A controversial exhibition showing how bodies work – using real human bodies – has applied for a temporary public entertainment licence for the Pinnacle at 160 Bothwell Street in Glasgow.
Entitled ‘Bodies Revealed’ the show is organised by Premier Exhibitions Inc, an American company with a postal address in Atlanta, Georgia. It has been seen in a handful of cities in the United States and was recently shown in Birmingham, England.
Glasgow Councillor Dr Nina Baker said: The display of actual human remains is preserved by a process called ‘Plastination’ which strips away skin etc to reveal anatomical details. It is presented as educational but has been highly controversial almost everywhere it has been shown.’ She said she was concerned about the dignity of the human bodies used. ‘While the organisation claims all are donated, there are concerns about the actual origins of the bodies,’ said Councillor Baker. Allegations have been made that the bodies came from executed Chinese prisoners.
Said Councillor Baker: ‘ I, personally, would be worried about suitability for younger visitors and implications for public order due to demonstrations against the show. Residents with concerns who wish to voice them should go to the Licensing Section, 235 George Street, Glasgow G1 1QZ. The deadline is Wednesday 7 March and the entertainment licence reference is T2906.’
When exhibited in Birmingham, England, the show was picketed by Dr David Nicholl a Neurology consultant at Birmingham City Hospital who called it ‘a crime scene’. He accused the organisers of taking ‘blood money’ by charging £14 entry to the show and claimed that some of the bodies had come from Chinese prisoners who had been executed.
Premier Exhibitions say in their promotional website: ‘Our bodies are our most important possession. They are intricately developed machines; more complex and wondrous than all the computers and gadgetry we surround ourselves with today. Yet many of us do not know what makes us tick—how we function, what we need to survive, what destroys us, what revives us. Bodies Revealed, made possible through the process of Polymer Preservation, is an attempt to remedy that lack of knowledge by presenting to the lay public material that was previously only available to the medical profession: a three-dimensional tour of the human body.’
The Polymer preservation process allows human tissue to be permanently preserved using liquid silicone rubber. This prevents the natural decay process and preserves specimens for an indefinite time.
Glasgow based science writer Duncan Lunan has had an exceptionally good Christmas and is looking forward to more in the New Year. As this ENEWS letter is circulating, a two hour long interview he did with Nancy Wallace of the United States online BBS Radio will be broadcast. In it he will discuss his book –’Children from the Sky’. This is his investigation of the mediaeval mystery of the Green Children of Woolpit. Two children – green in colour – speaking a strange language and dressed in unidentifiable clothes, suddenly appeared in the village of Woolpit in Suffolk.
Listen online: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/nancywallacewhatdoyouthink/2011/12/28/what-do-you-think and click on: “Download this episode”
Another programme from the online station will interview Duncan on Friday 6 January 2012. And other online radio stations have picked up on his work. The book can be ordered through Amazon and was accepted by Mutus Liber, publishers early in December. Duncan signed two new book contracts in September with international publishers Springer Science & Business Media.
Already he and his wife Linda are preparing for a book launch party and have ‘booked’ a cake from Sugarcraft of Mosspark.
Children from the Sky is expected to feature in an issue of 55 Life Glasgow magzine around now. (www.55life.co.uk)
Dunan’s other book signings are for ‘The Stones and the Stars: A New Stone Circle for Scotland’ and ‘Incoming Asteroid! What Could We Do About It?’ Both titles will be illustrated by Sydney Jordan from Dundee, the creator of Jeff Hawke, the world’s longest-running science fiction strip cartoon which appeared, worldwide, from 1954 to 1988.
The ‘Stones and Stars’ book is the story of the building of the first astronomically aligned stone circle in the UK in 3000 years – at Sighthill in Glasgow. Duncan was the manager of the Glasgow Parks Department Astronomy Project in 1978-79 which commissioned the circle. Funding ran out and it remains unfinished though current moves may allow it to be completed in 2012. In his volume, Duncan puts that project into a wider context of ancient astronomy and of earth’s place in the Solar System and the Galaxy.
The other title – ‘Incoming Asteroid!’carries on discussion among experts and thinking amateurs about what could be done if it was known there would be a Big Impact in 10 years’ time.
Duncan Lunan has written three previous books on space research, edited the first anthology of science fiction by Scottish writers, contributed to 19 other fiction and non-fiction books, and published 30 short stories and over 700 articles.
More information on Duncan and his work can be found at: www.astronomersofthefuture.net and
A sense of history prevailed as Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal officially opened the newly refurbished Scotstoun Stadium today.
It was a fitting endorsement for the old venue – known to most Glaswegians as Scotstoun Showgrounds – following an £18 million redevelopment in preparation for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
As snowflakes fluttered onto the track and field outside, The Princess Royal praised Glasgow’s century long commitment to Scotstoun, and joked: ‘Perhaps what is particularly worth celebrating is that this space has been here for over 100 years and nobody has built on it yet!
She added: ‘Glasgow has wisely kept Scotstoun, which is now used even more than it ever was before. But possibly you may need to bring a couple of Clydesdale horses just to clear the snow!’
The new facilitates at Scotstoun include an outdoor 400m track, an events arena, javelin throwing area, shot put circles and a jumping section.
However, the conditions outside meant that the local young athletes were testing the indoor 123m running track and hurdle facility.
Claire McAuley, a sixth year pupil at The School of Sport at Bellahouston Academy, is a long distance runner who seemed very impressed with the new surroundings.
Claire, 17, already has five Highers under her belt from her time at Boclair Academy. Now in sixth year, she dedicates most of her time to sport.
She said: ‘The Royal visit shows how important the track is.
‘We’ll be here training four or five days a week. I’m working towards getting a scholarship and going to America next year.
‘I might stay in the USA for Uni but then hopefully come back here after that.
‘This new track will help keep young athletes here, and actually inspire athletes to come to Glasgow from elsewhere to train.’
Steven Purcell, Leader of Glasgow City Council, was in a reflective mood as he lapped up the occasion.
He set out his own vision of what the legacy of the Commonwealth Games might be and said: ”When I went to school in Glasgow, we were told to be proud that our city fathers in times gone by, ensured that there was a public park within walking distance of every home.
‘Now I am determined that by 2014 we will have sporting facilities that can be accessed by sports clubs and the general public within walking distance of every home.’
The Great Britain Women’s Deaf Football Team came within an ace of medal placings at the 2009 Deaflympics in Taipei, Taiwan, this summer, only to be beaten into fourth by a controversial Russian goal.
Undeterred, the team’s coach/manager George McGowan told LOCAL NEWS columnist, Colin Mackie, about the highlights and calls on the Government to get behind our country’s deaf athletes in time for the 2013 Deaflympics in Greece.
How was your team’s trip to Taipei ?
‘The Deaflympics will be something I will never forget. The team and I really enjoyed the experience. I thought it went really well, and the set-up was like … wow!.
‘The girls’ football team did me proud. We came fourth, but I must remind people that this team is a young team that bonded well, and the America women – the gold medallists – said we were the hardest team they played.’
What was it like on your arrival ?
‘There was a massive welcome when we landed, and many photos were taken as if we were famous – everyone felt strange as we did not expect that. Travelling was tiring, but I would travel the world twice to get to the Deaflympics. It was my first and will not be my last.’
Did signing with different nationalities cause any problems?
‘The language was good for me as I got to see what other signs there were, but we managed to communicate well. You would not get that in the hearing world.’
What was the atmosphere like ?
‘It was great and, if you take a look at the Deaflympics website or the many clips on YouTube and SignTube, you’ll see an unforgettable sporting event. I just wish we got a lot of funding by the government to develop deaf sports in UK.
It was well organised by Taiwan, and was run by hearing people with advice from the Deaf community. The biggest disappointment was that all the hearing volunteers could not sign, but there were 10,000 of them!’
Knowing the GB team had to raise funds themselves to get there, did other countries have problems with funding for the Deaflympics?
‘The impression I got was that some countries got funding and others got paid for winning medals. For example, Russian teams winning a gold medal would be paid something like 100,000 euros. It saddens me that our government didn’t even fund us to get over there. That’s a shame really.’
How was the closing ceremony ?
‘I did not want it to end. It was good to see the British fans. They’d made a long trip to support us. They will not be forgotten by me or the rest of the GB squad.
‘At the closing ceremony, we were swapping kits with our competitors and there was Taiwanese food - a 13-course meal. I’m not too sure having the fans watching us eat was a good idea but I’m sure they loved the fireworks and waving the true blue, red-and-white Union flag.’
What plans have you for the 2013 games in Athens?
‘Good question. We will have a meeting to discuss the best way forward.’
Are there any closing comments you would like to add ?
‘I`d love to pass on a big thank you to all those people who helped with funding; the sponsors of all sports represented in the GB Squad. Without their support, we would not have got to Taipei. Also most of the fans could not get tickets for the opening and closing ceremony. They gave so much of their time – going all the way there to support all the athletes, pulling money out of their own pockets that they deserve a very special thank you, too.’
Says Colin: ‘Any possible sponsors interested in helping Britain’s deaf athletes get to the 2013 Deaflympics in Athens can contact me on: email@example.com
I will pass details to George.’
Futher information on: www.deaflympics.com