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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Where Did Algebra Come From, Anyway?

I should know better than to discuss mathematics, but I thought this was going to be easy. I have always thought that algebra originated in the Middle East, algebra being an Arabic-derived word (al-gabr).  Recently I was listening to a Science Friday podcast from July 2nd (http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/traffic.libsyn.com/sciencefriday/scifri201507031p.mp3) that corroborated that viewpoint.  According to the podcast, the

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The Little Things in History

Many times in history, it’s the little things that are critical.  You may know about how at the Battle of Gettysburg, Union General G. K. Warren found a critical spot in the Union line that was unoccupied and organized its defense on his own initiative.  Otherwise, the battle could’ve been lost.  Also in that battle,

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The Psychology of “Inside Out”

I’ve seen the latest Pixar animated feature Inside Out twice now, and I thought it was a remarkable film.  As an adult, it gave me a lot to think about, yet if I was a kid, I would’ve enjoyed it just as much.  It’s a great starting point for explaining emotions and memories to children.

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Happy Birthday, Snoopy!

I don’t consider myself particularly creative, so I certainly admire creativity in others.  But I know the creative process can be long and evolutionary. I guess this is why a post entitled “Snoopy at 65” on Facebook caught my eye.  This beloved cartoon dog’s origin can be traced back to a sketch about a pup who

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A Quick Math Trick

School is about to start, so — Here is a math trick I just learned about.  If you added up all the numbers from zero to 100, what would be their sum? Sounds daunting, doesn’t it?  Well, there’s an easy way to do this. Imagine a column of numbers from 0 to 100.  How many

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The Logic of Logic

Is there anything in this world that’s completely logical? How about mathematics?  This is one area in which every problem has a precise, finite solution. Or so many people thought.  The seminal work Principia Mathematica by Alfred North Whitehead and Bertrand Russell  sought to describe a set of axioms and rules which, in principal at

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Strangest Story of World War II

There are a lot of strange stories from World War II.  My favorite is the Dam Busters (http://www.dambusters.org.uk/) — the attempt to flood the Ruhr Valley by breeching upstream dams with bouncing bombs.  (Hey, it was a partial success!) Now a friend has told me of an even stranger story  —  The only time the

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