www.whyville.net Jan 2, 2004 Weekly Issue

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These listings cover television programs up to Friday, January 9, 2004.

Greetings, TV viewers!

The discussion topic for the Media Hour on Wednesday, Jan. 7 will be "What do you think of when you hear the words 'The Future'?" In several of the programs listed in this column you will see some people's ideas. But what are yours?

For the Media Hour, watch the show(s)-of-the-week, jot down some ideas, then talk about them with me and other citizens (including other City Workers, if they're available) at the Greek Theater, over in City Hall. You'll find that the Theater makes discussions pretty easy, since City Workers are able to direct people's movement and behavior, when we need to, and it keeps everyone's chat bubbles from overlapping too much. We meet for MediaHour on Wednesdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Whyville Time (that's the same as Eastern Daylight Time).

Friday, January 2, 2004

"Now With Bill Moyers: A Futurist's Vision" (PBS 9-10 p.m. E/P check local listings) At the onset of a New Year, many are wondering: what lies ahead. In this interview program you will meet Andrew Zolli, who holds the title 'Futurist in Residence' at Popular Science magazine. Based on cultural, design and technological trends, Zolli advises companies about what the future may hold for them and how they can profit from it. He explores everything from the branding of corporations to human cloning and calls for a national conversation to form a national vision of the future. One of the things he mentions in his studies is climate change and how the public is going to be in for a big dose of thinking about that topic -- because there's a big new movie coming about that -- look at http://www.thedayaftertomorrowmovie.com/.

Saturday, January 5

"Harsh Continent" (CNN, 8-9 p.m. E/P) If there is a final frontier on Earth, Antarctica is probably it. It is a 5.5 million-square-mile expanse of ice and frozen tundra that was virtually uncharted until 100 years ago. A CNN crew went there to personally experience the lifestyle of what one visitor called the "highest, driest, coldest, windiest, loneliest continent on Earth." They visited a new science station being built at the South Pole, which construction manager Carlton Walker says is like "building on another planet." In such a remote place residents conduct a lifestyle that has a very unique rhythm. (On Thursday, January 6, Discovery Channel airs a documentary about how marine creatures survive in Arctic conditions.)

Sunday, January 4

"Mars: Dead Or Alive" (PBS, 8-9 p.m. E/P) This special edition on the NOVA series provides a behind-the scenes look at NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission includes a special live segment, which follows the sophisticated Spirit rover's risky attempt to land on Mars. Because the program will be live (Eastern US time) and the actual outcome unknown, a follow-up version will be aired Tuesday, January 6. For details about the Rover mission and the scientists involved, log on to http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/mars/.

Monday, January 5

"American Experience: Abraham and Mary Lincoln" (PBS, 9-11 p.m. E/P) This documentary mini-series presents a dual biography of the Lincolns from their radically different Southern childhoods to the White House. It recounts their courtship and tempestuous relationship, and chronicles Lincoln's presidency, from the Civil War and the Emancipation Proclamation to Lincoln's brutal assassination. (Part 2 airs January 6, Part 3 airs January 7.) Accompanying website at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/lincolns/index.html

Tuesday, January 6

"Wildlife Wars" (Animal Planet Channel, 8-10 p.m. E/P) Game warden, Terry Grosz, seeks to make sure that endangered animals have a future. He's up against late night poachers, black market middlemen, and armed, stupid people who are draining the wilderness' resources. But Grosz is shrewd, and turns the tables by hunting down these human predators.

"Made In America" (Travel Channel, 9-10 pm E/P) Come see what the Gatorade Sports Science Institute in Illinois is doing to re-engineer the famous sports drink for higher performance in this episode of a documentary series hosted by John Ratzenberger. Also, at the Harley-Davidson factory you will learn how these motorcycles are build and what future models might look like. These locales have websites: http://gatorade.com/index.php and http://www.harley-davidson.com/selector.asp.

Wednesday, January 7

"Degas And The Dance" (PBS, 8-9 p.m. E/P) This unusual documentary combines art history and modern dance. The French Impressionist Edgar Degas captured the human figure in all its various modes with a choreographer's eye. This film reveals his obsession with color, movement and ballerinas. It is based on the recent Degas and the Dance exhibit and features evocative dance performances and location sequences filmed at Degas famous haunt, the Palais Garnier, where for years he attended performances and watched ballet classes. It also features dramatic re-creations of the artist at work in his Montmartre studio. More information at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/shows/degas/degas.html

"60 Minutes II" (CBS, 8-9 pm E/P) Hear about claims that Houston's model school system falsified drop-out rates in this newsmagazine. Dan Rather reports. After watching the program, you may want to log on to www.nwea.org for more information about how schools calculate how well they are serving their students.

Thursday, January 8

"Blue Planet: Seas of Life" (Discovery Channel, 8-10 p.m. E/P) The first hour of this two-episode documentary is about how tides control marine life. Tidal marshes are one of the most productive parts of the world. Numerous plants support numerous animals, yet life is not easy: Predators are attracted to these enormous quantities of food, forcing animals to seek protection. The second hour is about life on the edge of a frozen sea. In the spring life begins again after a winter pause. Plankton blooms and feeds vast hordes of migrating fish. The birds, whales, seals and polar bears gorge themselves before the ice pushes them from the land. Lots more information at http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/blueplanet/blueplanet.html

Friday, January 9

"The Roots of Racing" (Discovery Channel, 8-9 p.m. E/P) Here's a documentary that combines geography (information about Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina and Alabama) with auto racing lore. Racing is a way of life in many rural areas of the south. While every driver dreams of living the success of Richard Petty, these local racers have no expectation of making a profession out of racing -- they're following a tradition. The program takes viewers into the small towns and counties where dirt racetracks exist, to meet some of the owner-drivers and the family and friends around them.


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