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 Realistic is Star Wars?

Granted that the Star Wars universe is in a galaxy far, far away, just how realistic are the technological advances from that world? According to the article “May the 4th be with you: 7 Wild ‘Star Wars’ Technologies Scientists Are Building Right Now” by Brandon Specktor, they may be more realistic than you think. The

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Were the Jetsons Right?

People of my generation probably remember the animated TV show “The Jetsons,” a whimsical look at the future that initially ran in prime time from September 23, 1962 to March 17, 1963 on ABC, then later aired in syndicated reruns, with new episodes produced from 1985 to 1987. Among the show’s many futuristic elements were flying

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Fooling The Mapmakers

“Don’t trust the maps” was good advice for much of human history. The book The Un-Discovered Islands: An Archipelago of Myths and Mysteries, Phantoms and Fakes by Malachy Tallack, illustrated by Katie Scott, makes this point vividly by revealing the stories behind lands that weren’t really there. For example, the 1783 Treaty of Paris that

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“Be The Brain Behind The Breakthrough”

Zombies aren’t the only ones looking for brains. Used brains of all kinds are needed for medical research to advance the discovery of better treatments and cures for brain diseases, disorders, and injuries. If this interests you, check out the Brain Donor Project at https://braindonorproject.org/. This topic is especially timely because there is a campaign

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How To Grow 200 Million Trees

The African country of Niger had a serious environmental problem. Decades of drought, clearing of land, and the need for firewood had decimated the native trees. The farming needed to feed the world’s fastest-growing population in one of the world’s poorest countries was preventing new trees from growing. The government had recognized the problem, but

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Scaling King Kong

For people with too much time on their hands — you may recall the 2019 movie Godzilla vs. Kong. Enjoying such tales requires a certain suspension of disbelief from the get-go. But the skeptical part of us may stop to wonder, just how realistic is a scaled-up gorilla? Rhett Allain, an associate professor of physics

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A Chopstick Breakthrough

High blood pressure is a real health concern, and one of the most effective countermeasures is lowering salt intake. Sometimes that’s not as easy as it sounds, so you have to get creative. Especially if you’re in Japan. Japanese researchers have announced the development of computerized chopsticks that increase the salty taste of foods by

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Who Wants To Cuddle A Cow?

I grew up on a farm with sheep and chickens, adjacent to an uncle’s farm that had dairy cattle. So the headline “Is Cow Hugging the World’s New Wellness Trend?” on BBC Travel certainly caught my attention (https://www.bbc.com/travel/article/20201008-is-cow-hugging-the-worlds-new-wellness-trend?). Most would agree that animals, usually in the form of personal pets, can provide calming benefits and

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What is a Cloud Street?

Clouds can form some imaginative formations, but a new one on me is a cloud street. A cloud street, or more technically a horizontal convective roll, is actually a long row of cumulus clouds that is aligned parallel to the direction of the wind. They usually form straight rows, but when the wind hits an obstacle,

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