Author Archives: Bob Welbaum

Now Available in a New Edition

17 short stories for general audiences ranging from the unusual to the unbelievable to the just plain strange. My short stories were originally self-published as a COVID project, but have now been published by Solstice in a new edition. It is currently available through my page at Solstice Empire Publishing (https://solsticeempire.com/products.aspx?categoryid=538) and in both paperback

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What is Your Superpower?

Do you have a superpower? Mine is turning a two-sided piece of paper into a one-sided piece of paper. Okay, it’s actually a mathematical trick (https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-timeless-journey-of-the-moebius-strip), but middle-school students don’t know that, so I usually get away with it. Yes, humans can have superpowers, although maybe not the kind found in comic books. For example,

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You Have to Know the Code

When I worked as “Christmas help” at the local Disney Store one holiday season, I learned that calling someone a “customer” wasn’t a compliment. Our patrons were our “guests” and “customer” was a code word for a suspected shoplifter. I was reminded of this after reading”14 Secret Code Words You Might Want to Know” by

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What in Tarnation?

The origin of common expressions is always a fascinating subject. Some origins are reasonably obvious, like “flash in the pan” and “going off half-cocked,” come from firearms. But other derivations are more obscure. Take the word “tarnation.” According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this expression is a combination of two terms: darnation, a natural variant of damnation; and tarnal, a

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English Grows Again in 2024

One thing you can say about English, it’s dynamic. (Whoever thought Google would become a verb?) New words get added every year. For example, Dictionary.com has recently added or updated more than 1,700 words. Here are some of the more interesting examples — Bed rotting — “noun. The practice of spending many hours in bed during the day,

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What is The 1619 Project?

“Essential for anyone who wants to understand the America we live in today, and the threads of its history, from the awful to the inspirational.” “I purchased because my daughter had to read this unsubstantiated, hollow and falsehood comic book. “ “This is one of the best books I have read. Full of history, compassion, suffering,

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You Use Your Appendix For What?

When I was a preschooler (I can’t remember my exact age), a first cousin died from a ruptured appendix. I barely remember her, but I still vividly recall every detail of the night she died. All my life, I’ve had the impression the appendix was a useless organ. It simply existed in our digestive tracts,

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Black History Month: The Backstory

Sometimes in the study of history, the backstory is more fascinating than the actual event. Take February. Forget Ground Hog Day, this is also Black History Month. According to the History Channel website (https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/black-history-month), this all began in September, 1915 when historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the

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How to Avoid Mass Starvation

An image of the Castle Bravo nuclear detonation. (Image credit: Shutterstock) When I was growing up in the 1950s and 60s, the Cold War was a very real thing. The great fear was a major nuclear exchange could virtually end civilization itself. Recently an article headline jolted me back to that time — “Mass Starvation After

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