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Captology: Computers as Persuasive Technologies
"The Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab creates insight into how computing products -- from websites to mobile phone software -- can be designed to change what people believe and what they do." This unusual field of study is called captology, and the subject is explored in detail on the lab's homepage. The Key Concepts section provides a brief overview of captology and links to another page with nine topic papers published by researchers at the lab. In a series of examples demonstrating how comp
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Paleontological Research Institution: Touring the Collections
The Paleontological Research Institution has a museum containing "a world-class collection, containing everything from dinosaur eggs of China to one of the most comprehensive Paleozoic trilobite, brachiopod, coral and crinoid collections in the United States." The Touring the Collections page allows visitors to view some of the museums most valued items. Students can currently choose from either arthropods or echinoderms, and then from several subcategories from the virtual specimen drawers. The
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The AgNIC Dairy Information Center
The AgNIC (Agriculture Network Information Center) Dairy Information Center -- "a guide to quality information on the Internet" -- is a new open-access Web portal from the University of Wisconsin's Steenbock Library. The site is intended for "researchers in the field of dairy science, for farmers and others who raise dairy cattle, and for students of all ages interested in dairy." Users may easily browse the guide by navigating the website's nested categories, or simply search the entire site by
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Frontline: Dangerous Prescription
In the recent PBS broadcast Dangerous Prescriptions, Frontline "investigates the integrity of America's drug safety system." The documentary (viewable in its entirety online) explores "the FDA's handling of several drugs that were approved but later were pulled from the market after causing injuries and even deaths." The companion website offers a look at how the FDA works and details of its recent record, based on interviews with current and former FDA officials. Also, readers may share their t
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National Environmental Data Index
The National Environmental Data Index is maintained by the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration Environmental Information Service. The service provides a full text search of information from twelve governmental agencies including the US Department of Agriculture, Department of Energy, Department of Interior, Environmental Protection Agency, and NASA. Users can choose to search from all or individual agencies, by type of information, and by several specific subjects. Results display th
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America's Backyard: Exploring Your Public Lands
America's Backyard: Exploring Your Public Lands is the featured topic of National Geographic's Geography Action! -- an "annual conservation and awareness program designed to educate and excite people about our natural, cultural, and historic treasures." This Web site offers a number of public land-related educational activities, many of the which apply directly to the life sciences. Activities are available for grades K-12, and cover such topics as the role of forests in our daily lives, conserv
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Human Genome Project Information: DNA Forensics
A detailed introduction to DNA forensic identification can be found on this Web site, provided by the US Human Genome Project (coordinated by the Department of Energy and the national Institutes of Health). The site includes descriptions of or links to a number of fascinating case studies, such as proving the son of executed French King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette did indeed die as a child in prison, and testing claims that African Lemba tribesmen are directly descended from the ancient tribe
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Highlight of Biochemistry: Molecular Structures Made Visible
This Web site from the University of Hamburg Faculty of Biology offers useful three-dimensional images of molecular structures, many of them animated. The dozens of images included in this site should help visual learners understand molecular structure and function in a number of contexts, including virology, immunology, neurology, photosynthesis, genetics, and more. Detailed descriptions and related information accompany each image. This Web site also provides links to three tutorials covering
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Koko's World
Koko's World is provided by the Gorilla Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to "bring interspecies communication to the public, in order to save gorillas from extinction, and inspire our children to create a better future for all the great apes." KokoTV, part of the Koko's World Web site, offers video clips of Koko (the famous signing gorilla) communicating with friends. A recently added clip contains footage of Koko purring, an expression of contentment. In watching this and the eight
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Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards
ExploraVision is a competition sponsored by Toshiba, Inc. and the National Science Teachers' Association (NSTA). The competition, which is open to all students in grades K-12 attending a school in the U.S., Canada, U.S. territory or a Department of Defense school, provides students a chance to "develop skills that will prepare them well for the 21st century workplace." Through ExploraVision, students work in teams to select a technology, research how it works and why it was invented, and then gi
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Welcome to the Web
Welcome to the Web is a great place to learn the basics of using the Internet and the World Wide Web. It is tailored to children, but if inexperienced adults can get past the cartoon drawings, anyone can benefit from the site. The first section provides an overview of the Internet and some terminology. Next is a section on guestbooks, followed by an overview of Web browsers. "Searching the Net" and research techniques comprise the last two sections. Each category consists of several interactive
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A Calculus Review
A professor of mathematics at San Jose State University created this online review of calculus concepts. It is divided into three main categories: integration, derivatives, and limits. Each section begins with some review material, explaining the necessary rules and equations. After reading the review, users can then take an interactive quiz over what they just learned. There is one quiz on limits and two on derivatives. The integration section is a bit more in depth, with focuses on two differe
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Conservation International: Biodiversity Hotspots
The nonprofit organization Conservation International (CI) aims to "conserve Earth's living natural heritage, our global diversity, and to demonstrate that human societies are able to live harmoniously with nature." This Web site from CI's Center for Applied Biodiversity Science explains how biodiversity hotspots are designated and offers visitors a look at efforts to protect "these biologically rich areas around the world under significant threat of destruction." The highlight of this site is t
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Atrevida: Game Programming Tutorials
Although it is labeled as an introduction to PC game programming, the tutorials given on Atrevida additionally cover many aspects of mathematics and general computer science. A modest background in the C language is suggested, but many of the sections involve more theory than actual programming. There are nearly twenty topics that explain basic computer operation, graphics programming, and the 80x86 assembler. A very interesting section describes sound waves and compression techniques, while ano
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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute: Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences presents its work in three main topics: environmental geochemistry and hydrology, geochemistry of the Earth's interior, and solid-earth geophysics. For each topic, the website offers summaries of the faculty's successes and current projects as well as links to the latest research news stories. Visitors can discover the equipment and technology available at the Jonsson-Rowland Science Center and the Materials Re
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Flu in the United States
Visitors to this Web site provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Infectious Diseases will find detailed, authoritative answers to any questions they may have about the flu. In addition to explanations of flu transmission, treatment, vaccination, etc., this Web site offers updated surveillance reports on the status of influenza in the US. The Questions and Answers page is a good source for quick, easy-to-absorb information, and it clears up many misconcep
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A Butterfly's Life
Teachers in the market for lesson plans about butterflies can find hundreds of pages of Web-based material, but those looking for something simple and straightforward might be interested in this Web site, a joint project of Lotus School, Hult Museum, and the Wildlife Prairie Park in Illinois. Well-organized pages of text and images offer descriptions of butterfly migration, life cycle, habitat, food web, body parts, and gender. The site also provides research questions and steps that "outline a
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10Ticks.co.uk
10Ticks is a montage of free mathematics lessons, worksheets, and games based on the UK's National Numeracy Strategy. One of the most popular attractions of the Web site is Pac Math, a fun game that allows children to practice basic arithmetic. Over 200 worksheets discuss topics in algebra, geometrical shapes and spaces, statistics, and more. Several more features are available after registration. For example, teachers can access free sample learning packs with suggested exercises to present in
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NOAA Weather Education
NOAA offers links to a variety of educational materials on meteorology, hydrology, climatology, and other weather-related fields for children, teens, and young adults at this website. Students can find websites where they can learn about hurricanes, storms, tornadoes, and floods through interactive games. Teachers can find lightning safety presentations, satellite images, lightning photos, and glossaries. The website offers materials on weather related careers, degree programs, distance learning
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The Graphite Page
John A. Jaszczak at Michigan Technological University presents the characteristics of graphite at this website. Students can find concise descriptions and helpful images about graphite properties, spirals, and structures. The website offers images and descriptions of graphite found all over the world. Using Macromedia Flash Player, students can observe graphite levitating due to its diamagnetic susceptibility. The website also offers an interactive applet presenting the atom positions for nano-t
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