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One Potato, Two Potato, More!

One Potato, Two Potato, More! Anderson, Margaret J In 1535, Spanish soldiers ransacked a deserted village in Peru hoping to find gold. All they found was potatoes, They coularit have known that this lowly vegetable would he the greatest treasure they would send back to Europe. Wild potatoes were first harvested by South American natives […]

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Meet a Real Dog Bot (But Will It Fool Real Dogs?)

Meet a Real Dog Bot (But Will It Fool Real Dogs?) AIBO means “companion” or “pal” in Japanese. It’s also an abbreviation for Artificial Intelligence roBOt and the name given to a type of small robot made by the Japanese company Sony. As might be expected, this robot pal is made of plastic and stuffed […]

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Mysteries of Sleep, The

Mysteries of Sleep, The Romanek, Trudee Guess what you’ll spend one-third of your life doing. Sleeping! Believe it or not, if you live to be 75, the hours you sleep each night will add up to about 25 years of slumber. It might seem like all that sleep is a giant waste of time. But […]

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Why Be Nice?

Why Be Nice? Moss, Meg You hear it every day. Share with your sister. Cooperate with your mom. Be kind to people. “Why should I be nice?” you may ask. “Wouldn’t it be great if I could just do what I want?” Scientists who study human behavior, human cultures, and the human mind have been […]

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So, How Big Is It?

So, How Big Is It? Almost 2,500 years ago in ancient Greece, early scientists thought the shape of the world was-well, there were several ideas. One early thinker believed that Earth was a squat cylinder, like a drum, and that people lived on its disk-shaped top. Another conceived of Earth as a rectangle held up […]

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Make Your Own Sea Monster

CONTEST: Make Your Own Sea Monster Most of the sea monsters in this issue of Ask are true to life as well as truly scary, but we’d like to see what lurks in the depths of your imagination. For this month’s contest, design a sea monster that could give sailors nightmares. Draw a picture of […]

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Keeping Cool in the Desert

Keeping Cool in the Desert Stewart, Melissa You might think that camels are the perfect desert animals. And they are. But other animals are adapted to the heat and dryness of the desert, too. They have to be, if they want to survive. Take a good, close look at a camel. Everything about it helps […]

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Why Are There Flowers?

Why Are There Flowers? Moss, Meg A world without flowers? Hard to imagine-impossible to survive. Today flowers are everywhere. They carpet meadows and mountainsides; they grow on trees, bushes, cactuses, and vines. Gardens, fields, forests, and even deserts bloom with their color, fragrance, and beauty. In fact, of the more than 310,000 plant species on […]

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With One Eye Open

With One Eye Open Anderson, Margaret J Like you, animals need to sleep to rest their bodies and recharge their brains. Some animals sleep a lot, some a little. Many have developed remarkable adaptations to get their 40 winks. Who Sleeps the Most? The dormouse, like the one that slept through most of the Mad […]

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TALE of the Dog

TALE of the Dog Braaf, Ellen R Tiny teacup poodles, massive Newfoundlands, squat bulldogs, sleek greyhounds, Mexican hairless dogs, bearded collies-dogs come in an amazing variety of sizes, shapes, personalities, and talents. Where did they all come from? And how did they get to be our best pals? At the site of one of the […]