www.whyville.net Mar 13, 2004 Weekly Issue

City Worker & Times Writer

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These listings cover television programs up to Friday, March 19.

Greetings, TV viewers!

The topic for the Media hour discussion in the Greek Theatre Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Whyville Time will be related to several programs this week. "What do you think your country's role in the world should be?" Depending on where you live on the planet, you may think your country has a lot to offer, or has a cool lifestyle others would enjoy, and has some things to teach other nations. Or do you think your people should leave other people alone even if other people are doing bad things to their own countries and to their neighbors.

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, March 12

"Crittercam" (National Geographic Channel, 8-9 p.m. E/P) Here are two new episodes of the unique nature and technology series that provides you a ride on the backs of Earth's most interesting creatures. Each show reveals unexpected aspects of the lives of marine and land animals. This time it's leopard seals and penguins. A website which explains how cameras have been attached to these animals without causing them to either shake off the device or behave any other way, but naturally it's at http://aol.nationalgeographic.com/channel/crittercam/.

"NOW With Bill Moyers" (PBS, 9-10 p.m. E/P) The main story this newsmagazine is about children's author/illustrator Maurice Sendak. "Where the Wild Things Are" established him as a visionary figure in children's literature and sold millions of copies. But what are the artistic motivations driving Sendak, who says: "I never set out to write books for children." The report gives a look into the private world of Sendak, revealing the influences at play in his complex work, such as his immigrant parents and the tragedy of the Holocaust.

Saturday, March 13

"Chariots Of Fire" (Turner Classic Movies / TCM Channel, 8-10:15 p.m. ET, 5-7:15 p.m. PT) This Oscar winning movie (Best Picture) movie is the true story of two British track athletes competing in the 1924 Summer Olympics. One is a devout Scottish missionary who runs to honor his religion; the other is a Jewish student at Cambridge who runs for fame and to escape prejudice. Available on video.

Sunday, March 14

"The Iraq War -- One Year Later" (History Channel, 9-10 p.m. E/P) This is the first episode of a 5 hour documentary miniseries. which starts with 9/11/01 and the beginnings of the War on Terrorism, and covers the U.N. negotiations, invasion, and the end of combat operations. The series' goal is to "put viewers in command and control. To see what decisions were made and why, options available, the war plan, technology used, and how each service performed". This first episode is followed at 10 p.m. E/P by the second one, entitled "Tough Going". It covers the air war against Iraq which got underway on what the Air Force called A-Day -- March 21, 2003 -- and progressed as planned until March 23, when Ronald Young and David Williams (interviewed here) lost control of their Apache Longbow helicopter and were taken prisoner. As coalition ground forces headed toward Baghdad, U.S. combatants were taken captive, including Private Jessica Lynch, and Americans at home began to worry that the war effort wasn't going as planned. The TV series continues Monday, March 15, in the same time-slot with episodes entitled ""At Baghdad's Doorstep" and "The Fall Of Saddam". The final episode, "Aftermath" airs March 18.

"Colosseum: A Gladiator's Story" (Discovery Channel, 9-10 p.m. E/P) This is a history documentary about a famous gladiator named Verus. In ancient Rome, he fought his way out of slavery to train as a gladiator. He was chosen to fight in the inaugural games at an extraordinary amphitheatre, the Colosseum. Violent games took place there for hundreds of years. For more information, log on http://media.dsc.discovery.com/convergence/colosseum/tour/tour.html.

This program will be followed at 10 p.m. by another documentary, "True Gladiators." Just outside the city walls of ancient Ephesus in Turkey, the remains of the largest gladiator graveyard ever discovered have been excavated. It has provided new insights into the Roman Empire's bloody sport. And explains how gladiators lived, trained, fought and died.

Monday, March 15

"Biography: Bruce Lee" (A&E Channel, 8-9 p.m. E/P) This is the story behind one of the most influential figures in media style and content these days. Asian popular-culture influences and themes have been brought to prominence by Lee, a kung fu master who became a movie box-office phenomenon, then died a mysterious death. The program features interviews with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and producer Blake Edwards, who were Lee's students. TV-G.

Tuesday, March 16

"Century City" (CBS, 9-10 p.m. E/P) This is the premiere of a dramatic series about science and the law in California in 2030. For viewer who are middle schoolers this may be an interesting way to see what sort of lives they might be leading as adults in the work-a-day world of the future. In the TV story lawyers fight over scientific and ethical issues. A young boy's father wants the right to use the boy's genetic embryo clone to develop a baby who could donate a portion of his liver to save him. The lawyers also take on the case of a boy band that is suing its lead singer for not adhering to his contract to keep up his physical appearance.

Wednesday, March 17 -- St. Patrick's Day

"The History Of St. Patrick's Day" (History Channel, 7-8 p.m. E/P) As shown in this documentary, March 17th in Ireland is a feast day honoring the bishop who Christianized the island; but in America it's a celebration of Irish heritage. Annually hundreds of thousands march up New York City's Fifth Avenue in the largest and oldest parade. On this day, all Americans are "Irish".

Thursday, March 18

"Barbarians: The Battle For Rome" (Discovery Channel 9-10 p.m. E/P) This documentary starts out showing how the Republic of Rome became an empire that stretched from ancient Palestine to Britain. It then shows how the excellent weapons and appetite for looting of the Germanic "barbarians" who came down from the north, ending the Empire which might have endured forever. Numerous videogames have also told this story, but here are the facts.

Friday, March 19

"Inside The Actor's Studio: Tom Hanks" (Bravo Channel, 7-8 p.m. E/P) This interview program features Tom Hanks, a leader in making films with serious content. He was. born July 9, 1956, in California. His parents divorced, and his family life was in a constant state of flux. (He's said that by the time he was ten, he'd had "three mothers, five grammar schools and 10 houses.") He dropped out of college to pursue an acting career. In "Big", his performance as a boy magically transformed into a man won him a Golden Globe and his first Oscar nomination. He followed with "A League Of Their Own" (about women's baseball) and "Sleepless In Seattle" The same year he took on the role "Philadelphia" where he played a gay man dying of AIDS who sues his former employer. He lost nearly 40 pounds during the course of filming to show the ravages of the disease. His touching performance won him his first Oscar for Best Actor. He won the Oscar again the next year for his portrayal of the title character in "Forrest Gump". Hanks next chose to write and direct "That Thing You Do" (1996). And he received a fourth Academy Award nomination for his role in Steven Spielberg's "Saving Private Ryan". He was again nominated for the Academy Award for playing an executive stranded alone on a desert island. He co-wrote and co-produced the mini-series "From the Earth to the Moon" (1998) about the Apollo moon missions, and "Band of Brothers" (2000) about World War II, as well as directed episodes of each.


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