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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pre Troubadour Egroup Posts. Space and Science News. The Imaginarium

Hello Troops,
     The Troubadour's first post was February 10, 2008.  From March 2000 to February 2008, Space Center news, views, and commentary was posted to our SpaceEdVentures (EGroup) YahooGroup. SpaceEdVentures played the part of both blog and message board for the staff and volunteers of the Space Center.  The YahooGroup is still accessible today and contains the Space Center's history over that eight year period.
     One of my new projects (of many) is to take the interesting bits and pieces from the SpaceEdVentures YahooGroup and transfer them to The Troubadour.  This will put the last 13 years of Space Center history in one place and accessible to all.  
     Tonight we get to read a few of those SpaceEdVentures early posts from 13 years ago.  You'll recognize some of the names. They're still hanging around the two Space Centers like a bad debt. Other names you won't recognize.  They are former staff and volunteers who've gone the way of the world and left our happy kingdom for adventures elsewhere.

The First Post.  March 2000   
Hello and Welcome to our Egroup. 
This is a place for our contact teachers, friends, and patrons to keep in touch with us and our partner's. Information can be posted in the messages section. We can also host chats giving you a chance to ask questions in real time concerning curriculum and content. You will receive more information
as this program develops

Polling was of the more popular aspects of our early Egroup (the old name for YahooGroups).  One of the first polls was put out on March 14, 2000.

March 14,2000
The following spaceedventures poll is now closed. Here are the final results: 

POLL QUESTION: Tell us which simulator is your favorite.

- Voyager, 4 votes, 28.57% 
- Odyssey, 5 votes, 35.71% 
- Galileo, 2 votes, 14.29% 
- Falcon, 1 votes, 7.14% 
- Magellan, 0 votes, 0.00% 
- You Like Them All Equally, 2 votes, 14.29% 

The EGroup allowed its members to post comments and boy did they in regards to the results of that earlier poll.  This post was written by David Merrell on April 10, 2000.  David is the head animator at Clark Planetarium today.

April 10, 2000

While I have no intention of gloating over which ship killed in the last polls...okay so maybe I like to point out that the Odyssey took the prize... Anyways... Odyssey is proud to announce that if the 
school board sees fit, then Odyssey will soon be working with iMacs (yes those hot pieces of computer ingenuity kicked out by apple). While the computers in the Odyssey are still sufficient, they would be 
able to operate with increased reaction time, enhanced resolution (which means prettier pictures for you inside the simulator), better network, and then the odyssey will be able to communicate with the 
other ships via the school's network. Sad but true, the odyssey is still using localtalk to communicate, where the other ships now use ethernet, but should it go through, the odyssey will be the pride of 
the small ships. Because we all know the voyager will always be the pride of the big ships....
That's all for my ranting, and should this message not get through, I would like to know exactly which sarcastic and mildly caustic comments I should remove...

David Merrell (attache to Admiral Wall) April 11, 2000

The staff of the first Galileo took the occasion to brag about their place in the rankings ahead of the Falcon and original Magellan.  This drew a sarcastic rebuttal from Stephen Porter, a legend in his time. I used to censor many of Stephen's comments.  They weren't crude, just rude in regards to some of the staff's feelings (which is why I enjoyed reading them before censoring them).   

April 2000,
StarTrek is not real... there is no such thing  as real warp engines, so your little ship is still not any more 
special than any other ship.

I guess we could put warp engines on the voyager, we will just glue them on outside. Yeah, Spend months making warp engines that will be seen for 30 seconds before you shove them off to the side so you can run your mission. (The Galileo's warp engines weren't attached to the ship back then and were moved away when the ship flew). 

These warp engines... Some might ask, Why does the Galileo need real warp engines?
Well this question leads me into what I like to call ..."Stephen's Question and Answer happy joy time!"

"Why does the Galileo need "real" warp engines?"

Well the answer is a long story, and a sad one as well.
The answer is (Censored)

"Why does it look like a (Censored)?" 

I am glad you asked, The reason the Galileo looks (Censored)
is because it IS a (Censored)

Kyle says, "What about the NOSE of the ship?"  (The original Galileo had a fake nosecone which gave it sleeker look).

The nose? that part of the Galileo serves no real purpose, it's just another peace of (Censored)

"Gee, why did they make it a (Censored)?"


"Oh, that explains it."

I thought it would.

"You guys should(Censored)?"

Nah... it is pretty good... for a (Censored), besides... the way that Kyle rams that thing into the walls, the Galileo someday break on its own.

"The Galileo is boring, lets talk about something else."

Okay, talk about what?

"I dunno."

Stephen Porter
April 2000

Jade Hansen was a good volunteer.  He was concerned that the EGroup debate over who's ship was better was leading to poor staff and volunteer moral.  He posted the following on April 14, 2000

I would like to congratulate all of those who are working to create the new simulators. I am happy to know that the Space Center is growing. Some people may call us nerds, but I say that we are the 
music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dream. We are poets and philosophers. We create a new universe out of plywood, metal, and keyboards, and yet a familiar universe. We use this universe to explore the endless possibilities of existence.

As we grow let us always remember that the simulators we build are only tools for storytelling. Without interesting characters, without good story ideas, without the struggle between good and evil, we are 
nothing. All the iMacs and ethernet in the world cannot make up for poor storytelling. Let us never loose focus of this.  I wish the best of luck to all the new simulators. May your simulators work well, and may your stories be worth telling.

Your Friend,

Mark Daymont chimed in with his two cents that same day, April 14, 2000

I just wanted to post a little explanation again for some of you who seem to be concerned over the recent apparent "tiff" going on about simulator vs. simulator, and the pro's/con's of anim:

It's not serious.

You have to get to know these guys, there is a lot of teasing going on  here that is subtle. Each of these guys is trying to "get one over"on the others. They each want to provide the best of experiences for
our guests in the simulators. Each "promotes" their part that they play.

These guys know that some staff members have certain interests, and they tease them. That's all it is. If it was more than that they wouldn't be here.

The only thing that we all absolutely need to remember is that Vic says that no-one can beat the Voyager.

So of course, we all want to.

Mark D.
April 14, 2000

Bo Bowman was another good volunteer back in the day.  He had something to say on the subject.

I can tell that there is something of a war going on threw Everyone is bashing everyone else. I'll admit I've  done my fair share of it too. But I thought the whole point of having this egroup thing was to enjoy and work on improving the space center. So I ask you, good friends of the space center, let us have peace in this great promised land. Like Jade said we are all bringing something uniqe to the CMSEC. Yet in many ways we are all equal... set aside the whole rank thing...ok were not equal. But that is beside the point. So, just to get the old ball of peace rolling, I would like to formally apologize to anyone I have offended at the space center. I'm sorry.

Aaron Yeager posted the following to the YahooGroup in April 2000.  Aaron was an Odyssey flight director back in the day.  He wrote several outstanding missions, some of which are told today.  Aaron wrote the following post in third person referring back to himself.  I know - strange.    

Aaron Yeager, who is not prone to boast nor give long introductions, has been working at the Christa McAullife Space Education Center since 1995, with a brief pause for a two year mission to Argentina. He is currently attending Brigham Young University and is majoring in both unemployment (Media Arts) and unemployment (Philosophy).  Last month on March 4th he was married to Ruth Ann Sampson (now Yeager) in the Salt Lake Temple, and they are currently expecting a baby to be born in November.

Now for the good stuff...

Aaron's official titles include but are not limited to: Destroyer of the wicked, Smiter of the vile, Smiter of the smitten, and Smiter of the unholy. Pontiffus Maximus of the Rugad Sector, Victor of the Brenzo plains, he who destroyed the Army of Darkness,  Protector of the Baltimore Systems, The Great Aaron, Big Aaron, Aaron of Abnormal Height, Consort of Ruth, Founding Father of The Sons Of Thunder Space Marine Chapter, Aaron the Loved, Aaron the Cherished, Aaron the Tolerated, Aaron The Mildly Irritating, etc. etc.

Aaron has been a fan of Anime ever since he was old enough to say, "okonomiyaki," and owns a growing collection of some of his favorite Manga series. His favorites are Appleseed, Ranma 1/2, and Blue Seed.

He has passed many a fond summer day beating up his younger brother Andrew in an attempt to perfect his "Chestnuts roasting over an open fire" technique, with dubious results so far. 

Aaron Loves science fiction, and passed through many of his teen years with a crush on Councilor Troy. He does not prefer Captain Janeway at  all, however. Too...oh, I don't know...COMPLETELY UNBELIEVEABLE AS ANYONE WHO COULD EVER ATTAIN A RANK HIGHER THAN THAT OF SURF SLAVE-GIRL FIRST DEGREE ON A VIKING SLAVE SHIP THAT HAS DECOMMISIONED FOR INACTIVITY FOR THE LAST 300 YEARS!!!!!

Aaron has been blessed and is currently enjoying the warm company of the entire collection of Babylon 5 TV series which he is currently in the second season of. Bribes and rigorous flattery are known to
court Aaron's favor. Shall we start the bidding at, oh, let's say, 500 Centauri Duckets?

Aaron can boast to being present at the most important event since the landing on the moon, the opening showing of Star Wars, Episode One!!!
Anyone who wishes to criticize Star Wars will be added to Aaron's list of those who are worthy to be smitten/smote/etc.
Thank you for your time and attention, we now return you to your boring meaningless lives...

Aaron Yeager

Mark Daymont wrote the following as an update on the progress made on the Falcon simulator.
April 5, 2000.  The Falcon was originally suppose to be Mars Base (hence the references Mark makes in the post below).  The Falcon never made it that far and remained a starship simulator (which we had to set up and take down every weekend in the school's cafeteria - a real pain in the backside) until it was replaced by the Phoenix.  

Just a quick brief on the Falcon simulator. Falcon came about as a $40,000 grant we received from Intel. I had just finished summer on the Magellan start-up. Vic looked at the congratulations letter from Intel, and said "great- now we gotta do it. Ok, Mark, you do it!" and off I went....

Actually it wasn't quite like that but it makes a great anecdote!

Falcon, when ready, will be very different from our normal simulations insofar as it is going to be our first NASA-based simulator. It will  operate during our overnight programs and summer camp, with special event programs for schools. The set is made of three modular systems that roll into the Starlab 
planetarium Dome. These are interconnected with a controller's module  outside the Dome. The flight crew goes into the Dome and pretends they are in a NASA Mars Lander for a simulated mission to the surface of Mars for scientific experiments and hopefully, a return trip to the mothership. Experiments on the surface include geology, meteorology, and robotics exploration.

Although it is not set so far in the future, I will be following our  unique format of placing the adventure into a story as opposed to a pre-planned, scripted "mission" as done by NASA Space Camps. More on 
that philosophy later.

While Intel is working on the computer programming, the set is nearly  finished and we are currently using it as part of our Odyssey overnighter program. It is a "secret base" inside an asteroid and 
helps a friendly alien race defend themselves from aggressive invasion by hostile neighbors. The participants so far are having a ball on that mission. This program will end once MarsBase is ready to fly.

I hope this lets you all understand Falcon a little better, and I'll try to post more briefings on it as things progress.

Mark Daymont
April 5, 2000

Chris Alldredge was the Magellan's first set director in April 2000.  Today Chris works for the School Improvement Network and a member of the Space EdVentures board of directors.  The Magellan opened its doors as a Babylon 5 type space station.  In this post, Chris announced a change in universe for the Magellan. 

Hey everyone!

I'm very glad that Victor put us all on eGroups so that we can all communicate this way!

I am the Director of the Magellan program. There have been several messages posted on this listserv about the Magellan and it's future.

Let me clear a few things up.

Beginning this summer, Magellan will become part of the Star Trek universe. It will become a type of "defense platform" but not really. Magellan is to become a SIOC (Strategic Intelligence Operations Center).

Here's a little more information about Magellan:

Magellan is the only permanent space platform installation maintained by Starfleet Intelligence. Magellan operates under the high-level intelligence division known as Section 31. Section 31, established under the Starfleet charter, is responsible for searching out and identifying extraordinary
dangers to the Federation. Section 31 is also responsible for dealing with such threats, and does so quietly, often employing extralegal techniques. In many ways, Section 31 is similar to the Romulan Tal Shiar or the Cardassian Obsidan Order. As a part of Section 31, all of Magellan¹s operations and control systems are top secret--including a special cloaking device that renders the station virtually invisible. Magellan has been used by the Federation to collect intelligence and coordinate Starfleet military operations in many parts of the galaxy.

Thanks for your interest!

Chris Alldredge
April 2000

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