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ODJ: Pass Over Nian

The myth of the Chinese New Year festival tells of a demon, Nian, who lived in the mountains. On the first day of the year, Nian would come into the village, steal the children and eat livestock and grain. One day, an old man visited the village and gave the horrified people a solution. They were to hang red signs on their doors and make loud music—things the demon didn’t like. The Chi

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ODB: Take a Number

We have an ancient cherry tree in our backyard that had seen better days and looked like it was dying, so I called in an arborist. He checked it out and declared that it was “unduly stressed” and needed immediate attention. “Take a number,” my wife, Carolyn, muttered to the tree as she walked away. It had been one of those weeks.Indeed, we all have anxious weeks—filled with worries over

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