packaged it up, deploy to dashboard...and...
hmm...what is going on here. ah, yes, there is a setting in the dashboard widget that requires you to turn it on to allow internet plugins to work...modify to enable, redeploy.
nothing. blech. actually, not "nothing" but the default install prompt for silverlight -- which upon clicking did nothing.
with some pointers, i started realizing that the dashboard is likely not registering as "safari" or "firefox" or anything of the like. it's built using webkit, but perhaps that is the problem. some others pointed me to that it is likely a conflict with the detection script in silverlight.js and not being able to figure something out.
so i changed to hard-code in the embed/object tag and then was able to get it working like this:
i wouldn't necessarily recommend using the object tag as the detection script works perfectly in typical browser situations (typical meaning != dashboards or other hosted models). i'm going to take a look at the detection script next to see if hacking it up might make this work easier.