Bug Out
The whole world is bugging out. There are millions of busy, crawling, munching creatures all over the planet, so you may as well get in on the invasion. Buzz over to www.insecta-inspecta.com and join the cyber-colony of insect maniacs. See one of the biggest termite hills in the world, go underground with an army ant and inspect yourself for arachnophobia. Be sure to gaze upon the famous insects of the art world, and then run for cover from the killer bees. This site is totally swarming with fun facts, goofy graphics and amazing video clips that'll have your eyes bugging out. Invade Insecta Inspecta World as soon as you can.

A Classical Act The world of classical music is fascinating and fun, and the Essentials of Music Web site will introduce you to the best classical music from the Middles Ages to the 20th century. Bring your headphones to www.essentialsofmusic.com. The site is filled with historical info, great graphics and tons of sound files. You'll find biographies for more than 70 composers, including such legends as Antonio Vivaldi, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Duke Ellington. Or tune into the cool music glossary, where you can find definitions of hundreds of terms, from a capella to xylophone and zither. This site proves that the classics are a blast from the past after all.

Bead It!
Before the calculator came along, many folks counted with a tool called the abacus--a mechanical aid used for math. Now you can find out more about this fascinating instrument at The Abacus Web site. Get ready for some number crunching at www.ee.ryerson.ca/~elf/abacus. You'll learn all about how to manipulate the wooden beads, which slide freely and allow users to keep track of their calculations. Also, explore the instrument's evolution with cool graphics of the abacus from ancient Chinese, Japanese and Aztec cultures. Still think the calculator is better? Then check out the results of a contest in Tokyo between the abacus and a 1940s calculating machine, and see which one wins. Warning: You will be surprised. You'll also learn how to build a Lego abacus for your toy collection. Relive the past, and start counting the old-fashioned way.

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Be a 4Kids Detective

When you know the answers to the questions below, enter your answers. If you are correct, you will become a "4Kids Detective of the Week." If a question is not answered it is considered wrong. Good luck.

1. What's the scientific name for Monarch butterflies?

Chrysalis ornamentalis
Monarchis flyus
Danaus plexippus
2. To which era of music does Frederick Chopin belong?
3. What's the value of the beads in the upper deck of an abacus?

Ask Amy
Dear Amy: How can I make a cool graphic for the name of my Web site? --Maria, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Dear Maria: The Web is loaded with freebies to help you create lots of cool stuff for your Web site. A site called CoolText.com at www.cooltext.com provides a free online graphics generator. Pick the style you want from a visual palette, select a font and point size, add some color, and the generator will make your Web graphic for you. You can make banners, buttons and logos. Have fun building your Web site. (Disclaimer: This site now contains advertisements.)

Dear Amy: I got a compass for my birthday. How does it know to point north? --Mike, Charleston, S.C.
Dear Mike: A compass is indispensable for anyone into hiking, mountaineering or even camping. They are useful for orienting yourself with a map and a terrain. Compass needles align with magnetic field lines, which point into the earth at the north and south magentic poles. So compasses designed for the northern hemisphere point north, whereas compasses designed for the southern hemisphere point south. To learn more about compasses and how they are used in the sport of orienteering, check out www.williams.edu/Biology/Faculty_Staff/hwilliams/Orienteering/compass.html.

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