Mullet Over #456

Electric eels are interesting animals. They can propagate thousands of special cells that have the potential to generate 600 volts, which is 5 times the voltage available from standard U.S. wall sockets. Electric eels are not scientifically eels. They are members of the jackfish family, closely akin to catfish.

Conan the Barbarian made his comic book debut in 1932. This Conan is not as old as Mickey Mouse, but he is older than Superman.

In earlier times, rinderpest was a disease that attacked cattle and was disastrously deadly. In 1889 tens of thousands of the cattle in Ethiopia died from a rinderpest outbreak. During the ensuing famine approximately one-third of the human population in Ethiopia died from starvation. The good news is that international communities have combined resources and it is believed that rinderpest has been eradicated from our planet.

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. is supported by 36 Greek-style Doric columns. There is one column for each of the states in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death. The original plan in 1867 (by Clark Mills) was to include 37 colossal statues in a 70 foot tall structure, but a lack of funds prevented the construction of the Memorial. The present structure (designed by Henry Bacon) was dedicated in May of 1922.

Either the Island of Samoa or the International dateline is being moved at the end of December in 2011. Either way, the official time in the Pacific nation is to be advanced 24 hours as the island will be newly located east of the dateline.

Bedbugs have long been irritating pests and have recently become a wide-spread nuisance once again. The current varieties of bedbugs are largely pesticide resistant and all seem to be quite skilled at concealment. Various breeds of dogs have been trained to detect the tiny critters. However, these efficient canines are not cheap and can cost as much as $70,000. A $200 electronic bedbug detecting device is planned for the U.S. market in late 2011.

Several of our nation’s larger hospitals are considering the use of “robo-nurses” for medication dispensing. Medication errors cause significant injury or death to approximately 1,500,000 patients each year. The robots are programmed to traverse hospital corridors and wait outside designated rooms to deliver appropriate medications. A patient ID card is read by the robot and prescriptions are verified by nurses or physicians. Prototype nurse robots were first used in 2002.

Well, be cautious when tickling certain jackfish and do have a great week.