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Palo Alto Amber

Betty Cunningham writes:
Subject: Amber festival in Palo Alto, Cal

     "History enthusiasts and fossil collectors won't want to miss the 
     Amber Festival, 10 am-6 pm Friday and Saturday and 11 am-3 pm Sunday 
     at the Nature Gallery, 87 Town and Country Village, Palo Alto 
     (California, USA).  The gallery's exquisite collection of hand-crafted 
     jewelry, museum-quality carvings, and specimens of Baltic amber is 
     expanded for this event.  Several scientific experts and collectors of 
     amber will be on hand to discuss the mystique and practical potential 
     of this fossilized tree sap.   Call (415)327-8700"
     From today's San Jose Mercury News' Penninsula section
     the shop is small, but has very nice fish fossils, and the occasional 
     nice trilobite (the fancy Moroccan ones).  Their amber is mostly 
     jewelry or carved, but they do have some nice inclusions as specimen 
     pieces.  They should bring out more than I've seen for the festival.
Betty and all- I went to the last one of these shows they had in May, and I 
felt very bad about the way they came across to the general public.  There 
were large and potentially scientifically valuable specimens on display and 
for sale, and I listened to the 'professional paleontologists' that were 
prepping mammal skulls for sale blather on about the Federal Gov't depriving 
them of their livleyhood by stealing Sue.  They were selling a complete 
Camarasaur humerus, various eggs from Mongolia, and reputed T.rex and 
Triceratops bits, including alleged skull frags.  I got the distinct 
impression that they thought perfectly within their rights, as the 'rich 
museums' got all the really good stuff,  and all the other pro-seller 
arguments, without much mention of any other views as being valid.  I felt 
this to be a bit misinformative, because there was a fair crowd present, and 
many of those people were obviously accepting what they heard as the one and 
only gospel truth.  I didn't attempt to argue with them on their corner, but 
the whole thing left a sour taste in my mouth.
   There will be interesting stuff there, but I think that by attending, even 
without buying, we are condoning the activities of the commercial collectors.

NOTE: These views are mine and mine alone and are not meant to offend anyone. 

    Back to just lurking- Bruce Mortensen