Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

Body Worlds
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Last night we drove down to the California Science Center to visit Body Worlds, a display of real human beings who have been chopped up, thin-sliced, sectioned, Plasticized, flayed, extruded, or otherwise put on display for visitors to marvel at.

Although it might be considered fascinatingly gross, perverse, or medically interesting, I was pretty bored by the show. It's true that the people on display were once living, but we can do so much with models these days that even knowing this, they still appeared to be just highly detailed replicas.

If you want to see some photos of the people on display, check the web site linked above; this exhibit did not allow photos and guards actively patrolled to prevent them being taken.

Of all the displays, perhaps the most interesting was the guy holding his own skin, but the 8-month-pregnant woman cut open to show the child inside made for a close contender. A third one was man, woman, and child blood-vessels-only. To make them, they force a slow-hardening substance into the blood vessels, then dissolve away the rest of body. This leaves just the elaborate network of arteries and veins in a bright red web.

It's interesting technically, as is the whole patented Plastization process, where they let body cells absorb this material that perfectly preserves them for study and display.

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