Thursday November 17, 1999

MEXICO Corn was born in Mexico and Central America. Mexican lore has it that the gods made men from maize after mud failed to do the trick. Wild corn, called teocintle, grows in abundance and there are more than 200 natural varieties of the plant. The northern tip of the Chihuahuan Desert is where black-tailed jackrabbits scurry, roadrunners sprint and diamondbacks slither. For the continent's largest desert, punctuated by mountains, the monsoon rains end sometime in late summer. Humans use a bet-hedging strategy and learn to spread out risks all the time. So do desert insects.

ARIZONA Yaqui students at Compadre High school pitched an idea: Create a class on Yaqui history and culture for the high school. The class could become a reality next school year. Las Guias learn just about everything there is to know about the 21 tribes in Arizona, from their land and heritage to the different languages tribes speak.

UTAH,1249,130008252,00.html? "Rosie," a 97-year-old steam fire engine, has undergone a complete restoration and now looks as shiny and new as it did in 1902 when it was delivered to Salt Lake City. The last part of the museum's restoration is to add some doors behind the Rosie display that resemble the front of Salt Lake's 1902 fire station.

NEW MEXICO Exhibits inside the Deming Luna Mimbres Museum's new transportation wing will be ready for public inspection before Christmas.

TOOLS AND TECHNOLOGY Forensic anthropologist Dr. Ted Rathbun uses a process called superimposition in which computer equipment is used to superimpose a photograph over an image of a skull, comparing several points. Where the eight basic planes of the face superimpose, there is a probability of over 99 percent of individual identity verification. Lea's book, Revenge of the Computer Widow, delves into the life of the nerd, a study of habits and foibles and an analysis of how computers are affecting social behaviour.