Week of February 13, 2011

Cool Spots
Back Issues
Visit the featured websites to find the answers.

When did amphibians begin to make their way onto land?
4 million years ago
40 million years ago
400 million years ago

What are chromosomes?
Gaseous envelopes surrounding stars
Bundles of DNA that contain genes
Chemical groups that produce color in a compound

What are mandalas?
Charts used for marine navigation
Special breads baked in Buddhist monasteries
Diagrams representing divine universes

Animal Action

dinosaurAnimals Past and Present, http://urbanext.illinois.edu/animals, has a wealth of information about the history of animals on planet Earth. Stretching back billions of years, this timeline introduces you to creatures that are extinct and those still thriving on Earth. Journey to Frosty Animals to watch Ice Ages come and go, and see which animals were able to adapt to the cold and those who could not survive. Jet back to The Reign of the Dinosaurs for a look at the many species that flourished. Bookmark this to share with your friends.

Nominate a cool website at:

Survival of the Fittest

things in desertWelcome to Thingdom, www.sciencemuseum.org.uk
, where you can adopt a “thing,” care for it and make baby things. This science-centered site gives students a hands-on experience with breeding and careful gene selection. Choose a thing to begin the process. Once you give your thing a name, you will nurture it into adulthood, encourage it to mate with another thing, and select which babies are the “cream of the crop.” Choose wisely and you may just make it to the end of the game! Good luck.

Meditate and Create

mandalaThe Seattle Art Museum's Discovering Buddhist Art, www.seattleartmuseum
, is the place to go to discover the artistry of the Buddhist religion. Select from categories, such as Buddhas, Animals and Containers, and begin your exploration of this collection. Different sections offer interviews with artists, video slide shows and in-depth looks at the artistic process. Be sure to pop over to Ritual Objects to see how Buddhist priests make offerings and meditate. This site is a feast for the eyes.

Speak Out

If you could be any animal,
which would you be and why?

Speak Out Here!

Dear Amy: Is the webcam on my computer safe? Can people see me when I'm online? — Johnny, Seattle

Dear Johnny:
More and more people have webcams in their home, and some people may not even realize they have one, because many new laptops have built-in webcams. Webcams are cool, because you can video-chat with distant relatives or catch up with a friend who lives far away. But like anything else you do online, webcams are safe only if you follow the basic online safety rules. You should e-mail or IM only with people you know, and the same goes for video-chat.

People can see you online only if your webcam is turned on. Most webcams have a small light that turns on when the camera is on. Unless your computer has been hacked or infected with malicious software, there isn't any way that someone else can turn on your webcam.

The best way to protect yourself online is to use anti-virus software and a firewall. Recent versions of Windows include a firewall, or you can download free firewall software at http://personalfirewall.comodo.com. If you're really worried, you can always unplug your webcam, or if it's built-in, disable it. Be sure to ask a parent for help!


Ask Amy a Question

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