Pulse Rate March 2015

Oh the irony: Last year, hundreds of the country’s top food safety officials came down with food poisoning at a summit attended by such agencies as the FDA and the CDC.

The concept of “personal space” varies from culture to culture. In America 18 inches is close enough, thank you, but in Japan, that number is 10 inches.

Nervous flyers take note: A seat by the wing experiences
 the smoothest ride on a plane. This is because the aircraft’s movement during turbulence is like that of a seesaw.

About 100 tons worth of meteorites enter Earth’s atmosphere every day.

the ampersand (&) used to be the 27th letter of the English alphabet. the name came from outdated lyrics to “the alphabet song,” which went: “…XYZ and per se and,” which means “and by itself, and.”

Gold mining in South Africa requires a huge amount of resources. Producing a mere ounce of gold requires 38 man hours, 1,400 gallons of water and enough electricity to run a large house for 10 days.

Researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University recently got a flock of finches drunk to learn about human speech. The way birds learn to sing is quite close to the way people learn to talk, and the study revealed that when intoxicated the finches did in fact slur their songs. Whether or not the finches went on to pledge Delta House was not revealed in the study.

A really bad idea: In the 1920s, X-rays were used to remove unwanted hair. Enthusiasts soon exhibited symptoms of radiation poisoning.

Sorry Star Wars fans, according to the laws
of physics, The Death Star would not survive when blasting a planet to smithereens. It would be destroyed by the huge amount of debris flying outward at around 3,000mph.

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.