8th, 2019


 Taco Bell says it’s been dealing with a tortilla shortage. Those craving inexpensive tacos and burritos at odd hours are bearing the brunt of this crisis, but it’s affecting all of us - after all, tortillas have been a …

We Have A Lot Of UFO Historical Markers Now

July 5th, 2019


It’s day one of the Roswell UFO Festival in New Mexico. Whatever happened there in 1947, the incident put Roswell on the map - and other towns that have their own UFO stories have been increasingly playing up those …

What Was July 4th Like Before The Fourth Of July?

July 4th, 2019


It's the 243rd birthday of the United States, and we've done a lot of celebrating over those years. But what were people doing on the Fourth of July …

I Wear My Smart Glasses At Night

July 3rd, 2019


Smart glasses are a thing! Not augmented reality, but an actual pair of glasses that can sense what we're trying to look at and make it easier to see it clearly as our eyes age and lose some of their ability to focus. …

Lawn Chair Larry Takes To The Sky

July 2nd, 2019


On this day in 1982, a dude named Larry Walters entered aviation history as the pilot of a craft called Inspiration I - which was a lawn chair …

Please Consider The Environment Before Printing And Reprinting On This Paper

July 1st, 2019


Researchers at Rutgers University have developed a system to unprint the printing on standard printer paper, in a way that uses less energy and material than the conventional paper recycling process.  Plus: the new …

Medical Glue. Strong Stuff.

June 28th, 2019


A team at Technion–Israel Institute of Technology developed a way to use medical glue to bind human tissue together instead of stitches and medical …

Anyone Need Some Sponge Candy While I'm In Buffalo?

June 27th, 2019


I'm traveling to Buffalo, New York for a book event today, so I thought I'd celebrate one of the city's beloved foods: sponge candy. Meanwhile, an ice cream shop in Buffalo has done what you might expect an ice cream …

The Babe Is Here, Who’s Coming In Second?

June 26th, 2019


Mildred "Babe" Didrikson Zaharias could do it all - she was an Olympic gold medalist, champion golfer, basketball and baseball player, vaudeville …

The World’s Greatest Robotic Pig Food Truck

June 25th, 2019


Today is #BourdainDay, where we celebrate Anthony Bourdain's enthusiasm for traveling, eating, learning and especially for going off the beaten path to really get to know people and recipes and places. In that spirit, …

Selfies On Mars

June 24th, 2019


The Curiosity Rover takes selfies on Mars - so how does it do it without having its robot arm in the foreground of every shot? Plus: the University of St. Andrews teaches grey seals to sing the "Star Wars" theme. For …

The Fastest Lawn Mower In The World, And How We Got To It

June 21st, 2019


Earlier this month a prototype mower in Germany set a new world record by going from zero to 100 miles an hour in 6.29 seconds… while still cutting …

Turtle-Friendly Fishing Nets Are Lit

June 20th, 2019


Bycatch is what fishing boats catch that they're not trying to catch. It's bad for them, their nets and the bycatch - especially for turtles, which …

Riding a Horse Down Fillmore Street For Juneteenth

June 19th, 2019


Juneteenth is the annual celebration of the end of the institution of slavery. Today we give some props to the African-Americans who have built the …

Do You Feel Like Peter Frampton’s Talk Box Does?

June 18th, 2019


Guitar great Peter Frampton starts his farewell concert tour, which means if you want to hear him use that famous voice box in “Do You Feel Like We Do," now's the time to do it. How does that talk box work, anyway? …

How To Move A 12 Ton Sphinx

June 17th, 2019


The  University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology - known better as the Penn Museum - needed to move its most famous object, a …

For Dads, The Story Of A World Record Burp

June 14th, 2019


Sorry, Simpsons fans: the world's greatest burper is neither "The Critic" Jay Sherman nor Eudora Welty, but an Italian guy in a wrestling mask who calls himself Rutt Mysterio. Plus: for Father's Day weekend, the story …

That Time Cat Stevens Wrote A Dog Song

June 13th, 2019


The Songwriters Hall of Fame is inducting Yusuf Cat Stevens for his classic, mostly acoustic songs like "Moonshadow," "Peace Train" and "Wild World." But did you also know that Yusuf Cat Stevens was a pioneer in …

Row, Row, Row Your Bot

June 12th, 2019


Autonomous robot boats are a thing! Over time, researchers have taught them to row themselves gently down the stream and to connect to each other …

Sensors Report Leftovers Are Still Fresh

June 11th, 2019


We may be taking a big step forward in the effort to stop food waste!  A research team at Imperial College London has developed food freshness …

Cloudy With A Chance Of Ladybugs

June 10th, 2019


Last week Southern California saw a bloom of ladybugs so big it showed up on radar! As it turns out, there's a whole field of science called …

The Great Banana Split Rivalry

June 7th, 2019


Today is the start of the Banana Split Festival in Wilmington, Ohio, where the banana split was born. Of course, if you were in Latrobe, …

To Get Plastic Out Of The Ocean, Put It On A Plane

June 6th, 2019


Researchers at Washington State University say they’ve found a way to make jet fuel out of something the world throws out in great quantities every …

From Storms Chasing Us, To Us Chasing Storms

June 5th, 2019


Storm damage isn't cool, weird or awesome, but the ways we spot storms and warn people about them are pretty great. And they've come a long way from …

The Minor Leagues Got Majorly Weird

June 4th, 2019


Attractions - especially weird ones - are a time-honored way to drum up business from people who are at best casual baseball fans, and lately that's extended to team names, including the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp, the …

And Then One Day You Find 10,000 Years Have Got Behind You

June 3rd, 2019


A project to build a clock that will run for 10,000 years got us thinking about how we measure time - and amazingly, 10,000 years is more time than has passed since the invention of hours, minutes and seconds. Plus: a …

I Review The Body Electric

May 31st, 2019


It's the 200th birthday of Walt Whitman, the poet best known for his landmark work Leaves of Grass... and the guy who anonymously wrote glowing reviews of his own writing in the newspapers of the day.  Plus: Plymouth, …

The Only Headless Chicken With His Own Festival

May 30th, 2019


We’re on the eve of this year’s biggest event in Fruita, Colorado - the Mike the Headless Chicken Festival, where people all gather to celebrate the …


May 29th, 2019


Today’s show is about a series of earthquake aftershocks in the Hebgen Lake area of Yellowstone National Park measured in 2017 and 2018.  That’s not in and of itself unusual, except that the original earthquake happened …

What Is The Euphemism For “I Dropped A Frog”?

May 28th, 2019


As much as we all like to consider ourselves straight talkers, we all use certain euphemisms when we’ve done something we wished we hadn’t. …

The Many One True Birthplaces Of Memorial Day

May 27th, 2019


Officially, the community that started Memorial Day is Waterloo, New York - in May 1866, the community spent the entire day honoring those killed in the Civil War by placing wreaths and flowers at their graves, then …

The Jumpsuit Century

May 24th, 2019


There’s nothing more fashionable than the jumpsuit - right? Right? Anyway, it was a century ago that the Italian artist Thayaht proposed a one-piece garment with buttons down the front as the next big thing in fashion. …

Dance Breaks and Deathfests

May 23rd, 2019


 May is Asian/Pacific-American Heritage Month, and a great time to talk about two exciting, important and sometimes underappreciated Asian-American performers. The dance team of Jew Wing Dong and Dorothy Takahashi, …

If You Want To Stop Burglary, Then Study Burglars

May 22nd, 2019


 And now, a look at a study that’s the kind of research Batman would do if he were an academic instead of a crimefighter: a scientific study of …

Excuse Me, My Suitcase Would Like To Get By

May 21st, 2019


The busiest part of the year for travelers is coming, meaning that at airports, there will be a lot of people around to clonk into each other. …

Is It A Tortoise, Or Home Improvement Project?

May 20th, 2019


Two weeks ago, the staff at the Humane Society of San Diego had to figure out how to help a tortoise with a hole in its shell.  Veterinarians Daniel …

Sure, I’m Petty, Just Not Paypal-Petty

May 17th, 2019


A group of researchers has been looking at the science behind digital pettiness - that’s like if you go out to eat with somebody and then use Paypal or Venmo to send them the exact amount of money to cover your order, …

Venus: If You Lived Here, You’d Have Melted By Now

May 16th, 2019


Today's the 50th anniversary of an overlooked but important visit to a fairly nasty place… the planet Venus.  The Venera 5 craft isn't well remembered, partly because it only got to do its atmospheric testing for an …

Ooh, That Smell: A Corpse Flower Blooms In Chicago

May 15th, 2019


What’s in a name? That which we call a corpse flower by any other name would smell as bad. The Chicago Botanic Garden has issued a bloom watch for …

Do Tacos Dream Of Electric Tongues?

May 14th, 2019


For this Taco Tuesday we salute the Washington State University researchers behind the latest in electric tongue technology. The virtual tongue …

Australia’s Biggest Little Spelling Error

May 13th, 2019


Australians have been laughing, cursing, sighing and facepalming over a misspelled word on the newest printing of the Australian $50 dollar note. …

Treat Your Mother Subreddit Right

May 10th, 2019


It’s 150 years to the day that the presidents of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads drove a ceremonial golden spike into the first …

Dear Ralph Baer, Thanks, Signed, All The Video Gamers

May 9th, 2019


Ralph Baer invented home video games from his workshop in Manchester, New Hampshire - and now the city is honoring this gaming pioneer with a "Baer Square," complete with a statue, in a city park. Plus: this weekend, a …

The Spy Whale Who Loved Me

May 8th, 2019


The story of the whale wearing a GoPro that might be some kind of Russian surveillance agent is pretty wild, but it's not even close to the first time governments have turned to animals for surveillance purposes. In the …

The Biggest Binge-Watch Ever

May 7th, 2019


The new film “Recorder: The Marion Stokes Project" tells the story of a Philadelphia librarian and activist who spent decades recording every TV …

Change The (English) Channel

May 6th, 2019


Today is the 25th anniversary of the formal opening of the Channel Tunnel, a 31.4 mile long, mostly undersea rail tunnel connecting the city of …

Here In My Hollywood Car Exhibit, I Feel Safest Of All

May 3rd, 2019


The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is about to open a new exhibit called “Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and …

2 Dope Pirate Queens

May 2nd, 2019


The Louisiana Pirate Festival is getting underway in Lake Charles, which is as good a reason as any to talk about two of the most remarkable stories in pirate history: Cheng I Sao, a Chinese pirate queen who commanded …

The Ballad of Heckboy

May 1st, 2019


In Dickson, Tennessee, a movie theater showing a certain movie about a certain bright red dude with horns decided the name was a little too brash to put on a marquee facing a church, and decided to clean it up a little …

Sad-Eyed Wallaby Of The Lowlands

April 30th, 2019


 Bob Dylan still doesn’t like cell phone cameras at his concerts, judging by the admonition he gave a crowd this month. And yet, one of the most famous images was a concert photo taken by a random guy in the crowd! …

De-ice De-ice, Baby

April 29th, 2019


A team at the University of British Columbia has developed a coating that has something called low interfacial toughness - in short, instead of ice …

Ship To Shark Communication

April 26th, 2019


A new study led by a researcher from Duke University has spotted female sand tiger sharks returning to the same shipwrecks, sometimes over months or even years. Are they taking a rest stop on their migration routes? Are …

I Love Drone Lamp

April 25th, 2019


Japanese designer Kazuhiro Yamanaka has just released a flying drone lamp - this little light of yours will fly around the room with you as you move. …

Take Off Your Password and Jacket

April 24th, 2019


Passwords are totally out of control and no one’s happy about it. On the plus side, the security studies about how bad we are at passwords are pretty …

The Many Moods Of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

April 23rd, 2019


Thirty years ago today was the last regular season game of one of the greats on and off the court. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored more points than any …

Roombas! In! Spaaaaaaace!

April 22nd, 2019


Being an astronaut is hard work - not only are you floating up in space, away from the rest of the world, you have a lot of cleaning to do. But there …

What A Time To Be A Hologram

April 19th, 2019


 Frank Zappa is back out on tour, doing nine shows in the US and seven more in Europe.  Now if you’re scratching your head here and saying, wait, …

Break up with your pension, I’m bored

April 18th, 2019


Everything is connected to everything else - and there's no better example of that than this week's news that a song by Ariana Grande is putting money into the state pension program in Michigan. And speaking of …

I'm Going Out For A Scent

April 17th, 2019


Tired? Smoke breaks. Inspired? Scent breaks.   Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Brown University are looking at whether pleasant smells can help curb cravings for nicotine. Plus: for the new short film …

The Long Lost Heads of Notre Dame

April 16th, 2019


If you’re mourning Notre Dame cathedral today, well, you’re not the only one.  Here’s a story from its long history that might make you feel a little …

Bess and Taxes

April 15th, 2019


Tax Day gives a lot of us the blues - which, as it turns out, actually kind of works. April 15th is the birthday of one of the greatest singers of all time: the Empress of the Blues, Bessie Smith. As for taxes, we have …

You Call This Archaeology?

April 12th, 2019


During the Cold War, the CIA flew U2 planes all over the globe, to see what the Soviets were up to. And in doing so, documented all kinds of …

This One Goes Out To All My Peeps

April 11th, 2019


The surest sign of spring is neither the calendar nor the weather. It’s the reappearance of Peeps, which are the stuff of candy and cultural legend …

May The Force Sisters Be With You

April 10th, 2019


 The family that races hot rods together... stays together. For National Siblings Day, the story of  Brittany, Ashley and Courtney Force,  three sisters who have found an unusual way to spend time together: they're …

All I've Got Is A Phonautograph, But It's Not Enough

April 9th, 2019


 Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville invented a way to document sound more than a decade before Thomas Edison developed his wax cylinders. So why isn't he remembered as the king of recording? Because he hadn't figured out …

Come On Feel The Airplane Bathroom Noise

April 8th, 2019


Researchers out of Brigham Young University have been working to quiet one of the most ungodly noises in the world - airplane bathrooms. Turns out changing the design of the pipes can make it a lot quieter, unlike that …

Tweens vs. Potholes

April 5th, 2019


 A long cold winter is behind us - unfortunately potholes are underneath us.  In Michigan, 12 year old Monte Scott counted 50 potholes on his street …

A Big Transplantiversary

April 4th, 2019


It was 50 years ago today that a doctor implanted a temporary artificial heart in a patient - a pretty big leap forward in heart surgeries, given …

Laser Apple Robots

April 3rd, 2019


 An apple a day keeps the coming war with robots away?  A New Zealand company is testing a robot that’s supposed to move through an apple orchard, spot ripe fruit, yank it from the tree and bring it back to the farmer. …

I Wish They All Could Be California Plates

April 2nd, 2019


You can apply for just about any set of numbers and letters to adorn your motor vehicle, so long as they’re a) not already taken and b) abide by your …

The Pizza and Pipe Organ Connection

April 1st, 2019


I spent part of the weekend chasing down a little bit of musical and culinary history in Greenfield, Wisconsin, just outside Milwaukee. That’s home …

The Goat Mayor Of Fair Haven, Vermont

March 29th, 2019


On this day in 1861 the tiny European country of San Marino presented President Abraham Lincoln with honorary citizenship. There’s another leader …

Baseball's First, Fightingest Umpire

March 28th, 2019


It's Opening Day - and no matter who wins and who loses, baseball fans will have something to say about the umpires. The first pro ump in the big leagues was a man named Billy McLean - who, when he wasn't calling balls …

Drunk Online Shoppers Of The World Unite

March 27th, 2019


This year’s big growth industry: buying stuff online while you’re hammered. That's according to a new survey that finds one in four respondents admitted to buying stuff on the internet while they've been drinking. Drunk …

A Salute To Great Eight Year Olds

March 26th, 2019


Brady has an eight year old in the house today! To celebrate the big guy's birthday, we're taking a look at the many great eight year olds out there, …

We Got (The Cheese)

March 25th, 2019


Researchers in Europe make a stunning discovery: playing hip-hop to cheese makes it taste better. Maybe they should have played a few songs to a …

Millennials Are (Not) Killing Lunch

March 22nd, 2019


Millennial memes are a crock. They're not really killing lunch. Or bar soap. Or doorbells. But an often-discarded piece of their beloved avocados may end up saving lunch, thanks to a new kind of cutlery made from …

Mystery Beer Fridge

March 21st, 2019


That feeling when you've had a horrible day and everything's gone wrong and all you really want is to sit down and have a beer... and then a beer shows up. It's the real-life story of a giant flood, two guys who lived …

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