Tag Archives | Body

The Really Messed Up Story Behind Tom Sawyer’s Cave

29-217You might remember the scene in Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer where Tom and Becky Thatcher got lost in a cave. Well, here’s a little bit of trivia about the real cave you might not know.

Via Mysterious Universe:

The cave, at 11 degrees (52 degrees Fahrenheit) year round, has housed town meetings, weddings and may still be home to the ghost of a teenage girl. St. Louis surgeon Dr. Joseph Nash McDowell, who founded the Missouri Medical College, owned the cave when Twain was a boy. McDowell was a gifted physician and maybe a little crazy. “He was trying to petrify a human body,” Susie Shelton, general manager of the cave, said. “His own daughter died of pneumonia at 14. He took a copper cylinder lined with glass. He filled it with an alcohol mixture, put in his daughter, and hung it from a ceiling in a cave room.”

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What Will Humanity Look Like In 100,000 Years?

look like in 10,000 years

Obviously, this rendering is largely speculation, but I agree that humanity will likely spend the foreseeable future trying to turn ourselves into anime characters. Via the New York Daily News:

In 100,000 years, people might have larger heads and sideways-blinking oversized Disney eyes that glow green with cat-like night vision. At least, that is what two researchers say could happen in “one possible timeline.”

Artist Nickolay Lamm teamed up with computational geneticist Alan Kwan to envision a future where zygotic genome engineering technology develops to the point where humans will be able to control their own evolution.

This ability, the team says, could result in more facial features that humans find intrinsically attractive: strong lines, straight nose, intense eyes and perfect symmetry. Kwan thinks that the human head might expand to accommodate a larger brain.

But perhaps their most remarkable conjecture is that future humans could start to blink sideways like owls to “protect from cosmic ray effects,” they added.

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Don’t Trust Your Feelings: Somatics and the Pre/Trans Fallacy

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A great article applying the pre/trans fallacy to somatics and body-work. Steve Bearman brings some much-needed balance to the alternative healing field.

via Interchange Counseling:

It’s easy for counselors, and the people we counsel, to get stuck in our heads. Counseling as we know it originated as “the talking cure”. Over the generations, counselors have discovered how to use dialogue as a powerful medium for facilitating change in our clients. Even at its best, however, conversation can only get us so far. We are more than mere talking heads.

In a tradition that has long been top-heavy, the growing prevalence of somatics has brought counseling back into balance, adding much-needed weight to the body’s role in healing and growth. “Soma” is the body, and body-oriented work takes us places talking never can, but just like mind-oriented work, it has significant limitations.

For those of us in the world of counseling who strive to live fully embodied lives, somatics has seemed like such a godsend that we can fail to recognize its limits.

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Japanese Advertising Firm Rents Ad Space On Young Women’s Bare Legs

A frank metaphor for how we are viewed by companies. The Daily Mail reports:

Japan has gone one step further with women wearing short skirts or shorts renting out their bare legs for companies market their products in return for payment.

The clever marketing strategy is proving a huge hit with businesses all across Tokyo. As of November 2012, about 1,300 girls have already registered their legs as ad space with Absolute Territory PR, and the number keeps increasing.

As long as the ad is showing on their legs for eight hours a day or more, their job is done, and they are paid an advertising fee. As proof of their work, participants must post pictures of themselves ‘wearing’ the ad on their own Facebook, Twitter or other social networks. Rock band Green Day recently employed the service to promote the Japan release of their new CD, !Uno!

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Body Pleasures and the Origins of Violence

A classic article, deserving a place in the Disinfo archives. James W. Prescott outlines the link between modern child-rearing practices and their impact on development, psychological well-being and adult behavior. He covers deprivation of loving touch, sexual repression, infant neglect, and the results to the adult psyche. Joseph Chilton Pearce started this conversation and Prescott fleshes it out. The discussion of these issues is still ongoing.

Via The Origins of Peace and Violence website:

The sensory environment in which an individual grows up has a major influence upon the development and functional organization of the brain. Sensory stimulation is a nutrient that the brain must have to develop and function normally. How the brain functions determines how a person behaves. At birth a human brain is extremely immature and new brain cells develop up to the age of two years. The complexity of brain cell development continues up to about 16 years of age.

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How Much Is My Body Worth?

Via the Guardian, Storm Theunissen discusses her experiment to find out, ultimately learning that we are worth far more dead than alive:

In Britain…there are various legal ways human body parts can be sold. I tried to see how much of the human body can lawfully be put up for sale: by trying to sell as much of my own body as I could.

I tried to sell my hair. I was quoted £50 by a hairdresser in London that specialises in harvesting human hair to make wigs for chemotherapy patients. The British pharmaceutical industry uses many bodily fluids to test new drugs, and I was hopeful for a decent sale upon learning they pay up to £1,750 for 1ml of blister fluid, £1,000 for a cup of saliva and £1,600 for a gram of earwax. The best offer I got was £30 for some blood. Another clinic would have paid me £50 for some skin – if I had psoriasis.

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Should We Amputate Someone’s Healthy Limb If They So Desire?

How far should we go in enabling people to shape their own physical identities? The Guardian on the ethical quandary posed by Body Integrity Identity Disorder:

In January 2000, the mass media ran several stories about Robert Smith, a surgeon at the Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary who had amputated the legs of two patients at their own request and was planning a third amputation. The director of NHS trust running the hospital at which Smith works described the amputation of healthy limbs as “inappropriate”; since then, no British hospital has performed a voluntary amputation.

The first documented case of BIID dates back to a medical textbook published in 1785, by the French surgeon and anatomist Jean-Joseph Sue, who described the case of an Englishman who fell in love with a one-legged woman, and wanted to become an amputee himself so that he could win her heart. He offered a surgeon 100 guineas to amputate his leg and, when the surgeon refused, forced him to perform the operation at gunpoint.

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The Future Of Personal Identification: Buttock Scanners?

buttApparently everyone has a unique “buttprint”. In the future, the driver’s seat of your car or your spot on the train may be reserved for a butt that the scanner recognizes. Via Yahoo!:

Put your fingerprint scanners away. Stand aside iris measurers. Buttocks are the new way to prove who you are.

A team of Japanese scientists claim their pressure sensor sheet can accurately identify an individual’s backside and when placed on a driver’s seat could be used as a last line of defence to stop someone else driving away your motor.

“The sheet has 360 sensors, which collect data for 39 features to recognise a person, such as pressure patterns and the dimensions of the buttocks,” said Dr. Shigeomi Koshimizu, who led the research.

Koshimizu, an associate professor at Tokyo-based Advanced Institute of Industrial Technology, said his device is 98 percent accurate and far less onerous than conventional biometrics as it requires nothing more than someone to sit naturally.

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