Get the time and expand your mind with Web pages

Set your clocks and synchronize your watches for the New Year with a little help from one of those jumbo clocks—an atomic clock that is operated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. You can get NIST's correct time maintained at the institute's Boulder Colo. site by pointing your browser to "http://www. bldrdoc.gov."

The site provides a helpful key to read the official printout of the clock. NIST will warn you that network lags on the Internet make the time appear slightly behind but the time you'll read is pretty close to what's indicated on the real thing. The U.S. Naval Observatory also maintains a clock that gives on-line time updates. These however are rounded to the nearest minute. Go to "http://tycho.usno.navy.mil/time."

More interesting than the USNO's time report are its information resources for different parts of the day and night: sunrise sunset and moonrise for example. See a full-color world time zone map and read about the USNO's 150-year history of watching the Earth wobble. If you need to get the time zone for Togatapu Turk Easter Island Prague Martinique or just about anywhere else consult the CIA Factbook made easy to search at the Yahoo search engine "http://www.yahoo.com/regional/cia world_factbook."

The first on-line "World's Fair " called the "1996 Internet World Expo " made its debut Jan. 1. Exhibits will keep going up as the year progresses. Point your browser to the uncharacteristically short address "http://park.org." Tour through "pavilions " such as "The Global Schoolhouse " "The Brain Opera " "The Future of Media" and "Food and Markets." Or you can visit the Japan Sensorium. But watch out: Like most big fairs there's lots to see but the waits can be long. Mostly sustained by corporate contributions the Internet World Expo also received grants from the city of Kobe Japan and Amsterdam. Selected U.S. government agencies are participating in the expo including the U.S. Geological Survey which hosts a site on Global Information locators. You can go straight to the USGS site by pointing your browser to "http:www.usgs.gov/gils/locator.html."

There you'll find information on what an information locator is will be and can be and what worldwide efforts are under way to make on-line information easier to find and organize. It's a great place to try out the range of search tools directories and information resources available on the Web. For searching in general try a new strong engine that's come on-line: Digital Equipment Corp.'s Alta Vista. Point your browser to "http://altavista.digital.com." The tool can quickly search through 16 `million Web pages.

The New Year brings resolutions for many often relating to learning something new. To find out more about federal education grants consult the Education Department's Student Guide 1995-1996 located at "http://www.ed.gov/money.html." The site gives information about the many forms and programs students need to know about before borrowing money for school. Federal Pell grants direct and federal family education loans federal supplemental education opportunities and federal work study programs are all covered.

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