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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Some Thoughts on Time Travel

If you could travel through time, would you?  Which way would you go, forward or backward?  What if you went forward and the world no longer existed when you arrived? If you went backward, why?  Right a wrong?  Warn of an impending disaster?  Fix a relationship?  Change history?  Make yourself wealthy? Today I was catching

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Railroads and the Civil War

Teaching today has put me in the mood to post something historical — Railroads and the Civil War Some consider the American Civil War to be the first modern conflict. For example, it saw the first battle between ironclad warships, the first successful use of the submarine, warfare directed toward the civilian population (Sherman’s March

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For Crossword Puzzle Fans

I rarely do crossword puzzles myself, but I know they’re a very popular pastime.  They were even the storyline of an episode on The Simpsons. I mention this to share one of the most diabolical crossword-puzzle clues I’ve ever found.  I’m fond of using it in the classroom when I substitute teach and things get dull.

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Some History Quotes

I never got to be a full-time social studies teacher. But if I’d had, I would’ve used quotes to help put things in perspective. Here are some of my favorites — “History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.”  —  Napoleon Bonaparte “History will be kind to me for

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On the Academy Awards

I’m not a big movie fan myself, but it’s almost impossible to tune out the Academy Awards this weekend.  One of the most informative sources I’ve run across is American Public Media’s “Marketplace” radio business program.  Last week they did a series of stories on the Oscars, focusing on the less glamourous aspects of movie-making,

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Scrubbing the Gene Pool

Have you ever heard of the Darwin Awards?  As the website www.darwinawards.com explains: “The Darwin Awards salute the improvement of the human genome by honoring those who accidentally remove themselves from it… For example, one of the 2014 awards was a double for two men who tried to take a selfie with a wild elephant

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