Okay, finally got a moment to do a little personal post. I was just up in Seattle for a little vacation, visiting friends and looking at dead people.
The winter trips to Seattle are generally characterized by museum trips. The weather itself was fine most of the days (it was bright and sunny when I flew in), but I tend to seek out the indoor activities at these times of the year by habit.
Bodies: The Exhibition was simply fascinating. I had an experience with seeing the detailed insides of a body from my college trips to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, which had sliced a man (horizontal slices, like an MRI scan) into 1" thick slabs, put them between glass and mounted them in procession up the main staircase. It was absolutely fascinating, but I tended to be fairly nauseated by the time I reached the second floor.
This exhibition, however, did not trigger that. Not to be graphic, but I think it was because everything was so dry - it helped keep a sort of mental shield up to what you were actually looking at. And because of that, I was able to lean in very close and really study the various muscles, tendons, organs, etc. If you haven't gone to the site, please do so now - I simply cannot adequately describe in words the visual effects. My favorite was probably the nervous system, which had been carefully removed from the body. So what you had was a brain, a pair of eyeballs, the spinal cord, and a fine mesh (body shaped) of tendrils. It was right out of a B-grade horror movie.
On the other extreme was the Dead Sea Scrolls. To be honest, I had never really studied the history of them, so I very much appreciated the exhibition's work into creating a detailed display and audio program to help you learn all about the life and times 2000 years ago, the Essenes (who are believed to be the authors), the discovery, etc.
This was even more appreciated because the scrolls themselves were less interesting. Don't get me wrong - they are amazing artifacts of history. But, when you see them in their special cases, with dim lighting, the effect is "yes, they are tiny scraps of brown paper with scribbles I can't read". Intellectually I understand their importance, but my more plebian self wanted to go back to the archaeological displays.
However, I can recommend both exhibits as a wonderful experience and well worth the price of admission.