Week of May 25, 2003

Raven Mad

Sneak into http://knowingpoe. thinkport.org, where Knowing Poe means you will fear “The Raven” nevermore. You’ll learn about the life of Edgar Allan Poe with a virtual tour of his former home in Baltimore. Samples of Poe’s work are online. “The Bells” might inspire you to write a poem with rhythm, or perhaps you’ll find inspiration in the rhyme scheme of “The Raven.” You may enjoy readings of “The Raven” by players of the Baltimore Ravens. Not scared yet? A late-night visit to “It’ll Be the Death of Me,” a mystery surrounding the death of Poe, should do the trick.

Nominate a cool Web site at http://www.4Kids.org/nominations/

Visit the Featured Web sites to find the answers.

What is Poe the writer credited with inventing?

the short story
the detective story


How long did it take Lindbergh to fly from Long Island, N.Y., to Paris?

33 1/2 hours
3 days
3 hours


What’s it called when ice forms on an airplane?



Spirit of St. Louis

Fly away with Charles Lindbergh an American Aviator at www.charleslindbergh.com. Lindbergh flew the Spirit of St. Louis from Long Island, N.Y., to Paris, which made him the first person to fly across the Atlantic Ocean alone. Soar through information about the plane as well as the flight and its timeline. Visit Lindbergh’s childhood home. Then read more about the man himself, including the story of what happened when his 20-month-old son was kidnapped from his nursery window. (Disclaimer: This site now contains advertisements.)

Ups and Downs of Flight

Fly through Virtual Skies at http://virtualskies.arc. nasa.gov. Brought to you by NASA, this site takes you into the turbulent world of flight. Loads of activities and intense training await you. Scope out the weather to see if you can identify cloud types, something real pilots do to gauge danger levels. When you take control of the communications module, you’ll monitor a radar screen and respond to aircraft requests. Read the tutorials before trying the activities, and you’ll succeed with flying colors!


Should fast-food resturants have stricter sanitation requirements?


Speak Out Here!

Dear Amy: Can a BMP file be compressed? — Mark, Dothan, Ala.

Dear Mark: BMPs, or bitmaps, can be compressed. An uncompressed BMP stores data for each pixel in an image. Compressed BMP files are said to be Run Length Encoded, or RLE, in which each pixel is not assigned a color value. Instead, the data to define a group of pixels of the same color are stored as one piece of data. For example, a red line that is 20 pixels long would be stored as “20 R” instead of “R” being stored 20 times. This type of compression is useful for images with blocks of color. Check out http://web.usxchange.net/elmo/bmp.htm to read more about BMP formatting. (This site is no longer available.)

Dear Amy: How do I start learning computer programming? — Kevin, Lexington, Ky.

Dear Kevin: I suggest starting with the basics. In this case, start by learning a basic programming language such as C. Check out http://computer.howstuffworks.com/c.htm for a great overview of the language and its abilities. Learning C will take time and practice. Start with a tutorial, such as the one at www.physics. drexel.edu/ courses/Comp_Phys/General/C_basics/ c_tutorial.html. Once you’re comfortable with C, move on to C++.

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