The Making Of A Mannequin

August 6, 2008 at 12:29 pm (art, movies/video/clips, neat things) (, )

From MAKE, here’s a short, spooky documentary called 34 x 25 x 36, how about and why mannequins are made. The information is very interesting, but it’s worth watching just for those images of rows and piles of perfect plastic body parts.

It’s part of a larger project currently in the works by director Jesse Epstein.

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Plastination

July 9, 2008 at 9:54 am (art, frightening things) ()

Recently, we linked to this photo essay about the process of making glass eyes, by Marc Steinmetz. Today, another photo essay of his–on plastination. Not for those sensitive to images of dead bodies or the easily grossed out!

Via Make.

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How Glass Eyes are Made

June 23, 2008 at 10:26 am (art, neat things) ()

This wonderful photo essay by Marc Steinmetz documents the process of making glass eyes. Fascinating stuff! Take a look.

Via Make.

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Sexual Offense Prevention Policy

April 6, 2008 at 2:47 pm (amazing things, feminism, injustice, LGBT, sex) (, , , )

In honor of the Gender-shenanigans that went down last night, and of course to afford Daisy and Emily more time to watch Lost, I am going to post briefly on something called the Sexual Offense Prevention Policy, or SOPP. It is a policy at my school designed to combat Rape Culture and make everyone feel a little more safe and secure about their sexual and gender identities, and the likelihood of harassment.

The main point of SOPP is consent. The two or more parties involved in physical activity of ANY kind, from hugging to making-out to fighting to naked jello wrestling, must VOICE explicit consent at every level of said activity. Basically, you have to hear the word “Yes” before you can throw your partner down and rub jelly in their face.

Obviously SOPP gets fudged a lot if you’re in a long term relationship, and its pretty darn ineffective against rape or any sort of real sexual harassment. But if something out of line does occur, under SOPP a complaint can be filed, and that person will be kicked out of school/banned from campus/reported to the police, etc.

But what does SOPP really do? It doesn’t stop harassment. My first month at Antioch I was verbally harassed very badly, in the form of questions. I would say no to one sexual position and I would quickly be asked if I was open to another, and this would go on and on and on. There is also definitely rape, fighting, and child abuse on this campus. Although I have seen some pretty bad situations, such as fights, adverted because of SOPP.

What SOPP does manage to achieve is an open dialogue. Some people have already gotten to this place on their own, and for that, I applaud you. But partly because of SOPP and partly because Antioch is a sex-positive campus, the conversations about sex are never-ceasing. In a society where you are forced to talk about what feels good to you sexually, how you identify, even what diseases you have, all before you actually sleep with someone, misunderstandings and some bad situations are avoided.

The SOPP: talking is good. Consent is good. Dialogue about important issues, such as sex, is very, very good. And I live in a community where if you don’t follow these guidelines, then you lose the right to be a community member. Because it’s that important.

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Genderfuck

April 4, 2008 at 1:11 pm (amazing things, art, feminism, LGBT, sex) (, , )

Daisy asked me to blog a little about my school, so here goes. I go to Antioch College, in a tiny itsy town called Yellow Springs. Antioch, as a collective, has currently gone mad.

Because this week is Sex Week.

Which is pretty much the best week ever, if you couldn’t already tell.

Genderfuck happens once a semester, and is an entire week devoted to workshops, seminars, field trips and dance parties concerning sex, gender-bending, and exploration of identity. To give you an idea of the schedule, here are a few of the activities posted:

Reproductive Justice, a seminar on Adoption (for Gay couples, etc.)
A Survivor/Ally Workshop
A porn and cigarettes party (free cigarettes!)
Porn 101- The new wave of porn, Sex 101, and Kink 101, Bottoming Workshop, Topping Workshop (all but on by our local Queer Center)
A trip to the Sex Shop
Love Your Body Night (open to female-body-identified people)
An SOPP (Sexual Offense Prevention Policy) Dance Party
Non-normative Masculinities Panel
Erotic Art Party
and of course, the grand finale, the GENDERFUCK dance itself.

The end of Sex Week is the Genderfuck dance. To illustrate a snapshot of what people usually look like at Genderfuck: a friend of mine will be dressing like Liz Vicious, a gothic porn star. I believe my friend plans to add a thong to Liz Vicious’ general ensemble, but still. Another friend is going as a broken marionette doll, and a third is going as Rainbow Bright. People will “perform”, and usually there’s at least one performance set to the Dresden Dolls, who I love.

Haha!

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Bleeding Green: An Update

April 1, 2008 at 4:20 pm (environment, neat things) (, )

Hello there, readers of Our Descent Into Madness. I’m guest blogging today from cloudy, depressing Ohio, and as I’m on the rag my first post is going to be an update of something Daisy and Emily mentioned back in November. Last month I purchased a “Keeper”, which is a small, natural gum rubber (latex) cup to be used as an alternative to tampons. The advertising on the box claims that The Keeper will last up to ten years and save the consumer hundreds of dollars that would otherwise be spent on plastic/paper/cotton-based, non bio-degradable products.

As a green alternative, this is a pretty good choice. The Keeper is sturdy and extremely easy to keep clean. And when compared with its competitors, it comes off looking even better. To name a few other green products on the market right now, the options tend to be either pads or tampons made without the use of chlorine, such as those produced by Seventh Generation, or products which are in fact bio-degradable, such as Britain’s Natracare, although Natracare doesn’t offer a lot of options in the size department.

The Keeper’s main downsides are that it is expensive, and that it can be uncomfortable for the first few uses. It cost me about $35, a few dollars more than its silicone counterpart, known as The Moon Cup. The shape is very different from a tampon; instead of being long and skinny the brim is wide, and has to be folded before the insertion, which is a feeling that needs some getting used to.

Despite this, I am about to embark on my second usage of The Keeper. This will be the first month since I was 12 that does not entail me running to the drug store in a frantic effort to outrace my menstrual flow. Yay!

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Mississippi representative wants to deny fat people food.

February 1, 2008 at 12:40 pm (injustice, stupidity) (, , , )

Sandy at Junkfood Science writes:

It has actually happened. Lawmakers have proposed legislation that forbids restaurants and food establishments from serving food to anyone who is obese (as defined by the State). Under this bill, food establishments are to be monitored for compliance under the State Department of Health and violators will have their business permits revoked.

The bill.

Should this pass, scales will appear at the door of restaurants, people with BMIs of 30 or higher won’t be allowed to be served. And to comply with government regulations, restaurants will have to keep records of patrons’ BMIs.

Sounds like a cruel playground joke, but these sinister intentions are truth.

Let’s be clear about one thing: this bill provides no means for improving anyone’s health, nor does it contribute to the good of any community. Thinness is not a synonym for health; state-defined obesity is not a disease which can or must be cured by food deprivation. This bill is but an inane, attempted violation of civil liberties and is unacceptable. It’s high time that all anti-fat discrimination is recognized as such, and that blatant bigotry is no longer written or proposed into law.

The fat are not guilty. As humans, they don’t owe anything of their bodies to anyone else. They don’t deserve punishment or ill-treatment only for being.

BAH.

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Bleeding Green

November 19, 2007 at 3:12 pm (feminism, neat things) ()

This is a fun post about how to make your own reusable menstrual pads, plus some other tips for eco-friendly monthly bleeding. Making washable pads is a very green way to go — you break out of the industrial cycle by making them yourself, and out of the trash cycle by reusing them. Also it could be a good way to creatively reclaim your body and femaleness from the corporate machine that profits from women’s internalized misogyny and body shame*, a la Inga Muscio. Conventional products are wasteful and dangerous.

If, like me, you can’t really imagine using fabric pads (homemade or otherwise), there are other healthy, sustainable options. Among them, devices like the DivaCup and the Keeper, and the product with the most archetypal and mythological ground to stand on, the sea sponge tampon.

*There is nothing about women’s bodies that needs to be disinfected or sanitized. There is no reason to clog women’s bodies with bleached, chlorinated trash. Companies that make “feminine hygiene” products capitalize on women’s desire to interact with the bloody, corporal reality of their bodies as little as possible, which comes from internalizing the patriarchal ideas that women’s bodies are dirty, dysfunctional, inscrutable, bizarre, something to be managed and controlled.

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In Which All Anti-Fat Bigotry Is Disproven With One Factual Sentence

November 8, 2007 at 2:16 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

From Boing Boing: Overweight people have a lower death rate than people of a so called normal weight. Overweight people also have a lower death rate than those who are underweight or obese.

Some who studied the relation between weight and health said the nation might want to reconsider what are ideal weights.

“If we use the criteria of mortality, then the term ‘overweight’ is a misnomer,” said Daniel McGee, professor of statistics at Florida State University.

“I believe the data,” said Dr. Elizabeth Barrett-Connor, a professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego. A body mass index of 25 to 30, the so-called overweight range, “may be optimal,” she said.

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Lipodissolve

September 20, 2007 at 3:47 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Via Big Fat Deal, I’ve learned that some are turning to a new and experimental chemical injection to get rid of fat…or, at least, to liquidate it.

Anti-fat injections are one of the most hotly debated procedures in cosmetic medicine because they are spreading faster than the science behind them. Unlike mesotherapy, a process that entails superficially injecting vitamins and other substances into the skin, lipodissolve involves deeper injections of a compound drug that is supposed to break down cells in the fatty layer under skin.

But the Food and Drug Administration has not approved any drug to be used cosmetically in anti-fat injections. Neither the drug formula used in lipodissolve nor the method of treatment is standardized. And researchers disagree whether the shots eliminate fat cells, or merely liquefy fat so that it shifts around in the body, raising the possibility of long-term consequences such as the aggravation of heart disease.

This process sounds so much (to me, almost infinitely) grosser and more risky health-wise than fat itself.

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