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The official podcast of Kottke.org. In just 15 minutes, the coolest stuff that happened in the world today. Science, progress, life-hacks, memes, exciting art and hope. The antidote to depressing headlines. Smart stuff in podcast form. Cool news, as a service.

253 Episodes
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No, there is not evidence of mushrooms on Mars, and the story of how that misinformation spread yesterday goes even deeper than you may think. Part of the rocket China launched at the end of last month is hurtling uncontrollably back to Earth and no one exactly knows where it will land. And LEGO dropped an ASMR mixtape.Sponsors:Mint Mobile, Get a new wireless plan for just $15 a month mintmobile.com/kottkeOur Opinions Are Correct, Subscribe on Apple Podcasts ouropinionsarecorrect.comLinks:No, NASA photos are not evidence of fungus growing on Mars, sorry (CNET)Experts Shred Paper Claiming to Identify Mushrooms on Mars (Futurism)Scientists Claim to Spot Fungus Growing on Mars in NASA Rover Photos (Futurism)Fungi on Mars? Researchers claim signs of life on red planet (South China Morning Post)No one is sure where this hunk of Chinese rocket is gonna land (A/V Club) Huge rocket looks set for uncontrolled reentry following Chinese space station launch (Space News)Pentagon Not Planning To Shoot Down Chinese Rocket As It Hurtles Uncontrollably Toward Earth (Forbes) Lego share soothing new 'White Noise' playlist of the sound of Lego bricks (NME)A New Mindful Mix: the LEGO Group releases a soothing soundscape created with thousands of LEGO® bricks (LEGO)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
Are you cheugy? Am I cheugy? What the heck is cheugy? The more we post photos of ourselves online, the easier it is for AIs to recognize us. But what if there were a way for them to forget our faces? And a useful site that will tell you exactly how long you need to watch any TV show you want. Sponsors:Our Opinions Are Correct, Subscribe on Apple Podcasts ouropinionsarecorrect.comMint Mobile, Get a new wireless plan for just $15 a month mintmobile.com/kottkeLinks:Cheugy: Is New TikTok Slang Aimed at Millennials? (Rolling Stone)'Cheugy' Is Hard to Define But Easy to Identify (The Cut)What Is ‘Cheugy’? You Know It When You See It. (NY Times)Thu. 08/27 - Why Pumpkin Spice Will Never Die (Kottke Ride Home)How to stop AI from recognizing your face in selfies (MIT Technology Review)"Can I Binge?" is an excellent single-serving site for managing your TV time (Boing Boing)Can I Binge?Surprise COVID trend: Doomscrolling moved to desktop (Axios)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
Company tries running Facebook ads that transparently point out how Facebook ads work. Facebook blocks the ads. Shocking! Mermaid diving––like free diving but while wearing a mermaid tail––is quickly becoming a real sport. Dunbar’s number says human brains can’t keep up with more than 150 casual friendships, but new research disagrees. And it’s time to vote on a name for the newest baby raven at the Tower of London.Sponsors:Mint Mobile, Get a new wireless plan for just $15 a month mintmobile.com/kottkeOur Opinions Are Correct, Subscribe on Apple Podcasts ouropinionsarecorrect.comLinks:Facebook Bans Honest Signal Ads on Instagram (Gizmodo)The Instagram ads Facebook won't show you (Signal)  Why so many people in China are becoming mermaids (CNN)Study Debunks Dunbar's Number: You Can Have More Than 150 Friends (Gizmodo)Human Brain Limit of '150 Friends' Doesn't Check Out, New Study Claims (Science Alert)Tower of London: Public to vote on baby raven's name (BBC) Vote on the baby raven's name (Historic Royal Palaces) Early Manned Spaceflight, First Spaceflight Information, Facts, News, Photos (National Geographic)Blue Origin targeting July for first crewed flight, opens auction for a seat (The Verge) SpaceX's next flight for Crew Dragon Resilience is a private launch of 4 civilians (Space.com)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
The physics of jumping to hyperspace, Disney teases their retractable lightsaber, and more Star Wars Day updates. Plus, in real space news: China launched the first module of the Chinese Space Station into orbit last week.Sponsors:Our Opinions Are Correct, Subscribe on Apple Podcasts ouropinionsarecorrect.comMint Mobile, Get a new wireless plan for just $15 a month mintmobile.com/kottkeLinks:When You Jump to Hyperspace, Make Sure You Wear a Seatbelt (Wired)China Launches First Module of New Space Station Into Orbit (Smithsonian Magazine)China launches core module of new space station to orbit (Space.com)China Is Set to Launch First Module of Massive Space Station (Scientific American)Disney reveals its ‘real’ lightsaber, and it looks extremely cool (The Verge)Star Wars Hotel: It's Not a Hotel At All, It's a 2 Day Cruise (io9)How Disney’s ‘real’ lightsaber patent actually works (The Verge)"Ben" (Blue Milk Run, Bandcamp)Baby Yoda Day in the Life (Preeti Chhibber, Twitter) ‘I’m bursting with fiction’: Alan Moore announces five-volume fantasy epic (The Guardian)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
Average human life expectancy doubled in the last century. Has it reached its cap or can we double it again? Some considerations. And NASA conducted a tabletop simulation of an asteroid impact last week, with… less than ideal results. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with tips on how to survive a killer asteroid.Sponsors:Mint Mobile, Get a new wireless plan for just $15 a month mintmobile.com/kottkeOur Opinions Are Correct, Subscribe on Apple Podcasts ouropinionsarecorrect.comLinks:How the Human Life Span Doubled in 100 Years (NY Times)How Long Can We Live? (NY Times)Can We Live to 200? Here's a Roadmap (NY Times)An Asteroid Impact Simulation Is Currently Underway—and It's Absolutely Terrifying (Gizmodo)NASA Simulated an Asteroid Impact, Couldn't Avoid a Crash in Europe (Science Alert)How to Survive a Killer Asteroid (Wired)How to Stop Time by Matt Haig Co-founder of brain implant startup Neuralink leaves the company (Engadget)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
People who accidentally became memes are using NFTs to regain a sense of ownership over their likenesses––and make some pretty nice chunks of change. Scotland could become the first “rewilding nation.” And another shortage report. This time: computer chips.Links:The World Knows Her as 'Disaster Girl.' She Just Made $500,000 Off the Meme. (NY Times)They were ancient internet memes. Now NFTs are making them rich (Wired) NFTs Are Hot. So Is Their Effect on the Earth’s Climate (Wired)NFTs, explained: what they are, and why they're suddenly worth millions (The Verge)The climate controversy swirling around NFTs (The Verge)I Accidentally Became A Meme (BuzzFeed Video, YouTube)Scotland could become the world’s first ‘rewilding nation’(Euronews)Get Ready For A Shortage Of iPads And MacBooks (NPR)Global Chip Shortage Set to Worsen for Car Makers (Wall Street Journal)Office: How "Kevin's famous chili" was made (A/V Club)Brian Baumgartner’s Best Chili Pot…EVER (BUSH’s Beans, YouTube)The Office Deep Dive with Brian Baumgartner (Spotify)Office Ladies (Spotify)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
How an AI, after failing for a decade, finally won the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. The Olympics are going virtual, but not how you’re probably thinking. And remembering Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins.Links:Dr. Fill, an AI, won the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Here's how. (Slate)Win a gold medal from your front room? IOC launches Olympic Virtual Series (The Guardian)Olympic Virtual Series gaming event launched by IOC (NBC Sports) Photos: Apollo 11: As They Shot It (NY Times)For Apollo 11 He Wasn’t on the Moon. But His Coffee Was Warm. (NY Times)Michael Collins, ‘Third Man’ of the Moon Landing, Dies at 90 (NY Times) Space community mourns the death of Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins (The Verge)What going to the moon taught Michael Collins about Earth (PBS)‘It’s time’: Blue Origin teases ticket sales for its New Shepard rocket (The Verge) Jeff Goldblum Jones Dungeons & Dragons Podcast Dark Dice (iO9)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
It’s time for a toilet revolution. No, I’m not just talking about bidets. Our wastewater systems are dangerously out of date, but sustainable innovations could be just around the u-bend. Plus, the future of contact lenses is bright––or not, if you’d prefer they block the sun. And Apple dropped a very pandemic-themed update to their emojis.Links:The Pandemic Proved That Our Toilets Are Crap (Wired)High-tech contact lenses are straight out of science fiction — and may replace smart phones (The Conversation)The new syringe emoji is a better fit for the age of COVID-19 vaccines (CNET)The 'Vaccine' Emoji Gets a New Look This Week (Wired)💉 Syringe Emoji (Emojipedia) ‎Kottke Ride Home: Thu. 1/14 - How We Narrowly Avoided an Emoji Shortage on Apple Podcasts (Kottke Ride Home)'Great Gatsby' Musical to Be Written by Florence Welch (Variety) Citizen Kane lost its perfect Rotten Tomatoes score (A/V Club)Citizen Kane loses 100% "Fresh" rating after 80-year-old negative review added to Rotten Tomatoes (Boing Boing)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
Why the story of aerospace engineer Judith Love Cohen, who helped rescue the Apollo 13 astronauts, is making the rounds again and why we should remember her name. A new ice cube tray-shaped retinal patch that could help restore vision. And the rattlesnake-like jumping worms invading the American midwest. Links:Meet Aerospace Engineer Judith Love Cohen (Kottke.Org)In Memory of Judith Love Cohen: Mother, Wife, Friend, Author, Engineer (USC Viterbi)Women in the Workplace / Judith Love Cohen : Engineering a Change (LA Times)Highly Invasive Jumping Worms Have Spread to 15 States (Smithsonian Magazine)Invasive Jumping Worms That Violently Thrash If Handled Now in at Least 15 US States (Newsweek)Fear is the mind killer (Molly Lambert, Twitter)"Ice cube tray" retinal patch is loaded with cells to restore vision (New Atlas)TX population increase (Texas Tribune, Twitter)Census Bureau announces 331 million people in US, Texas will add two congressional seats (CNN)Fewest seats shifted since 1940 (Phil Jankowski, Twitter)Narrowest margin to decide seat in Congress (David H. Montgomery, Twitter)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
Dozens of people named Josh gathered in Nebraska over the weekend for a battle to crown the ultimate Josh. Who won and why the heck did this happen? I’ve got the details. The precursor to laugh tracks: professional applauders in 19th century France. And the Oscars saw many firsts last night, including one long overdue first for the award ceremony’s set. Links:Josh Swain Tells All About Viral 'Josh Fight' And How He Turned A Meme Into A Charity Event (Know Your Meme)Josh Fight won by very small Josh (A/V Club)Joshes Battle for Josh Supremacy in Nebraska (NY Times)Inaugural #Josh Fight is over and 'Little Josh' is crowned the best Josh (ESPN)Josh Battle Take Over Lincoln, Nebraska, Park (Buzzfeed News)When Paid Applauders Ruled the Paris Opera House (JSTOR Daily)This Oscar nominee plans to shatter the film world's crippling ableism (MSNBC) CRIP CAMP: A DISABILITY REVOLUTION | Official Trailer (Netflix, YouTube)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
What do you call a collection of black holes? That’s not the tee-up for a punchline. Scientists are legitimately trying to decide what word to use. Plus, how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was based on Blackfoot principles that he got wrong. And how the problem of McDonald’s perpetually broken ice cream machines is even more super-sized than you might think.Sponsor:StartMail, Get 50% off your first year at StartMail.com/kottkeLinks:What Do You Call a Bunch of Black Holes: A Crush? A Scream? (NY Times)Maslow Got It Wrong. (GatherFor)Maslow's hierarchy connected to Blackfoot beliefs (A Digital Native American) They Hacked McDonald's Ice Cream Machines—and Started a Cold War (Wired)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
NASA has generated oxygen on Mars. The story of the women retirees who hacked the stock market decades before GameStop and Wall Street Bets. And on the eve of his 404th death day, a look at what Shakespeare can teach us about living through pandemics.Sponsor:StartMail, Get 50% off your first year at StartMail.com/kottkeLinks:NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover Extracts First Oxygen from Red Planet (NASA)NASA's Perseverance rover makes oxygen on Mars for 1st time (Space)The Midwestern grandmas who became stock market celebrities (The Hustle)What Shakespeare Teaches Us About Living With Pandemics (NY Times)Earth's Mightiest Heroes Meets Shakespeare Later This Summer with 'William Shakespeare’s Avengers: The Complete Works' (Marvel)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
A few newly-announced NASA funded projects, including one to build a radio telescope in a crater on the moon. A Welsh farmer shares his secrets to ultimate contentment. And can machine learning help us understand what whales are saying to one another? Sponsor:StartMail, Get 50% off your first year at StartMail.com/kottkeLinks:Groundbreaking effort launched to decode whale language (National Geographic)NASA Selects Innovative, Early-Stage Tech Concepts for Continued Study (NASA JPL)Experience: I’ve had the same supper for 10 years (The Guardian)Russia mulls withdrawing from the International Space Station after 2024 (Science Mag) NASA Updates Launch Date, TV Coverage for Crew-2 Mission (NASA) Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
Will this decade be another “Roaring 20s?” A social epidemiologist and a Nobel Prize-winning economist weigh in. How many T-Rexes roamed the land throughout their time on Earth? A team of paleontologists did the math. And scientists have created the whitest paint ever, which could make a sizable difference in the climate crisis.Sponsor:StartMail, Get 50% off your first year at StartMail.com/kottkeLinks:Looking Back at the First Roaring Twenties (NY Times)Epidemiologist looks to the past to predict second post-pandemic 'roaring 20s' (The Guardian)How many T. rex ever existed? Calculation of dinosaur's abundance offers an answer (Nature)Enough T-Rexes to eat us all (Christopher Mims, Twitter) 'Whitest ever' paint reflects 98% of sunlight (BBC)Researchers Created the Whitest White Paint Ever (Earther) Ted Lasso season two trailer (AppleTV, Twitter)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
You may have heard about a bit of a shake-up in the world of soccer today with a dozen of the world’s biggest teams forming what they’re calling the Super League. To help explain what the heck is going on, we’re joined today by Tech Meme Ride Home host Brian McCullough who shares the context, the consequences, and how this affects way more than just the world of soccer, or even sports. That is in the second half of today’s extra long show, but first: NASA has officially flown a helicopter on Mars. Why is it such a big deal? And pizzly bears. Grizzly and polar bear hybrids that are apparently growing in number due to the climate crisis.Sponsor:StartMail, Get 50% off your first year at StartMail.com/kottkeLinks:NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Succeeds in Historic First Flight – NASA's Mars Exploration Program (NASA) How NASA Flew a Helicopter Flight on Mars (Intelligencer)NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter achieves historic powered flight on Mars (The Verge)NASA's Dragonfly Mission to Titan Will Look for Origins, Signs of Life (NASA)Are 'Pizzly Bears,' a Polar-Grizzly Mix, Real? (Snopes)The European Super League Explained (NY Times)Tech Meme Ride HomeKottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
Scientists have created human-monkey hybrid embryos––yes, you heard that right. Archaeologists have found an entire lost city in Egypt. We have even more pterosaur news this week! And a very delicious false alarm in Krakow.Sponsors:Indeed, Get a free $75 credit at Indeed.com/goodnewsSkillshare, Get a free trial of Premium Membership at skillshare.com/kottkeLinks:Scientists Created the First Embryo With Human and Non-Human Primate Cells (TIME)Embryos That Are Part Monkey, Part Human Raise Ethical Concerns (NPR)Controversial 'Chimera' Embryos Made by Scientists Are Part Human, Part Monkey (Science Alert)First monkey–human embryos reignite debate over hybrid animals (Nature)Archaeologists discover 3,000 year-old 'lost' city in Egypt (CNN)'Lost golden city of Luxor' discovered by archaeologists in Egypt (National Geographic) Archaeologists find “lost golden city” buried under sand for 3,400 years (Wired)Adorable 'Porg' Pterosaur Flapped Above Jurassic China (Gizmodo)Mystery tree beast turns out to be croissant (BBC)Krakow's very own lizard cryptid turns out to be a croissant (A/V Club)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
The CDC says we should wait two weeks after our final COVID-19 vaccination to be considered fully vaccinated, but why? What do spiderwebs sound like? These scientists turned them into music. Google Earth’s latest feature shows us how destructive we’ve been to the planet. And the new YouTube channel I can’t get enough of featuring Hot Wheels on a treadmill.Sponsors:Skillshare, Get a free trial of Premium Membership at skillshare.com/kottkeIndeed, Get a free $75 credit at Indeed.com/goodnewsLinks:Covid vaccine: Why it's wise to wait two weeks after your shot (Mashable)Antibody persistence graph (Ian Haydon, Twitter)Scientists Turned Spiderwebs Into Music, And It's Hauntingly Beautiful (Vice)Spider songs (Markus J. Buehler, YouTube)Google Earth Now Shows You Our Planet’s Slow Deterioration (Wired)Google Earth’s historical 3D time lapses show the ravages of climate change (The Verge)Die-Cast Treadmill Series (Steve Wilkins, YouTube) 5/18 episode with Marble Racing segment (Kottke Ride Home)Kominers’s Conundrums: Can You Escape This Column? (Bloomberg)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
We’ve all been talking about Zoom Fatigue for the past year, but a new study has the facts on the phenomenon. Have you tried booking a rental car and noticed they’re all sold out or only going for exorbitant prices? Here’s why. And, a double dose of pterosaur news today! A look at the unique structure of their vertebrae that enabled the giant creatures to take flight and new evidence that one species of pterosaur may have been the oldest animal yet discovered with an opposable thumb.Sponsors:Indeed, Get a free $75 credit at Indeed.com/goodnewsSkillshare, Get a free trial of Premium Membership at skillshare.com/kottkeLinks:'Zoom fatigue' may be with us for years. Here's how we'll cope. (National Geographic)Wait, Where Did All the Rental Cars Go? (Wall Street Journal)Paleontologists Describe 'Monkeydactyl,' Pterosaur With Opposable Thumb (Gizmodo)How the Largest Pterosaurs Supported Giraffe-Like Necks (NY Times)How to shut down Spot the robot 'dog,' should you ever need to (Mashable) Boston Dynamics' Spot is now a beer-peeing robot (Mashable)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
Researchers have found a methane-eating bacteria living in a common species of Australian tree. The UK is considering a legal “right to disconnect” for remote workers. Archaeologists in Saudi Arabia have uncovered evidence of the oldest domesticated dog in that region in what could be the beginning of huge insights about the development of human society across the Middle East. Uber just had their biggest month ever in a sign that certain businesses might not have much trouble bouncing back from last year’s losses. And what happens if a shark bites your arm off after you get your COVID vaccine? Do you have to get another dose? Dr. Akiko Iwasaki has the answer.Sponsors:Skillshare, Get a free trial of Premium Membership at skillshare.com/kottke Indeed, Get a free $75 credit at Indeed.com/goodnewsLinks:We found methane-eating bacteria living in a common Australian tree. It could be a game changer for curbing greenhouse gases (The Conversation)Ministers urged to give UK home-workers a ‘right to disconnect’ (The Guardian)Google is accelerating partial reopening of offices and putting limits on future of remote work  (CNBC)Archaeologists uncover earliest evidence of domesticated dogs in Arabian Peninsula (EurekAlert)285: A Pill Meant for Horses (Dear Hank and John, Spotify)Antibody response after removal of muscle (Dr. Akiko Iwasaki, Twitter) Differential dependence on target site tissue for gene gun and intramuscular DNA immunizations (National Library of Medicine)Uber Posts Record Demand for March (Wall Street Journal)Airbnb/Vrbo inventory sold out (Rafat Ali, Twitter)AirDNA Market Review | US March 2021 (AirDNA)Airbnb is trying to preemptively cancel post-pandemic bacchanals  (The Verge)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
Genetically-modified mosquitoes are set to be released in Florida, but will locals thwart the project? A new technology that can 3D print bones directly inside of patients’ bodies. Is TikTok our latest great art movement? No really, stay with me on this one.Sponsors:Indeed, Get a free $75 credit at Indeed.com/goodnewsSkillshare, Get a free trial of Premium Membership at skillshare.com/kottkeLinks:First GMO Mosquitoes to Be Released In the Florida Keys (Undark)This ceramic ink can 3D-print bones directly into a patient’s body. Here’s how (World Economic Forum)Scientists use novel ink to 3D-print ‘bone’ with living cells (UNSW Newsroom)TikTok Duets Are Reviving the Exquisite Corpse (Wired)Kottke.OrgJackson Bird on Twitter
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Comments (7)

Abra Morgan

I love this podcast, but how did you not mention TDOV? In fairness, I almost forgot myself. The pandemic and lack of engaging in social spaces has made holidays hard to remember.

Apr 1st
Reply

Old man

I wonder how many people have died of obesity due to that man.

Jun 17th
Reply

Mandeep Sahni

This is my go-to #podcast for everything related to #COVID 19 or #Coronavirus news. I hear it here first. I look forward to your new format now. #PodcastRecommendations

May 12th
Reply

Thor Engebretson

Informative and insightful.

Mar 31st
Reply

Michael Forsythe

Thanks for all your great newscasting!

Mar 27th
Reply (1)

Julia Burger

This is an informative podcast. Thank you and keep up the good work!

Mar 18th
Reply
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