Not saying whether or not this was drawn from life, although I’m aware that Smilodon had a short bobcat-like tail. Click to see bigger.
Last week I mentioned the students from the local school visited the Strang Institute for their field trip*. While I was waiting for them to arrive I got a text message from our resident alien biology expert who goes by the name of Peanut. She’s pretty shy and rarely talks, but when texting it’s hard to keep her “quiet”. Especially on that day.
She had been interviewed by Awesome Science Journal** for an article about Jeff, Muffin, and all the others wandering across the surface of Planet X. She was texting me to let me know the issue had arrived and she wanted to show me. Peaking around a corner she made a tiny noise and held up the cover for me to see. I let her know how awesome she was and she just smiled shyly and ran back to her desk. I got a text moments later that said, “Thanx!”
* I’ll be posting more on their trip in the coming weeks.
** I thought the magazine went defunct in the 1980s. Apparently they’re publishing again. In fairness to ASJ, I’ll wait to post an excerpt from the article when the issue is no longer on the magazine rack.
The Strang Institute, home of Ellie’s Mission Control, sits on top of Acorn Hill, the highest point on tiny Bonne Isle, which is located…well, you can locate it easily enough on any good map.
You’ll find all the things you might find in other places: a downtown with restaurants and stores, farms, woods, beaches, and schools. They have a baseball team that plays in summer and a hockey team that competes outside on Little Alcove Bay in winter. It’s home to not only a herd of deer, but a pair of cloned mastodons as well.
The island is also home to most of the people who work at the Institute, which is close enough to walk to for a good number of them. It’s a bit like Santa’s North Pole, but instead of a land dedicated to the production of toys, this is a place where people work to make science fiction become science fact everyday.
Today is pretty special though. A few times a month one of the local schools will have a field trip to visit Mission Control. This time it’s the Bonne Isle Elementary School. They’ll be arriving this evening around 9pm. I’ll be giving them a tour and a history lesson about Ellie and the Institute even though all of them have memorized every little thing about our favorite space explorer already. My tours usually end up as a test to see how much I know.
The Children get to camp out overnight in the Institute gardens, which are kept a balmy 77 degrees all year round (thanks to the garden’s Anti-Climate Electro-Bubble), and get to look at Planet X through the telescope too. I’ll be posting more about their visit in coming weeks, including a peek inside Mission Control itself.
I mentioned a while back that I was reading Strang Tales, the rather hefty biography of Dr. Cornelius Strang, founder of the Strang institute and the man responsible for Ellie’s expedition to Planet X. Well, here’s a scan of the first couple of pages. Unfortunately the book was a little heavy for my scanner and…well…I’ll be getting a new one now. Just click on the pic below to see the whole thing!