Sites for the Season
SNOW AND ICE WILL REIGN
The forecast is for lots of cool athletes at the XX Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy this February. To get ready for all that snow skiing and ice skating, we suggest some Web surfing. These winning sites are filled with details on Olympic event schedules, athletes, and history. Plus, if seeing Italian venues whets your appetite for pasta or antipasto, you’ll discover a feast of online recipes.
Go straight to where the action is by visiting the official Torino 2006 site. This host city is clearly passionate about the Olympics and shares its energy on every page. Read inspirational descriptions of all the sports. Watch dramatic video presentations. Even send specially created Olympic e-cards. It’s the next best thing to being there.
Root for the Home Team
Get behind the red, white, and blue as they go for gold, silver, and bronze in Torino. The official site of the U.S. Olympic team features athlete bios, event schedules, FAQs, and an “Ask an Olympian” section just waiting for your questions. Want to wear your pride on your sleeve? Check out the U.S. Olympic Shop.
Feel Like Italian?
Torino is in the Piedmont region of northern Italy where antipasto is a hallmark of local cuisine. The area’s most famous antipasto dish, bagna cauda (vegetables dipped fondue-style into a “hot bath” of oil, anchovies, and garlic), combines their passion for garlic and love of vegetables. Something to nibble on in front of the TV, perhaps?
Presidents’ Day is February 20. Should you elect to learn more about Washington, Lincoln, or the others, these sites are just the ticket. Check out their childhoods. Get links to their libraries and even go to their gravesites. You’ll find fascinating facts about these very famous faces.
A Portrait Gallery
This site is truly a masterpiece. It was created for C-SPAN’s television series, American Presidents: Life Portraits, winner of the 59th Annual Peabody award. Take a close look at presidential biographies including family backgrounds, key events, and administrations. You can also view the complete video archive and see how various presidents fared in C-SPAN’s Survey of Presidential Leadership.
Your journey through presidential history is best begun at this Pennsylvania Avenue address. The official White House site contains a comprehensive collection of biographies, portraits, and photographs; links to libraries and museums –even a 360-degree virtual tour of the Oval Office. Kids will want to check out their page, featuring presidential bios provided by fifth graders from Arlington,Virginia.
S’MORE ABOUT CAMPS
Warm weather may be months away, but now’s the time to camp out in front of the computer and research summer programs. From old-fashioned activities to high-tech education, there’s a camp out there for all kinds of kids.
Follow This Trail
Get out your hiking boots. You’ll cover lots of ground at these two popular camp sites. Included are program summaries and links to thousands of different camps, both in the U.S. and abroad. Does your child love sports? Performing arts? Computers? Travel? Whatever the interest, there’s a summer adventure just waiting to be planned right now.
Act Like A Kid
Why should kids have all the fun? If thinking about summer camp is making you a little jealous, there are plenty of grownup options. Check out this online directory featuring fun and educational camps for the adult traveler. Get your motor running at car racing camp. Whip up a feast like a fine chef. Or enjoy once-in-a-lifetime extreme sport adventures. Just be sure to send your kids a postcard now and then so they won’t worry.
The American Camp Association brings together top professionals in camping to share wisdom, insights, and advice on this site. Get counseling on how to pick the right camp, pack the suitcases, and even deal with homesickness. You’ll also enjoy lots of search options here – look for a camp based on activity or cultural focus, special needs, location, child age, cost range, or length of session.
PRIVATE. KEEP OUT.
Identity theft is becoming more and more common—about 250,000 cases were reported to the Federal Trade Commission in 2004. How do you reduce the chance you’ll be it’s next victim? Steal a few minutes to snoop around the sites below. You’ll find plenty of strategies for protecting your personal information from unwanted use.
Just Say No
Financial institutions routinely share customer information with affiliated businesses and other third parties. When you open a bank account or apply for a credit card, be sure to check the opt-out box on the application form to prevent having your information shared. You can get printable opt-out form letters at this site, as well as advice on reducing junk mail and faxes, telemarketing, and spamming.
Quiet Those Calls
Had one too many dinners interrupted by a magazine sales pitch? Then it’s time to register your phone numbers on the FTC’s Do Not Call list. Once you register online, most telemarketers should stop calling in a month or so. You will need to reregister every five years, so mark your long-range calendar now.
Avoid Credit Cons
Federal law now entitles U.S. citizens to order one free copy of their credit report from each of the three nationwide companies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion – every 12 months. Checking these reports is the best way to make sure you haven’t become a victim of identity theft. Beware of online scams though. The ONLY authorized source for your free annual credit reports is www.annualcreditreport.com.
Social Security Security
Worried about someone else misusing your Social Security number? Visit the Social Security Administration’s page on identity theft and load up on tips for safeguarding your Social Security number.