Amidst the promotional onslaught for the new Star Wars film you can catch word of a film that is both fantastical and appropriate for mentioning here. Guillermo del Toro’s new film, The Shape of Water, premiered in the U.S. earlier this month. The action takes place during the early years of the Cold War at an underground research facility. Stars Michael Shannon (Late Night, December 5) and Octavia Spencer (Jimmy Kimmel Live, December 7) promoted the film this week. It should be noted, however, that neither actor plays a scientist in the film.
The December 3 edition of StarTalk was all about celestial navigation. The featured guest was Nainoa Thompson, a Native Hawaiian navigator who has worked to revive the ancient navigation techniques used by his forebears to cross large stretches of the Pacific Ocean. Tyson wisely let Thompson do much of the talking to explain the old knowledge and contrasted that with an in-studio expert in modern(ish) celestial navigation, Frank Reed. Dava Sobel, author of the book Longitude, joined the show for a segment to discuss the challenge involved in determining longitude and the value of having a reliable method of finding it.
Also of note is that the Friday (December 8) repeat of The Late Late Show includes perennial late night guest Jim Parsons from The Big Bang Theory.
If you’ve not been watching the latest season of MythBusters (with new hosts) in the United States, you will have a chance to catch up with a marathon of the new episodes on Sunday the 10th.