What Is Your Quest?

  Do you love adventure? Are you an explorer at heart? Do you love to take road trips with your family? Do you yearn for a life filled with purpose and nonstop action? If this sounds like you, then we have just the thing for you. What is it? A mission? Not quite. A trek? Sort of. An adventure? Definitely. We’re…

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How Did Environmentalism Start?

  Imagine you’ve just walked outside on a clear spring day. What do you hear? Are the bees buzzing? Are there birds singing? Maybe you can hear a distant game of kickball or your neighbors chatting next door. You might even hear less pleasant sounds, like the humming of mosquitoes. Now, imagine the opposite. You walk outside on…

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Why Does It Rain?

  Pour a glass of water and take a sip. Pretty good, isn’t it? Would you believe the water you’re drinking has been around for millions of years? It’s true! Before any creatures were living on land, your water was part of the ocean. The water we have on Earth has been here for a very, very long time, and Mother Nature has been constantly recycling…

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Roe v. Wade FAQ: What if abortion rights law gets overturned?

  It would drastically change abortion rights in America. In a leaked draft opinion made public Monday (May 2), the U.S. Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that has protected abortion rights in the U.S. for nearly 50 years. Although the leaked draft is not necessarily the final opinion of the…

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Roe v. Wade: Facts about the landmark case

  The 1973 court ruling could be overturned. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the landmark case of Roe v. Wade (410 U.S. 113 (1973)), in which seven of the nine sitting justices agreed that the Constitution protects the right to abortion. The case was initially raised to challenge a Texas law that…

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When Is Mother’s Day—and Why Do We Celebrate It?

  Memorize this date, and don’t forget to call your mom! You have a lot going on, so we’ll forgive you for asking “When is Mother’s Day?” once or twice this month. (Oh, fine, it might’ve been three times, but you have a lot going on.) Don’t panic, it hasn’t happened yet! The holiday is in…

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8 Things You May Not Know About the Battle of the Bulge

  On the anniversary of the start of Nazi Germany’s last gasp attack at the Battle of the Bulge, explore eight surprising facts about the fight Winston Churchill called “undoubtedly the greatest American battle” of World War II.   1. Hitler’s generals advised against the attack. Many historians have argued that the Nazi attack on…

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What to Do (and Not Do) If You Meet a Royal

  Should you ever happen to meet up with a royal, here’s how to handle yourself with the utmost of elegance and decorum. For better or for worse, there are no “obligatory codes” It would probably be a lot easier if there were a specific set of rules to follow when meeting Her Majesty The…

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10 Cell Phone Etiquette Rules You Should Be Following—But Aren’t

  Don’t be caught committing cellular sins! Follow our expert phone etiquette rules to avoid being rude and annoying on your smart phone. Put your phone away at the dinner table This phone etiquette rule may seem obvious because, hello, it’s rude, but being courteous in public to both your dining partner and other diners…

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Am I pregnant? 12 early signs of pregnancy

The early signs of pregnancy can differ between women. Here are some of the clues your body may provide. Looking out for the early signs of pregnancy in the body can help you to find out if you have become successful in conceiving. When discovering you are pregnant, it can be the start of a remarkable,…

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Here’s What It Means If You See Powdery Mildew on Your Plants

Getting rid of powdery mildew on plants is easier than you may think. Gardening is full of rewards. But sometimes, regardless of whether you’re a novice or a pro, you’ll come across issues in the landscape. Powdery mildew on plants—a white fuzz or powder that usually appears on leaves and sometimes on the stem, flowers,…

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Is a ‘fetal heartbeat’ really a heartbeat at 6 weeks?

  What exactly do we mean when we talk about a “fetal heartbeat” at six weeks of pregnancy? So far this year, 11 states have enacted 90 laws meant to restrict abortion — the most in a single year since the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. Now, lawmakers in nine U.S. states have passed laws banning abortions when…

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13 Creepy Real Experiments That Sound Like Science Fiction

  Scientists growing human brains in mice? It sounds like science fiction, but it’s happening right now. 1 / 13 NAGYDODO/SHUTTERSTOCK Pig bladders regrowing human limbs Scientists have discovered that tissue from pig bladders can be dried into a powder called extracellular matrix and used to regrow human fingers. While typical mammals heal injuries by growing scar tissue, which…

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The eruption of Nevado del Ruiz

  Nevado del Ruiz, the highest active volcano in the Andes Mountains of Colombia, suffers a mild eruption that generates a series of lava flows and surges over the volcano’s broad ice-covered summit. Flowing mixtures of water, ice, pumice and other rock debris poured off the summit and sides of the volcano, forming “lahars” that…

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What are invasive species?

Global trade is bringing invasive species to new environments around the world. Is that always a bad thing? An invasive species is a type of animal, plant, fungus or any other living thing that has arrived in a new environment and can harm other species there. You might hear the term “invasive species” used interchangeably…

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What Are Corresponding Angles and How Do You Find Them?

As with all math-related concepts, students often want to know why corresponding angles are useful. “Well, if you want to make sure that you have two lines that are parallel, you can use this little trick,” said Pauly. “Why not draw a straight line that intercepts both lines, then measure the corresponding angles.” If they…

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10 Things You May Not Know About the Battle of Verdun

Soldiers Holding Guns In A War Zone

  Explore 10 surprising facts about one of the longest and most brutal campaigns of World War I.   In a war known for its brutality, the Battle of Verdun, (February 21–December 18, 1916), was among the longest and most bloodiest conflicts of World War I. In the battle that slogged on for 10 months, the…

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Einstein Had No Clue His Lover Was a Suspected Russian Spy

    Albert Einstein may have been a genius, but when it came to relationships, he was just as clueless as the rest of us—maybe even more so. In a letter written near the end of his life to the family of his closest friend, Michele Besso, the great physicist shared poignant regrets about his…

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Darryl Dawkins breaks his first backboard

    On November 13, 1979, in the middle of a game at the Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Philadelphia 76ers center Darryl Dawkins leaps over Kansas City Kings forward Bill Robinzine and slam-dunks the basketball, shattering the fiberglass backboard. The result, according to people who were at the game, was a sound like a bomb going…

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The Real Reason Brits and Americans Spell “Color” Differently

  Hint: It has to do with the American Revolution.   It’s no secret that the Brits spell a few words differently than us Americans: “color” becomes “colour,” “organize” becomes “organise,” “liter” becomes “litre”—and that’s before we get into the whole thing about calling “sneakers,” “trainers” and “elevators,” “lifts.” So how did our spellings become…

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Why Can’t You Find Grape Ice Cream?

Ever wonder why you can find grape ice pops, but not grape ice cream? When you think about common fruit flavors, grape is probably one of the first to come to mind. But as common as it is in candy and Popsicles, it’s nowhere to be found in ice cream. Weird, right? If you’ve ever…

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The Game Clue Was Borne of Boredom During WWII Air-Raid Blackouts

  As the war dragged on, creator Anthony Pratt longed for the fun of English country-estate murder-mystery parties, where guests would skulk the hallways, shriek and fall ‘dead’ on the floor.   Before Professor Plum, Miss Scarlett and Colonel Mustard gathered on a game board to claim their first victim—wielding a revolver, a rope or…

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Where 25 Major League Baseball Teams Got Their Names

  Which team was literally named because a sports reporter ran out of space? Find out here. 1 / 23 ISTOCK/LITTLENY New York Mets Team executives considered Bees, Jets, Skyliners, Skyscrapers, Burros, Continentals, and Meadowlarks but ultimately decided on Mets. It references the organization that successfully lobbied Major League Baseball for the expansion team: the New York…

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Trevor Rees-Jones: The Only Survivor of Princess Diana’s Fatal Car Accident

It’s a miracle that Trevor Rees-Jones made it out alive. The sole survivor of a tragic accident At half-past midnight on August 31, 1997, a black Mercedes crashed into a concrete pillar outside the Pont de l’Alma tunnel in Paris. The world mourned Princess Diana’s death in the wake of the crash, with Princess Diana’s funeral being held on…

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Why We Should All Listen to People with Different Views

Hearing “the other side” is surprisingly good for your brain.   In life, once on a path, we tend to follow it, for better or worse. What’s sad is that even if it’s the latter, we often accept it anyway because we are so accustomed to the way things are that we don’t even recognize…

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What Is Chlorine?

  During the dog days of summer, there’s nothing quite like a day at the pool. Donning your swimsuit and doing a cannonball into a pool full of cool water is one of the best ways to cool off. As you sink down to the bottom, the water surrounds you. It refreshes you like no shower ever could!…

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15 Mind-Blowing Facts About Maryland

There’s a community in Maryland called Boring. It has 40 houses, a church, Post Office, a fire company, and well… not much else. Nicknamed “The Old Line State” but also known as the “Free State,” “Little America,” and “America in Miniature,” Maryland was the 7th state to join the United States of America on April 28, 1788.…

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Why Do We Say “Quit Cold Turkey”?

Planning to let go of a habit or two cold turkey in the New Year? Learn where that expression comes from first!   From “let the cat out of the bag” to “the dog days of summer,” there are all sorts of idiomatic expressions that don’t actually mean what they sound like they mean. Take “quit…

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Why are there 10 Hot Dogs in a Pack but only 8 Buns?

I’ll never understand why this wasn’t fixed a long time ago! It’s a food dilemma that’s been haunting people around the world for too long…and we’re finally ready to right this wrong. You know what we’re talking about. You’re at the store trying to stock up for your backyard barbecue, and you always end up with more buns…

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What Do the Olympic Rings Symbolize?

The famous Olympic rings logo is more than 100 years old, but its symbolism is ageless.   When we think of the Olympics, a few things come to mind immediately: the athletes marching in during the opening ceremonies, proudly carrying their countries’ flags; the dramatic awarding of gold, silver, and bronze medals to winners of the events; the…

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Where Do Bugs Sleep?

  One of the best parts of camping is being outside and enjoying nature. During the day, it’s fun to take a nature hike to see what kinds of animals you can find. But did you also know that it can be a lot of fun to hike at night? It’s true! A fun night hike…

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What Gives You the Giggles?

  Do you like to laugh? What gets you giggling? A good joke? A funny movie? How about situational humor? Wonderopolis is a great place to find a few laughs. Have you learned about your funny bone? How about memes? We hope you laugh a little bit every day. After all, it’s good for you! Sometimes, people laugh without knowing…

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What Does It Mean To Agree To Disagree?

  Which band is the greatest of all time? What’s the best topping to put on a pizza? Which superhero has the best superpowers? Try asking any of these questions in a room full of people. You’ll soon have an argument on your hands! Eventually, you may have to agree to disagree. Wait. Agree to disagree? What does that actually mean? Agreeing…

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How Do You Hide an Octopus?

  Today’s question might sound a little odd. But let’s face it. If you have an octopus, you’ll probably need to hide it. After all, most parents and teachers aren’t going to let you walk around with an octopus. Some people find octopuses frightening. With their eight tentacles and huge heads, they do look a little scary. Their…

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Are You a Wise Guy or Gal?

  Has your mouth ever gotten you into trouble? You know what we’re talking about. An adult says something and you come back with a smart reply. You might not have thought about what you were saying. Before assigning your punishment, you might be told to stop being such a “wise guy.” This is kind of a funny phrase.…

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What Is Chai Tea, Exactly?

  Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication. Add some sugar and spice to your life with masala chai, a delicious tea with a…

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Why do we grow more hair on our heads than on our bodies?

Humans are the oddballs of the mammalian class. Hippos and naked mole rats aside, nearly every other mammal has fur covering its body. Humans are practically naked, besides the hair on our heads. So why are people mostly hairless apart from our head hair? First, it’s crucial to understand why mammals have fur in the first place,…

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Do You Have Perspective?

  Do you love art? Many kids are naturally creative. They might use pens, pencils, crayons, markers, paint, clay, yarn, sidewalk chalk, or anything else! They can create works of art that are priceless to their parents. People make art on many different canvases. Of course, paper is a favorite for many children. Some artists, though, think outside the…

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8 Strange Facts About Ninjas

    Did you know that the Shuriken, or Ninja Star, isn’t even proven to be used by ninjas? It was actually a weapon samurai used. When you ask people what they know Japan for, one of the most common answers given would be ninjas. Most of what we know about ninjas isn’t that closely…

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Where Is Cyberspace?

  Sometimes people want to know where Wonderopolis is. Do you know? You may visit Wonderopolis while you’re at home or at school. However, Wonderopolis isn’t in either of those places. It also isn’t on the bus, in the library, or even on the North Pole! However, you can visit Wonderopolis from any of those places.…

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This Is Why Golf Balls Have Dimples

The dimples on a golf ball serve a greater purpose than just making it look cute—no ifs, ands, or putts.   There’s just so much to learn when it comes to the world we live in. Like, what are those colored squares on toothpaste? What are the solo cup lines actually for? What do the numbers on a toaster really mean?…

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Here’s Why Escalators Have Brushes

Contrary to popular belief, escalator brushes are not actually for cleaning your shoes.   Many of us have ridden an escalator before, whether that be in an airport, a mall, or just around town. You’re probably thinking, what kind of interesting facts are there to really learn about a moving staircase? Well, besides those escalator grooves, haven’t you…

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Here’s Why Women’s and Men’s Shirts Button on Different Sides

Women’s shirts have buttons on the left, while men’s have them on the right. But it’s not about which hand you write with…   The button differential Once upon a time, your gender determined your fashion choices. For most of the last few hundred years in the Western world, women wore dresses and skirts, and…

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If You See a Red Porch Light, This Is What It Means

  Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links. Ratings and prices are accurate and items are in stock as of time of publication. What does a red porch light mean? You often see them in February, but it’s not…

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What’s Your Favorite Frosting Flavor?

  Do you like cake? We do! And it doesn’t matter what form it takes. We like regular cake. We love cupcakes. We’re big fans of cake pops. No matter what the shape or size, we like cake. Even better if it’s topped with that special coating of extra deliciousness! What are we talking about? Frosting,…

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Do Starfish Glow in the Dark?

  Have you ever sat in your backyard on a warm, summer night? It can be fun just to sit back and enjoy gazing up at the stars that dot the sky. You might even see a shooting star paint a streak across the sky. We often associate stars with the faint light they produce in…

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What are labor unions?

  Labor unions are organizations that represent workers in collective negotiations with employers. Labor unions are organizations that represent workers in negotiations with employers over rights, benefits and collective interests. In the United States, organized labor rose alongside the industrial revolution in the late 1800s, accompanied by strikes that were often put down violently by…

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Why Do Certain Experiences Give Us Goosebumps?

  Goosebumps, chills, heebie-jeebies — whatever you call them — are an oddly pleasant sensation that most of us experience when cold, overcome with emotion or are sexually aroused. They cause small puckers to form on our flesh (reminiscent of a plucked goose) and send chills down our spines. But have you ever stopped to wonder why…

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The Venice Biennale Is the ‘Olympics of Art’

  Since 1895, the city of Venice, Italy, has hosted a 7-month-long public art exhibition every two years. Called the Venice Biennale (that’s pronounced “Bee-a-nah-lay”), this artistic extravaganza is more than a mere exhibition of world-class art. “The Biennale establishes trends for art and can elevate and change people’s careers or perspectives on contemporary art movements around…

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How Are Movies Made?

  You’ve spent hours getting into costume and makeup. Now, you’re trying to see past all the bright lights. It’s almost time. Your nerves are getting to you. What’s your character’s name again? Do you remember your lines? Too soon, you hear those three words from the director: “Lights. Camera. Action.” But the process of making a movie began…

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The Newton Boys Were the Baddest Bank Robbers You’ve Never Heard Of

Willis Newton and his brothers may not be, for most of us, as easily identifiable as Charley Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd. Or “Baby Face” Nelson. Or John Dillinger. Or Al Capone. They certainly weren’t as renowned as either Bonnie Parker or Clyde Barrow. That, though, may go a long way toward explaining why Newton and his gang were infinitely more…

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What Kind of Art Did Salvador Dalí Create?

  How would the real world be different if it looked like your dreams? Would it be in black and white instead of color? Would it be full of wacky animals? Maybe humans would fly or breathe underwater! Many people find inspiration in their dreams. One such person was Salvador Dalí, a Spanish painter. For Dalí, art was a…

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What Are Earthquake Lights?

  Imagine you’re enjoying a cool spring evening in a local park. Your family is sitting on a blanket, finishing the dinner you brought as a picnic. The sun has just set on a beautiful day. Suddenly, you notice blue orbs of light in the distance. You watch, confused, as they hover near the horizon. That’s when you feel the…

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How Are Expiration Dates for Food Determined?

  Have you ever gone grocery shopping with a friend or family member? Did you help pick out the meat your family would eat? How about milk and eggs? Maybe you picked out a loaf of bread or a bag of apples. If you paid much attention to any of these items, you may have seen…

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What is Osteoporosis?

  Why do skeletons like to drink milk? Because it’s good for the bones! Ha! Did that tickle your funny bone? It sure got us laughing. But it’s also true. Milk is very healthy for your bones. In fact, it can help you avoid a bone condition called osteoporosis. Osteoporosis weakens the bones. Most often, it affects the hip, spine, and wrist…

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How to Convert Binary Into Decimal (and Vice Versa)

  Humans spent the last five and a half millennia inventing over 100 different ways to write down numbers. With due respect to Roman numerals, the world’s favorite technique right now is — by a huge margin — the modern decimal system. Its users can express any whole number they like with just 10 little characters: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4,…

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Did Blackbeard Really Exist?

  Countless tales of lore are set on the seven seas. But perhaps the most thrilling stories are those of pirates. Who doesn’t love hearing about Anne Bonny, Long Ben, or Black Bart? And there’s one pirate that seems to rise above the rest. Who are we talking about? Perhaps the most famous pirate of them all—Blackbeard!…

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How Are Heirloom Tomatoes Different From Regular Tomatoes?

  Heirloom tomatoes are one of summer’s most prized bounties. The varieties number into the thousands with attention-grabbing names like Cherokee Purple, Green Giant, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Abraham Lincoln and Yellow Oxheart. Loved for their variety of color and flavorful taste, heirloom tomatoes are a feast for the eyes and the palate, whether sliced on a…

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How Simple is Occam’s Razor?

  Have you ever WONDERed how doctors diagnose their patients? What about how mechanics find out what’s wrong with a car? The truth is, these two occurrences often have something in common. They both employ Occam’s Razor. Have you ever heard someone say, “Keep it simple”? That’s the basic idea behind Occam’s Razor (or Ockham’s Razor). It’s…

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What’s the Difference Between Aspirin, Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen?

  The average headache or backache often sends people reaching willy-nilly for the nearest bottle of pain reliever, but for best results it’s smart to match the particular problem with the perfect pill. That’s because the wide variety of pain relievers (known in medical circles as analgesics) available today are each effective at different problems and come with different risks.…

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How Were Swimming Strokes Invented?

  The Earth’s ocean, rivers, and lakes are full of excellent swimmers. You might immediately think of fish, dolphins, or whales. Of course, sea turtles, penguins, and otters are also strong swimmers. But only one animal on Earth has turned swimming into a competitive sport–humans. Have you ever watched or taken part in a swim competition? If so, you…

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What are the Matariki “Teenage” Stars?

  Do you spend much time watching the night sky? If so, you’ve probably learned to identify a heavenly object or two. Can you find the Big Dipper? How about the North Star or the planets? Have you learned to spot the Matariki Stars? A telescope can help people see deep into the heavens. But it’s not always needed! The Matariki Star cluster is…

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Are There Really Kids’ Authors Who Hate Kids?

  You know that elementary school teacher who hates kids? The one who seems to loathe not just the daily grind of lessons, but also the very sight of students? These kinds of people might make you wonder: Why go into a profession serving tiny people you have no patience for? If children’s book authors who allegedly…

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What Is May Day?

  What comes to mind when you think of flowers? How about sunshine, seeds sprouting, and Mothers Day? In the northern hemisphere, most people associate these things with the month of May. And many of them think of a special holiday—May Day! What is May Day? The holiday falls on May 1. For people living north of the equator, it’s…

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The Fourteen Points of Woodrow Wilson’s Plan for Peace

November 11 is, of course, Veterans’ Day. Originally called “Armistice Day,” it marked the ending of World War I in 1918. It also marked the beginning of an ambitious foreign policy plan by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. Known as the Fourteen Points, the plan—which ultimately failed—embodied many elements of what we today call “globalization.” Historical Background World…

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