Visit SpaceCampUtah.org to learn more about the Space Education Centers in Utah. Visit SpaceGuard.org and ProjectVoyager.org for information on joining a simulator based school space and science club.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The Space Center Paid What for this Thermos? Has Mr. Williamson No Shame for his Actions?


Hello Troops,
Yes, that's one expensive thermos. Care to take an educated guess? What would you expect to pay for this white thermos? Notice there are no cartoon characters decorating the outside cylinder. Why buy a thermos for your milk, coffee, hot chocolate etc without pictures of your favorite cartoon characters? When I was a kid at Canyon Lake Elementary School in Rapid City, South Dakota I had a Johnny Quest lunch box with a Johnny Quest thermos. Standing alongside Johnny was his best friend Hadji and Bandit the dog.

What would I pay today to get my Johnny Quest lunch box and thermos back? I'm thinking $50.00 real American money. So if I'd pay $50 for a vintage Johnny Quest lunch box and thermos, what would I pay for a plain white unremarkable thermos?

I asked Jon Parker (Voyager Flight Director) what he thought this white thermos was worth. Jon appreciates a good vintage lunch box. You rarely find him coming to work without his Amazing Hulk lunchbox.


Jon looked at the picture of the thermos I had just purchased for the Space Center and nearly fainted to the ground at the price.

"You paid WHAT?" he exclaimed after coming around. We had to use the extra strong smelling salts from the big First Aid kit. Everyone in the room agreed that I was the perfect example of Government waste.

"What did you pay for this plastic ruler?" Stacy asked sarcastically. "$200.00?"

"But this isn't your run of the mill lunchbox thermos." I stood my ground with determination. "This is a Cryogenic Liquid Nitrogen Dewar 10 Liter 1C0- 10 D."

"A What?" The staff spoke in unison. They were perplexed by my use of scientific words.

"This is a Cryogenic Liquid Nitrogen Dewar 10 Liter 1C0- 10 D," I repeated myself. The words fell from my tongue with ease. They were impressed. Heck, I even impressed myself, and that isn't easy to do.

Jon raised his hand to speak for the rest of the staff. "What do you carry in Cryogenic Liquid Nitrogen Dewar 10 Liter 1C0- 10 D?"

"Liquid nitrogen, of course."

Stacy laughed. "Of course, why didn't the rest of us think of that? But come on, $430 dollars for a thermos to carry liquid nitrogen? Are you crazy? Think of what we could have bought for that kind of money."

"It will allow us to do liquid nitrogen science demonstrations for our field trip lessons." My explanation didn't seem to sway them to my way of thinking. I resigned myself to the fact that my staff would always be skeptical toward my nearly $500 thermos.

By the way, I thought you readers of the Troubadour, and true fans of the Space Center might like to see the other flight director's lunch boxes so Jon doesn't feel picked on.

Zac's Lunchbox (Magellan Set Director)
He is a closeted Jetsons fan.
I'll tell you a secret, I think he's got a crush on Rosie the Robot.


Emily's favorite lunchbox (Voyager and Odyssey Flight Director). She rarely arrives at the Center without her Barbie lunchbox complete with a Ken Thermos and an assortment of decadent delicacies. Emily and her Barbie lunch box are well known at BYU's Cougareat where some mistake her for BYU's Homecoming Queen. Emily rarely if ever corrects their misunderstanding.

Stacy's Lunchbox (Galileo Set Director).
Careful, she also carries her live fishing bait in this box.

Christine's Lunchbox (Odyssey Set Director) with
Woodstock Thermos. Christine always shares, just in case you
arrive at the Center hungry.

Dave's Lunchbox (Phoenix Set Director)
Always carries a Thermos full of Mt. Dew, a BLT sandwich and a Twinkie.

Megan's lunchbox. Megan doesn't get a thermos
until she learns how to drink from one without spilling!


And life moves on at the Space Center.

Have a Happy Easter!
Mr. W.
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