www.whyville.net Dec 5, 2002 Weekly Issue

Staff Writer

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Greetings, TV viewers!

This week's Show-of-the-Week is a double-header! Watch on Thursday, December 12 for a Gangs of New York documentary, about the upcoming movie, comparing the movie to the reality of New York gangs around the turn of the 20th Century. Follow that up next week with interviews of DiCaprio and other Hollywood famous faces about the same topic -- then tell me what's interesting/boring about both and why!

Want some clams? Watch the shows-of-the-week, then talk about it with me and other citizens (including other city workers) on Wednesday, December 18th, at 6pm Why-Time, in the House of Illusions Geek Speak. If you come and really take part in the meeting, you'll get a small clam bonus from City Hall... sound like a deal?

To sum up: tune to the show, show up to the chat, chat up your thoughts, and know you get clams!

Watch the shows and tell me what you and your parents think. Email me, the MediaWiz of Whyville!

And now... the Media Menu!

Thursday, December 5

"The Fighting Seabees" (American Movie Classics, 6-8 pm ET, 3-5 pm PT) This is a movie about engineers and construction workers during World War II in the Pacific who were needed to build military sites, but found the work dangerous and began to doubt the ability of the U.S. Navy to protect them. After a series of attacks by the Japanese, new procedures are tried, including the formation of armed Construction Battalions (C.B. became "Seabees"). Because this is a movie rather than a documentary, drama has been worked into the action involving professional rivalries and even a love-story involving a female war correspondent. Available on video. The website http://www.history.navy.mil/faqs/faq67-1.htm gives a good idea what was really involved with this unusual branch of the engineering profession, from WWII all the way to the Gulf War.

Friday, December 5

"Private Jets" (History Channel 9-11 pm E/P) This documentary investigates the history, the luxury and technology of America's corporate jets. We meet a few of the men and women who originated them, including Walter and Olive Beech, Bill Lear, and Clyde Cessna. Actor Michael Dorn explains what it takes to buy a previously-owned jet. And, we see the latest in kit jets and look into the new must-have of the super rich -- jets the size of commercial airliners.

"20/20" (ABC, 10-11 pm E/P) This edition of the ABC News weekly magazine feature stories includes a report entitled "Family Fix" which I think should not be viewed without your parents present. It's about the growing trend of early teens becoming sexually active. Reporter John Stossel interviews educator Deborah Roffman about constructive ways parents can tackle this issue with their kids and how to have the dreaded "talk" with them about the subject. ABC has also scheduled a live on-line chat on www.ABCNEWS.com for Monday, December 9 at 1pm Eastern Time, when Rofman will answer viewer's questions.

Saturday, December 7

"Your Health" (CNN, 2:30-3 pm ET, 11:30 am-noon PT) This edition of CNN's weekly round-up of health news is devoted entirely to the topic of smallpox immunization -- an issue that's been in the headlines because of the civil defense against germ warfare efforts being undertaken by the U.S government. Reporter Rea Blakey ask experts, "Are we ready?".

"Live From Baghdad" (HBO, 8-10 pm E/P, TV Rated MA for mature content) This movie is based on an autobiographical book, "Live From Baghdad: Gathering News at Ground Zero", by a member of the television news team that broadcast to the world its first live war. Set in 1991 during the build up to the Gulf War, the film follows the behind-the-scenes story of the author, a CNN executive producer Robert Wiener, played by Michael "Batman" Keaton and producer Ingrid Formanek (Helena Bonham Carter) as they lead a resourceful team into reporting on the deteriorating situation in Baghdad.

Sunday, December 8

"Expedition Bismarck " (Discovery Channel, 9-11 pm E/P) This is an underwater archaeology documentary filmed by the man who directed the movie "Titanic", and like that movie, this program is "big". Here's the story: 1941, the British Navy, bent on revenge for Germany's destruction of England's biggest ships, bombarded into oblivion Germany's "unsinkable" battleship Bismarck while on its maiden voyage. The wreck, still upright on the North Atlantic floor, lay virtually unexplored until this May, when Oscar-winning director James Cameron brought his deep-sea filmmaking expertise and newly-advanced equipment and technology to conduct the first detailed external survey of the sunken ship and probe its ghostly interiors for the first time ever. He dredges up the Bismarck's long-lost secrets, some of which contadict the official British version of the story. Compare, if you will, the show's official website http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/bismarck/bismarck.html to a version of the story at http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/03/science/03BISM.html?pagewanted=print;position=bottom.

"Christmas: Behind The Traditions" (HGTV Channel 9-10 pm ET, 6-7 pm PT) This history documentary on the channel devoted to reports on home-making and gardening describes the origins of Christmas traditions -- including mistletoe, Santa, department-store Santas, Christmas trees, ornaments, foods and presents.

Monday, December 9

"CNBC's CheckPoint" (CNBC, 6:30-7 pm ET, 3:30-4 pm PT) This is the initial program in a weekday (M-F) news report about the U.S. government's Office of Homeland Security and the impact that increased national, corporate, and personal security will have on the economy, corporate America and individual investors. Hosted by CNBC anchor Martha MacCallum, it will feature perspective from military and security experts in the U.S. and overseas and interviews with business leaders and government leaders faced with the constant challenge of increasing security. Special Note: Compare this modern account of protecting the U.S. from attackers with the "Liberty's Kids" program airing on PBS Tuesday afternoon - featuring the heroism of an individual 16 year girl.

"Page To Screen: Lord Of The Rings" (Bravo, 8-9 pm E/P) This is a documentary about how a book gets turned into a movie. This one all started tucked away at Oxford in the peaceful world of prewar England where an English professor and linguist wrote a single line on the back of an exam paper: "In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit." It was the beginning of an adventure story that ignited the imaginations of millions of readers, spawning an almost cult following that crossed many generations and many nations. So complete was the author's vision of Middle-earth that he wrote pages upon pages of appendices detailing the various languages spoken by fantastical creatures, their calendar systems, histories and maps. His publishers, upon seeing the vast work, made him break it into three volumes published months apart. Attempts were made to film it, yet ironically it would not be done properly until the time of advanced computer technology. In this documentary, director Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood ("Frodo"), Sean Astin ("Sam Gamgee"), as well as "Pippin", "Merry" and the evil "Saruman" are joined by screenwriters, makeup artists, special effects masters, set designers and Tolkien experts.

Tuesday December 10

"Liberty's Kids" (PBS, 3-3:30 pm ET, 4-4:30 pm PT -- also check for other local afternoon times) This episode of the animated historical drama for younger viewers includes the story of 16 year old Sybil Luddington, one of the heroes of the American Revolution and known as the female Paul Revere. News reached her father, Colonel Ludington, that the New England town of Danbury, which was used to store revolutionist's supplies, was being looted and burned by the British forces. She rode 40 miles through the night alerting her father's regiment to the danger. The troops she raised that night, led to a battle the following day that forced the British back on to their ships in the Long Island Sound. Further info available at http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Plains/1789/sybil.html

Wednesday, December 11

"Hackers: Outlaws And Angels" (The Learning Channel, 10-11 pm E/P) This is a documentary about computer hackers. In the last ten years the meaning of the word hacker has mutated. Initially something done for fun, it now has the negative connotations of criminal sabotage, industrial espionage and plain old theft. In an effort to differentiate between the honorable hackers and criminal hackers, a new term has surfaced: "Crackers". They all "hack", but with very different intentions. With the rise in popularity of home computers, people are increasingly becoming victims of cyber crime in their own home. But the real war is happening around the world. Governments and corporations are struggling to protect themselves against cyber crime, cyber terrorists and industrial espionage. Now, old school "hackers" are being employed by these large organizations to examine and strengthen company security by closing "port holes" and constructing "firewalls" within their computer systems. Meanwhile, crackers "scan" constantly looking for a way in, while developing a new scam, hoax or aggressive piece of cyber terrorism.

Thursday, December 12

"The Gangs Of New York" (Discovery Channel, 9-10 pm E/P) This historical documentary explains how the current movie, "Gangs of New York", used historian Herbert Asbury's book as the basis for capturing the hardship, the corrupt politics and brutal gang wars which took place in that city around the turn of the 20th Century. (This included youths rioting because they didn't want to be drafted into the army to fight for the Union in the U.S. Civil War.) Special Note: On December 16 at 11pm, the History Channel will air another documentary on this topic in its "History vs Hollywood" documentary series. Exclusive interviews will be included, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Daniel Day Lewis and Liam Neeson.


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