- Chantez et vous trouverez votre chanson -

Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.
     -George Bernard Shaw

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves- in finding themselves.
      -Andre Gide

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

BODIES...The Exhibition

I held a brain this weekend, and a heart.

BODIES...The Exhibition is currently on view at the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, and it was my grandma's belated Christmas present for the whole fam to take her to see it.

It was very informative, and really interesting!  Besides medical and dental school students, who ever really gets to see the human body like this??  It really brought to life all those things I learned in high school anatomy class that went in one ear and right out the other (sorry Mr. Austin).

While waiting on line, my thoughts were all over the place.  I really didn't know what to expect; to tell you the truth, I was a little nervous to see real dead bodies dissected and up close. Would it creep me out or make me nauseous?  I don't take throw up well...maybe I wouldn't like this either.  But, I was very intrigued at the same time.  

As we first entered the exhibition, it felt like a cattle call.  There are a lot of Pittsburghers interested in the body I guess, and it was slow moving through the first few sections.  

The first room consisted of all the bones - pretty tame.  Most of these things I had seen before in museums or classrooms.  The tibia, the fibula, the skull, etc. There were some cool looking skeletons in fun athletic poses that I enjoyed, but other than that, I wasn't amazed yet.  

Then, the first astounding thing: a full human skin looking like shed snake skin laying in a glass box (Snow White style).  Creepyyy.  It looked...kinda like lightly tanned leather.

As we moved through the rooms, we moved through the different systems of the body.  I saw things I probably will never see again.  I saw muscles, what I work so hard for in the gym, up close and personal.  I saw adipose tissue (fat!), what I work so hard to not have any of, up close and personal.  (Sidenote: My thought when I looked at the "adipose tissue" body - It must suck to have your dead body on display as the example of what love handles look like.)

The exhibition was set up really well.  You saw each system and part dissected and on its own, and then you were shown that system within everything else in the body on a separate "model." It's truly amazing how everything fits together...there's so much stuff in there!

10 Thoughts and New Facts Learned at BODIES:

1. I don't ever want to have black lungs.  Don't smoke - black lungs are not attractive! (who cares if no one ever sees them...it's so unhealthy!)

2. The development of a fetus is such a wonder.  This section of the exhibit was hard to look at knowing that these little ones never made it.  Yet, it was so interesting to see how big they are at each stage and at what point they develop all their miniature organs, considering we only ever see how big the baby bump is from the outside.  

3. The stomach is not nearly as big as I assumed it was.  I should eat less.

4. The liver is huuuge.  I should drink more.
(kidding.  That's the Irish in me.)

5. Human muscles look kind of like meat.  I gave up meat for Lent, and this makes it significantly harder to go back to the good ol' rib roast now that Easter has passed.

6. The process of digestion to "elimination" should take from 10 hours to several days.  I'm glad I'm not in college anymore...those dining hall meals were clearly not being digested properly.

7. Females are born with all the eggs they will ever have.  Males keep producing sperm until they are old.  Now that's just not fair.

8. No matter how close I looked, I could not tell a difference between the healthy organs and the cancerous ones.  Good thing I never tried to go into any medical field.  I'll leave it to the professionals.

9. The kidneys are really tiny.  And to think kidney stones cause so much pain.

10. I still kind of giggled to myself when I saw the anus and the testes.  I might need to grow up a little.

BODIES...The Exhibition is on view in many places, not just Pittsburgh (we're not thattt cool). Check out www.bodiestheexhibition.com to see if it is on display in your area.  I highly suggest seeing it.  

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