Petitions on the Web
The Internet continues to transform politics, and now is antiquating door-to-door petitioners who gather signatures for issues of local or national importance. PetitionOnline.com, calling itself "the new marketplace of free ideas," offers free hosting of public petitions for responsible public advocacy. The idea is to facilitate grassroots democracy and all issues are acceptable except those that advocate violence, extreme hostility, that use foul language, or are otherwise irresponsible or antisocial. A petition writer simply writes the text of a petition, posts it online and solicits signers to log in and sign it. Petitions are then delivered electronically or physically printed for the original author to disseminate to the responsible parties. To validate signers, the service logs each signature and e-mail address for possible statistical validation, rejecting duplicates.
Ground Zero photos
The great photographer Joel Meyerowitz was one of the first to document the devastation of the World Trade Center towers in New York using a large-format camera. His images, taking within days of the initial devastation, serve as a permanent record of the immediate aftermath before cleanup efforts began. Many of his images are online now at his Web site, although the small screen size and resolution doesn't do justice to the detail and immersive experience the actual prints will evoke when they are enlarged in a gallery. The site also includes interviews with the photographer, including one with "Fresh Air" host Terry Gross, writings by and about him, and information about his recent film, "POP." Click on www.joelmeyerowitz.com.
Money: The root of all evil?
Bits of paper and metallic coins -- we work day and night to get our hands on them. But what do they represent and how did money come to be in its present form? The British Museum in London is exploring the world of money, and this Web site (www.thebritishmuseum.ac.uk/worldofmoney/index.html) supports that inquiry with resources for students or those just interested in how it all came about. Visitors can click through to explore various money-related themes, complete with interesting commentary and resources.
The evolutionary journey so far
How far have we come? Becoming Human (www.becominghuman.org) is an interactive documentary experience that tells the story of our origins. This online documentary -- best suited to broadband connections -- journeys through what scientists understand about 4 million years of human evolution. This educational resource also features news and academic links, and lesson plans and activities for teachers. The documentary is presented by the Institute of Human Origins.
Where is he?
Six months after Sept. 11, the issues on the minds of America's schoolchildren are not much different than those that concern adults as explored in this special report at Scholastic News Zone: How have I changed? Where's Osama? Is it safe to fly?
The package of features at zone/specialreports/911/index.htm includes compelling personal accounts such as that of 10-year-old Nikki Bono, who saw one of the planes hit the World Trade Center and was displaced from her home and school. Visitors to the site are invited to share their feelings.
"If we must live in a world where Enron, Mariah Carey, Geraldo Rivera and Cottonelle Fresh Rollwipes exist, the least we can do is catalog the absurdities." So declare the editors of Business 2.0 in issuing their second annual list of the 101 Dumbest Moments in Business, at www.business2.com/dumbest
A few examples: No. 19: "CNN 1, Fox News 1: The Fox News Channel hires Geraldo Rivera. And sends him to Afghanistan. With a camera crew. And a return ticket." No. 40: "The Newspaper Association of America names Kmart Retailer of the Year' on Jan. 21, 2002, one day before the company files for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11." And, yes, Enron tops the list with a citation that begins: "Houston, We Have a Problem".
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