There’s More Than One Way to Skin a…Oh, Never Mind

skindude.jpgPals of mine went to see the Body Worlds exhibit at the California Science Center and were so engrossed/grossed out, they made a point of telling me to go, go, go. Sadly, my plans to do so last week were thwarted, so I’m going to spend one weeknight this week (to avoid the crowds, silly) taking in all the educational horrors.

See, Body Worlds is the brainchild (heh) of Gunther von Hagens, the curiously fedora-ed German anatomist who in 1977 perfected a technique called “plastination” which preserves human corpses for study and display. Plastination is exactly what it sounds like: It “replaces bodily fluids and fat with reactive polymers, such as silicone rubber, epoxy resins, or polyester.” So, you know, ew. But cool.blooddude.gif

Body Worlds is on a world tour, and its appearance at the Science Center is its only stop on the west coast. Yay for us!

I personally can’t wait to see the corpse on a corpse horse, but if they have that guy holding his own freakin’ skin (above), or blood vessel head guy (right), it’s gonna be the Best Field Trip Ever!

4 Replies to “There’s More Than One Way to Skin a…Oh, Never Mind”

  1. you, (or i), might think i’d have an advantage here, seein’ as my grandfather ran a funeral home. and when we visited, i, unquestioningly –
    (oh, remember the ramone’s “questioningly”? perhaps not – sorry) –

    slept on the sofa upstairs from said biz, where ‘g & g’ lived.
    … and yet:
    i don’t think i can handle the exhibit.
    embalmed folks looked, (comfortingly?),
    “disneyland fake”.
    i have recently been SO frequently directed to make the trek, w/enthusiastic endorsement from trusted artist neighbor friends.

    if you go, bronwyn;
    there’s a quote about the chap with the chapeau – i remember i liked it – and that’s kinda where the data entry fails.
    (help?, please?)

  2. Apparently some people in the world think that guy is a jerk and some kind of evil sinner for using human corpses. But I’m with you… I won’t miss a chance to go see.

  3. It can’t be much worse than the whole Pernkopf’s Anatomy controversy, can it?

    Controversy just makes me more interested. :D Though I have to admit, blood vessel head guy kinda gives me the heeby-jeebies.

  4. While I am slightly creeped out by von Hagens and his hat, it’s pretty clear from his site that all the bodies he worked with were officially donated for study. In fact, there’s even a section of the site where you can donate yours.

    Personally, I’m all for donating deceased me, in my entirety, for organ transplant or medical and scientific research. Can’t say I’d want to be on display in the California Science Center, though.

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