www.whyville.net Jun 6, 2002 Weekly Issue

Staff Writer

What's On!

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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, June 6

"National Geographic Today" (National Geographic Channel, 8-9pm E/P) The main topic of this geography documentary is the Republic of Panama -- from its gold mining past through the Spanish invasion, piracy, British colonialism and U.S. canal-building. Also shown is a sailboat trip through the Canal to see how its mechanisms operate to move ships from one ocean to another in 9 hours.

"Larry King Live: Dr. James Dobson" (CNN, 9-10pm ET, 6-7pm PT) This interview program features James Dobson, Ph.D., a media critic who lists shows he'd rather you not see. For further details log on http://www.family.org/resources/itempg.cfm?itemid=73.

"Ben Shahn: Passion For Justice" (PBS, 10-11pm E/P, check your local station because times and dates may vary) This is a hard-hitting documentary about the life and work of Ben Shahn, who, for a period of 40 years was the preeminent painter-as-social critic in America. A political radical who constantly studied and followed classical artistic traditions, particularly the Italian religious muralist of the 14th and 15th century, he demonstrated that it's possible to combine being (1) a fine artist (2) an innovative artist (3) a popular and financially successful artist and (4) an uncompromising campaigner for civil rights.

Friday, June 7

"Bravo Profiles: Cate Blanchett" (Bravo, 9-10pm E/P) This is a biographical documentary about the Oscar-nominated Australian whose acting talent, intelligence, and regal bearing understandably landed her roles as Elizabeth I ("Elizabeth") and Galadriel ("Lord Of The Rings").

"Catacombs of Rome" (History Channel,11pm-midnight E/P) If you're staying up late and are interested in the kind of historical material that sticks in mind and may even appear in your dreams, try watching this documentary about the secret catacombs underneath Rome. You'll see beautifully decorated burial chambers and vaults full of neatly stacked skulls and bones where religious outcasts -- the early Christians -- conducted rituals forbidden by the pagan ancient Roman authorities.

Saturday, June 8

"Minute By Minute: South Pole Rescue" (A&E Network, 3-4pm E/P) This is a documentary about Jerri Nielsen, the lone doctor at an extremely hard-to-reach South Pole research station who had breast cancer and had to treat herself until rescue crews could arrive. Using outdated medical supplies and unpredictable video conferencing equipment, Nielsen and her colleagues at the pole performed biopsies and administered chemotherapy while military crews developed a rescue plan.

"Grand Illusions -- The Story of Magic" (The Learning Channel, 10-11pm) This documentary points out how any magician's act is grounded in a solid understanding of human psychology. And by manipulating people in this way, a magician takes on a certain responsibility. That's why some magicians have taken it upon themselves to reveal and root out the fakes among them who use magic to break the law -- such as by using sleight of hand to cheat in gambling casinos.

Sunday, June 9

"60 Minutes" (CBS, 7-8pm E/P) The lead story in this newsmagazine program is the growing shortage of health professionals in the nursing field -- 120,000 positions will go unfilled this year, but fewer and fewer people are studying this branch of medical science. U.S. recruiters are now hiring people from foreign countries as far away as South Africa -- which can ill afford to lose them. The other feature story is about the role of modern Egypt in America's fight against terrorism. Reporter Ed Bradley interviewed Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak following his meeting with U.S. President Bush. (Ancient Egypt and its Sphinx is the subject of a documentary on Tuesday, June 11 -- see description below.)

"Best Place to Watch a Volcano" (Travel Channel 8-10pm E/P) This is a documentary about volcanology -- with rare film footage and interviews with people who do things like paragliding over volcanoes or falling by accident into 2000 degree lava. The program will be followed by another documentary from 10 to 11 -- about the eruption of Mount St. Helen's in Washington State that blew away dozens of watchers who got too close.

Monday, June 10

"Ford: The Man And His Machine" (Hallmark Channel, noon-2pm E/P) So you'll be at school when this is on. Anyway, set your VCR machine for this true-life drama about big-time technology. This is Part I of the story. Part II airs Tuesday, June 10 in the same time slot.

"Invention Showdown" (Discovery Channel, 9-10pm E/P) This broadcast is about the results of a competition between inventors to be showcased television and get on-camera advice from experts in the business and marketing about how these inventions could make money. In other words, it's about the unromantic, bottom line side of having a good tech-idea.

"History vs. Hollywood" (History Channel, 11pm-midnight) This is a documentary about the new Nicholas Cage movie, "Wind Talkers" They're the WWII Navajo Marines who created the only unbreakable code in modern military history. A panel of 8 Navajo "code talkers", as they were more commonly called, describe their firsthand accounts of what it was like sending and deciphering codes while under enemy fire. The panel also discusses whether, as the story is depicted in the movie, the winner is history or Hollywood.

Tuesday, June 11

"The Sphinx of Egypt" (History Channel, 8-9pm E/P) It's no mystery how this huge, dramatic structure got its face so beat up. It was because invaders through the centuries after the invention of gunpowder used the monument for target practice. This documentary uses computers to try to show what it originally looked like -- and to explore theories about its real meaning. (Nobody knows for sure who built it, or how.)

Wednesday, June 12

"In Search Of Ancient Ireland" (PBS, 8-9pm E/P) This is the initial episode of a 3-part documentary about the Isle of Erin's past and its continuing impact on Western civilization. (Some say the Irish preserved the West's arts and sciences from total from extinction during the Dark Ages.) During Ireland's neolithic monument-building era until the 12th century Norman-English invasion, legendary figures like Queen Maeve and Cu Chullain sprang up -- plus a succession of power-hungry warlords. The episodes airing June 19 and 26 cover the rise of Christianity in the Island after the arrival of St. Patrick, the explorations of Brendan The Navigator and the miracles of St. Bridget of Kildare.

"60 Minutes II" (CBS, 8-9pm E/P) This newsmagazine program, normally containing several stories, is devoted entirely to reporter Ed Bradley's examination of the crisis in the Roman Catholic Church, resulting from revelations about sexual misconduct by clergy. Issues related to psychiatry, law and religious ethics will be covered.

Thursday, June 13

"Storyline Online" (log on www.bookpals.net/storyline/index.html any time after 12:20pm ET, 9:30pm PT) This is an online streaming video program launching worldwide on the web today, June 13. It will be available 24/7 with an audio portion, via toll-free telephone numbers (listed on the website) if you live in selected AZ, CA FL, MN and NV cities. The Screen Actors Guild Foundation, an affiliate of the movie workers' labor union (headquartered in Los Angeles) is providing readings of books for elementary school kids -- just like they have been doing live for school kids in California -- but now they're available on the net. Teacher's guides are also available. The first book-readings include "No Mirrors In My Nanna's House", "Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge", "The Night I Followed the Dog" "Thank You Mr. Falker" and "A Bad Case of Stripes". Actors doing the reading include Sean Astin, Amanda Byrnes, Jane Kacsmarek, Tia and Tamera Mowry and Bradley Whitford.

"Missile Wars" (PBS, 8-9pm E/P) This documentary presents scientific, military and intelligence experts on both sides of the issue of whether the U.S. should build a multi-billion dollar anti-missile system. After most of this program was filmed, the U.S. Government announced that official news about future test-firings of this technology will be withheld from the press, so this show is all you're going to hear, officially, about whether anti-missile technology works or not. There's information about the show at www.wnet.org.

"Camping Technology" (History Channel, 10-11pm E/P) From prehistoric times until today, living in the open has required special equipment -- tents, clothing, fire-making gear, lanterns, water purification equipment. This documentary traces these developments and practices of the military, survivalists and just plain recreational campers.


Thursday, June 6
    National Geographic Today
    Larry King Live: Dr. James Dobson
    Ben Shahn: Passion For Justice

Friday, June 7
    Bravo Profiles: Cate Blanchett
    Catacombs of Rome

Saturday, June 8
    Minute By Minute: South Pole Rescue
    Grand Illusions -- The Story of Magic

Sunday, June 9
    60 Minutes
    Best Place to Watch a Volcano

Monday, June 10
    Ford: The Man And His Machine
    Invention Showdown
    History vs. Hollywood

Tuesday, June 11
    The Sphinx of Egypt

Wednesday, June 12
    In Search Of Ancient Ireland
    60 Minutes II

Thursday, June 13
    Storyline Online
    Missile Wars
    Camping Technology


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