Location: Palm Beach County, Florida, United States

Recently have been told I look like Mary Ann from Gilligan's Island. I hadn't heard that in years, but that is a good place to start as to what I look like, although she had a better bod. I have three boys and have been married for 13 years. Born of a Navy family, in Hawaii, one Mom, one Dad, one sister and one brother. The eldest of three children. BS in Applied Mathematics. Consider Pensacola my home town although I moved every 2-3 years of my life growing up. Currently work in the aerospace industry in an engineering position while being a Mom. Of Celtic heritage and very proud of it.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Science and an Unquantifiable Ick Factor

I've had this article from my newspaper since Sunday. Quite honestly, I don't know really what to make of it. Bizarre. Interesting. Disturbing. Icky.

This is an exhibit of Preserved bodies. But it's not like mummies. They have used some technique called "Plastination" and they have placed these bodies on view in life like poses: a chess player (brain exposed), two riders on a rearing equally preserved horse, a sports player. They are dried out and odorless and the bodily fluids have been replaced with plastic and the tissue feels stiff, but is still flexible or so I gather. For you folks who want to know how Plastination works, click HERE.

Taken from the website,

"The aim of the exhibition is to inform visitors and to open up the opportunity particularly to medical laymen to better understand their body and its functions. When viewing the exhibits we can become aware of the naturalness of our bodies and recognise the individuality and anatomical beauty inside."

I don't know. Part of me is aghast. Another part of me knows damn well I would go see it. I would hope it would be for the science aspect, and not for the 'can't quit looking at the train wreck' effect.

When I was a kid, I saw this black and white movie on TV, and this guy murdered people and turned them into white statues. I think he mainly murdered women. At the end of the movie, someone chipped away at the material of the statue and found a body. Throughout the movie people would say, "oh! They are so life like". Scared the bejesus out of me. This just seems to remind me of that. Blech.

I'm cool with it. Really. It's just got too much 'Ick' factor in it for me. I guess it's the man dangling his own skin in one hand that kind of threw me into the "Blech" column (look at the link, his picture is there). I kind of sound like I'm trying to convince myself, don't I?!

And if you want, you can Download an Information Brochure in donating your body to Plastination. Honestly, I've done the big debate, to burn or not to burn, that is the question. I'm definitely an organ donor. Never thought about Cryogenics. But this... this is just a whole new realm that I feel the need to pass on. Just not for me. Good for those who can donate their bodies for such... just a bit too much 'Ick' for me.

There are some cool things on exhibit too, like the blackened smoker's lungs and clogged arteries. You can see fully dissected bodies. I would absolutely have to pass on seeing the 8 month pregnant woman with fetus. That is in a separate area, so nobody is surprised. Damn. Talk about nightmares. I'd have a daggum heart attack walking in on something like that!

So if you're in LA, they're showing it until 23 January. It's PG-13. All attendees younger than 13 must be accompanied by an adult. No kidding.


Blogger littlejoe said...

I saw a segment on something like this on Ripley's Believe It or Not. I thought it was pretty cool, well, in that can't look away way.

11:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a photographer who shoots bodies(dead ones) in different poses and situations. Sometimes just using the parts. Children and babies aren't exculded from his work, either. We had to study this wacko in art school. I said 'NO' and got a big fat 0. It was worth it. His work is disturbing to me and not what I would consider art at all. But that's just me.


4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We had some doctor do an autopsy where you could pay to be in the audience - they also showed it on TV. He argued it was "educational" and so got away with it.

Ironically, there was a reality TV program a few weeks ago called "Hell's Kitchen" which feature celebs being turned into chef's, and the building they had the temporary resteraunt in was the same one that was used for the live autopsy.


4:56 AM  

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