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A Quick Recap [Mar. 29th, 2007|09:07 pm]
We're back!

Phoenix was nice. The weather was great, sunny but not too hot, pretty much the whole time we were there.

We did a lot of hanging out. Went to the botanical gardens and saw wildflowers (and cacti, of course), plus they had a butterfly pavillion set up. The best was the hedgehog cactus, mostly because it's fun to say. There was a neat sculpture installation where an artist (Patrick Dougherty, sez der Google Intarbrains) had woven big round house-like structures out of saplings. Didn't look like much from a distance, but up close and inside they were pretty cool.

We also went to Bodyworlds 3 at the science center. (This is one of the exhibits where they have plastinated human bodies on display in various artistic/educational setups.) It was very interesting. Nearly all the full-body displays still had intact bits in a couple strategic spots: eyes, eyebrows, eyelids, nose-tip and lips. I learned lots of new things. Like, in the 1700s, public dissections were quite popular. Also: the insides of the body are very messy, so it's a good things we all have skin.

There was swimming in a very warm pool for old people (Phoenix is full of seniors), and eating out at a number of very tasty restaurants, and we played mahjongg one evening. We also made dinner one night and moved some paving bricks from Greg's grandmother's house (she passed away earlier this year) to his mom's house, and set them up in her front and back yards, so we weren't total slackers.

Oh, plus visiting the Chinese Cultural Center so Kuma could buy a huge pile of CDs and DVDs. I bought a "grassing bottle", mostly for the Engrish. It's a vase, some grass seed, and colored macropolymer beads that absorb tremendous amounts of water and swell up all jello-like. It's sitting on my desk at work.

I played a lot of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. Wheee! And Jerry yelled "Objection!" a lot (Phoenix Wright, Ace Attorney).

Now we're back, and it snowed several inches last night. Climate shock, much? But it's mostly melted now.

Y'all post a lot, by the way.

[User Picture]From: zalena
2007-03-30 12:29 pm (UTC)
Y'all post a lot, by the way.

And I'd just told Jerry that I never thought of you guys being big posters, but it got a lot quieter while you were away.

Is this your first trip to a BodyWorlds exhibit? I think it was 2 I saw while it was in Denver. I was utterly blown away by a lamb that had everything removed except for blood vessels. (Little Lamb, who made thee?)

I was also flabbergasted by the black curtain up around the fetal development section and the cadaver of a pregnant woman with fetus intact. Apparently non-viable fetal cadavers are a more sensitive subject than child cadavers or the bodies of fully grown adults.

There were lots of little kids at the show, and lots of parents offended by penises. My feelings was that having already taken their children to see dead bodies on display, complaining about a naturally occurring feature like the penis was a little ridiculous. (Apparently the sex taboo trumps the death taboo every time.) I had absurd visions of the anatomized figures wearing loincloths, or of all of them displayed with their reproductive organs cut out. I recall I wrote quite the little essay on the subject in the guest book that afternoon.

I was also horrified that parents thought they could just expose their children and expect the kids to get smarter by osmosis. The kids had all kinds of great questions, which most of the parents were unwilling, or unable to answer. It would've been easy to say, "I don't know, let's ask someone." Or "What a great question, let's look up the answer!" but most of the parents had the "shut up and don't touch anything" approach to learning. (Though I probably wouldn't take a child under the age of 8.)

Plus, the display wasn't really designed for children. Most of the organ cases were too high for kids to look at comfortably, and the explanations were very text heavy. I got the audio tour and it didn't offer much in addition to what was already on display.

Still, it was pretty interesting, even if I felt it was a lot to take in at once and kind of wished I could wander in and out of the exhibit rather than suck it all in at once. If you haven't done so already, I really recommend reading Gunther von Hagens' biography on the BodyWorlds website.
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