NOAA: Hurricanes

Nature's deadliest storms can bring torrential rain and winds of more than 75 miles per hour, and they often leave unimaginable devastation in their wakes. The Web's best resource--whether you're in the eye of the storm or just curious about the history, naming practices or meteorological detection of these tropical phenomena--is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's one-stop infosite. It includes a checklist of precautions to take in case of emergency, links to continuous watch over cyclones worldwide, and an archive of satellite images of hurricanes from the past 30 years. A must-bookmark destination that should be consulted before those rainy days.

Earth From Above

Equal parts cultural artifact, scientific study and objet d'art, French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand's Earth From Above is a stunning collection of hundreds of aerial photographs from countries spanning the globe. Accompanied by text written by both his wife and scientists, each photo is more extraordinary than the last, whether it be Mt. Everest as seen through a helicopter window, a line of camels as tiny as ants crossing the Sahara or a lone human against the emerald gingham of Yankee Stadium's outfield. Each photo can be downloaded as computer desktop wallpaper--good luck choosing just one!

Earth Science World

Where else on the Web can you engage in an actual simulation of drilling for oil and build your own custom timeline of the prehistoric past in the same place? The surprisingly educational oil game fits right in at this info goldmine that's so much fun you hardly realize you're getting a full course in earth science while striking it rich. The site also possesses a staggering, fully searchable image bank of virtually every possible nook, cranny or rock formation you could wish for. Still digging? Check out the climate data at weather stations around the world, or bone up on potential careers in geoscience.

How Volcanoes Work There's enough magma, lava and pyroclastic flow to keep both novice and expert occupied for centuries here at NASA's volcanism HQ. Fire up your knowledge of different types of eruptions, the environments and controls of the various landforms that give rise to volcanoes, famous volcanoes from history--and then test yourself on all the explosive knowledge you've picked up along the way. Real hotshots can immerse themselves in a full section on the eruption activity on other planets as well as Spatter Patter, the volcano crossword.

The Living Edens

PBS has done it again with an extensive suite of companion Web sites for its television program series The Living Edens. Explore the far reaches of the globe, where animal and plant life flourish free from human intrusion. Box with the kangaroos in Kakadu, Australia, construct a mini glacier like the ones in Patagonia, or track a year in the life of Alaska's Mt. McKinley. Each individual site bears a distinct design, images and screen savers, and teacher resources. Both educational and entertaining, The Living Edens offers a virtual trip around the world from the comfort of your desk chair.


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