Neat or Nasty?

So I heard about this exhibit a couple of years ago when I was in LA at a dinner party. A couple there had been to it and also had mixed feelings about it.

I mean, yes, sure, it would be neat to see what the human body is like inside and everything, but what about the fact that it's dead people?

So I guess here I should explain what I'm talking about. This dude Gunther von Hagens has an art exhibit that's actual human bodies. Some of the bodies are just the nervous system, some are just the digestive system, etc. etc. They are real human bodies and they have been incredibly well preserved, because plastination makes it possible to preserve an entire body or individual tissues and organs that have been removed from the body of the deceased. Decomposition is halted by removing water and fats from the tissues and replacing these with polymers.

So part of the reasoning behind my scepticism was that I thought that the bodies were of people who had donated their bodies to "science". After learning that the people had specifically agreed for their bodies to be included in the exhibit somehow makes it ok if you ask me.

You can let "BodyWorlds" know what you think about their "exhibit" here. You can also donate your body!

Oh, and I just found out that the exhibit also includes a pregnant woman with fetus. A bit much, no?

And here's my friend Melody's 2 cents on the matter:
Hey there,

Just went to your blog. Interesting that you have the neat or nasty thing up. Gabe has been trying to convince me for months to go see it. i just don't want to. i mean, honestly, i think it's a cool idea, and probably very educational. i just don't think it could be psychologically healthy (for me, anyway) to look at skinless bodies. We are supposed to be (evolution-wise) appalled by the sight of blood and guts, for the reason that if we weren't, why would bother to blink or stop and help somone who we can see is in physical pain or danger of death. We are programmed (or i feel like i am) to be shocked by the sight of skinless flesh so that we jump into action to do something to help the wounded person - or more subconsciously to save humans, our species). Does that make sense? i just think it would emotionally distress me to view such things. in any case, i think if it is viewed for educational purposes by adults who are capable of handling it, i have no problem with it. But if it mere entertainment, i think it's kinda sick.

There's my opinion for what it's worth.

animated gifs from Library of Congress photos

Kevin J Wier makes animated gifs using old photographs from the library of congress flickr account. ...