A Doll Comes To Visit

You are a fifth-grade girl who comes home from school to find a doll on your front porch. The doll looks like you, is dressed like you, and there is something about the eyes. Who left it? Why is it here? And what makes this doll so special?

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With a Little Help From My Friend

Jim Jenkins is an ace detective who solves the most difficult crimes. Yet he always works alone. Or does he?

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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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How Could Cement Appear in a Heart?

I found a very interesting in the news recently. A 56-year-old man who had chest pains and had been having trouble breathing for two days went to the emergency room. What doctors found was surprising — a four-inch piece of cement was lodged in his heart. A week earlier, the man had undergone a procedure to

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Is The Five-Second Rule Real?

Have you heard that if you drop food on the floor, it’s still safe to eat for five seconds? It’s an intriguing idea, but where did it come from? We can’t be sure who thought of the five-second rule first, but some attribute it to Genghis Khan. No, really! “There were some historical quotes from Genghis

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Playing Music With Your Eyes

In 2010, a musician friend of designer/musician Zacharias Vamvakousis was in a serious motorcycle accident and feared he would never be able to play his guitar again. Zacharías realized there was no musical instrument accessible to people with severe disabilities. So he developed the Eyeharp — a digital instrument for the disabled: “If you can

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Vet to the Homeless

Pets give us much comfort and companionship. And there is a segment of society to whom pets are doubly important — the homeless. Reportedly, 10 to 25 percent of homeless people have pets. Yet they require care, too. But it’s tough to look after an animal if you might not know where your next meal

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Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

This is something you probably haven’t thought of, but I think it’s interesting. Suppose you lived on another planet in the solar system. It starts raining and you’re caught without your umbrella. How big will the raindrops be? Two researchers at Harvard University published a paper on the physics of raindrops on March 15, 2021

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Some Thoughts on New Year’s Eve

From the New York Times’ newsfeed — Have you ever wondered why that iconic New York City landmark is called Times Square? Originally Longacre Square, the name was changed in 1904 to honor The New York Times moving its offices there. The newspaper’s publisher during that era, Adolph Ochs, celebrated the move by staging a

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Fish That Are Bad Swimmers

I’m sure you’ve heard of some people being described as “swimming like a fish.” It might surprise you to learn that some fish don’t swim well at all. Why would some fish be poor swimmers? The simple answer is they don’t need to swim well. For example, if the pufferfish (also called blowfish) is chased, it

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A Way to Live Longer?

About 20 years ago, author Dan Buettner, working for National Geographic and with a grant from the National Institute on Aging, started studying the world’s longest-lived people. They’re the ones who reside in the so-called Blue Zones of longevity.  Basically, his goal was to reverse-engineer longevity. Since an estimated 20% of a person’s life span is

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The Emancipation Blueprint

Many slaveholders, including Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, knew slavery was wrong, they just didn’t know how to move beyond it. As Jefferson wrote in 1820, “As it is, we have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in

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