Hummingbirds are incredible flyers, with the ruby-throated hummingbird beating its wings 80 times every second, an ability that inspired this blog’s name. These tiny birds can fly forwards, hover, and are the only known birds to fly backwards as well. But although zooming backwards is the rarest of the hummingbird’s flying tricks, a paper in the Journal of Experimental Biology reveals that it takes no more energy than moving forwards.
Those of you who’ve always suspected that it can’t hurt to use an iPad during takeoff may finally see that claim put to the test.When New York Times reporter Nick Bilton pestered the FAA about takeoff and landing polices for electronics, the agency seemed to be contemplating changes in the blanket “turn if off” rule. The last time electronic devices were comprehensively tested on airplanes was 2006, when iPads and Kindles did not yet, well, exist.