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Yearly archive for 2019.

Merry Christmas! A couple years ago I mentioned here that someday I would post instructions and templates for creating various ornaments out of cardstock and/or photo paper. Considering we're just days away from Christmas, some parents may be looking for fun activities to do with their children to pass the time on their way to the most anticipated day of the year, so I have put those plans online at last!

We have a whole "Paper Craft" section now, and it includes instructions for several ornaments like the one shown here. Note that the templates are blank (without images). This allows you to add your own clipart (in case you wanted a Santa-themed ornament, or a snow-themed ornament instead of a religious-themed ornament).

And you don't need clipart at all; I printed out some blank ones and my kids loved drawing their own pictures on them.

We have the following ornament templates/instructions:

The cube is a good size to put on a tree; the other two are too large for a tree. The dodecahedron was designed as a table-top ornament, and the icosahedron as an ornament to hang from the ceiling or doorway frame.

In addition to the ornaments, there are several tutorials, in case you are interested in designing your own projects, such as the partially complete cathedral shown here.

Happy crafting, and Merry Christmas!

Jac asks: Which word is stressed in the sentence "are you okay?" 

Hi Jac,

There is not a single answer to your question; which word is stressed depends on the context. It could be any of the three words, depending on the situation.

Situation #1

I'm hanging out with two friends - Joe and Moe. Joe looks really sad, so Moe says, "Are you okay?". Joe says, "Oh yes, I'm fine." But then, after Moe leaves, Joe tells me about all the horrible things that's been happening in his life. After listening to him for a few minutes, I say, "ARE you okay?" I emphasize the word 'ARE', because Joe has previously said that he is okay, and my emphasis on that word indicates that I doubt his statement about being okay.

Situation #2

Now Moe and I are in a car, and we get into a fender-bender. Moe bangs his head against the windshield, and then he looks at me and says, "Are you okay?" I reply that I'm fine, and then say, "Are YOU okay?" This time I emphasize 'YOU' because I'm thinking that I'm not the one we should be worrying about, it's Moe. It's a way of saying, "Never mind about me - you're the one we should be worrying about!"

Situation #3

This is probably the most common situation; the word 'okay' will have a natural upward inflection/stress because the sentence is a question. For a situation where the word 'okay' gets extra stress, imagine that Joe is telling me about all the terrible things that he's gone through, and I ask, "Are you OKAY?"  (I'd be more likely to add the word 'but': "But are you OKAY?"). Emphasizing the word 'OKAY' in this situation might be a way of implying that I have doubts whether he's handling the situations in a healthy way.

There are a lot of sentences that can be stressed in different ways depending on the context. In most cases, we do it automatically without stopping to think about how we're stressing the words!

Thanks for the question, Jac.

Understanding Coronavirus Spread

A Question and Answer session with Professor Puzzler about the math behind infection spread.

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