Pulse Rate June 2015

Biologists have recently proven that frogs use their eyes when swallowing prey. Retracting their peepers gives the frogs’ jaws, teeth and tongue some help. By the way, frogs belong to the order anuran and the genus rana.

The atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan produces the ingredients for plastic.

A science and engineering duo recently created MudWatt, a battery that runs on mud. Harnessing the electrons of bacteria living in the muck, the device can power small electronics.

A contronym is a word that can have opposite meanings depending on context. For example, “left” can either mean “someone who has departed” or “someone who remains.”

Coca-Cola isn’t the only soft drink that used to contain a narcotic. 7-Up was once made with lithium, not the element, but the mood-stabilizing medication. At that time 7-Up was known by the slightly less peppy name Bib-Label Lithiated Lemon-Lime Soda.

The word hello did not become popular as a greeting until after 1830. Added to the dictionary in 1827, the word was first used to attract attention. Telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell preferred to answer the phone with a cheerful, “Ahoy,” but his rival Thomas Edison suggested “hello” as a better salutation.

IKEA isn’t just a furniture retailer, they also sell around 150 million meatballs a year for almost $2 billion.

Archaeological evidence suggests that chickens were domesticated for cockfighting before they became popular as food. Still no answer on the chicken/egg thing.

The US Department of Defense is the world’s largest employer with a workforce of over 3.2 million. The top five are rounded out by the Chinese military, Wal-Mart, McDonald’s and then the UK National Health Service.

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.