BASE Jumping: Life Over the Edge

On this date in 1981, Phil Smith and Phil Mayfield parachuted off a Houston skyscraper, becoming the first BASE jumpers. Here are some things you may not have known about BASE jumping. BASE is an acronym. The letters stand for buildings, antennas, spans and earth, from which the jumpers must parachute or fly off of with a wingsuit. The acronym […]

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How Did Jazz Get to Carnegie Hall? Practice

On this date in 1938, Benny Goodman and his band played the first jazz concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. Here are some things you may not have known about the concert, the landmark recording of it and Carnegie Hall in general. Until 1938, Carnegie Hall had been been a venue exclusively for classical music. It opened in 1891, […]

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Betty White: America’s Favorite Nonagenarian

Today is the 95th birthday of television personality Betty White. Here are some things you may not have known about her. She was born in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1922. Betty is her given name, and not a shortened form of Elizabeth. During the Great Depression, her family moved to California, where her father built radios, which he would occasionally […]

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Friday Wrap Up Show

We’re going to wrap up the week with a shorter show than normal, because I’m making some podcast studio updates, and all the equipment isn’t quite hooked up yet. Today is Constitution Day in Mongolia, Democracy Day in Cape Verde and Liberation Day in Togo. It’s unofficially International Skeptics Day, National Rubber Ducky Day, and Public Radio Broadcasting Day. It’s […]

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Eiffel Tower: Surpassing Expectations

On this date in 1908, the first long-distance radio signal was sent from the Eiffel Tower. Here are some things you may not have known about the Paris landmark. It was constructed as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair and was designed and built by the company owned by Gustave Eiffel. The tower cost an estimated 6.5 million francs, […]

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David Bowie: Gone for a Year

One year ago today, rock icon David Bowie died at the age of 69. Bowie was born David Jones in Brixton, South London on January 8, 1947. His mother worked as a waitress and his father worked for a charity. At the age of nine, Bowie’s father brought home a collection of American records, including some by artists like Elvis […]

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iPhone: 10 Years of Leading the Way

On this date in 2007, Apple announced the iPhone. Here are some things you may not have known about the smartphone. The iPhone wasn’t Apple’s first foray into the portable communications market. The company introduced the Newton MessagePad in 1993. The Newton was a personal digital assistant, which was an electronic calendar, contact list and notebook. The Newton interface was […]

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