I take both of my jobs very seriously - a news editor for TechRepublic and a parent at home. While both of these roles are very different, I absolutely love it when they coincide, as they did last week when I ran across a news story about Mexico prohibiting Yahoo from placing lasers on top of Aztec pyramids. See the article: "Mexico to Yahoo: Not on our pyramid."
Let me explain.... My son is in 5th grade, and one of his social studies projects was to create a brochure about the Mayan or Aztec civilizations. He chose the Aztecs, I'm sure because there was more information about the Mayans in the book, and so he thought a Mayan brochure would require more work! However, I encouraged him to do some online research about the Aztecs, and I helped him compile and arrange the information into his brochure.
I learned a lot about the Aztecs, such as information about their culture, religion, technology, and monumental structures (ahhhh.... the pyramids). I helped my son search for the best Aztec pyramid pictures on the Internet. We selected a couple, printed them off, and he glued them to his brochure.
The very next day - the date the brochure was due - I ran across the Yahoo news story. The photo gallery that accompanied the article was spectacular... these photos were far better than any I had run across the day before. Check out the gallery: "Yahoo kicked off of pyramid."
Here's the low-down on the actual story - "Yahoo launched the project this [last] week aimed at gathering text, images, video, and sounds submitted by visitors from all over the world through 20 of the company's multiple-language sites. The information was to be beamed by laser into space on Oct. 25 from the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan, once the center of a sprawling Indian empire, in an attempt to communicate with extraterrestrial life." However, Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History intervened and said that the Yahoo event posed "technical and operational problems that might damage Teotihuacan."
I wonder if Yahoo has alternate plans to try contacting aliens, and I wonder if those plans will coincide with my son's next homework project!
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.