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    Celestial Navigation on TV
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2009 Oct 27, 18:31 -0700

    I was watching an episode of an old television show earlier today, and it 
    included a visual "quiz" on navigation. Here are two quiz questions and the 
    answers from the "contestant":
    1) Question (as loud music plays and a star chart is diplayed on the screen): 
    "We'll start with celestial navigation. The celestial triangle is formed on 
    the celestial sphere by the great circles connecting the elevated pole, the 
    zenith of the assumed position of the observer, and the celestial body. Mark 
    your assumed position in the triangle by pressing the correct key."
    He answers: "I can't even hear myself think!" and presses the wrong key.
    2) Question (after a star chart flashes on screen for a fraction of a second): 
    "Name ten of the navigation stars you just saw on the screen. You have ten 
    seconds."
    He answers: "Canopus... Polaris... Vegas [sic]... It's too fast! I can't remember."
    
    I think it's just possible that this was the first and only time that the 
    navigational triangle was correctly defined in American television history. 
    It was a "fake" quiz and this question was probably read from a textbook just 
    to sound like complex science jargon, so it doesn't really count. But it was 
    still remarkable to hear those words in such an incongruous setting. 
    
    I am attaching a screen capture of the star chart as displayed for the second 
    question. How would you rate our contestant's answer? 
    
    -FER
    PS: Nice frame around the video screen in that screen capture, isn't it? It 
    looks like the "brushed metal" interface that was popular in Apple's Mac OSX 
    five to ten years ago. In fact, the screen capture is from quite a bit 
    earlier. You get ten NavList points if you can name the television program 
    and the year.
    
    
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