Thursday, April 21, 2011

So THAT'S What a Diaphragm Looks Like!

Last Saturday, I woke up early despite not setting an alarm.  I hopped out of bed, took the dogs for their morning walk, came back to the apartment and quietly made coffee.  Traci awoke to find me making breakfast for us.  We ate and lounged around a bit while Traci read Friday's paper.  A nice little perk of my job is a free daily paper.  T just has to read it at night or the next day which is a small price to pay.

After digesting, we headed out with the dogs to the dog park for their weekly outing.  Haley is now a little skittish at the dog park - thanks to her being attacked once before - so she spent the first part of her visit barking at anyone who came by to say hello or sniff her butt.  After a little while she got a little better, but spent most of her time between Traci and I, avoiding sniffs.  Dexter of course was bounding around chasing other dogs who were chasing balls (neither he nor Haley have any interest in retrieving toys).  They both got some good exercise at the park as well as on the two mile round trip.

We got back to the apartment and took a little nap.  When we awoke, I made turkey tacos for lunch (complete with homemade guacamole!).  We ate and slacked a little more, I played some videogames (Saint's Row 2 is fun), and Traci cleared out the last two boxes from our move that had been filing our guest bathroom tub.  Now it's just spread out all over the guest bathroom, but we're working on it - baby steps.  Once we had a little down time after lunch, we got ready for the weekend's real adventure - the San Jose Tech Museum!

I have been dying to see the Body Worlds exhibit and lamented missing it when it came to Orlando when we still lived there.  Apparently there are several different versions of the exhibit now touring and the one at the Tech Museum in San Jose was Body Worlds: Vital, and this was its inaugural showing.  It is described thusly on their site: celebrates the potential of the human body and the body in motion. This new exhibition is designed to show visitors the essentials for human health and wellness by contrasting healthy bodies to ones that have succumbed to a host of illnesses and medical conditions.  It was a bit smaller than I'd hoped, but it packed in lots of information for its size.  They showed several bodies, yes actual human bodies, preserved through a process called plastination.  The process itself is fascinating, and I'd love to see an exhibit that focuses on how the models are made with this process.  We took the audio tour which provided lots of additional information on how our bodies work and further explained the deterioration caused by diseases and general lack of maintenance.  The most fascinating thing about all of this is that the plastination process allows the artists to pose each body in such a way as to accentuate the items of interest.  They showed a runner mid-run, and all of the muscles had been stripped back from the bone to give you an "exploded view" of how all the muscles, tendons, cartilage, etc. interact to cause motion.  Other amazing things included plastinated organs with cutaway views, and a head made up of the circulatory system only.  Traci snuck a picture of it which is posted on Facebook.  Since we weren't supposed to take any pictures, and I can't find one online anywhere, please accept this image as a stand-in visual aid to go along with my post's title:

NOT an Actual Diaphragm

I would love to see one of the larger exhibits in this series at some point, but this smaller one definitely whet my appetite (figuratively... it was also kinda gross so my literal appetite was not so whet).

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