When a fainting goat is startled, its external muscles freeze for about 10 seconds, causing younger members of the breed to collapse as if in a faint. Older goats generally learn to spread their legs or lean against something when startled and remain standing during these episodes. The condition is caused by a hereditary genetic disorder called myotonia congenita, which disrupts the flow of chloride ions into skeletal muscle cells. How are fainting goats sometimes used to protect livestock?
Back in the day
Jim Thorpe, an American Olympian, was considered one of the most versatile athletes in modern sports history. He won Olympic gold medals in the pentathlon and decathlon but was stripped of his awards after reports surfaced that he had played minor league baseball before participating in the 1912 Olympic Games. At the time, strict rules barred professional athletes from Olympic competition. What loophole enabled Thorpe's supporters to have his medals posthumously restored?
Born on a day like today
Kitano is a famous Japanese actor, comedian, TV host, and film director. His films are generally action-oriented and include a great deal of deadpan acting and dark comedy. He is known almost exclusively by the name "Beat Takeshi" and hosts a weekly television program where a panel of entertainers and politicians discuss current events. In 2004, 34 years after he dropped out of school to pursue his entertainment career, Kitano was awarded an honorary degree from Meiji University in what field?