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Marinelli's New Book

Reflections on Creating the ETC

Don Marinelli

Don Marinelli, executive producer of Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center (ETC), has released his first book, "The Comet and The Tornado: Reflections on the Legacy of Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture & the Creation of Our Carnegie Mellon Dream Fulfillment Factory."

The book recounts Marinelli's remarkable journey from his early days as a professor of drama at Carnegie Mellon, through the years he spent building the ETC with the late Randy Pausch, to today as he leads the center and its worldwide expansion.

Marinelli and Pausch were colleagues and co-founders of the ETC. In his famed Last Lecture, Pausch affectionately referred to Marinelli as the "Tornado," a whirlwind of energy and creativity and spoke of their yin-yang relationship. The book centers around the six years Marinelli spent sharing an office with Pausch, who died of pancreatic cancer in July 2008.

"He flashed upon the world scene and everyone saw him," said Marinelli, describing how 'comet' came to represent Randy, "He left this glorious trail of thoughts and lessons and disappeared into the heavens."

Pausch was the logical left-brain thinker, while Marinelli filled the role of the creative right-brain thinker. It was precisely because of their yin-yang relationship that they made the perfect pair to conceptualize and create the ETC, which Pausch referred to as a "Dream Fulfillment Factory."

Readers will find inspiration in many of the themes that emerge through the narration of Marinelli's journey and his relationship with Pausch. Some of these themes include: learning to think with both sides of your brain, embracing change, the importance of self-reflection, the importance of a shared vision and working together as a team, and facing our fears of mortality.
The book includes a Synthetic Interview with Marinelli. The Synthetic Interview is advanced technology created at the ETC and the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon that allows an individual to have a conversation with a character or persona as if that person were present in real-time.

Carnegie Mellon's Bookstore will host a book signing and reading with Marinelli April 16, during the university's Spring Carnival. The book is also available at the University Store.

Related Links: Watch Video  |  Entertainment Technology Center

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