EVEN BY THE HEATED STANDARDS OF the abortion debate, the arguments last year over partial-birth abortions were remarkably emotional. Right-to-life groups and their congressional allies portrayed these procedures as ghastly events: late-term fetuses being extracted from the womb and killed.
IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR WHEN DAZED and confused parents of school-age children try to find their way through the jargon jungle. Portfolio assessment, critical thinking, multiple learning styles, metacognitive skills, whole language--after a few classroom conferences, parents must begin to wonder whether some of these teachers ever speak standard English.
ARE THE HOLIDAYS GIVING you the urge to finally chart that family tree? Remap the vegetable garden? Send out some slick New Year's party invitations? Maybe even make your own stack of 150 Christmas cards? (Well, OK, you can skip the cards.) Whatever your creative impulse, Visio Home 3.0 can probably make the job more fun though not necessarily more sophisticated, given the coloringbook tone of some of the images.
A major problem with translating books into CD-ROM format it that some stories are best told in print; the electronic versions just look silly. Fortunately, that's not the case with the Dorling Kindersley version of David Macauley's popular "The Way Things Work." The disc, like the book, is an explanation of dozens of machines and inventions.
ANYONE WHO'S HAD THE luxury of full Internet access knows the World-Wide Web is great browsing territory. But for those who want to wander the Web and don't yet have access through a SLIP or PPP connection, there's now another way in: it's SlipKnot, a shareware browser ($29.95) that lets you do almost everything Netscape and NCSA Mosaic do-just at a slightly slower speed. (For information, send a blank e-mail message to slipknot@micromind .Corn).
NICK WEST, a researcher at New York University's Interactive Telecommunications Program, produces a public-access show, which he says is "interactive television for Joe or Jane Six pack." All you need is cable TV and a phone. "Yorb: The Electronic Neighborhood" (Thursday at 11 p.m.
The world's largest rhodochrosite crystal -- so valuable it's been nicknamed the Mona Lisa of crystals -- has been uncovered in a mine in Colorado. A slew of museums, including the Smithsonian, want it, but the man who found the rock has made a deal for it to go on display at the Denver Museum of Natural History.
Who knew that truckers needed anything more than hot coffee and bad chili to keep them happy? Facing a chronic shortage of drivers willing to bunk on the road for weeks at a time, major trucking companies have borrowed a solution from independent drivers: bring the comforts of home along.