Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

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Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

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Article excerpt

Good answers to questions you never knew you had

http://whyfiles.news.wisc.edu/

Do you know why a can of Diet Coke will float in water, while a can of regular Coke will sink? (One is denser than water, the other isn't). Did you know that some people sneeze with their eyes open and others with them closed? (Nobody knows why.) And do you know why people have something scientists call "pedestrian perfume?" (Because their feet sweat, just like the palms of their hands.) Why are we asking these questions? Because the Cybergeek has become addicted to a Web site called The Why Files, built and maintained by the National Institute for Science Education and funded by at the University of Wisconsin. In addition to archives of trivia that always attract the Geek, the grad students try to complement news of the day with timely online articles exploring the science behind the news. For example, now that killer whale Willie is being released in the Atlantic waters near Iceland, The Why Files has a fascinating article about whether we really can teach tamed animals to survive in the wild. A very large archive carries hundreds of past stories, organized by subject area or searchable with an internal search engine. There's also an archive of cool science photos and images, such as infrared photos of recent Caribbean hurricanes, and an online forum lets you discuss what you've read or ask questions of experts. Need to save how much? http://www.valic.com/ Alexa notwithstanding, the Cybergeek was in a pretty good mood the other day until he ran across this retirement planning Web site sponsored by an American General Co. called VALIC. It has a number of very simple and easy to use online calculators designed to help you prepare for the financial aspects of retirement. There's a retirement income calculator that helps you estimate how much income you will have at retirement depending upon how you invest your savings now. There's a paycheck calculator that helps you compare the impact of taxable savings on today's take-home pay vs. tax-deferred savings. There's also a calculator that shows you the ultimate difference in your nest egg if you invest now in taxable, tax-deferred or tax- favored investments. …

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