Saturday, January 24, 2009

Winter tidbits and Argosy medical animation****

Winter is warmer this year. The loads of heavy winter clothing I had amassed in anticipation are going to need a new home next year, little used. Yet, it is still winter. The sun has gone south for these months, as always. Mornings are dewy cool still when the last of school buses have left, the office goers dispersed to destination. Sweaters and thick dresses and warm inners hang heavy on clotheslines, slowly drying in the brief pale afternoons. The smell of smoke is in the air, smoke and roasting peanuts and sweet potatoes. Evenings begin to leak the sound of laughing children much sooner than before, emptying even as street lamps begin to come on. Sitting in the little patch of sun I can find, I still crave for sarson ka saag with makke di roti, dripping in butter, for cracking peanuts and shelling hara channa, for gazhak and revri...

If you have been to the Visible body project, you may have explored and reached the parent site of the company which has developed it - Argosy medical animation. If you haven't, or if you have problems in running the visible body software because of its large size, or because you have a Mac, try it today. Of course it is not a kiddie site; it is a professional site meant particularly to showcase the range and scope of their animations to prospective clients. But that doesn't mean we can't use it!

Don't be put off by the complex appearance of the home page. It looks very technical, and agreed, the site is so, but there is stuff which is useful for children, even preschoolers! The index page has a menu on the left sidebar, from which I advise you to click on the animation by system.

Then choose your system, and hover on the little snapshot of the animation to read a description below. Once you find what you like, click through to see it. Simple! Featured here is the beating heart, showing the cut section complete with muscles, valves and the nerve impulses (see that flash of light there?), and the sound of heart beats to accompany. A very brief animation: it had my two year old asking for more. But ever since the concept of heart 'beating' has been established firmly :)

The one below outlines the process of hearing, with a commentary to explain:

Quite a few of these animations were prepared for patient education, so are useful and simple to understand. Some are truly technical, of no use to anyone but the medical specialty involved. Which is not to say that your teenager may not need to use it for a school project :) I am therefore refraining from pointing you to those I think are best, because my judgement at this time is naturally aligned with a young child. As with most of life's questions, answers have to be tailored according to the age and comprehending power of the listener, so your choices will be different. The videos/animations are varying in length, but for the most part, brief, almost too brief. (If only childbirth was as quick as is shown here!) But the accuracy and level of detail is spectacular, as one would expect from a company of this repute. Do try it! Its a wonderful resource.

The url -

P.S. Trying to dredge a suitable winter poem to finish the post, and failing to find any at this ungodly hour, I turn to the internet. Isn't this cute -


January sparkles.
January's bold.
January huffs and puffs.
January's cold.

So, instead of an elegant poem, let me leave you with these elegant fruit bowls, as in bowls made from fruit by artist Margaret Dorfman. I am truly fida on them! If only I could learn how to make them myself...

Click on the photo to reach Susan Lumoto's Daily Art Muse, or go to the Gallery of functional arts here or here for more.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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