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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 13, 2014 / 15 Sivan, 5774

Birds

By Greg Crosby



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | "The Birds is Coming!" That was the famous advertising line on the release of Alfred Hitchcock's movie "The Birds" back in 1963. People thought it was a grammatical mistake or just an edgy ad agency take on what should have been, "The Birds ARE Coming." But they were wrong on both counts. It was deliberate and it was correct. The movie is called "The Birds," so to announce that The Birds IS Coming is actually grammatically correct since it refers to the movie title. Smart marketing. Interesting? No, eh? Oh well, let's move along then to some even drier stuff.

The world is lousy with birds. There are billions and billions of the little rascals in the world. The actual figure can only be guessed at. Most scientists agree with the bird expert James Fisher, who estimates that there are about 100 billion birds, give or take a bird or two. Of that number, about 6 billion are said to make their home in the United States. 6 billion. That's almost as many birds in this country as illegal immigrants.

And there loads of species. When scientists try to estimate how many different kinds of birds there are, not everybody agrees on what bird belongs to what species. The number most scientists seem to agree on is 10,000 different species. Of these, the United States has at least 900 different kinds. Scientists have a term for this. They call it "lots of birds."

So…here's the big question. Given the large amount of birds, how come we don't see tons of dead birds all over the place? Honestly, billions and billions of birds flying around in cities, on farms, in the woods, on every continent in the world. You'd think that we'd be stepping over dead bird bodies all the time, right? Where do birds go to die?

And how long do birds live? Depends on what kind of bird, but they live a lot longer than you might think. Wild birds can live anywhere from 3 to thirty years or even more. Parrots of course can get to be 80 years or more. Mockingbirds generally can live up to eight years, which is bad news for me since I've got one right outside my bedroom window that chirps all night long. A feathered friend of mine he most definitely is not.

Like underpants, Starbucks coffee, and tax refunds, birds come in all sizes. The largest living bird is the ostrich from the plains of Africa and Arabia. A large male ostrich can reach a height of 9.2 ft and weigh over 345 lb. One was even reported to have reached a body mass of 440 lb, but it couldn't be substantiated. It was either a large ostrich or Michael Moore was in Africa shooting a film.

Speaking of overeating, if you're hungry try an ostrich omelet. Eggs laid by the ostrich can weigh 3 lb and are the largest eggs in the world today. But if you want to grab an egg from an ostrich you better be quick about it, since the ostrich is also the fastest bird on land. It can run at speeds of up to 45 mph if necessary. That's faster than you can travel at any time on the San Diego Freeway.



At the other end of the spectrum the smallest birds on the planet are male bee hummingbirds which live in Cuba, weigh 0.056 ounces and are 2.75 inches in length. The bill and tail account for half of this length. The bee hummingbird is capable of beating its wings around 80 times a second in a figure-of-eight pattern, giving it the ability to hover and move with astonishing agility. During its mating courtship display, the number of wing beats can increase to an almost unbelievable 200 times a second. Whew! Talk about raging hormones.

Bird references to people tend to be unflattering. Fowl play. Bird brain. Turkey neck. Stool pigeon. Sitting duck. Crazy as a loon. Old crow. Old coot. Silly goose. Dumb cluck. Dodo. Feather brain. Mad as a wet hen. She eats like a bird. He's chicken. On the other hand we say "he's a good egg." And then there are expressions like, "The early bird catches the worm" and "Birds of a feather flock together."

A little bird told me that when you start with the bird puns it's time to quit, so I'll stop here. I was just winging it for the last two paragraphs anyhow. Besides, I can't think of a finish for this so I'll simply leave you with this thought: The world is certainly for the birds. (I know you waited for that one and I couldn't disappoint you.)

Greg Crosby Archives

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.


JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California.

© 2008, Greg Crosby

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