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Re: Movies and bubble-gum cards

I appreciate the remarks Jeff F. recently made about being careful 
about what is said here and how it is said, for the sake of students
and teachers you may tend to take it as gospel.  Of course, I think 
they too must use some judgement and realize that this is an open
forum with a mixture of good, bad, and crazy ideas.  As to his 
observation that movies and other popular media sometimes create myths 
about dinosaurs, or are taken literally by children, I agree.  I got a 
big chuckle at a set of dinosaur trading cards my nephew bought at a 
store recently, that claimed to be "scientifically accurate." The card 
for Dilophosaurus (with a photo taken right from the movie) said 
something to the effect that "scientists have determined that it was a 
fierce, intelligent hunter which could spread a threatening neck 
shield, and spit poisonous venom at its prey."  

Of course, it is also amazing how quickly kids can absorb 
information--good or bad. Everyone has a favorite story, but here's one 
for the books. My friend Mike nathal, who is an avid fossil collector, 
has been reading to his 3-year son Matthew about dinosaurs and other 
prehistoric animals.  Matthew can't get enough of it, and the other day 
even claimed to have found a dinosaur bone in his back yard.  His 
mistake in stratigrahpy was easy to forgive, however, especially after 
what happened when Mike took him to the Cleveland Musuem of Natural 
History.  As they were touring the dinosaur hall another little boy 
standing near them pointed to an Archie cast and asked what kind of 
dinosaur it was.  Little Matt, looking quite perturbed, immediately 
piped up (with reasonably correct pronunciation), "That's NOT a 
dinosaur, its an ARCHAEOPTERYX!!"