Getting Together Online. When some family members live in
California, others in Vermont and still more overseas, it’s not always
as easy as you’d like to stay in touch. My has one solution — a
free website with 10M of storage. Each site contains a news center where
people share their latest news and others can react to it. Other
features are an events calendar (with the option of receiving e-mail
reminders of important dates), multimedia family album (photos, videos,
sounds), file storage area where family members can upload files to
share with others, chat/instant messenger service and more. Because each
site is password-protected, it can be accessed only by family members.

Virtual Visits. The Science Museum of Minnesota lets you
explore and learn more about some of the Greatest Places on earth. They
range from the Amazon, Tibet and Greenland to even more out-of-the-way
spots such as Iguazu and Okavango, which may send you scurrying to a map
to find out where in the world they are.

Need A Recipe? You can find more than 73,000 of them at, which calls itself the
ultimate source for culinary information. Search the database through 53
categories such as Crock-Pot, Italian, Greek, vegetarian and that
all-important topic, chocolate.

Science Any Day Of The Week. A popular two-hour weekly radio
program, Science Friday takes
scientific issues of importance and current interest to laymen and
brings in experts to discuss them with the host, Ira Flatlow, and
listeners who call in. You can hear the most recent program through
RealAudio or access the archive to find any of the programs that have
been broadcast.

Down, Boy! If your puppy jumps on visitors, climbs into your
favorite chair or digs up an expensive new shrub right after you planted
it, you need some help. And the Dog
Obedience and Training Page
is the place to get it. Whatever you
want to know about getting Rover to mind can be found at this site or in
its links.

Educational Playground. If the kids are bored, let them check
out a new site created just for them, Planet G-Hop. Designed for 7- to
12-year-olds, it features interactive fun that’s also educational. Doc
Atom’s Lab is presided over by a science teacher from outer space and
other sections — from Safaria the Adventure Girl to G-Hop’s Game Room
— are equally entertaining.

If I Had A Hammer. Whether you’re thinking about building a
new home or remodeling the bathroom of your current residence, ImproveNet is your comprehensive home
improvement resource on the Net. You can design and plan a project, work
out a budget and keep a project folder on the site for convenience (the
site’s been reviewed for privacy by TrustE). While ImproveNet no doubt
makes referral fees if you choose one of its contractors, it provides
plenty of free advice and ideas.

A Place To Park. If you haven’t gotten away on vacation yet,
now’s the time to plan an autumn jaunt to a national park. At Park
, you can search by park name or location and activity to find
the ideal getaway spot. Or visit the National Park Service’s Park Net for nice features as well as
information. American Park
provides details in five languages as well as English, handy
for foreign visitors.

You can also see maps of campsites and make reservations right on the
Net at the National Park Reservation

Going Places. Better Homes and Gardens’ Travel pages include a
family-oriented guide to the national parks that is searchable by date,
interest and location. Of interest no matter what your destination is
the “ultimate packing guide.” Enter the number of days you’ll be away,
the activities you’ll be participating in, climate and type of weather
(hot days, cool nights, for instance) and you’ll get a customized
packing list for any kind of vacation or business trip. There’s also an
excellent set of links to other travel sites.

Music Videos. At Video
, you can watch any of more than free 1,000 music videos, via
your computer.

Football In Europe. No, we’re not talking about soccer, which
the rest of the world refers to as football, but the real American-style
pigskin game. At NFL Europe, you’ll
learn that there are NFL teams in Scotland, Berlin, Barcelona,
Amsterdam, Germany and Japan (with names like Dragons, Galaxy and
Thunder). You can get ticket information, read about the teams and find
out which players have been signed by Stateside NFL teams. Anyone who
doesn’t know the difference between a touchdown and a first down should
access the Beginners Guide to Football, which explains the finer points
of the game with diagrams and videos.

Consumer Reports Online. Although the respected magazine
charges for access to its famous product ratings, the Consumer Reports
website offers lots of free
information and advice that’s frequently updated. You’ll find recalls
and safety alerts, as well as articles from the print magazine, and the
Consumer Reports Travel Letter.

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