Week of September 8, 2002


Choose your own Adventures in Science and Technology at http://collections.ic.gc.ca/science. Gain a basic understanding of science and technology by doing projects and reading about Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Within these areas of study, you can Focus On related topics such as astronomy and psychology. Also, meet people who have made their careers in these exciting fields. Understanding Science and Technology is made simple with this informative site. (This site is no longer available.)

Nominate a cool Web site at

Visit the Featured Web sites to find the answers

Who wrote the first computer program and when was it written?

Claudius Ptolemy in 1910
Sir Francis Bacon in 1848
Ada Lovelace in 1843


What happens when an island begins to sink?

Shore rocks crumble to form moisture-holding soil
A lagoon forms with a barrier reef of coral
A platform is formed


When was Monte Alban founded?
700 B.C.
550 B.C.
500 B.C.




Virtual Exploration of Nature

The great outdoors is a click away at the World Wildlife Federation at www.panda.org/kids. First, check out Virtual Wildlife to learn about Remarkable Animals such as red piranhas and thorny devils. Next, visit Wild Places around the globe and find out about polar regions, grasslands and oceanic islands. You can test your knowledge when it is Quiz Time! Then head to the Newsroom to catch up on current environmental issues. Finally, find out How You Can Help the WWF preserve nature. (This site is no longer available.)

The Roots of Mexico

The art, culture and history of Ancient Mexico await you at www.ancientmexico.com. The Map will keep you on track as you go deep into the cities and pyramids of ancient Mesoamerica. Read about the roles of The Gods such as the Rabbit Scribe who had the knowledge of the written calendar. Enjoy an animated story about The Conquest that led to the fall of the Aztec Empire. Then check out The Timeline of major dates and events, which spans from prehistory to A.D. 1500. (Disclaimer: This site now contains advertisements.)

Is standardized testing an accurate way to measure what you've learned?


Speak Out Here!

Dear Amy: What's the difference between analog and digital calls? --Garrett, Atlanta

Dear Garrett: An analog phone call, such as you receive on your home phone, uses pulses in the electrical current that runs from your phone to the phone that you call. You'll find information about this process at www.bell-labs.com/technology/analog. A digital call, such as you receive on a cell phone, uses "0s" and "1s" to send data, just like your computer stores data in the form of "0s" and "1s." In the case of cell phones, data is sent via a satellite. You can learn more about digital calls at www.bell-labs.com/technology/digital. (These sites are no longer available.)

Dear Amy: When are GIF files better than JPG files? --April, Seneca, Mo.

Dear April: Images that have few colors usually are best saved as GIFs while images with lots of colors, such as photos, usually should be saved as JPGs. This is the case because 256 colors are used when an image is saved as a GIF whereas JPG files can have up to 16 million colors. Depending on the nature of the image, GIF and JPG compressions will yield different image qualities and different file sizes. Go to www.siriusweb.com/ tutorials/gifvsjpg to learn more about the differences between GIFs and JPGs.

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