Week of November 25, 2001

Exploratorium Online Exhibits

Head to Exploratorium Online Exhibits, an amusement park for your eyes, ears and mind at www.exploratorium.edu/ exhibits/ f_exhibits.html. This interactive site allows you to explore fascinating science exhibits that play tricks on your senses. Kids and parents both will enjoy the optical illusions at this site, such as the Squirming Palm and the Fading Dot. You won't believe your ears when you visit the hearing exhibits and try to find the highest note on a seemingly unending keyboard. Then check out the mind exhibits and imagine George Washington wearing an Elvis wig. Sports fans can try to hit a major league fastball in the Life Science section. This site will provide hours of amazing, entertaining science fun for the whole family

Nominate a cool Web site at

Visit the Featured Web sites to find the answers

What part of the face is most important when you try to recognize someone?



What object is used to break a laser beam into two beams?

reflection hologram


How many numbers are there in the Mayan base numbering system?




Light and Shadow

Combine lights, lasers and plants and the result is LightForest: The Holographic Rainforest found at http://web.mit.edu/museum/lightforest. Take a safari into this optical jungle and learn how rain forest foliage and other objects can be re-created as holograms using laser technology. Here you can find cool info about the artists who create holograms using a variety of lighting and shading techniques. Get the "holos graphos" or "whole message" of holograms at LightForest today.

The Mysterious Maya

At its peak, the vast Mayan civilization covered large parts of Mexico and Central America. Now its realm has been relocated to the Lost King of the Maya Web site at www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/maya. Take a tour of Copan, an historic Mayan site in Honduras. Then relive the discovery of Mayan ruins in the Incidents of Travel section. Be sure to check out the cool Map of the Maya World. Before you leave, learn to read Mayan hieroglyphs with a fun Shockwave game.

What do you do to cope when you get stressed out?

Speak Out Here!

Dear Amy: What is a paramecium? -- Cassie, Charlotte, N.C.

Dear Cassie: Paramecia are one-celled organisms that are found in ponds and streams. They have hard surfaces and tiny hair-like cilia that they use to swim. Paramecia process food using a simplified version of our digestive system, and they reproduce by dividing into two cells. You can find more info about these tiny creatures at http://school.discovery.com/homeworkhelp/ worldbook/ atozscience/p/414160.html. (This site is no longer available.)

Dear Amy: How long is the Great Wall of China? -- Joe, Denver

Dear Joe: The Great Wall of China is about 4,500 miles long and can be seen from outer space. It was built over the course of three dynasties around 200 B.C. The Chinese built the wall to protect farmers from attacks by nomads. Today it is viewed as a symbol of Chinese ingenuity. To learn more about the Great Wall of China, go to http://library.thinkquest.org/C004471/tep/en/ cultures/chinese.html.

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