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Tuesday 26 August 2008
Info-tainment: the following is a lesson in how I learn things.
As I am prone to doing when I get depressed or bored (which I equate to pretty much the same thing), I was looking at pictures of the dilapidated and mostly abandoned urban settings. In this particular case, I was investigating the United States Pavillion at Canada's Expo 67. (World's Fairs are great examples of amazing structures designed for temporary use and then abandoned.) The US pavilion -- a giant geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller and containing the "world's longest escalator" simultaneously promoted American progress in the two most important endeavors in world history, the space race and the movie industry -- was gutted by a fire in 1976. It turns out that by the end of the 70s, the entire remainder of the Expo was in such terrible condition, that it was used as the backdrop for an episode of a Battlestar Galactica set on a post-apocalyptic world ("Greetings from Earth").
Searching the internet for scenes of the Galactica episode in question, I found a flickr page that had jumbled a bunch of vintage Expo 64 and Expo 67 pictures. There I saw a Tyrannosaurus Rex statue that had been displayed at the Sinclair Dinoland exhibit. (Amusing, I think, that an oil company would have an exhibit consisting of life-sized audio-animatronic dinosaurs. That's like a glue factory showcasing an exhibit of horses, isn't it?) Following the history of that T-Rex, I discovered, and here I quote the website of Dinosaur World, a dinosaur attraction with parks in Florida, Kentucky, and Texas:
Of the many movies in which T. rex (the all-time movie star among dinosaurs) has appeared, old T has been brought down only by Superman in The Arctic Giant (1942) and by a Spinosaurus in Jurassic Park III (2001).
So in the end, what have we learned? That's right: the only person to beat a Tyrannosaurus Rex on film was Superman! (Funny, I thought, that I should start with the movie-centric contents of the US Pavillion from Expo 67 and end with movie trivia. But that's how life works, isn't it? I mean, when it's not giving you bone cancer and killing you in house fires, that is. And, let's face it, America is pretty obsessed with Hollywood culture.)
Moving fluidly from point to point through the sea of information that is the internet. That's why we call it "web surfing," James. And that's how you win on Jeopardy!.
P.S. That T. Rex statue in question now resides at Dinosaur Valley State Park in Glen Rose, TX, alongside the Sinclair Dinoland Brontosaurus. And yes, they do know that there was no such thing as a Brontosaurus, but they don't care. That's just how how Dinosaur Valley rolls.