Pulse Rate October 2011

The full name of flagship Santa María on Columbus’ 1492 expedition was La Santa María de la Inmaculada Concepción (The Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception). Regarding the other ships, Pinta means “the painted one” or “the spotted one,” and the Niña’s (meaning “the girl”) real name was “Santa Clara.”

Experts have studied the scene featuring the “micturated upon” rug in The Big Lebowski and have come to the conclusion that it was a “natural dye Tabriz.” This type of rug is a class of Persian carpet made in Tabriz, the capital of Iran’s (the current name of the Persia area) East Azerbaijan Province.

It is believed that the four suits on a modern deck of cards come from the four classes of society in medieval France: spades=nobility, hearts=clergy, diamonds=merchants, clubs=peasants.

Russian scientist Boris Rosing invented the first system that could produce television pictures in 1907. He connected a primitive video camera to a cathode ray tube (a device that shoots electrons onto a phosphor target), and was able to transmit black-and-white silhouettes of simple shapes onto the phosphor target.

Scientific genius Nikola Tesla patented the first ever remote control vehicle in 1898. Demonstrated at Madison Square Garden that same year, it was a torpedo-like boat he called a “teleautomaton.” The device that sent the signals was not handheld, though, it was a large console.

Trick-or-treat candy binge warning: substances such as mannitol and sorbital, used as a sweetener in sugar-free candy, can have a laxative effect.

There were actually two kinds of jesters (aka fools) in royal courts. The “licensed fool” was more in line with the modern stand-up comedian while the “natural fool” had some kind of affliction or
disability that affected his behavior.

The first instance of the “burlesque” theater genre, or comedic parody of serious works, was in ancient Greece. They called it a “Satyr” play, and it included portrayals of drunkenness, undisguised sexuality and sight gags. It featured a chorus of Satyrs, mythological hedonistic creatures.

New theories posit that the first instance of dancing was part of a ritual to put early man into a “battle trance,” a state where the individuals of a group disappear and become a collective entity. This same phenomena is seen in modern military drills.

The landmark 1903 film The Great Train Robbery contained a tacked-on scene (theaters had
permission to place it either at the beginning or end of the movie) of an outlaw shooting directly at the camera. Some members of audiences, new to the concept of cinema, thought they were actually about to be shot.

Great Renaissance scientist and avid gambler Gerolamo Cardano wrote the first book on gambling probability (and cheating), Liber de ludo aleae (Book on Games of Chance). This work contains
information still valid today regarding cards and dice, along with probability in general.

The clear glass typically used in such common objects as windows and drinking glasses is known as “soda-lime” glass, containing 60-75% silicon dioxide (basically sand), 12-18% of sodium oxide (in the form of sodium carbonate or “soda”) and 5-12% calcium oxide (lime).