Thursday, November 15, 2007


NaBloPoMo #15

We checked out the BODIES exhibit while we were in Vegas. If you've not heard of this, it is, essentially, an exhibit full of cadavers, posed in different positions, and peeled open to portray different aspects of the human body. Pulmonary System, Nervous System, Digestive System, etc, were each portrayed with a number of, I guess, humans that had volunteered their bodies to art & science. There was also a series of cross-section slices of people. And display cases full of bits.

It's not normally the sort of thing you'd find me volunteering for, queasy thing that I am. I found it utterly fascinating; I loved it. I can't even pinpoint which display moved me the most. For some reason, I keep returning to a plackard that stated that there was no scientific explanation for the phenomenon of yawning. That we yawn for more oxygen is urban legend, I guess. The clean vs. smoker lung was fascinating, along with the garbage bin alongside, full of packs of cigarettes that people had ditched after seeing the exhibit.

I definitely walked away with this: Don't take your little kids to this exhibit!! At the end of the exhibit, there's a table for you to write your thought about the exhibit. I hovered around while parents of two small children looked over their approximately 5 year old boys writing down their thoughts. "Sad. scared. babies" read one little boy's entry. Yes, there was a baby room, with a warning telling you so, and offering another walkway to the next exhibit, if you find it disturbing.

I flipped through the book to read another entry, scrawled in childish handwriting:

"Someone needs to do something about this. Scary."

I can just imagine some little kid, thinking "For the love of God, someone needs to step in and stop this maddness!!!" while we adults browse through, fascinated and forcing ourselves not to touch the cadavers, as the signs tell us not to.

My overall take on the exhibit: Get a sitter and go see it.

If nothing else, I think you'll experience an urge to take better care of yourself, and start doing sit ups. As the sign on one cadaver said,

"It's never too late."


  1. Things like this have always intrigued me ~ and sadly the resultant pitching of the smokes never takes. :(

  2. The latest thinking on yawning is that you are trying to cool your brain down so you can concentrate more. Still doesn't explain why you yawn when you see someone else do it though. Or hear someone say it. Or see it on a webpage. Yawn, yawn, yawn.

  3. This exhibit was in Detroit this past summer and I didn't go. The thought of real cadavers kinda disturbed me.

    I'm glad to hear your opinion of it. Maybe I'd go, on an empty stomach.

  4. stfarmer10:41 AM

    Way, way, back when I was a college student, I worked in a very rural hospital as an orderly. It was the kind of hospital that that had a very large number of geriatric patients. It was actually connected by a hallway to a senior citizen facility.

    The next semester the pre-med club took a trip to the gross anatomy lab at the local medical school. Imagine my horror when one of the cadavers being dissected was one of the patients I had taken care of the previous summer.

  5. Oh no. This runs in NY and there is NO WAY you're getting me in there. Forget it. What kind of crazy person takes their kids to see something like that? It's bizarre that you can't let your kid see depictions of sex but eviscerated bodies are just fine. Bring your 3 year old. Fucking morons. I'd get arrested for punching those parents. For. Sure.

  6. Sounds fun! And you're right. Probably would make me think twice about lunch that day. ;)

  7. We went to dinner with an old friend (actually the ex-wife of an old friend of mine who has become my friend) and her new beau talked about that exhibit for the entire dinner. Not appetizing, I'd say. And though YOUR description really does sound fascinating, I just don't think I can come around... But glad you had fun!

  8. I saw this exhibit in NYC last year. Loved every bit of it, especially the Pulmonary systems and the embryos.

    I read somewhere that all the bodies came from unclaimed John and Jane Does from China.

  9. This was nearby our hometown early this fall. It was scheduled to be here until February, some folks took it upon themselves to bad-talk the thing and boycott it so badly that they left early. *sigh* We were saving up to be able to go in December. I SO wanted to take my kids as a homeschool thing. What a fabulous anatomy lesson!

    Now we'll have to travel cross-country to see the darned thing. Still saving...

    So did they have any rules against people taking the packs of smokes out of the trash can? *grin*

  10. I say it was mighty brave of you to go there. I wouldn't have gone. Sqeamish ...that's me alright


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