www.whyville.net Apr 20, 2008 Weekly Issue

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Greetings, TV viewers!

Here are this week's home viewing suggestions selected from online advanced program listings and aligned with state and national K-12 academic standards available online.

Sunday, Apr. 20
1-10 p.m. E/P


Subjects: US History

Middle and High School

"John Adams"

This is a broadcast of all seven episodes of the historical drama series based on the lives of John and Abigail Adams. Part 1 "Join or Die" After the 1770 Boston Massacre, Adams takes an unpopular stand by defending accused British soldiers. Adams heads to Philadelphia to join the Continental Congress - and faces an uncertain future. Part 2 "Independence" After the 1775 Battle of Lexington and Concord, Adams argues for independence, persuading Thomas Jefferson to draft a declaration. Benjamin Franklin and Adams convince delegates, and the Continental Congress votes to declare independence on July 2, 1776. Part 3 "Don't Tread on Me" Adams heads first to France in 1777, demanding that France increase its naval commitment to America, and then to Holland to solicit funds for the war. Part 4 "Reunion" Learning of the British surrender to Washington, Adams returns to France and sends for Abigail, who joins him in Paris. Adams is named Ambassador to Britain, and he and Abigail move to London. Adams returns home, realizing that he and Abigail weren't meant "to sit in the shade of life." Part 5 "Unite or Die" Elected America's first Vice President, Adams is frustrated by his exclusion from President Washington's inner circle. Adams is elected President in 1796 - by a mere three electoral votes over Jefferson. Part 6 "Unnecessary War" Adams keeps the nation out of war, despite French aggression. Adams loses a bid for a second term and returns to Massachusetts. Part 7 "Peacefield" Restless in retirement, Adams starts writing his memoirs, then endures a series of family tragedies. Adams resumes a correspondence with Jefferson that lasts the rest of his life.

Airtimes at http://www.hbo.com/apps/schedule/ScheduleServlet?ACTION_PREV_GRID=PREV Historical information at http://www.hbo.com/films/johnadams/?ntrack_para1=feat_main_image

Monday, Apr. 21
9-10 p.m. E/P


Subjects: US History

Elementary, Middle and High School

"American Experience: Roberto Clemente"

This is a documentary about an exceptional baseball player and committed humanitarian who challenged racial discrimination to become baseball's first Latino superstar. The program features interviews with Pulitzer Prize-winning book authors David Maraniss ("Clemente") and George F. Will ("Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball"), Clemente's wife Vera, Baseball Hall of Famer Orlando Cepeda, and former teammates, to present an intimate portrait of a man whose passion and grace made him a legend. Golden Globe Award-winning actor Jimmy Smits narrates.

A Spanish-language version will be available for free viewing online at http://pbs.org/wgbh/amex/watch.html

Tuesday, Apr. 22
8-9 p.m. E/P


Subjects: Science and Technology

Elementary, Middle and High School

"NOVA: Car of the Future"

Airing on Earth Day, this documentary asks, "How will the car of the future be powered?" Will it run on hydrogen, batteries, ethanol, or some as-yet undiscovered technology? "Car Talk" brothers, Tom and Ray Magliozzi, from NPR, take viewers on a roller-coaster ride into the world of cars - examining new technologies and ideas about America's most common form of transportation. With constantly increasing prices at the pump and a growing concern about the impact of emissions on global warming, there is a keen interest in alternative fuel sources to power our cars. The hydrogen fuel cell has long been the holy grail of zero emissions energy, and countries like Iceland are trying out the technology by transforming their public transportation. Closer to home, there are attempts to create fuels like 'biodiesel' - made out of used vegetable oil - or ethanol from corn crops. Will these be our future fuels or just useful intermediates? And can an all-electric sports car being developed in California change the face of driving for good? With in-depth interviews and the unique humor of the "car guys," take a light-hearted but knowledgeable look at the serious issue of what's to come for our transportation.

Log on http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/car

Tuesday, Apr. 22
9-10 p.m. E/P

History Channel

Subjects: Science

Elementary, Middle and High School

"The Universe: Gravity"

Gravity is the most powerful and exacting force in the universe. It binds us together. Its grip crushes light. Without gravity, stars, comets, moons, nebulae, and even the Earth itself would not exist. This documentary illustrates how science and humanity discovered, quantified, overcame and utilized gravity. From the firing of a cannon ball or rocket, to roller coasters to extreme sports, learn what it takes to propel objects into the heavens, to ride a wave or to ski down a slope. Learn how scientists use space-based instruments to measure the waves of gravity sweeping across the cosmos, and take a front row seat as an astronaut subjects himself to the weightless wonders of the specially modified aircraft used to train astronauts known as the "Vomit Comet."

Wednesday, Apr. 23
9-11 p.m. E/P


Subjects: Science and Geography

Elementary, Middle and High School

"National Geographic Special: Strange Days on Planet Earth"

This documentary from National Geographic is focused on one of the most pressing environmental issues of our time: the degradation of the world's oceans. Hosted by actor Edward Norton, it reveals what is causing the problem, how it affects us all, and what we can do about it. The broadcast covers two aspects: "Most Dangerous Catch": is about over-fishing which is affecting life far beyond the shoreline, including Earth's own life support systems. "Dirty Secrets": Explains that striped bass are succumbing to flesh-eating bacteria in the Chesapeake Bay. Majestic seabirds are starving in Hawaii. Coral reefs are weakening under a growing assault of invisible contaminants. How are these mysteries related?

Thursday, Apr. 24
7-9 p.m. E/P

Sundance Channel

Subjects: English Literature and Science

Middle and High School

"Fahrenheit 451"

Working for the first time in color and in English, Francois Truffaut directed this adaptation of Ray Bradbury?s dystopian novel about the influence of virtual media and the future where the printed word is banned and firemen burn books. Oskar Werner plays a fireman who is slowly seduced by forbidden literature, while Julie Christie, in dual roles, plays both his wife and his confidant. Unjustly neglected, this was Truffaut's love letter to the world of books and features an impressionistic score by Bernard Herrmann and one of the most moving final scenes in the history of cinema.

For details about this film log on http://imdb.com/title/tt0060390

Friday, Apr. 25
10-11 p.m. E/P

History Channel

Subjects: World and US History

Middle and High School

"Battle 360: Battle of Leyte Gulf"

In this documentary the American warship USS Enterprise and her escort ships and submarines engage in the largest sea battle ever. In a series of ferocious surface and air firefights, the Japanese Navy is totally eviscerated in the last great naval engagement in world history. With the enemy fleet in chaos, Enterprise and the American carrier force clear the way for an American invasion of the Philippines and set the course for the road to Tokyo. For Aircraft Carrier USS Enterprise, destined to become the most decorated ship of World War II, the Pacific War had begun on December 7, 1941. Returning from a top-secret mission, her air groups fly right into the attack on Pearl Harbor. During the early weeks of the war, as America suffered one defeat after another, Enterprise is one of the few shining lights as she sinks enemy submarines, hits the Japanese Navy in the Marshall Islands, and supports the famous Doolittle Raid.

Saturday, Apr. 26
7-9 p.m. E/P


Subjects: World History and Geography

Middle and High School

"Letters From Iwo Jima"

After bringing the story of the American soldiers who fought in the WWII battle of Iwo Jima to the screen in his film Flags of Our Fathers, Clint Eastwood directed an equally thoughtful portrait of the Japanese forces who held the island for 36 days in this military drama. In 1945, World War II was in its last stages, and U.S. forces were planning to take on the Japanese on a small island known as Iwo Jima. While the island was mostly rock and volcanoes, it was of key strategic value and Japan's leaders saw the island as the final opportunity to prevent an Allied invasion. Lt. General Tadamichi Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) was put in charge of the forces on Iwo Jima; Kuribayashi had spent time in the United States and was not eager to take on the American army, but he also understood his opponents in a way his superiors did not, and devised an unusual strategy of digging tunnels and deep foxholes that allowed his troops a tactical advantage over the invading soldiers. While Kuribayashi's strategy alienated some older officers, it impressed Baron Nishi (Tsuyoshi Ihara), the son of a wealthy family who had also studied America firsthand as an athlete at the 1932 Olympics. As Kuribayashi and his men dig in for a battle they are not certain they can win -- and most have been told they will not survive -- their story is told both by watching their actions and through the letters they write home to their loved ones, letters that in many cases would not be delivered until long after they were dead.. Rated TV-14

For details at http://iwojimathemovie.warnerbros.com/lettersofiwojima/framework/framework.html


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