Week of August 25, 2002

Sparky the Fire Dog

Visit Sparky the Fire Dog at http://sparky.org. Have Fun With Fire Trucks as you learn about fire engine parts and sounds. You can plan escape routes, hunt for home hazards and keep everyone safe with Family Stuff. News Flash and Sparky's Arcade Games will keep your fire safety senses sharp with important tips. Read "The Story of Sparky" to learn how he got his job. If you have any questions about fire safety, just Ask Sparky. Prevent fires and stay safe with this fire dog.

Nominate a cool Web site at

Visit the Featured Web sites to find the answers

Why are fire engines red?

Because red paint is easily available
Because red is a bright color and people are used to seeing fire trucks red
Because red is the cheapest paint available


What bird did Benjamin Franklin want to be the United States' national bird?



What hard, coarse-grained rock makes up most of the continental plates?




Secret World of the CIA

Go undercover at the CIA's Homepage for Kids at https://www.cia.gov/kids-page. The CIA's rich History and stories of the best spies are online. See how the CIA Canine Corps assists on special missions. A Geography Trivia Quiz will decide if you're ready to work around the globe. Take a Virtual Tour to get a closer look at the CIA. Then try your best to Break the Code, just like real agents. When the coast is clear, open the Spy-Fi Archives to find 40 years of TV shows and movies based on the agency.

Ocean AdVENTure

Dive into the Ocean Adventure of a lifetime at http://library.thinkquest.org/18828. Undergo a Dive Briefing and learn about hydrothermal vents. Learn how complex Research Tools, such as ROVs, AUVs and ABE, assist in locating hidden vents. You can Meet the Scientists who provide valuable information about underwater research. Catch a glimpse of the Fauna, such as giant tubeworms, that surround the vents. Finally, read about Ethics of ocean research to find out why some people want vent research restricted.

What do you do regularly to help the homeless?


Speak Out Here!

Dear Amy: How can I avoid getting a computer virus? -- Casey, Spartanburg, S.C.

Dear Casey: First of all, you should have anti-virus software such as McAfee VirusScan on your computer. Once you have the software, you should download the patches that the company provides online to keep the software current. Anti-virus software is not foolproof, though. You still need to be on the lookout for suspicious e-mails, and you should use good judgment when deciding whether to download files from a Web site. Go to www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/ict/implications/virusesrev2.shtml to learn more about avoiding computer viruses.

Dear Amy: What makes rewriteable CDs rewriteable? -- Kinisha, Garrett Park, Md.

Dear Kinisha: Rewriteable CDs (CD-RWs) have a dye layer that can be changed back and forth from opaque to transparent. This change occurs when the dye is heated to different temperatures. Higher heat yields opacity while lower heat yields transparency. As www.howstuffworks.com/question655.htm says, the lasers that read CDs treat changes in opacity on CD-RWs in the same way that they treat the bumps on regular CDs.

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