What: Learn about the first team sport in history at this award-winning website.
BEST POINTS: An attractive informational format invites visitors to explore the history of ancient Mesoamerican cultures and uncover the story of the first team ballgame (ca. 1500 BC).
They can learn about the discovery of rubber, which enabled the invention of a bouncing ball, and about the playing field.
Kids especially will get a kick out of the video reenactment of the game, where they can compare the rules, player uniforms, and stakes with more modern sports.
WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: Geared toward middle-schoolers, the site originally served as an online companion to a traveling museum exhibition sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mint Museum of Art.
Most of the information is derived from or supplemented by a discussion of the genuine artifacts in the museum's collection.
The site makes extensive use of multimedia files - including video clips and sound bites. It requires the Flash 5+ plug-in.
The US annually rates among the world's most generous aid donors. Yet it landed in next-to-last place in a new ranking of 21 wealthy nations according to how much their policies support, (or hinder) economic and social development in recipient states. For its 2003 Commitment to Development Index (CDI), published in Foreign Policy magazine, the nonprofit Center for Global Development in Washington evaluated such areas as foreign aid, investment, openness to trade and immigration, contributions to peacekeeping operations, and environmental practices. The top 10 on the CDI list:
4. New Zealand
6. Germany (tie) Spain