CA Science Center: Body Worlds (Part One)

The Body Worlds exhibit opened my eyes once again to how some human beings aren’t taking care of their bodies, and how as a collective whole humans need to pay more attention to the long-term effects and not just the short-term rewards while living.  The information found in the captions is derived from the exhibit except those found in parentheses.  Those are my own words.

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As the above picture comments, these bodies were once living people who gave permission to use their bodies for scientific and educational purposes.  I suggest not going further if you are uncomfortable with death, but proceed if you are not.  I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed viewing the exhibit, keeping in mind to respect the bodies involved.

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Shall We Begin with the Bodies?

The Skin Man

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Skin is the largest and heaviest organ.  It stops us from drying out, regulates our temperature, and provides us with cues about our environment.

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Exposure to sun and UVA rays induces sun and age spots.  Smoking wrinkles the skin and gives it a slightly gray complexion.  Getting enough sleep is important to your skin.

Ice Hockey Players

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The more we use our muscles, the stronger they get, while underused muscles tend to fade away.

Football Gladiators

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Muscle strength peaks early in adulthood and then declines.  This is why most elite athletes are in their 20’s.  Muscle performance gradually declines beginning around age 30.  The amount of time spent on muscle training is more important than its intensity.  However, speed is greatly influenced by our genes.

Walking Elder with Cane

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Bone mass tends to decrease with age, predisposing us to vertebral fractures which have the effect of curving the spine.  At the same time, muscle mass decreases with age, meaning that the weakened muscles are less able to support the damaged skeleton.

The Yoga Lady

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The ability to maintain balance depends on information that the brain receives from the eyes, the muscles, and joints, and the vestibular organs in the inner ears.  Our ability to balance can be trained, just as our strength and endurance can.

The Swimmer

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(There was not much to state on the card, but check out that swim cap.)

Limbar Gymnast with Organs

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Our lives are juggling acts that demand balance, focus, and coordination.  More than ever before, people play many different roles in their lives.  They are workers, parents, spouses, friends, caregivers of elderly relatives.  No matter our circumstances, life balance is an important factor of feeling satisfied in our lives.  When our life balance is out of kilter, we might feel resentful, disappointed, and burnt out, and our physical and psychological health may suffer.

Poker Player Trio

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(I suggest seeing this live because this photo doesn’t do it justice.  The three bodies were very different in condition, and I only captured two of them.)

Emerging Skeleton

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The moment of death happens when the heart stops beating and the brain shuts down.  Until bacteria were discovered, the decay processes in dead bodies had been blamed on suspected ‘vestigium vitae’–a residue of life.  If a shroud disappeared, the corpse was assumed to have eaten it, and it was also frequently blamed for toppled over tombstones.

This concludes the bodies.  I will be posting further pictures of the exhibit soon.


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