www.whyville.net Jun 20, 2002 Weekly Issue

Staff Writer

What's On!

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Have you ever wanted to be the next Indiana Jones? Heck, come to think of it, have you ever seen the '80s movies, or am I getting old? ;-)

What do you think of requiring schools to have equal sports opportunities for both men and women? Watch Saturday's documentary and write an article to the Times about your impressions! For many of you, college is closer than you think, and it's not all about studying and partying!

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 13

"Bigger Than ENRON" (PBS, 9-10pm E/P) This documentary dives deep into a controversy that's got lots of people on edge. The whole 'market economy" is in a mess and they folks can't trust ANY big business any more. Plus, the government regulators who were supposed to protect us from bogus dealings don't seem to mending their lax ways and getting to work. This topic rough stuff to follow, unless you've already have been buffeted by people on the Whyville site playing tricks to mess with your business or personal accounts. If so, you'll know what the people interviewed in this show are talking about.

"Modern Marvels: Models" (History Channel, 10-11pm E/P) No, this isn't about fashion models - unless maybe you're a car freak and would fancy a sneak look at a mock-up of a next-generation concept car. This program is about scale models of technology -- which initially were built of plastic and clay to see what they might look like and are now modeled on computers. The same evolution is shown regarding ships, rockets, planes, whole factories and even cities. As well as theme park rides. But you'll also see the kinds of models that serious hobbyists fancy -- radio controlled planes, trains and automobiles. For a capper, this show takes you inside George Lucas' Industrial Light And Magic workshops where they built over 2000 miniature hand crafted models for his latest movie, more than any movie in history. Yes they used computers in the movie, too, but the best stuff was done the good old fashioned way -- real miniatures.

Friday, June 21

"NOW With Bill Moyers" (PBS, 9-10pm E/P) Here's more documentary material about how you should not do business -- on Whyville or anywhere else. In this show, Bill Moyers reports on big Wall Street firms that are moving legislation through the U.S. Congress that would prevent State governments from prosecuting stock brokers who violate stock laws. (The idea is to protect big businesses from the kind of court judgements that happened to tobacco companies in state courts.) Moyers also interviews Professor Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a top expert on media manipulation of public behavior -- she explains that pharmaceutical ads are not always what they appear to be, why medicine process are so high, who's paying for the ads that both push expensive medicines and plead that it's wrong that government should intervene to keep medicine affordable for Americans.

"Underworld Flooded Kingdoms Of The Ice Age (The Learning Channel, 9-11pm E/P) Here's some real-life "Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom" stuff -- a pair of documentaries about lost civilizations that sank beneath the sea and are now the subject of myth and legend. The first hour looks at 2 ancient cities beneath the Gulf of Cambar off the coast of northwest India. The second hour explores prehistoric temples offshore near Malta and the mysterious underwater "Bimini Road" in the Bahamas.

Saturday, June 22

"Next@CNN " (CNN, 1-2pm ET and 10-11am PT) This science-news program is is actually a half-hour show that's repeated immediately 30 minutes into the hour. What's of interest in the episodes airing today is a report about Laurie Wolff, a sixth-grader in Boulder City Nevada who decided to fight a class requirement that students must dissect animals in biology class -- and she won a court case to allow such a choice. The Humane Society of The United States and other animal protection organizations supporter her suit -- as a way to promote use of CD-ROMs, videos, models and charts instead of using millions of cats, dogs, frogs and other animals that are killed each year for dissection. What do you think about this situation? For some further information log on http://hsus.org and search "Student Choice in Biology Education"

"On The Basis Of Sex: The Battle Of Title IX" (ESPN 8-10pm ET, 5-7pm PT) This 2-part program about women in sports begins with a hour-long documentary on the evolution of Title IX, a law decades-old law that requires colleges to offer equal sports programs for men and women. Then there will be a 'town meeting' featuring athletes and experts debating the current status of the law -- which some people say is ruining college sports. Tomorrow, June 23rd, ESPN will air a marathon of replays of history-making women's sports events: the 1999 Women's world Cup Championship, the 1973 Battle Of The Sexes -- Billie Jean King vs. Bobby Riggs and the 2002 Women's NCAA Basketball Championship -- Connecticut vs Oklahoma.

Sunday, June 23

"Red Gold: The Epic Story Of Blood" (PBS, 9-11pm E/P) Here are the first 2 episodes of a 4-pard documentary series about blood. No need to be squeamish about watching -- these 2 shows are mostly about the history of how people have thought about blood. At first it was viewed as a key element in religious rituals, then as a something in the body that had to be removed if you were sick -- until finally in the 19th century folks thought up "transfusions" to put it back into us for healing purposes. Ironies abound in these episodes. Two pioneers in the blood-plasma drives to help wounded WWII soldiers were Dr. Charles Drew, an African American who was legally barred by racist U.S. from donating blood himself, and Dr. Janet Vaughn who had to run her wartime blood transfusion service out of a London pub. Parts 3 and 4 air June 30 at 9pm. They show how blood donations became unsafe when alcohol and drug users began selling their blood to the system. Then lawsuits and AIDS concerns raised questions about the future of blood supplies, prompting efforts to create artificial blood. (This kind of research was begun long ago, we learn -- the earliest known 'transfusion' was between a calf and a mentally ill Frenchman.) Check out the website -- http://pbs.org/redgold.

"Never Ending Stories" (Ovation Network, 9-10pm ET, 6-7pm PT) Let it not be said that everything I suggest is deadly serious -- because here's a program about soap operas. It's the first of 3 documentaries on the topic, airing today, tomorrow and the day after. Starting with their history, you'll see how they are produced and then find out about their social effects in societies around the world. If you have a really cool teacher, you might ask her to let you write an essay about your favorite TV melodrama -- using some of the analytical skills you'll learn from watching these documentaries.

Monday, June 24

"National Geographic Today: Liquid Planet" (National Geographic Channel, 7-8pm E/P) Today, June 24, the Monterey Bay Aquarium will be the broadcast headquarters for this science magazine series of weekly reports about life in 99 percent of the living space on our planet -- the oceans. It should be worth tuning in regularly. This premiere episode will feature marine research institutions in the Monterey California area. Future episodes will explore the tropics, the poles, newly discovered species -- providing viewers experiences such as travelling on a whale's back during a feeding frenzy.

"Search For The Afghan Girl" (National Geographic Channel, 9-10pm E/P) You've seen her face on the cover of the National Geographic Magazine and other geography and anthropology sites -- her haunting green-eyed gaze has long intrigued the world. This year the photographer who took that iconic picture in Afghanistan in 1985 returned to the region and found a woman who could be that girl. Then, using methods including state-of-the-art iris recognition, FBI facial-recognition techniques and technology used by the U.S. National Center For Missing and Exploited Children, verified that the now wife and mother is, in fact, the child whose eyes captivated the world. More info on www.natgeochannel.com.

Tuesday, June 25

"Little Women" (Cinemax Network, 2:30-4:30pm ET, 5:30-7:30pm PT -- please note reversal of unusual time-differential) This is the newest movie version of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel about four Massachusetts girls in the Civil War era. Winona Rider stars as the tomboyish "Jo", a character who wants to be a writer, which puts her at odds with the conventions of the day. Also in the cast are Kirsten Dunst and Claire Danes. Movie rated PG. Available on video.

Wednesday, June 26

"Easter Island" (Discovery Channel, 10-11pm E/P) This documentary explores archaeological evidence on Eastern Island that, the deeper folks dig, seems to produce more mysteries and questions about the vanished culture there. I've become so confused that I'm now willing to buy the idea that aliens erected the giant statues that dot the island. Watch the show and let me know that you think.

Thursday, June 27

"Union Pacific" (Turner Classic Movies, 8-10:30pm ET, 5-7:30pm PT) This historical/technological movie is based on the building of the first railroad across North America. It sounds boring, but you'll see that the people who built it were bigger-than-life -- sort of adventurers like Indiana Jones (my new favorite person ever since last week when they announced production of another movie in the Indy series) and there's even a big-time villain just like Indy had to contend with. The train wrecks, cavalry rescues (using railroad flatcars!) are right up to George Lucas's standards, even though filmed 60+ years ago. And the love-interest scenes are just as strange Lucas's. Available on video.


Thursday, June 20
    Bigger than ENRON
    Modern Marvels: Models

Friday, June 21
    NOW With Bill Moyers
    Underworld Flooded Kingdoms Of The Ice Age

Saturday, June 22
    On The Basis Of Sex: The Battle Of Title IX

Sunday, June 23
    Red Gold: The Epic Story Of Blood
    Never Ending Stories

Monday, June 24
    National Geographic Today: Liquid Planet
    Search For The Afghan Girl

Tuesday, June 25
    Little Women

Wednesday, June 26
    Easter Island

Thursday, June 27
    Union Pacific


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