"Hodags, Happy Chefs, and Hiawathas: Practical Applications of Materials Science along America's By-ways" The proposal has been submitted, along with a cover letter emphasizing the presentation will be highly visual (always a plus with the Commercial Archeology folks), so if all goes well this fall I'll have an excuse to be in Albuquerque.
Despite the fact that all three examples mentioned in the title are fiberglass, the presentation will discuss other materials (concrete, metal, wood) used for humongous fish, dinosaurs, and other oddities and how one tells the difference if/when they're painted and construction materials aren't obvious. It'll also get into differences between mass produced (Happy Chefs in various sizes) and custom (this green dude with the impressive canine teeth and claws).
This hodag is fiberglass, he sits outside the Rhinelander information center on the west side of town, and he is not a product of F.A.S.T., the Sparta, Wisconsin, company usually associated with oversized fiberglass statuary. The photo was taken on a rainy day in late September 2007.