The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is exploring a unique application of biometrics technologies: a handgun that can recognize its owner and only fire when being held by that person. This innovation could make it impossible for a criminal to steal an officer's firearm and use it against other people. Metal Storm, the company that is working with the NIJ to develop the gun, has presentations and technology descriptions on its home page.
From Jungle to Lab: The Study of Life's Complexity
San Francisco's Exploratorium showcases the work of researchers at the Natural History Museum in London and Las Cuevas Biological Station in Belize, who are investigating the nature and diversity of life. From Jungle to Lab is part of the Exploratorium's Origin Project, created to explain how scientists explore "the beginnings of the universe, of matter, of the earth, and of life itself." This well-designed Web site contains loads of multimedia features, such as a slide show of Las Cuevas (inclu
Gartner, Inc., which provides research and analysis on the global IT industry for clients worldwide, offers annual predictions for the year ahead in the areas of technology, application, and industry. This section of the website highlights the firm's 2005 predictions for technology. Some of the technologies addressed in this issue include open source software, public network infrastructure, and mobile and wireless technologies. The full document must be purchased, but visitors may browse through
The Thylacine Museum: A Natural History of the Thylacinidae
This Web site is offered through C. Campbell's Natural Worlds, a "completely nonprofit, education online series which exists as a means of providing detailed information on a variety of topics within the natural history field." The Thylacine Museum, not surprisingly, is devoted to the now extinct thylacine (also known as the Tasmanian tiger). The site includes "information covering virtually all aspects of this very unique Australian marsupial." Users can browse dozens of pages of detailed artic
Café Scientifique, supported by the independent research-funding charity Wellcome Trust and many local sponsors, "is a forum for the discussion of important and interesting scientific issues that is much more informal and accessible than a public lecture." Visitors can find out the current locations of the meetings throughout the world as well as read newspaper articles featuring a few of these gatherings. At the website, users can find out what to expect when attending Café Scientifique gathe
UK Particle Physics, Astronomy, and Space Science (PPARC): Frontiers
The Frontiers publication offers the latest news and activities of the Research Council's funded projects and the UK Particle Physics, Astronomy, and Space Science's (PPARC) funded scientists. Produced three times a year, each issue is easy to navigate with quick links to the space science and particle physics articles on the Contents page as well as a keyword search. The website offers archives of the publication since 1997. Each issue contains five sections: the Contents, Editorial, Update, Fe
USC Institute for Creative Technologies: Graphics Lab
The Graphics Lab is part of the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technologies. The lab performs research on computer graphics and modeling techniques such as image-based lighting, range scanning, and animation. This is all made possible by a U.S. Army contract "to advance the state of immersive training simulation." The Lab's homepage offers many details on the various projects within each research area; there are several publications that can be downloaded to complemen
Sloan Digital Sky Survey
The Sloan Digital Sky Survey "will map in detail one-quarter of the entire sky, determining the positions and absolute brightnesses of more than 100 million celestial objects" as well as "measure the distances to more than a million galaxies and quasars." The website details the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) mapmaking strategies, timelines, survey progress, and project goals. Visitors can view the many fantastic images collected at the Apache Point Observatory, the site of the SDSS tel
Museum of Southwestern Biology: Mammals
The Mammal Collection at the University of New Mexico's Museum of Southwestern Biology (MSB) "contains over 118,000 specimens, mostly from the southwestern United States, Mexico, Central and South America, but there are also large holdings from other portions on North America, Japan, Africa, and Eurasia." MSB offers a searchable database of the Mammal Collection with search fields for Order, Family, Species, Continent/Ocean, Country, Sex, Season, and more. MSB specimen loans are available to "re
ARS Water Database
From the Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory of the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) comes the ARS Water Database Web site. The database is a collection of precipitation and streamflow data from small agricultural watersheds in the United States, including variable time-series readings sufficient in detail to reconstruct storm hydrographs and hyetographs. Users can choose from any US state to view available data. Each station is listed along with its location, coverage area in acres,
PSRC: Physical Sciences Resource Center
Developed by the American Association of Physics Teachers, "the Physical Sciences Resource Center (PSRC) is a web-based databank that provides K-20 teachers links to a wide range of teaching and learning resources in the physical sciences." Users can search the numerous resources by topics, type, or keyword. With each entry, the website provides a description, information on the author, subjects covered, level, intended users, resource types, possible costs, and other useful facts. Interested in
National Estuaries Day
Get the most out of National Estuaries Day (October 5, 2002) by visiting this Web site from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Follow a link to Estuary Live!, which offers online interactive fieldtrips through a number of estuaries around the nation. Guided tours of eight estuaries will be webcast live October 3 and 4, supplemented by videos from a number of other estuaries. Internet participants "will have an opportunity to see the fascinating creatures that make estuar
As part of the University of California Santa Barbara Library, the Astronomy subject Web page contains dozens of links on the subject. Sites are categorized in indexes and gateways, NASA pages, observatories, organizations and associations, current topics, interactive resources, and periodicals. If all that isn't enough, the site even has an astronomy picture of the day.
Created by the Institute for Molecular Virology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, this Web site offers high quality virus images that may be used for seminar presentations or any other noncommercial use. Users can choose from American Society for Virology conference poster images, enhanced EM pictures, and images of virology-related book and journal covers. Images may be searched by virus name; the results page will provide links to summary information from the Protein Data Bank and to the
The Solar Decathlon
In October 2002, teams of students from universities around the US competed in the Solar Decathlon, an eleven-day event that challenges the participants "to design, build, and operate the most effective and efficient solar-powered house." The Solar Decathlon homepage features information about the contest, the different designs, and the experiences of each team. Contestants also share their insight into energy conservation and solar power by providing some tips for consumers. An especially inter
Worm Watch is part of NatureWatch (first reported on in the May 31, 2002, NSDL Scout Report for Life Sciences), which is series of programs--administered collaboratively by the Canadian Nature Federation, the University of Guelph, and the Ecological Monitoring and Assessment Network--that "encourage schools, community groups, individuals, naturalists, backyard enthusiasts, Scouts and Guides to engage in the monitoring of soil, air, water and other aspects of environmental quality." For students
Gas molecule motion
This page describes the relationship between kinetic energy of molecules and temperature.
Popcorn : if you like popcorn, which one would you buy?
This third challenge in the Figure This! list of 80 math challenges directs the student to use popcorn to compare the volumes of tall and short cylinders formed with 8- by 11-inch sheets of paper. The challenge points out that it is important to be able to make visual estimates and find volumes. The web page includes links to a solution hint, the solution, other related math questions, and print resources that contain mathematics activities about packaging and wrapping shapes. The Did You Know a
The Factor Game
Students will use a game setting to identify the properties of prime, composite, abundant, deficient, and perfect numbers. This lesson plan includes the objective, overview of the lesson, needed materials including transparency and worksheets, procedures and rules of the game, extensions and connections, resources, and ideas for discussion.
Urban Tree Planting: Soil 101
Ever wondered how trees live amidst city sidewalks? This two-minute radio program from the show Pulse of the Planet focuses on the below-ground challenge that urban trees face--city soil. In the program, which is provided here in audio and text formats, a horticulturalist describes the importance of soil and the soil quality and quantity problems often found in cities. She then talks about a mixture that she and fellow researchers at Cornell University have developed called structural soil, whic