Web Smarts

www.panda.org

WHAT: Ever seen those WWF bumper stickers with pandas on them? They're not about professional wrestling. They stand for the World Wide Fund for Nature, the world's largest conservation organization with some 5 million supporters.

BEST POINTS: Panda.org is an excellent source of reference for almost any kind of information about the environment. It is chock-full of interesting pictures, statistics, suggestions for taking environmental action, as well as up-to-the-date news on the environment. The site includes everything from the personalized "Panda Passport" - which is an interactive, worldwide campaign for the environment - to a monthly slide show (currently of indigenous peoples). Be sure to check out the "Just For Kids" section. Here children can learn while they browse through the storybook-like pages of "Virtual Wildlife," which includes topics like oceanic islands, freshwater wetlands, grasslands, and polar regions. In addition, a Video Library lets browsers view video clips. By clicking the "Earth Reports" section you will find a list of video clips from dozens of different regions with topics from Aliens in Australia to Bandits in India.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The wealth of information at Panda.org may take a little time to navigate. One of the biggest obstacles is that the kid's page and the video pages all require you to download free related software, called "plug-ins," (if you don't already have it). That may not be a problem for some, but could be tricky for those new to the Web. Just take your time.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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