Parents and Teachers Site Guide for
The Animated Software Company
Pioneers in interactive, animated education
Used around the world
Founded in 1984

Site Guidelines (for Parents/Educators)

First a word about "the good stuff": Our human heart tutorial is a renowned classic now available as 'shareware'. Our pump tutorial is used throughout the pump industry. Our transcriptions of interviews have been widely desseminated, and are used in college courses, and have been quoted in books and newspapers. Our drawings of pumps, as well as our photos of sequoia trees, can be found in books and magazines published by a variety of major publishers such as McGraw-Hill. Our environmental essays are linked to by prominent environmental organizations and have been used to help set local and even national and international policies. (Much to the dismay of those who disagree with us!) Nearly every mountain bike magazine published something about our 'mtb park' idea. THIS is what web publishing is all about!

Parent/Teacher Guide to this web site

This is a "clean" web site. We do not use foul or explicit language or images anywhere at this site. There is no 'gratuitous' violence. Sexual references are minimal and clinical.

We think you'll enjoy the breath of intellectual fresh air we provide and hope you will want to use this site as part of your curriculum.

Some articles do discuss 'mature' topics. This web page is to help you determine the best way for you to present this very large and educational site to your children and/or your students.

Students: We know you're here!!!

That's okay with us if it's okay with your teachers and parents. If I were you, I'd have clicked on this page too, to find out where all the juicy stuff is! Sure, you will indeed be able to find the 'raciest' stuff at this web site by visiting this page. But you'll probably be disappointed.

Manners and honesty above all.

We don't think anybody's perfect--especially anybody who works around here! That's one of the reasons we think serious issues (and everything else) should be discussed in a proper and enlightened way. You may not agree with our social positions on a number of issues, or perhaps our environmental stands are different from yours, or some other aspect of this web site is, in some way, offensive to you. We apologize in advance for that.

But unfortunately that comes with the (cyber) territory. With a worldwide readership of thousands of people each month (current estimate as of late 1996 when this was written) there is little chance that we will be able to please everyone all the time. In fact, as the site grows and expands, we'll probably manage to offend just about everyone in some way or other! Our fondest hope is that you will accept our point of view even when it is different from yours, as having an equal right to be freely expressed. If asked, we may be willing to add links to well-written opposing viewpoints or critical reviews of items at this web site, or possibly add such things to the appropriate document(s).

We care what you think...

Feel free, of course, to send us email and express your views on anything you find at this web site! You may even convince us we're wrong on something! (It's happened before.) We are always willing to listen, as long as you are reasonably polite and appear to be reasonably honest.


In 1994 the death of my brother Randy from Leukemia, at age 39, prompted a letter to our old high school. This is probably the most 'mature' article at the site and it may be inappropriate for young children. Also, a story about working in a hospital medical records office has some references to the morgue. The Cassini area is, in essense, all about the effects of radioactive substances on living tissue.
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Violence for any reason, against humans or animals, is not promoted anywhere in any way at this web site. There are, however, several stories about potentially violent activities such as mountain biking and the injuries it produces, and a story about an altercation at a pub. Two fairly violent movies, Independence Day and Rumble in the Bronx, are reviewed.
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Sexual topics are not discussed at this site. However, one guest on our radio show High Tech Today did mention that the mechanical pump he designed may some day be implanted in men. Specific details are not given! Another guest mentions that he does not discuss explicit topics. That's as close as we get.
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A large article in a local paper prompted a letter which was published in that paper, about a local "young killer" (as he was described by the paper) who murdered his victim in very cold blood.
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No particular religious organization or belief is promoted at this web site.
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We refrain from political discussions of candidates and their views whenever possible. However we are quite content with offering our own opinions on issues which just happen to be politically sensitive. Some people claim the whole Cassini topic is political, though we think our views are just common sense.
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An interview with a retired professor obliquely mentions his university research on controlled substances in the 60's.
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The use of alcohol is not promoted at this web site, however a story about working in a pub in England is included in the REAL WORLD group of stories.
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We have posted a letter concerning the use of deceased person's viable body parts in medicine. Some people may find our viewpoint offensive, although of course, we think other viewpoints are. The Cassini area includes numerous interviews with health experts.
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A discussion of racism appears in an article about visiting my grandmother in the nursing home a few months before she died.
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We have posted a number of environmental commentaries including web pages on space debris, plutonium usage in space, preserving California's Redwood Forests, and other topics. We have an Environmental Issues Page to guide you to the various environmental issues discussed at this site.
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Animal Rights

Mr. Pelican is Dead. This story may not be appropriate for young children who are unaware of the emotional pain death can bring, even when it's 'just' a bird on the beach.
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Honesty and Accuracy

All stories we write and place at this web site are true in all their details to the best of our ability, and if we ever post any fiction at this site, it will be clearly marked as such. However, to maintain the privacy of individuals involved, cities, places, times, etc. are not given in most instances, and we ask you not to invade people's privacy in these matters by trying to ascertain the details of these stories. For example, our REAL WORLD series on work are 'just' stories, and probably could be fiction and be just as interesting (if you find them interesting at all). Trust me or don't, as you see fit, but don't bother to find out. It's invasive and ill-mannered and a waste of time. The stories are true.

We have tried to make this web site scientifically accurate. Please bring any inaccuracies you might find to our attention by sending us email. Of course, we cannot be responsible for the accuracy of others, such as guests' statements on our radio show High Tech Today. The accuracy of any statement must, of course, be judged in the context of the person making the statement, and on their overall credentials.
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Comedy is used at this site to make a point. There are no funny stories that are not also serious at some level, except maybe inadvertently. Really. I mean that. I'm not kidding. Serious comedy or none at all. Almost. For the worst of it, probably you should check out the quotes page. Someday I might upload audio files of some 'environmental' comedy routines I wrote some decades ago, which were played on the Dr. Demento Show and other stations around the world in the late seventies and early eighties. But that's ancient history...
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The Metric System

The metric system is accomodated whenever possible, but in general it is assumed that our foreign visitors will forgive our usage of the 'English' measuring system. Some day perhaps I will be convinced that everything should be 'decimated' (that word is being used in a jocular fashion here) but for now, I still believe that 12 inches to a foot, three feet to the yard, and 5280 feet to the mile makes a lot of sense. Call it one of my many shortcomings.

There are about 2 1/2 centimeters to the inch, a meter is just over a yard, and a kilometer is about 6/10's of a mile. An ounce is about 28 grams, a kilogram is about 2.2 pounds, and a liter is about a quart. That's close enough. These are things I believe every American schoolchild is at least vaguely aware of. I have used rulers with both scales on them since I was knee-high to a grasshopper and I find it is usually easier to identify a measurement on the 'English' scale. Maybe non-U.S. rulers should carry both scales, like ours usually do.
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I'm a lousy speller and my web development tool does not yet read raw HTML code and spell-check it. Feel free to send us email if you have any corrections. They WILL be corrected and ARE appreciated.
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Outside Links

Although we generally do not link to a site that promotes any abusive behavior, criminal activities, lies, or anything immoral, illegal or fattening, it is possible that some sites we link to do have some amount of such things, or themselves "link through" to something offensive. We would not expect a large site to be in perfect synchronization with our own morals (or yours) and we feel it is reasonable to forgive a certain level of impropriety or transgression, as we would hope you (and other sites that link to us) would forgive the same things in us. Be excessive only in tolerance.

However, we do recommend that you yourself choose the applicability of each outside link for it's educational value for your students. We cannot be responsible for what appears at web sites we link to, let alone what appears at web sites they themselves might link to. It's a web and you just have to be careful.
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Bottom Line:

We hope you enjoy this web site and will want to tell others about it and give them our URL:

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Last modified January 11th, 2000
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman
Copyright (c) Russell D. Hoffman