Web Smarts

what: with halloween just around the corner, this site devoted to all things pumpkin offers timely assistance for carving your next jack-o'-lantern.

BEST POINTS: The site has a page of templates - ranging from a classic smiley face to more elaborate and spooky expressions - that can be downloaded off your computer. Print out the one you want, tape it onto the front of your pumpkin and, using a pin or a small knife, prick holes around the areas to be carved. Remove the paper and you're ready to go. You can even do a "virtual" carving as a trial run. Simply select a set of features from the choices on display, and the program will demonstrate how they will look on your pumpkin. Elsewhere on the site, you can take a trivia quiz - are pumpkins vegetables or fruits? - and check out their "fun facts." And for those with a culinary bent, the site offers tips on how to cook pumpkins, explaining which varieties are best for eating, how to tell if a pumpkin is ripe, and the proper way to roast pumpkin seeds. There's even a recipe for pumpkin pie.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: is the home page for the Swan Pumpkin Farm in Racine County, Wis. It is free of charge. To get to the jack-o'-lantern templates, first go to the home page, choose the "Fun and Games" link, and then the "Cool Carving Templates" link. They advise kids to have an adult present when carving and recommend that they use a plastic pumpkin-carving knife for safety.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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