The Cactus Who Wanted to Be a Christmas Tree

Katie loves Christmastime. Getting presents is nice, and playing in the snow with her friends is fun, but what she likes best are all the pretty decorations...

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The Boy Who Could Wiggle His Ears

Learning how to wiggle your ears is really hard. But you can do it if you keep trying. And if you learn to keep trying, no problem is too big. So if you can wiggle your ears, you can do anything!

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Some Poems About Life

(30 Actually) Gems of Wit & Wisdom

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The Murder You Didn’t Commit

I’ve read so much about the unreliability of eyewitnesses. (For example, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-the-eyes-have-it/.) But can you trust your own memory? Ada JoAnn Taylor confessed to suffocating a sixty-eight-year-old widow in 1989 and for two decades believed she was guilty. As a result, she served more than nineteen years in prison before being pardoned when DNA evidence

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How Your Brain Decides Without You

What animal do you see in this picture? I have a special reason for asking. I’ve seen several examples like this on Facebook (and for me they get old in a hurry), but this particular picture is famous in psychology circles. It’s an original illustration by psychologist Joseph Jastrow (photo by him) that was used

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Time To Return To Milkmen?

If you’re like me, you’ve been reading a lot recently about how much plastic is piling up in the environment. About how plastics are expected to outweigh fish in the ocean by 2050, and bits of plastic debris smaller than 5mm, called microplastics, are being found in our water, our air, even in our bodies. The

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The Best TED Talks

One of my favorite leisure activities is to watch TED talks. For the uninitiated, TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design. The talks are posted online by a media organization, TED Conferences LLC under the slogan “ideas worth spreading.” Which ones are best is purely subjective, but Chris Anderson, the owner of TED Talks (through

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The Need For Brains

If you are a zombie, I apologize — this is not what you think. What caught my eye was this headline — Brain donation is critically needed You read that correctly — someone wants you brain, but for legitimate scientific purposes. Here’s the sales pitch — One out of every six people is suffering from a

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The Most Generous Country In The World?

Yes, we live in a generous country. We help people in need, especially after major disasters. We will even shed our blood for them (See Wars, World). But it may surprise you to learn we are not the most generous. According to the 2018 World Giving Index (https://www.cafonline.org/about-us/publications/2018-publications/caf-world-giving-index-2018 ), it’s Indonesia. Indonesia’s gross domestic product

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What Nature Can Teach Us

If we are concerned about sustainability in our lives, all we have to do is look around. Many of our problems have already been solved, naturally. Or, as Steve Jobs once said, “I think the biggest innovations of the 21st century will be at the intersection of biology and technology.” Of course, we already have

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What Are Your Germs Saying?

We carry trillions of microbes in our bodies, which as a whole are called the microbiome. But did you ever think the germs in your gut could influence your brain? That’s what researchers are beginning to find. For example, Sangram Sisodia, a neurobiologist at the University of Chicago, and some colleagues administered antibiotics to mice

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