www.whyville.net Oct 3, 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 examinations. Here are viewing suggestions for October 4-10, 2004.

This week we'll be talking about -- what else? -- politics, debates and politicans, in the U.S., Canada, Whyville and elsewhere. Come tell us which politicians impress you with the way they talk, and what's most important to you when you think about these people who control your future.

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, October 4

"Space Ship One -- X-Prize Competition" (Science, Middle and High School, live webcast at http://xprize.com -- beginning approximately 9 a.m. ET, 6 a.m. PT) The launch of this privately financed commercial space travel vehicle is subject to weather delays. An earlier launch on September 29 was successful and without incident. The second launch attempt, needed to win the Ansari X-Prize of $10 million, is scheduled for today, October 4. The team led by engineer Burt Rutan will determine exactly when during a two-week window beginning today they will make their second flight attempt.

"American Experience: RFK" (American History, PBS, 9-11 p.m. E/P) After an assassin's bullet took his brother's life, Robert F. Kennedy lost not only someone he loved, but a role that had given meaning to his life. He had devoted himself to his brother John' rise to the U.S. Presidency, suppressing his own ambitions for the sake of the Kennedy name. JFK's death plunged him into grief, and left him struggling to find his own voice. In his suffering he began to empathize with impoverished Americans and others who were marginalized or disenfranchised -- African-Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans. Just as he began to discover his own identity and move beyond the shadow of his brother and towards the Presidency himself, he, too, was assassinated. Learn about his story from the civil rights workers and journalists who were there. Examine some of the events of 1968 in an online interactive timeline at http://www.pbs.org/amex/rfk. Plus, log onto http://www.washingtonpost.com/liveonline to discuss the program with producer David Grubin on October 5 at 1 p.m. ET.

Tuesday, October 5

"2004: Vice-Presidential Debate" (Current History, Middle and High School, PBS and other networks plus cable news channels, 9-11 p.m. ET, 6-8 p.m. PT) The first general election debate between vice presidential candidates Vice President Dick Cheney and Sen. John Edwards will be broadcast live from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Gwen Ifill of PBS moderates. There's a special website about student involvement in this particular event at

"Dateline NBC: Generation XL" (Science and Health, Middle and High School, NBC, 8-9 p.m. PT -- viewable only on the West Coast following the V.P. Debate) This documentary special 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? Dateline NBC 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. A new, much talked about U.S. Government report about childhood obesity is available at http://books.nap.edu/catalog/11015.html. Also tune in Friday, October 8 for an "NBC Dateline" about the challenge of keeping weight off for years.

"Tanner On Tanner: Dinner At Elaine's" (Current Events, High School, Sundance Channel, 9-9:30 p.m. ET, 6-6:30 p.m. PT) Sixteen years after their dramatic TV miniseries "Tanner '88" took a hard look at American politics, director Robert Altman ("M.A.S.H") and writer/political cartoonist Garry Trudeau ("Boondocks") present a four-part follow-up, shot during the 2004 presidential race. Michael Murphy returns in the starring role as Jack Tanner, a former congressman whose bid for the White House ended at the 1988 Democratic convention. Now Tanner is the subject of a documentary film directed by his daughter Alex (Cynthia Nixon) focusing on what happens to failed contenders. Jack Tanner arrives in New York to attend the premiere screening of Alex's documentary "My Candidate," about her dad. Jack runs into former New York governor Mario Cuomo and Alex runs into trouble after she gets people's reaction to her movie. The other episodes air October 12, 19 and 26. Rated TV-14 (for characterizations and language). Details about this new miniseries at http://sundancechannel.com/film_finder/index.php.

Wednesday, October 6

"Megastructures: The Autobahn" (Science and Geography, Middle and High School National Geographic Channel 9-10 p.m. ET, 6-7 p.m. PT) The Autobahn is Germany's main freeway system -- nearly 7,300 miles (11,750 km) long, enough to cross the United States twice. But it's all packed into an area roughly the size of Montana! Discover what it takes to build, operate, and drive the world's greatest super highway.

Thursday, October 7

"Wide Angle: The Saudi Question" (Geography, World History, High School, PBS, 9-10 p.m. E/P) This documentary examines questions facing Saudi Arabia, and those dependent on it soil exports. Will the kingdom will find a path to democratic reform or suffer the consequences of failing to do so? The Saudi kingdom controls approximately the biggest percentage of the world's oil and also home of Islam' s holiest sites. Learn more about the current Saudi political climate at the companion Web site http://www.pbs.org/wideangle.

Friday, October 8

"Debates 2004" (Current History, Middle and High School, PBS and other networks plus cable news channels, 9-11 p.m. ET, 6-8 p.m. PT) This is the second general election debate between presidential candidates President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry. The debate will be broadcast live from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Charles Gibson, co-anchor of "ABC News Good Morning America," is the moderator.

"Dateline NBC: Diet Challenge" (Science and Health, High School, NBC, 9-11 p.m. E/P) This second annual edition of the news documentary "Dateline Diet Challenge" kicks off with a group of friends who are returning to their 25th high school reunion in Minneapolis in November. They all want to lose weight and they are all trying different diets. Who will lose the weight and who can keep it off? Dateline began following them in March 2004 and will continue to follow them over the next couple of months as they do or do not lose weight.

Saturday, October 9

"Tributo a Nuestros H??roes" (History and Current Events, Middle and High School, Telemundo Network, 7-9 p.m. E/P) Telemundo se enorgullece en presentar "Tributo a Nuestros H??roes", un hist??rico concierto concebido y producido por Emilio Estefan, dedicado a los miles de hispanos que prestan servicio militar y quienes han dejado atr??s sus hogares y familias por servir a la naci??n estadounidense. Por primera vez, grandes estrellas hispanas se re??nen en la Estaci??n Naval de Norfolk, Virginia, una de las instalaciones navales m??s grandes de los Estados Unidos, para rendir tributo a las tropas norteamericanas y sus familiares. Los artistas invitados participantes en este concierto especial son (en orden alfab??tico): Alicia Villarreal, Amelia Vega, Ana Gabriel, Banda El Recodo, Candela Ferro, Cucuy, El General, Gloria Estefan, India, Luis Fonsi, M??nica Noguera, MSM, Rabanes, Roselyn S??nchez, Victor Garc??a y Victor Manuelle.La producci??n contar?? con n??meros musicales espectaculares y an??cdotas heroicas de algunos de los miembros hispanos de las fuerzas armadas.

"Time Machine: Cinco De Mayo" (History and Geography, Middle and High School, History Channel, 7-8 p.m. E/P. Simulcast in Spanish on History Channel en Espa??ol) Each May 5th, Cinco de Mayo celebrations are held throughout the United States, yet few people know the history behind this highly significant event in Mexican history. It all started on a day in Puebla, Mexico, when an ill-equipped Mexican Army united with Zacapoaxtla Indians to defeat the French Army of Occupation. This documentary tells the story of the French occupation of Mexico which led up to the events on May 5, 1862, and examines the holiday and its meanings for people throughout the world. It is a great resource for study during Hispanic Heritage Month and follows standards as outlined by the National Council for History Education.

Sunday, October 10

"Modern Marvels: Building a Skyscraper -- The Arteries" (Science and Technology, High School, History Channel, 6-7 p.m. E/P) For two years a documentary crew has followed the construction of the new California Department of Transportation headquarters in L.A. to learn the architectural, structural, and mechanical challenges of building mega-skyscrapers. In this program you will see them installing the veins and arteries of the building and wrapping up construction. You will learn how the development of electricity and indoor plumbing made skyscrapers possible -- imagine needing to take an elevator down 70 stories to use the privy behind the building! Rated TV-PG.


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