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 Demons Inside Us

My brother sent me a link to an interesting article recently, Record-Setting 70-Year-Old Marathon Champ Disqualified For Cheating. As a long-time runner myself, I wasn’t surprised. In a world with doctored baseballs and underinflated footballs, there is no reason why this sport should be immune to seeking an edge illegally. Marathon-running is now a high-profile

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Best Books For The Summer

Summertime! When we’re supposed to read books, especially if we are still in school. At least that what we’re told; every newspaper and current-events publication I read has published a summer reading list. So how to choose? I think I’ve found a solution. The Washington Post has published a list entitled The Best Books to

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Modern Travel is a Marvel ! But…

I’ve just returned from what has become my annual international trip, this time to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. A modern airliner sure beats the historical alternatives, like a clipper ship. But even in this age, Murphy’s Law (“If it can go wrong, it will”) still reigns. My travel difficulties this time were so frustrating, they

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Happy Birthday — Standardized Testing

According to The Writer’s Almanac of June 17, 2019, the first standardized tests were administered by the College Board on this day in 1901. As both a student and educator, I thought the background of this event was so interesting, I’m going to quote the Almanac’s account in its entirety — Before standardized tests, many universities had

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Word Origins — Boilerplate

With so many words in the English language (I’ve seen estimates of from 400,000 to a million), there are some interesting origin stories. For example, boilerplate. According Merriam-Webster, boilerplate can mean a syndicated material supplied especially to weekly newspapers in matrix or plate form, or standardized text, especially formulaic or hackneyed language. These meanings originated in the

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As If There Wasn’t Enough To Worry About

If you have a fear of the number 13, I have bad news — this year there are two Friday the 13ths! According to EarthSky News (https://earthsky.org/human-world/two-friday-the-13ths-in-2019, the photo came from that site) this is not unusual. Every year has at least one, and can have as many as three, Friday the 13ths. You probably

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Why We Walk On Two Legs

One characteristic that sets us apart from many other mammals is we walk on two legs. How that happened is probably not something you think about every day, but some scientists do. And recently those scientists have included astronomers. A paper published May 28, 2019, in the Journal of Geology advances the theory that we

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The Third Option

I recently saw this photo on Facebook. Cute! About two days later, I ran across a newspaper article: “Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust. Or compost.” Apparently there really is a third way, although the shredding part is a bit extreme. Legislation has been signed in Washington state to allow human remains to be turned

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Reprinted Poem — Advice From a Bat

From the “I Wish I’d Written That Department” — Here’s a clever poem by Michael T. Young that I’ve recently run across and I can’t help sharing. Advice from a Bat by Michael T. Young Hunt only at night. Fly erratically. Defy even your own expectations. Feed on beetles, moths, and mosquitoes, whatever is small

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