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Pittsburgh's water worldPittsburgh's zoo is getting a...


Pittsburgh's water world

Pittsburgh's zoo is getting a name change to reflect its newest addition, a 42,000-square-foot aquarium.

The new Pittsburgh Zoo & Aquarium will open May 13 with exhibits featuring coral reefs, octopuses, penguins, leafy sea dragons and rare Amazon River dolphins.

A stingray touch tank will allow visitors to dangle their digits for a tactile thrill, and perhaps best of all, there will be an exhibit in a 500-gallon rotating tank that zoo officials say not only fosters great views but provides a better environment for its inhabitants.

If you go, don't forget to check on the progress of the first African elephant born at the zoo last September. For information, go to www.zoo.pgh.pa.us, or call 412-365-2534.

The promise of Spoleto

Since its debut in 1977, the annual Spoleto Festival USA, held throughout the city of Charleston, S.C., has been a launching point for the careers of young artists, including Yo-Yo Ma and Bobby McFerrin. This year's festival (May 26 through June 11) holds as much promise as previous years, with planned presentations in opera, jazz, theater, ballet, dance and literature.

For more information about the arts festival, call 843-722-2764, or go to www.spoletousa.org.

Emergency help for parents

Whether trekking with the kids to Arkansas or Zambia, the "traveling parent" link at www.drpaula.com gives parents instant access to contact information for more than 120 doctors in 60 countries. Parents can prepare an emergency plan before they leave the house, or post a question about their child's health from anywhere in the world and get an answer within 24 hours. The site was started in 1997 by pediatrician, lecturer and author Paula Elbirt.

Coming in loud and clear

For the ultimate planner: If simply hitting the radio scan button leaves too much to chance when you're out of town, check out "Radio on the Road 2000: the Traveler's Companion." More than 15,000 stations in the United States and Canada fill its 343 pages, giving regional station details such as call letters, frequency and format so you can plot a listening plan before you hit the road. Also cross-listed are some of the most popular national talk shows, so fans can keep tabs on the likes of Dr. Laura and G. Gordon Liddy. To order the $14.95 guide, call 800-431-7274.

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