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Industrial Strength Lungs

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

Anatomical lung necklace by missyindustry at Etsy

Anatomical lung necklace by missyindustry at Etsy

Handmade from sterling silver.
1.5 inches long.
Curb chain is 20 inches long.
Oxidized finish

Industrial style lungs by missyindustry over at Etsy for $62.  Found this after a friend asked me to find a lung-themed gift for her boyfriend who recently quit smoking. Great idea!

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

The Taxidermy of Mr. Walter Potter and his Museum of Curiosities, Melissa Milgrom

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

Melissa Milgrom--author of Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy and panelist at the recent Congress for Curious People--has just published a nice article about that undisputed king of Victorian anthropomorhic taxidermy, animal artist and museologoist Walter Potter; following is a brief excerpt:

Athletic toads? Rats gambling in a dollhouse of decadence? How about bespectacled gentlemen lobsters?

No, this isn’t Wes Anderson’s sequel to Fantastic Mr. Fox, but the work of English Victorian taxidermist Mr. Walter Potter. Potter was famous for his over-the-top anthropomorphic scenes—kittens at the tea table; guinea pigs playing cricket—which were displayed in his Museum of Curiosities from 1861 until 2003 when his wondrous collection was sold in a contentious auction, which I attended in Cornwall.

One of England’s oldest private museums, Potter’s belonged to the era of the amateur nature lover when museums were spirited jumbles, not the sober typologies they would become post-Darwin. Potter’s verged on the freakish: random, cluttered, crammed to the rafters with curios and oddities, weird accumulations and creatures that were stuffed, pickled, dissected, and deformed. And I was lucky, though it filled me with sadness, to wander through Potter’s crooked corridors on its very last day...

Had Potter attended the Great Expo (very likely) he would have seen among the taxidermy displays a comic depiction of Goethe’s fable Reinecke the Fox reenacted with semi-human foxes. Sounds childlike—and it was in the best, most passionate way—but in the days before irony anthropomorphism was a form of endearment (imagine Beatrix Potter, no relation). More so, the facial expressions were expertly manipulated, raising the taxidermic bar and inspiring followers.

Known as the Grotesque School, “mirth-provoking” characters were the equivalent of a blockbuster movie. Queen Victoria herself stopped to linger and laugh at a frog shaving another frog. And taxidermists began transforming all sorts of animals into tiny humans: crows playing violin, frogs doing the cancan, squirrels as Romeo. None were as ambitious as Mr. Walker Potter...

You can read the full article on the Wonders and Marvels blog by clicking here. You can find out more about Milgrom's Still Life--which contains a nice discussion of Potter and his work--by clicking here. If the life and work of Walter Potter is of interest, I also highly highly recommend that you check out the wonderful, lavishly-illustrated Walter Potter and his Museum of Curious Taxidermy, written by Congress for Curious People lecturer Pat Morris; you can do so by clicking here or by visiting Observatory (more on that here).

All images are of Walter Potter's work and are drawn from the wonderful Ravishing Beasts blog; you can see them in context by clicking here.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

"An Atlas of Topographical Anatomy after Plane Sections of Frozen Bodies," Christian Wilhelm Braune, 1877

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

Christian Wilhelm Braune (July 17, 1831 Leipzig – April 29, 1892) was a German anatomist and professor of topographical anatomy at the University of Leipzig. He is known for his excellent lithographs regarding cross-sections of the human body, and his pioneer work in biomechanics. Braune was son-in-law to German physician Ernst Heinrich Weber (1795–1878).

Braune was inspired by the photographic work of French scientist Étienne-Jules Marey (1830–1904) regarding anatomical movement. Marey believed that movement was the most important of all human functions, which he described graphically for biological research in Du Mouvement Dans Les Functiorls Da La Vie (1892) and Le Mouvement (1894). This led the way for Braune's experimental, anatomical studies of the human gait, being published in the book Der Gang des Menschen. This study of the biomechanics of gait covered two transits of free walking and one transit of walking with a load. The methodology of gait analysis used by Braune is essentially the same used today.

Braune and his student, Otto Fischer (1861–1917) did research involving the position of the center of gravity in the human body and its various segments. By first determining the planes of the centers of gravity of the longitudinal, sagittal and frontal axes of a frozen human cadaver in a given position, and then dissecting the cadaver with a saw, they were able to establish the center of gravity of the body and its component parts. Braune and Fischer also did extensive work regarding the fundamentals of resistive forces that the muscles need to overcome during movement.

In unrelated investigative work, Braune had a decisive role in the publication of the musical pieces composed by Frederick the Great of Prussia.

Text via Wikipedia; image via Ars Anatomica.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

"The Saddest Object in the World," An Illustrated Meditation, Observatory, Friday, May 7th

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

This Friday, Observatory and Morbid Anatomy will host Morbid Anatomy Library Scholar in residence and Obscura co-proprietor Evan Michelson as she leads us on an illustrated meditation on what she has termed "The Saddest Object in the World." This event is a reprise of Michelson’s popular Congress for Curious People presentation which took place at the Coney Island Museum earlier this month; if you missed Michelson's beloved presentation the first time around, I cannot encourage you enough to come out tonight and find out all about The Saddest Object in the World.

Full details follow; hope to see you there!

The Saddest Object in the World
An Illustrated Meditation by Evan Michelson, Obscura Antiques and Oddities, Morbid Anatomy Library Scholar in residence
Date: Friday, May 7th
Time: 8:00 PM
Admission: $5
Location: Observatory

“The Saddest Object in the World” is a meditation on one particular artifact; an exercise in Proustian involuntary memory, aesthetic critique, and philosophical bargaining.

Sometimes objects have consequences.

Evan Michelson is an antiques dealer, lecturer, accumulator and aesthete; she tirelessly indulges a lifelong pursuit of all things obscure and melancholy. She currently lives in another place and time.

You can find out more about this presentation here. You can get directions to Observatory--which is next door to the Morbid Anatomy Library (more on that here)--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.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

International Stem Cell Corporation Signs Financing Agreement

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:15 am

OCEANSIDE, CA –May 5, 2010 – International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO.OB),, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement dated May 4, 2010 (‘the Agreement”) with Socius CG II, Ltd. (“Socius”), pursuant to which Socius has committed to purchase a single tranche of up to $10 million in non-convertible Series F Preferred Stock (the "Preferred Stock") from ISCO. The Company issued a warrant to purchase $13,500,000 worth of the Company’s Common Stock, the exercise price of the warrant being determined by the closing bid price for the Company’s Common Stock on the trading day immediately preceding the date the Company initiates the sale of the Series F Preferred.

The Company anticipates that the Closing of the Preferred Stock sale will take place 20 business days after the issuance of the Warrants. Proceeds from these sales will be used to provide general working capital and to fund additional development of the Company's proprietary Parthenogenetic Stem Cell Lines, development of commercial research products, and other research and development programs and related business activities.

Additional details on the transaction are contained in the Company's Form 8-K filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A prospectus relating to this offering is available from:
Investor Relations
International Stem Cell Corporation
2595 Jason Court
Oceanside, CA 92056

International Stem Cell Corporation is a California-based biotechnology company focused on therapeutic and research products. ISCO’s core technology, parthenogenesis, results in creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells with minimal immune rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing sexes, ages and racial groups. This offers the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell™, while avoiding the ethical issue of using fertilized eggs. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology.

Statements pertaining to anticipated future events, including the anticipated closing of the sale of Preferred Stock, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as “will,” “believes,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “estimates,”) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in satisfying the conditions to closing. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the company's business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Key Words: Stem Cells, Biotechnology, Parthenogenesis

International Stem Cell Corporation
Kenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman
[email protected]
Brian Lundstrom, President
[email protected]

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Take It Outside!

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:15 am

Just Five Minutes of Exercise Outdoors Boosts Mental Health, Researchers Say

In a bad mood? Improve it by going outside!

Here in New York and all around the country, summer is in the air.  It may say “May” on the calendar, but the weather sure doesn’t know that, as this week’s temperatures in New York City are headed for the 70s and 80s!

I hope it’s as nice where you are as it is here.  And if it is, instead of going to the gym after work to exercise today, head outside…even if it’s for just five minutes.  Because according to a new study on the mental health effects of exercising outside, the great outdoors can heighten your mood and your self-esteem.

Researchers from the University of Essex discovered this after reviewing the health habits of over 1,200 people from 12 separate studies.  Among the information collected from these men and women of all ages was their state of mental health (i.e. were they diagnosed with any kind of mental health disorder and cognitive dysfunction) and the kind of activities they did outside, such as walking, bicycling, gardening or horseback riding.

All of the individuals who exercised regularly showed improvements in their mental health, but those who saw the most significant improvement were those who performed what the researchers call “green exercises.”  Green exercises are any of the aforementioned exercises performed outside.  Other green exercises include farming, walking, gardening, fishing or boating.

“We believe that there would be a large potential benefit to individuals, society, and to the costs of the health service if all groups of people were to self-medicate more with green exercise,” said Jo Barton in a statement.  Barton co-authored the study with her colleague, Jules Pretty.

Their complete findings can be found in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Oh, and if you’re someone who loves the ocean, then you’re going to love this:  the biggest mental health effects were found among those who live near the water, like the ocean, a river or lake.

So, it seems, the closer you are to blue, the less likely you are to get “blue.”

As with many studies, this probably confirms the obvious.  But this research is illuminating nonetheless because up to now, no one really knew just how long it took to be outside to reap the mental health benefits.  And according to the researchers, it takes as little as five minutes.

So you know what that means?  No more excuses.  No more saying, “I can’t go outside for a walk because I don’t have any time on my lunch break.” Everybody has at least five minutes they can spend outdoors to walk.

Now, ideally, you’ll be exercising for longer than five minutes, but as I always say, some exercise is better than no exercise.  And that’s every bit as true for the mind as it is for the body.


Discuss this post in Frank Mangano’s forum!

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

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