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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Stories Short and Strange

19 short stories for general audiences ranging from the unusual to the unbelievable to the just plain strange.

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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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Teaching in the COVID Era

This pandemic has been difficult for everyone. We’ve all had to adapt in one way or another. This is especially true in education. Safety protocols have turned everything upside down. For example, students in middle school were forbidden to carry backpacks during the day, because a backpack’s weight could hurt their posture. Now they have

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The Women Who Fought Back

Why is it the positive news never seems to get mentioned? For example, everyone learns about the Holocaust, and I know there were extraordinarily brave people who risked their lives and saved many from the Holocaust, but I can never remember being told about organized Jewish resistance. And yet there was. One such example is

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Foods We Love to Death

What is your favorite food? (I have a pretty long list.) Now what would you think if it was no longer available? This has actually happened before. A piece on The Atlantic magazine’s website claims we have eaten thousands of species into extinction;  passenger pigeon pie used to be a common comfort food (https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/11/foods-humans-ate-extinction/601573/). And

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How Best to Prevent Climate Change?

What is the best way to keep the climate from changing? Transition from fossil fuels as quickly as possible? Go to more plant-based foods and eliminate cattle? Plant more trees? Limit population growth? Any action we take can have serious repercussions and must be carefully considered. And one of the best ways to evaluate an

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Can Happiness Improve Health?

In a word, yes. Of course, science tends to complicate things.  “Subjective well-being,” which measures how people evaluate their lives, has been examined in a comprehensive review for its impact on various aspects of physical health. The results were first published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being on July 14, 2017. Let me save you the

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In Defense of Spiders

I’m going to say something that goes against every instinct you have — don’t kill that spider. I know how some people feel about bugs in general, and spiders in particular. They’re creepy (lots of legs and fangs) and can be pests. Many people are downright afraid of them; fear of spiders is arachnophobia (in

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Why Do Humans Dominate?

Most people might think this is a dumb question. Our dominion over the Earth was the Divine plan. But scientists approach such questions from a different angle. Consequently, they get a different answer. From a purely scientific viewpoint, the key to humanity’s world domination is our use of energy. First came our mastery of fire.

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The Laws of Stupidity

In the Disney animated feature The Lion King, when the royal usurper Scar exclaims, “I’m surrounded by idiots!”, he may have been onto something. Carlo M. Cipolla certainly thought so. In 1976, Cipolla, a professor of economic history at the University of California, Berkeley, published an essay entitled “The Basic Laws of Human Stupidity” (http://harmful.cat-v.org/people/basic-laws-of-human-stupidity/).

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Floating Solar Parks? Seriously?

How does your energy generation go green when you have a limited amount of land, and much of that is below sea level? You can design a floating solar park! The obvious candidate for such an innovation is The Netherlands. And they’ve done it! Trust the Dutch to think outside the box. The Dutch company

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