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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A Brief History of Migrations

With all the current debate about migrants, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by a recent article entitled “The Accidents of History That Shaped Global Migration” by James Watkins (https://www.ozy.com/acumen/the-accidents-of-history-that-shaped-global-migration/76888?). I already knew that many Irish settled in Boston, especially during the Great Famine of 1845-49 when the potato crop failed (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_(Ireland)), because that was

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Are You A Plogger?

Whenever I go running outdoors, I make it a point to pick up at least one item of litter, easy to do since there are plenty of trash cans in the park where I do most of my mileage. Now I’ve learned I’m not the only one. There’s even a name for it: plogging. The

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How To Resist Junk Food

If you’re trying to lose some weight, or simply think you eat too much junk food, new research in the Journal of Marketing Research claims a new way to resist — smell the offender for two minutes. During their experiments, researchers found a surprisingly strong relationship between scents and food. People who sniffed indulgent foods,

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How To Photograph A Snowflake

According to my phone, it’s -6 outside and it feels like -27. (Or I suppose it would if I went out, but I’m not going out.) So I thought it would be a perfect time to talk about photographing snowflakes. In addition to being a professor of biomedical photographic communications at the Rochester Institute of

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Thinking Like A Honeybee

Consider the lowly honeybee. The typical worker bee lives about six weeks in summer and twenty weeks in winter. Most of this time is spent gathering nectar to make honey. But with a small body size and a short lifespan, each individual bee’s contribution is minuscule. According to beekeeper Marianne Gee in Ottawa, Canada, “a

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The Self-Driving Cruise?

You’ve heard of self-driving cars. What could come next? How about self-driving ships? In December, 2018, two vessels in the North Sea were sailing without crews. Don’t worry, they were under complete control, although from thousands of miles away. This is going to be a sea change in shipping (pardon the pun) in terms of

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Being Chased By The Police For Fun

If anyone is looking for an offbeat vacation idea, I’ve just read that the Police Chase Experience ( https://policechaselv.com/ ) has opened in Las Vegas. Billed as the only provider of police pursuit and intervention driving tactics for public in the United States, Police Chase Experience Las Vegas’s program is based on the Las Vegas

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Hiring the Autistic

In my career as a substitute teacher, I’ve worked with many special-needs students. So I’m always interested in positive stories about people with special needs. Like this one — In 2007, German businessman Dirk Müller-Remus learned one of his children had autism at the age of 14. As he adjusted to this knowledge, he visited

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How To Raise Resilient Kids

I’m no expert on child rearing. But being a substitute school teacher at all levels does give me an interest in the subject. So I’m always looking for good information about children’s behavior, and I’ve found something I think is worth passing on. Amy Morin, LCSW, a psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong

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When We Have To Leave This Planet

Eventually, we’re going to have to leave this planet. Sometime, in the next billion or so years, our sun’s radiation output will make this planet uninhabitable (https://www.universetoday.com/25367/how-long-will-life-survive-on-earth/ ). What will we do? Fortunately, we have some time to consider our options. In the (comparative) short term, we could stay within our solar system. Perhaps we

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