"48 Hours: Death In the Desert" (CBS, 8-9 pm, E/P) This is a documentary about a character-building program for teens, in the form of a of a
military-style 'boot camp" , that may have gone too far in the direction of
subjecting enrollees to the challenge of surviving in a desert setting.
"NOW With Bill Moyers" (PBS, 9-10 pm E/P) In this news-commentary program, entitled "Whose God?," an expert panel explores the idea that a pluralistic American society is facing new challenges in the wake of September 11. In the past, America has managed to take the sharp edge off of religious
extremism through the practice of tolerance. But as millions of people continue to immigrate to the United States and bring their own religious beliefs with them, the association between American traditions and Christian traditions may be forced to fade. The program's website this week will offer some food for thought about 21st-century religion, and faith, around the world. http://www.pbs.org/now/society/thought
Saturday, January 4
"The Future Is Wild" (Animal Planet, 9-11 pm E/P) This natural history
special uses computer animation to travel millions of years into the future
to a world where humans are extinct and bizarre creatures dominate the
landscape. From 8-ton land squids to mammal-wrangling spiders get an
exhilarating vision of life to come.
Sunday, January 5
"Discovery Health Channel" (Discovery Health Channel Website: http://health.discovery.com) The company that brings you the Discovery Channel also has a special channel devoted to health and fitness. It's not
available on all cable services, but I want you to know about it even if you
only get its interesting information by logging on to their website.
As an example -- if you're planning to go out to eat today -- you should log
on to their 'guilt-free" fast-food advice pages. You don't have to pick the
grimmest food on offer or eat huge quantities of it to avoid fat and stay
slim. In determining which are your best bets for eating out fast without
getting fat, the site compares McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Subway
products. Log on
http://health.discovery.com/convergence/bodychallenge2/articles/guiltfree/guiltfree.html. You might also want to view an on-line preview the channel's
forthcoming fitness-competition, "Body Challenge 2", set to broadcast on
cable Jan. 16 The online preview version requires Media Player (56K or
Broadband) or Real Player (56K or Broadband).
Monday, January 6
"Mail Call" (History Channel, 8:30-9 pm E/P) This is an episode in a
documentary series hosted by R. Lee Ermey, who portrayed the sergeant in
the movie "Full Metal Jacket". In this series he applies his gruff sense of
humor answering viewer's mail about what armed forces were, and really are,
like -- and brings in experts for special demonstrations. This time,
you'll find out how fast an American Revolutionary War soldier could fire a
musket, the ins and outs of middle-ages-era European jousting, and how to
dig a foxhole.
Tuesday, January 7
"Spies that Fly" (PBS, 8-9 pm E/P) The air war in Afghanistan showed that sometimes the hottest pilots are sitting on the ground operating the remote
controls of UAVs -- or unmanned aerial vehicles. In newly declassified
footage, this documentary explains the astounding UAVs and the plans for
future models including fly-sized, flapping UAVs that can infiltrate
buildings as antiterrorism surveillance vehicles. Historical descriptions of
aerial spying -- which began with the use of hot-air balloon s during the
American Civil war, include one of the most bizarre incidents of the 1991
Iraq war. Iraqi troops learned that the noisy Pioneers presaged an imminent
artillery barrage. One Iraqi garrison therefore took the initiative and
actually surrendered to the UAV.
"Henry VIII" (History Channel 9-10 pm E/P) This is Part 1 of documentary about England's King Henry VIII. He had six wives, challenged the authority of the Catholic Church, and was fat. But how much more does the general public know about this crucially important figure in British history?
Historian David Starkey provides a refreshingly offbeat look at England's
most enigmatic king. Part 1 traces the rise to the throne by age 17. Parts 2
and 3 air at this time on Wednesday and Thursday.
Wednesday, January 8
"Prehistoric Sharks" (Discovery Chanel, 8-9 pm E/P)
This natural science documentary describes a menacing predator the size of a
Greyhound bus which roamed Earth's ancient oceans making meals of whales.
This "megatooth" is believed to weigh 20 times more than a large great white
Thursday, January 9
"Frontline: A Dangerous Business" (PBS 9-10 pm E/P ) This documentary about on-the job safety is a joint production of the Canadian Broadcasting
Corporation, the New York Times and PBS. Six thousand workers lose their
lives on the job in the U.S and tens of thousands more are seriously injured
or exposed to deadly poisons and carcinogens in the workplace. Yet if one of
those workers dies on the job due to a company's willful disregard for
federal safety regulations, the maximum penalty his employer faces is just
six months in prison. Are U.S. workplace safety laws tough enough? And are
companies being held responsible for protecting the safety of their
employees? In addition to the answers given in the program, you should log
on to http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/