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1. Stuck in the Middle Would You Rather

stuck in the middleStuck in the Middle Would You Rather

If you’ve seen the new show Stuck in the Middle, you’re probably a fan, because once you watch one episode you just can’t stop! At least this was the case for me. The show is about Harley Diaz and her six (yep six!) siblings and she’s the middle kid.

  • Rachael – the oldest, totally vain and into her looks and social media.
  • Ethan – Harley’s favorite sibling, budding musician, and partner in crime.
  • Georgie – basketball player who makes up for lack of “skill” with positive will (known to say “Negativity is loserville, my friend!”). Slightly annoying but kind of funny.
  • Twins Louie and Beast – crazy mini-ninjas.
  • Daphne – the youngest, usually wearing a tutu, tiara, and their mom’s high heels.

Her mom occasionally hides in the pantry to escape from the craziness of seven kids, and the kids often eat food from the garbage. But hey – this just happens sometimes with seven kids in one family!

Would You Rather. . .

  1. Be the oldest of seven siblings OR the youngest?
  2. Have your family forget your birthday OR totally embarrass you in front of your crush on your birthday?
  3. Have your wi-fi cancelled OR your device/tablet broken?
  4. Have a big family OR be an only child?
  5. Be a rock star musician OR world famous scientist?
  6. Only get 3 minutes in the bathroom in the morning OR have to share a toothbrush with your sibling?
  7. Babysit three crazy 5-year olds OR change five poopy diapers?

Let us know what you’d rather in the Comments below!

-Ratha

 

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2. Dog Show Logic Reasoning Puzzle

Solve the puzzleSolve This Dog Show Logical Reasoning Puzzle

Okay, here’s a new logical reasoning puzzle. See if you can figure it out on your own. If you can’t, don’t worry. The answer is below. So grab a pencil and paper, and good luck!

(1) Five dogs are appearing in a dog show. (2) The Chihuahua appears first. (3) The Golden Retriever comes out right after the Great Dane. (4) The Poodle and the Golden Retriever both come before the Dachshund. (5) The Poodle comes out before the Great Dane. In what order do the dogs appear?

Here’s how to use process of elimination to solve it:

Grab a piece of paper and a pencil with an eraser. Draw five empty boxes with the numbers 1-5 marked above them. Why 5? We know from reading the first sentence of the puzzle that there are five dogs, so these boxes represent the order of each dog.

Now read the second sentence. We know that the Chihuahua comes out first. So mark Chihuahua in Box 1.

Let’s move on to the third sentence. We know the Golden Retriever comes right after the Great Dane so the Great Dane can not be last in Box 5. And we know that box 1 is already taken. That means the Great Dane could be in either Box 2, 3, or 4. And the Golden Retriever can only be in Box 3, 4, or 5 because if it was in Box 2, it would be after the Chihuahua instead of the Great Dane. For now, write Great Dane in Box 2, 3, and 4 and write Golden Retriever in Box 3, 4, and 5. we will use process of elimination to cross out the wrong ones.

Sentence 4 tells us that the Golden Retriever and the Poodle come before the Dachshund. Hold on. That means that the Golden Retriever can’t be in Box 5 because the Dachshund comes after it. Since the Golden Retriever can’t be in Box, 5 then the Great Dane can’t be in Box 4, so cross those 2 out.

Since the Dachshund comes after the Golden Retriever and the Poodle, that means the Dachshund could be in Box 4 or 5, so write Dachshund in those 2 boxes. And the Poodle could be in any box before the Dachshund (except Box 1 because Chihuahua is there). So, write Poodle in Boxes 2,3, and 4. Whew! This is getting tough, but stick with it! It will all work out in the end.

Now for the final clue, sentence 5! The Poodle comes out before the Great Dane. That means the Great Dane can not be in Box 2 because the Chihuahua is in Box 1, not the Poodle. So cross out Great Dane in Box 2. Take a look. The Great Dane can only be in Box 3. Cross out everything else in Box 3 and circle Great Dane.  And since the Golden Retriever is after the Great Dane, it has to be in Box 4! When you cross out all the other dogs that don’t belong in Boxes 3 and 4, you can see that Box 5 belongs to the Dachshund, and Box 2 belongs to the Poodle!

Here’s the answer from left to right: Chihuahua, Poodle, Great Dane, Golden Retriever, and Dachshund. We did it!

Do you like these kinds of puzzles? Leave a Comment to say what you think!

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3. Twisted Fairy Tales

Recommend me!I love all fairy tales whether they are books, movies, plays, or even ballets! From Frozen to Sisters Grimm, to Swan Lake, I love it all. The fairy tales in this list are a bit . . . twisted. They are based on the original stories, but then there is some kind of twist to make it different and interesting.

Big Bad Detective Agency by Bruce Hale for Ages 7–10
The houses of all Three (not-so-) Little Pigs were broken into and ransacked, and the Pigs are squealing for justice. So Prince Tyrone, ruler of Fairylandia, drags in the obvious suspect: Wolfgang.

The lone wolf has big teeth, sharp claws, no alibi—and a single day to find the real culprit and clear his big bad name. When Wolf (reluctantly) teams up with the fourth Little Pig to crack the case, the Big Bad Detective Agency—and an adventure way funnier than your average fairy tale—is born!

Tyme #1: Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison for Ages 8–12
In all of Tyme, from the Redlands to the Grey, no one is as lucky as Rapunzel. She lives in a magic tower that obeys her every wish; she reads wonderful books starring herself as the heroine; her hair is the longest, most glorious thing in the world. And she knows this because Witch tells her so—her beloved Witch, who protects her from evil princes, the dangerous ground under the tower, even unhappy thoughts. Rapunzel can’t imagine any other life.

Then a thief named Jack climbs into her room to steal one of her enchanted roses. He’s the first person Rapunzel’s ever met who isn’t completely charmed by her (well, the first person she’s met at all, really), and he is infuriating—especially when he hints that Witch isn’t telling her the whole truth. Driven by anger at Jack and her own nameless fears, Rapunzel descends to the ground for the first time, and finds a world filled with more peril than Witch promised . . . and more beauty, wonder, and adventure than she could have dreamed.

Whatever After: Beauty Queen by Sarah Mlynowski for Ages 8-12
This time, the magic mirror sucks Abby and Jonah into the story of Beauty and the Beast. When the siblings accidentally mess up this enchanting and magical tale, hijinks and hilarity ensue . . . and things get pretty ugly! See also the other books in the Whatever After series.

Grimmtastic Girls #6: Goldilocks Breaks In by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams for Ages 8–12
Goldilocks wants everything in her life to be just right, but sometimes at Grimm Academy, there are too many choices. When she sneaks into Grimmstone Library after hours, she’ll have to make a tough decision if she wants to discover her magic charm! See also the other Grimmtastic books.

Twice Upon a Time #1: Rapunzel, the One With All the Hair by Wendy Mass for Ages 8-12
Rapunzel is having the ultimate bad day. She’s been stolen from home by an evil witch, locked in an incredibly high tower, and doesn’t even have a decent brush for her hair. Prince Benjamin is in a pretty uncomfortable situation himself. His father wants him to be more kingly, his mother wants him to never leave her sight, and his cousin wants to get him into as much trouble as possible. Plus, there’s the little matter of prearranged marriages. . . . Both Rapunzel and Prince Benjamin are trapped—in very different ways. It’s only when their paths cross, that things really start to change. Also available: Twice Upon a Time #2: Sleeping Beauty, The One Who Took the Really Long Nap. Twice Upon a Time #3: Beauty and the Beast, the Only One Who Didn’t Run Away

If you love fairy tales like I do, try these books and tell me what you think in the Comments.

Sonja

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4. Sweet Treat Picture Puzzle

Who Wants a Sweet Treat?

Okay, my fellow puzzle-lovers, we’re back with ANOTHER picture puzzle! This time, you’ll be hunting for words instead of objects (because hey, we’re kind of obsessed with words). Can you find the following words in the old stamp design?

Air mail picture puzzle

Click on the picture to see a larger version.

  • WAFFLE
  • CHOCOLATE
  • COOKIE
  • PIE
  • PANCAKE
  • ICE CREAM
  • CAKE

Okay, there was a theme here. What? Who doesn’t love yummy, sugary foods? We’re off to snack on some cupcakes, but let us know what words you were able to find (and which ones you couldn’t) in the Comments!

See ya,

En-Szu

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5. Puppy in a Pink Cast

Aww, poor baby!PalaDog

Hi there, cutie! This dog has broken her leg, but she still seems like she’s going places! What would you say she is thinking?

Here’s my caption: “Will you sign my cast? I got it in my favorite color – pink!”

Write YOUR caption in the Comments below!

Megan, STACKS Intern

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6. 5 Ways for Boys to Add Style

Peep says Hi.5 Ways for Boys to Add Style to an Outfit

Fashion isn’t just for the girls. While women have an assortment of accessories and jewelry to choose from, boys have tons of ways to add some style their outfits.

1. Colorful shoes
Don’t let your shoes be an afterthought. Find a pair of sneakers with a crazy pattern or with bright colors that will help you stand out in a crowd.

2. Hoodies
T-shirts are fun and can say a lot about a person, but you can add flair to an outfit with a hoodie. Find a cool zip-up sweatshirt that complements your t-shirts. If you wear it unzipped, people can still see the cool design on your t-shirt and the hoodie adds another dimension to your outfit.

3. Sunglasses
Sunglasses are perfect for any outfit. If you slip on a pair of aviators, you look like a cool fighter pilot ready for a mission. If you put on a sleek pair of black shades, you can master the mysterious and cool look. Or find a colorful pair of sunglasses and you look ready to party.

4. Scarves
If it’s cold outside, scarves are the perfect accessory to keep your neck warm. But they’re also super-fashionable. Just ask Harry Potter, who wore his Gryffindor scarf everywhere.

5. Pins
Wearing a pin is a great way to express your personality. Find a cool pin that represents something about yourself and fasten it to your shirt. Hey, if Katniss Everdeen can pull off a pin, why can’t you?

So there you have it, 5 fun ways to spice up an outfit. So, how do you keep yourself looking fashionable? tell us in the Comments.

Brian

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7. Is Bigfoot Real?

question marksIs Bigfoot Real?

I hate when I can’t find the remote for the television, so I can only image what it’s like hunting for Bigfoot. Also known as Sasquatch, Bigfoot is a hairy, ape-like creature that is believed to live in northwestern United States, but no one has ever confirmed its existence.

Bigfoot entered pop culture in 1951, when Eric Shipton photographed a giant footprint. The myth grew even larger when residents of California continued to find abnormally large tracks in 1958. The manhunt for the creature was launched at Bluff Creek, California to find the source of the tracks, and a legend was born.

Over the years, people have reported more Bigfoot sightings. In 1967, Roger Patterson and Robert Gimlin claimed they captured Bigfoot on film, but many years later, a close friend admitted he wore a costume to fake the sighting.

Rick Jacobs thought he captured a photo of Bigfoot using an automatically triggered camera, but park rangers later identified the creature in the photo as a sick bear.

Unfortunately, scientists proved many of the sightings to be hoaxes. After the death of Ray Wallace, his children came forward with a 16-inch wooden foot their father used to fake those California Bigfoot tracks in 1958. Scientists also believe other sightings occurred when people mistook bears and chimpanzees for Bigfoot.

Although scientists have disproved all supposed Bigfoot sightings, believers continue to search for the elusive Sasquatch. So, do you believe in the legend of Bigfoot, or is Sasquatch just a hoax? Tell us in the Comments!

Brian

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8. Dork Diaries Would You Rather

Dork Diaries book coverDork Diaries Would You Rather

Are you a fan of the Dork Diaries series – or as my friend says “kind of like Diary of a Wimpy Kid for girls?” It follows middle-schooler Nikki Maxwell, a normal (but dorky) girl who transfers into an expensive private school. She makes new, fabulously dorky friends, and battles the beautiful, popular crowd, navigating school life with lots of laughs and crazy adventures.

There are 10 books in the series, and a Dork Diaries movie is in development. If you’re psyched about that, then check out our Dork Diaries Would You Rather, inspired by the books!

Would You Rather . . .

1. Have dorky friends OR snobby friends?
2. Volunteer in the school library OR volunteer in an animal shelter?
3. On a dare – toilet paper someone’s house OR tell your crush you like him or her in a different language?
4. Be poor OR spoiled?
5. Get locked in the janitor’s closet OR locked in Brianna’s “diva hair salon” where her crazy 6-year-old sister experiments on your hair?
6. Enter an ice skating competition OR a pop star talent competition?
7. Have your diary stolen OR your brand new phone stolen?

Let us know your answers in the Comments below! And go to the Reading Buzz Board to answer this poll: Which is your fave – Diary of a Wimpy Kid or Dork Diaries?

-Ratha

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9. Mythical Monsters Trivia Quiz

percyjackson2_130Quiz: How well do you know mythical monsters?

Percy Jackson fans should get all of these right!

1. According to Greek Mythology, this creature is half-man, half-horse: A) Centaur B) Minotaur C) Griffin D) Satyr

2. This creature is a giant with only one eye in the middle of its forehead: A) Troll B) Medusa C) Goblin D) Cyclops

3. A half-woman, half-fish is called a mermaid. The male version is known as a: A) Siren B) Merman C) Fishman D) Waterman

4. Which of these monsters can be stopped with a silver bullet? A) Werewolves B) Zombies C) Creepers D) None of the above

5. Which of these items won’t help you keep away vampires? A) Garlic B) A cross C) Gold D) A wooden stake

6. This creature has multiple heads, and if one is cut off, two will grow in its place: A) Ogre B) Cerebus C) The Chimera D) The Hydra

7. Which of these cultures has myths about dragons? A) Chinese B) European C) Indian D) All of the above

8. Bram Stoker is the author of which classic monster novel? A) Dracula B) Frankenstein C) War of the Worlds D) The Invisible Man

9. If you looked Medusa directly in the eyes, you would . . .  A) melt. B) explode. C) turn to stone. D) turn into a snake.

10. The Egyptian statue of this mythical creature is famously missing its nose: A) The Leviathan B) The Great Sphinx C) The Behemoth D) A Dragon

Read on for the answers!

1. According to Greek Mythology, this creature is half-man, half-horse: A) Centaur

2. This creature is a giant with only one eye in the middle of its forehead: D) Cyclops

3. A half-woman, half-fish is called a mermaid. The male version is known as a: B) Merman.

4. Which of these monsters can be stopped with a silver bullet? A) Werewolves

5. Which of these items won’t help you keep away vampires? C) Gold

6. This creature has multiple heads, and if one is cut off, two will grow in its place: D) The Hydra

7. Which of these cultures has myths about dragons? D) All of the above

8. Bram Stoker is the author of which classic monster novel? A) Dracula

9. If you look Medusa directly in the eyes, you would . . .  C) turn to stone.

10. The Egyptian statue of this mythical creature is famously missing its nose: B) The Great Sphinx

Did you get them all right? Leave a Comment to tell us how you did. And if you are Percy Jackson-obsessed, join the Camp Half-Blood Role Play and meet other fans on the Fan Fiction Message Board.

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10. Earth Day Activities

Earth Day Trivia and ActivitiesEarth Day activities

Earth Day is April 22. Here are some Earth Day trivia quizzes and activities you can do to celebrate our dear planet Earth, and help inspire your fellow humans to treat our planet with more loving care!

What will YOU do to help save the planet this Earth Day? Let us know in the Comments.

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11. At-Home Science Experiments

Peep says Hi.Science Experiments Kids Can Do at Home

If you’re looking for something fun to do, here are some very cool (and very messy) science experiments you can do at home!

Make Slime!
There are two ways to get slimed. One is to become a teen sensation and get slimed on the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. The other (and much easier) way is to just make it at home. If your parents ask why you want to make slime, you can say it’s because you’re researching polymers, which you technically are. Polymers are substances that behave like both a solid and a liquid simultaneous, a characteristic that gives Slime its gooeyness.

Here’s how you do it: In a small bowl drop a big glop of Elmer’s glue (about 1 inch worth). Then add three tablespoons to the bowl and stir it up. Add food coloring until you get the color you want. Then take a small glass, fill it with water, and mix in a tablespoon of Borax powder. (If you can’t find Borax at your local store, you can order it online.) Now stir the Borax mixture into the bowl and in a few seconds you’ll have slime!

The Diet Soda/Mentos Trick!
Want to make soda explode and tell people you’re studying chemistry at the same time? If you don’t mind making a bit of a mess, you can!

First, go outside with one bottle of diet soda. Then drop in a Mint Mentos candy and wait a few moments. Suddenly, you’ll have a geyser of soda shooting up to the sky.

Now it’s time to get science-y. The reason this works is because the carbon dioxide in carbonated soda is slightly unstable. When a Mentos dissolves, it causes a chemical reaction that makes the C02 want to separate from the soda, forcing it to shoot violently out of the bottle. For this experiment to work you have to use diet soda because regular sugary soda doesn’t react this way.

Now you know a couple of cool science experiments to perform. Wow! Science is messy!

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12. Extreme Sports Trivia Quiz

torinQuiz: How well do you know extreme sports?

1. Which of these events is NOT in the Summer X  Games? A) Motorcross Best Trick B) Rally Car Racing C) BMX Freestyle Big Air D) Monoski

2. Which of these athletes made history when he became the first person to pull of a “double backflip in freestyle motorcross” at the X Games? A) Tony Hawk B) Travis Pastrana C) Torstein Horgmo D) Shaun White

3. The first Winter X Games took place in which of these California locations. Remember, for the winter games, there must be snow and mountains! A) Los Angeles B) Palm Springs C) Santa Barbara D) Big Bear

4. B.A.S.E. jumping is an extremely dangerous sport where adventure-seekers jump from very high objects while wearing a parachute or wingsuit. What do you think B.A.S.E. stands for? A) Building, Antenna, Span, Earth B) Broken Ankle, Sore Everything C) Be Adventurous, Seek Excitement D) Bold And Somewhat Extreme

5. Which of these weird words is actually a term used in the world of skateboarding? A) Fakie B) Blorg C) Pring D) Norno

6. Which of these is NOT a competitive snowboarding event? A) Slope Style B) Rail Jam C) Slalom D) Slide Rule

7. Which of these forms of surfing does not require any additional equipment? A) Wind Surfing B) Kite Surfing C) Body Surfing D) Surfing the Net

8. From approximately what altitude does a skydiver usually jump? A) 12,500 feet B) 50,000 feet C) 102,000 feet D) 80,000 feet

9. Which of these extreme athletes has broken over 50 bones in his lifetime? A) Mat Hoffman B) Shaun White C) Tony Hawk D) Kelly Slater

10. True or False? “Smearing” is when a climber uses his foot to press down on a foothold.

Read on for the answers!

1. Which of these events is NOT in the Summer X  Games? D) Monoski

2. Which of these athletes made history when he became the first person to pull of a “double backflip in freestyle motorcross” at the X Games? B) Travis Pastrana

3. The first Winter X Games took place in which of these California locations. Remember, for the winter games, there must be snow and mountains! D) Big Bear

4. B.A.S.E. jumping is an extreme sport where adventure-seekers jump from very high objects while wearing a parachute or wingsuit. What do you think B.A.S.E. stands for? A) Building, Antenna, Span, Earth

5. Which of these weird words is actually a term used in the world of skateboarding? A) Fakie

6. Which of these is NOT a competitive snowboarding event? D) Slide Rule

7. Which of these forms of surfing does not require any additional equipment? C) Body Surfing

8. From approximately what altitude does a skydiver usually jump? A) 12,500 feet

9. Which of these extreme athletes has broken over 50 bones in his lifetime? A) Mat Hoffman

10. True or False? “Smearing” is when a climber uses his foot to press down on a foothold. TRUE

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13. Anime Trivia Quiz

My Neighbor TortoroQuiz: How well do you know anime?

1. In 2002, this became the first full-length anime movie to win an Oscar: A) My Neighbor Totoro (rated G) B) Kiki’s Delivery Service (rated G) C) Spirited Away (rated PG) D) Howl’s Moving Castle (rated PG)

2. Which anime artist is often referred to as the “Walt Disney of Japan?” A) Hayao Miyazaki B) Rumiko Takahashi C) Toshio Suzuki D) Satoshi Kon

3. This classic TV series is credited for starting the anime craze in the 1960s: A) Scooby Doo B) Astro Boy C) Voltron D) Dragon Ball

4. Which of these animated series was created by Nintendo and based on a video game? A) Bakugan B) Digimon C) Sailor Moon D) Pokémon

5. Which of these anime-styled cartoons is actually made in the U.S., not Japan? A) Avatar: The Last Airbender B) Pokémon C) Yu-Gi-Oh! D) Dragon Ball Z

6. The act of dressing up as your favorite anime characters is called: A) Animate Me B) Fan Wear C) Cosplay D) Anime Style

7. This movie made more money in the U.S. than any other anime: A) Pokémon: The Movie (rated G) B) Ponyo (rated G) C) The Secret World of Arrietty (rated G) D) Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie (rated PG)

8. Pokémon’s trio of bungling baddies, Team Rocket, is made up of Jessie, James, and A) Mew B) Meowth B) Mewtwo C) Squirtle

9. In Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Dan’s friend Drago has which attribute? A) Aquos B) Darkus C) Haos D) Pyrus

10. Which of these anime did not first start out as a manga (a Japanese comic book)? A) Yu Gi Oh! B) Dragon Ball C) Princess Mononoke (for ages 12 and up) D) Sailor Moon

Read on for the answers!

1. In 2002, this became the first full-length anime movie to win an Oscar: C) Spirited Away

2. Which anime artist is often referred to as the “Walt Disney of Japan?” A) Hayao Miyazaki

3. This classic TV series is credited for starting the anime craze in the 1960s: B) Astro Boy

4. Which of these animated series was created by Nintendo and based on a video game? D) Pokémon

5. Which of these anime-styled cartoons is actually made in the U.S., not Japan? A) Avatar: The Last Airbender

6. The act of dressing up as your favorite anime characters is called: C) Cosplay

7. This movie made more money in the U.S. than any other anime: A) Pokémon: The Movie

8. Pokémon’s trio of bungling baddies, Team Rocket, is made up of Jessie, James, and B) Meowth

9. In Bakugan Battle Brawlers, Dan’s friend Drago has which attribute? D) Pyrus

10. Which of these anime did not first start out as a manga (a Japanese comic book)? C) Princess Mononoke

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14. Reverse Graffiti

reverse graffitiWhat Is Reverse Graffiti?

You have probably seen traditional graffiti where artists use spray paint to draw a picture or write words on a public space. Reverse graffiti is a method of creating temporary images by removing dirt from a space. You know how you can use your finger to write “Wash me” on a dirty window? That’s reverse graffiti, and some artists have taken it to a whole other level by using a cloth or a power washer to remove dirt on a larger scale and create some incredible artwork.

Because reverse graffiti is temporary, biodegradable, and no toxic ink or paints are used to create it, reverse graffiti is considered more environmentally friendly than spray paint graffiti. Although, that is debatable especially if the artist uses chemical cleaners to create the image. It may also be a waste of water since it takes a lot of water to clean off the dirt.

Spray paint graffiti is considered vandalism, and is definitely illegal if you don’t have permission, but it’s not clear whether reverse graffiti is illegal. Is it vandalism to clean a wall? Some people think so, especially if they don’t like the image created on the wall.

While there are still environmental and legal questions about reverse graffiti, there is no question that some of the artwork being created is amazing! What do you think of reverse graffiti? Tell us in the Comments.

Flickr photo by KylaBorg

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15. How Electric Cars Work

question marksHow Do Electric Cars Work?

I love driving remote-controlled cars. But when the batteries die, the fun is over. Now, inventors have found a way to build full-sized cars that run on rechargeable batteries.

Electric cars look like any normal car on the street. Drivers still control the car with a steering wheel and push the gas pedal to make it move. But if you look under the hood, an electric car operates differently from a gas-powered car.

The major difference between these two types of cars is their power source. The electric car receives power from an electrical charge, while a regular car is powered by burning gasoline. Every electric car has a battery pack, which is a collection of car batteries that act like a fuel tank and provide power for the motor. This battery is recharged when an electric car is plugged into a power source, just like recharging a cell phone or laptop.

Under the hood of an electric car is an engine just like a gas-powered car. The gas-powered car burns gasoline to power the engine. But in an electric car, the battery sends power to the engine to turn the wheels and make the car move. The electric engine works by using electromagnets. When the power is sent from the battery, the electromagnets use that electric power to operate the vehicle.

Electric cars are still a new technology, but they are better for the environment and might be the way of the future.

What kind of car do you want when you grow up? Tell us in the Comments!

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16. SPONSORED POST The BFG Movie

BFGHow Whoopsey-Splunkers! It’s the BFG!

Disney’s The BFG is out this summer. Check out the spellbinding trailer.

On July 1, 2016, Disney’s The BFG opens in theaters across the United States. From the world’s greatest storytellers—Roald Dahl, Walt Disney, and Steven Spielberg—Dahl’s beloved novel The BFG comes to life.

Directed by Spielberg from a screenplay by Melissa Mathison, The BFG tells the story of a young orphaned girl from London named Sophie (played by Ruby Barnhill) who learns about the wonders and perils of Giant Country after she starts hanging out with—what else—a big friendly giant (the BFG!). Sophie is a bit freaked out at first because, well, it’s a giant.

But the BFG is a gentle soul! He’s just a really TALL gentle soul.

Like more than 20 feet tall.

The BFG teaches Sophie all about dreams and a land called Dream Country. In fact, in Dream Country he collects dreams, stores them in jars, and sends them to children just like her so that they can enjoy them at bedtime. And they’re good dreams—far less frightening than the nine human-hunting other giants who roam Giant Country. YIKES.

The BFG author Roald Dahl is also the writer behind classics such as Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. And in the book that’s coming to the big screen, Dahl uses his very own made-up language—built of words like “catasterous,” “hopscotchy,” and more—that we call “Gobblefunk.” It’s named after the BFG’s instruction to Sophie: “Don’t gobblefunk around with words.” This year, we celebrate 100 years of masterful storytelling from Roald Dahl!

Dahl came up with his big, friendly character for a short story before writing the novel. He told the story of his giant to his own children long before he’d begun to write drafts of it on a big yellow legal pad. Dahl carried a notebook or pad with him at all times and called it an “Ideas Book.” He scribbled down ideas and sometimes would not revisit them for many years. When he got around to it, he’d return to those ideas, polishing draft after draft before coming up with an exciting finished story like The BFG!

Do you like to write stories? Have any writing tips to share? Share your Comments below.

This blog post is sponsored by Disney.

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17. Loch Ness Monster

question marksLoch Ness Monster

Everyone has heard of monsters under the bed. But what about monsters in the lake? Some people believe that a real monster (affectionately named Nessie) inhabits the lake called Loch Ness in Scotland.

The legend of the Lock Ness Monster dates back to the 6th century, when an Irish Monk, Saint Columba, encountered a vicious creature in the River Ness. Reports described the monster with a large body and long narrow neck. Since these early encounters, other people have claimed to see the Lock Ness Monster. The most famous is Dr. Robert Wilson, who captured a photograph of the monster’s head and neck.

Over the years, many teams have visited Loch Ness to try to discover the monster. In the 1930s, a group of 20 men watched the lake with binoculars for five weeks. Recently, more technologically savvy methods have been used, including sonar and satellite tracking .

Not everyone believes the pictures and reported sightings of the Loch Ness monster. Some believe Dr. Wilson’s photo is not the Loch Ness monster, but the head of an elephant . Some sightings are probably optical illusions. Other people believe the reports are just hoaxes.

Even though there is no proof that Nessie exists, many people continue to believe in the Loch Ness Monster. What do YOU think? Is she fact or fiction?

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18. Children's Choice Book Awards

childrens choice book awardsVoting for the Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards is now open!

The Children’s Book Council and Every Child A Reader launched the Children’s & Teen Choice Book Awards program in 2008 to provide YOU a chance to voice your opinions about the books you love. It’s the only national book awards program where the winning titles are chosen by kids and teens!

Voting is open until April 25!

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19. What to Expect At the Orthodontist

bracesWhat to Expect At the Orthodontist

What is an orthodontist? An orthodontist is just a kind of dentist who specializes in making teeth straight, and ensuring your jaw is properly aligned. It’s where people who have braces or retainers go. But if you haven’t been to one, you might wonder what else goes on at the orthodontist. Here’s what to expect when you visit one.

He or She Will Ask You Easy Questions
Your first appointment will most likely involve a bunch of questions about your teeth and your jaw. They’ll be pretty easy to answer. Some examples might be, “Does your jaw make a popping noise when you open and shut your mouth?” Or, “Do you snore at night?” These questions will help your orthodontist determine what kind of treatment you will need to make sure your teeth and jaw are working properly.

X-Rays and Molds Will Be Taken
A technician at your orthodontist’s office will probably take some x-rays and make a mold of your mouth. To make the mold, your technician will ask you to bite down on a dental tray filled with a gooey substance. The process might be slightly uncomfortable, but shouldn’t hurt at all. Both x-rays and molds will help determine what kind of care you need: braces, retainer, or maybe nothing.

A Plan Will Be Devised
The x-rays and molds should give a clear picture of what’s happening inside your mouth. Then, the orthodontist can formulate a plan to change anything that will cause you a problem now or in the future. There are more reasons to fix your teeth other than just having a pretty smile. Did you know that overlapping teeth could cause future tooth decay and cause more cavities in the long run? Yep. Braces might not seem that awesome right now, but they could save you some problems in the future!

So go bravely to your first orthodontist appointment and get it over with!

“Braces” Flickr photo by monica y garza

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20. April Fools’ Day Jokes

april foolApril Fools’ Day Jokes

Toimorrow is April Fools’ Day and your Writing Prompt is to come up with the best April Fools’ joke ever. It can be a prank you pulled on someone, or that someone has pulled on you. Or it can be a prank you dreamed up, but might not ever actually do to anyone.

Leave your best April Fools’ Day pranks in the Comments, and have a fun-filled day of mayhem and foolery!

image from kids.scholastic.comSonja, STACKS Staffer

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21. Knock-Knock Jokes

april foolHappy April Fools’ Day!

We won’t be playing any pranks on you today, just this quiz about knock-knock jokes, How well do you know knock-knock joke punch lines? Pick your favorite punch line for the knock-knock jokes below!

1. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Boo. Boo who?

  • A) It’s just a joke. Don’t cry.
  • B) Boo is a weird name.
  • C) Ahhh! Don’t scare me like that.
  • D) Ghosts can’t talk.

2. Knock, knock! Who’s there? The interrupting cow. The interrupt—

  • A) I’m lactose intolerant.
  • B) Want some milk?
  • C) Moooooo!!!!!
  • D) I’m 2% sure I don’t want to come in.

3. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Atch. Atch who?

  • A) I don’t know.
  • B) I can’t hear you.
  • C) Do you know an allergist?
  • D) Bless you.

4. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Aisle of. Aisle of who?

  • A) Love is in the air!
  • B) I love you too!
  • C) Hey, Gilligan.
  • D) I just got back from vacation.

5. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Myth. Myth who?

  • A) Myth busted.
  • B) Miss you too.
  • C) Don’t you mean legend?
  • D) It’s Mrs., actually.

6. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Pigs say. Pigs say who?

  • A) No. Pigs say, “Oink!”
  • B) This little piggy went to market.
  • C) Open up. It’s bacon out here.
  • D) Don’t be such a hog.

7. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Banana. Knock-knock! Who’s there? Banana. Knock-knock! Who’s there? Orange.

  • A) Bananas contain potassium.
  • B) Orange doesn’t make any sense.
  • C) Aren’t you glad I didn’t say banana?
  • D) Orange you glad to be alive?

8. Knock, knock! Who’s there? The FBI. The FBI who?

  • A) That’s classified.
  • B) You wouldn’t understand anyway.
  • C) Don’t tell anyone you saw us.
  • D) Don’t you mean the CIA?

9. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Colleen. Colleen who?

  • A) Go away.
  • B) Go ca-lean up your room.
  • C) Who called Colleen?
  • D) Colleen is looking lean.

10. Knock, knock! Who’s there? Tank. Tank who?

  • A) Who ordered the fish tank?
  • B) Tank to the hand.
  • C) Did you order a tank?
  • D) You’re welcome.

Tell us  your favorite knock-knock jokes in the Comments!

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22. Most Powerful Greek Gods and Goddesses

percyjackson2_130Most Powerful Greek Gods and Goddesses

Take the trivia quiz  to see how well you know Greek mythology.

  1. Perseus, the famous slayer of Medusa, was the son of a mortal woman and which god? A) Poseidon B) Zeus C) Apollo D) Hermes
  2. Which god is known for his super-fast speed? A) Hermes B) Poseidon C) Zeus D) Apollo
  3. Which god is the twin sister of Artemis? A) Poseidon B) Zeus C) Apollo D) Aphrodite
  4. Zeus and the Olympians defeated which of these groups to gain their power? A) The Titans B) The Heroes C) Mortals D) The Argonauts
  5. This Greek warrior died when he was shot in the foot by an arrow: A) Heracles B) Perseus C) Achilles D) Paris
  6. Although known as Helen of Troy, Helen was originally from this Greek city: A) Athens B) Sparta C) Thebes D) Argos
  7. Most known by his Latin name Hercules, this Greek warrior famously slayed the nine-headed Hydra. A) Hermes B) Apollo C) Heracles D) Icarus
  8. This friendly Titan was a supporter of humans, giving them the ability to make fire: A) Prometheus B) Cronos C) Atlas D) Lapetus
  9. These fierce creatures enchanted passing sailors with their songs, causing them to shipwreck: A) Sphinxes B) Nymphs C) Gorgons D) Sirens

Read on for the answers. . .

  1. Perseus, the famous slayer of Medusa, was the son of a mortal woman and which god? B) Zeus. Zeus is the ruler of the Gods, with a thunderbolt to throw at those who displease him. Zeus has the power to appear in many forms.
  2. Which god is known for his super-fast speed? A) Hermes. Hermes is a son of Zeus and the fastest of the Gods. He wears winged shoes and serves as Zeus’ messenger. Hermes is also responsible for guiding the dead to the underworld.
  3. Which god is the twin sister of Artemis? C) Apollo. Apollo is the son of Zeus and the God of music, light and truth. He can never tell a lie and is often found playing a golden lyre, an instrument similar to a harp. Apollo is also responsible for attaching his chariot to the sun each day and driving it across the sky.
  4. Zeus and the Olympians defeated which of these groups to gain their power? A) The Titans. The 12 Olympians are Zeus, Apollo, Poseidon, Artemis, Aphrodite, Athena, Hera, Hermes, Demeter, Hephaestus, Dionysis, and Ares, who inhabited Mt. Olympus and ruled after the overthrow of the Titans.
  5. This Greek warrior died when he was shot in the foot by an arrow: C) Achilles. That’s why a weakness is sometimes called an “Achilles heel.”
  6. Although known as Helen of Troy, Helen was originally from this Greek city: B) Sparta
  7. Most known by his Latin name Hercules, this Greek warrior famously slayed the nine-headed Hydra. C) Heracles
  8. This friendly Titan was a supporter of humans, giving them the ability to make fire: A) Prometheus
  9. These fierce creatures enchanted passing sailors with their songs, causing them to shipwreck: D) Sirens.

The Greek gods and goddesses have so many amazing powers and talents. If you were a Greek god or goddess, what power would you want? If you could be a “half-blood”, part human, part-god like Percy Jackson, which god or goddess would you want in your family? Tell us in the Comments.

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23. Selena Gomez Trivia Quiz

Selena GomezSelena Gomez Trivia Quiz

Selena Gomez is what show business calls a “triple threat.” She can sing, dance, and act. Along with her acting success, she has an awesome musical career as well. But there are a few things about Selena that you might NOT know. Take this trivia quiz to learn a few interesting facts about the beautiful starlet.

  1. In the hit show Wizards of Waverly Place, what was the name of Selena’s character? A) Alex B) Sandy C) Max D) Theresa
  2. Which of these is NOT the name of a movie in which Selena stars? A) Monte Carlo B) Princess Protection Program C) Ramona and Beezus D) High School Musical
  3. Selena played a character named Mikayla on which other popular TV show? A) The Suite Life on Deck B) Hannah Montana C) iCarly D) Victorious
  4. On which children’s show did Selena get her big break? A) Blue’s Clues B) The Wiggles C) Yo Gabba Gabba D) Barney & Friends
  5. In which U.S. state was Selena born? A) Illinois B) New York C) Texas D) California
  6. True or False? Selena is of Mexican and Italian heritage.
  7. Selena’s birthday is in which month? A) July B) June C) April D) December
  8. True or False? Selena was the youngest UNICEF Ambassador.
  9. Selena’s ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber planned a romantic date for the two of them at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, during which he screened which of these classic movies? A) Grease B) Titanic C) The Wizard of Oz D) Clueless
  10. Which pop star gave Selena the song “Rock God”? A) Rihanna B) Pink C) Katy Perry D) Taylor Swift

Read on for the answers . . . 

1. In the hit show Wizards of Waverly Place, what was the name of the character Selena played? A) Alex. Selena talks about how she created her character in this video.

2. Which of these is NOT the name of a movie in which Selena stars? D) High School Musical

3. Selena played a character named Mikayla on which other popular TV show? B) Hannah Montana

4. On which children’s show did Selena get her big break? D) Barney & Friends. Yep, that’s rightBefore making it big on Wizards, Selena could be found hanging out with a giant purple dinosaur named Barney! She was just seven years old.

5. In which U.S. state was Selena born? C) Texas

6. True or False? Selena is of Mexican and Italian heritage? True.

7. Selena’s birthday is in which month? A) Selena was born on July 22, 1992.

8. True or False? Selena was the youngest UNICEF Ambassador. TRUE. UNICEF is an organization that provides needy children emergency care, education, and other necessary aid. Selena, who is proud to offer her voice and recognition to their cause, has traveled as far as Africa to help out.

9. Selena’s ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber planned a romantic date for the two of them at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, during which he screened which of these classic movies? B) Titanic

10. Which pop star gave Selena the song “Rock God”? C) Katy Perry. Ms. Perry also sang backup on “Rock God.” Selena says, “I actually had to fight for that song. I wanted it so bad.”

Selena Gomez image © Jason Merritt/Getty Images/Thinkstock

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24. Strange Foods From Around The World

Trivia QuizStrange Foods From Around The World

The next time your parents try to make you eat your Brussels sprouts, you might want to consider yourself lucky. There are many foods around the globe that are much stranger. Some of these foods are even served alive! Yep, that’s right – as in moving on your plate.

In Korea, a popular dish called Sannakji is guaranteed to make any picky eater squirm. The steps to prepare this street cart food are simple. Take a small, live octopus, cut it into pieces, drizzle with a mild sauce, and serve while it’s still wiggling on the plate. Obviously, this is not for the faint of heart.

A food called Balut out of the Philippines isn’t much better, although it is cooked. This celebrated delicacy is prepared by leaving a duck or chicken egg in the sun for a few days until the embryo grows into a partially formed animal. The egg is then boiled and often seasoned with chili, garlic, vinegar, and/or salt. And if the description wasn’t enough to swear it off forever, the dish’s nicknames include “Treats with Feet” or “Eggs with Legs.”

If chowing down on legs and feet isn’t your thing, maybe you’d enjoy some sheep’s stomach. The Scots are famous for a savory pudding called Haggis, which contains sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs. It’s then minced with onion, oatmeal, spices, and salt and encased in the sheep’s actual stomach. The concoction simmers for approximately three hours and is then served.

If you thought your international options couldn’t get any weirder, you are wrong. You’ll find a wide variety of fried bugs including fried grasshopper and fried spiders available in Japan, Mexico, and other countries.

Okay, who’s hungry? No one. Well, that’s to be expected. Take the Weird Food Would You Rather Quiz and tell us in the Comments about the strangest food YOU have ever eaten.

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25. What Kind of Dog Breed Should You Get?

Dog LibrarianWhat Kind of Dog Breed Should You Get?

Congratulations! Your parents finally agreed to let you get a dog! Now, it’s time to pick out the right pooch for your personality! Need help finding the right dog for you? Are you . . .

Athletic?
Some dogs like Jack Russell Terriers and Boxers want to run and play ALL THE TIME! They make great pets for people who like to stay active! Just make sure they’re not too hyperactive for you!

In a Tight Spot?
Do you live in an apartment or smaller home?  Breeds like Pugs or Bulldogs don’t need a lot of space. They love to spend most of the day curled up in a comfy chair or snuggled up on your lap. You’ll still need to take them on walks every day though, because all dogs, no matter how lazy, need SOME exercise.

Allergic to Dog Hair?
Certain breeds might work better for people with allergies. The American Hairless Terrier doesn’t have any hair. You can’t be allergic to hair that doesn’t exist! Shorter-haired dogs like Border Terriers or Cockapoos might be options as well. FYI: If you think you’re allergic to dogs, see an allergist BEFORE adopting a new pet!

Brainy?
Want a smart dog? Get a Labrador or Golden Retriever! Both breeds are intelligent and easy to train. Plus, you can amaze your friends with all the cool tricks your dog knows. Too bad they’ll never be smart enough to do your homework.

Not Picky?
How about a mixed breed from the local pound? It’ll love you forever for coming to its rescue! Plus, if you adopt an older dog, it may already be house trained. That’s a lot less mess you’ll have to clean up!

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