Wednesday, June 11, 2003

TV News

Don't forget to watch The Amazing Race 4 Thursday night on CBS at 9pm - the teams are in Venice and I can't wait to see where they're headed next. Watching this show really gives me the travel bug - here's hoping the teams don't pick up SARS if they race through the Far East!

Extreme Engineering is on tonight at 9pm on Discovery - tonight's episode is on the New York City subway system and how it keeps the city running. This show is for fans of Big Engineering projects and can really grab and hold your attention. Next week's episode is on a radical plan to build a bridge across the Bering Strait from Alaska to Russia. Cool! Yeah!

The first episode of Keen Eddie over on Fox left me a little stunned and interested in more - some of the strangest and oddest filmmaking techniques, odd camera angles, quick editing, fast forward, rewind, whatever. It was all in there, but it didn't really distract from the story, an interesting fish-out-of-water tale of Eddie, a bristling New York City cop who, after blowing a huge drug bust, gets transferred (demoted) to London to follow up on the case. He brings his brash American sensibility to the pampered, soft Londoners, turning heads (and busting them) on his way to getting his man. Very entertaining, especially with the fun side plot about his renting a flat already occupied by a British Hottie. All around Summer Fun. Check it out!

The list of writers for Angel season Five reads like a who's who of the Buffyverse - so many good writers behind so many good episodes, with Joss Whedon himself writing and directing the season premiere. Writers on board: Whedon, Jeffrey Bell (defacto show lead last year), Ben Edlund (famous for "The Tick" who was signed to write for Firefly and moved over to Angel when Firefly was cancelled), Steven DeKnight (used to write for Buffy), Drew Goddard (from Buffy) and Buffyverse Ironman David Fury. Writers not on board: Drew Greenberg. (joined the staff of Smallville), David Greenwalt (Angel’s co-creator now oversees UPN’s upcoming comic sci-fi actioner Jake 2.0), Marti Noxon (A Buffy writer since season two and its showrunner since season six, Noxon scripted only one episode of Angel, during its first season, but apparently remained involved in shaping the spinoff’s story arcs. This season Noxon will oversee the Fox’s “Sixth Sense”-esque supernatural Still Life.)

Science News

Good to hear that NASA on Tuesday launched TWO MARS ROVERS. The first of two golf-cart-size rovers lifted off Tuesday - they will ramble across the rocky, red soil of Mars and drill for evidence that the Red Planet once had enough water to support life. The first rover, named Spirit, lifted off aboard a Boeing Delta II rocket on the seven-month journey to Mars. NASA is taking advantage of a rare planetary alignment that cuts the normal flight time of nine months to seven months. The second rover, named Opportunity, will be launched later this month, and both are expected to arrive at Mars in January. Launch official Mark Levigne told Spirit to “have a safe journey and a successful mission,” and, referring to Opportunity, he added: “We’ll see you real soon.” NASA launch director Omar Baez said the two-day postponement cut into preparations for Opportunity’s liftoff, and the June 25 launch may have to be delayed.

And MSNBC reported that a Russian Progress module successfully launched and docked with the International Space Station on Wednesday. ''The docking has been successful,'' a spokeswoman at ground control outside Moscow said. Russia's Progress cargo vessel and its manned Soyuz are the only remaining ties to the $95 billion ISS since the Columbia space shuttle disaster grounded the U.S. fleet, leaving the outpost to struggle without deliveries from the larger craft. The Progress M1-10 is packed with some 2,400 kg (5,300 pounds) of supplies for the station, including water, fuel and food, as well as music, recorded nature sounds and letters for U.S. astronaut Edward Lu and Russia's Yuri Malenchenko, on board since April.

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