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A podcast about the delightful, the surprising, and the untold true stories all around us. Hosted by Drew Beebe.

Great Big Story CNN

    • Gesellschaft und Kultur

A podcast about the delightful, the surprising, and the untold true stories all around us. Hosted by Drew Beebe.

    The Accidental Invention of the Super Soaker

    The Accidental Invention of the Super Soaker

    As the dog days of summer wear on, many of us grow nostalgic for the hours spent blasting our friends with one of the best-selling toys of the early '90s: the Super Soaker. This pressure filled water blaster is all thanks to a nuclear scientist who worked for NASA and the Air Force. In 1982, Lonnie Johnson invented the Super Soaker while he was tinkering on something totally different in his basement. But his inventions don’t stop there: Johnson worked on everything from Nerf toys to a thermoelectric energy converter.

    • 16 Min.
    Running the Marathon on Crutches

    Running the Marathon on Crutches

    An avid runner since high school, Hannah Gavios suffered a spinal cord injury after a horrific attack in 2016 that left her partially paralyzed. But she didn’t let that end her dream of running a marathon. Unable to imagine a life without running, the native New Yorker learned how to run in a different way — what she likes to call “crutching.” In this episode, Great Big Story follows her as she attempts to complete the 2019 New York City Marathon.

    (This episode contains a description of sexual violence — so this may not be suitable for all listeners.)

    Let us know what you think of the show! Take a short survey at cnn.com/podcastsurvey.

    • 20 Min.
    Where Have I Seen That Guy?

    Where Have I Seen That Guy?

    Whether you know him by name or not, you’ve definitely seen James Hong before. From movies like “Blade Runner” and “Chinatown,” TV shows like “The Big Bang Theory” and “Seinfeld,” and animated features like “Kung Fu Panda” and “Mulan,” in his over six decades in Hollywood, Hong has become one of the most credited actors in history. Born in Minnesota to parents from Hong Kong, Hong moved to Los Angeles in the 1950s to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. However, he has had to spend his entire career combating stereotypical depictions of Chinese, Asians and Asian Americans in film and television. Even in his 90s, Hong is showing no signs of slowing down.

    • 20 Min.
    Mrs. Comet and the Man on the Moon

    Mrs. Comet and the Man on the Moon

    All his life, Eugene Shoemaker dreamed of stepping foot on the moon. A geologist and planetary scientist known for his work with craters, Gene worked tirelessly in the hopes of becoming an Apollo astronaut so he could explore the lunar surface. A failed medical test cut his dreams short, but his journey didn’t end there. His wife, astronomer Carolyn Shoemaker, tells us the story of how Gene was always destined to be the man on the moon.

    • 13 Min.
    Homemade Island

    Homemade Island

    Hidden in wilderness off the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada sits the magical home of Catherine King and Wayne Adams. 45-minutes by boat to the nearest town, this couple’s sustainable fortress is complete with a dance floor, art galleries, and gardens galore. Every single building is not only built by hand, but is completely floating on the water. In this episode of Great Big Story, we explore this fantastical homemade island and learn what drove Catherine and Wayne to build a home so utterly unique.

    • 15 Min.
    The Most Sampled Loop in Music History

    The Most Sampled Loop in Music History

    What do David Bowie, NWA, and the theme song to Futurama all have in common? They’ve all used the Amen break, a four-bar drum solo that has become the most sampled loop in recorded music. The six second sample originates from the 1969 song “Amen, Brother” by a band called The Winstons. For years, the solo was buried deep in the musical archives, until hip-hop pioneer “Breakbeat Lou” Flores and his partner featured it on their compilation, “Ultimate Breaks and Beats.” Once producers caught wind of the solo, it took off and changed the course of music history.

    • 19 Min.

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