Cutting through the B.S. to present interesting quality educational and otherwise amusing presentations:
The History Channel
Monday, January 2, 2006
8-10pm -- Houdini: Unlocking the Mystery - In one of magic history's rarest events, a private collector auctioned off the largest collection of personally-owned Harry Houdini artifacts and memorabilia, providing an unprecedented peek behind the curtain at the world's great showman and magician. In a 2-hour special, hosted by renowned magician Lance Burton, we explore the life and magic of the great escape artist through his most prized possessions: the Chinese Water Torture Cell, the Milkcan, his straitjackets and handcuffs, and lockpicks that were "key" to his handcuff escapes, revealed to the public for the first time. We also unlock secrets of the man--brash showman, fierce competitor, loyal son and husband. With expert commentary, including a great-nephew and the last surviving member of his magic troop.
Wednesday, January 4, 2006
10-10:30pm -- Criss Angel MindFreak - Tesla Strike. Criss has always been fascinated by lightning and the effects it has on the thousands of people who are struck each year. Those who survive often have increased memory skills and mental capacities. Criss will journey to Baraboo, Wisconsin to test out one of the largest Tesla Coils in the country, a high-voltage air core transformer generating 4,000,000 volts and simulating the electrical charge of being struck by lightning.
10:30-11pm -- Criss Angel MindFreak - Radio Prediction. Taking a tour through the history of magic Criss tours the Magic Castle in Los Angeles. Criss and his team are able to view rarely seen Houdini artifacts and the private séance room. On the Dicky Barret morning show at indie 103.1 in Los Angeles, Criss will attempt to predict a major news event as well as the lottery.
BIOGRAPHY on A&E
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
8-9am -- BIOGRAPHY® - Siegfried & Roy. A profile of the illusionists Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn, famous for performing with White Tigers, from their humble beginnings in post-WWII Germany to success as one of the longest-running acts in Las Vegas. Includes updates on Roy's condition since the unexpected attack by the Royal White Tiger named Montecore, who took hold of Horn's neck and dragged him offstage before a sellout performance at The Mirage hotel--and interviews with audience members who witnessed the attack.
The Biography Channel
Sunday, January 1, 2006
6-8pm -- Sherlock Holmes Mysteries - The Hound of the Baskervilles Holmes embarks on his most celebrated mystery as he tracks down a hound from hell that's haunting the Baskerville ancestral home. Sir Charles believes he's heard the hound howling across the moors. Then he turns up dead...with a gigantic hound's footprints next to his body! Jeremy Brett stars as Sherlock Holmes, with Edward Hardwicke as Doctor Watson. Guest star: Ronald Pickup.
Thursday, January 5, 2006
10-11pm -- Enigma - Salem Witch Trials. Would it surprise you to learn that not one person was burned at the stake during the Salem Witch Trials? The tragedy was that 19 were hanged and one was "pressed" to death--all on the accusations of young girls. Join us as we recall those hysterical days of American colonial history when over 150 people were jailed and tortured.
Monday, January 9, 2006
9-11pm -- BioPics - The Riverman Movie. Chilling story of how serial killer Ted Bundy helped solve the gruesome Green River killings in Seattle before his execution in 1989. This real-life story (which inspired Silence of the Lambs) involved former homicide detective Robert Keppel (played by Bruce Greenwood) and detective Dave Reichert (Sam Jaeger), who needed Bundy's insights to nab the Green River Killer. But is it worth the psychological toll of reconnecting with Bundy's crimes? With Kathleen Quinlan and Cary Elwes. (2002)
Thursday, January 12, 2006
10-11pm -- Enigma - Amityville: Horror or Hoax? After the Lutz family fled the house in 1976, they held a press conference in the office of Ronnie DeFeo's defense attorney William Weber. Soon the Lutzes turned to "demonologists" Ed and LorraiWarren for help. In a televised séance, the Warren and a psychic team experienced "absolute horror". Later, Weber tried to get Ronnie's murder conviction overturned on basis of demonic possession. And "vampirologist" Stephen Kaplan gathered compelling evidence that it has all been a hoax.
History Channel International
Wednesday, January 4, 2006
7-8pm -- Arms in Action - Arms in Action: The First Firearms. Drawing on the Tower of London's collection in the Royal Armouries, we test early attempts at firearms. From crude metal tubes liable to blow up in the gunner's face to the innovations under Henry VIII to a 17th-century 5-shot revolver made long before Samuel Colt. We also recreate famous duels--including one fought over an insult to a dog!
8-8:30pm -- History Explorer - Secrets of Archaeology: Retracing the Tracks of Hannibal. In the 3rd century BC, the Punic Wars fought between Carthage and Rome left the ancient world in turmoil. Following the path of the fearless Carthaginian General Hannibal Barca, who lead his advancing army across the Alps--with elephants!--to sack Italy, we visit the majestic ruins from the period of the Roman Republic, and gaze upon the amazing temple of Capitoline Jupiter as it looked when it was completed--thanks to amazing virtual reconstruction.
8:30-9pm -- Secrets of Archaeology - Secrets of Archaeology: Athens: Western Splendor. Discover why Athens became the preeminent city during the Golden Age of Greece on this virtual tour of the cradle of Western civilization. Travel back to the time of Pericles, the noble statesman who led the revolution that touched all fields of knowledge. We visit the amphitheaters that were home to the famous tragedies of the day, tour the site of the ancient Olympic Games, and see the ornate temples of the Gods, including a bird's-eye view of the architectural masterpiece of its day--the Acropolis.
9-10pm -- History Explorer - The Tower: Fortress. In an engaging series, we share captivating stories lurking behind the Tower of London--one of the world's most famous buildings and an institution central to British history. As we delve into the Tower's construction, we learn why the nightly security ritual must begin at 9:53 p.m. and 35 seconds, and meet master castle-builder King Edward I, as the Tower attests. Includes footage of an experimental lowering of a 700-year-old portcullis and the Ceremony of Keys--history's oldest, continuous ceremony.
Thursday, January 5, 2006
7-8pm -- Military History Channel - Arms in Action: Knights. Gallop back in time to the brutal and chivalrous age of knighthood, when mounted warriors clad in shining armor fought valiantly in war and sharpened their skills during peacetime in tournaments. See why the ancient warrior code developed and how knights, as we know them, emerged in 12th-century Europe, along with specialized weapons.
10-10:30pm -- World Justice - Bizarre Murders. Looks at three strange murders and possible motives. In 1974, in Amityville, New York, six members of the Defeo family were shot to death while in bed. Sole survivor and eldest son Ronald confessed--the motive money. In 1985, mountain gorilla researcher Dian Fossey was hacked to death at her Rwandan research center. Probably killed by poachers, her murder remains unsolved. In 1982, the head of Italy's largest privately owned bank was found hanging from a London bridge. Was Robert Calvi really a suicide?
8:30-9pm -- History Viewpoint - What the Romans Did for Us: Building Britain. Host Adam Hart-Davis rediscovers the innovations and inventions the Romans brought to Britain--in this episode, hi-tech farming methods and the creation of our first cities. The Romans brought new crops such as cabbages and turnips, as well as ingenious tools like. the original Swiss-Army knife. Adam tries out a reaping machine that was the forerunner of the modern combine-harvester, and finds modern crops are a tougher proposition than ancient wheat. In York, Adam discovers remains of the original Roman city. Beneath the streets, he finds a Roman sewer that is still working and marvels at the design of the best-preserved lavatories in the country. Adam discovers how Romans made glass windows and tests-out a specially built replica of the world's first fire engine.
9-10pm -- History Viewpoint - The Genocide Factor, Part 3. A comprehensive examination of religious, political, and ethnic persecution through the ages up to modern times, including the events in America on 9/11/01. Through the use of exclusive and intensive interviews with experts and survivors, historical drawings, paintings, photographs and news footage, this 4-part series documents the complex dimensions of man's inhumanity to mankind throughout history. Topics covered in this hour include the Chinese experience; the killing fields of Cambodia; Pakistan and Bangladesh; Indonesia and East Timor; the Irish potato
famine and Northern Ireland conflict; Central America; Kurds in Iraq, Iran, and Turkey; and terrorism in New York and Washington, DC.
10-11pm -- International Profile - Ivan the Terrible: Might and Madness. The life of the bloodthirsty first Tsar of Russia. Ivan killed his own son and had several of his wives murdered.
Saturday, January 7, 2006
7-8pm -- History Traveler - Pyramids: Majesty and Mystery. Standing majestically for centuries, the world's great pyramids have long inspired and mystified scholars. Leading experts and historians explore the engineering genius that created some of the largest structures on the planet. From ancient Egypt to Central America, we visit these technological masterpieces.
8-8:30pm -- Military History Channel - Thermopylae. Using cutting-edge computer gaming technology, we recreate conflicts that shaped the ancient world and
witness great battles like never before. Hosted on location by Matthew Settle (Band of Brothers), we return to Thermopylae in 480 BC, where 300 Spartans occupied a mountain pass and held off the colossal army sent by the Persians to avenge their defeat at Marathon. The Greeks held the pass for over a week in one of history's greatest displays of military heroism--and died to the last man rather than surrender.
8:30-9pm -- Military History Channel - Battle of Chalôns. Nomadic horsemen led by Attila the Hun race across Europe, cross the Rhine, and ravage Gaul. Former enemies--the Romans, Gauls, and Vandals--band together against "the Scourge of God" under the leadership of the noble Aetius, often called "the last of the Romans." At the Marne River near the city of Chalôns, Attila's forces take possession of a strategic hill. The Huns are expert archers and the battle is fierce. Travel back to 451 AD, and join Attila and his 100,000 men and Aetius and his 160,000 men as they decide the fate of the Western Roman Empire.
Sunday, January 8, 2006
7-7:30pm -- Almanac - History's Turning Points: 31 BC--The Battle of Actium. If Antony and Cleopatra had won the Battle of Actium, there would have been no Roman Empire. Yet Octavius Caesar's victory in 31 BC led to an absolute dictatorship that sparked one of the greatest imperial and cultural expansions the world has ever known. Each turning point in history is backed by a set of principal characters whose dilemmas and conflicts form its dramatic core, and whose unique personalities influenced the outcome of events. Join us for a trip through time as we recreate the Battle of Actium, featuring exclusive dramatizations and the latest historical research.
7:30-8pm -- Almanac - Conquest: Bow & Arrow. One of man's earliest effective hunting weapons, we learn why the bow and arrow became so dominant in history. Our combat team is sent to the woods to make their own as we study the craft of the bowyer and fletcher. We learn about Egyptian bows and try to fire accurately from an Egyptian chariot, and experiment with North American Indian bows--composite bows of horn and wood. And reenactors, using rubber-tipped arrows, recreate what it was actually like to be subjected to a "cloud of arrows".
8-9pm -- Military History Channel - The Weapons That Made Britain: The Sword. Mike Loades is a medieval weapons expert and one of Hollywood's foremost historical fight stunt arrangers. Now, in his unique hands-on fashion, he illustrates the great advances in fighting technology that underpinned British medieval history and goes back to the historical record to find out how the weapons were really used. In this episode, he explores the weapon most associated with the medieval period--the sword. Mike focuses on the Battle of Barnet, during the brutal War of the Roses, where on Easter Sunday 1471, 24,000 soldiers fought desperately for over three hours--the sword was the principal weapon. To see how the swords would have been used in a conflict like Barnet, Mike brings along 10 students for a crash course in 15th-century techniques. And swordsmith Hector Cole makes an intricate Anglo-Saxon sword, revealing the secrets of ancient techniques.
Monday, January 9, 2006
9-10pm -- Ancient Almanac - The Greatest Pharaohs, Pt. 1. A chronicle of the legendary rulers of ancient Egypt and the immense monuments they built to their own greatness. Their wonders include the Great Pyramid of Giza, the temples of Karnak and Luxor, and the treasures of King Tut.
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
8-8:30pm -- History Explorer - Secrets of Archaeology: Roman Imprint on the West. In the 2nd century AD, all roads lead to Rome, and we'll follow some which connect Rome to the rich provinces of the West, including Iberia (Spain) and Gaul (France) as a Celtic gladiator takes us on a virtual tour through the streets of Nimes, Orange, Tarragona, Italica, Meridia, and more.
8:30-9pm -- Secrets of Archaeology - Secrets of Archaeology: Greek Cities in Italy. Nearly 2,800 years ago, a group of Greek settlers landed on the coast of Italy, an event that marked the start of the process that created Magna Graecia--(Latin for Greater Greece)--Greek colonization of Southern Italy and Sicily. Explore the computer-recreated streets of the original Greek colonies as we walk through Cumae, Pasteum, Puteoli, and Neapolis, reconstructed using the most advanced computer graphics.
9-10pm -- History Explorer - The Tower: Prisoners. In a sweeping series exploring the Tower of London, we reveal surprising stories of imprisonment in Britain's most famous jail, including: the first prisoner, also the first to escape; Princess Elizabeth, later Queen Elizabeth I, who found true love while confined; and Sir Walter Raleigh, who spent 12 years incarcerated there. Remarkably, the story of internment carried into the 20th century--two of the last Tower inmates were the "Terrible Twins", Reggie and Ronnie Kray, notorious 1960s gangsters!
10-10:30pm -- History Explorer - Meet the Ancestors: Friends, Romans, or Countryman? An ancient secret, lying deep beneath a school playing-field in Bristol, England is unearthed when bulldozers move in to clear the land for a new housing development. The diggers uncover a large block of unusually shaped stone, which turns out to be part of a lidded box--a Roman sarcophagus dating back to the 4th century AD. It's a delicate and difficult operation to move the one-ton coffin without disturbing its contents. Once opened, there's a surprise in store. The coffin contains not one, but two bodies--a man and a woman. It's the first double burial ever found in a sarcophagus in Britain. But who are the mystery pair? What was their relationship? Husband and wife? Or mother and son? And where did they come from? The team of expert archaeologists, historians, medical artists, and forensic scientists piece together the clues.
10:30-11pm -- History Explorer - Meet the Ancestors: Rose Garden Mystery. Martin Roberts was digging the rose bed in his employer's garden near Malmesbury Abbey when he uncovered an impressive coffin. But who was the occupant? Could it be Athelstan, the first Saxon king to unite England and provide a common currency? Or Elmer, the Flying Monk, who survived his attempt to fly from the top of the Abbey tower. X-rays show that, as a child, he suffered periods of arrested growth--probably due to starvation during long, hard winters. Host and archaeologist Julian Richards suggests it could be a child committed to the monastery by his parents to ease the burden of poverty. Bone specialist Dr. Simon Mays detects that the mystery occupant was in his 50s when he died. Oxford's radiocarbon-dating laboratory takes a tiny sample from a bone to try to pinpoint the year of his death and runs a test to see if his diet was particularly unusual. This provides the key to his identity.