In December 1999 the US Air Force will launch a fleet of tiny experimental satellites that could one day work together in groups to replace or supplement larger spacecrafts. Most satellites weigh over a ton, but these weigh 40 pounds a piece. Driven by the prohibitive costs of normal satellites, mini-satellites could soon become popular for simple tasks or flown in formation to do complex ones. Rapid advances in microtechnology have made possible valves, levers and gears so small they can't be seen by the human eye. This technology will revolutionize digital communication, including increased Internet speeds. They could also measure, solar radiation simultaneously from many locations and one day be used in planetary exploration with a mother craft releasing the tiny satellites so they slowly drift down to a planet, sending data back via the mother craft.
Learn Tamil Basics
Are you studying tamil and looking for an effective and fun way to increase your vocabulary? Look no further--TamilBook 2000 is for you. This multimedia CD, produced by Kalvi Inc. teaches you how to recognize, say and write the Tamil alphabet. It drills you in pronunciation and word recognition. The CD includes movie clips and pictures, though it does not offer grammar instruction. You can choose from Malay, French and English to learn all 1,700 words. $49.95. PC. Kalvi Inc., 2910 Brightwater Lane, Abingdon, Maryland 21009 USA. Web: www.kalvi.com.
Music CDs and More
Have you longed for some sonorous sitar, or maybe some cool Kuchipudi dance music, but just couldn't find that special CD? Well, now you can at www.khazana.com. They have over 4,200 CDs available, mostly Indian classical. Their mantra is, "If it's in print, we either have it or can get it." You can also hear some CDs before you buy. But Khazana is not just an online music store. It also carries 17,000 books from India, Chola style bronzes, Tibetan Thanka paintings, Nepalese Newari art, antiques and more. Plus, if you are looking for a specialty item, Khazana can track it down for you. What a deal!
Places of Worship
For a virtual reality pilgrimage to over 2,000 temples in India log onto www.templenet.com--"where tradition meets technology." Featured right now is "Abodes of Shiva," a tour of temples glorified by the Tamil Saints. With a click of your mouse, you can read about each temple's iconography, saint association, geographical location and historical significance. Beautiful photographs bring the narrative to life. Check out the archives for a listing of other special features from the past and the pages devoted to the differing styles of Indian temple architecture, travel and tourism, festivals and fairs, plus a glossary of terms. Whether you're an armchair traveler or want the darshan of your favorite temple, Templenet can be a pleasurable digital journey.