Week of October 29, 2000

Shoot for the Stars

Blast off for the Chabot Space & Science Center at www.chabotspace.org/vsc. Located in Oakland, Calif., this cool new observatory opened in August and features two huge telescopes, Rachel and Leah, which are open for public use. If you can't get to Oakland, you can visit the Virtual Science Center on the Web. You'll find online exhibits, including Star Station One, a program to raise awareness about the International Space Station. Also, visit the Virtual Observatory and see the collection of astrophotographs taken with the help of Rachel and Leah. Finally, check out the Virtual Planetarium to find out all about the night sky. This is one site that will have you reaching for the stars.

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Visit the Featured Web sites to find the answers

What is another name for the constellation "Cygnus"?

The Chained Princess
The Swan
The Harp


What is the mirrorlike tissue called that makes cats' eyes shine in the dark?

tapetum lucidum
kleenexius tissuis


What does the word "samurai" mean?
"warrior ones"
"those who wait"
"those who serve"




Here, Kitty Kitty

Say "meow" to "Cats! Wild to Mild" at www.nhm.org/cats. The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County presents this fantastic forum of feline facts, one of the largest sites about cats on the Web. Take the guided tour to learn all about cats, from their evolution to domestication to their role in Native American cultures. Then play Cat Lotto to find out how well you know your cats. This cool cat site will make cat-lovers purr. (This site is no longer available.)

Majestic Castles

Explore the rich tradition of castles at the excellent ThinkQuest site "The Castles of Japan." Cross the moat at http://library.thinkquest.
. You'll find descriptions of the life and history of 22 castles. Learn how they were used for defense and gave rise to the samurai warriors. Then marvel at their unique designs. Make sure to take the tour so you don't miss any of the spectacular photos. These ancient monuments await your visit.

If you could vote in the upcoming election, who would you vote for and why?

Speak Out Here!

Dear Amy: How long have fax machines been around? --Julia, San Francisco

Dear Julia: In 1843, a Scottish man named Alexander Bain patented the first machine to copy an image from one piece of electrically conductive paper to another. In1895, Ernest A. Hummel of the U.S.A. invented the Telediagraph to send pictures via telegraph lines. The ideas behind Bain's and Hummel's inventions are still important to today's developers of fax machines. You can find more fax facts at http://webopedia.internet.com/TERM/f/fax_machine.html (Disclaimer: This site now contains advertisements.)

Dear Amy: Is there really a bus in my computer? --William, Penang, Malaysia

Dear William: There is a bus in your computer, but it isn't big and yellow. A bus is a path on the motherboard that connects the CPU to the CD-ROM drive, hard drive and other attachments. The picture at www.howstuffworks.com/microprocessor2.htm will help you better understand this. When a signal is sent, it goes to each device connected to the mainboard. Only the devices that the signal was directed toward pay attention to it; the others ignore it.

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