www.whyville.net Mar 26, 2004 Weekly Issue

City Worker & Times Writer

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These listings cover television programs up to Sunday, April 4.

Greetings, TV viewers!

The the media hour discussion Wednesday will be based on the programs about immigrants airing Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. (You may not know this, but the people who died in the Alamo were immigrants from America who had moved to Mexico.) No matter where you live now , you probably have immigrants somewhere in your family tree -- maybe even you yourself. So the topic will be: "What I've learned/know about the immigrant experience."

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 26

"Modern Marvels: Farming Technology" (History Channel 7-8 p.m. E/P) U.S. agricultural technology "from seed to shelf" is so efficient that most people don't think much about it. But food growing and processing is ever more sophisticated, employing computer-guided, ground-shaking machinery, and sometimes-controversial techniques. It's an industry of declining family farms, diminishing returns, yet higher yields. This show covers the evolution of the tools used to produce food, shows the steps in the cycle that bring food to the table, and looks at the future of farming.

"Dateline NBC" (NBC, 8-9 p.m. E/P) The mains story in this magazine has a catchy title, "Generation XL" and tells the stories of three overweight teenagers who between them, lost 115 pounds in just two months. How did they do it? And were they able to keep it off in the long run? TV reporters spent eight months with the three teens, two 17-year-old boys, and a 15-year-old girl, following them at an intensive exercise and weight loss camp and then back home, to see how they'd do on their own.

Saturday, March 27

"Mothers Of Invention" (History Channel, 7-8 p.m. E/P) Airing in observance of Women's History Month, this technology documentary is about things invented by women. Hang gliders, brown paper bags, windshield wipers, and liquid paper... who new? From the early 1800s -- when women weren't allowed to hold patents -- to 2000, this program reviews stories of unrecognized women and their well-known inventions that we just can't live without. For more about Women's History Month stories, log on http://www.historychannel.com/exhibits/womenhist/main.html (my favorite is about Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman in space)

Sunday, March 28

"Chasing The American Dream" (MSNBC Channel, 8-9 p.m. E/P) Immigration is becoming a big topic in the U.S (and other countries which have an attractive lifestyle) What makes people willing to risk their lives in pursuit of the American Dream? Do they achieve the dream when they get here? This program shows rare footage of one Mexican family's high-risk journey across the deserts of Arizona in search of a better life in America. You'll also find out about undocumented workers revitalizing dying heartland towns in such unexpected places as Oklahoma. Hispanic immigrants living illegally in the United States are estimated to contribute billions of dollars to the country's economy each year, and their labor supports industries ranging from agriculture to manufacturing to food service. It is a difficult life, fraught with low wages, long hours, bottom-of-the-ladder jobs, no healthcare and a deep-rooted tradition of exploitation. Yet despite the frustrations of living without documentation, an estimated half-million immigrants continue to risk their lives each year crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. More people have died crossing this border than died trying to cross the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. For more info, log on to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4579802/.

Monday, March 29

"New Americans" (PBS, 9-11 p.m. E/P) This is the first episode in a documentary miniseries about the journeys of new immigrants and refugees from several countries as they adjust to their new lives in the United States. It profiles Barine, Israel and Ngozi, who are refugees from Nigeria; also Dominicans Ricardo Rodriguez and Jose Garcia, highly promising baseball players; and Naima, a young Palestinian woman who marries a Palestinian-American, Hatem. The other episodes air in this time slot on March 30 and 31. The official website for the series is very informative: http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/newamericans/.

Tuesday, March 30

"Remember The Alamo" (History Channel, 8-10 p.m. E/P) Here's a documentary about the controversial events of March 1836 when Mexicans and Americans began warring against one another. A massacre of Americans at the Mexican Army's hands made "Remember the Alamo" an immortal Texan battle cry. But is this history viewed through a singularly American lens? With distance from the heat of battle, a Mexican version of the controversy emerges. What caused Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett to run from their pasts to become heroes in death? How did a struggle for independence become a race war? This program exposes new evidence about this event with a dark secret. Another version of the story -- a big screen movie -- opens in the U.S. April 9. For information on the movie, log on to http://www.thealamofilm.com/, or read a N.Y. Times article about it: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/24/movies/24ALAM.html?ex=1080709200&en=57f44ccd8f1dd99d&ei=5062&partner=GOOGLE

Wednesday, March 31

"National Geographic Specials: Whales In Crisis" (PBS, 8-9 p.m. E/P) Whales and humans share an ancient relationship, long celebrated in myth and legend. Today, the bond is as strong as ever, as this program reveals when it travels from the Arctic to the Florida keys to meet a new generation of folks dedicated to studying, saving and preserving the world's remaining population of whales.

"Modern Marvels: Nature's Engineers" (History Channel 10-11 p.m. E/P) This technology program airs rather late, so you might want to make arrangements to tape it -- perhaps by your parents -- because adults and even teachers should be interested in this topic. We're talking about smart bugs, beavers, birds, etc. Towering skyscrapers crawling with life, intricate tunnels connecting entire communities, mighty dams that tame the wildest rivers -- this is construction animal style! These engineers of nature remind us that we're merely the latest in a long line of creatures trying to re-make the world.

Thursday, April 1 -- April Fool's Day

"The Most Extreme: Thinkers" (Animal Planet Channel, 9-10 p.m. E/P) Here's another reminder that we humans may not a have all the answers about how to live. When it comes to sorting out some of the toughest problems, animals may have an advantage over humans. This program shows how bees use dance to communicate. And I suspect that none of us is smart enough to solve some of the problems that an octopus easily deals with every day.

Friday, April 2

"History Of The Bathing Suit" (Travel Channel, 9-10 p.m. E/P) When I identify a program as a history documentary, some readers sort of tune out. I don't think that will be the case with this program. It chronicles the evolution of the swimsuit ??? with historical film footage plus interviews with designers and historians from around the world.

Saturday, April 3 -- NEW

"Apollo 13" (Bravo Channel 3-6 p.m. E/P) This multiple Oscar-winning movie is based on a real event, a nail-biting suspenseful technical failure in space during an American moon-shot. Tom Hanks, in the role of astronaut Jim Lovell, made the famous remark, "Houston, we have a problem." There's lots to see and think about in this movie if you have ideas about maybe getting involved in the flight to Mars that the U.S. is planning. Rated PG. Available on video. Kids who are already thinking seriously about interplanetary travel - like to??Mars -- are posting??on-line journals at 'http://www.redrovergoestomars.org/journals/index.html.

Sunday, April 4 -- NEW

"The Winning Season" (TNT Channel, 8-10 p.m. E/P) This is a movie about a 12-year-old baseball fanatic who finds a mint condition baseball card with a picture of 1909 World Series star Honus Wagner on it. It's not only the world's most valuable baseball card -- it is also the granter of wishes. The boy goes back to 1909 on a journey that changes his and the star's lives forever. And it may change your ideas about baseball.


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