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.
Thu. 1/14 - How We Narrowly Avoided an Emoji Shortage
The workaround the Unicode Consortium used to make sure we still get new emojis in 2021, pandemic or not. Facial hair is biologically useless. So why do some humans have it? And the SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule returning this evening will be carrying on it a case of twelve unopened bottles of red wine. But why?
Wed. 1/13 - Pablo Escobar's Hippos Are Out of Control
Pablo Escobar’s pet hippos have multiplied and are ravaging part of Colombia’s capital. An AI that can create very impressive and artistic images from text commands. Maybe a little too impressive. And a discovery in England this week that could’ve been way worse.
Tue. 1/12 - 16th Century Disease Prevention & Beer Can Archaeology
The sixteenth-century manual on containing the spread of disease that is eerily reminiscent of current COVID guidelines. Bitcoin millionaires who can’t access their digital wallets due to forgotten passwords. And the guy whose massive beer collection is playing an important role in archaeological studies.
Mon. 1/11 - Tim Berners-Lee's Quest to Restore Balance to the Web
It’s time for two writers to pay up on a 25-year-old bet about whether tech would destroy civilization. Tim Berners-Lee’s new quest to transform the web into the one he envisioned when he created it. How the most recent COVID-19 Stimulus Bill created a new National Park––and also may reveal previously classified government research on UFOs?
Fri. 1/8 - What Folklore Can Teach Us About Conspiracy Theories
What folklorists can teach us about the structure and resilience of conspiracy theories. The genome of the platypus has been sequenced, and it’s just as weird as you’d expect. And a Swedish film festival that’s sending one person to an abandoned lighthouse on a remote island for a weeklong stay without any human contact or outside communication
Thu. 1/7 - Dude, IceBots on Mars!
A prototype for self-repairing planetary exploration robots made of ice. The surprising history of the word “dude.” And a new Danish children’s cartoon about the misadventures of a man with a huge dong. Yep.