At lunchtime around here during winter, a few of us often gathered in a conference room to eat while watching Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? You can kind of learn something from the show, but it's more entertaining to be dumbfounded when someone blows the second question. We couldn't help but notice the silence when someone used the "Phone a Friend" lifeline waiting for said Friend to provide an answer/guess. We joked that they were online looking it up on Google. A few times it was obvious: as one Friend asked the contestant to spell a key word in the question, then proceeded to give a monologue about what she "knew."
I'll admit that I turned to the Internet for help with a trivia contest long ago. It was worth it: I won a Buffy the Vampire Slayer poster! Cmon, like I'm going to remember every character's name in every episode? It wasn't even in syndication yet, let alone on DVD.
So how did you do with Andrew Fraknoi's astro pop-culture quiz in the June S&T's Focal Point column? If you missed it, we've put it online, as well as the answers, as promised. Or did you already look up the tricky ones?
I liked Andy's quiz for the most part, but I felt that he relied a little too much on questions from science fiction books. Hey, if I haven't heard of the "1998 science-fiction novel about SETI" (No. 18), then how "popular" can it be?
Have your own astronomical trivia? Add it to the comments after the quiz answers. Here's one to get you started: Which star fell from the sky near Jim Carrey's character in the 1998 film The Truman Show? (Yeah, I had to use the Internet to find when the movie came out....)
And, undoubtedly you've noticed the new look for the website. We're back to being ol' SkyandTelescope.com again. SkyTonight.com has been retired.