Whether you’re a Dunkin’ devotee or are crazy for Krispy Kremes, July 9 is a date you should celebrate.
On that date back in 1872, the doughnut took a big step toward becoming the billion-dollar business it is today: John F. Blondel of Thomaston, Maine received a patent for a “new and useful” improvement in doughnut-cutters that would speed the production and consumption of the humble pastry in the United States.
The device described in Patent No. 128,783 was intended to automate the process of cutting those dastardly doughnuts — holes and all — as efficiently as a hole punch. The desired edge could be plain or scalloped. This ingenious contraption would push the dough out of the center tube, leaving it free for making the next doughnut.
But as Art Cashin — the director of floor operations for UBS Financial Services who regularly sprinkles historical tidbits into his commentary — pointed out in a note Wednesday, before you can talk about Blondel’s doughnut innovation, you have to know the story of one Hanson Crockett Gregory, the young genius who forever changed what you and I get when we order our plain, glazed or chocolate with sprinkles. While the history of the doughnut is disputed, Gregory claimed to have invented “the first doughnut hole ever seen by mortal eyes” as a 16-year-old sailor on a lime-trading ship and then taught the technique to his mother, Elizabeth Gregory.
In case you’re still hungry for more doughnut history, this Friday, July 10, Krispy Kreme is celebrating its 78th birthday by offering a sticky sweet deal at participating locations: Buy any dozen doughnuts at regular price and get a second dozen for 78 cents.
Oh, and if you want to purchase those pesky doughnut holes that get unceremoniously shoved from the middle? You can buy those, too. They’re simply called Doughnut Holes, and they can be bought by cup or box in assorted flavors of Original Glazed, Dipped Chocolate, Powdered, Chocolate Cake, Blueberry Cake and Plain Glazed Cake.
Hanson Crockett Gregory would no doubt be amazed.
The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.
The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.
Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”
Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.
The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”
That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”