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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Sunny and Victor: Best Friends Forever

Bears and rabbits are not supposed to be friends, but the story of how Sunny Bunny and Victor Bear became “best friends forever” is a tale of friendship...

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Some Poems About Life

(30 Actually) Gems of Wit & Wisdom

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How To Save Water

Whenever I get a chance to teach social studies, I tell my students that sometime in their lifetimes there will be a war over water somewhere in the world.  You’ve probably seen the stories about Capt Town, South Africa, and how their current water supply is measured in months.  The latest projection is they will

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Why Is Our Life Expectancy Dropping?

I just ran across a disturbing article — Life expectancy in the U.S. has dropped for the second year in a row.  An editorial in the journal BMJ entitled “Failing Health of the U.S.” (http://www.bmj.com/content/360/bmj.k496 ) considers this “alarming because life expectancy has risen for much of the past century in developed countries, including the

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Someone to Admire — Rob Jones

Never underestimate the power of running. Rob Jones is a former Marine combat engineer who lost both legs to an explosion in Afghanistan.  But what others would think was a handicap, he saw as an opportunity.  First he and a partner won a bronze medal as rowers in the 2012 Paralympics, then went on to

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This is Your Brain on Fresh Air

If you thought it was good to go outside to get some fresh air, there may be more to it than that. A new study claims that going outdoors actually changes the way your brain works, and not necessarily in a good way.  According to Kyle Mathewson, an assistant professor of psychology at the University

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Name Your Poison

Today I want to talk about one of the burning questions of our time.  (And no, it’s not why we call it “cargo” when it goes by ship and “shipment” when it goes by car.) What is the difference between poison and venom? There actually is a difference.  Basically, venom is injected and poison can

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The Gatekeepers — My Next Read

Who really runs our government?  Of course, there are the major actors.  The president sets broad policy and makes major decisions, congressional leaders play a huge role, and one Supreme Court justice can change the course of history.  Then there is the Federal Reserve. But there are many people in support roles who can make

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What Are The Best Jobs?

If you’re fortunate enough to be young and just starting out, or are looking for a new career, you may want to read “The 50 Best Jobs in America — And How Much They Pay” by Paul Schrodt.  Schrodt’s source is the job site Glassdoor’s fourth annual report on this country’s best jobs.  Glassdoor used

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A Reminder About Race

During my lifetime I’ve seen a lot of progress on race relations in this country.  I can still remember my first television commercial featuring African-Americans.  It was for Crest toothpaste, and it featured middle-class suburbia, except the family was black.  It was unusual enough to interrupt our family dinner.  No big deal today. We’ve come

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