Science  02 Jun 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5471, pp. 1543
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5471.1543d

Fiery numbers. Ever wonder how authorities estimate the risk of wildfire? The home page for the National Fire Danger Rating System lays out the three indices used to quantify the danger. The page glosses over the nitty-gritty details of the mathematical models used to generate the indices, but it nicely explains what the final numbers mean and describes the many inputs, such as the 20 “fuel models” that characterize different types of grass, brush, and timber.

The buzz on bees.

If you're foraging for information on honeybees, CyberBee.Net offers a sweet starting point. Maintained by Zachary Huang, an entomologist at Michigan State University in East Lansing, the site provides links to daily news stories, the home pages of dozens of research groups, resources for beekeepers, scientific meetings, and other bee Web sites.

Stretchy mathematics.

Crudely speaking, topology is the study of shapes that can be stretched to look like one another without adding or subtracting holes. Anyone well-versed in this field, where a doughnut is equivalent to a coffee cup but not a tennis ball, will enjoy a visit to Topology Atlas. The well-organized site caters to professional mathematicians with links to conference abstracts, preprints, seminars, and researchers' personal Web pages, as well as invited contributions, commentary, and unsolved problems. Amateurs are invited to pose questions to the Topology Q&A bulletin board.

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