Pulse Rate September 2010

The first product sold by electronics giant Sony, founded in post WWII Japan, was a primitive electric rice cooker. Unfortunately for Sony, it was unable to properly cook the rice, making it a failure in the marketplace.

Harvard University had 9 students and 1 professor in its first semester of operation in 1636.

The first version of Manhattan’s New York Stock Exchange was a sycamore tree at the foot of Wall Street where traders and speculators would informally convene in the late 1700s.

Crucial info for college students: Passing out from drinking is a symptom of alcohol poisoning, which can kill you. Do not draw on the unconscious individual, get him/her immediate medical attention.

The gas card was the first credit card in existence. It appeared in the US during the 1920s, a time when the automobile’s use was rapidly expanding.

Two major design elements of the modern bank vault are a response to successful heists: Robbers would put explosives or wedge crowbars into the doorframe of a vault, so the door design became a kind of plug. Also, a cutting torch could be used on the steel door, which had the vault makers design a door made out of a kind of steel-and-copper “sandwich,” which could dissipate the heat of a torch.

What is known today as a “book” (bound pages with a cover) was originally called a “codex,” Latin for “block of wood,” as this literature format was derived from ancient Roman writing tablets made of wood and wax.

Current metal contents of US coins—Penny: 97.5% zinc, 2.5% copper. Nickel: 75% copper, 25% nickel. Dime, Quarter, Half-Dollar: 91.67% copper, 8.33% nickel. Dollar coin: 88.5% copper, 6% zinc, 3.5% manganese, 2% nickel.

The “3 R’s,” first coined in 1825, might not have originated as “reading, writing and arithmetic,” but “reading, writing and reckoning,” “reckoning” being a Victorian term for mental arithmetic.

The Mesoamerican Aztecs called gold “teocuitlatl,” “god excrement” in their Nahuatl language, reflecting the literal belief that their gods defecated the precious metal.

Take a gander at the bar code on the cover of this magazine. The number under the lines is known as an International Standard Serial Number. This series of numerals is part of a single worldwide system that puts Pulse and every other periodical into a single continuum for ease of information access and distribution.

The oldest continually operating bank in the world is the Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena in Siena, Italy. It was founded on February 27, 1472 AD.

After an exhaustive statistical examination, US News & World Report has declared that the current #1 high school in the United States is the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. The highest-ranking LI school is South Side High School in Rockville Centre at #46.