Bodies Revealed Redux

I have talked about many topics on my blog, but only one so far has quoted me on another blog post as wanting to stop something educational and advocating ignorance. I have to say it saddens me a little that someone would imply that my moral stance on displaying human beings as freaks puts me at odds with education. I still stand by my belief that this display brings nothing educational that cannot be found on a model not made from humans. I know and understand that for years human skulls and skeletons were used in classrooms, but we now have the technology to leave the dead alone.

A fellow blogger and doctor wrote his own take on the subject and said that what pushed him over the edge is the merchandising associated with the displays. What pushed me over the edge was that the displays were making money off of dead people that in some of the exhibits could have been unwilling participants on these spectacle.

The Catholic church here in KC took a stand on the subject, and while I agree with what they say I do not use my religion as the reason for not going or even telling others that they should not. It is my own belief system that respects those that have passed away and even their bodies as something that should be respected.

Bodies Revealed Boycott

The first time I saw one of the Bodies Revealed they looked amazing. I first thought of how 3D printers were just making awesome things today. Pretty much anything that can be made in a 3D CAD software can later be reproduced in plastic. My friend Travis actually works for a company that sells and installs this awesome technology. However, I was wrong, the Bodies Revealed are actually real human bodies.

When I started hearing that the exhibit was coming to Kansas City, I was not very happy. I do not believe that science needs to be displayed in a freak show manner, specially since now our technology permits the creation of life like materials that are being used every single day to train doctors. Gone could be the days of gross anatomy where you could only learn by dissecting cadavers.

Someone I know had seen the display before and proceeded to argue the point that it was interesting. He ignored completely my argument that computer 3D models were just as accurate and that displaying bodies like art was somewhat obscene for me. He even thought my wife would see it more from the scientific side of things being a biologist and all. I was not sure so this week I asked her.

She completely agreed with me that it was just creepy to begin with and disrespectful. She then told me how some catholic universities have mass at the beginning of a semester for the people that donated their bodies to science. I have even myself consider donating my body for science and if I do part this earth and my organs can save someone’s life I would be glad to help. I also want to donate bone marrow in the future and have donated donated so many times before that I even got a t-shirt.

I however cannot condone the display of human bodies as a spectacle. I do not see any scientific or artistic merit on this morbid display. I am not as satisfied as Union Station CEO Andi Udris with the company that potentially used unwilling condemned prisoners for some other exhibits. Even thought the company produced documentation, it is not enough for me.

So I call on everyone that reads this blog to just skip this exhibit all together. There are plenty of other exhibitions that can bring more to our city than potentially unwilling human beings displayed as art. Even the willing people that donated their body for science probably did not know they were about to be displayed as if they were part of some sick freak side show. Shame on the Kansas City Star for titling their article on the subject “Willing donors gave bodies to Union Station exhibit, says official.” If you want to believe what a corporation making millions of dead bodies over 20/20, be my guest. However I think that when our local paper posts headlines as full of opinion as Tony Kansas City, who is obviously satirical, we should read between the lines and not believe the headlines. Alonzo Washington was the first local activist to speak up about this, so I am 100% with him. Lets boycott this even.

Kid Rock – Rev Run @ Sprint Center

Kid Rock Concert
I have to admit that I spent most of the concert waiting for Rev Run to come out, but it was def worth it. I am not much of a country fan, except for maybe Garth Brooks who is an amazing entertainer. Chimpotle joined me on a night of Rock and Roll revival.

The night started with the National Anthem and a group of marines doing a little memorial for the fallen heroes. The guy opening the show up told everyone how Kid Rock spends his Christmas entertaining the troop overseas which to me was a nice touch. Kid Rock is proud of being an American and it shows.

Kid Rock was flawless and from what I could tell did not use a backing track but just sang his heart out. He puts on a good show that is worth the time, but the whole calling himself Jesus is not all that cool or shocking since so many others have done it before. The stage was nice enough, but the sound system did obstruct the view of the opposite side of the stage from where we were sitting.

The low point came when he brought out Dickie Betts from the Allman Brothers and the dude spent a long time trying to get his guitar to sound right in the middle of the concert. He then tried to sing and it was pretty sad, I am not sure how old the dude is but he should have used a backing track. He was not a bad guitar player, but I think he spent a little too much time on the stage. I am sure the southern rock fans, which were plenty (mullets galore), enjoyed this more than I did.

His new material is a lot more of the same. I was not blown away by any of the songs but I was certainly entertained and glad that he was singing and not that I was listening to a pre-recorded track. The concert hit its high point for me when Run Rev came out and Kid Picked up the DMC side to go back and do some of the hits. It was funny to see that Rev Run mentioned his TV show, but everyone seemed to have at least seen it.

Before the end of the show Kid Rock did gen on the turn tables and showed us that he is also a talented turtablelist. I remember that the first time I saw him he was DJing for MTV at one of their summer shows. He closed the show with Badwitdaba which was the song I was waiting to hear. The show went until almost 11:00 P.M. which was not bad at all.

Some entertainment came from the crowd too. We had a drunken girl dance most of the show on one of the top rows on the opposite side of the arena, she looked like she was having a blast. Then we had the 50 year old dude drooling over a couple of women that were dancing a suite over from us. I am sure he had no clue with could see him watching the woman like a hungry dog looks at that hot dog that is about to fall of the grill. Overall Kid Rock’s concert was one of the best ones I have seen live. He is truly a mixed bag of musical styles that he manages to blend them all into one big show.

The lies of Martial Arts

I can call myself a martial artist again. After almost a year an a half of waiting, I finally joined Tae Kwon Do school that I decided on so long ago. I went to their training session today and talked to Master DiBella and we are going to talk about what belt level I can be at after a month. His school is not about buying your black belt on installments like in any McDojo, it is about training hard in a traditional school.

Martial arts like everything goes through cycles. I am sure many people wanted to join a Karate dojo after the Karate Kid movie in the 80s, too bad so many people do not realize that is not about finding the right school but the Mr Miyagi.

I watched UFC 81 with Chimpotle and some of his buddies and loved watching the fights. Today talking to Master DiBella the word fad came into the conversation. With MMA becoming very popular, more and more gyms are trying to promote this kind of classes and training. However, this is not for everyone and like Tae Bo, I consider it a little dangerous.

I obviously have not problem with the UFC, but I do have a problem with the people that use it as a new fad to take people’s money. It is sad to hear in the radio how a new gym just open and it will train you in MMA. Sorry folks, but this is a lie, you can master one discipline and then train in another, but to be truly a master and a good teacher you need to stick to one. I can already hear the, my master has a black belt on every art out there. To that I say, yes, that can be true, but he should only be considered a true master in one of them.

All martial arts can be broken and studied, even divided into groups based on where the emphasis is. However, they all have their own personality and like with people, you have to get to know them for a while to really know what they are about. Every school will also have its own identity developed by the master that runs it

Full contact sparring and grappling is more dangerous than it looks on TV. Those guys that enter the ring, well most of them, train very hard and are used to taking punches and being locked in positions that the body is not really made for. They are self defense techniques used developed for real life combat and should not be though of as a game. To have someone tell you any different is irresponsible.

People like Lituenant X try to tell people that Martial Arts are not ancient, but just a manipulation of history to make money. They can teach you in just one top secret marine tested DVD everything you need to know about defending yourself and you become the ultimate fighting machine.

What it really comes down to with Martial Arts is training. If you train for years on an specific art, you will gain a level of expertise and your muscles and body will accommodate for that. Experience cannot be replaced by watching some bozo on TV. A good teacher will correct your movements, over and over until they see you have achieved the correct level of competency, then they will teach you the next level up. It is simple, and like with everything else in life, there are really no shortcuts.

Blogger Meetup

Thanks to some horrible past experiences I have been cautious about meeting people from the blog world. I am glad that I went and got to meet some new people that turned out to be a blast to hang out with. I don’t think I have ever had four hours go by that fast.

We got there a little early and had a beer while we waited. Bea had to go to the bathroom and a father was also leading his little girl to the bathroom. He just saw a dude standing out side the girls bathroom and like I was doing waited right outside. I realized that woman take forever in the bathroom, while we waited for them we only exchanged a couple of glances. I was half hoping Bea would exit the bathroom first so that he did not think that I was some weirdo hanging out by the bathrooms… it turns out we were there for the same meet up, and the guy waiting there was Meesha.

Before we found out about that, we hanged out at the bar enjoying our beer. There was another group of people there that pulled out a laptop but I did not recognize anyone… so we kept on waiting. Finally around the time the meeting was supposed to happen I did a quick walk around the place and found Spyder, Dan, The Librarian and Hoochie Mama. I told them that I had to go get my wife from the Bar… when I came back Meesha, Kansas City Kitty and KC Daily Photo had joined the group. Chimpotle arrived but was kind of shy probably thinking he was the youngest one there. I did not get a chance to talk to him as much as I wanted to, but I am sure we will in the future.

We got an awesome table and started to have chats about pretty much everything from religion to relationships. It was interesting to see how bloggers interact with each other in a group… I mean, we are all a little narcissistic and like to be the center of attention… and all the dialogue that developed. It was awesome to get to know everyone at a more personal level and to see how open everyone is once they are face to face.

Mr XO, Happy in a Bag, KC beer blog and Well Hell Michelle showed up fashionably late but joined the fun right away. I got to talk to some more than others and would really like to eventually call some of them friends. I love this town even more now that I got to meet some of the notorious bloggers around. Funny thing is that not many even realized that the veteran blogger of my household is actually my wife. She already posted some pictures in her flickr.