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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Ringing in the New Year With New Life

New years are always a time for renewal, so I thought it appropriate to pass along some scientific news — “In 2017, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences, along with several dozen international collaborators, added 85 new plant and animal species to Earth’s tree of life, including 16 flowering plants, three scorpions, 10 sharks,

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Are Dogs Smarter Than Cats?

Here is a good way to start an argument (not that we need any more reasons) — which is smarter, dogs or cats? I don’t own any pets; I take responsibility to animals pretty seriously, so I don’t have any strong opinions.  But there is a new study claiming that dogs have the edge in

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Book Review — Homo Deus (with spoilers)

If you’ve ever wondered what Bill Gates reads, he has been publishing annual reading lists (for example, https://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/Best-Books-2017 ).  Earlier this year, I saw his summer reading list (https://qz.com/988136/bill-gates-book-list-2017-recommended-books-for-summer-reading/) and picked out Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari. This is definitely an intellectual book that puts a unique spin on human

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Just For Fun — Santa the Criminal

A headline in the December 25, 2017 “The Daily Dose” from Ozy.com brought me up short — “How Many Crimes Would Santa Be Guilty Of If He Were Real?”  (This piece reminded me of the Pixar animated feature The Incredibles, where superheroes had to go undercover due to the collateral damage their good deeds were

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How To Live To Be 100?

Everyone wants a nice long life — I’m planning on 80 myself — but the way technology is advancing, perhaps I’m setting my sights too low.  Is living to be 100 a realistic goal? A recent study published in International Psychogeriatrics has explored what it takes to make it to the century mark.  Researchers visited

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Some Things to Look Forward to in 2018

In addition to recapping the passing year, a favorite media pastime is looking ahead to what the new year might bring.  Although some changes we already know, like we’re getting a new head of the Federal Reserve in February, much is pure speculation, especially when it comes to technology.  Here are some technological items I’ve

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Be Thankful Christmas Is Legal

One hot topic in the culture wars has been the proper holiday greeting — “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays”? Not that I want to get involved in this contemporary debate, but as a history nerd I couldn’t help notice the following item on the December 23rd Ozy Presidential Daily News Brief  email — It’s enough

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Original Poem — Perspective

It’s snowing today, which made me think of one of my poems.  I’ve posted it before, but it’s particularly appropriate today.  By the way, “Perspective” is in my book Some Poems About Life, available on this website.   Perspective The son stood in the doorway, Behold a beautiful sight! As far as he could see,

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