On April 12, 1981, the first space shuttle, Columbia, lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on its maiden flight into space. The shuttle was powered by three liquid-fueled engines and a pair of giant strap-on, solid-fuel boosters. The basic principle that makes it work is exactly the same as that behind a simple firework rocket or a balloon that zooms across the room when you let go of its neck. It is the principle of action and reaction.



Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, one of the greatest achievements of Western art, has probably suffered more damage than any other great work. The 12 foot high mural was finished in the late 1490s and within 20 years paint was already flaking off. By 1587, the painting was described as “half-ruined”.


Pearl 7TAXDAL-ism

During WWII, airplane factories were made to look like small towns to avoid becoming a bombing target. One of the best examples was the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant. With netting and some extra props, it was virtually impossible to tell it from the surrounding small towns.




The technique for making thin, flat window glass was perfected in Normandy, France, in the 14th century. Known as crown glass, each piece was blown by a craftsman. An accomplished glass-blower could make only about a dozen windows in a day, making medieval window glass an expensive luxury.

Older Brothers

There are four children in my family. Tim is the oldest, then me, Debbie, and my younger brother, Terry.

Tim and I are twenty-three months apart and as kids, we constantly fought. Now, we’re best friends – probably because we live in different parts of the country! I call him every Friday night and we talk for hours about politics, religion, the stock market, and everything in between. We usually end up reminiscing about our childhood.

“Why did we fight so much when we were younger?” I asked Tim last Friday.

“Cause you wanted to follow me around and do whatever I did. Like the time you climbed into the tree house after me, even though I said you couldn’t.” He grunted. “You’ve always been stubborn.”

“Even back then, you should’ve known not to tell me I can’t do something. Besides, as soon as I sat on the planks, you pushed me out. It’s a good thing I fell into the sand box below.”

“Yeah, and Mom gave me the whipping of my life.”

The next day, Dad built sides on the tree house.

Do you have a sibling story of your own? Please tell us in the comment area.

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Connie Taxdal

Romance Writers of America, 2014 Golden Heart® Finalist