Bone up on aviation history with Smithsonian book
Follow HitFix: Follow @hitfix
"The Smithsonian Book of Air & Space Trivia" (Smithsonian Books), edited by Amy Pastan
Who discovered the planet Uranus in 1781? Don't feel bad if the name William Herschel, a British musician and telescope builder, doesn't come to mind in a snap.
Only those with out-of-this-world interests could possibly score well in answering the questions posed in "The Smithsonian Book of Air & Space Trivia." And such buffs would probably chafe at the suggestion that this informative little book, edited by Amy Pastan, is filled with unimportant details.
These days the excitement once generated by astronauts and spaceships is easier to find in video games and in movies like "Gravity" than in headlines and TV news. Lest we forget, this book shows us how far we have come — and suggests how far we have yet to travel.
See how well you know some of the key names in aviation history (the answers are below):
1. What daring aviator flew solo around the world in the Winnie Mae?
2. Who was the first woman to fly solo and nonstop across the Atlantic?
3. What flamboyant pilot briefly flew with a pet lion?
4. Who was the first woman to fly solo around the world?
5. What was the name of the first chimp in space?
6. Which Hollywood film producer set a world speed record in 1935 and broke the record for flying a transcontinental route in 1937?
7. Who earned the nickname "Muttnik"?
8. Who was the first pilot to fly at twice the speed of sound?
9. Who was the first African-American woman to be a licensed pilot?
10. Who was the first person to dine in space as well as the first to photograph the Earth from space and was also the oldest space traveler?
(1) Wiley Post made only 11 stops in his nearly eight-day trek in 1933.
(2) Amelia Earhart made her 15-hour flight in 1932, five years after Charles Lindbergh did it in twice the time.
(3) Roscoe Turner flew with a lion cub in 1930 while working for Gilmore Oil Co., which used a lion's head for its trademark.
(4) Geraldine Mock piloted the Spirit of Columbus from Ohio's capital on a 29-day flight in 1964.
(5) The trained chimp named Ham was place inside a Mercury spacecraft in 1961 to test whether humans could fully function in space.
(6) Howard Hughes not only set fight records, he also produced the 1930s movies "Hell's Angels" and "Scarface."
(7) A mixed-breed stray dog named Laika went into space in 1957 as the Soviets studied the effects of space flight on mammals. During the flight of Sputnik 2, "Muttnik" died from stress and an overheated cabin.
(8) Scott Crossfield, in 1953, beat the record of Mach 1 set six years earlier by Chuck Yeager.
(9) Bessie Coleman, a native of Texas, was licensed in France in 1921. She later performed stunt flying in the U.S. until she died in an accident in 1926.
(10) John Glenn was also the first American to orbit the Earth, in 1962. He returned to space at age 77 in 1998.
Copyright © 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
Looking for something to watch?
Let Streaming Genie help you.
Let Streaming Genie help you.