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March 27, 2006

Where's the Beef?

Or, Penis, Penis, Who's Got the Penis?

On Saturday I took my nephew Alex over to the Museum of Science and Industry in Tampa to see BODIES ... The Exhibition.

BODIES ... The Exhibition provides the public with a unique opportunity to see inside carefully preserved anatomical specimens and learn the detailed structure and function of the human body. All of the anatomical specimens in BODIES ... The Exhibition are legally received and painstakingly prepared by medical university experts for the purpose of study and education. The end result is a human specimen that is examined without any deterioration due to normal decomposition.

The polymer preservation process allows a human tissue to be preserved enabling one to vividly showcase the complex intricacies of the human body. The process, along with others, is also used to supply anatomical specimens to medical schools as teaching aids. The exhibition features 20 body specimens, 260 organs and partial body specimens which provide a closer look at the skeletal, muscular, circulatory and respiratory systems.

It was freakin' COOL. I was a little worried that Alex (who is 10) might be a little grossed out by it, but he liked it a lot. The only room we sort of breezed right through was the one on fetal development (i.e. babies in jars). The exhibit is made up of a series of rooms that address a specific topic (digestion, neurology, reproduction, etc.).

Let me back up a second. The day started with Alex's football game at 11 a.m. It was the first game of the season (he's in a YMCA youth league) and he did really well - two catches, one for a touchdown, and some good defensive plays. He's on the Cowboys this season, and there are two girls on his team. One, nicknamed "Ladypants" (because that's what I heard when Alex was talking about the girl in "navy pants"), kicked ass with two touchdowns.

After the game Alex and I stopped at McDonald's for lunch on the road, then headed over to MOSI. It took us about 30 minutes to find a decent parking space (parking is free, but the Renaissance Festival was also going on nearby, so there was nowhere to park).

The first thing we did at MOSI was go to the IMAX Dome Theater to see "Dolphins." Neither Alex nor I had seen an IMAX movie before, so it was an overwhelming experience. MOSI's IMAX theater is a dome, so the film filled our entire visual field. You could look to the upper right and see something, then glance to the lower left and notice something different. It was a little disorienting when the camera started swooping down on a coastline, but still an amazing experience.

And I love dolphins, so of course the film itself was terrific (with soundtrack by Sting!). The story of Dean and JoJo almost made me tear up a little bit.

After the film it was off to see some dead bodies. There were a lot of people at the museum because it was the second-to-last weekend for the exhibit. The first exhibit of a full body that we came upon was of one posed in a reclining position. Alex and I were admiring the muscular systems when I heard the following:

WHERE'S THE PENIS?

My head whipped around to see who was inquiring as to the location of someone's penis, and it was a little old lady about four feet tall. She practically pushed me out of the way to get right up to the body, and then she started checking out the body's crotch. Clearly there is no humility, even in death.

WHERE'S THE PENIS, GEORGE?

I'm assuming George was the little old woman's husband, and George was glancing around the room trying to sink down into the carpet to escape detection. I'm standing there trying not to crack up (because we all know that PENIS is the funniest word in the English language), but not doing a very good job of it.

George: I don't know where his penis is, Sylvia.
Sylvia: Why would someone cut off his penis?
George: I don't know, Sylvia.
Sylvia: Do you think someone stole his penis?
Me: *snicker*
George: I don't think someone stole his penis.
Sylvia: So WHERE is the PENIS, George?
Me: *snort*

Fortunately, there was a plethora of plasticined penises for Sylvia to gaze at throughout the rest of the exhibition. Not to mention all of the preserved testicles that looked (to me, at least) like door knockers. I don't think I'll ever look at testicles the same way ever again, now that I've seen them laid bare.

I also thought it was funny how, even in death, some men are more impressive than others.

After BODIES we went over to the Kids in Charge! museum. That was a lot of fun because there was so much hands-on stuff to do.

We spent almost five hours at MOSI, then drove home, ordered from Pizza Hut (a medium half cheese, half Pepperoni Lovers), and then played World of Warcraft until 1 a.m. Alex was nice enough to allow me to take a call from Marcel, after I asked for his "permission" to do so, and then proceeded to grill me with questions about Marcel that included "What color hair does he have?" and "Are you going to marry him?"

Ten year olds - so precocious.

Posted by Highwaygirl on March 27, 2006 10:41 AM to the category Day In the Life
Comments

A penis in hebrew is "BulBul". I guess it's a silly organ and so it gets a silly name in many languages.
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Ro

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