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Anatomic Fashion Friday: Lady Grey Jewelry

Posted: April 17, 2010 at 8:15 am

Lady Grey Jewelry

Lady Grey Jewelry

Lady Grey Jewelry

I came across Lady Grey Jewelry by accident and was super excited to explore their mortality and anatomy collections.  The overall look is inspired by objects of decay that would normally seem dark and disturbing to some, but then turns it into wearable and modern jewelry.  The team is made up of Jill Martinelli and Sabine Le Guyader who work out of their studio in Brooklyn, NY.  They feel they are exposing the “beauty of the discarded by glorifying it” and show that jewelry does not have to be polished to be beautiful.  Very nice stuff!

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

"The Congress for Curious People," Epic 2-Day Symposium Begins Tomorrow!!!

Posted: April 17, 2010 at 8:15 am

Click on image or here to download full-sized broadside as seen above. Prints up to 11 X 17.

Morbid Anatomy and Observatory are pleased to present, in conjunction with the Coney Island Museum, "The Congress for Curious People!"

Tomorrow, Saturday April 17th, our 2-day open-to-the public conference will begin at 11:00 AM at the Coney Island Museum. The conference will examine, in a series of thematic panel sessions, curiosity and curiosities broadly considered. Participants will include artist/collector Joe Coleman, the Freakatorium's Johnny Fox, author of Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy Melissa Milgrom, curator of the incomparable Dream Anatomy Mike Sappol, author of Weird and Wonderful: The Dime Museum in America Andrea Stulman Dennett and Obscura Antiques and Oddities' Evan Michelson and Mike Zohn. See below for full details and schedule.

Also on view will be the "Collectors Cabinet"on view for the entirety of the event, showcasing astounding objects held in private collections, and, at partner space Observatory, "The Secret Museum," an exhibition exploring the poetics of hidden, untouched and curious collections from around the world in photographs and artifacts.

Full details follow: Hope very, very much to see you there!!!


Date: Saturday April 17th and Sunday April 18th
Location: Coney Island Museum, 1208 Surf Ave. Brooklyn ADMISSION: $25 for full weekend admission
Presented by Morbid Anatomy and Observatory with Coney Island USA
The Congress for Curious People is a 2-day symposium exploring education and spectacle, collectors of curiosities, historical fairground displays and more, in conjunction with The Coney Island Museum. The symposium will feature panels of humanities scholars discussing with the audience the intricacies of collecting, the history of ethnographic display, the interface of spectacle and education, and the politics of bodily display in the amusement parks, museums, and fairs of the Western world. Also on view in the museum will be "The Collector's Cabinet," an installation of astounding artifacts held in private collections. In conjunction with the events at the Coney Island Museum, Observatory's Gallery space will host "The Secret Museum," an exhibition exploring the poetics of hidden, untouched and curious collections from around the world.

The Congress for Curious People will serve as an academic counterpoint to Coney Island's Congress of Curious Peoples, which Coney Island USA has convened since 2007 at Sideshows by the Seashore. In the past, the Congress has included performances by artists like Joe Coleman and Harley Newman, feats of strength, and world-record breaking attempts, among others. You can find out more about the Congress of Curious Peoples at

Saturday, April 17th 11 AM-12:30 PM – Education and Spectacle in 19th and 20th Century Amusements, Lectures and Panel Discussion
Eva Åhrén, author of Death, Modernity, and the Body : Sweden 1870-1940
Andrea Stulman Dennett, author of Weird and Wonderful: The Dime Museum in America
Amy Herzog, author of Dreams of Difference, Songs of the Same: The Musical Moment in Film
Kathy Maher, Executive Director of the Barnum Museum
Moderated by Betsy Bradley, New York Public Library

LUNCH 2-3:30 PM– Cabinets of Curiosity: Collecting Curiosities in the 21st Century, Lectures and Panel Discussion
Joe Coleman, collector and artistLink
Johnny Fox, collector, performer, founder of The Freakatorium
Evan Michelson, Antique and Oddity Dealer, Obscura Antiques and Oddities and Morbid Anatomy Library scholar in residence
Melissa Milgrom, author of Still Life: Adventures in Taxidermy
Mike Zohn, Antique and Oddity Dealer, Obscura Antiques and Oddities
Moderated by Aaron Beebe, Director of the Coney Island Museum

4-5:30 PM – Freaks and Monsters: The Politics of Bodily Display, Lectures and Panel Discussion
Mike Chemers, author of Staging Stigma: A Critical History of the American Freak Show
Nadja Durbach, author of Spectacle of Deformity: Freak Shows and Modern British Culture
Michael Sappol, Historian of the National Library of Medicine and author of A Traffic of Dead Bodies: Anatomy and Embodied Social Identity in Nineteenth-Century America
Moderated by Jennifer Miller, Bearded Lady and founder of Circus Amok

6-8 PM Drinks and light fare

Sunday, April 18th 12-2 PM – A History of Cultural Display in World’s Fairs and Sideshows, Lectures and Panel Discussion
Lucian Gomoll, University of California at Santa Cruz
Alison Griffiths, author of Wondrous Difference: Cinema, Anthropology, and Turn of the Century Visual Culture
Barbara Mathé, Archivist, American Museum of Natural History
Moderated by Aaron Glass, author of The Totem Pole: An Intercultural Biography and In Search of the Hamat’sa: A Tale of Headhunting

2 PM – Closing remarks


The Secret Museum
An exhibition exploring the poetics of hidden, untouched and curious collections from around the world in photographs and artifacts, by Joanna Ebenstein, co-founder of Observatory and creator of Morbid Anatomy.
Location: Observatory
Opening Party: Saturday, April 10, 7-10; on view On view from April 10th-May 16th, 3-6 Thursday and Friday, 12-6 Saturday and Sunday
Admission: Free

The Collectors Cabinet
An exhibition which will showcase astounding objects held in private collections, including artifacts featured in Joanna Ebenstein's Private Cabinet photo series of 2009. Featured cabinetists include Curious Expeditions and Observatory's Michelle Enemark and Dylan Thuras, Obscura Antiques and Oddities, and Morbid Anatomy and Observatory's Joanna Ebenstein.
LOCATION: * Coney Island Museum, Brooklyn

Image: "Femme à Barbe, Musée Orfila.Courtesy of Paris Descartes University.

To find out more about this event and the larger Congress of Curious Peoples, and to get directions, click here. For more about the Congress for Curious People, click here. Click on image or click here to download a hi-res copy of the above broadside.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Charles Wilson Peale and the Birth of the American Museum, Coney Island Museum, Tonight!!!

Posted: April 17, 2010 at 8:15 am

Tonight at Coney! The final lecture in the Congress for Curious People series; tomorrow the symposium--as detailed in this recent post--begins! Hope to see you there!

Charles Wilson Peale and the Birth of the American Museum
An Illustrated Presentation by Samuel Strong Dunlap, PhD, Descendant of Charles Wilson Peale
Date: Friday, April 16th
Time: 7:00 PM
LOCATION: The Coney Island Museum
Long time historian and editor of the Peale Family Papers Dr. Lillian B. Miller (now deceased) described Charles Willson Peale as a true renaissance man. Peale is perhaps best remembered today as the founder of America’s first cabinet-of-curiosity like museum–the Philadelphia Museum (later the Peale Museum)–which housed a diverse collection of botanical, biological, and archaeological specimens and can be viewed in the image above. Famously, Peale’s museum also pioneered the habitat group–or natural history diorama–an art form memorably perfected by such museums as the American Museum of Natural History and Chicago’s Field Museum in the early 20th Century.

In this illustrated lecture, we will learn about Peale the museologist, and examine how his museological work continuously overlap with his inventive, artistic, scientific, literary and exploratory interests. Peale was a friend or acquaintance with most of the military, scientific, diplomatic and foreign individuals who played significant roles in our revolutionary war and the early growth of our democracy.

To find out more about this event and the larger Congress of Curious Peoples--including nightly performances and the epic opening night party--click here. For more about the Congress for Curious People, click here. Click on image or click here to download a hi-res copy of the above broadside. For information about the Coney Island Museum--including address and directions--click here.

Image: The Artist in His Museum (self-portrait, 1822)

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Green Tea for Weight Loss

Posted: April 17, 2010 at 8:14 am

Green Tea Expands its Health Promoting Repertoire

German researchers find improved fat oxidation when men combine EGCG with caffeine.

From improving arthritis symptoms to preventing heart disease, heightening eye health to discouraging Alzheimer’s disease development, green tea is the libation of choice for health aficionados.  Yet as multifaceted a drink green tea is, could encouraging weight loss be added to its repertoire?  German researchers sure think so.

A team of researchers from Berlin’s University Medicine recruited 10 middle-aged men who, besides being obese, were generally healthy.  They broke the 10 men into groups of two and randomly assigned them to take an allotted amount of EGCG, some in high doses, others in low doses.  EGCG is the antioxidant compound in green tea believed to make it such a nutritional powerhouse.

One of the cooler aspects of this study is that all the men got a turn in taking a specific amount of EGCG.  In other words, instead of taking a specific amount of EGCG for the length of the study period, the men would take 300 mg of EGCG for three days, then go off for seven days, then pick up their EGCG regimen for another three days.  But instead of taking the same amount as last time, they’d take 600 milligrams.  Then go on to another group 10 days later.  So by the end of the study, all 10 men had gone through the five regimens.

(To be honest, I wish more studies were set up like this.  It makes the results of the study more reliable.)

By the end of the study, the researchers found increases in fat oxidation across the spectrum.  Compared to the time in which they took a placebo for three days, fat oxidation increased 33 percent (300 mg of EGCG daily), 20 percent (600 mg of EGCG daily), 34.5 percent (200 mg of caffeine), and 49 percent (200 mg of caffeine combined with 300 mg of EGCG).

What’s interesting is that there was greater fat oxidation when the men took the lower EGCG combination as compared to the high EGCG combination.  So apparently the Goldilocks rule applies to EGCG—not too much, not too little, but an amount that’s “just right” works for weight loss.

The question, of course, is how many drinks of green tea must one guzzle in order to see any significant weight loss?

Researchers say it may be as few as three drinks or as many as 10 drinks…per day!  Now, as much as I like to drink tea, I don’t have the time, nor the inclination to drink that amount of green tea every day!

But that as it may, the very fact that I could lose weight by drinking that amount of green tea every day illustrates just how amazing a drink green tea is.

The study is published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.


Discuss this post in Frank Mangano’s forum!

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Alcohol in Adolescence: A Cancerous Combination?

Posted: April 17, 2010 at 8:14 am

Study:  Underage Drinking Increases Benign Breast Disease, Breast Cancer Risk

Teenage girls that drink alcohol are about five times more likely to develop what's often a precursor to breast cancer.

When we go to get something checked and the results come back benign, that’s usually a positive prognosis.  But if you get a benign prognosis and you’re a teenaged girl that drinks alcohol, a “benign” prognosis may be a bad prognosis.

According to a recent study conducted by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine, young women who drink an average of 6.5 alcoholic beverages a week are five and a half times more likely to develop a condition called benign breast disease.  Benign breast disease, or fibrocystic breast disease, is similar to breast cancer in that it’s characterized by breast pain, discomfort, nipple discharge and lump formation, but unlike breast cancer, the lumps that form are usually non-life threatening.

At least, until now.  Because according to the study’s lead researcher, Graham Colditz, benign breast disease is a warning sign for eventual breast cancer development.

Colditz and his colleagues discovered this after looking into the health surveys of over 9,000 “tweens” and teenagers between the ages of nine and 15 years old.  Parts of the survey asked how often the girls drank alcohol and whether or not they’d been diagnosed with benign breast disease.

Reporting in the May issue of the journal Pediatrics, the St. Louis-based researchers found a relationship between benign breast disease diagnosis and the amount the girls drank.  The more they drank, the more likely they were to be diagnosed with benign breast disease.

Besides alcohol, other risk factors for fibrocystic breast disease include a high fat diet, excessive consumption of caffeine and whether there’s a family history of the disease.

Now, before you cast off this study by saying, “I know my daughter and there’s no way she drinks alcohol,” permit me to tell you a short story that a friend of mine recently told me.  A true story.

A friend of mine lives in New Hampshire and works as a substitute teacher at a local junior high school.  As a substitute teacher, it comes as no surprise that the kids are pretty unruly when he’s leading the classroom, as the word “substitute” has long been loosely translated by students to meaning, “Hey, the regular teacher is gone, so I can get away with more!!”

But what did come as a surprise was the recent arrest of an eighth grade girl due to underage drinking. Apparently, throughout the school year, she had been sneaking alcohol into the school by combining beer and soda pop, sipping her beverage throughout the day like it was nothing out of the ordinary.  The smell of beer on her breath finally did her in.

Moral of the story:  Don’t automatically assume your son or daughter isn’t drinking.  Because the father of this girl was stunned, even though 11 percent of underage drinkers take their first drink in the eighth grade.

For the sake of your kids’ short and long term health, remind them about the dangers of alcohol consumption—even if you’ve had the conversation dozens of times.  Remain ever vigilant of what they’re doing and with whom.

It’s a matter of life and death.


Discuss this post in Frank Mangano’s forum!

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Immortality Isn’t Unethical

Posted: April 17, 2010 at 8:14 am

A general interest article on transhumanist visions of the future and immortality in the sense of the continued repair and reversal of aging through medical technology: “Immortality could be sneaking up faster than we can believe. Barely a month goes by without some new advance in organ replacement, and a recent operation to replace a boy’s windpipe with one generated from his own stem cells was called ‘embarrassingly simple’ by the specialist in charge. Further breakthroughs could be made by the SENS Foundation, led by the radical immortalist Aubrey de Grey, with a brutally simple plan to give humans an unbeatable protection against cancer. This involves limiting human cells’ ability to divide at cancerous levels, with regular top-ups from externally grown cells replacing worn-out tissue. If these technologies can hold to their promise, biological immortality, perhaps the most cherished goal of the transhumanists, may be with us in a few decades. A loose grouping of scientists, philosophers and sympathisers, with organisations such as the Oxford Future of Humanity Institute and Humanity+, transhumanists urge human progress through radical technological enhancement. With regards to immortality, I’m certainly a sympathiser: if a dictator was murdering tens of millions of people right across the world, we’d gladly do anything to overthrow him. And yet ageing, as eloquently put by the transhumanist philosopher Nick Bostrom, is a tyrant that kills us by the cartload – and what do we do to stop it?”

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Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

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