Another amazing on-line museum, Devi: The Great Goddess, was just put up by the same folks who did the exhibition, Puja: Expressions of Hindu Devotion [see September 1999 issue], the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The classy site, www.si.edu/asia/devi/, is packed with beautiful art pieces and descriptions of the many Divine Mothers of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Sounds of India
Log onto one of the more interesting websites on Indian music: www.indianmus
icals.com. Featured are over 50 hard-to-find string, percussion and wind instruments. Click beside the picture to hear RealAudio sound samples. For those who have never seen or heard a dafri or dumbak drum, this is especially fun. Established in 1948, the Mumbai-based Bargava & Co. sells all instruments pictured, including quarter-scale miniatures. A great place for an instant encounter with Indian music.
Speak Like a Native
Have you ever wanted to learn Hindi or Gujarati or teach your children their grandparent's language? Now you can, with two CD-ROMs designed to make it easy. These CDs take you from the basics on up to learning how to write prose and poetry. Games, vocabulary and conversational sentences in both male and female professional native voices are included, so you can capture the pronunciation. Also available are written guides that supplement the CDs. To buy the books and/or CDs write: Sakshar, Inc., PO Box 11063, Oakland, California 94611, USA. Or visit: www.sakshar.com.
New research from scientists at Hewlett-Packard and the University of California at Los Angeles brings science fiction one stride closer to fact. Only a remote hope a year ago, tiny computers 100 billion times as fast as today's most powerful personal computers now seem probable. Instead of switches etched on silicone, these new computer switches are individual molecules. "We can potentially get the computational power of 100 workstations on a device the size of a grain of sand," said James Heath, the leader of this research. Among the possibilities–miniature robots able to circulate in the blood stream, a real-life "Fantastic Voyage."