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‘Peanuts’ gang explores natural world in exhibit

Staff Report • Jul 6, 2013 at 7:36 PM

Charlie Brown is in trouble with the Environmental Protection Agency, Lucy knows the Earth has 48 suns, and Snoopy and Linus are planting French fries in the garden.

These are just a few of the misadventures and explanations gone wrong as the “Peanuts” gang explores the natural world in “Peanuts ... Naturally,” the latest traveling exhibit to make a stop at the East Tennessee State University and General Shale Brick Natural History Museum and Visitor Center at the Gray Fossil Site.

Running through Aug. 31, “Peanuts ... Naturally” takes a light-hearted look at Charles Schulz’s exploration of the natural world through “Peanuts” comic strips, videos, objects and interactive stations.

Visitors will get a “Peanuts”-eye view of the universe, “web of nature,” trees, birds, weather, gardening and Charlie Brown’s EPA escapade. More scientifically oriented stations allow visitors of all ages to learn more about and appreciate the wonders of the natural world.

Schulz, who created the “Peanuts” comic strip for nearly 50 years, was immensely curious, an avid reader and keenly interested in the latest research findings in a variety of fields. It is not a surprise that many of these findings and facts found their way into the artist’s comic strip, carefully interpreted through his characters’ unique, and sometimes wacky, understanding of their world.

The ETSU and General Shale Brick Natural History Museum continually showcases the 5-million-year-old Gray Fossil Site and its unique ecosystem. Visitors may observe live excavations from May through October, and many special events are held at the museum, such as the monthly “Lunchtime Lecture Series,” “Fossil and Artifact ID Nights” every other month, and many ongoing youth programs.

The museum’s summer hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

General admission tickets are $6 for adults ages 13-55, $3 for children ages 3-12 and $4 for seniors, veterans, active military and reservists, students, teachers, MSHA staff, emergency personnel and ETSU faculty and staff.

Visit www.etsu.edu/naturalhistorymuseum or call (866) 202-6223 for more information or special assistance for those with disabilities.

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