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Canku Ota
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(Many Paths)
An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America
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Favorite Web Sites
collected by Paul and Vicki
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
The Indian Pueblo Cultural Center is a world-class museum and cultural center created as a place where Pueblo people can tell their story. As the gateway to the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico, the IPCC is a necessary first stop for visitors to New Mexico, providing an introduction for understanding the state's landscape, legacy, and story of continuance. The IPCC hosts traditional Native American dances every weekend year round and offers an exciting schedule of cultural, educational, and community activities.
Chequamegon History
The Chequamegon History website was started in March 2013 by Leo Filipczak, then writing under the pseudonym “Phil Liutas.” Leo has a B.S. in History and Social Studies Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but is a teacher, not a professional historian. He was born, raised, and has lived all but five years of his life within twenty miles of Bayfield, Wisconsin.
Anishinaabeg Bimaadiziwin
We use the phrase "Anishinaabeg Bimaadiziwin" as our main title for this site as it is meant to encompass living, talking and walking the path of being an Ojibwe person through culture, ceremony and language. The term can have many meanings, one being "The Ojibwe people's way of living a good life?."
The Raven's Call
Bill Reid was born in 1920 to a Scottish-American father and a Haida mother. He became one of Canada’s most celebrated artists, one whose work embodied two profoundly different cultural traditions. This site explores Bill Reid’s quest to understand Haida art, and on the journey, discover his own roots.
Native Knowledge 360°
Native Knowledge 360° is the National Museum of the American Indian's national initiative to inspire and promote improvement of teaching and learning about American Indians.
Best for the Kids
Best for the Kids was launched with a single mission - helping you to never settle for the second-best stuff for your kids.Not only that, our goal is to also make you a better parent for your kids, by publishing in-depth guides about raising children, parenting techniques, and behavioral development of kids.
Veiled Lightning weaves archival footage, informant interviews, original art, and exclusive news coverage into a documentary that explores how protest movements unfurling across the Southwest and the nation provide for social and environmental justice and fight genocide, oppression, exploitation and appropriation to save Indigenous culture while simultaneously creating a way for us to all heal from our national history. The story of the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 has looped back into the present, revealing how what seems lost to time is back for a final reconcilation.
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Zoo Animals
June is National Zoo and Aquarium month, and today we are going on a virtual zoo hop. I hope you enjoy the lions, and tigers, and bears, oh my!
Houston Zoo
Best clicks for virtual visitors are found under Meet the Animals and Exhibits. Click around and you'll find articles about Animal Art, Animal Care, and a whole section on animal conservation. "In recent years, conservation biologists have drawn our attention to a worldwide decline in wild populations of frogs, toads, and salamanders – a phenomenon that has come to be called the Global Amphibian Crisis."
Lincoln Park Zoo: Animals
In addition to browsing the annotated animal photo gallery (which is appropriate for all ages), older students can explore the Conservation & Science section about international effects by Lincoln’s scientists to "identify threats to zoo and wild populations and develop strategies to ensure their continued existence." For example, the Goualougo Triangle Ape Project is studying gorillas and chimpanzees in a remote part of the Republic of Congo.
Los Angeles Zoo: Animals & Plants
Amphibians, birds, invertebrates, mammals, and reptiles are all on display at the LA Zoo, along with a botanical garden. Other sections on my do-not-miss list are Rainforest of the Americas and Elephants of Asia. "Elephants of Asia is designed to increase appreciation, amazement, and wonder for these great animals and to familiarize guests with the challenges Asian elephants face in the wild, including their shrinking natural habitat."
National Zoo
Highlights of The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. are the Meet the Animals photo gallery, arranged alphabetically from Abyssinian ground hornbill to Yellow-spotted Amazon river turtle, and the live webcams (lion, elephant, and giant panda.) "Welcome to the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Panda Cams, where you can watch giant pandas Tian Tian, Mei Xiang, and Bei Bei. While you're watching pandas chomp on bamboo, play in trees and tumble in the grass, specially trained volunteers with Friends of the National Zoo are hard at work using these cameras to collect behavioral data on the giant pandas."

San Diego Zoo: Kids
First stop on our virtual tour of the world-famous San Diego Zoo is their kid section for their zoo games, animal crafts, science experiments, and profiles of "Wildly Famous Featured Creatures." The zoo does a lot of work in animal conservation, and their site has an excellent section on research efforts in China, the Pacific Islands, the southwestern United States, the Caribbean Islands, and South America. For specific animal backgrounders (for reports and such) return to the main zoo homepage, and click on Animals.

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Ben Franklin’s Kite Experiment
In June of 1752, Ben Franklin sought to prove that lightning was electrical by flying a kite in stormy weather. When Franklin touched the iron key attached to the kite’s string, he saw sparks fly between his knuckle and the metal key. But some historians doubt that this famous experiment really happened.
Code Check: Ben Franklin and the Kite Experiment
Code Check, a publisher of books about building and electrical codes, is not the usual educational site for middle-school students, but they feature Ben Franklin in many of their books because he "made major contributions to each of the four main disciplines of building inspection: Building, Plumbing, Mechanical, and Electrical." This page explains Franklin's famous experiment along with an overview of the Leyden jar used in the experiment. "The first device capable of storing an electric charge was the Leyden jar. Invented by a German, Ewald G. von Kleist, on November 4, 1745, he made the discovery by accident."
Julian T. Rubin: Ben Franklin
Because there was no eyewitness account written about Franklin's kite experiment, some historians argue that the experiment didn't occur at all, and others argue that it happened differently than described. "It doesn't really matter if Benjamin Franklin indeed performed the kite experiment in reality. What really matters is the question if this experiment (or maybe only a theoretical proposal) is founded on sound scientific principles and as a matter of fact it is a possible experiment that enables the conclusion that lightning is an electric phenomenon."
Museum of Hoaxes: The Electric Kite Hoax
Historian Tom Tucker has his own ideas about Franklin's electrifying kite adventure, and published a book about it ("Bolt of Fate: Benjamin Franking and his Electric Kite Hoax") in 2003. Tucker argues that the experiment was originally proposed as a joke to get back at the British Royal Society because they had given a cold shoulder to his earlier electrical research. "It was his way of saying, Go fly a kite in a storm! But when his suggestion reached France, where people took it seriously, Franklin decided to play along and claimed he really had conducted the experiment."
PBS: Ben Franklin: How Shocking
"From a simple glass rod to an invention that still today saves lives, explore some of Franklin's electrifying discoveries and test your knowledge of electricity." This fab multimedia activity from PBS demonstrates three of Franklin's experiments, including recreating his kite experiment. Choose material for the key, various parts of the kite string, and then pick your weather conditions, and watch what happens.

Franklin's Kite Experiment
Created and collected by Wright Fellow Robert A. Morse and archived at ComPADRE, this seven page PDF for high-school and college students, is just one piece of a larger project titled "Ben Franklin As My Lab Partner – Experiments in Electrostatics." Learn more about Franklin's experiments by following along with Joseph Priestley's 1775 account of it, along with related excerpts from other eighteenth-century scientists. Dr Morse concludes that given the number of times the experiment has been safely reproduced, there is no reason to doubt the accounts given by Franklin and Priestley.

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The National Genealogical Society estimates that family history is the second most popular hobby in America (after gardening) and one of the most searched for topics on the Internet. As a hobby, genealogy has all the right stuff. It is fun, educational, addictive, and everyone (regardless of their age) can join in.
Family Education: Conducting Genealogical Research
Thirty how-to articles and a set of printable forms comprise this family history lesson from Family Education. The information on conducting family interviews is excellent, with advice such as "Start with easy, friendly questions." There is also a printable checklist of interview questions, and dozens of research tips such as "If an exact date is not known, then whenever possible estimate the dates rather than leaving them entirely blank."
Family Search: Family History Activities for Children
"Children love to learn about the world they live in as well as the family they belong to. The following links, charts, and exercises will provide some helpful ways to help teach your children all about their current and extended family." This page of genealogy activities is for kids under twelve. For older kids, look for the link near the bottom of page under the Additional Activities heading.
Family Tree Kids
"Family Tree Kids is a site where you learn how to become a "family detective" and dig up clues about your ancestry. Our games and activities are created just for kids – none of that boring grownup stuff – so you can have fun tracing your roots!" Scavenger for treasure in grandma's attic, and record the clues you dig up on the printable forms and charts you'll find in the toolkit. Genealogy Classes
"In genealogical research, vital records are the foundation to our success. Vital records pertain to birth, marriage and death records. Divorce records are sometimes classified as vital records, but more often, as court records." For older students ready to take the next step in their family research, serves up fifty free online lessons to explore at your own pace. Each covers a specific topic (such as U.S. Customs Passenger Lists) making it easy to find the information you want if you are looking for specific help.

PBS Learning Media: Genealogy Roadshow
PBS offers full episodes of their Genealogy Roadshow series, along with tips and techniques for discovering your personal family history. "Resources include an introduction to genealogical research from two prominent genealogists, clips from the show demonstrating how personal stories connect to larger events in history, and brief historical introductions to key people, places, and events in U.S. and world history."

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On This Day in History
The noting of historical anniversaries teaches us history and marks the passage the of time. But what about historical figures and events beyond those that get their own holidays such as Columbus Day or Martin Luther King Day? Want to know what else happened on this or any other day in history? Follow me.
History Channel: This Day in History
The History Channel brings us not just one generic This Day in History, but nine topical ones on subjects as diverse as Automotive History, Civil War History, Crime History, Literary History, Technology History and Wall Street History. It's this variety that makes this series my pick of the day! From the entry page, you can browse the files by any date (such as your birthday) to learn of important headlines and birthdays throughout the centuries. I learned that I share a birthday with Tony Curtis (of Hollywood fame) and Jefferson Davis (President of the Confederate States of America, 1861- 1865.)
HistoryNet: Today in History
"Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history." With events going back to ancient times, you are sure to find something unique here. For example, on June 19 in 240 BC, Eraosthenes estimated the circumference of the Earth using two sticks.
Library of Congress: Today in History
Today in History draws upon the extensive online American Memory collection of the Library of Congress. Each day it covers a couple of events from American history, with lots of links back into the collection for more depth. Because of the unique nature of the primary sources contained in the American Memory, the daily anniversaries covered here are most likely different from those in today's other sites.
New York Times Learning Network: On this Day
With the entire archive of the New York Times behind it, this site has lots to offer. Each day a single story is featured, along with a thumbnail of the front page from that day. Click on the newspaper to see the a larger (but not completely legible) image of the day's front page. Most stories include original photos, illustrations or political cartoons. To peruse the archive, follow the link to "Go to a Previous Date."
Music, sports, and television history are three of the unusual topics covered here at On June 19 in 1946, "Gillette Razor Company became the first company to be a television Network sponsor. They sponsored the Joe Louis vs. Bill Conn heavyweight boxing match."

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Meteor Showers
Meteor showers are cyclical, predictable events because they are formed from the icy rock debris shed by comets as they pass the Sun. The following sites explain why they happen, when they occur, and offer tips on how to best view them.

American Meteor Society: Meteor Shower Basics
"From earliest times, humankind has noticed flurries of meteors that seemed to emanate from points in the sky at particular times of the year. These flurries, now called meteor showers, are produced by small fragments of cosmic debris entering the earth's atmosphere at extremely high speed." Visit the AMS site for Meteor FAQs, Photos, Videos, a Meteor Shower Calendar, and this introductory article.

EarthSky: Meteor Shower Guide
Scroll through EarthSky's meteor calendar, from the Quadrantids (in January) to December's Gemids, to get the low-down on what's showing in a sky near you. There are also pointers on what to bring with you, and finding a dark sky. "Although astronomers have tried to publish exact predictions in recent years, meteor showers remain notoriously unpredictable. Your best bet is to go outside at the times we suggest, and plan to spend at least an hour, if not a whole night, reclining comfortably while looking up at the sky."

Meteor Showers Online
In recognition of his extensive comet research, Gary Kronk has been honored by the International Astronomical Union with a minor planet named after him. His Meteor Showers Online site covers all the basics, with sections on How to Watch Meteors and a Meteor Shower Calendar. "The beauty of observing meteors is that it is the one branch of astronomy that requires virtually no equipment, or at least no expensive optical equipment. The optical equipment you will use are your eyes and the only other equipment you really need is a reclining chair."

Sky & Telescope: Meteors: A Primer
"Shower meteors can appear anywhere in the sky, but their direction of motion is away from the constellation whose name the shower bears. This apparent point of origin is known as the radiant." For more meteor facts and viewing tips, click on the Meteors category link at the bottom of this article.

StarDate: Meteor Showers and Viewing Tips
The most popular meteor question online is, "When is the next meteor shower?" StarDate answers this question with a calendar of seven annual meteor showers that include the peak of the shower (for the lower forty-eight states) and the moon phase. Since bright moonlight makes meteor viewing difficult, your best viewing is going to be when the moon is new or crescent.

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Canku Ota is a free Newsletter celebrating Native America, its traditions and accomplishments . We do not provide subscriber or visitor names to anyone. Some articles presented in Canku Ota may contain copyright material. We have received appropriate permissions for republishing any articles. Material appearing here is distributed without profit or monetary gain to those who have expressed an interest. This is in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Canku Ota is a copyright © 2000 - 2017 of Vicki Williams Barry and Paul Barry.
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