Thursday, May 31, 2007

Digestion Is A Journey

(I am probably landing in Argentina as you read this...) A Journey Called Digestion: It takes 32 hours on average for a tasty morsel of food to work its way from the palate to the rectum. Here's the road map, courtesy of BodyWorlds.

It's never too late to get some exercise, I always say... Here's a plastinated person artistically displayed to show muscles in action..

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Young and The Plastinated

Pictures from an exhibition. An exhibition of human bodies willed to science-art-edutainment. My blurry pictures-from-postcards

This gentleman gives new meaning to the word 'out of my skin,' since he is in effect holding his largest organ (his entire skin, of course).

Smoker's lung, healthy lung.. you choose...

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dave!

We celebrated the birthday of my brother-in-law Dave (pictured below) yesterday with barbecued ribs and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." The meal was perfect, the movie, a bit bloated..

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Monday, May 28, 2007

Plastination Sensation

Today we're having a barbecue at my sister's place, I've been in Arizona with my family since Friday. Here I am yesterday at the Arizona Science Center (below), where we saw Body Worlds, a first-of-its kind exhibition that enables visitors to learn about anatomy, physiology and health by viewing real human bodies, preserved through a remarkable process called Plastination. With this process, the body specimens are preserved with special plastics that enable us to view the many organs and systems under our skin. At left, bottom, is a plastinated man holding his entire skin, our largest organ.

Plastination provides a way to stop the deterioration of the body after death, and allows the body to be permanently posed for study. The process replaces bodily fluids and soluble fats with reactive polymers, such as epoxy resins, through vacuum forced impregnation. The specimens are posed for teaching value and harden after curing with gas, heat or light. Hardening the plastic in the specimens allows the bodies to be fixed into lifelike poses, which illustrate how our bodies respond internally to movements in everyday and athletic activities. We saw over 200 authentic human specimens, including whole bodies as well as individual organs, tissues, circulatory and nervous systems and transparent body slices. No photography was allowed.

and here I am at the Science Center....

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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Hi. Still relaxing in Arizona. Can't really do much posting from Mom's dial-up. Here are some cartoons etc. I slept 10 hours for two night, but all I can do is yawn.. Maybe it's 'iron-poor blood'. : - ) That's a 60s TV commercial ailment, like 'ring around the collar.'

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Saturday, May 26, 2007


Mel Brooks' greatest creation may well be the world's most clueless secret agent, Maxewell Smart of CONTROL. Smart was true role model for yours truly. I recently learned they'd finanly produced a Get Smart! Complete Five-Season DVD Box Set, and I ordered an advance exclusive from TimeLife.

Of course, Max had the world's first cel phone - in his shoe! My second favorite gadget was, of course, The Cone of Silence. In the words of Carl Birkmeyer, host of the wonderful Get Smart! site at wouldyoubelieve.com, "The Cone of Silence. One of Max's favorite gadgets, it never worked properly, yet Max never gave up faith in it. It was designed by Professor Cone, at least in the show's mythology. In reality, Set Designer Stan Jolley, designed the Cone for the show. "

From Wikipedia: In the series, whenever Maxwell Smart ("Agent 86") wanted to speak to his boss ("Chief") about a top secret matter, he would insist on the use of a comically defective technology called "the Cone of Silence." The Chief, usually with annoyed skepticism, would press a switch, causing the device to descend from above the Chief's desk, surrounding the heads of the two would-be conversers. The awkwardly impractical device was clear plastic in the shape of two interconnected inverted bowls. Part of the humor was in the irony that Agent 86 and Chief could never hear each other clearly, while bystanders in the room could hear everything they said. Often at the end of the labored conversation, the Chief would be terribly frustrated and upset.

Variations on the Cone included a portable version, made of two globes for the participants' heads connected by a tube (pictured above left); and the "Umbrella of Silence", which supported up to four people. In "Tale of Two Tales," (pictured right), Max and the Chief, unable to hear, are forced to use Control Card File to communicate. In "I'm Only Human," Max and the Chief enter the Cone, but so does a bee. The sound of the bee buzzing overwhelms both of them, and what's worse, the Chief is bee-phobic. Of course, it lands on the Chief's nose, and of course, Max says 'Don't worry, I'll just...' You can imagine the rest... In another episode, (pictured left) The Chief doesn't want to use the Cone because it hasn't been working properly, but Max insists. As they talk, the Cone starts rising and descending. As they finish their conversation, the Cone keeps descending, crushing the Chief's desk and forcing Max and the Chief to drop to the floor.

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Go Southwest. 2,142 Miles

I'm off to visit my family in Arizona for 4 days! Woo Hoo!
More spring get-together: I'm particularly proud of my napkin arrangement - look how artfully I arranged the bright yellow and blue squares...

After the party, only some salad and barbecued chicken remained.. To the left, a gift of pink roses from Bart inside the lovely vase Doug gave me when I 'domestic partnered' my now-ex, Brian. To the right, the Tickle Me Elmo piñata I still haven't used as such since I bought it for my birthday back in January..

My dark materials! :-) I wanted to capture my beautiful food spread before the party. I clearly should have used the flash. I served four different exotic salads from Whole Foods, plus Smoky Barbecued Chicken and Chinese Spiced Pork. Plus a great salad. Fernando brought chips and dip and later I added calfornia rolls.. In the freezer: Fernando's sinfully yummy praline and pecan soy ice cream...

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

I am slaving away at work....

..but soon I will be on holiday! woo hoo!

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I Sprang, I Do Spring, I Have Sprung

From my Spring get-together Saturday night, a few friends, tasty morsels, flowing wine, awash in music and good conversation...

Fernando and Alan. To Fernando's left, most of my relatively new Scissor Sisters poster.

Bart surrounded by multi-media..

Gene, and, on the left, a particularly comfortable Sunil..

Christi, Eric and Alan. Blurry and not flattering - perhaps the photographer had enjoyed a tad too much wine? The following day, by the way, Christi rose at 5am and biked 100 miles from Babylon to Montauk!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2007


I found this picture by Image-Googling the words 'I'm Too Old.' I recently learned I'm probably going to Argentina next week to participate in a panel discussion - it would be a very brief trip - fly in Thursday morning, fly out Friday night. At least I'll get to have dinner with Andres.

NYT yesterday had an interesting article on sculptor Richard Serra, whose large rust-colored metallic shapes are featured in a MOMA retrospective exhibition I saw two weeks ago with Doug. Below is the artist overseeing the exhibit's installation.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Travels With Emerson - Bolivia

My friend Emerson travels just about everywhere and takes magnificent pictures. Let's play armchair traveler and go to Bolivia, with Emerson as our guide!

"The view from the top of Isla del Sol in the middle of Lake Titicaca, on the border of Bolivia with Peru."

"The Bolivian women sell everything in street markets, from dead llamas to magical candles for all kinds of good and bad spirits."

"Isla del Sol again - I took a walk by myself for a moment and all of a sudden these sheep all came running (and almost ran over me!)"

"I was glad that even though I started the trip alone, I did not finish it by myself, as I made these Brazilian friends who were cute and, even better, were gay! It was a lot of fun at Lake Titicaca with them. I guess the innocent native children did not have a clue."

"Here I am on the boat on the way back to Copacabana - that's the town in Bolivia after which our famous Rio beach was named. It is a religious town in Bolivia because their national patron saint is Nuestra Señora de Copacabana."

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