Real-Life Chindogu—an Unuseless Invention

I found these bottles of carbonated drink–a genuine product of Japan–at a local salvage store.   Here are the actual directions printed on the plastic wrap covering the top of the bottle: “1. Serve Ramune drink chilled. 2. Remove the plastic film from the top. 3. Pop out the center from the cap, which will …

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  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a rhinoceros  like you! Instead of having one horn, you insist on wearing two. The one and only thing you’ve ever said to me is “moo.” It’s no wonder why no other rhinos dine with you!       Copyright by Paul Fleisher, 2013

Don’t knock down the church-state wall

First grade. The first day of public school. The very first memory I can locate specifically in time and place. Our teacher leads a recitation of words I’ve never heard before. Yet somehow all the other students already have the words memorized, and join in. I don’t understand. Why do all the other kids know …

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In the Aftermath of Isabel

Ten years ago Hurricane Isabelle roared through Virginia, leaving a new landscape in her wake.  Behind our house, Isabelle uprooted hundreds of mature trees.  In some places, they fell like dominoes, each leafy giant toppling the next. But in the aftermath of destruction has come regeneration.  The rebirth began immediately after the storm, and continues …

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Book Review: Leading the Resistance

Come August, Come Freedom:  The Bellows, the Gallows and the Black General Gabriel by Gigi Amateau, Candlewick Press, September 2012, ISBN978-0-7636-4792-6 (Ages 12-up)   One of the least-known stories from our nation’s history is that of the widespread Black resistance to enslavement.  From the very beginnings of European settlement of the new world, Africans and …

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