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Re: Watching Excavation--ROM

> Broke my knuckle


My friend, the late, great Nick Hotton paid me the ultimate compliment by
coming to my Science Center in El Paso to give a fund-raising dinner talk at
the very time the Smithsonian's Ghost Ranch _Coelophysis_  slab was being
opened. We were unveiling a Dinamation _Dimetrodon_, "Texas's oldest
citizen," for the occasion, complete with music, weird lights, sound
effects, and CO2 vapors (Hey! This was before Spielberg's Industrial Light
and Magic: I did the best that I could at the time). Later, the Ghost Ranch
slab became the focus of the NMNH's live public view of preparators at work.

Earlier, when I was preparing Permian stuff for the late Richard Selton at
Michigan State University, I would emerge from the MSU Museum at night,
covered with red/brown dust, a truly ghastly character tottering his way
back to the dorm. What would the public have made of that? (Yes, a few of
East Lansing city's finest constables stopped me a few times. They just
shook their heads and waived me on when I explained the joys of using dental
tools to extract ancient fossil amphibian and reptile [old style: shameless
Linnean usage -- _pace_ everyone] bones from 300-million-year-old rocks.)
Six months later, I had the inestimable pleasure of working the summer (!)
in the Texas Permian Vale/Choza Redbeds amid 100+ F temperatures, cactus,
cholla, rattlesnakes, "tarantulas," black widow spiders, and tornados. On
the other hand, despite the fact we had brought no swim suits, we had the
local rancher's permission to leap into the cattle watering "tank" at day's

Now, *that* would have made an interesting video for museum visitors to

-= Tuck =-

----- Original Message -----
From: <Danvarner@aol.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2003 1:45 PM
Subject: Re: Watching Excavation--ROM

> Mark Sabercat writes:
> << I just wanted to say that I agree with Stephan Pickering regarding the
> aspect
> of having museum visitors watch archao/paleo excavation and preparation
> techniques. >>
> Some of the preparators I've talked to tell me that working in a fishbowl
> gets old real quick, however. One museum maniac wanted me to paint
> restorations like that. I told him the kids would be exposed to some
> language that might not be appropriate.
> Sorry for the blank post. Broke my knuckle so my mouse hand is kindy
> Good thing I'm an impressionist. DV