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TV highlights April 6-12 

SPECIAL SESSION LIVE COVERAGE
Started April 3
(Comcast Ch. 18)

n Most everybody has heard the old saying: “Keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.” To that, we might add: “… and keep your politicians closest of all, preferably with a live camera and multiple tape recorders going.” To that end, we appreciate the fact that Comcast is stepping up this year to provide live coverage of the 2006 special session of the Arkansas legislature. Tune in for gavel-to-gavel action, featuring all the burning issues of Arkansas politics. Will that guy with the ZZ Top beard do a solo? Will the mayhaw be named the official fruit, or berry, or whatever it is? Will someone sponsor a resolution to honor the birth of the 27th Duggar? It’s just like C-Span, except you might actually know some of the people who are boring you to death.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: BOY IN THE BUBBLE
8 p.m., Monday, April 10
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)

n While we’ve all had a case or three of the sniffles, our version of hell would be something like being sick all the time. This brings us to the sad and famous case of the Boy in the Plastic Bubble, David Vetter. Born with multiple immunodeficiency syndrome, which left him deathly vulnerable to even common diseases, Vetter spent his entire life (1971-1984) inside a hermetically sealed plastic chamber, unable to physically touch anyone or anything that hadn’t been sterilized. Though a heartwarming movie was made of his story, the truth is, it wasn’t an existence you’d wish on anyone. Calling on interviews with Vetter’s mother and the doctors who treated him, PBS explores Vetter’s life in the bubble, and his struggle with disease.

NOVA: HUNT FOR THE SUPERTWISTER
7 p.m. Tuesday, April 11
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3, Broadcast Ch. 2)

n The tornadoes that ripped through Arkansas and other Southern states this week were a stark reminder that April marks the beginning of yet another anxious season of watching the skies in Tornado Alley. For years, scientists have been trying to find better ways to predict the formation and movement of twisters, especially those of the ultra-destructive F4 and F5 variety, which can scour a community down to the foundations like it was never there. Here, film crews with NOVA head to the Great Plains in search of the great white whale of tornado chasing, capturing some hairy footage in the process. Then, it’s a trip to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, where the latest supercomputers are being used to model the particularly chaotic winds at the center of an F5. 

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