Kids (82)

Can You Make it to the Olympics

Have the words “Don’t you want to grow up big and strong?” ever left your lips? Were you caught in a moment of shock sitting at your own dinner table immediately after, not believing your own parents had the magical ability to speak through you like that? The whole spiel, diet and exercise, has been ingrained in Americans’ heads for generations. It isn’t going away. Whether the old cliche inspires your kids to eat their…

The Acro-Cats March into Town

Remember the Guinness Book of World Records? One guy ate a bicycle, piece by piece, made small enough to swallow with a hacksaw and some elbow grease, to get in the Book. Another lady had fingernails so long that they spiraled in on themselves so that she couldn’t do something as simple as pick up a fork to eat. And who could forget the 500-pound twins on those tiny dirt bikes?   We don’t know…

There's No Place Like Home

Judy Garland. If you didn’t fall in love with her as a kid, you have a friend that did. It’s been awhile since we were at our grandparents’ house at Thanksgiving time, but back then, that’s when you caught it on TV: The Wizard of Oz. Brothers, sisters, even parents would have a curious conversation about how MGM organized so many small people actors, and how did the visual crew do such a good job…

Have You Ever Heard a Who?

“I would not eat them in a box. I would not eat them with a fox.” This and many other rhymes are instantly recognized by adults and children worldwide as the words of Theodor Geisel, the incomparable Dr. Seuss. His playful lines and phantasmagoric art style brought many of us into the world of reading for the first time. “Let me read this time, Dad!” Today, many writers or painters would tell you that their…

Last Chance Railroad

Portlanders who live paycheck to paycheck, and have friends and relatives who have to move to Westbrook or farther because their in-town living situation has changed and nothing is open to the poor in Portland, those residents might have a sour view of the gentrification and development our city is currently undergoing. On the other hand, people who have a little extra on hand might be happy that the place is getting better-looking. However you…

Nine Pizzas Around the Sun

Most readers will remember when the International Astronomical Union got together in 2006, consulted whatever oracles of science they hold dear, and told the rest of us that the planet Pluto had officially been demoted to ‘dwarf planet’ status. Depending on your age and interests at the time, the news item was anything from a major upheaval in your knowledge set, to a quirky two-minute phase in that season’s dinner conversation.   But if you…

The Other Conversation

It’s the other conversation every parent has to have with their teen, and it’s pretty close in importance to the one about the birds and the bees. That little plastic card that the state chooses to let a youngster carry around after they’ve taken the course and passed the test, that changes a youth’s life, and it certainly changes a parent’s. The first time a teenager asks for the car and doesn’t ask for a…

Like a Day of the Best Streaming Video

On Monday, the weather forecast for Saturday, July 1 called for scattered showers. If the magical powers of the internet, backed up by some kind of official meteorology, we hope, are to be trusted, it's an iffy beach day at best.   So, do what Americans do best: binge watch. But don’t let your family down with a two-hour session of trying to find a nugget of gold in the barrel of silt that is…

Is Our Universe an Electron In a Bigger One?

Remember when the junior high science teacher said that a lot of water got back to the ice caps and lakes and rivers when transpiration took place? Remember when it was easy to tell someone that those clouds up there are cumulonimbus, so we better head home? How about this one: How many of us have thought about subatomic particles and the enticing notion that entire universes are contained in every electron, neutron and proton…

When the "What Ifs" Are Frightening

Remember the last time you took your kids on vacation, out of state or out of the country? If your awareness of their proximity and your surroundings got jacked up to the level of a black ops reconnaissance expert, you’re not alone. We trust everyone got back safely — but what if they didn’t? Allow us to introduce novelist Maile Meloy. If you read for pleasure, you may already be aware of her 2009 collection,…
Subscribe to this RSS feed