Week of February 1, 2004

Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein wrote all kinds of poems. Some are happy, some sad, but almost all of them are funny. Watch a sampling of Silverstein’s poetry come to life at Shelsilverstein.com at www.shelsilverstein.com when you browse through his books and watch animations of his wacky characters. From the book “Falling Up,” the Terrible Toy-Eatin’ Tookle slurps up toys left on the floor. In “Lafcadio,” a brave lion confronts a hunter who is determined to turn him into a rug. Be sure to read about this fun author and illustrator in About Shel.

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

Visit the Featured Web sites to find the answers.

Who recorded Shel Silverstein’s song “A Boy Named Sue”?

Johnny Cash
The Beatles
Frank Zappa


What is the name of the ship you are investigating?

Rachel Anne
Elizabeth and Mary
Queen Anne


Who controlled Mexico City during the Mexican-American war?



Mysterious Shipwreck

The Virtual Museum of Canada needs you to be a brave soul and solve the mystery of A Sunken Ship’s Tale on the St. Lawrence River at http://uneepaveraconte.net/english. To solve this intriguing mystery, you’ll become an archaeologist and a restorer. But there is a catch. You must work alongside ghosts trapped in the wreck. A good detective is always patient, so take your time uncovering all the pieces of this mystery. Good luck!

Songs Without Borders

Corridos sin Fronteras, Songs Without Borders, tells tales of the daily life in Mexico at www.corridos.org. These ballads began as a way for people to express their feelings. Today, corridos dominate the Latin music charts. Sing along as you listen to full-length songs from the 15th century and post-revolutionary days. An interactive timeline highlights pieces of Mexico’s history that influenced songwriters. Four modern corrido musicians share stories about their inspiration. Perhaps this site will inspire you to write a corrido.

What do you think about
the death penalty?

Speak Out Here!

Great Timing

Well looky here. We’ve got a leap year staring us right in the face. Seems like just four years ago the same thing happened. It’s funny how it sneaks up like this. In fact, what’s the deal with leap year? Why do we have an extra day this month?

The answer goes back to Julius Caesar. In 45 B.C., people followed the moon to determine the day of the month. However, the lunar calendar fell out of sync with the seasons, so Caesar hired the Alexandrian astronomer Sosigenes to create an accurate calendar. Sosigenes understood that a complete ride around the sun took 365 1/4 days. Bearing this in mind, Caesar added one day every four years to the calendar.

However, Sosigenes’ correction still left the calendar slightly off. In 1582, Pope Gregory XII noticed that the spring equinox was 10 days early that year. According to www.gi.alaska.edu/ScienceForum/
, he removed 10 days from October that year to get back on track, and he modified the rules for leap years on centurial years. Now if a year ends in “00,” it is only a leap year if the year is divisible by 400.

— Amy

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