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April 1: Carnegie Mellon Professor Don Marinelli Authors Book About Creating the Entertainment Technology Center with Randy Pausch


Eric Sloss
Carnegie Mellon University                      

Megan Perritt
Sterling Publishing      

Carnegie Mellon Professor Don Marinelli Authors Book About
Creating the Entertainment Technology Center with Randy Pausch

cometPITTSBURGH—Don Marinelli, the 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." Published by Sterling Publishing, Co., the book recounts his remarkable journey from his early days as assistant head of the Drama Department 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.
Carnegie Mellon's Bookstore will host a book signing and reading with Marinelli during the university's Spring Carnival from noon to 2 p.m., April 16 in the University Center on campus. The book is available at the Carnegie Mellon Bookstore, Barnes & Noble and on
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. 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."
The book centers around the six years Marinelli spent sharing an office with Pausch, who died of pancreatic cancer in July 2008. In coming up with a one-word description for him, Marinelli decided on a comet. "Comet Randy burst upon the scene like an astral body ... illuminating his secrets for living life to the fullest for millions of folks who needed such guidance ... Comet Randy left millions of people stunned, amazed, happy, giddy and seeing light where there had been only darkness ... before this amazingly beautiful comet hurtled off into the universe," Marinelli said.
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. For more information on Marinelli and the book, visit For more information about the ETC, please visit