Mission to California
Journey to California's past, and meet the Spanish padres and Native Americans who helped to establish the California missions. Ride into the West to the California Missions Web site at www.californiamissions.com. The site features histories for each of the 21 California Missions. You'll find beautiful photos and black-and-white sketches depicting mission life. Plus, you'll find amazing facts about the many churches and other architectural masterpieces that flourished here. Best yet, you'll find plenty of authentic mission music to keep you humming during your adventure. Go west and relive the mission heritage of California.

Friendly Giants Meet the giant sequoias, the tallest and widest trees in the world today. Get a bird's-eye view of these huge trees at the Giant Sequoia Web site at http://library.thinkquest.org/J002415/index.html. You'll meet some of the most famous giant sequoias, including several at Sequoia National Park, such as the mighty General Sherman, Washington and President. Did you know that these trees can survive for 2,000 or 3,000 years? Or that they originally come from a seed the size of a grain of wheat? You'll find amazing trivia like this at the Facts page. The site also has a great Lifecycle page, which shows you the entire span of the sequoia's existence. And for an expert opinion on the giant sequoia, you'll enjoy an interview with a park ranger naturalist from Sequoia National Park. Tree huggers unite!

Live A Wild Life
Feeling cooped up and about to go wild? Take it outside, kid! There's an amazing world of trekking, tracking, exploring, climbing and playing to be done. Who better to show you the fun stuff than a raccoon rascal named Ranger Rick. Grab a lantern and hike to Ranger Rick's den at www.nwf.org/kids where the National Wildlife Federation keeps an eye on him and his wild friends. He'll teach you tons of fun things to do outside, whether on a neighborhood patch of grass or in a big national forest. He can help you attract wildlife to your yard and show you other tricks, such as how to go for a "sock hike" and map the life of an ant. He's even got great activity ideas for when there's a bunch of snow on the ground, from very cool experiments outside to cozy reading inside. Also, be sure to check out the online nature magazines for kids of all ages, as well as the zoo full of animal jokes in the Games section. This wily raccoon also can help you with your homework, introduce you to some endangered species and even bring an entire wetlands right into your house. Now that's wild.

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Ask Amy
Dear Amy: Does a CD burner really burn CDs? --Michael, Boise, Idaho
Dear Michael: Even though a laser beam is used to put data onto a CD, the data isn't burned into the CD. The laser interacts with a light-sensitive dye that is between the plastic blank on the bottom of the CD and the reflective aluminum coating on top. The laser is strong enough to permanently change the reflectivity of the dye. When you play a CD, a lower-intensity laser reads the change in the dye, and the data on the CD is retrieved. To learn more about how CDs work, check out the Tech Tip article at the Edlines Web site at http://edlines.hprtec.org. (This site is no longer available.)

Dear Amy: How has rock 'n' roll changed through the years? --Yvette, Wilmington, Del.
Dear Yvette: There's an excellent resource on the Web called The Rock 'n' Roll Vault. Do the Hustle at www.rocknrollvault.com. You'll find weekly archives, a section for collectors and a handy timeline. The timeline traces the changes in rock 'n' roll from the invention of the piano in 1709 through the 2000 Grammy Awards. There's even a special section devoted to the Beatles. Pump up the volume. Rock out. (This site is no longer available.)

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