Earlier this year, Josh St. Pierre and Zach Richter started the very cool website and blog “Did I Stutter?”. For and about people who stutter, and run by two savvy PWSs, the blog should get some attention from those reading Living Archives / What sorts posts. With the most recent post, “Eugenics and the Cure for Stuttering”, Josh makes some of the connections here more overt:
Being from Alberta and knowing about our shameful eugenic history colours the search for a stuttering cure for me. As well intentioned as it may seem, a “cure” for stuttering cannot be separated from the idea and practise of eugenics that assumes the world would be a better place without disability, without us. We already screen for Down Syndrome since we have decided some lives are more valuable than others. In 20 years might we screen foetuses for stuttering?
Support For People With Eating Disorders - Anorexi Bulimi Kontakt CLICK TO SEE VIDEO
Bloggingheads.tv threw up an interesting piece last week that begins with a discussion surrounding obesity (The entire segment is titled “The Skinny on Obesity“, but note in advance that the conversation is less focused than the title implies; they switch topics and discuss carbon emission regulations for the last half). I was struck by a number of the claims that were made throughout this discussion and most particularly by the way that later comments contrasted with earlier ones. It is in this contrast, especially given the subject matter, that I believe there is a valuable lesson regarding how we should view answers to the question “What sorts of people should there be?” Continue reading →
I enjoyed my visit to Body Worlds 1 at the Telus World of Science in Edmonton thoroughly. The whole experience was exciting and interesting. A comment made by my girlfriend when we talked about the exhibit a few hours later over dinner captured an experience that I think many people will share–“I went in looking forward to being at least a little offended, but I spent the whole time being amazed!” It was only a day or so later that a point of contention even crept into my mind.
BODY WORLDS features authentic human specimens preserved through a revolutionary process called Plastination. This remarkable preservation technique replaces bodily fluids and fat with reactive plastics, thereby preserving human tissue in its natural state. Visitors who embark on this amazing journey below the skin’s surface will view an extensive collection including more than 200 authentic organs, systems and whole-body displays.
Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS exhibitions are the only anatomical exhibits that use donated bodies, willed by donors for the express purpose of serving BODY WORLDS mission to educate the public about health and anatomy. To date, more than 8,000 people have agreed to donate their bodies to BODY WORLDS for Plastination and use in the exhibits. [Source]
The organizers claim that the primary mission of all the BODY WORLDS exhibitions (there are now four, the one opening in Edmonton is the original, with some additions, and was first shown in Tokyo in 1995) is health education. By showing visitors what lies beneath the skin they hope that an understanding and respect for the intricate mechanics involved in the human body will be developed. Further to the goal of health education, the exhibitions juxtapose healthy and unhealthy bodies and organs side by side, most notably plasticized lungs from a smoker and body sections from a clinically obese person.
Additionally, the organizers want to make a comment about just how special every person is: Continue reading →