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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Another Take on Reparations

History always has a way of surprising me. In the turmoil of the Black Lives Matter movement and the widespread revelation of the details of the 1921 Tulsa Riot, one topic that comes up semi-regularly is reparations for the formerly enslaved. No matter what your viewpoint, you may be surprised to learn (as I was)

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An Important Veteran Milestone

On June 22, 1944, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, more commonly known as the G.I. Bill of Rights. It was one of the most farsighted accomplishments in our history. The act is most remembered for allowing veterans to go to college and providing job training. But in addition, it

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How To Make Your Own Sun

The Italian town of Viganella had a problem — the sun would disappear from November 11th until February 2nd every winter. Normally this only occurs to communities inside the Artic and Antarctic Circles, but Viganella is unique in that respect — it sits at the bottom of a steep, v-shaped valley at the border with

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The Future of Ethics

Let me ask a provocative question — do our ethics change over time? Consider — about a third of the population of ancient Rome consisted of slaves, but today we know slavery is wrong. Also, at one time, birth control was illegal in this country, but today it’s an accepted, even encouraged, practice. The same

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Remembering Justice Thurgood Marshall

On June 13, 1967, Thurgood Marshall was appointed a Supreme Court justice by President Lyndon Johnson. He was the first African American named to the nation’s highest court. Not that he had never been in those hallowed halls before — he had argued and won his first Supreme Court case at age 32 in Chambers v.

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Unusual Rainbows

My first visit to Yosemite National Park in California happened to coincide with a full moon. Taking in all the wonders the park has to offer, I listened to an evening presentation given by a ranger. She explained how, if you stand in just the right place near one of the major waterfalls during a

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How Did The Alligator Cross The Road?

No, this is not a joke. Animals of many species cross our highways, frequently with tragic results. There are over one million collisions between vehicles and large animals each year in this country. The predictable result is hundreds of deaths to both us and the animals, not to mention property damage running into the billions

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Gender Differences in Sports — It’s All About Fairness

You may recall reading about the U.S. Women’s National Team in soccer protesting about not being treated equally with the men’s team. You may remember their 2019 gender-discrimination lawsuit against the United States Soccer Federation over pay and workplace issues (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/sports/u-s-soccer-reaches-settlement-world-cup-women-s-team-n1249603). Well, it’s come up again, this time in softball. The Women’s College World Series

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Laughter Isn’t Just for Humans

We think of laughter as a uniquely human trait. Laughter for us is inborn — even deaf babies laugh. Plus there is a cultural component, as people in some cultures laugh more than others, but it’s a universal part of our behavior. Now scientists are saying it’s an important part of animals’ behavior too. New

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