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Children of an Idle Brain

Strap on those thinking caps, backpacks and running shoes

By Mimi Hill

READERS SHOULD REMEMBER that there are always front- row seats waiting in cyberspace. This week, we visit a children's cognitive development site for some free software, then port over to the Capitola Book Cafe's page to discover what's shaking in the world of backpacking.

Don't Know Much About Algebra

Kevin Crowley is a postdoctoral fellow in UCSC's Psychology Department who is interested in children's problem solving and scientific reasoning. His web page includes some software you can download (for MacOS 7.0 and up only) that he's written to conduct research into children's cognitive development. I reluctantly downloaded a calculator with a clever twist--one of the games Crowley used it to study children's addition strategy choices--and am pleased to announce that it was an interesting and worked perfectly.

Keep Your Modems Runnin'

The Capitola Book Cafe--an independent bookseller in Santa Cruz County for over 15 years--has a fine Web page (with fast-loading graphics), which includes a calendar of in-store events and some other great stuff. Browsers can buy books directly from the Web before authors come in to speak, thus avoiding the lines one usually faces to get books signed. Why not head over there tonight (Wednesday) at 7:30 and catch Paul Otteson, a master of extended backpacking and travel. He'll be talking about his book, The World Awaits, which covers every area of how to head out into the world with a backpack.

Not Just Giving You the Run Around

The Napa-Santa Cruz Relay snakes from Napa Valley to Sonoma to Sausalito, across the Golden Gate Bridge, down the Peninsula from San Francisco to Palo Alto, and through Silicon Valley to Santa Cruz . With organ donors, donor families and transplant recipients participating in the 1997 Relay as runners, volunteers and spectators, the California Coalition on Organ and Tissue Donation will spread the message about the critical shortage of organ donors. The "baton of life" transfer from runner to runner symbolizes the transfer and sharing of an organ from donor to recipient--50,000 people in the USA are waiting for organ transplants, including 2,000 children. The relay takes place September 19-20 and the course boasts the largest number of internationally recognized tourist destinations of any running event in the world.


Mimi Hill is the UCSC Systems and Resource Analyst for the Arts and a computer consultant. For her rates or further information, she can be reached via email or letter at: 111 Union St., SC 95060. Check out the Web page for her upcoming book with Robert Anton Wilson.

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From the May 1-7, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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Copyright © 1997 Metro Publishing, Inc.


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