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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The Cost of Change

People simply don’t like change. When I was in the publishing business, the company I had just joined had the opportunity to expand. There was a casket-supply company close by whose business was (if you’ll pardon the expression) dying, so we had a chance to move into their location. Yet some neighbors were very vocally

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Addition by Subtraction

When you are asked to improve something, how often do you think about additions? For home renovation, isn’t it always what you can add? Or for business brainstorming sessions, which new projects to take on? But there is a case to be made for taking away. Sometimes we can do better by removing, streamlining and

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The Town That Lego Built

Denmark is not a nation that resists youth participation — think of Greta Thunberg. But Billund, a town of 27,000 in the middle of the country, has taken this concept much further. Here it’s the kids who frequently initiate and have a say about projects that impact their community. In 2020, Billund became the first Danish city

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Fun Facts About Fireworks

I hope you had a happy Fourth of July (or as I like to say, Disloyalty to Royalty Day). Did you watch any fireworks displays? I’ve been hearing news reports about communities having to cancel their programs due to a shortage of trained explosives technicians. But assuming you were able to see some fireworks somewhere,

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Books Lost and To Be Found

It’s easy to get published these days. More books are published each year than the average bookstore can hold. Websites like Lulu.com make self-publishing easy. And there is always Amazon Kindle. Yet a recent article in The Guardian caught my eye. It suggests the key to understanding our literature may not be how many books

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The Best Fossil Collectors

Harvester ants are very industrious. They build mounds that last for decades, protecting them with a half-inch-thick layer of small rocks about the size of beads, then clear the surrounding area of vegetation by as much as 30 feet. But in gathering up all those rocks, they also collect tiny fossils and archaeological artifacts. Don’t

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Explaining the “WOW” Signal

On the night of Aug. 15, 1977, during a SETI search, the Ohio State University’s Big Ear telescope picked up an unknown signal that was incredibly strong but very brief, lasting a mere 1 minute and 12 seconds. It was so unexpected that its discoverer, astronomer Jerry Ehman, wrote “Wow” on the printout, thus giving this

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Where Are You Going This Summer?

I’m sure most people have their summer vacations planned. If not, might you consider a place to stay that’s a little… creepy? If so, I’d like to suggest a Nevada road trip. There are a couple of places in this state than can really get your attention. For example — The Little A’Le’Inn — “Earthlings

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