www.whyville.net Nov 8, 2001 Weekly Issue

Staff Writer

What's On!

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What's On!

Times Writer

Ever wonder where breakfast cereal comes from? Or how stealth technology works? Then check these shows out!

I also want to urge you to catch Backstory: Norma Rae if you can. Not only is it an Oscar-winner, it's about a very important, very cool person you may not have been lucky enough to learn about in school.

And I'm sure I don't need to push you to see Real Magic: The Science Of Wizardry, what with the Harry Potter movie coming out this week in North America...

Watch the shows and let me know what you think!
Email me, the MediaWiz of Whyville!

Friday, November 9
    Patent Files

Saturday, November 10
    U.S. Olympic Training Centers
    Forbidden Territory: Stanley's Search For Livingston
    Understanding: Traffic

Sunday, November 11
    Breakfast with the Arts
    National Geographic Explorer: In the Haunt of the Hippo

Monday, November 12
    Backstore: Norma Rae

Tuesday, November 6
    Scientific American Frontiers: Growing Up Different

Wednesday, November 14
    Stealth Technology

Thursday, November 15
    Real Magic: The Science of Wizardry
    Grand Canyon: The First Journey

Friday, November 9

"Patent Files" (History Channel, 10-11 p.m. E/P) This episode of the technology documentary series with the rather bland name tells the story of the invention, by trial and mostly error, of five things that are around so much nowadays that we can't conceive of a world without them: breakfast cereal, safety razors, tires, car radios and microwave ovens.

Saturday, November 10

"U.S Olympic Training Centers" (A&E, 8-9 p.m. E/P) This documentary in the "Behind Closed Doors With Joan Lunden" series explains the technical aspects of competitive athlete-preparation. Examples include freestyle skiers keep their edge in summer by jumping off ski ramps and landing in a swimming pool with their skis on, swimming medallist B.J. Bedford demonstrating her underwater treadmill and Tara Nott, America's first gold medalist in weightlifting since 1960 demonstrating her workout methods.

"Forbidden Territory: Stanley's Search For Livingston" (Hallmark Channel, 9-11 p.m. E/P) This historical movie reenactment of a famous explorer-journalist's quest to find a lost missionary in Africa during the colonial period is more about the inner turmoils of the seeker than the dangers threatening the man he sought. Makes you wonder about what really makes those people tick who race into remote places in the name of science (and science-program hosting).

"Understanding: Traffic" (The Learning Channel, 10-11 p.m. E/P) In this documentary we see traffic engineers debating ways to deal with the great frustration of American society. Some of them have ideas almost as good as a Whyvillian's might be, but just barely. Computer graphics and even more graphic film clips from Mexico City (the world's most crowded) are used to settle these engineer's arguments. (The ultimate solution, of course is more public transport. But that seems to be politically sabotaged by the oil and auto lobbies.)

Sunday, November 11

"Breakfast With The Arts" (A&E Network, 8-10 a.m. E/P) The main story in this morning magazine show about the arts is about sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti, considered by many to be one of the most influential artists of the 20th Century. You'll instantly recognize and forever remember his angular, elongated characters. Also included in the program is a performance of Beethoven's Violin Concerto by violinist Anne-Sofie Mutter and the Berlin Philharmonic.

"National Geographic Explorer: In The Haunt Of The Hippo" (MSNBC, 8-9 p.m. E/P) To make this documentary about hippos, Victoria Stone, her husband and two sons moved to Kenya's Mzima Springs for 2 years. Accompanying their film about the animals is a featurette about the camera techniques involved and life behind the camera while raising a family in such a wild and remote place.

Monday, November 12

"Backstory: Norma Rae" (American Movie Classics, 10-10:30 p.m. E/P) This documentary about the making of Sally Field's Oscar-winning movie about southern factory workers is also a quick, sharp lesson in American labor relations -- a topic that's going to be on lots of folks' minds in this era of increasing lay-offs. The movie itself, rated PG, is available on video.

Tuesday, November 13

"Scientific American Frontiers: Growing Up Different" (PBS, 9-10 p.m. E/P) This is a documentary about kids who are growing up with challenging physical conditions and the doctors and researchers who are trying to mitigate those conditions. Examples: Cochlear implants restore some hearing to a profoundly deaf child, augmentative communication technology gives speech to a child without it and new insights into the fundamental nature of autism have resulted in new intensive therapies.

Wednesday, November 14

"Stealth Technology" (History Channel, 10-11 p.m. E/P) This is a documentary about a technology mentioned in the news these days explains how warplanes can approach targets without being detected by radar.

Thursday, November 15

"Real Magic: The Science Of Wizardry" (Discovery Channel, 9-10 p.m. E/P) It's Harry Potter Time in America this week, and a suitable occasion to look at some of the things behind such antics as his. By dissecting modern holiday rituals and uncovering roots going back to Druidic and other religious and mystical practices this documentary shows there's some actual science behind ancient wizardry. One good example is the "placebo effect" which draws on the power of the mind to cure the body without modern chemicals or procedures. It seems that a person's faith in a 'magic' cure might cause the release of brain chemicals called endorphins, the body's natural opiates. Thus, you feel better.

"Grand Canyon: The First Journey" (National Geographic Channel, 9-10 p.m. E/P) This documentary follows a one-armed Civil War Veteran and nine crew member (3 of whom perished during the expedition) on the first scientific exploration of the Grand Canyon in 1869. Another reminder that those "survivor" shows on TV these days are bogus.

"Caves" (The Learning Channel, 10-11 p.m. E/P) More geography, geology and biology. This documentary explains how caves are formed and examines the life forms that inhabit them.



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