Sculptor Masao Kinoshita's work comes in a variety of forms, but what really tweaks my amygdala are the anatomical maquettes of fanciful creatures. I mean, PHWOAR. SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY.
This pair of striking images of teeth colonized by ambitious antiquarian architecture are part of a campaign for Maxam toothpaste from JWT Shanghai; the slogan is "Don't let germs settle down."
A 2011 entry from the Museum of Sex by Melodiousmsm explores the internal anatomy of the clitoris, whose extent wasn't fully mapped until 2005, when Royal Melbourne Hospital urologist Helen O'Connell published her groundbreaking MRI studies. The clitoris forks internally like a wishbone, and then ramifies further. As Melodiousmsm notes, this suggests that the argument over vaginal versus clitoral orgasm has been misplaced, since the clitoris runs through the vulva and vagina.
The most interesting part of this article are the longstanding misperceptions about clitoral anatomy, the fact that science understood so little about such a significant organ for so long. The clitoris, after all, is the only organ that exists purely for the purpose of conveying pleasure, and has as much erectile tissue as a penis, but somehow it was mostly missed for literally millennia.
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Circumcision training kit, fake gangrenous feet, fake blood, artificial fat, aged torsos & artificial earwax: the wonderful world of Life/Form trainers
Life/Form's $186 circumcision trainers "include the foreskin, glans penis, frenulum, meatus, and coronal groove" and are "made with our soft, lifelike material, which is pliable, delicate, and realistic to the touch."
More seriously, Life/Form sells a pretty amazing range of anatomical models for training and education, including a 1lb lump of fat (also sold by the ounce and the five-weight); artificial blood by the quart; gangrenous, ulcerated feet; lifelike bedsores; obese, geriatric head/torso mixes; jars of artificial earwax, and much, much more.
Infant Circumcision Trainer, White (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
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A paper in Royal Society Biology Letter by University of Toronto biologist Lucia Kwan describes the strange, adversarial clawed sex-organs of some guppies. Kwan experimented with shaving the barbs off of the penises of some male guppies to investigate the relative advantages of claws for mating with "unreceptive females." She concluded that the claws were a "sexually antagonistic trait" that evolved to allow males to force females to mate with them.
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When I blogged Leslie Arwin's Skeletees in 2007, I had no idea that I'd still be wearing my Skeletee all the time, six years later. But it seems like I wear it at least once every couple weeks, despite my massive trove of shirts. She does a gorgeous muscle tee, too, and many other designs:
Medical illustrator Leslie Arwin's Skeletees feature highly detailed, stark anatomical drawings of the bones, muscles, nerves and digestive tract, printed on the front and back. I picked up a skeleton shirt today and I'm delighted with it -- it's a great, thick, high-quality tee with a nice cut and the design is wonderful.
$0.99 buys you "beautiful 360-degree high-resolution rotations of over 300 animal skulls." Here's a chameleon skull. Don't miss the two-headed cow skull. Skulls by Simon Winchester
You know what you missed? You missed the chance to buy this amazing set of vintage derpface choppers ("Authentic original used dental school teaching device."), which sold on eBay for $400.
Everything a dissection table should be, I suppose. I'm absolutely mesmerized by the utility of this tool, developed by Anatomage and Stanford University's Division of Clinical Anatomy. Particularly for its ability to give anatomy students unprecedented access to special cases. Instead of waiting for a body with just the right kind of brain malformation or liver damage to come in, you can just call up the desired images from the computer and use them whenever you want.
As for the creepy: Well, for some reason it's just a little more disturbing to see a perfectly healthy naked lady sprawled out on the anatomy table, as opposed to old, wrinkly naked people or people who have clearly recently been in poor health. (Also, potentially NSFW, natch.)
Canadian artist Howie Tsui redesigned a pinball machine to turn it into a crude simulation of a musket-ball rattling around a soldier's guts for a War of 1812-themed exhibition currently running at the Agnes Etherington Arts Centre at Queens University in Kingston. It's meant to demonstrate the way that repetition and concentration can inure you to the horrors of war:
The first part of his exhibition is a re-themed pinball machine, which now, having been Tsui-ed, is called Musketball! Tsui repainted the front glass panel and it now shows a British soldier reeling back as his guts explode from a musket shot (no rolling around inside for this one). The playing surface is painted with organs, tissue and bone, with the words “mangled viscera” at midfield. It would all be tame in a modern shooter video game, but it’s shockingly graphic on a vintage board.
I step up to the game and fire my first ball, which gets back in the gutter faster than I thought possible. I fire the second ball — which I note are gold, not silver, to which Tsui says, “I kind of blinged it up a little bit.” This ball stays in play just long enough to hit a few bumpers and set off sound effects of rifle shots and artillery blasts. I fire my remaining three balls, and my final score is slightly less than one-tenth of Tsui’s high score. “It’s your first time playing. I had to do a lot of testing,” Tsui says, showing he’s also talented in the art of diplomacy.
“After a while,” he says, “you sort of get hooked on the game, and the whole idea for me is that it distances the player from the idea of violence.”
Pinball, bones and animal skins: Howie Tsui’s wonderful horrors of the War of 1812 [Peter Simpson/Ottawa Citizen]
This 1919 French laxative ad promises that it will set lose a cadre of tiny sewage workers who will personally scour your colon of impacted poop.
Dr Shankar’s Brain Museum in Bangalore is shelf upon shelf of largely unlabelled brains in jars, along with various other bits of anatomical pickle (human and otherwise). Andy Deemer took a visit and provides some lovely snapshots.
I’m not sure that I’d call Dr Shankar’s Brain Museum a museum. There were no explanations, no details, no citations or learning. Just six hundred brains in an otherwise empty room.
On reflection, perhaps “Collection” would be a better word. A fantastic collection of diseased and healthy brains, sandwiched between a Brain Bank and the Hospital Canteen.
Two dozen purple slides showed something. Ten or so brains were marked by a shared label: Intracerebral Hemorrhage. Another row was marked Glioma. Arterial Stroke. Schwannoma. Schizophrenia.