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"The Silken Web: The Erotic World of Paris, 1920-1946," Mel Gordon Lecture at Observatory, Tomorrow April 20th

Posted: April 20, 2010 at 8:14 am


Tomorrow night! At Observatory!

The Silken Web: The Erotic World of Paris, 1920-1946
An illustrated lecture by Professor Mel Gordon, author of Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Wiemar Berlin

Date: Tuesday, April 20

Time: 8:00 PM

Admission: $5

Presented by Morbid Anatomy

In tonight’s illustrated lecture, Professor Mel Gordon–author of Voluptious Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin and Grand Guiginol: Theatre of Fear and Terror–will present a graphic look at the brothel worlds of interwar Paris. Each of the 221 registered maisons closes–French for “closed house”–had its own unique attractions for its specialized clientele: theatricalized sex, live music, pornographic entertainments, aphrodisiac restaurants, even American-style playrooms and wife-friendly lounges for the customers’ families and bored mistresses. Tonight, have some wine and partake in authentic French culture and their Greatest Generation, complements of Mel Gordon and Observatory.

Mel Gordon is the author of Voluptious Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin, Grand Guiginol: Theatre of Fear and Terror, and many other books. Voluptuous Panic was the first in-depth and illustrated book on the topic of erotic Weimar; The lavish tome was praised by academics and inspired the establishment of eight neo-Weimar nightclubs as well as the Dresden Dolls and a Marilyn Manson album. Now, Mel Gordon is completing a companion volume for Feral House Press, entitled The Silken Web: The Erotic World of Paris, 1920-1946. He also teaches directing, acting, and history of theater at University of California at Berkeley.

You can find out more about this presentation here. You can get directions to Observatory–which is next door to the Morbid Anatomy Library–by clicking here. You can find out more about Observatory here, join our mailing list by clicking here, and join us on Facebook by clicking here. To find out more about Gordon’s books, click here and here.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

"Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads" Book and Lecture by Stephen Asma, Thursday April 22, Observatory

Posted: April 20, 2010 at 8:14 am


People often ask me how I first became interested in the topics that would lead me to launch the Morbid Anatomy blog and related projects, such as The Secret Museum and Anatomical Theatre exhibitions. When I am asked this question, I usually rattle off a few of my major serendipitous inspirations: my first trip to Europe and the death-symbolism-packed churches and osteo-architecture I was surprised to find there; The gift of a Mütter Museum Calendar for my birthday one year from a well-meaning friend; And, last but never least, the discovery of Stephen Asma’s wonderful, incredible, perfect book Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: the Culture and History of Natural History Museums.

Asma’s book has had such a profound impact on my work that it is difficult to exaggerate its importance. The book is a conversationally toned yet extremely scholarly “natural history of natural history museums,” covering, with wit and intelligence, the history of specimens preparation and the artists and pioneers of the medium, the evolution of the museum from Cabinet to comparative anatomy collection to today’s science museum, the history and follies of taxonomy, and what the drive to order the world reveals about human nature. Over the course of the book, Asma introduces us to a number of incredible museums I have now–inspired largely by this book!–visited and photographed many times, such as London’s Hunterian Museum and Paris’ Hall of Comparative Anatomy, and all this in an accessible, enthralling, humorous, and fascinating way.

This is why I am so extremely delighted that Stephen Asma will be visiting Observatory this Thursday, April 22, to deliver his much-anticipated lecture “Museums, Monsters and the Moral Imagination.” This heavily-illustrated lecture will draw on the scholarship of both Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads and new book, On Monsters, to examine how science museums and monsters both illustrate the essential yet problematic human “urge to classify, set boundaries, and draw lines between the natural and the unnatural the human” and to “try to excavate some of the moral uses and abuses of this impulse.”

Both of Dr. Asma’s books will be available for sale and signing at the event. Full details follow; hope very much to see you there!

Museums, Monsters and the Moral Imagination
An Illustrated lecture with Professor Stephen Asma, author of Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: the Culture and History of Natural History Museums and On Monsters.
Date: Thursday, April 22
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5
Presented by Morbid Anatomy

In this illustrated lecture, professor Stephen Asma–author of the the definitive study of the natural history museum Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: the Culture and History of Natural History Museums–will draw upon his studies of science museums and monsters to reflect on their often hidden moral aspects. Museums are saying more about values than many people notice, and the same can be said about our cultural fascinations with monsters. The urge to classify, set boundaries, and draw lines between the natural and the unnatural are age-old impulses. In this lecture, Dr. Asma will try to excavate some of the moral uses and abuses of this impulse.

Stephen T. Asma is the author of Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads: the Culture and History of Natural History Museums (Oxford) and more recently On Monsters: an Unnatural History of Our Worst Fears (Oxford). He is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia College Chicago and Fellow of the LAS Research Group in Mind, Science and Culture at Columbia. You can find out more about him at his website, http://www.stephenasma.com.

You can find out more about this presentation here. You can get directions to Observatory–which is next door to the Morbid Anatomy Library–by clicking here. You can find out more about Observatory here, join our mailing list by clicking here, and join us on Facebook by clicking here. To find out more about Asma’s fantastic books, click here and here.

Image: From The Secret Museum; Pathological Cabinet, the Museum of the Faculty of Medicine at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow. © Joanna Ebenstein

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

An Appetite for Alzheimer’s Avoidance

Posted: April 19, 2010 at 8:16 am

Researchers Say Diet Influences Alzheimer’s Risk

Columbia researchers say you can cut your risk for Alzheimer's disease through proper nutrition.

One fact that I’ve hammered over my readers’ heads over the years is the prevalence of heart disease.  It remains the number one cause of death for Americans, but believe it or not, between the years 2000 and 2006, there’s been an 11 percent drop in heart disease related deaths.  Other conditions where there’s been a decline in deaths include stroke (18 percent fewer), prostate cancer (8 percent fewer) and HIV (16 percent fewer).

That’s good news, but as is typical when good news is reported, here comes the bad news: There’s been a dramatic rise in Alzheimer’s related deaths.  In fact, comparing 2006 to 2000, there’s been a near 50 percent rise in Alzheimer’s related deaths, making it the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S.  Approximately 26 million people have Alzheimer’s in the world, 5.3 million of whom live stateside.

While advances are being made every day in doctors’ knowledge about this mysterious brain disease, there’s no cure for it.  Medicines are available to slow its progression, but nothing can stop its advancement.  In short, once you have it, you can’t get rid of it.

Thus, prevention remains your best defense.  And it’s becoming clearer and clearer that it all starts with your diet.  Researchers from Columbia University confirm this.

Researchers discovered this recently after analyzing the dieting habits of approximately 2,150 adults over the age of 65 for four years.  Through food frequency questionnaires and annual checkups (i.e., every 18 months), they wanted to see if there was any correlation between what people were eating and whether or not they were eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

According to their results, people who tended to eat a diet similar to the Mediterranean diet – one that’s rich in vegetable oils like olive oil, fresh fruits and vegetables like berries and broccoli, as well as nuts like almonds and walnuts—were 40 percent less likely to have developed Alzheimer’s disease.  Other brain boosting foods include seafood sources high in omega-3s like snapper and salmon.

The people more likely to have developed Alzheimer’s were those who ate diets high in saturated fat from food sources like butter, organ meat and red meat.

The full findings appear in the pages of the Archives of Neurology.

Yet more evidence that our diet plays a HUGE role in how healthy our mind will be.  No, a healthy diet doesn’t guarantee you’ll be from Alzheimer’s disease, but if you’ve had relatives with Alzheimer’s, you’d be foolish not to take every precaution available.  Not much is known about Alzheimer’s but what is known is that’s its hereditary.

Sources:
alz.org
newsmaxhealth.com

Discuss this post in Frank Mangano’s forum!

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Let Them Eat Wheat

Posted: April 19, 2010 at 8:16 am

Another Reason to Opt for Wheat Over White

Italian researchers find that women who eat white bread have two times the risk of heart disease than women who eat wheat.

When we were young and our folks asked us what bread we wanted our peanut butter and jelly on—white or wheat—our answer depended upon our mood at the time.  Did we want the white, which had a more bland taste but soaked up the jelly and peanut buttery goodness, or did we want the wheat, which had a more distinctive taste but didn’t marry with the PB and J quite as well as the white did?

Now that we’re older—and with any luck more health conscious than taste conscious—we hopefully choose wheat over white because it has the complex carbohydrates and fiber that white bread is void of, both of which are great for maintaining healthy weight levels and regularity.

But there’s another why white should always play second fiddle to wheat:  It may double your risk for heart disease.

In a new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, Italian scientists found that women who tended to eat high glycemic foods like white bread, pastries and ice cream had more than two times the risk of having heart disease later in life compared to women who ate foods low on the glycemic index.

Writing in the journal, Italian scientist Sabina Sieri and her colleagues said, “A high consumption of carbohydrates from high glycemic index foods, rather than the overall quantity of carbohydrates consumed, appears to influence the risk of developing coronary heart disease.”

The study of 32,500+ women also looked into the diets of over 15,100 men to see if their consumption of high glycemic foods affected their heart health.  But interestingly, no such linkage could be made between the kinds of carbohydrates men ate.  Researchers attribute the differentiation to the fact that men and women metabolize foods differently.

So, does this give men the green light to eat white bread and corn flakes whenever they want?  Alternatively, does this mean women should avoid white bread like the plague?

To both, the answer is no.  There’s nothing wrong with an occasional sandwich with white bread, so long as your bread options are more often than not 100 percent whole wheat.

And men, while your choice of bread may not influence your heart disease risk, a 10-year study conducted by Harvard researchers in 1994 found that men who ate high fiber breads like wheat had fewer heart attacks and fewer strokes than men who opted for white.

So when you’re out perusing the bread aisle and deciding what bread’s best, keep the white out of sight and make wheat your new favorite treat.

But buyer beware:  Don’t assume that brown in color means it’s wheat.  Many breads are made with refined flour; they’re just dyed brown with caramel color to make it look like they’re wheat. Read the ingredients label.  If the first listing doesn’t say “100 percent whole wheat,” put the brown down.

Sources:
vegetariantimes.com
msnbc.msn.com

Discuss this post in Frank Mangano’s forum!

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Longevity Meme Newsletter, April 19 2010

Posted: April 19, 2010 at 8:16 am

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

CSC news links 2010-04-18

Posted: April 19, 2010 at 8:15 am

For links to recent news items, visit these [Twitter] or [FriendFeed] pages. Examples of a few news items that have received attention:

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko


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