www.whyville.net May 23, 2002 Weekly Issue

Staff Writer

What's On!

Users' Rating
Rate this article

This coming weekend is the U.S.'s Memorial Day weekend, so the shows I'm highlighting this week tend to emphasize U.S. history, rather than the usual science programs. I hope my international readership will take this opportunity to let me know when their countries' memorial days are held, and to learn a little more about a nation's history which, more often than not, has affected all of us, all across the globe.

Watch the shows and let me know what you think. Email me, the MediaWiz of Whyville!

Click here for an index of this week's shows. And now, the Media Menu!

Thursday, May 23

"Vietnam Passage: Journeys From War To Peace" (PBS 10-11pm Central Time. Note: This programs airs at various times in other time zones and on several dates following this one. Check out available times at www.pbs.org/vietnampassage) This new documentary describes the last 25 years in Vietnam through the perspective of seven individuals whose lives, once defined by war, now exemplify the struggle of a people entering an era of peace. The film blends newly filmed individual narratives of the final days of the Viet Nam war with archival footage and photographs of that past era. A valuable website with information for students and teachers is available at www.pbs.org/vietnampassage.

Friday, May 24

"48 Hours" (CBS, 10-11pm E/P) This news documentary includes a report on the chemical and other effects of the diet drug Ephedra, and also follows a group of fashion models through their daily activities -- with special emphasis on their dietary practices.

Saturday, May 25

"Putin's Russia" (CNBC, 9-10pm ET, 6-7pm PT) Airing on the occasion of U.S. President Bush's visit to Russia, this documentary examines evidence of recent changes in the Russia-America relationship -- including Russian rap stars, Russian MTV, M.B.A. students in business schools there, the gradual change-over from a communist to a free-market economy, and the increase in Russian petroleum production which might change U.S. dependence on Middle East oil. Host is Adam Smith, Emmy-winning financial commentator.

"Larry King Live: Lynne Cheney's Children's Book" (CNN, 9-10pm ET, 6-7pm PT) This interview program features the new book "America: A Patriotic Primer" by Lynne Cheney, the wife of the U.S. Vice President. Illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser, it presents children with lessons about 26 individuals, milestones and principles of the country -- one for each letter of the alphabet. (C is for The Constitution, S is for Suffrage, etc.)

Sunday, May 26

"In Memoriam: New York City 9/11/01" (HBO, 9-10:15pm E/P) The purpose of this documentary, narrated by former Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, is to record the events of the September 11th tragedy as a memorial. It presents in formal chronological order accounts of the attack on the Twin Towers and their collapse as seen by different media and individuals. I must point out that some of this material, while presented in a dignified manner, is tough to view and strongly emotional. Parents should either watch with their children or possibly limit viewing to older children. But the event itself must be faced, as our nation faced events such as Pearl Harbor, and other nations have faced their own unique tragedies.

Monday, May 27

"Founding Brothers" (History Channel, 9-11pm E/P) This documentary miniseries, based on the book of the same title by Joseph Ellis, tells the story of how the leaders of America's Independence movement had to struggle to make their theories about democracy actually work. Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Franklin, Hamilton, Madison and Burr had to contend with one another as well. ("Brotherly love" was often in short supply, and in one tragic case was replaced by a fatal duel.) Series concludes Tuesday, May 28, 8-10pm

Tuesday, May 28

"Body Building" (PBS, 8-9pm E/P) This documentary, produced in association with Scientific American Magazine, describes research on repair and replacement of our damaged body parts through the growing of new livers, heart muscles, cartilage and retina tissue or by engineering processes that restore movement for people paralyzed by spinal cord injuries. Alan Alda hosts.

Wednesday, May 29

"Observatories: Stonehenge to Space Telescopes" (History Channel, 7-8am E/P) Here's another chance to score with your teacher. Before going to school on this day, set your VCR to record this documentary about astronomy's origins, technologies and big discoveries (some, I guarantee, will be news to even well-informed teachers).

"Giant Strides" (A&E Network, 7-8am E/P) If your class is studying cave-people, this is the program to tape and bring to school. It explains how humans began to walk upright and use tools and fire, and why it's believed that all humans can trace their ancestry back to a single African woman who lived more than 200,000 years ago. It's an episode in a series named "The Story of Human Evolution."

Thursday, May 30

"Soylent Green" (Turner Classic Movies, 8-10pm ET, 5-7pm PT) This is a thought-provoking movie version of Harry Harrison's science fiction classic "Make Room! Make Room!" In the year 2022, the greenhouse effect has raised temperatures to near unbearable levels; cities are grotesquely overcrowded and lack access to fresh food. The rich live in heavy-security buildings and can afford $150 dishes of real strawberries, but the hungry poor live on corporately-produced soy and lentil products called Soylent Red and Soylent Yellow. But Soylent Green, a new, super-nutritious food, isn't made of beans or plankton as folks have been told. A New York detective uncovers the cold truth about the source of this product. Charlton Heston stars. Available on video.


Thursday, May 23
    Vietnam Passage: Journeys From War To Peace Friday, May 24
    48 Hours

Saturday, May 25
    Putin's Russia
    Larry King Live: Lynne Cheney's Children's Book

Sunday, May 26
    In Memoriam: New York City 9/11/01

Monday, May 27
    Founding Brothers

Tuesday, May 28
    Body Building

Wednesday, May 29
    Observatories: Stonehenge to Space Telescopes
    Giant Strides

Thursday, May 30
    Soylent Green


  Back to front page