Welcome to Sunday. The top five articles on our website this week are displayed below.

A ground war in Europe: It’s impossible to ignore that three out of five of these stories are about the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. It’s a topic that our team has been covering for some time and with even greater intention since the Russian invasion began a few days ago. If you want to get up to speed on this historic moment, more of our articles on the developing war are available here.

A break in the action: If you’d prefer to take a pause on this Sunday morning, I’ve gathered a few stories that have nothing to do with military aggression or any of the other heavy topics dominating the news. These are stories based on questions sent to us by children in a series we call Curious Kids.

Why do birds spend so much time and energy singing? David Steadman, the curator of ornithology at the Florida Museum of Natural History tackles this one. Hint: It’s related to making baby birds.

Thomas Durant Visser, a professor of historic preservation, explains why barns are so often painted red – especially in his home state of Vermont. Hint: It has to do with both thrift and fashion.

And in an article headlined “Why do old people hate new music?”, evolutionary social psychologist Frank T. McAndrew floats several plausible reasons that parents tend to think their kids’ music sounds like noise. And he ends on a hopeful note. Big hint: It’s possible to learn to love new music as long as you commit to listening to it on repeat until it grows familiar.

Send questions from kids you know to CuriousKidsUS@theconversation.com.

Emily Costello

Managing Editor

Is “Twosday” as special as some corners of the internet seem to think? articular/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Happy Twosday! Why numbers like 2/22/22 have been too fascinating for over 2,000 years

Barry Markovsky, University of South Carolina

Numerology ties in with how our brains work, but that doesn’t mean its claims make sense.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s popularity is on the rise again, but conflict with Ukraine may eventually change that. Alexander Nemenov/AFP via Getty Images

Putin’s public approval is soaring during the Russia-Ukraine crisis, but it’s unlikely to last

Arik Burakovsky, Tufts University

Approximately 69% of Russians approve of President Vladimir Putin. But a costly war is likely to chip away at his popularity, history and data tell us.

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