We’ll travel — via Web — from one coast to the other: Ellis Island,
where so many of our ancestors set foot on U.S. soil for the first time;
slowing down to watch corn grow in Iowa; and then ending up watching the
sun rise over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, while taking a few
educational and fun side trips along the way. Join us for today’s
journey, as we explore the Web world.
Could you survive? Millions speculated on what they would do
if they were contestants on the ‘Survivor’ show. But have you ever
wondered how you would react in a real-life situation where you were
away from civilization and temporarily cut off from help? How long do
you have to boil water before it’s safe to drink? And if you were lost
in the woods and unable to find your way out, what’s you best move? Take
the WebSportsman.com survivor
quiz to find out how survival-savvy you are.
All ears. OK, it’s a bit corny, but Iowa Farmer Today’s corn cam is even
getting fan mail. Lots of city slickers, farm folks and former Iowa
residents enjoy seeing how the corn is growing in a field in
Prairieburg. Thanks to the corn cam’s popularity, the site has also set
up a Soybean cam
in a field in Linn County. Somehow soybeans don’t have the romance of
corn, but most of us have never seen soybeans up-close on the plant
before, so it’s worth a quick glance.
I left my cam in San Francisco. If you think all cams are
corny, you can skip to the next paragraph. But San Francisco’s
Exploratorium has one that’s a little different — it’s
viewer-controlled. You can point the camera at the Golden Gate
Bridge, Alcatraz Island, the Marina, Palace of Fine Arts and other
nearby sites. All you need is to be Java enabled.
The Exploratorium also offers Solar Max 2000, a
site devoted to exploring the science of the sun during its current
sunspot phase. This would be great for homeschoolers and classroom use,
but fascinating for adults, too. Check out the cool (hot?) images.
Searching for pictures. If you’re looking for images on the
Web, regular search engines may or may not be much help. The fastest way
to find what you want is to head to Ditto, which is a visual search engine
(and, they say, family-friendly, too).
Search with kids. Every parent and teacher knows the pitfalls
of letting youngsters have unrestricted use of the most popular search
engines — it’s hard to tell what filth might turn up in an ordinary
search. That’s why there are kid-friendly search engines. One that lets
you search four of them (Yahooligans, AOL Kids, Kids Click and Saluki
Search) with one click is Family Friendly Search.
America’s Gateway. From 1892 to 1954, millions of immigrants
passed through Ellis Island in the New York harbor near the Statue of
Liberty, on the way — they hoped — to a better life. Take a virtual
tour and find out what it was like at the International Channel Ellis Island site,
which offers a historical overview, oral history project and an Ellis
Island cookbook. The Statue of
Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation has an interesting immigration
Sailing the ocean blue. While poor immigrants were gathering
their savings for a trip to the New World, those with money were living
it up on luxurious ocean-going vessels such as the Normandie, Andrea
Doria and, of course, the Titanic. Lost Liners explores the golden age
of ocean travel, with pictures of these fantastic vessels and
information on how they were built.
Educational materials. Current teachers are likely to know
about these sites, but homeschooling parents may not have discovered
them yet. The Gateway to Educational
Materials (GEM) provides links to thousands of lesson plans and
other educational resources, by grade level. Education World is rich in
educational content, which can be searched by subject. The lesson plan
of the week is helpful and be sure to check out (in the left column
under Reference) the “best of” series.
Just for fun. You’ve gotten those e-mails that “translated”
common expressions into redneck “language.” Well, now you can do the
same with entire websites and not just redneck, but jive, Cockney, Elmer
Fudd (one of my favorites), Swedish chef, moron or hacker. It’s all part
of the fun at The
Dialectizer. Just type in a URL and have the page show up as if
written by the Muppet’s Swedish chef or Eliza Doolittle. Or take
Rinkworks’ special tour in the language of your choice.