Posts Tagged Strang Institute
There’s a special exhibit running at Mission Control now through the end of the year – everything you ever wanted to know about Jeff. Get over there and see it. It’s really something.
And look! They used my art on the outside of the building. How cool is that?
Here’s a little something extra – a look inside Mission Control! I was taking a local elementary school for a tour of the facilities and this is what they saw (you can see a bigger version right here). You might recognize some of the other people who work here at Mission Control.
Normally I’d post this in the blog down below, but I think a lot of people miss the extra stuff I include about the Strang Institute where we monitor Ellie’s progress. I’m going to post more about Ellie’s history and goings on at Mission Control right here. Don’t worry though, it won’t take the place of any comics. It’s all extra stuff for you to enjoy.
If you want to know more about Ellie’s history, Mission Control, and the Strang Institute, click here, or visit the Extra! Extra! link in the menu at the top of the page and click on Ellie Extras. Enjoy!
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.
Last week I posted a drawing of the statue of Ellie that sits in front of the Mission Control building at the Strang Institute. Well here’s the building itself! You can see the famous telescope that Dr. Strang used in his discovery of Planet X way in back, and atop the building is the dish (one of many around the globe) used to receive Ellie’s transmissions from over eight light years away.
By the way, that’s me taking the Institute mascot, Bijou, out for her own mission: an afternoon pee and pull.
I was having a little discussion about the star that Planet X revolves around with Ellie reader Neutrino. It was pointed out to me that I’ve never actually stated which star it is except in some vague clue from time to time. Of course that was an accidental oversight on my part, and it took Neutrino to not only remind me, but also point out exactly which star it happens to be.
Another thing Neutrino reminded me was that Planet X’s parent star is only 200-300 million years old – not enough time for life to evolve. So the fact that there definitely is life there is not only an amazing discovery, it’s also a real mystery. Part of Ellie’s mission is to discover those answers. Anyway, Neutrino inspired me to go down to the archives and dig out this magazine article from the early 70s.