www.whyville.net Jan 3, 2003 Weekly Issue

Staff Writer

What's On!

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These listings cover television programs up to Thursday, January 9th.

Greetings again, TV viewers!

Last Thursday's MediaHour went rather well, I'd say. Bigfoot Bill wasn't able to join us, but citizens Krista12 and hottiemb led the way as we explored the value of Weight Watchers and what it must have been like to be the founder of such a revolutionary company. Hey, anybody want some Twinkies or bacon grease now?

This coming week's Show-of-the-Week is a two-fer. We start this Friday with 48 Hours: Death In the Desert, a gritty expose by CBS on people going overboard in an attempt to make teens "build character". How much is too much? Why do you think anybody would put themselves through such a thing?

Our other show is Henry VIII, a three-part investigation of one of the most famous kings in English history. I'll bet you've all seen paintings of this enormous man -- but is that all there is to the guy? Somehow, I doubt it... watch the show and tell us what you think, next Wednesday afternoon!

Want some clams? Watch the show-of-the-week, then talk about it with me and other citizens (including other city workers, if they're available) in the House of Illusions Geek Speak. We usually meet on Wednesdays at about 6:15pm 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, January 2

"Much Ado About Something" (PBS, 9-10:30pm E/P) This "Frontline" documentary applies its investigative-reporter skills to a famous unsolved mystery: Author of timeless masterpieces, including Romeo and Juliet, Othello and Hamlet, William Shakespeare is widely considered to be the greatest writer who ever lived -- or was he? Were these works, long attributed to him, actually written by his contemporary,Christopher Marlowe? The conflicting historical accounts are almost as interesting as one of these plays. Marlowe was at the height of his literary career in 1593 when he was supposedly killed in an argument over a tavern bill. Marlowe's death, however, has been clouded in mystery, with some "Marlovians" insisting the playwright lived to write another day - but under the name of Shakespeare. This documentary attempts to unravel what some are calling the "biggest cover-up in literary history." After the show, log on http://pbs.org/frontline/shows/muchado to find out more about why "who wrote Shakespeare" is important -- or why it isn't. (One expert says flatly: "To me, the people who think that Shakespeare didn't write Shakespeare are either American snobs... or great British eccentrics.")

Friday, January 3

"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 today.

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/


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