Stars and Stripes
Take a virtual voyage to Washington, D.C., and feast your eyes on the flag that inspired the national anthem at The Star-Spangled Banner Web site. The original masterpiece, located at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, can now be enjoyed online at http://americanhistory.si.edu/ssb. Once there, you'll enjoy the incredible story of the flag, from its place in military battles to Francis Scott Key's famous poem written in 1814. In addition to the rich history of the anthem, you'll find stories about the flag's design and its role as a patriotic symbol. Over time, the Star-Spangled Banner has enjoyed many cool looks, incorporating stars, stripes, a pine tree and even a rattlesnake. Be sure to try ""You Solve The Mystery," and join historians in trying to determine the true creator of the flag as well as how the flag has been altered over time. You'll also meet the professionals who have worked hard to preserve and restore the flag's condition. Long may it wave!
Pull on a parka, a pair of rubber boots and a spirit of adventure. It's time for a cyber voyage to Antarctica. OK, it's not the kind of trip with sunny beaches and amusement parks, but it's an amazingly icy adventure you won't forget. You'll soon understand why people have been magnetically drawn to the South Pole. Haul your gear to www.terraquest.com/antarctica/index.html to board the ship in Argentina and let the journey begin. Your shipmates are really friendly, and they'll help you make the daily voyages through the rough seas and into the eye of the storm. Try to spy some whales along the way, too. Learn about old-time explorers in the great race to find the South Pole, and discover why Antarctica is so important for keeping track of the Earth's environment today. (And find out why you must have rubber boots to go to Antarctica.) It's a harsh but wonderful journey, and you'll join in the celebration when you finally get to shore with hundreds of penguins to greet you.
(This site is no longer available.)
Forces of Nature
From forest fires to floods, it's important to be prepared for any force of nature. At the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Web site for kids, you'll get the lowdown on hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes and other devastating storms. Bring your survival gear to www.fema.gov/kids. At the Disaster Area, you'll witness erupting volcanoes and harsh blizzards. Or catch a 100-foot wave from a tsunami. Learn what not to do when lightning starts touching down in your neighborhood. Join up with Julia and Robbie, the Disaster Twins, as they make their escape from a scary hurricane. You'll learn how to deal with any disaster, as well as how to keep your pets safe. You won't want to escape from this site, but be warned: Danger this way lies.
1. Which flag design had a rattlesnake on it?
Dear Amy: Can I get telephone calls through my computer? --Jocelyn, Knoxville, Tenn.
Dear Jocelyn: Most newer computers have pre-installed software that makes it easy to talk on the phone through your computer. If you want to talk over the Internet, you will need to learn about Internet telephony. Call on The Virtual Voice FAQ at www.virtual-voice.com/FAQS/index.html to learn more about this exciting and fun form of communication. (This site is no longer available.)