Pulse Rate July 2014

The rockets’ red glare from the National Anthem were Congreve rockets— primitive, unguided missiles. The bombs bursting in air were shrapnel-producing shells.

Some Singapore Airlines planes feature a “corpse cupboard” where they can store dead bodies in a dignified manner if anyone croaks mid-flight. Suggestion to the airline: When not in use, the space can double as a keg cooler.

Time traveling KGB agents look away: Until 1977, the US nuclear launch codes were set to 00000000.

Power lines may look like boring black wires to humans, but to animals with more sensitive eyes, they appear to glow and flash.

Uh oh: The 34 by 45-mile volcanic caldera under Yellowstone National Park should leave Long Island in the clear when it erupts, but the state of Wyoming, and big portions of Montana and Idaho, will be covered in 13 feet of magma. Ash will blanket most of the US and Canada south of the Arctic circle.

This is not an endorsement, but technically, flipping off a cop is not a criminal offense. the us supreme court does not see classic profanities as legally obscene.

Ripped off by an Internet seller, an English man texted the fraudster the entire works of Shakespeare. That’s 30,000 words in 29,305 separate texts (he obviously had an unlimited plan).

The last time baseball’s Chicago Cubs won the World Series (1908), the NBA, NFL and NHL did not exist and Arizona and New Mexico were not yet states.

President Andrew Jackson taught his pet parrot to curse. Present at his 1845 funeral, the bird had to be removed because it began uttering a scorching string of obscenities.

Worst. Lottery. Ever. The word “decimated” is now typically used to describe total devastation, but in ancient Rome, one meaning was “taken as a tenth.” This alluded to a punishment levied against mutinous armies during the Roman Empire. The Romans would force the misbehaving individuals to draw lots and then execute the 10 percent who “won” the lottery.

michael isenbek

Michael Isenbek, Associate Editor, dabbles in both fiction and nonfiction writing, coordinates the Pulse event listings and writes the text for "Zoom," among other editorial tasks. He has a Master's Degree in Liberal Studies and a Bachelor's Degree in Cultural Studies with a concentration in Journalism from SUNY Empire State College.