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History of the American National Anthem

Key and the other two Americans safely made their way back to Baltimore. The day after the battle, Key put his thoughts into verse in a poem he called “Defence of Fort McHenry.” Ironically, Key’s lyrics were later put to the tune of a popular British drinking song called “The Anacreontic Song” (a.k.a. “To Anacreon in Heaven”), to which many tavern brawls were fought and drunken affairs consummated!

The song would later be renamed the “Star-Spangled Banner” and, by an act of Congress in 1931, it was made our National Anthem. Sometimes, the most unlikely of events end up shaping history, a history that is always infinitely more fascinating than anything imagined by Hollywood scriptwriters!

Teacher Defeats Traffic Ticket Using Math

Have you ever suspected that your city or town is trying too hard to catch traffic scofflaws in the pursuit of ticket revenue? A Florida woman received a ticket based on evidence from a red light camera, but believed the ticket was unfair because the yellow light was too short. The power of math proved that she was correct..

Her math tutor husband took a stopwatch to the intersection where she received the ticket, and set out to vindicate her. He discovered that yellow lights at that intersection are eight tenths of a second shorter than county guidelines require.

“I said, ‘If it’s really short, then you got short-changed and you got a ticket illegally,'” said [Mike] Mogil.
The speed limit on Collier Boulevard, where she was cited, is 45 mph. According to county guidelines, the yellow light should be 4.5 seconds.

Mogil said he tested it 15 times with an average of only 3.8 seconds.

Crime Prediction Software Is Here

Crime prediction software? Ummm, even Hollywood couldn’t make that look like a good idea. What makes anyone think it would be a good idea in the real life?

The Florida State Department of Juvenile Justice will use analysis software to predict crime by young delinquents, putting potential offenders under specific prevention and education programs. Goodbye, human rights! They will use this software on juvenile delinquents, using a series of variables to determine the potential for these people to commit another crime.


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The Worst-Made Cars on the Road

Four of the seven vehicles on our list of the worst-made cars on the road come from GM brands. And all of the cars on the list — including Chrysler’s Dodge Nitro and Jeep Wrangler — are made by Detroit’s Big Three. Only one car on the list is made by Ford Motor.

The biggest surprise on the list, given recent automotive news: It includes no Toyota (NYSE: TM) made vehicles. In fact, Toyota reported a 40.7% gain in sales last month over March 2009; its Lexus division was up 42%.

Cadillac Escalade
Chevrolet Aveo
Chevrolet Colorado
Dodge Nitro
Ford F-250