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Posted: August 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm

SOILED 02 Skinscrapers

I’m a big fan of zines and have a secret wish to create a Street Anatomy zine someday.  In the meantime you can check out this recent release from SOILED, a zine showcasing the “interstices of architecture, urbanism, and the pedosphere.”  They publish twice a year on each solstice and their latest issue, Skinscrapers, focuses on the human body!

Skinscrapers probes how our bodies interact with the spaces around them and how the spaces we inhabit can become extensions of our bodies. By focusing on the surface of the skin as a natural mediator, Skinscrapers navigates a continuum of scale, starting inside the gut, proceeding to the contours of the body, and culminating in the anthropomorphic city.

Download a copy of Skinscrapers for free!


Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Kokdu Museum, Seoul, Korea

Posted: August 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm

A few days ago, I paid a visit to The Kokdu Museum, a small and charming museum here in Seoul devoted to the Korean tradition of kokdu, or painted wooden figures created to accompany the deceased on their treacherous journey through the afterlife. These figures would be placed--by the dozen, as it appears--on the ornate traditional funeral biers which carried the dead to their final resting place. From what I understand, all of the pieces on view in the museum were created in the late Joseon Dynasty, which dominated Korea from 1392 – 1897.

The kokdu figurines, as the museum text explains, are other-worldy creatures intended to assist the deceased in their transition through the afterlife. Some are guides, some protectors, some entertainers. They help to "soothe and calm our bewildered emotions while traveling the path of bereavement..." so long as the deceased "still remains in the area of between the 'already' and the 'yet.'"

Dragon and goblin heads are placed on the front and the back of the bier. The are intended to frighten evil spirits and signify the circularity of life and death.

The museum also had a wonderful miniature diorama depicting a funeral procession.

And a terrific (though small) temporary exhibition entitled "Afterlife, The Journey to the Other World." As the wall text explained:

The exhibition "Afterlife, The Journey to the Other World," was derived from traditional Korean belief, called Siwangsasang, which described that the deceased must go through ten after-death trials about his/her previous life.

Among those ten were seven commonly known trials, and people counted those days accordingly and had a memorial ritual on the 49th days of death.

Joseon dynasty was a strictly Confucianist era which greatly valued filial duites. Other religions such as Buddhism, Taoism and Shamanism were able to retain their power because Joseon people saw a great deal of filial duties in ancestral rites.

By studying Joseon dynasty (1392-1910)'s religious movement, we've learned that all these different religions and cultures melted in together and brought our culture a cultural synergy, which is known as the Medici Effect.

It is very interesting to learn how all these different religions and cultures combined and developed a new cultural nuance on the subject, the other world.

As mentioned earlier, this exhibition is based on these cultural influences regarding the other world and the afterlife. This exhibition was also greatly influenced by "With God," a web cartoon that depicts this other world as an interesting and realistic place.

With "With God" and KOKDU MUSEUM's old antiquities, this exhibition also introduced augmented reality technique and media art so that visitors can experience a mixture of art and science throughout the show.

This exhibit allowed visitors to travel through the afterlife, meeting each King of Hell and discovering both what traits he would judge you on and what were the possible punishments. Each stop on the journey was illustrated by traditional artworks depicting these Kings and their punishments as well as images from the "With God" web comic.

You can find out more about the The Kokdu Museum, by clicking here. Thanks very much to Professor Choi Tae Man of Kookmin University for recommending this museum to me!

For those interested in finding out more, I purchased a book from the museum--in English!--which will be available for viewing at The Morbid Anatomy Library when it reopens in early October.


Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Quay Brothers Mütter Museum Film Premiere in Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles This September!

Posted: August 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I have some exciting news! The details for the premiere of Through the Weeping Glass--the Quay Brothers' new documentary based on the collections of books, instruments, and medical anomalies at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Mütter Museum--have just been announced!

The film will launch with three epic premieres--one in Philadelphia at the Mütter Museum, one in New York at MoMA, and one in Los Angeles hosted by The Museum of Jurassic Technology. Each city's event will feature a moderated talk with the Quays, while the Mütter Philadelphia opening will also--excitingly!--be accompanied by an exhibition at the museum on the making of the film guest curated by MoMA's Barbara London.

Full details from the press release follow; tickets are, I am warned, selling fast, so act quickly if you want to attend! Hope to see you there.

Through the Weeping Glass: On the Consolations of Life Everlasting (Limbos & Afterbreezes in the Mütter Museum)

New Quay Brothers short film to premiere September 2011 in Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angeles

“To call the Quays’ work the most original and rapturously vivid image-making on the planet might sound like hyperbole until you see the films. . . .” —Michael Atkinson, Village Voice

Through the Weeping Glass: On the Consolations of Life Everlasting (Limbos & Afterbreezes in the Mütter Museum) is a documentary on the collections of books, instruments, and medical anomalies at The College of Physicians of Philadelphia and the Mütter Museum. This short film (running time: 31 minutes) is the first made by the internationally recognized Quay Brothers in the United States.

As Malcolm Jones (Newsweek) has commented, “the Mütter Museum teaches you indelibly how strange life can be, how unpredictable and various [and] will revise and enlarge your idea of what it is to be human.” The coupling of the Quay Brothers’ vision with the collections of the College’s Historical Medical Library and Museum has produced a riveting experience of contemplative set pieces exploring the College and Mütter Museum. Adding to the film’s visual strength is a powerful musical score by composer Timothy Nelson and a resonant voice-over by Derek Jacobi.

The film premieres in three locations in September 2011, with a moderated conversation with the artists:

  • September 22, The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, 6:30 PM (more here)
  • September 24, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. 8:00 PM (more here)
  • September 27, Cary Grant Theater, SONY Pictures Studios, hosted by The Museum of Jurassic Technology, Los Angeles, 8:00 PM (more here)

An exhibition guest curated by Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, The Museum of Modern Art, on the making of the film opens in September 2011 in the Mütter Museum of The College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

Subsequent to the premiere screenings, the film will be available for purchase on DVD with an accompanying booklet.


Two of the world’s most original filmmakers, the Quay Brothers are identical twins who were born outside Philadelphia in 1947. The Quays studied illustration in Philadelphia before going on to the Royal College of Art in London, where they began making animated shorts in the 1970s. They have lived in London ever since.

They are best known for their classic 1986 film Street of Crocodiles, which filmmaker Terry Gilliam selected as one of the ten best animated films of all time. In 1994 they made their first foray into live-action feature-length filmmaking with Institute Benjamenta. The Quays’ work also includes set design for theatre and opera, including their 1998 Tony-nominated set designs for Ionesco’s The Chairs on Broadway. The Quays have also directed pop promos for His Name Is Alive, Michael Penn, Sparklehorse, 16 Horsepower, and Peter Gabriel (contributing to his celebrated “Sledgehammer” video), and have also directed ground-breaking commercials for, Honeywell Computers, ICI Wood, K. P. Skips, Nikon, BBC, Coca-Cola, Northern Rock, Dorritos, Roundup, Kellogs, Badoit water, Galaxy, MTV, Nikon, Murphy’s beer and Slurpee, amongst others.

In 2000 they made In Absentia, an award-winning collaboration with Karlheinz Stockhausen, as well as two dance films, Duet and The Sandman. In 2002 they contributed an animated dream sequence to Julie Taymor’s film Frida. The following year the Quays made four short films in collaboration with composer Steve Martland for a live event at the Tate Modern in London and in 2005 premiered their second feature film, The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes, at the Locarno Film Festival.

In addition to Through the Weeping Glass, the Quay Brothers’ other commissioned films over the past twenty years include Anamorphosis (1991), The Phantom Museum (2003), and Inventorium of Traces (2009).


The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the oldest professional medical organization in the country, was founded in 1787 when twenty-four physicians gathered “to advance the science of medicine and to thereby lessen human misery.” Today more than 1,400 Fellows (elected members) continue to convene at the College and work towards better serving the public.

Throughout its two-hundred-year history, the College has provided a place for both medical professionals and the general public to learn about medicine as both a science and as an art. The College is home to the Historical Medical Library and the Mütter Museum, America’s finest museum of medical history, which displays its beautifully preserved collections of anatomical specimens, models, and medical instruments in a nineteenth-century setting. The museum helps the public understand the mysteries and beauty of the human body and to appreciate the history of diagnosis and treatment of disease.

With an attendance exceeding 105,000 today, the Museum has become internationally well known, has been featured in a documentary on the Discovery Channel, and is the subject of two best-selling books.

This project has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative.

You can find out more about the opening in Philadelphia by clicking here, New York by clicking here, and Los Angeles by clicking here. You can find out more about the film itself and the accompanying exhibition guest curated by MOMA's Barbara London by by clicking here.

All images above are frame grabs from the film.


Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Hospitals make dramatic improvements in heart attack care

Posted: August 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Major heart attack patients are getting faster treatment at hospitals, according to a new study Dr. John Brushpublished this week by the American Heart Association. That’s thanks in part to John E. Brush Jr., MD, cardiologist and EVMS assistant professor of clinical internal medicine. Brush played a leading role in designing the American College of Cardiology campaign that encourages hospitals to adopt key strategies that help speed care for major heart attack patients. The ACC campaign was one of several sited as contributing to the improvement in heart attack patient care.


The study reports that hospitals across the country are treating nearly all patients in need of angioplasty within the recommended 90 minutes of hospital arrival. Five years ago less than half of patients were treated so quickly. Read more about the study and dramatic improvement in heart attack care.


Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Simultaneous utilization of glucose and xylose for lipid production by Trichosporon cutaneum

Posted: August 28, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Biochemical conversion of lignocellulose hydrolysates remains challenging largely because most microbial processes have significantly reduced efficiency in the presence of both hexoses and pentoses. Thus, identification of microorganisms capable of efficient and simultaneous utilization of both glucose and xylose is pivotal.
In this work, we showed that the oleaginous yeast Trichosporon cutaneum AS 2.571 assimilated glucose and xylose simultaneously, and accumulated intracellular lipid up to 59 wt% with a lipid coefficient up to 0.17 g/g sugar, upon cultivation on a 2:1 glucose/xylose mixture in a 3-liter stirred tank bioreactor. In addition, no classical diauxic growth behavior was observed as microbial cell mass was increasing during the whole culture process without any lag periods. During shake flask cultures with different initial glucose/xylose ratios, glucose and xylose were consumed simultaneously at rates roughly proportional to their individual concentrations in the medium, leading to complete utilization of both sugars at the same time. Simultaneous utilization of glucose and xylose was also observed during corn stover hydrolysate fermentation with lipid content and coefficient of 39.2% and 0.15 g/g sugar, respectively. Lipid produced herein had fatty acid compositional profile similar to those of conventional vegetable oil, indicating that it could be explored as raw material for biodiesel production.
Efficient lipid production with simultaneous consumption of glucose and xylose was achieved in this study. It provides an exciting opportunity to transform lignocellulosic materials into biofuel molecules and should also provoke further study to elucidate this unique sugar assimilation mechanism.Source:

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Reverse Heart Disease without Meds

Posted: August 28, 2011 at 3:52 pm

Each day the media presents horrific news of death and destruction caused by war, terrorism, and other violence. It virtually ignores a silent but much more deadly enemy . . . heart disease.

More than 1.5 million people will have a heart attack this year, with 1 million deaths resulting from heart attacks (or a death every 30 seconds). When it comes to combating heart disease, most information sources promote drugs and surgery as the only viable defenses. We need to keep in mind that angioplasty and bypass surgery have some significant adverse outcomes, including heart attacks, stroke and death. Most people treated with such interventions continue to suffer from, and eventually die from, heart disease. The average person is not aware that there are safer, more effective options available. Read more...

Cardiofy Heart Care Supplement


Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

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