Pulse Rate

The rule for the placement of Easter: It must be the Sunday after the “Paschal” moon on or after the first day of spring. This type of moon is not the actual full moon, but the state of the moon on the 14th day of the lunar calendar, a datekeeping relic from Christianity’s Jewish roots.

You can’t make this stuff up: Houses in the original Long Island Levittown development in the late 40s and early 50s looked so much alike that one resident had to call home for directions to his own house after becoming hopelessly confused.

One of the first modern showers was called the “English Regency Shower,” invented around 1810. The 10-foot-tall self-contained contraption was a complex arrangement of basins, pumps and pipes which sprayed water onto the bather, accepted the excess down a drain, then pumped it back up onto the bather, and so on. It was not a hit with the public.

This is not an ad: State Farm offers volcano insurance. As they put it, damage from “volcanic blast, airborne shockwaves, ash, dust or lava flow,” is covered.

As discovered by the TV show Mythbusters, “corking” a baseball bat does not improve its performance.

Probably the most degrading way to obtain a noble title in medieval Europe was to become a “Groom of the Stool.” This member of the nobility was responsible for managing the king’s…leavings.

According to a CNBC survey, the most expensive place to live in 2009 was Tokyo, Japan. The average monthly rent for a luxury 2 BR apartment was $5,417 and a cup of coffee cost around $6.50.

Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970, was partially inspired by the image of the whole Earth photographed by NASA’s Apollo 8 crew, the first astronauts to orbit the moon (240,000 miles away) in December 1968.

No two baseball stadiums are alike, and depending on the locale, their atmospheric conditions can be wildly different as well, each factor affecting the game in different ways. For example, a mere shift in the wind may transfer advantage from the pitcher to the batter and vice versa.

The origin of the word “lawn” doesn’t refer to manicured suburban backyards. The term stems from European pasturelands where grazing livestock played their part as the original lawn mowers.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York is in the wrong location. It was placed there due to the widespread belief that Abner Doubleday had first codified the basic rules of modern baseball in that town in 1839. That assertion has since been debunked.

Yom Ha’atzmaut, taking place this year on April 20th, is Israel’s Independence Day. One of the most significant events on this day is the lighting of 12 beacons, each representing one of the 12 biblical tribes of Israel.