ASSOCIATES (vol. 5, no. 1, July 1998) -

The Bill Nye Website

a website review by

Michael D. Brooks
Acquisitions Technician
St. Joseph's University

Anyone who enjoys watching the "Bill Nye the Science Guy" TV show will enjoy the website. The address is [This link no longer works, 11/19/2004]. The sight is full of fun and information. If you have a Web browser with compatible plug-ins, you will be able to take full advantage of all of the graphics and sounds. If you do not have all the necessary plug-ins, you can simply download them directly from the site. You will, of course, have to log off and install them before you can use them. But once you have the necessary plug-ins, just log back in and explore the site.

For the younger Bill Nye fans, there is special page called "Bill Nye's Costume Closet" where Bill Nye can be dressed up. Much like an electronic Ken doll. His pants, shirts, and jackets hang on clothes lines that can move. His shoes and other articles of clothing sit on conveyer belts. Just click on the clothes you want him to wear and drag them over to his cartoon caricature. You'll need the Shockwave plug-in to use it, though. But never fear, just download it from the site.

For the older set, there are pages that enable you to conduct experiments, check out the TV episode of the day, or even check out past TV episodes and watch them. Clicking on the "Goodies" link takes you to a page with links to a variety of other areas on the website or to other related sites on the Web. A click on the Nye TV link takes you to a page allowing you the opportunity to download a choice of plug-ins, if you do not already have them, in order to view the TV shows. You will need the Quicktime plug-in or the VivoActive Player plug-in. Both are available for download.

Depending on the speed of your modem, the downloads may take some time, but it is worth the wait. After you download the plug-in, or if you already have it, just click on the appropriate link. You are treated to an episode of the TV show. The image is rather small, and depending on the computer system you have, the video may not run smoothly. But these are relatively small complaints. The picture and sound should still be clear enough to enjoy the show.

Click on the "Screening Room" link to access and view a list of archived episodes. Just make sure you have one of the recommended plug-ins. If you don't, the site will detect it and ask if you want to download a plug-in. The download is free. Once the plug-in is downloaded, you will have to log off the Web and run the installation program on your PC. Once that is done, you are ready to view the TV episodes. It is recommended that you explore the site and download all of the necessary plug-ins all at once so you will not have to keep logging on and off the Web.

The "Sounds of Silence" page is full of sounds and music from the show including the show's theme song. These are simple wave files and require no downloading of plug-ins. Just click on the sound you want to hear and it is loaded up and ready to play.

There is a "Photo Album" page with pictures of Bill Nye doing a variety of things. The site also features an "Episode Guide" for anyone interested in getting more information about a particular episode they have seen, and there is even a "TV Listing" page. To find out what episodes are on for the current month, just click on the link to this page then click on the episode that interests you. To find out when and where the show airs in your area, just select your state, click and search for your listed city. The TV stations, dates and air times will be listed.

When you are ready to leave the site, the "Web Search" page allows you to search related sites for fun and hard to find information about a variety of subjects--like the metric system. There is even a site that lists the history of the metric system.

The "Nye York Times" page, which contains news and information about the show and regular and unusual science news in general, has a packet of information about the show, teachers guides, and other items that can be ordered. And finally, if you want to find more related sites, there is a "Top Ten Links" page of really cool sites on the Web. You will never get bored!

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