Jonathan Field - Maker of Random Stuff

Napa & Bodies

Ah Napa… had a great weekend up there with Sophie. Hit some excellent restaurants and did a little wine tasting. I learned that I like wine best when it’s with food. I also learned that a $150 bottle of wine tastes notably better than a $25 bottle of wine, but certainly not six times better. And it only cost us $28 to learn that. Also got a little too much sun… it’s easier to get burned in Napa because it feels so nice out. At least in Vegas you can tell you’re getting roasted and to keep your ass inside.

Then on the 4th I decided to lay low for the most part. No human interaction… except with corpses. Seriously: I spent the day (well, two hours anyway) looking at dead bodies and body parts. No, it wasn’t one of those weird Las Vegas mortuary strip club… it’s Bodies… The Exhibition!

Though I’m fine with movie violence, I’m a fairly squeamish guy when it comes to real life blood and such… I don’t like watching operations on TV for example. I was a little worried about going to the exhibit, maybe I’d just feel ill being around a bunch of cadavers? Even the little kids who seemed to love it in the promotional video on the website didn’t allay my fears. Kids seem to love watching people break their limbs on Fox’s X-Treme accidents or whatever too, but it’s not for me. Nonetheless, after fretting about it for a bit I decided I ought to do something outside my comfort zone, so in I went.

I ended up really enjoying it. It was far less creepy than I had feared, and was in fact strangely beautiful. I’m up on basic biology, so I don’t feel I learned much in the way of book facts, but I definitely got a heightened sense of the complexity of the body and a more indescribable understanding of what it is… what I am, what you are. Probably my favorite bit was the room where they had filled the circulatory system with plastic and then dissolved away the rest of the body, leaving just a human shaped network of arteries, veins, and capillaries. The lung in particular with it’s perfectly fractal vascular structure, details getting so small I could just barely see… actually made me smile.

Anyways, I’d recommend it to anyone at all curious about such things.

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8 Responses to Napa & Bodies

  1. Sweet. I wanted to go see the plastination exhibit the last time I was in LV, but never made it. Boo on me. The circulatory system room sounds like a definite highlight. Conceptually, what I like about it in general is that it exposes us to what’s inside all of us. The majesty and wonder. I think it’d give me a better sense of myself, at least physically.

    • The exhibit that came through SF last year started having trouble when the bodies began to ooze a mysterious liquid. Never did hear any follow up on what it was. I decided to avoid it until further notice.

      • I heard about that… but that was a different company. I would imagine they have different levels of quality. I read about the process itself, and it sounds like you could certainly end up with oozy bodies if you didn’t give them enough time. I guess it can take a year. If they rushed it… well… ugh.

    • Yeah, that was my desire as well, and why I pushed through my gut reaction (no pun intented) of distaste. Overall I’d say it still took some imagination to really sense “that’s me” when looking at the stuff.

      One thing that greatly depends on ones views… to me, the detail and organic variance of it all made me feel “there’s no way this stuff is designed, it’s way to complicated for that, it must have arisen out of natural selection”. Of course that’s a side effect of my belief that, at least from what I’ve seen, “intelligent design” is hallmarked by being simplistic and brittle.

  2. It’s more than just wineries…

    I’d have to spend some time hanging out with the corpses when I’m in Vegas next weekend!

    Wine tasting, scenery, and the weather up in Napa were all really lovely, but we found that there was more to Napa than those things! Four-horned sheep, goats, llamas, and The Old Faithful Geyser all in one place!

    Check out the photos, see ‘em with your own eyes…

    Btw, those sheep and goats had HUGE balls…it’s almost too scary, so I decided not to post any photos that feature the balls.

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