Dion Kucera

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About Dion Kucera

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    GE Progressland
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    Thousand Oaks, CA
  1. So I did end up visiting Expo 2015 in Milan, and I'm curious about everyone's take on it that has visited. Alisoguy gave a great overview of the Expo itself, and having visited I'd agree with pretty much everything he had to say. As this was my first world's fair, I'm really interested to get people's perspective specifically on how this fair compares to past fairs. I know Shanghai was huge and that every fair has a different theme and is laid out differently. There may be no "typical" world's fair, but how does Milan compare with world's fairs of the past? I traveled on a limited budget and was able to see the fair for three days plus an extra two days in Milan (I saw other things in Italy as well). I feel that any less than three full days is impossible to see the majority of the fair. In three full days I was able to see all of the major pavilions including Pavilion Zero, the future food district (which includes the supermarket of the future), and most of the thematic areas. However, I felt I went perhaps too fast in some of the pavilions. Personally, I felt the fair was a blown up version of Epcot. Lots of pavilions, lots of people in the pavilions doing things native to their country, and lots of food. However, Expo 2015 was tied together with a theme, whereas Epcot is not. I felt some of the pavilions were excellent. The Japanese, German, and UAE pavilions really stood out to me and were some of my favorite ones. I thought Pavilion Zero was perhaps the best pavilion at the fair, since it got down to the real meat of the food theme more so than the other pavilions. Yet, I felt many pavilions had difficulty engaging with the food theme short of showing us their national dishes, or to have their pavilion operate as a way to drum up tourism. I guess the tourism aspect makes sense since so many millions visit the fair, but I felt it was more common than I expected, at the expense of addressing the fair's theme. In general, I was unimpressed with the U.S. pavilion (especially compared to other pavilions at the fair), but at least the U.S. earnestly tried to engage the theme while some pavilions did not. Many of the pavilions sold food, although not all of it was great. I was unimpressed with the Chinese food at the Chinese pavilion, but I thought the Kazakhstan pavilion and the Qatar pavilions were excellent. I also ate at the Argentina and the Colombia pavilions, which I thought were fine but not fantastic. In terms of quality of food and ambience I thought the Qatar pavilion was the best place to eat at the fair. From visiting the fair I'd say the fair's theme boils down to: the challenges of maintaining global food security despite an ever growing global population and climate change. I really enjoyed the future food district and the supermarket of the future. While I've mentioned my favorite pavilions, I thought the most interesting one was North Korea's. They didn't attempt to engage the theme at all and their small pavilion was a glorified gift shop. Their items are sold at deep discounts compared to other pavilions. Many of the small pavilions didn't try to really engage the theme but just sold lots of goods. Is this common across fairs? And what benefit do some of these countries (some of the poorest countries in the world had a presence) have by paying money to be at the fair? That's sort of a lot, but most importantly I'm curious what others think about how this fair compares to past world's fairs. Thanks.
  2. I'm going to be visiting the Fair this summer in Milan. However, I've never visited any world's fair before. How long do you think is needed to get a good feel for the world's fair? One day? Two days? Longer? Thanks.
  3. Hi World's Fair community-- I've been interested in the idea of world's fairs generally, and have been curious about how the fair itself comes about. I've read "The Expo Book", and as the Expo is a business that deliberately goes out of business, it would seem that the people to bring about this event would be business leaders. Is this always the case? Are the people who bring about this type of event invariably CEOs and business leaders?
  4. According to the Expo 2015 website, the United States has not yet committed to participating in the Expo. Although in the past decade we have had difficulty actually showing up to Expos, we did participate in Expo 2010 (albeit at the last minute), as well as Expo 2012. The official release from the State Dept on our participation in Expo 2012 wasn't until October of the year before exhibition-- just months before hand. My guess is that we will end up participating in Expo 2015, but to not expect anything substantive for maybe another year or year and a half.
  5. Your right, but it would be very nice to have a world's fair happen again in the United States, and there has to be some way that this can be done. The US has balked at building pavilions at world's fairs even when we were doing well financially. At the 2000 world's fair in Germany (up to that point the world's fair with the most participation in history), the U.S. was expectedly a no show. The current world's fair pavilion at Shanghai is privately funded. I think there's actually a law prohibiting federal money to go towards worlds fairs. If it wasn't for the private sector, we wouldn't have any sort of representation at the world's fair. But if the U.S. were to host another fair in 2020, that would be our first in nearly 40 years- our longest no fair gap in our history. One way or another, I think it would be great for the United States to host another world's fair.
  6. The financial situation in Los Angeles and in California in general is really pretty bad. But if Los Angeles were to win the bid, I'm sure it could appeal for money from across the country. After all, this isn't a city fair or a county fair- this is a world's fair representing the United States. Plus, managed correctly, a world's fair can bring in profit. I just think that with the Mayor's 30/10 plan (to do 30 years of mass transit improvements in 10 years) and all the other plans currently underway to renovate Los Angeles, a 2020 fair would be perfect to showcase to the world a "new" Los Angeles.
  7. I know you posted this over two years ago, but I agree. There's no real world's fair convention out there right now, and any sort of convention could easily pull in a lot of people and display a lot of things. Also I think a world's fair museum would be a great idea. The closest thing we have is "expomuseum", but there's nothing that exists that's actually brick and stone. There have been world's fair exhibits, but I think world's fairs could easily take up an entire museum.
  8. Here's an article about the cancelled 1992 Chicago World's Fair. Chicago won the bidding process to host the fair, but eventually lost it to Seville after losing interest. Although the fair was never never held, the '92 Chicago Fair was the last world's fair planned to be hosted in the United States (after '84 in New Orleans). The financial failure of the '84 Expo helped kill the '92 Expo and all other fairs in the U.S. since then. http://cbs2chicago.c....2.1166518.html "The estimated cost of the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition was $150 million before it opened, but the actual cost was 15 percent more. They also expected 75,000 visits a day, but the actual visits were 40 percent less. Taxpayers ended up stuck with some of the more than $100 million in unpaid bills after the fair was over. By June 1985, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan said attendance estimates were too high, and cost estimates were too low. He also said the World's Fair concept itself was obsolescent."
  9. It's great that CNN put in a nice article about the Shanghai Expo- after all it's expected to become the largest attended in history. The L.A. Times ran a very short five paragraphs about the Expo. Looking forward though to hearing from people that visited Shanghai here on World's Fair Community.
  10. Thanks-- glad to be here! Lots of interesting discussions on this site.
  11. You're all into world's fairs here. The last world's fair hosted in the United States was in 1984 in New Orleans. Today though most Americans don't even know what a world's fair is or that they still goes on around the world. Those that do remember world's fairs wonder what happened to them. We haven't hosted one since '84, and the others that go on around the world aren't talked about (if we even show up). It's time that the world's fair come back to the United States. A U.S. world's fair can be hosted in 2020, and bidding for 2020 opens next year. By 2020, it would have been 36 years since the last world's fair in the United States. I've seen effort out there for Los Angeles, Houston, New York, and San Francisco for 2020. This is the best shot the U.S. has had at hosting a world's fair in decades. This petition is for a Los Angeles expo. Although Los Angeles has never hosted a world's fair before, Los Angeles has hosted other large national and international events (including two Super Bowls, a FIFA world cup, a world series, and two Summer Olympics). Also, a 2020 expo in L.A. would commemorate the 170th anniversary of California and the 240th anniversary of Los Angeles. The United States has taken a back seat to world's fairs for too long. Even if you don't agree with Los Angeles in particular (say you're a Houston person), then sign for the sake of showing support for bringing the world's fair back to the United States. http://www.thepetiti...geles-expo-2020 What do you all think about a United States 2020 world's fair, and about Los Angeles as being a candidate city? Sign the petition and voice your support for a U.S. world's fair in Los Angeles.
  12. I was wondering though... under my name it says "new member", which is self explanatory. But then there are these circles. Some people around the site have more circles than others. What's up with that?
  13. Looking around online, it's hard to come up with a list of the opening speeches from all the world's fairs. That would be really nice. I was thinking of Prince Albert's opening speech for the 1851 fair. I've read it before and there are some really good things in there, but I just can't seem to find this speech online. Albert did describe the fair though as "the fertile promotion of all branches of human diligence and the strengthening of the bonds of peace amongst all the nations of the earth." I think Expo 2010 in Shanghai says it well, "World Expositions are galleries of human inspirations and thoughts. Since 1851 when the Great Exhibition of Industries of All Nations was held in London, the World Expositions have attained increasing prominence as grand events for economic, scientific, technological and cultural exchanges, serving as an important platform for displaying historical experience, exchanging innovative ideas, demonstrating esprit de corps and looking to the future." The Expo 2010 is nice but it's from online. Prince Albert's opening speech is really tough to find online, but you could probably find it in a book somewhere.
  14. I'm glad I joined you too. Of the fairs I know about, I think that the 1939 New York World's Fair and the 1964-65 New York World's Fair are both the most interesting to me. For the '39 fair, I've seen the "Middleton Family" video which was a very cool watch. The huge majority though of the world's fair videos on youtube are on the '39 and '64 fairs, and so I guess I just feel I've seen the most of those two fairs compared to the others. There's just so much going on at all the fairs... I'm just interested in world's fairs in general. The world's fairs that we had in the United States seemed incredible, but today it's really too bad that it's something that doesn't exist anymore. There's nothing else out there that compares to the world's fair, and for the last 25 years or so, I think the U.S. has been missing out. But that's just my take on it. Happy to be here!
  15. Hi everyone-- I've been roaming around the world's fair community for a little bit now, but I never ended up getting an account until a few days ago. So I'm just popping in here saying hi. I do have an interest in world's fairs, although I've never actually been to one. I hope to end up going to a world's fair in the future though. Also, although there hasn't been a world's fair hosted in the United States since 1984, I hope to one day go to a world's fair in the United States.