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Re: Dinotopia Goes To The Smithsonian
About a decade ago, my good, late friend, Dr. Nick Hotton III, and I had a
heart-to-heart talk regarding the then current public exhibit of Dinamation
dinosaur recreations at the Smithsonian. I objected to the animations'
extreme and constant vocalizations (among other details).
Heck, when I was executive director of the Insights El Paso (Texas) Science
Center, I brought in a Dinamation _Dimetrodon_, which drew crowds that lined
up around the block. Nick, still in mourning for his late wife Ruth, and in
spite of the Smithsonian's opening of a major Ghost Ranch slab at the time,
agreed to be my guest speaker at the fund-raising public ceremonies
unveiling one of "Texas' oldest critters," as we billed it. (The animated
beast arrived in a pick-up truck from Boca Raton, Florida, badly damaged by
ill-positioned tie-down ropes. This sad state of affairs afforded extra El
Paso television news air time for me and the Dinamation "dinosaur doctor"
[flown in on emergency duty] to pump up local excitement. Once repaired, the
full-scale model moved and excessively hissed and growled dramatically. I
was powerless to shut the damned thing up [short of pulling the cord], but
hundreds of kids were thrilled.)
My excuse at the time was to re-invigorate a small, struggling science
center astride the Western World's largest bi-cultural, bi-lingual,
international metropolitan center (El Paso, Texas, USA, and Ciudad Juarez,
Chihuahua, United Mexican States). Now, I must decry the blurring of fantasy
with fact within a respected natural history museum setting (where I used to
-= Tuck =-
(a staunch advocate of art, creativity, and boundless imagination within
their *proper* places)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard W Travsky" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2002 12:28 PM
Subject: Dinotopia Goes To The Smithsonian
> Taking a break from the serious world of science, the Smithsonian's
> natural history museum is opening a fun new exhibit on "Dinotopia," a
> fantasy world where humans and dinosaurs live together peacefully.
> "I think art and science converge on this exhibition in special ways,"
> said Robert Sullivan, associate director for public programs at the
> National Museum of Natural History.
> The exhibit of art and artifacts based on the popular series of Dinotopia
> books by James Gurney opens Wednesday and will remain at the museum
> through Sept. 26.
> Dennis O'Connor, the Smithsonian's director of science programs, said the
> exhibit is "a look at what fantasy can do to learning."
> The lost world depicted in the books is "paleontologically absurd but at
> the same time fascinating," O'Connor said. It's thinking about what it
> would be like to live with dinosaurs that opens the mind to learning about