www.whyville.net Sep 26, 2004 Weekly Issue

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Greetings, TV viewers!

Some broadcast and cable programs contain material included in the public school curriculum and on standardized exams. Here are viewing tips for September 27-October 3.

This week there's a lot of science -- specifically about the life and struggles of scientists and engineers. Do you want to go into a science career, or know someone who does? Know anyone who is a scientist or engineer? This week, we'll talk about the challenges of becoming a scientist and staying one, as well as what kinds of images of scientists we see on TV and in the movies.

What's the Media Hour? Watch the show(s)-of-the-week, jot down some ideas, then come and talk about them with me and other citizens (including other City Workers, if they're available). We get together at the Greek Theater (next to City Hall), every Saturday morning at noon, Whyville Time. 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 makes everyone's chat bubbles overlap a little less than other rooms.

Monday, September 27

"Nick News: Mi America -- A Celebration of Hispanic Culture" (Social Science, Middle and High School, Nickelodeon Channel, 8:30-9 p.m. E/P) Award-winning journalist Linda Ellerbee and actor John Leguizamo talk to kids about being Hispanic in America exploring their rich heritage, diverse culture and distinct challenges. (If you came to the Media Hour last week, you'll remember we talked about Hispanic heritage too -- see what real Hispanic kids have to say about it!) The kids share ways in which to celebrate their heritage, such as food and music. They discuss the use of the Spanish language in their culture, the importance of Hispanic Heritage Month and the myths and stereotypes associated with Hispanics and how these misconceptions affect their lives. Check out the Nick website about Hispanic Heritage month at http://www.nickjr.com/home/hispanic_heritage/index.jhtml. Also, later this week on Thursday, October 9, the Discovery en Espanol channel there's a program in Spanish about the concept of race -- in science and history.

"Extreme Oil: The Wilderness" (Science and Geography, High School, PBS, 10-11:00 p.m. E/P) this documentary explores Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) which could soon be the site of extensive oil development -- but at what cost? Hear from advocates both for and against drilling in ANWR. There's a website that examines the role oil has played throughout human history, how that role has changed over time and the repercussions of oil use on society and the environment at http://www.pbs.org/extremeoil

Tuesday, September 28

"Assignment Discovery: Understanding: Electricity" (Science, Elementary, Middle and High School, Discovery Channel, 9-10 a.m. E/P) I suggest you record this program to take to school or suggest toy our science teacher that he or she switch on the classroom TV equipment this morning and let everybody see this program during class. It shows how electromagnetic waves transmit images of live events to televisions in distant homes. From the individuals who use it to the engineers who harness it, examine the power and purposes of electricity. And learn about electricity and magnetism.

"Origins" (Science, Middle and High School, PBS, 8-10 p.m. E/P) Here are the initial two episodes of this NOVA science series, "The Earth Is Born" and "How Life Began". They explain how a hot spot left over from the Big Bang would eventually lead to the creation of the Earth, the cosmos -- and humans. You'll learn about the moment when inert, lifeless matter managed to organize itself into life. The program has a website at http://www.pbs.org/origins. On Wednesday, September 29 in this time slot, the final two episodes, "Where Are The Aliens?" and "Back To The Beginning" air. They describe the latest search for extraterrestrial life and turn back the clock to the beginning of time itself to understand how a universe conducive to life materialized from the cataclysm known as the Big Bang. Also on Wednesday the 29th, log onto http://www.washingtonpost.com/liveonline at 11 am ET, 8 am PT, to talk about the program with the show's host, astrophysicist Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Director of the Hayden Planetarium. He's the author of a book, The Sky Is Not The Limit: Adventures Of An Urban Astrophysicist, which reflects his experiences as an African-American at the top of the scientific profession.

Wednesday, September 29

"X-Prize" (Science, Middle and High School, webcast at http://www.xprize.org/webcast, beginning at 9 a.m. ET, 6:00 a.m. PT) For this event in the current X-Prize contest to launch a commercial space vehicle, viewers will be able to watch Mojave Aerospace Ventures' White Knight airplane and SpaceShipOne soar 100km into suborbital space. More information at http://www.ansarixprize.org/press_room/press_releases/press.php?articleID=100
Also, on Sunday, October 3, a leading American contender in this aerospace contest, Burt Rutan, will be the subject of a documentary on the Discovery Channel (see Sunday listing below).

"MythBusters: Ancient Death Ray / Skunk Cleaning / What is Bulletproof?" (Science, High School, Discovery Channel 8-9 p.m. E/P) This documentary examines one of the world's oldest urban legends -- did the Greek scientist Archimedes set fire to a Roman fleet using only mirrors and sunlight? And moving to more modern times, have you ever tried to remove the fetid funk of a stinky skunk?

Thursday, September 30

"Debates 2004: A News Hour Special Report -- Presidential Debate" (Social Science, High School, PBS, 9-11 p.m. E/P -- check local listings) If you have any interest in politics and the future of the United States, you should watch this. Yes, it can bore the willies out of even adults, but if you work to understand what they're saying about the future of America and the world, it'll be well worth the effort. I'm talking about, of course, the first general election debate, moderated by PBS news-anchor Jim Lehrer, between presidential candidates President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry. The debate will be broadcast live from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The debate also airs on CNN, C-SPAN and other networks -- check local listings.

"Tiempos Modernos" ("Modern Times") (High School, Discovery en Espanol Channel, 9-10 p.m. ET, 6-7 p.m. PT, program broadcast in Spanish, Rated TV-PG, repeats in same time slot on October 1) This episode of Discovery en Espanol's social science series is entitles "Understanding Race". Although scientists claim there is no scientific validity to the concept of race, history and culture show that ideas about race influence the behavior of many people

Friday, October 1

"From The Earth To the Moon" (High School, TNT Cable Channel, 9-11:30 p.m. E/P) This fantastic, dramatic miniseries, executive produced by Tom Hanks, relates the story of the conquest of the moon -- from the Mercury and Gemini projects to the legendary Apollo missions. All of the episodes will air during the next 3 days, a few today, a few tomorrow and all of them Sunday. The title of the series is taken from author Jules Verne's classic science fiction novel about space flight written 100 years before the actual thing happened. You can read the book online (http://jv.gilead.org.il/pg/moon) and learn how surprisingly similar Verne's 1860s fiction was to the real 1960s thing -- including that the launch site in the novel was in central Florida. Here's the episode schedule: note that some have special Parental Advisory Ratings.

October 1 @ 9 p.m. (ET) "Can We Do This?" TV-14-L
October 1 @ 10:15 p.m. (ET) "Apollo One" TV-14
October 2 @ 5 p.m. (ET) "We Have Cleared the Tower" TV-PG-L
October 2 @ 6:15 p.m. (ET) "1968" TV-14
October 2 @ 7:30 p.m. (ET) "Spider" TV-PG
October 2 @ 8:45 p.m. (ET) "Mare Tranquilitatis" TV-PG-L
October 2 @ 9:55 p.m. (ET) "That's All There Is" TV-14-S

The all-episode screening marathon airs Sunday, October 3:

9 a.m. (ET) "Can We Do This?" TV-14-L
10:10am(ET) "Apollo One" TV-14
11:25am (ET) "We Have Cleared the Tower" TV-PG-L
12:40 p.m. (ET) "1968" TV-14
1:50 p.m. (ET) "Spider" TV-PG
3 p.m. (ET) "Mare Tranquilitatis" TV-PG-L
4:10 p.m. (ET) "That's All There Is" TV-14-S
5:15 p.m. (ET) "We Interrupt This Program" TV-14-L
6:20 p.m. (ET) "For Miles and Miles" TV-PG-L
7:25 p.m. (ET) "Galileo Was Right" TV-PG-L
8:30 p.m. (ET) "Original Wives Club, The" TV-PG
12:45 p.m. (ET) "Le Voyage Dans la Lune" TV-PG-L
(The complete series is available on video.)

Saturday, October 2

"Darcy's Wild Life" (Social Science, and some Natural Science, Middle and High School, NBC, 12:30-1:00 p.m. ET/ 10:30-11 am PT. -- check local listings) This is the premiere of a live-action comedy series from the producer of "Lizzie McGuire"; it's part of NBC's "Discovery Kids" Saturday morning programming.. The show follows a teenage city girl from a rich, movie-star family who moves to a rural farm. Encouraged by her mother to develop a work ethic, she learns about animals -- even birthing a calf.

Sunday, October 3

"Black Sky: The Race for Space" (Science Middle and High School, Discovery Channel, 9-11 p.m. E/P) For the past thee decades, Burt Rutan has produced one new research airplane per year. Considered one of the most influential aircraft designers, Rutan has built SpaceShipOne, a personal space vehicle that might win him $10 million. Further info at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3746313.stm.


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