I love my Nexus One, and I love my brand-new Core i7 desktop even more. Both devices give me hours of entertainment, not to mention how useful they are in my day job. Despite the affection I have for both machines, I doubt I will own either in three years. Gadgets, even the best gadgets, only stay with us for a short time.
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Your body, on the other hand, is with you from cradle to grave (at least until we figure out how to download consciousness onto a computer). It is capable of incredible feats of endurance, durable enough to survive in almost any environment, and even 'mod-able' with regular exercise and sports practice.
Going out and running or lifting weights isn't nearly as fun as sitting down to play some Mass Effect 2 or log a few hours in the Starcraft 2 beta. It's easy to ignore your body when literally every gadget and game out there seems more interesting than the boring old bags of flesh we've been lugging around all our lives.
That's why I have to recommend the Bodies exhibition to every tech geek out there. As we move into our digital future, it is more important than ever to remain mindful of the incredible work of art that is the human body.
I went to see Bodies here in Dallas last Friday. 'Blown away' does not begin to describe my reaction.
In case you haven't heard, Bodies is an art/science exhibition that consists of human corpses, preserved via a process called plastination and displayed in a variety of poses and situations in order to show how various muscles, organs, and bones look in different states of action.
My favorite body showed a volleyball player in mid-dive. His back was opened and the tissue peeled back to show the spine, and every connecting muscle and ligament. Another body featured a football player in mid-charge, which showed off the 'naked' legs and feet in action.
Two days after the show, I went on a long run. For the first time, I was able to visualize the way my muscles, bones, and ligaments moved while I ran. I spent a lot of time in college studying human anatomy, but nothing has given me a clearer picture of how we actually work than Bodies.
I was pleasantly surprised by the staff, as well. All of the staff members running the event seemed to be current or former medical workers. They had an in-depth, working knowledge of what everything was and how it all fit together. They were courteous and filled with interesting facts about the exhibition and plastination process.
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While I enjoyed the exhibition, Bodies is definitely not all fun. These are real human remains on display, and it's impossible to see the show without feeling a little sobered by that fact. If you want to gain a new perspective on both your body, and your mortality, Bodies is the show to see.
To learn more about Bodies, or to see when the show is coming to your town, you can visit their website.