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Re: "Raymond" the triceratops

Stan Friesen  <swf@elsegundoca.attgis.com>:
>Now, this problem can be ameliorated somewhat by making plaster casts
>of the specimen.  But a cast is never quite he same as the original,
>since it preserves only the shape, not the color and minerology.

Aside from the actual mineralogical composition of a given specimen,
this sort of thing _is_ a temporary problem.  Xerox, among others,
is already working on a 3-d "replicator" that will use laser holo-
graphic imaging to create perfect replicas of 3-d objects, including
surface color.  The forerunners of this system are already at work
crafting bone replacements and implants for surgury.  Hopefully, in
the not-too-distant future, "real" museums will become a thing of
the past, and a single virtual museum would take their place, with
_all_ specimens available on-line, with reconstructions and restor-
ations just a mouse-click away.  Actual specimens would be kept in
climate-controlled access and used only when actual mineralogical
examination is required.

With VR glasses, even the scale of dinosaurs becomes something we
can transmit on-line.  And I expect this will make it far cheaper
to run a museum - no fancy building to maintain, just warehouses
and racks of computers.

Larry Smith