The Cactus Who Wanted to Be a Christmas Tree

Katie loves Christmastime. Getting presents is nice, and playing in the snow with her friends is fun, but what she likes best are all the pretty decorations...

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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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Some Poems About Life

(30 Actually) Gems of Wit & Wisdom

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One Whale Is Worth A Thousand Trees

In case you haven’t noticed, there has been a media blitz on climate change. I’ve found a little tidbit in this blizzard of information that shows the unusual connections among life on this planet. This involves the impact of whales on the climate. Or more specifically, whale poop. According to a study by International Monetary

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Interaction Before Electronics

I remember the software package that came with my first computer had an interactive game on CD. How the game progressed depended upon which answers you gave at critical points. This was my first exposure to interactivity. So I was surprised to learn that interactivity predated computer technology. There was a series of books from

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Who Votes?

Our Founding Fathers did not make it easy for us. They could’ve given us a king or other type of supreme leader and let it go at that. That would’ve been much simpler — just do what you’re told and don’t worry. But instead they gave us a system that requires a lot of work

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Mapping the Imagination

When you were a kid, did you ever play pirates and draw a treasure map purely from your imagination? Adults do that, too. If you are a writer, fictional map-making can be the key to your story, as in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Or it can be an important embellishment, like Harry Potter’s Marauder’s

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The History of Meme

The English language is fascinating, especially regarding the way new words are formed and how meanings evolve. Take “meme.” According to Merriam-Webster, the current meaning isĀ “an amusing or interesting item (such as a captioned picture or video) that is spread widely online especially through social media.” But the word itself isn’t new. It actually goes

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Who Needs Divorce Insurance?

Egypt has a problem. Both the cost of living and the rate of divorce are increasing. Egyptian divorces rose by almost seven percent in 2018 compared to 2017; it’s now 2.2 divorces for every thousand citizens, up from 1.9 in 2010. At the same time, the marriage rate has fallen from a little over 10

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Making Fictional Characters Real

Which fictional literary character had his obituary published in the New York Times? I’m thinking of Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot, whose death was announced on August 6, 1975 (https://www.nytimes.com/1975/08/06/archives/hercule-poirot-is-dead-famed-belgian-detective-hercule-poirot-the.html). Although very popular with readers, Dame Christie found her creation “insufferable and an egocentric creep.” The result was the book Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case. Time

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Kids, Writing, and Time Travel

It’s hard to get kids’ attention these days, especially with regard to creative writing. So what if you could use time travel? 826LA (http://826la.org/) is running with that idea. Its mission statement is “a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expository writing skills, and to helping teachers

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