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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Forgotten History — Nazi Summer Camp

So much of history never makes it into your standard textbooks.  For example, we know there are prisoners in every war.  Yet unless something catastrophic happens, like the high death rate at Andersonville, Georgia in the American Civil War or “brainwashing” in the Korean War, these stories are usually forgotten. That’s why a podcast about World

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Dead Last … And Proud Of It!

I run as a sport, and I have since 1980.  I can’t really explain why, except to say it fills a need in my life.  What I’ve discovered about running is its individuality  —  there are many different reasons to run.  Yes, it’s fun to win awards, but most of the time meeting individual goals, from

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Richard Nixon on Leaders

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been reading Leaders by Richard Nixon (Warner Books, 1982).  It included an introductory chapter, chapters on Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Douglas MacArthur and Shigeru Yoshida, Konrad Adenauer, Nikita Khrushchev, and Zhou Enlai, plus a chapter on a collection of lesser leaders, like India’s Nehru and Egypt’s Nasser. Finally was

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Origin of the Dollar Sign

I thought this would be a fun subject to investigate, espceially since the Federal Reserve is considering raising interest rates. Our dollar sign most likely dates back to 15-century Spain.  When King Ferdinand II of Aragon took Spain from the Moors in 1492, he added two ornate columns to his coat of arms because he

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The Original Gremlins

Early in World War II, a Royal Air Force pilot wrote an explanation for some of the mechanical glitches that plagued airplanes — they were being caused by little creatures called Gremlins.  That pilot was Roald Dahl, later to be a famous children’s author.  His tale came to the attention of Walt Disney, and pre-production work

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The Cost of Meeting Davy Crockett

I’m a Disney collector, and I’ll be first to admit we sometimes do strange things.  Not that they seem strange then, but looking back in hindsight, they can seem, well, just kind of weird.   For example, I attended the Official Disneyana Convention at Walt Disney World, September 6-10, 1995.  If you never attended any of these conventions

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An Introduction to Book Collecting

Book collecting long predates the printing press.  Egyptian papyri and ancient Greek and Roman manuscripts were prized by medieval collectors.  Thomas Jefferson amassed a large library in the formative years of this country. If you find yourself being drawn to collecting books for the first time, here are some basic facts that can serve as

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A Poem About Friendship

Friendship   “Hello,” said she. “Who are you?”   “I’m a pilot,” said he. “I fly big airplanes with lots of people on them all over the world.”   “Where do you live?” said she. “I really don’t have a home,” said he. “Would you like to come live with me?” “Yes, thank you, I

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Birth of the Ferris Wheel

Paris had the Eiffel Tower, the U.S. had… Well, there were some outlandish proposals, like a tower with cars attached to thick rubber bands, a forerunner of bungee jumping.  Gustave Eiffel himself proposed an even bigger tower. The World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago was being planned without a central landmark.  The architect in charge, Daniel

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Update — Dihydrogen Monoxide

Earlier I had written about the dangerous chemical dihydrogen monoxide, which is actually a hoax to embarrass people about their ignorance of science — dihydrogen monoxide is  the chemical name for water.  (Do you remember from high school chemistry that di is two and mono is one?  Thus two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom

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