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TV Smarts

March 01, 2001

Some broadcast and cable programs contain material included in the public school curriculum and on standardized examinations. Here are home-viewing tips:

* Today--"Hadrian's Wall" (HIST 10-11 p.m.) The Romans built walls on their empire's borders just as the Chinese did, to keep out invaders. This documentary describes a Roman emperor's effort 2,000 years ago to keep Scottish hordes from invading his territory in England.

* Friday--"Voyage of the Unicorn" (ODSY 8-10 p.m.) Based on the fantasy novel "Voyage of the Basset" by James Christensen, in which a modern-day professor and his young daughters encounter mythical creatures. Part 2 airs Saturday from 8-10 p.m. Also, "This Week in History" (HIST 9-10 p.m.) A look at the beginning of the Russian Revolution, the fall of the Alamo and the patenting of the telephone. Also, "Ethel Kennedy: Carrying On" (A&E 8-9 p.m.) Follows Ethel Kennedy from her childhood through her life with Robert Kennedy and their 10 children to her commitment to public service after his death.

* Saturday--"Tuskegee Airmen" (HIST 8-10 p.m.) Historical movie about the training and combat experience of African American fighter pilots in WWII stars Laurence Fishburne, Andre Braugher and Cuba Gooding Jr. Compare it with the documentary "Black Aviators: Flying Free" (HIST 10-11 p.m.) about Eugene Ballard, a black airman from World War I, Bessie Coleman, an aviator from the 1920s, and Frank Peterson, the modern U.S. Marine Corps' first black three-star general.

* Sunday--"National Geographic Explorer: Into the Forbidden Zone" (CNBC 8-9 p.m.) A look at the current civil war in Afghanistan, it follows Sebastian Junger, author of "The Perfect Storm," and National Geographic photographer Reza to the headquarters of anti-fundamentalist guerrilla leader Ahmad Shah Massoud. Also, "Jackie, Ethel, Joan: Women of Camelot" (KNBC 9-11 p.m.) Dramatizes events in the years 1953-1980 in the lives of the women who married Jack, Bobby and Ted Kennedy. Jill Hennessey, Lauren Holly and Leslie Stefanson star. (Parental discretion advised. Part 2 airs Monday, March 5 from 9-11 p.m.)

* Monday--"Money & Power: The History of Business" (CNBC 8-10 p.m.) Survey of investment practices from the era of trader Marco Polo to rail tycoon Collis Huntington to high-tech leader Bill Gates contains information relevant to the half of American households that now have a direct stake in the world's economic markets. Also, "Women of Wisdom and Power" (KCET 10-11:30 p.m.) Explores ways women weather the stress of life changes, citing examples of scientist Jane Goodall, author Gail Sheehy, entrepreneur Anita Roddick and others.

* Tuesday--"The Harryhausen Chronicles" (AMC 4-5 p.m.) Author Ray Bradbury describes the work of pioneer science-fiction filmmaker Ray Harryhausen, who did his design, creatures and camera work alone, achieving effects that now require teams of technicians.

* Wednesday--"Deep Space One" (TLC 10-11 p.m.) Explains NASA's plans for an ion-drive spacecraft inspired by "Star Trek" to conduct remote explorations of a specific asteroid.

*

Compiled by Richard Kahlenberg in consultation with Crystal J. Gips, dean of the School of Education, College of St. Rose, Albany, N.Y. Columns available at http://www.calendarlive.com/go/tvsmarts.

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