Monthly Archives

January 2008

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If you believe in something, stand up!

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Photo copyright www.wangnews.net
I was out protesting the Bodies Exhibition Cincinnat at the Museum Center with my sister last night for 3 hours.  It was pretty cold, but I had everything covered but my feet.  Yesterday, dress socks.  Tonight, wool socks!

Someone asked me what group I was with.  Group?  I’m a concerned citizen, a normal person just like you.  I think that surprised the person.  I think she expected me to be some raving lunatic protester.  No, I’m just a normal person trying to right a wrong!  

Found out last night that the Farmingham, MA show closed early due to low ticket sales.  Did you know that it was held in a closed CompUSA?  The one in Columbus too!  Since our CompUSA is still sort of open, they had to use the Cincinnati Museum Center instead.  Great job Museum Center!

Boycott Bodies the Exhibition

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Story on Bodies Controversy on WCPO tonight

WCPO Channel 9 News ran a story tonight about the Bodies: the Exhibition controversy.  My sister Janice and I were both interviewed about the issues.  Only a short segment was used of our interviews but I think we got our points across.  It was an interesting experience and I was glad to have the opportunity to get the message out to a large audience. 

However, it might get drowned out by all the TV advertising and billboards the Museum Center has bought.  This is going to be a cash cow for the museum and they’re going to milk it for all its worth.  Then this exhibit moves on to the next unsuspecting city to rake in millions all over again. Sad.

From WCPO.com: Bodies …The Exhibition Draws Criticism (VIDEO)
From WCPO.com: Bodies …The Exhibition Draws Criticism (Story)

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House of Cards- 60 Minutes

I saw this segment of 60 Minutes last night on the sub-prime mortgage crisis and it’s just scary.  I think we’re going to see more pain than what we’ver seen already.

It’s pretty clear that a lot of lenders are at fault for chasing after buyers who couldn’t really afford mortgages, but there is a severe lack of personal responsibility of individuals in taking a loan that they can’t afford.

An excerpt from CBSNews.com: House Of Cards: The Mortgage Mess

But Matt and Stephanie Valdez say they knew exactly what they were doing when they bought a small two-bedroom for $355,000. They could afford the initial payments and planned to refinance the mortgage before the interest rate jumped to 11 percent. But they couldn’t do it because the value of the house had fallen below what they owed on the mortgage. They say they can afford the higher payments, but see no point in making them.

“The house keeps going down, payments keep going up. Where’s the logic in that? And how can we fix it? I mean, that’s what this whole thing’s about for us is how can we fix this? And if we can’t fix it, then what do we do?” Matt Valdez asks.

“Why pay a $3,200 payment on a 1200-square-foot home? It makes no sense,” Stephanie Valdez adds.

“That’s what you agreed to do when you bought the house,” Kroft points out.

“Fine. If the value is going up. But we’re not going anywhere. The price or the value is going down. It makes no sense because we will never be able to refinance and get a lower payment. There’s no way,” Stephanie Valdez replies.

“You’re saying, essentially, that you’re going to stop making payments on it? You’re just gonna let it go into foreclosure?” Kroft asks.

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Bodies: the Exhibition in Cincinnati. Unethical. Bodies shown without consent of the dead

BREAKING NEWS:

ABC’s 20/20 will be running an investigative report into Bodies the Exhibition on Friday February 15, 2008 at 10:00PM.  Reporter Brian Ross visited China and has come up with some “amazing” stuff.

Original Article 1/28/2008

Coming to a museum near you! Katrina Victims Bodies on Display! Twenty African African-American, unclaimed and unknown victims of this hurricane tragedy are artistically dissected and posed in lifelike educational exhibits.  See a body’s muscles as they ripple from the exertion of running away from a breaking levee.  See a cross-section of a drowning victim’s lung to see how much water it can hold before death. Examine the impact of alcohol on a liver of a drunk homeless person. It’s a moving and educational experience!

This exhibit does not exist, thankfully, not because there aren’t unclaimed victims of Katrina.  There are still about 100 unclaimed Katrina victims that are still refrigerated, awaiting burial.  It does not exist because of the staggering outcry an exhibition like this would bring.  The public would collectively say that showing the dead in this manner is undignified and against the customs of all cultures.

Since the dawn of time, humankind has always treated the dead with respect.  This respect is so important that the breaking of this is taboo, a shocking and horrific deed.  The imagery of an American soldier being dragged through the streets or a body of a young black man hung from a tree is unbearable and has mobilized people into action to change the course of history.

Add race or religion to this mix and you’d have a total inferno.  Just the thought of displaying twenty dead African African-Americans without their consent is unfathomable.  How about twenty dissected and unclaimed Jews? How would you feel?  How about twenty Chinese?

Wait. Twenty Chinese?  Twenty Chinese on display without their consent.

Where’s the outrage?

Bodies: the Exhibition, opening February 1, 2008 at Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal, is just such an exhibition.

Preserved and dissected Chinese bodies are being put on display without their consent. Premier Exhibitions, Inc. chief medical advisor, Dr. Roy Glover, states in a letter to the Columbus Dispatch September 24, 2007:

“We have legal documentation and representation that confirms that only
the bodies of people who are deceased from natural causes have been
included in the exhibition and have been acquired by legal means with
the highest of ethical standards.”

It is standard practice not only throughout Asia but also here in the
United States for unclaimed and unidentified bodies to be offered to
medical schools for education, the core of our exhibition.”

(bold text- my emphasis)

If you died today, would you volunteer to be stripped of your skin, pumped up with liquid plastic, cut up, and posed in a museum display?  Maybe, yes, maybe no. But at least that would be YOUR choice.  By using “unclaimed and unidentified bodies” Premier Exhibitions, Inc. clearly does not get consent from the dead.  These bodies are condemned to a lifetime of traveling to shopping malls in the name of “education” as part of this freakish sideshow. 

Premier Exhibitions, Inc. states that it’s common for “unclaimed and unidentified bodies to be offered to
medical schools for education”.  But before Premier Exhibitions, Inc. brought this show to “educate” the masses in Cincinnati, this show had traveled to these noted centers of higher learning:

Las Vegas: Tropicana Resort & Casino
New York, South Street Seaport (Dining & Entertainment Center)
San Diego, University Towne Center (Mall)
Columbus, OH, Easton Market (Mall- Exhibit in was in a closed CompUSA)
Framingham, MA (Mall- Exhibit in was in a closed CompUSA)
Durham, NC, Streets at Southpoint (Mall)

Shopping malls and a casino.  If you donated your body to science, would you expect it to be seen at a casino? 

Let’s be clear that this is a for profit show. Premier Exhibitions, Inc.
is a publicly traded company with shareholders to answer to. The Cincinnati Museum Center believes this
exhibit combined with the previous Pirates exhibit will create the
“busiest 12 months in Museum Center history.”  Traveling exhibitions
like this are big business in the same tradition as carnivals and freakshows of the 19th century.  Bodies, the Exhibition is now one of a
number of competing traveling exhibitions in the country.

Museums with higher ethical standards will not allow exhibits such as this. The City of San Francisco has already banned this type of exhibition and the State of Washington has a law in the works that would do the same.

Showcasing the deceased in this manner without their permission is wrong.  Charging money and profiting from unclaimed bodies is even worse.  Is it not our duty as humanity to care for those who are less fortunate?  I think one of the saddest things is to leave this world alone and to have no one to mourn or even to remember you.  Instead of giving dignity, respect, or even pity, we’ve turned these unfortunate souls into museum displays to roam our country for profit as property for their owners.

Consent is critical.  If consent doesn’t matter then we’d be harvesting organs from all the dead to save the living.

It is educational, but the Nazi’s experimented on Jews in the name of education.  That’s not right .

Ethics are important not some thing to be skirted.

Let’s end this now and take a stand here in Cincinnati and let the world know that it is not right and not ethical to show unclaimed bodies without their informed consent.  That it is wrong to show the dead for profit.  We are better than this, as Cincinnatians, as Americans, as humanity.

Boycott Bodies the Exhibition Cincinnati website

Resources and more information:

News and Opinion
SeattlePI.com: If only these bodies could talk
NYTimes: China Turns Out Mummified Bodies for Displays
The Epoch Times: ‘BODIES . . . The Exhibit’ is Gruesome Show of Unidentified Dead
NYTimes: Cadaver Exhibition Raises Questions Beyond Taste
SeattlePI.com: Education or freak show? ‘Bodies … The Exhibition’ cashes in on our own curiosity
Pittsburgh Post Gazette: China ‘Bodies’ exhibit raises hackles here
RedOrbit: Museum Plans to Open Corpse Show in Fla.
SeattlePI.com: $10,000 reward posted to find who stole kidney from display
SeattlePI.com: First Person: Exploiting the poor beyond death

Cincinnati specific articles
From WCPO.com: Bodies …The Exhibition Draws Criticism (VIDEO)
From WCPO.com: Bodies …The Exhibition Draws Criticism (Story)
Cincinnati Enquirer: Archbishop says no to ‘Bodies’ exhibit
Cincinnati Enquirer: ‘Bodies’ exhibits troubling ethical issues
Cincinnati Enquirer: Exhibit to show real bodies
DocGrubb’s opinion piece
Cincinnati Enquirer: Bizarre ‘Bodies’ left me queasy

Protest and Information Sites
Stop Body Worlds and other exhibits of plasticized bodies
The Anti-BODIES Virtual Protest Site
No Bodies 4 Profit
seattlechatclub.org: The Mystery of the Crying Cadavers

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James Bond: Quantum of Solace?

From CNN.com: Producers reveal title of new James Bond


Quantum of Solace.  Sounds like someone borrowed the George Lucas Random Movie Name Generator again.  Quantum of Solace makes no sense.  A quantum is a discrete amount of something, certainly not solace. Can solace be even measured at all? 

So who thought of this title?

Surprisingly, Ian Fleming. It’s actually a short story written by Fleming that has James Bond, but no action and where he’s not even the main character.  Wikipedia has a brief summary of the story. James Bond movie plots (an oxymoron?) sometimes have little to do with the the story in which the movie name was taken.
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I am the greatest!?

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Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.  A name I had never heard of before this year’s Australian Open and a name I won’t soon forget.  Not after watching some of his destruction of Rafael Nadal, the world’s second ranked player last night at the Australian Open.  Tsonga reaches a Grand Slam final in only the 5th Grand Slam that he’s played in.

Much has been made in the tennis media about his likeness to a young Muhammad Ali and you can certainly see why in this picture.  220px-Muhammad_Ali_NYWTS.jpgBut this similarity extends beyond just his physical appearance.  Tsonga moves with a lightness and quickness combined with powerful strokes that is the embodiment of the famous Ali quote “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.” 

For a tennis comparison, I think he reminds me of Pete Sampras and current champion Roger Federer.  It’s the same smoothness and natural ability that reminds me of the two greatest players of all time.  We’ll see if he has the mental toughness to become a champion on the ATP tour.

It’s probably too soon to crown Tsonga as the future of tennis, especially just watching him play one match.  But, he was really that impressive.  However, great talents come every now and then that don’t achieve the long term greatness predicted of them (Marat Safin).  But we’ll get the opportunity to see soon enough to see if the future is now as he’ll get the opportunity to face Federer or Novak Djokovic in the Australian Open finals.

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Love thy neighbor

5755-heath.jpgHere’s a press release I found on WWTDD
I hope they have the funeral in Australia, Heath Ledger’s home country.  The members of the Westboro Baptist Church could stand to get outside of their little world. But, I don’t think that the Aussies will take too kindly to them showing up.

This just shows you don’t have to go too far to find radical extremism.

Oh, and what about “love thy neighbor“?

Leviticus 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.

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Fun little Rube Goldberg-esque website

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Here’s a neat website with a little shopping cart that’s a Rube Goldberg like contraption. 

A Rube Goldberg machine is described by Wikipedia as:

an extremely complicated apparatus that performs a very simple, easy task in an indirect and convoluted way. The most horrible examples of his machines have an anticipation factor, as the machine makes slow but steady progress toward its goal.

Thanks to Matt for the original link!

UPDATE: 10/05/09 Ten food related Rube Goldberg machines