--Author and humorist James H. Boren (1926-2010)
This week in 1999, the death of an 83-year-old man stung by a swarm of Africanized "killer" bees marked the first fatality by that cause in the state of California. The victim, Virgil Foster, was (ironically enough) a beekeeper who was mowing his lawn. He was stung at least 50 times by the highly aggressive bees, receiving a high dose of toxins. He was not breathing when paramedics arrived and went into cardiac arrest, which eventually proved fatal. Foster's three hives had been taken over by wild Africanized honeybees, which were first seen in the U.S. in Texas after migrating north from Brazil. Foster's death was preceded by several others in other U.S. states.
Q: What is the most common disease in the world?
A: Arguably dental caries. The World Health Organization estimated that 2.43 billion people (36 percent of the global population) have active cavities in their permanent teeth. Virtually every adult has dental caries at some point in time. By age 65, 96 percent of Americans will have had tooth decay.
Gouverneur Morris (1752-1816) was one of the founding fathers of the United States, a New York native who wrote large sections of the Constitution and represented Pennsylvania at the 1787 Constitutional Convention. He is widely credited as the author the document's famous preamble ("We the people..."). Despite his name, he was never a governor, but filled in as a New York senator after James Watson resigned.
Morris died after attempting to treat a blockage in his urinary track by inserting a piece of whalebone, puncturing tissue and causing sepsis. He died three days later.
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