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Body Worlds exhibit in Salt Lake

I just took my kids tonight to the traveling BodyWorlds exhibit currently in Salt Lake City, comprised of “plastinated” Asian cadavers posed in incredible ways (yoga, gymnastics, and many other stances).   The skin is mostly flayed off of the cadavers of former political prisoners (one part of the audio tour explains why they do not feel any human rights abuses are involved).   I had Human Anatomy in college and worked extensively on dissected cadavers, but these dissections were unique and creative.     I have never seen anything like it: science meets art.

Quite a few exhibits are helpful to talk to kids about the effects of their diet, as help in teaching them to make good decisions for life.   One exihibit is a cross section of human fat, about 3 feet  long and 2 feet  wide.   Incredible to see THAT, after watching these lean cadavers with the beautiful interplay of hundreds of muscles, tendons,  and ligaments that allow us phenomenal feats of athleticism.

Another display shows many joints in one cadaver replaced with artificial joints.   Others show what a pacemaker or a stent or a bypass look like, installed in a human heart.   You can look at simulations of what happens in the bloodstream when cholesterol builds up in arteriosclerosis.   You can see actual preserved organ damage: a heart after suffering strokes, and heart attacks.   Lungs after decades of smoking, and lungs full of cancer.

Fetuses are preserved in liquid at every stage of the gestation process, reminding you of how intricate a human life is–with tiny, perfect  fingers visible at 9 weeks along.

The human body is such a beautiful, astonishing, complex, and miraculous thing.   The Creator of it is not just a brilliant genius, but also a brilliant artist.

What a tragedy when we don’t take care of such a gift, our own human body, the house of the spirit.   Well cared for, it serves us  with thousands of gifts: running dozens of miles; expressing physical love, kissing,  and  bringing babies into the world; millions of intricate movements of dance or  athletic competition; handiwork and craftsmanship; academic contributions to the world.   We ought to take care  of our bodies, because we get just the one!

Has anyone been to the exhibit?   What struck you about it?

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