The towns name, New Holland was once the name of the island continent of Australia from the mid 1600s till the 1800s. It was named by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman after whom the Australian island state Tasmania was named.
The demonstration that Mr. Rzykruski shows in class of the frog's legs twitching when given electricity is based on actual experiments in 1771 by Italian physicist Luigi Galvani, who was the first to discover that the legs of dead frogs and other dead creatures twitched and moved when sparked by electricity. This to led to the study of bio-electricity and further study of the nervous system and its functions. The study of "galvanic" effects in biology is named after Galvani, who is seen as the discoverer of bio-electricity. Several of Tim Burton's movies have played with this theme, most notably Frankenweenie and Edward Scissorhands.