www.whyville.net Apr 13, 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. 13
9-10 p.m. E/P

National Geographic Channel

Subjects: Science and Geography

Middle and High School

"Human Footprint"

It's one American lifetime: 77 years and 9 months on the earth. 2,837,875,000 heartbeats. 13,056 pints of milk. 39,146 cups of coffee. 5,067 bananas. And 64 tons of waste. Imagine all the toothbrushes you will ever use, all the potatoes you will ever eat and all the sodas you will ever drink. Then think of it encircling your home, or filling the streets of your neighborhood! This program is a documentary special anchored by ABC News' Elizabeth Vargas, follows the cradle-to-grave consumption of an average American boy and girl. In association with National Geographic Mission Programs and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), for the first time on television NGC presents what an average American consumes - and discards - in a lifetime, all in one place at one time via a series of dramatic, revealing and informative visual demonstrations. "On any given day it's easy to think that our individual impact on the world is relatively small, but multiply your actions over a lifetime and the true extent of our footprint becomes apparent," explains Vargas Your individual footprint is determined not only by the food you eat and the oil used to power your car, but also includes the resources needed to produce, package and transport everything you consume. The special goes beyond the sheer magnitude of what we consume, following the chain of production back to find out what goes into the making of what we use every day, from T-shirts to soda cans to laptop computers.

Monday, Apr. 14
9-11 p.m. E/P


Subjects: Literature and US History

Middle and High School


On a hot summer day in 1855, a 36-year-old writer emerged from an undistinguished printer's shop in Brooklyn, New York, carrying a slim volume of his work. To family, friends and neighbors, Walter Whitman Jr. may have been just a too-old bachelor who lived in his parents' attic, but as he walked the city streets that day, he knew something of himself they could not imagine. With his book of a dozen poems, Leaves of Grass, he was about to introduce America to a savior. Ominous events were on the horizon, and Walt Whitman offered up his poetry and his persona as a reflection of the America he saw; it was daring, noble, naive, brutish, sexual, frightening and flawed. He hoped his work could heal a fracturing country. In his own time, his poetry was as contested as the idea of America itself. This documentary tells Whitman's life story, from his working-class childhood in Long Island to his years as a newspaper reporter in Brooklyn, when he struggled to support his impoverished family, then to his reckless pursuit of the attention and affection he craved for his work to his death in 1892 at the age of 72. TV-PG

Log on http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex

Tuesday, Apr. 15
8-9 p.m. E/P

History Channel

Subjects: Science and Technology

Elementary, Middle and High School

"Modern Marvels - Yard Tech"

In the 21st century, turf grass is the number one crop grown in the U.S. When suburbia exploded after World War II, turf became the defining characteristic of nearly every yard. First, it's off to the research greenhouse facility at The Scotts Company to learn how grass seed is bred for special characteristics. Then pay a visit to the Toro Company, a big name in lawnmowers. The Rain Bird Company and its automatic sprinkler systems is the life giver to thirsty lawns across the country, and The Davey Company specializes in moving trees in excess of one million pounds. Finally, take a trip to California Waterscapes and watch as a crew installs a waterfall and koi pond.

Tuesday, Apr. 15
8-9 p.m. E/P


Subjects: Science and Health

Elementary, Middle and High School

"NOVA: 'Marathon Challenge'"

What does it take for the average person to run one of the world's toughest races? This documentary is both a human story and an intriguing scientific exploration of the way our bodies respond to intense exercise demands. Filmed in cooperation with the Boston Athletic Association, which provided access to the Boston Marathon course, it takes viewers on a unique adventure inside the human body. Every year, thousands of athletes from across the globe flock to Boston to run the city's marathon, known worldwide as the ultimate test of stamina and endurance. In the summer of 2006, cameras began following 13 novices as they took the first step toward completing the 26.2-mile race in April 2007. The group of participants includes people of diverse backgrounds - a young woman running in memory of her mother, who died in a tragic car accident; a working single mom; even a former NFL linebacker. The unifying element is that not one of them is currently a runner. Over the nine-month training period, exercise and nutrition scientists and doctors at Tufts University use sophisticated technology to monitor the physical transformations that the participants undergo. Intimate interviews reveal the highs and lows along the way. TV-G

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

Wednesday, Apr. 16
5:54-8 p.m. ET, 2:45-5 p.m. PT


Subjects: Arts and US History

Middle and High School

"Charlie: The Life and Art of Charles Chaplin"

This documentary that takes a comprehensive look at the life and career of the great comic icon and the influence he has had on U.S. and world culture. TV-PG

Log on http://imdb.com/title/tt0379730/plotsummary

Thursday, Apr. 17
6-7 p.m. E/P

History Channel

Subjects: Science

Middle and High School

"The Universe: The Most Dangerous Place in the Universe"

Take a tour of the cosmic hot zones--black holes, galaxy mergers, gamma ray bursts and magnetars. super massive black holes can literally "lasso" the Earth out of the solar system. A clash between two galaxies can result in a barbaric ritual called "galactic cannibalism" in which the dominant galaxy's super massive black hole literally eats the weaker one. Magnetars are a cosmic magnetic force so strong it could wipe out data on every credit card on the planet. In this documentary cutting-edge computer graphics are used to bring the universe down to earth to show what life would be like on other planets, and to imagine what kind of life forms might evolve in alien atmospheres. Rating: TV PG

Friday, Apr. 18
10-11 p.m. E/P


Subjects: Science and US History

Elementary, Middle and High School

"Return Of The Cuyahoga"

On June 22, 1969, the polluted Cuyahoga River caught fire. The river didn't burn just in Cleveland - it burned in the nation's imagination. The country was beginning to pay attention to what was happening to its natural resources. The fire started a chain of events, described in this documentary, that hasn't stopped yet. These include the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, Earth Day, the creation of Environmental Protection Agencies at the federal and state levels and a rapidly growing consciousness about the environment in America. The Cuyahoga is America's best example yet of a watery success story. The dead river came clean - and back to life again. TV-G

Saturday, Apr. 19
7-8 p.m. E/P

History Channel

Subjects: Science

Elementary, Middle and High School

"Modern Marvels: Renewable Energy"

In the young 21st Century, two realizations are dawning on the world's population: we are hopelessly dependent on petroleum, which is only going to get more expensive; and global warming, caused mainly by our burning of fossil fuels, will impact civilization in ways that we're only beginning to grasp. Stepping in to fight both of these massive problems are the rapidly evolving technologies that harness renewable energy. This documentary shows how air, water, earth, and fire are transformed into clean, reliable sources of heat, electricity, and even automobile fuel. We'll take an in-depth look at the most proven and reliable sources: solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, and tidal power. From the experimental to the tried-and-true, renewable energy sources are overflowing with potential... just waiting to be exploited on a massive scale. And unlike fossil fuels, they'll always be there. Rating: TV-PG


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