BY JAMES K. WHITE | JULY 31, 2013
There are now no Rabbs frogs left in the wild
The Mexican-American War (1846-1848) turned out to be a training episode for a U.S. internal war that began some 13 years afterward. More than 200 combatants who participated in the 1840s conflict became generals during the American Civil War.
In 2005, zoologists traveled to Panama to rescue the endangered Rabbs tree frog. A chytrid fungus (I do not make up these names) was killing the Rabbs population by the thousands.
Hundreds of the threatened frogs were taken to various sites around the United States in order to set up breeding programs and re-establish the species. The whole effort has been pretty much a failure as there are now no Rabbs frogs left in the wild and all the “rescued” frogs (and their offspring) died except one. The lone surviving specimen is currently at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
This data may shake your confidence in our legal system. Researchers have found that approximately 75 percent of the wrongful convictions in America have been attributed to mistaken eyewitness identifications.
A government sponsored technology group known as DARPA claims to have developed a person-recognition system that is effective over cyberspace. The precise patterns and rhythms repeated as one types specific words enables an identification process that is more than 99 percent accurate. When the system is in operation, exact passwords are not normally required. A person’s individual typing peculiarities can be used as identification. However, when the person-recognition system is combined with coded passwords, the process appears to be near fool-proof (until someone fools it).
Gerald Ford is the only non-elected U.S. Vice-President to become President.
John Quincy Adams was our 6th president (1825-1829) and the first president to be photographed (a Daguerreotype, 1843).
Ever wondered why you commonly see “lb.” to represent the word pound? The abbreviation comes from the Latin “libra pondo” which was used as a weight measure way back during the Roman Empire Era.
You can look it up: the state fish of Hawaii is the humuhumunukunukuapua’a (which is considered to be quite difficult to pronounce while eating dry crackers).
It turns out that the famous “Scandinavian” ice cream “HAAGEN DAZS” had its name totally made up by a New York man named Ruben Mattus. To enhance the sales pitch, Ruben even had a map of Scandinavia imprinted on the ice cream cartons. The aggregate scheme has worked splendidly. Well, when ordering the Hawaiian state fish for lunch, you might consider simply holding up the menu and pointing. Have a great week.
James White is a retired mathematics teacher who enjoys sharing fascinating trivia. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.