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News Bits and Pieces -
March 01, 2006
For the 300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s birth, a new Web portal (www.ben.clusty.com) is offering a comprehensive, searchable resource of the iconic statesman’s writings and quotations, along with a targeted search engine and tools for teachers.
Franklin was an important figure not only for U.S. history, but also for science and engineering. From studies of electricity, weather and ocean currents to his development of the lightning rod, double spectacles (bifocals) and the odometer, many of his innovations and discoveries were groundbreaking.
A vast wealth of material on Ben Franklin exists on the Internet, but standard searches do not differentiate between references to the man and references to countless objects and entities named in his honor. The curators of the Web portal have successfully simplified such searches by managing the results to weed out distracting references — from high schools to retailers — unrelated to Franklin himself.
The curators also manage additional engines that allow users to search specifically under proverbs, writings and educational resources—and by adding the words “images” or “pictures” to a search, users can access related visuals.
The Virginia Engineer © IIr Associates 2005