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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Plussing the Vietnam Memorial

Every generation has its war. My dad’s was World War II; mine was Vietnam. I was in Southeast Asia (mostly Thailand) from the summer of 1972 to the summer of 1973. It was the kind of experience you never forget. We lost more than 58,000 of our finest youth during the Vietnam era. Appropriately, they

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Thoughts on New Year’s Resolutions

This is a little late; I’m sure most resolutions have already been tossed aside. If that’s true for you (personally, I don’t even bother), maybe it’s time for a new approach. The Sunday, January 8, 2023 issue of the Dayton Daily News explained one such approach. Columnist Meredith Moss wrote about a woman in Centerville,

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In Search of Happiness

What is your approach to happiness? This subject came to my attention recently thanks to the cover article in the Jan 16-23 issue of Time magazine. This special section, entitled “The Happiness Revival Guide,” includes a brief article “Catastrophizing Doesn’t Have to Be Catastrophic” by Martin Seligman, a University of Pennsylvania professor and coauthor of

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On Wasting Time

The older I get, the more time becomes important. (This leads to some interesting discussions with middle school students when I think they are wasting their time, but that’s another subject.) So I was intrigued by the article “The Biggest Wastes Of Time We Regret When We Get Older” by Kristin Wong (https://getpocket.com/explore/item/the-biggest-wastes-of-time-we-regret-when-we-get-older?). It sounded

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Book Review: A Man of Iron

Which U.S. Presidents have won the popular vote at least three times? Of course, Franklin Delano Roosevelt holds the record for four (1932, 1936, 1940, 1944). but there have been two others: Andrew Jackson (1824 before also winning the Electoral College and becoming President in 1828 and 1832), and Grover Cleveland (becoming President in 1884,

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Detecting Aliens the Star Trek Way

The speed of light has always been considered the limiting factor for interstellar transportation. For example, the closest star to us is Proxima Centauri, about 4.25 light-years away. The fastest spacecraft we’ve ever been able to build is the now-in-space Parker Solar Probe, which should eventually attain a top speed of 450,000 mph. Even at that high

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What is Synthetic Gas?

Good news for the environment: recently a startup company in Chile, Highly Innovative Fuels (HIF), opened its first synthetic gasoline production facility. HIF was organized to run the plant, which is a collaboration among Porsche, Siemens Energy, Exxon Mobil, Enel Green Power, the Chilean state energy company ENAP, and Empresas Gasco. The plant will begin operating

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A Chinese father…

I ran across this story that I think is worth sharing. It is attributed to appellate Judge David Bazelon. A Chinese father calls his children to a family meeting and tells them that somebody has pushed the family outhouse into the Yangtse River and asks somebody to confess; nobody comes forward. The father says, “Let

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