www.whyville.net Dec 19, 2004 Weekly Issue

Media Specialist

Media Menu

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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 home viewing suggestions for December 20-26, 2004.

There will be no Media Hour for the next week. I'd be surprised if anyone wanted to come on Whyville to talk with me on Christmas morning, anyway! :) In the meantime, check out our new format for the Media Menu! I hope it's even easier to read!

In future Media Hours, the folks who have seen the shows and really read the related websites will be able to help us to focus our discussion, exploring what everyone thinks and reminding us to think about what was in the shows and on the websites. Come to the Media Hour prepared and you will be invited down on stage, and you may earn clams, too!

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 9 a.m., Whyville Time. (Whyville Time is now the same as Pacific Standard 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, December 20

8-9 p.m. E/P

CNBC (CNBC Channel) Subjects:


High School
"CNBC On Assignment: Death of a Wonder Drug"
This documentary takes an in-depth look at the September 30th recall of Vioxx.  This popular painkiller touched off a controversy because of how its manufacturer, Merck, behaved and the questions that came up about how all drugs are approved and kept safe. The program looks the controversy from all angles -- the company that sold the drug, the scientists who studied it, the government agency that approved it, and the people who say their lives were harmed by it.


Tuesday, December 21

8-10 p.m. E/P

PBS Subjects:

Science and History

High School
"The Elegant Universe: Program #1- Einstein???s Dream" and Program #2 The String???s The Thing"
This is a NOVA documentary miniseries about physics. Way-out physics, but explained so well that viewers will learn thing things they can use in all sorts of classes at school. In the last few years, excitement has grown among scientists as they've pursued a revolutionary new approach to unifying nature's forces. To the uninitiated, string theory is totally mind-boggling. But physicist Brian Greene, who hosts this program, has a rare gift for conveying physics in vivid everyday images, a gift that has turned his recent book, "The Elegant Universe", into a bestseller. An innovative, "Matrix" style of presentation in this program brings the world of string theory spring to life on the screen. 'Einstein's Dream' -- The first hour introduces string theory and shows how modern physics -- composed of two theories that are ferociously incompatible -- reached an impasse: one theory, known as general relativity, is successful in describing big things like stars and galaxies; another, called quantum mechanics, is equally successful in describing small things like atoms and subatomic particles. Albert Einstein, the inventor of general relativity, dreamed of finding a single theory that would embrace all of nature's laws. But in his quest for the so-called unified theory, Einstein came up empty-handed, and the conflict between general relativity and quantum mechanics has stymied all who've followed. That is, until the discovery of string theory. 'String's the Thing' In the second hour, Greene describes the steps that led from a forgotten 200-year-old mathematical formula to the first glimmerings of strings -- quivering strands of energy whose different vibrations give rise to quarks, electrons, photons and all other elementary particles. Strings are truly tiny -- smaller than an atom by the same factor that a tree is smaller than the entire universe. But, as Greene explains, it is possible -- for the first time ever -- to combine the laws of the large and the laws of the small into a proposal for a single, harmonious Theory of Everything..
For more information log on http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/


Tuesday, December 21

7-8 p.m. E/P


(History Channel)



Elementary, Middle and High School
"Modern Marvels: Satellites"
This is a documentary about space satellites. The launch of the first one, Sputnik, was one of the most significant science achievements of the twentieth century, literally expanding the world. Today, there are satellites orbiting throughout outer space as central components of the communications and information-gathering technology we all rely upon. The program traces the work of a British science fiction writer and a German engineer. Also former NASA officials recall the desperate early day of the space race, when the United States feared that Russian dominance in the sky would have tragic consequences on the ground.


Wednesday, December 22

8-9 p.m. E/P


(Discovery Channel)


Science and Geography

Elementary Middle and High School
"The Ice Hotel"
This is a documentary about a hotel built from thousands of tons of snow and ice, and re-built every winter. It???s located in the village of Jukkasjaarvi in northern Lapland, Sweden. Science and art make a good combination in this geographic setting.
For more information log on to http://www.scantours.com/ice_hotel.htm


Thursday, December 23

7-8 p.m. E/P

HIST (History Channel) Subjects:

Social Studies, History

Elementary, Junior and High School
"Special Presentation: Christmas Unwrapped"
This documentary asks some questions about our celebration of the birth of Christ on December 25th, "Why is the Nativity marked by gift giving, and was Jesus really born onthat day?" And just where did the Christmas tree come from? The programs takes a tour through the history of this holiday to the origins of its traditions -- back to the earliest celebrations when the early Christian religion embraced pagan solstice festivals like the Roman Saturnalia and turned them into a commemoration of Jesus??? birth. Prince Albert introduced the Christmas tree to the English-speaking world in 1841. British settlers in the New World transformed the patron saint of children into jolly old St. Nick.
For more information log on to http://www.historychannel.com/classroom/admin/study_guide/archives/thc_guide.0299.html


Friday, December 24

Noon- 1 p.m. E/P


(History Channel)



Middle and High School
"History???s Mysteries: Christmas Truce"
This is a documentary about an event during World War I . That war began in August 1914, and by December all optimistic thoughts of quick victory had faded. The most fierce fighting took place in a thin strip of land called the Western Front. A system of trenches separated Allies from Germans, with the area in between known as No Man's Land. On Christmas Eve, an astonishing event began -- up and down the Western Front, Allied and German soldiers met peacefully in No Man's Land.


Saturday, December 25

6-8 p.m. ET, 3-5 p.m. PT

TCM (Turner Classic Movie Channel) Subjects:

Arts Education/History

Elementary Middle and High School
"Annie Get Your Gun"
Recently, the school curriculum in several states has been expanded to include the study of musical theatre -- for arts training and social studies. Saturday, December 25 Also recently a lost masterpiece of the musical theatre --in an Academy Award winning film version -- has been made available for TV broadcast. Its theme-song is "There???s No Business Like show Business". The titles of the other songs reveal the plot and the character of the main people in the story of the real-life woman Annie Oakley. She was an incredible shot who was raised 'Doin' What Comes Naturally'. Frank Butler, the star sharpshooter in 'Colonel Buffalo Bill's traveling show, however, knows full well that's not how 'The Girl That I Marry' must be. Anyway, not at least until he finds that 'My Defences are Down'. Though Annie defiantly says 'Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better', she realizes that 'You Can't Get a Man With a Gun'. The musical wraps up with 'It's Wonderful'. And a reprise of 'There's No Business Like Show Business'. Enjoy.


Sunday, December 26

7-8 p.m. E/P

CBS Subjects:

Arts and Health Science/Athletics

Middle and High School
"CBS 60 Minutes"
The lead story in newsmagazine is Ray Charles. The life of the legendary musician is celebrated in a profile updated with new interviews since his death. Previously unseen footage is included. A second story is about sports and technology. One crucial factor has elbowed out all the others that can determine success in professional football: the coach and an increasingly vast array of computerized data he uses to lead his team. Reporter Lesley Stahl talks to Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers coach John Fox.


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