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Re: DINO Commercialization

> Like our little place.  We use the Dinamation dinosaur exhibits we've
> sponsored over the years to ride on the coat tails of the surge of
> interest.  "Dino-surfing" I'd like to call it.  It will help us expand
> our science programs to more school systems.

    When I was executive director of Insights El Paso Science Center, I 
negotiated a deal with 
Dinomation for their _Dimetrodon_. It arrived damaged, so I got extra local TV 
exposure for bringing 
in a "dinosaur doctor" to repair the problems. As a result, our tiny facility 
had block-long lines of people 
waiting in the snow (yes, it snows in El Paso! Why do you think I moved to 
Florida?) to enter the 
Science Center.
    Planetariums currently also are wrestling with identity crises. Our 
cutting-edge laser shows (Beatles. 
Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, U2) bring in lots more people (and revenue) than our 
educational fare 
(Martian Explorers, Amazing Universe, Solar System Spectacular, One Small Step, 
and Florida's largest 
public observatory). On the other hand, 1) patrons must pass through our 
exhibit areas to get to the 
planetarium theatre, and 2) we are installing an interactive system that will 
make us the USA's 
second-largest (after Boston) facility to offer such audience participation in 
planetarium presentations.
    I'm sure Judy agrees that it would be wonderful if we could survive by 
offering "pure science," and 
I confess that I hate laser shows, but economic realities dictate that we must 
subject ourselves to the 
"bottom line" and follow the dictates of our respective boards of directors and 
    Or, we could pray for an unlikely miracle.

                                             -= Tuck =-
    | Visit the Astronaut Memorial Planetarium & Observatory            |
    |Web Page at http://www.brevard.cc.fl.us/~planet/                        |