Week of July 11, 2004

A Courageous Team

Discover if candidates in the Oakland, Calif., firefighter class can pass physical training and a Test of Courage at www.pbs.org/itvs/testofcourage. The department began with a few volunteers and a horse and buggy. Firefighters’ lives are not easy as they face long hours and continual training. Read Frank Tijiboy’s diary and discover why, as a new recruit, he knows that the rewards outweigh the difficulties. Then take the online test to see if you could be a firefighter.

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

Visit the Featured Web sites to find the answers.

How much time do firefighters have to complete the physical agility test?

8 minutes, 25 seconds
12 minutes, 30 seconds
17 minutes, 55 seconds


Which is the largest Chinese province inhabited by the giant panda?



What did Marie Sanlaville pretend to be chased by in “Ballet of the Roses”?



Giants of the Bamboo Forest

Give a big bear hug to Giant Pandas: The Giants of the Bamboo Forest at http://library.thinkquest. org/27396. Pandas are in danger of extinction because people are destroying bamboo forests, their natural habitats. Follow a giant panda through its typical routine in Daily Activities. You might discover something unexpected. For example, the panda may look cute curled up on the ground, but his sleepy pose is actually an energy conservation technique.

Painting the Dancer’s Life

Put on your slippers and pirouette to Degas and the Dance at www.philamuseum.org/
. Edgar Degas lived in Paris, and he loved to put ballet dancers in his art. But his paintings show more than girls in pretty costumes. Roam through the galleries to see different sides of ballerina life. Degas’ statue, “Little Dancer,” drew much attention because he chose to sculpt a young girl rather than a well-known ballerina. Play Eye Spy where you try to find pink bows and pointed toes hidden in the paintings.

What’s your favorite thing
to do on a family summer vacation?

Speak Out Here!

Dear Amy: Where can I find cool buddy icons for Instant Messenger?
— Jack, Artesia, N.M.

Dear Jack: You can find buddy icons for Instant Messenger all over the Web. I found some funny ones at www.ieatpaint.com/aim. It has cartoon characters, bands and art. My favorite is the “Tony C.” icon. You can create your own buddy icons too. Just reduce the size of the graphic or image you want to use. Then, under “People” in the toolbar in Instant Messenger, choose “Select Buddy Icon.” Click the “Browse” button and select the image you want. It’s that easy. (This site is no longer available.)

Dear Amy: What kind of cell phone plan should I get?
— Mark, St. Charles, Mo.

Dear Mark: You should figure out about how much time you’ll spend on the phone so that you can choose a plan with enough minutes. You may find it easier to buy a phone with prepaid minutes. Such a plan won’t let you go past your minutes. Once you’ve used them up, you have to buy more to talk on the phone. This is good because it keeps you from going past a monthly allotment of minutes and incurring high fees. A news article at www.bankrate.com/brm/news/
gives some good tips about choosing a plan that will work for you.

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