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Educational Materials & Paleoworld

I've been very concerned about educators and the materials they use
when discussing paleo also. We have an educational supply store right
near our home - where teachers are supposed to get support materials -
and the quality of the stuff is awful for dinosaurs. I'm not all that
pleased with some of the stuff we sell in the NMNH dino store, but it
averages much better than the typical toy/book store. This educational
supply store is awful, though, with bad reconstructions that are at the
typical toy store level or below. It's depressing and points again to
the proliferation of science ignorance in our science. It would be
nice to get a panel of dino guys to evaluate supposed educational
support materials as a expansion of the dino society product review
board, although some of that is built in to what we do now.

On the Paleoworld series, I'm a bit better disposed to it - there have
been some good things on it in addition to the problems. I thought the
whale origins one was pretty good. It's true that they have troubles with
coordinating their illustrations and text, though, which hopefully will
be fixed this next year. It's true that they couch everything in
controversial tones, though, perhaps because they use Bakker way too much
and he seems to need to push controversy out there as a smoke screen for
his altogether too frequent wild theorizing that frequently is devoid of
any supporting data at all, or selectively addresses the data that's there.
I also could do without Ben Gazarra as the narator. He's an ok actor but
does not have a good voice for narration. I thought Barbara Feldon also was
not particularly effective on one of the series. Patrick Stewart! on the
other hand, or Sally Kellerman - if you want some seductive tones.
Otherwise, it's a stepping off point and exceeded what I thought it was
going to be - although certainly not up to Attenborough'a level yet.

Critically yours, Ralph Chapman, NMNH