Auction for a private tour of Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles with Leonard Nimoy


This is neat -- CharityBuzz is auctioning off a private tour of Griffith Observatory with Leonard Nimoy! The tour is for two people and the current high bid is $5,250. The proceeds will go to the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights.

Also in the auction block: A tour of Industrial Light and Magic with George Lucas. Max bid on this is $300.


  1. Also in the auction block: they will pay you $500 to walk around downtown Duluth for half an hour in the company of Henry Kissinger.

  2. I would absolutely love to do this. $5250 is too much for my wallet, and I’m guessing it won’t stop there. there are a lot of rich Star Trek geeks (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

  3. Too rich for my blood. How much just to have Walter Koenig meet me at Griffith Park and point out some constellations?

  4. “Can we see Vulcan through the telescope? Can we see Vulcan through the telescope? Can we see Vulcan through the telescope? Can we see Vulcan through the telescope? Can we see Vulcan through the telescope?”

    Then you can title your memoirs “Beat Me Up, Mister Spock.”

  5. Sorry, but that ILM tour is not with George Lucas. :( It’s just a tour of “George Lucas’s ILM.”

    Too bad, because if it was, I’d SO be there. Shovel at the ready.


  6. Sad that can’t be a tour of an observatory with oh, I donno, an actual astronomer instead of an actor who played an alien on a 60s TV show.

    1. @Darren: may I suggest you just try visiting the Griffith Observatory on any of the other 364 days of the year?

    2. The point of the auction is to raise money for charity. No one is going to pay over $5,000 for a tour with Dr. Nobody the Unknown Astronomer, even if he is whipsmart and a swell guy.

      Now people might pay a lot with a tour with, say, Carl Sagan, but there’s the whole “dead” thing. And a tour with a zombie Sagan seems a little perilous.

  7. Maybe I should bid on this. “Spocko, meet Spock.” It would play well for the news media.

    Nimoy. “You know I’m not Spock.”
    Me: “Duh.”

  8. Leonard Nimoy now has one of the most genuinely creepy yet somehow dignified faces on the big or little screen.

  9. “Sad that can’t be a tour of an observatory with oh, I donno, an actual astronomer instead of an actor who played an alien on a 60s TV show.”

    Sad that you can’t see the fun in it.

    1. Mark– it isn’t that I can’t see “fun it it”– it is simply that– yes, I do find it sad that people aren’t excited about/willing to bid on a private tour of an observatory led by a real scientist but only when led by some hammy actor from a cheesy space-opera. It says bad things about people.

      1. Darren.

        re: It says bad things about people.

        No. No. No. YOU say bad things about people.

        or is the phrase some hammy actor supposed to be a compliment?

        When you throw dirt Darren, you lose ground.

        1. “When you throw dirt Darren, you lose ground.”

          Oh, by all means– you have me convinced! It is a GREAT thing when society places more value on people who pretended to be things on old TV shows that were TERRIBLE at what they pretended to be than on real professionals in that field. Let’s not stop at an actor from a soap-opera filled with HORRIBLE science giving a tour of a observatory. Let’s have Marcus Welby MD give a tour of the CDC! (Okay, I know he is dead.) And Matlock can give a tour of the US Supreme Court! David Schwimmer can give a tour of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History! After all, he played a paleontologist on TV! Never mind that just about every word that came out of his mouth was incorrect!

          I’m not backing down– a society that values celebrities from soap operas (even soap operas in space) more than actual scientists who present actual science (rather than the drivel that passed for science in Star Trek– you can praise the social commentary all you want and not be wrong– but the science was pure shit) is a sad, sad society.

          1. Darren,

            could you POSSIBLY be any fuller of yourself?

            dude, this story says NOTHING about ‘society’, but you’re comments say loads about how you feel you fit into society.

            if you were less hateful you’d be better liked. Have a good day, I’m more than sure you feel you don;t care about such things.

            Thanks for sharing your thoughts, as obtuse and fecal as I feel they are.

          2. Darren: I suspect that if you took a poll of all the honest-to-Sagan, real-life astronomers that work at the Griffith Observatory and elsewhere you would find that a significant number of them chose to pursue the field after being inspired by “Star Trek.”

            Human beings like to imagine and they like to be entertained. That is not the same thing as having a low opinion of science.

  10. I wonder has anyone considered the pros/cons of auctions vs. raffles for charity fundraising? In order for an auction to bring in real money, you need affluent bidders (someone who can lay down over $5,000 to visit the Griffith with Nimoy, for example). That’s way too high for the vast majority of the population. So this is essentially an elitist event.
    Consider instead a raffle at $10 per ticket. How hard would it be to get 500, or even 1,000 people to put 10 bucks down for a chance? The main problem here is selling tickets, but the upside can be huge.
    A recent example: held an auction some months ago. They had a mixture of tickets to events (e.g. SXSW) and some really nice stuff (signed Edward Burtynsky photos worth $4,000 a pop, etc.).
    Though the event tickets might not appeal to everyone, presumably things like Burtynsky photos would have a broad appeal. The 4 photos went for around $1,500 each (=$6,000 total). It would have been more efficient just to sell them on the market ($16,000 total) and give the money to Worldchanging.
    A raffle might have brought in considerably more, since $5 or $10 is a perfectly affordable price. Could they have sold 1,000 tickets at $10 = $10,000 for the pictures alone? We’ll never know.

  11. I’m presuming it’s a tour _with_ Nimoy, _led by_ an expert. Yeah, I’d be tempted to bid, both for the tour and for the neatness factor of being able to talk to Nimoy for more than the 30 seconds in a signing line. It’s a bit rich for my blood, but…

    JohnRynne’s idea of a raffle is an interesting one. Seems to me that an online charity raffle should be no harder, from a programming point of view, than an online auction. “A penny a chance, ballot stuffing encouraged, all bribes taken at face value”. Those who can afford to (and want to) drop a bundle have a better chance, but everyone has some chance. You’d have to record more data — every bid rather than just the most recent bids — but as databases go that’s not a huge number of bytes.

    The biggest theoretical challenge is deciding whether you need to set a minimum bid/increment which will cover the costs of processing the donation, or whether you want to accept that the low bids will be a net loss and chalk that up to publicity. Then add the practical challenges of making sure the site is secure and trustworthy — basically the same issues as any other eBusiness site.

    There certainly seems to be an opportunity here for someone who is already trustworthy to set up a service for nonprofits.

  12. The ILM tour isn’t with George Lucas, but includes ‘lunch with an ILM staff member’.

    And I don’t know what ‘max bid’ of $300 is supposed to mean, but as the auction is currently sitting at $2750, it’s probably wrong.

  13. or rather, when people are donating to charity, value isn’t placed so much on the incentive that’s offered along with it. the focus here is the charity. it’s more like “give a lot of money toward this cause and because you’re a such a good person, leonard nimoy will hang out with you for a while”
    I’m sure if you were a big enough fan, leonard nimoy would gladly accept 5000 bucks to go on an observatory tour with you.

  14. @sam rohn: Having met Buzz Aldrin several years ago, his irritability made the meeting a disappointment. Frankly, if I had the money I’d shell it out to meet Nimoy who impresses me not just as an actor but as a photographer and interesting human being.

Comments are closed.