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December 15, 1987|DEBORAH CAULFIELD | Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press

Scientists at the American Rocket Company (AMROC) in Silicon Valley are currently testing a pair of prototype commercial rocket engines that they've christened, Calvin and Hobbes, after the mischievous little boy and stuffed tiger in Bill Watterson's syndicated comic strip. (Two earlier engines were named Elwood and Jake, after the Blues Brothers.) Watterson, who received the Reuben Award (the cartoonists' equivalent of the Oscar) earlier this year, frequently sends Calvin beyond the stratosphere as "Spaceman Spiff."

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