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Any Questions #308 - "Space Movies"

Ian Pickus with R2D2
Ian Pickus with R2D2

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch spots for a show about space movies.

Last week's challenge: Start with the words MYERS and WORTH. Change one letter to an A and you can rearrange the letters to spell the ten-letter name of a college. What is it?
Answer: If you change the Y, you can spell SWARTHMORE.

On-air questions
: On June 21, 1969, at 2:56 Coordinated Universal Time, still 10:56 p.m. on the East Coast on July 20th, Neil Armstrong took his famous one giant leap, becoming the first human to walk on the moon. It was the first of six visits by American astronauts to the moon, following a decade of the space race. Space and space travel have been fodder for filmmakers for decades, so today’s show is all about space movies.

1. A 1959 film starring Vampira and Bela Lugosi, among others, centers on aliens who fear earthlings trying create a doomsday weapon that would destroy the universe. The aliens concoct a scheme to resurrect the dead to stop the weapon. What is the name of this scheme, which appears in the film’s title?
2. Writing on Twitter in 2015, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson was taking issue with the “inanity” of what new film for repeating the claim that the Millennium Falcon made the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs, noting that a “parsec is an obscure unit of distance…equal to 3.26 light years. Neither has anything to do with time.” ?
3. The 2014 film Interstellar, which features Matthew McConaughey as a reluctant NASA pilot and gave birth to a much-memed scene of McConaughey crying while watching a screen, was the third movie by its director that starts with “In,” following Inception and Insomnia. What is the name of this director, whose other films include a Batman trilogy and the 2017 World War II movie Dunkirk?
4. The 2009 film Moon stars Sam Rockwell as a solitary astronaut on the verge of a breakdown and features Kevin Spacey as the voice of the robot GERTY. It was directed by Duncan Jones, the son of which rock star, who had hits with space-themed songs like Space Oddity and Starman?
5. What is the one-word title of the 2013 film that garnered Sandra Bullock, who had previously won for The Blind Side, her second Academy Award nomination for Best Actress — one of 10 nominations the film received that year?

Extra credit
1. What is the title code name adopted for the mission that makes up the plot of a 2016 prequel, directed by Gareth Edwards, to a 1977 blockbuster?
2. “I’m going to have to science the s--- out of this” is a line uttered by Matt Damon as Mark Watney what 2015 film based on a 2011 Andy Weir novel?

This week's challenge
Start with the term SPACE SHUTTLE. Rearrange the letters and you can spell an eight-letter group of people and a four-letter kind of equipment that group might use. Hint: Both words are plural.

On-air questions

1. Plan 9 From Outer Space (directed by Ed Wood, it is widely considered one of the worst films ever made; a 2009 remake, Plan 9, billed itself as “the film Ed Wood wished he had made”)
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
3. Christopher Nolan
4. David Bowie (Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield sang a popular version of the song in 2013 aboard the International Space Station)
5. Gravity (Director Alfonso Cuaron won for Best Director; the film made more than $723 million at the box office)

Extra credit
1. Rogue One
2. The Martian

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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