Episode #950

Doubt, Aliens, Hancock

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Studio 360 Episode 950, Aliens, Doubt, Hancock Dava Newman in a Space Suit (Copyright Donna Coveney/MIT)

This week in Studio 360, aliens attack! With this weekend’s release of "The Day the Earth Stood Still," a SETI astronomer weighs in on the likelihood of alien contact. Hear why Hollywood’s alien invasion scenarios don’t sit so well with Native Americans. And board the Mothership Connection to discover a special cosmic thread of black music called Afro-futurism. Plus, a conversation with John Patrick Shanley on his new movie "Doubt."

John Patrick Shanley

Shanley’s new movie "Doubt," based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play, is set in 1964 at a Catholic middle school in the Bronx. A nun suspects an improper relationship between and priest and a student. Shanley describes how he came to create this powerful drama that challenges all kinds of belief, ...

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Alien Fact-Checker

Kurt asks Dr. Seth Shostak about how he advised the filmmakers on the set of the new movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still." As the Senior Astronomer for SETI, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Shostak believes that aliens will contact us, and he can’t wait.

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Take Me to Your Leader

Uninvited visitors arrive in a new world, seize the land, and take human lives. Native Americans know this scenario well. Studio 360’s Eric Molinsky looks into the alien invasion narrative and the historical and psychological baggage that comes with it.

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The Museum of Humans

What if aliens wiped out the human race and took over Earth? What would they do with human artifacts? Fast forward to 3008 and listen in on a pair of aliens as they get a guided tour of the “Museum of Humans.” Actors: Bob Koherr,

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Brother from Another Planet

Sun Ra was from Alabama - or from Saturn - depending on who you ask. He’s not the only musician to ride on the Mothership Connection. As professor Tricia Rose points out, the Afro-futurist urge to escape Earth continues to this day. Produced by Studio 360's ...

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Web Extra: "The White Flyer to Heaven"

A song from 1927 featuring Reverend A.W. Nix, a black preacher. Some consider this the earliest example of Afro-futurism. (Courtesy of Kevin Nutt.)

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Design for the Real World: Spacesuit

At MIT, Dava Newman studies how humans move in micro-gravity; we call it outer space. She describes how she went about designing a new spacesuit that’s streamlined for maximum performance. Produced by Erin Davis.

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Trenton Doyle Hancock

Trenton Doyle Hancock paints strange imaginary worlds, and traces this impulse to his action-figure-obsessed childhood. Studio 360’s David Krasnow caught up with the artist at his show at the James Cohan Gallery.

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