www.whyville.net Dec 12, 2002 Weekly Issue

Staff Writer

What's On!

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These listings cover television programs up to Thursday, December 26th.

Greetings again, TV viewers!

Last week's first MediaHour went pretty well, all things considered. My computer refused to recognize the network connection, then I had to download Java again... suffice to say, strangeness abounds. In spite of the malfeasance of my hard and software, though, Bigfoot Bill and I made it to the Illusions Talk only one hour late.

Many thanks to Bigfoot for his assistance, to HnyBnch for having recorded one of the shows (write an article about what it made you think, what it made you ask, say?), and to the rest of the crowd for your many questions.

This coming week's Show-of-the-Week is a Stephen Spielberg bio-documentary. What's your favorite of his many films? Which one do you think has the best (true) science in it??

Want some clams? Watch the show-of-the-week, then talk about it with me and other citizens (including other city workers) sometime this week in the House of Illusions Geek Speak. Our usual meeting time will fall on Christmas Day, so I'm casting about for a better day -- probably Thursday the 26th at 6pm Whyville Time. If you come and really take part in the meeting, you'll get up to 50 clams from City Hall... you like that?

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 19

"Scott Of The Antarctic" (Turner Classic Movies Channel, 8-10 pm ET, 5-7 pm PT) This dramatic recreation of the famous -- and tragic -- British expedition to South Pole will give you an idea what it's like on an honest-to-God scientific exploration. It ain't like some of the cute-guy-or-gal-in-a-trendy-parka documentaries you see these days on cable TV. But, in this film, you'll get to know some realty heroic, smart explorers.

Friday, December 20

"Civil War Draft Riots" (History Channel, 11am -- noon E/P) This is a straightforward historical documentary about the subject covered -- rather fictionally -- in the new movie "Gangs Of New York". What actually happened back in 1863 was that as men were dying on America's Civil War battlefields, the homefront simmered with anti-war anger and the media (newspapers and political speech-makers) fanned the flames. Then, a new conscription law led to civil discontent. Abraham Lincoln had to call out troops to quell anti-draft riots in New York -- which got out of hand, causing the Army to shoot rioters. It was the single most violent outbreak of urban unrest in American history. For details log on http://www.civilwarhome.com/draftriots.htm

Saturday, December 21

Next@CNN (CNN 1-1:30 pm ET, 11-11:30 am PT) This edition of CNN's tech-news magazine examines reports that there was an aircraft that achieved powered flight -- not a glider -- an entire year before the Wright Brothers' did it in 1903. There's evidence that Rev. Burrell Cannon, a Texas inventor/sawmill-operator as well a preacher, built and flew a device , which he called "The Ezekiel" based on information from the Bible. There's a website about this at http://www.ctie.monash.edu.au/hargrave/cannon_ezekiel.html.

Sunday, December 22

"Weird Weapons of the Middle Ages" (History Channel, 12:20-1 pm E/P) The producers of this history-of-technology documentary searched museums and private collections for weird and unlikely weapons, then introduced them to a team of experts to find out how they were used. They out a Francisca, the throwing axe that gave the Franks (an early French/German tribe) their name; see how armored knights used a ball and chain; and learn the uses of the gruesome awl-pike, bizarre military fork. and strange axes like the Lochaber, Doloire, and Waggoner's Axe

"Full Metal Challenge" (The Learning Channel, 10-11 pm E/P) This is a broadcast of the semi-final competition in this year's competition between teams of engineers who have built vehicles that can handle weird terrain and conditions. The teams' names for their hybrid, made-from-recycled- parts machines tell part of the tale -- "Flying Horse", "The Deflector", "Octopush" (from China, Australia and the UK, respectively). They compete in an arena covered with steep artificial hills -- the toughest to scale is called The Himalayan.

Monday, December 23

CLAM BONUS SHOW! "Steven Spielberg: An Empire of Dreams" (A&E, 9-11pm E/P) This special 2-hour edition of the "Biography" series profiles of one of the most successful and important movie directors of the 20th and 21st centuries. It features interviews with Tom Hanks, Richard Dreyfuss, Oprah Winfrey, Robin Williams, and Spielberg's mother, father, and sister. Spielberg's films on historical topics films include "Schindler's List" , "Amistad", "Saving Private Ryan" and "The Color Purple". In 2003 he begins work on a biographical movie about Abraham Lincoln.

Tuesday, December 24

"The Wind And The Lion" (Turner Classic Movies Channel, 6-8 pm ET, 3-5 pm PT) This adventure movie is based on historical events concerning Morocco and American interests in the Middle East 100 years ago, and brings to mind the current conflict between East and West. In the story, a swashbuckling, handsome, barbaric, desert-dwelling Arab leader kidnaps a prominent American and her two children. (In the more honest history books, the victim is a man.) There are many twists and turns, dramatizing actual history and showing England, France and Germany vying for power in the area while keeping corrupt leaders in power. Sound familiar? The American President at the time, Teddy Roosevelt, is looking for a fight and makes it his personal vow to free the American family and capture the Arab renegade. The film goes back and forth between Morocco and the U.S., showing the politicking and personality of America's then most popular president. Somehow in the movie the Americans, living in desert captivity and getting caught up in Islamic ways, end up admiring the Arabs. Cast includes Sean Connery and Candice Bergen. Available on video. If you want to know more about this movie before you watch it log on to http://www.austinchronicle.com/issues/dispatch/1999-12-31/screens_video.html.

Wednesday, December 25

"Digging For Truth -- Archaeology and The Bible" (History Channel 10 am -noon E/P) This episode of the "Time Machine' series describes the use of the The Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament, revered as a divine scripture by Jews, Christians, and Muslims, as a guide for scienctific exploration of ancient mid-eastern sites. Recent archaeological finds seem to contradict many of its stories, threatening the foundations of these ancient religions and even the delicate balance of power in modern Israel.

Thursday, December 26

"Save Our Sounds" (History Channel 8-9 pm E/P) This technology documentary in the "Save Our History" series describes the current effort by the Smithsonian Institution to preserve rare historic audio recordings of our cultural history. Native-American chants, oral histories from slaves, music from legendary artists of the past, speeches of presidents and other historical figures. The earliest recording technology involved fragile materials and all of the oldest recordings- amazing things to hear --all are rapidly decaying. Go online at http://www.loc.gov/folklife/sos/ and sample some of them.


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