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What Is Hip?

I found out last night at Body Worlds, an exhibit of real human bodies preserved by “plastination.” And not just hips, but bones of all sorts, organs (both normal and diseased), entire bodies, and even some chickens. Although the bodies are posed in lifelike situations, their stiffness reminds me of the way I usually feel in the morning. While browsing the body parts, I was particularly surprised at the size of the liver, which I learned is the largest gland in the body. I know I like to give my liver a workout from time to time, but that kind of exercise doesn’t really improve it. Overall, a great show and highly recommended. I was much less weirded-out than I thought I would be; it was fascinating. Next stop: the Mutter Museum. That should weird me out but good. To paraphrase Jonathan Winters, “Don’t touch that cadaver, baby Elizabeth, you don’t know where it’s been.”

On our way out of the Franklin Institute, we chanced by the Foucault pendulum, which reminded me of a short paper I wrote for an English class way back in 1989. If I can find it, I might even post it.


I haven't been to the Mutter in years, but it was strangely fascinating last I visited. I'm sure the Soap Lady still reigns supreme.

I wish they still made the Mutter calendar. That was quite the annual treat.

That looks pretty gross. I don't know...I'm curious, but I don't know if I would be able to visit the entire exhibit.

I went to the Mutter a few years ago with my wife and my family. I had to excuse myself. I was shocked at my reaction but attributed it to "getting older"...lame. So, needless to say, in the weeks prior to our trip to see Body Worlds, I was envisioning spending all of my time in the gift shop browsing through the Ben Frankilin kitsch. I am happy to say I lasted throuugh the whole exhibit and never felt the need to excuse myself at all. I really enjoyed it. I attribute that to becoming "calloused".

Mrs. H, I can't believe I've never been to the Mutter, and I had no idea about the calendar.
Kathryn, it wasn't as gross as you might imagine in that everything is turned to dry plastic. Sure, it's bizarre, but my primary and still-lingering reaction was awe at the marvelous complexity of the human body.
Jim, I've heard the Mutter is more shocking than something like Body Worlds, so I don't think you've become calloused. I've always been leery of going to the Mutter. Each one of those specimens represents a life cut short or a deformity endured. Body Worlds is quite different - if anything a celebration of the "normal."

I was afraid I'd be too squeamish for Body Worlds, too--which was especially tough since I didn't have the option to avoid it! Turns out I was entirely fascinated and not at all disturbed.

The exhibit closes on the 23rd, so if anyone's still wanting to go, there aren't many days left...

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