www.whyville.net Nov 7, 2003 Weekly Issue

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These listings cover television programs up to Friday, November 14th.

Greetings, TV viewers!

There are several programs airing this week on the topic of courage. Many will be about the military services because this month, on November 11th, there will be national observances in the United States marking the end of the First World War (Remembrance Day, Veteran's Day). The topic of the media hour this Wednesday, November 12th in the Greek Theatre at 6:30 p.m. Whyville-time will be courage. Come and tell us stories you've heard about or events you have witnessed where people displayed courage in difficult circumstance -- not just military, but also police, fire, medical or disaster situations.

For the Media Hour, watch the show(s)-of-the-week, jot down some ideas, then talk about them with me and other citizens (including other City Workers, if they're available) at the Greek Theater, over in City Hall. 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 keeps everyone's chat bubbles from overlapping too much. We meet for MediaHour on Wednesdays from 6:30pm to 7:30pm Whyville Time (that's the same as Eastern Daylight Time).

Everyone is welcome to write to me about what you and your parents think: Y-mail me, the MediaWiz of Whyville!

Friday, November 7

"Swiss Family Robinson" (Hallmark Channel, 7-10 p.m. E/P) This is a movie based on the classic Johann David Wyss adventure novel. Fleeing the oppressions of Napoleon, a Swiss family from Berne is stranded on a desert island well short of its destination -- a colony in New Guinea -- when pirates chase the travelers' ship into a storm.  The crew abandons ship, which then crashes onto a reef. The family gets to land safely in a makeshift tub raft and later salvages supplies, domestic animals and firearms from the wreck, before blowing it to bits to prevent the pirates from discovering the family. They build a fabulous tree house for their comfort, and a unique hilltop fortress for their protection against the pirates, who eventually return to search for them.

"20/20" (ABC, 10-11 p.m. E/P) If you are a Martha Stewart-watcher, here's an interview program featuring the famous consumer-advisor being grilled by Barbara Walters (as tough a business woman Martha). Whether you like Martha Stewart or not -- and there seems to be little middle ground -- there will be something instructional for you in this interview. It's the only one she's done since her legal troubles began, and the only one she will do before her trial in January.

Saturday, November 7

"Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone" (HBO, 5:15-8 p.m. E/P) and "Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets" (HBO, 8-11 p.m. E/P) How could I hold back saying that these filmed filmed version of the J.K. Rowling popular adventure novels are available on TV this weekend? Even if you don't have cable access, there are video versions available, of course. Note: Both of these films are rated PG, so you should consult your parents before viewing.

Sunday, November 9

"Saving Private Lynch" (A&E Channel, 6-7 p.m. E/P) This documentary is one of several programs this week about the rescue of U.S. Army Pvt. Lynch from Iraqi captivity. You decide which ones to watch and you make up your own mind which seems closest to the truth. This particular report by journalist Bill Kurtis emphasizes the role of American Special Forces in the rescue of Pvt. Lynch from an Iraqi hospital. Bush Administration officials said that it was an Iraqi who passed a note to US marines which launched the daring mission that extracted Private Lynch from the Nasiriyah hospital. TV rated PG.

"Saving Jessica Lynch" (NBC,9-11 p.m. E/P) This is another movie version of the rescue of U.S. Army Pvt. Lynch from Iraqi captivity April 1, 2003. It's based on a first-hand account from Mohammed Odeh Al-Rehaief, the Iraqi citizen who risked everything to help her. This about several kinds of courage: The courage of a 19-year-old enduring an ordeal, the Iraqi father and husband who risked everything to help her, and the American Special Operations team who defied the odds to bring her home

Monday, November 10

"Dances with Wolves" (History Channel, 8-11 p.m. E/P, Rated PG) This Oscar-winning movie is about an unusual kind of courage -- the courage to try to prevent violence. If you don't have cable, it's available on video. The movie opens with a stupendous battle scene in which a soldier tries to get both sides to stop shooting at one another. Then he requests a position on the western frontier after the U.S. Civil War, where he makes friends with a wolf and a Sioux tribe, who dub him "Dances with Wolves." As the frontier fills up with settlers and the army advances, he must make a decision that will affect the lives of the Sioux, who he now calls his people, versus the army he once served.

Tuesday, November 11

"NOVA:"Wright Brothers' Flying Machine" (PBS, 8-9 p.m. E/P) This is a documentary is one of the best now coming out in celebration of the 100th anniversary of manned flight. It has excellent film clips of flights by airplane replicas that use original materials and the only existing Wright brothers engine for the craft that first propelled humans. It emphasizes the astonishing inventiveness that the Wright brothers applied to the problem of powered flight. Log onto the companion website to examine how they solved a complex steering and wing design problems: http://pbs.org/nova/wright/.

"American Valor" (PBS, 9-10:30 p.m. E/P) This is a documentary about U.S. soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen whose actions have earned them the country's highest recognition for courage -- the Congressional Medal of Honor. There is an excellent companions-site on the web explaining the history of the Medal of Honor and detailed profiles of the people shown in the documentary. http://pbs.org/americanvalor.

Wednesday, November 12

"Saving POW Lynch" (Discovery Channel, 7-8 p.m. E/P) This documentary offers yet another version of Pvt. Lynch's capture and rescue during the U.S. advance on Baghdad. On March 23, 2003.She was captured when her convoy is caught in an Iraqi ambush. Later an Iraqi heard word of an American POW in a nearby hospital and told a Marine checkpoint what he had seen, leading to the successful rescue of Pvt. Lynch.

"Reporting America At War" (PBS, 9-10:30 p.m. E/P) This is the second part of a documentary miniseries about the role of American journalists in the wars of the 20th century and beyond. Last week, episode one examined the ways in which a belief in the rightness of the cause led to an emphasis on reporting the noble and heroic aspects of battle, and to a high level of cooperation between the military and the press. This episode, Part II, charts the erosion of that cooperation during the Cold War conflicts in Korea and Vietnam, and examines the backlash against the media that took place in the more recent conflicts in Grenada, Panama and the Persian Gulf. The episode also explores the role of technology in shaping the current relationship between the military and the press. You will note in the episode that there are now many more women active in reporting war stories than before. If you're interested in this branch of the journalism profession, log on to http://www.pbs.org/weta/reportingamericaatwar/resources/#web.

Thursday, November 13

"Frontline: Dangerous Prescription" (PBS, 9-10 p.m. E/P) This documentary about prescription drugs features real-life cases of drugs the FDA (U.S. Federal Drug Administration) approved that had to be taken off the market after injuring -- and in some cases, killing consumers. It examines the role drug companies play in the approval and monitoring of prescription drugs, and questions whether the FDA's current system is adequate for protecting the public safety. At the companion web-site site, browse facts and statistics about drug safety: http://pbs.org/frontline/.

"The Other Drug War" (PBS 10-11 p.m. E/P) This documentary look at the conflict between major pharmaceutical companies and American consumers who now pay the highest drug prices in the world -- unless they can easily drive to Canada or Mexico to buy medicines they need. Details about that also at http://pbs.org/frontline/.

Friday, November 14

"A Bug's Life" (Disney Channel, 8-10 p.m. E/P) This is an animated movie about clever ants who team up with other insects to keep a gang of grasshoppers from terrorizing their colony. (Courage is not the sole property of humans??? there are brave dogs, horses, etc. in fact and fiction -- and here, this tale about brave ants.) Available on video and DVD.


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