www.whyville.net Nov 14, 2004 Weekly Issue

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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 November 15-21, 2004.

The topic of this week's Media Hour is... Thanksgiving! Since I will be observing Thanksgiving (U.S.) with family next weekend, let's talk turkey (and stuffing, and gratitude and everything else) this Saturday! Do you have a favorite movie or TV show you or your family like to watch around this time of the year? What stories represent the best parts of Thanksgiving to you? Of course, many countries celebrate their own Thanksgiving in their own ways and on their own days -- we'd love to have you share your traditions and TV shows with us, 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 noon, Whyville 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, November 15

"They Made America" (Social Studies, High School, PBS, 9-10 pm E/P) This documentary miniseries, based on the new book by Harold Evans (The American Century), examines the history of innovation in the United States. Tonight's focus is on immigrants to America: their hard work, desires and the often harsh reality of their lives. Not all innovations, by the way, have involved technology. There are other, business categories -- for instance, banking and undergarments. For complete details on this series, log on to http://www.pbs.org/theymadeamerica. Plus, log on to http://www.washingtonpost.com/liveonline on November 15 at 1 pm ET, 11 am PT to chat about the program with Catherine Brawer, grand-daughter of Ida Rosenthal (creator of the bra), and Felice Bonadio, biographer of Amadeo Giannini (founder of Bank of America).

Tuesday, November 16

"Nova: Great Escape" (Modern History and Archaeology, Middle and High School, PBS 8-9 pm E/P) This is a documentary about a real-life adventure that was turned into the great movie "The Great Escape," starring Steve McQueen (available on video). The most daring and technically ingenious prison escape of World War II. happened at remote German high-security internment camp for Allied airmen. The POWs set out to dig three tunnels, each over 300 feet long and 30 feet belowground. Recently a team of archaeologists went on a hunt for the single surviving tunnel, which the Germans never found. Technical details at http://www.pbs.org/nova/greatescape.

"Independent Lens: Afghanistan Unveiled" (Social Studies & Current History, High School, PBS, 10-11 pm E/P) This documentary was filmed by the first-ever team of women video journalists trained in Afghanistan. It reveals the effects on Afghani women of the Taliban's repressive rules about dress, work, and public and private behavior. Also shown are the effects of the United States' current presence in that country. Leaving Kabul for the first time and traveling to rural regions of the country, the filmmakers present footage of women whose lives have been changed. Further information at http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/afghanistanunveiled. Plus, log onto http://www.washingtonpost.com/liveonline on November 17 at 1 pm ET, 11 am PT to discuss the program with Afghan-American professor Shaista Wahad.

Wednesday, November 17

"National Geographic Specials: Civil War Gold" (American History and Economics, High School, PBS, 8-9 pm E/P) This documentary is the story of the S.S. Republic, a steamship sunk by a hurricane en route from New York to New Orleans after the Civil War. On board was nearly $400,000 in gold and silver coins. Today, the value of those rare coins may exceed $150 million. The program follows treasure hunters searching for this long-lost treasure.

Thursday, November 17

"Lee Strasberg: The Method Man" (Arts Education/Theatre Arts, High School, Ovation Channel, 8-9 pm ET, 5-6 pm PT) This is a documentary about the man credited with developing and teaching the modern -- today's -- acting style. Students in drama class might want to tape this to share with others. Further information at http://www.leestrasberg.com/.

Friday, November 18

"Battlefield Detectives: Native American Wars -- The Apache (American History and Archaeology, Middle and High School, History Channel, 9-10 pm E/P) For over 300 years, North American Apache tribes were successful at beating opponents who were wealthier, better armed, and apparently more organized. Apache warriors gained an unrivalled reputation as fighters. In this documentary, historians explore two important battles to try and uncover the secrets of their success. Archaeologists and forensic scientists investigate and compare the weapons used by the Apache and their last enemy: the U.S. Army. A military geologist unlocks clues to Apache use of the landscape itself to help defeat outsiders at the sites of the Battle of Cieneguilla (1854) and Hembrillo (1880) in New Mexico.

Saturday, November 20

"School of Rock" (Arts Education, Middle and High School, Showtime Channel, 8-10 pm E/P. Rated PG-13 for Adult Content) This is a movie about a musician who becomes a substitute teacher at a private school and turns a classroom of serious, ambitious students into a professional-level rock band, production crew, back-up singers and shrewd managers. It's a humorous look at the challenges of being a musician in today's marketplace. The PG-13 rating is because of harsh arguments amongst adults about the music business and emotional scenes with parents who don't want their children being in a rock band. In the 2004 "Young Artist Awards" competition, this movie won in the "Best Family Feature Film - Comedy or Musical" category. Jack Black stars as the teacher. The young cast is excellent. Available on video.

Sunday, November 21

"Peru: The Royal Tour" (World History and Geography, Middle and High School, Travel Channel, 6-7 pm E/P) This documentary follows Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo leading a tour over the desert coastline, mountain peaks and tropical rainforest of his country to showcase the natural beauty, distinctive native dress and ancient Incan treasures. Further info at http://www.peru.info, including a really good look at the mountain-peak city Machu Picchu, one of the most interesting places in the world.


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