The Dark Origins Of Children’s Fairy Tales

This is a guest post by Melissa Lobo.

Many of the children’s stories that abound today involve charming main characters accompanied by silly (and only sometimes smart) sidekicks who, though they learn an important lesson on the way, end their adventures with a neat-and-tidy happily ever after. Nonetheless, this type of plot device has not always been the standard.

In fact, a significant number of stories find their start with a much darker, sinister origin story. Instead of cheery songs and happy endings, these stories were traditionally a cautionary tale against children’s possible wicked thoughts or actions. Most notably, these tales typically involved much more gruesome death than your average bedtime story of today. Continue reading

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Gleanings From The Past #63

Numerical Coincidence

I have heard of certain individuals being regulated in all the important events of their lives by certain peculiar numbers, which fell out to them respectively, with a strangeness of accuracy which it is almost impossible to reckon altogether the effect of chance. The following account, which is taken from the work of an Arabian historian, affords a very remarkable example of this sort of fortuitous combination in the horoscope of a particular individual:

The historian Sebl Aljouzi, in the book called the Mirror of the Worlds relates that the Khalif Almotaseni was born in the year one hundred and eighty, in the eighth month of it, and died on the eighteenth night, being the latter part of the month Ramazan; and he was the eighth of the Khalifs of the sons of Abbas: also he gained eight victories, and he made eight kings stand before his gate; and he slew eighty enemies; and his life was forty-eight years; and his reign eight years, eight months and eight days; and he left eight
sons and eight daughters, and eight hundred million dinars, and eight hundred million dirhems, and eighty thousand horses, and eighty thousand camels, and mules and beasts of labour, and eighty thousand tents, and eighty thousand male slaves, and eighty thousand female slaves; and he built eight palaces; and the sculpture on his seal was ALH’MD’LL’H (‘Praise be to God!), eight letters, and his number from his horoscope was eight in every thing.”

The Asiatic Journal, Vol. 5, May-August 1831 Continue reading

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Quotable #63: Thinking

“I wrote somewhere once that the third-rate mind was only happy when it was thinking with the majority, the second-rate mind was only happy when it was thinking with the minority, and the first-rate mind was only happy when it was thinking.” — A. A. Milne

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6 Steps To Succeed In Teaching With Technology

This is a guest post by Katrina D. Keller.


Everyone wants to use technology in the classroom, but it is the uneasy relationship many schools and teachers have with technology that is discouraging its adoption. Most bear the notion that technology distracts students and decreases their engagement in the classrooms.  However, many teachers and educators view technology as a catalyst for improving learning among the students, but they also believe the scope of technology should be limited.

Most educators can’t really comprehend how technology can be introduced in the classroom or how it is used. Maybe they’re simply too busy, grading papers, prepping students for tests, meeting standards, or simply they aren’t too good working with computers.  But this excuse isn’t good enough today. Continue reading

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Pun Of The Weak: Oops!


It said to be that the following goof was uttered by a radio commentator (I’m not sure if this is real or apocryphal though):

“When you are thirsty, try 7-Up, the refreshing drink in the green bottle with the big 7 on it and u-p after.”

Here’s another blunder in a similar vein which occurred during an introduction of banjo player Eddy Peabody:

“And now Mr. Playbody will pee for you.”

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Full Circle

08 10 17 09 31

Place 24 pigs in these sties so that, no matter how many times one circles the sties, he always find that the number in each sty is closer to 10 than the number in the previous one.

Continue reading

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Gleanings From The Past #62


Bag o’ Nails

BACCHANALS—BACCHANALIANS — vulgo “The Bag o’ Nails.” A public-house in Pimlico had originally a sign on which was represented a satyr and several Bacchanalians dancing and carousing. The common people called the satyr the devil, and, in course of time, the sign was known only as “The Bag o’ Nails,” or “The Devil and the Bag o’Nails.” Well might Ben Jonson exclaim:

It even puts Apollo
To all his strengh of art to follow
The nights, and to divine
What is meant by every sign.

“The Devil and the Bag o’ Nails ” as a sign is not uncommon even now in the Midland Counties.

Century Illustrated Magazine, Vol. 10, August 1875 Continue reading

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