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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Happy Birthday, George Gallup

Since there has been so much focus on polling during this year’s election cycle, I thought it appropriate to commemorate the birthday of George Gallup, born November 18, 1901 in Jefferson, Iowa. Gallup was a pioneer of survey sampling methods and founded the Gallup public-opinion poll. This is from The Writer’s Almanac of November 18, 2020

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Where Children Pretend to be Adults

If you have a child between four and fourteen that wonders what it’s like to be grown up, one solution is to take them to a KidZania theme park. Unlike your typical ride-oriented park, KidZania parks provide the opportunity for children to play adult roles in their own scaled-down city. The parks are completely enclosed

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What is Swarm Intelligence?

Have you ever watched a large flock of birds or a school of fish? Notice how they all tend to synchronize their movements? It can be mesmerizing to see how a large group of animals moves together. Scientists have a name for it — Swarm intelligence. Isn’t it unfortunate that we can’t do the same

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Some Thoughts On Elections

There has been so much written about this year’s election. All indications are it really is a pivotal event in this country’s future. How pivotal? I don’t believe any president should be judged until twenty years have passed, but where we go from here will be fascinating to watch. Since we have been putting together

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When Children Were Sent Through The Mail

My favorite law is the Law of Unintended Consequences. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, as today, private companies were doing a brisk business delivering packages. The Post Office’s answer to this competition was Parcel Post, shipping packages through the mail, which began on January 1, 1913. It was a major innovation. Now almost

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Is Being Scared Good For You?

Assuming everyone has survived Halloween, here’s a question — when we get scared, what impact does that have on our bodies? The surprising answer is, depending on the type of person you are, the effects can be more good than bad. Being in or even viewing a scary situation does cause physiological changes, like an

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Happy Halloween — The Joy in Forgotten Objects

This is as close as I can come to a good Halloween story. It was originally published at BewilderingStories.com in Issue 612, and was an Editors’ Choice in the 2015 First Quarterly Review.  It’s also included in my book Stories Short and Strange, available on this website and Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle versions (https://www.amazon.com/s?k=bob+welbaum&i=stripbooks&ref=nb_sb_noss). By the

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