One Internet link shows the global nature
of the World Wide Web, reaching from the Kansas City area to New
Where else would you turn for information on first aid for penguins but Mission?
Wait a second... penguins, Mission? Not exactly fodder for a National Geographic special.
But after searching the world, via the Internet, to find out about penguin injuries, the best information was sitting on the hard drive of a computer at TFSnet, an Internet service provider in Mission.
That's where Charlie Lear, a New Zealand IBM technician, maintains a Web page for the Eastern Bays Little Blue Penguin Foundation. He calls his page the "Penguin Rescue Service."
How did Lear, a 32-year-old father of two who lives in Wellington, a small suburban town in New Zealand, end up using an Internet provider in the Kansas City suburbs?
The Internet connection was better and the price was right, Lear said.
Lear said putting up a Web page in New Zealand is expensive because of the country's limited connections to the Internet.
"New Zealand is, Netwise, at the end of a very expensive piece of wet string," he said.
Walt Lane, president of TFSnet, said his company includes quite a few out-of-town -- and out-of-country -- Web sites.
"It doesn't matter where you are, you just pick an ISP (Internet service provider) you like the best," Lane said. Using Internet technology, Lear can connect with TFSnet through an Internet provider in New Zealand without making a long-distance call.
After Lear checked U.S. Internet providers, he decided on TFSnet. "It's an arrangement that's worked really well," he said.
Here's how Hotbot (http:/www.hotbot.com), one of the Internet's many search programs, found Lear's Web page.
A first attempt at simply typing in the word "penguin" was a real mistake. Hotbot returned a list of 65,847 Web pages with that word.
By keying in "penguin and first aid," the list got smaller, 5,377 entries. But it was still too large, with many references to injured members of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team.
How about "penguin and veterinary"? About 900 entries pop up, many of them for the publishing company, Penguin Books.
The search "penguin and veterinary and not books" brings up a still cumbersome 748 entries. But near the top of the list is "Ornithological Resources (http:/mgfx.com/bird/resource/index.htm), which provides links to a variety of bird sites, including one for the "Penguin Rescue Service."
Total elapsed time for the search -- and the children checking out the site and its pictures -- 43 minutes.