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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What’s a Pencil Without an Eraser?

What would we ever do without erasers, especially when they’re on the ends of pencils?  I recently ran across this little tidbit, courtesy of our friends at The Writer’s Almanac — “On this day [March 30] in 1858, Hymen Lipman of Philadelphia patented the first pencil to have an attached eraser. The eraser-tipped pencil is still

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Where Did April Fools’ Day Come From?

Happy April 1st!  How did we get such a date on our calendar? According to the book An Uncommon History of Common Things by Bethanne Patrick and John Thompson (National Geographic, 2009, pp 52-53) — “Theories on the origin of April Fools’ Day abound, but the mostly likely takes it back to 16th century France.

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Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise?

We take for granted many details in our daily lives.  For example, why do clocks run clockwise?  This is especially puzzling when so many other things, like baseball bases and horse races, run in the opposite direction. The book Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? and Other Imponderables  by David Feldman (Harper & Row, 1988) gives

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Life’s Little Instruction Book

Don’t you wish life came with an instruction book? There is a book entitled The Complete Life’s Little Instruction Book by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. (Thomas Nelson, 2009).  It contains 1560 pithy sayings, from “#1 Compliment three people every day” to “#1560 Include your parents in your prayers.”  Its actually a compliation of three previous

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How New Words Are Formed

Previously I have discussed the English language and the origins of some words. I’ve found another one.  From the Writer’s Almanac, March 23, 2015 — “It’s the birthday of the writer Josef Capek (books by this author), born in Hronov in what is now the Czech Republic in 1887. His brother, Karel, was the famous writer,

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When Utilities Go Bad

I got home yesterday after a long day of substitute school teaching (middle school French, that’s all you need to know), turned on the faucet at the kitchen sink and… Nothing. Panicked, I tried the hall bathroom. Nothing there either. A broken line?  There were no puddles in the yard. Forgot to pay the water

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News From Bewildering Stories

Today I received the following email — Congratulations! You are among the 32 contributors in prose and poetry represented in Bewildering Stories’ First Quarterly Review of 2015, now officially on line. We like to think of the Quarterly Reviews as offering safe harbour on the chaotic sea of the Internet. The Review Editors are very

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