Professional musician Robin Spielberg says music saved her daughter’s life. In 1998, Spielberg was pregnant with twin girls when she suffered complications. An emergency cesarean was performed during the 22nd week of pregnancy. Sadly, one of the twins passed away, but Valerie survived.
Vietnamese man, Thái Ngoc, got a fever in 1973 and hasn’t slept since. You would expect his life to be a train wreck, but he claims to be going strong. He is a farmer and has no problem doing manual labor to support his family. He even spends some nights doing extra farm work.
In 1922, Albert Einstein was staying in a hotel in Tokyo. Without any money to tip a hotel deliveryman, he instead gave him a couple of notes on hotel stationery about happiness and success. While the man was probably unable to read the advice, he recognized their value and held on to them. In October of this year, the deliveryman’s nephew sold the notes for 1.3 million dollars.
Typos are careless spelling or punctuation mistakes. They are usually minor, but not always. Sometimes these small mistakes can cost millions of dollars. NASA, the US space agency, made a little mistake in 1962 that had a big impact. Their spacecraft, called “Mariner 1”, was launched in 1962 with the goal of flying by the planet Venus. The spacecraft was robotic, so there were no people onboard. Because of this, its navigation was controlled by software. Unfortunately, the person in charge of writing the software forgot one character – a hyphen. This missing hyphen caused the software to malfunction. The spacecraft exploded after takeoff, costing NASA $80 million!
This past New Year’s Eve, a 64-year-old Michigan man took a fall that almost cost him his life. At 10:30 pm, Bob took a break from watching football on TV and stepped outside. He was going to get wood for the fire when he slipped on some icy steps. As he lay in the snow, without a jacket, he knew that he was in serious trouble. He had broken his neck and couldn’t move. Bob’s wife was visiting her parents, and he was all alone. He screamed for help, but his nearest neighbor was far away. No one heard him except for his loyal dog Kelsey.
Mold is all around us. In the air and on our food, it can make us sick and gross us out, but not all molds are bad. Some can make delicious food and others can save lives. One famous mold, discovered by accident by a sloppy scientist, became the first antibiotic medicine: penicillin.
“All human life, all life, depends on plants,” says Jonathan Drori in his TED talk about the Millenium Seed Bank. This project involves collecting seeds in an underground storage facility strong enough to withstand a nuclear attack. It holds over 2 billion seeds, which represent over 10% of the world’s variety of plants.
Our Milky Way Galaxy may be home to 2 billion planets that have the right conditions to support life. These planets have the correct temperature for liquid water. While no one knows what alien life would look like, if it is anything like life on earth, it would need water to survive. The possibility of liquid water depends on a planet’s distance from the nearest star. Too close and water evaporates; too far away and water freezes. Scientists have also looked at the effects of clouds on planet temperature. This has increased the estimate of habitable planets to 2 billion. This is only the number of habitable planets in the Milky Way Galaxy, which is just one of an estimated 100 to 200 billion galaxies in the universe.