Some readers may not need an invitation to world literature, but this very interesting and thoughtful website created by Annenberg Media offers the welcoming embrace of such works as the Bhagavad Gita and the epic of Gilgamesh. The site complements a 13-part video series, which offers up literature from "a range of eras, places, cultures, languages, and traditions." Your host for this adventure is Professor David Damrosch, and performers and artists such as Kristin Chenoweth, Philip Glass, and Wole Soyinka join him. The texts explored here include "My Name is Red" by Orhan Pamuk, "Candide" by Voltaire, and "Things Fall Apart" by Chinua Achebe. For each text, visitors can watch the 30-minute corresponding program, read selections from each work, and also explore the historical and cultural context of each work through interactive maps and other features.
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San Francisco's Exploratorium showcases the work of researchers at the Natural History Museum in London and Las Cuevas Biological Station in Belize, who are investigating the nature and diversity of life. From Jungle to Lab is part of the Exploratorium's Origin Project, created to explain how scientists explore "the beginnings of the universe, of matter, of the earth, and of life itself." This well-designed Web site contains loads of multimedia features, such as a slide show of Las Cuevas (including a 360 view of the biological station), video and audio clips of researchers explaining their work, Web casts, and much more. The contents of this site are thoughtfully organized and skillfully presented. For example, the section titled Ideas appears as a virtual field notebook, each page addressing a different aspect of evolutionary mechanism for biodiversity. In all, this is a fantastic Web site that is worth a visit for design features alone, if not the enlightening content.
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