National Hummingbird Day
Hummingbirds are some of the most interesting of the nearly 10,000 bird species in the world. The number of times a hummingbird’s wings beat is different from one species to another, and ranges from 720 to 5400 times per minute when hovering. Hummingbirds are the only birds that can fly backwards. Some hummingbirds fly at speeds greater than 33 miles per hour. Hummingbirds cannot walk or hop, though their feet can be used to scoot sideways while they are perched. These birds have evolved smaller feet to be lighter for more efficient flying. Roughly 25 to 30 percent of a hummingbird’s weight is in its pectoral muscles. These are the broad chest muscles principally responsible for flying. There are more than 325 unique hummingbird species in the world. Only eight species regularly breed in the United States. The average ruby-throated hummingbird weighs 3 grams. In comparison, a nickel weighs 4.5 grams. It would take more than 150 ruby-throated hummingbirds to weigh one pound.
National Cookbook Month
The first cookbook published in America, ‘The Complete Housewife, or Accomplished Gentlewoman’s Companion’, was published in Williamsburg in 1742. Possibly the most famous is the Betty Crocker Cookbook first published in 1921. Prior to that, Gold Medal Flour Company published a puzzle in The Saturday Evening Post, offering home cooks a pincushion that looked like a sack of flour if they correctly completed it. Along with submissions, the company received tons of questions on common household topics. The company wanted to use a woman’s voice to answer the questions, so they created the moniker “Betty Crocker,.” a nod to honor the retired director of the company, William G. Crocker and “Betty” was chosen because it sounded friendly. The “Betty Crocker Picture Cook Book” first debuted in 1950. Nearly 63 million Betty Crocker cookbooks have been published since then.
Today’s Birthdays of Note….
Gwen Stefani – Singer – born in Fullerton, California
Al Sharpton – Civil Rights Activist – born in New York City, New York