Tag Archives: California Science Center

Body Worlds: PULSE – Getting to Know Your Body Inside Out


Gunther von hagens’ Body Worlds: ‘Pulse’ – Getting to Know Your Body Inside Out


Feeling somewhat uneasy we were standing in front of the California Science Center recently, ready to enter Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds exhibition “PULSE”. We have prepared ourselves well and read almost anything available out there about the show, about Gunther von Hagens, his plastination process and about the process of putting the show together here at the CaliforniaScienceCenter.

Since we had our teenage son with us we wanted to make sure that he as well as us completely understood what we were about to experience. My husband in fact was very hesitant at first about bringing him along since the show’s displays contain bodies of deceased humans that went through Gunther von Hagens invented preservation process called plastination.

All our worries however were put to rest very quickly upon entering this amazing show.

Gunther von Hagen’s Body Worlds PULSE – an incredible journey through your body

Right at the beginning of the show you are greeted by a movie that totally hit home with us.It demonstrates how our busy lives have a profound effect on the quality of our lives, making us receptive to all kinds of modern diseases: high blood pressure, obesity, depression, you name it. Too much stimulation and an overload of information that we modern human beings are constantly exposed to puts our modern life under a lot of stress and finally at risk. The speed that forces us to do more, better and faster becomes increasingly more inhuman.

This movie is the preamble to a rewarding show that explains in detail what is essential for us to keep our bodies healthy and functional.  Ultimately it encourages us to think about how we can develop a healthier pace of life for ourselves.

Impressive displays, exceptional information and in-depth videos guide you along the journey through your body.

The entrance to the various displays starts with one of Gunther von Hagens plastinated bodies holding his skin folded over his arm like an overcoat. Info boards teach you about the skin being our heaviest and largest organ that has vital functions. Next the visitor learns about the skeleton and sees first hand how fractures, implants and prostheses look like. As you move along “through the body” you’ll learn about the central nervous system and see stunning displays.


In one von Hagen isolated a whole body’s central and peripheral nervous system and instead of a traditional skeleton one sees a “skeleton of nerves”. Amazing!

The various muscles in our bodies are a topic of one section, other sections are dedicated to each of our organs, to nutrition and to the demonstration of what certain diseases do to our body. From heart to intestines to liver and lung and more… you get to know your body inside out!


A big section is dedicated to the heart explaining its difficult and intensive job. With the help of videos and informational boards we learn how a heart attack builds up within our body far before it actually happens.

The impact of smoking is impressively presented with a shockingly pitch black smokers lung on display that looks like a lava rock. This particular display like so many others certainly make you think about how you are treating your own body and how it may look like if exposed like these displays.

Speaking about the displays. Our initial worry was about our reaction to the plastinated bodies. Gunther van Hagens’ invention of preserving the human body and his quite artistic displays have been quite controversial for years. Many were initially appalled just by the pure fact that these displays were actually showing deceased humans.

We found that the whole show including the displays were put together and presented very esthetically. We were intrigued and captivated throughout. I can’t think of any other exhibit that brings you in such close encounter with your own body. We were awed and so were many other visitors we observed. From families with much younger children than our son, to a group of doctors, who were teaching their college class right on site.

In conclusion I can only say that we were absorbed by this exhibition and didn’t feel time going by. There was so much to see, explore and learn!

Body Worlds: PULSE is on display at the CaliforniaScienceCenter through February 20, 2018 .

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Images: ©CaliforniaGermans



Gunther von Hagens’ BODY WORLDS now open at CaliforniaScienceCenter, Los Angeles

BODY WORLDS’ new exhibit PULSE has opened at the California Science Center and will be on display until February 2018. The exhibit is “a convergence of aesthetic anatomy, health and wellness”. Visitors can learn and actually see how a body reacts if a person lives an unhealthy lifestyle versus a healthy one. They can for example visually witness how the body inside gets impacted by certain lifestyle choices, like excessive smoking; or what obesity can do to our bodies’ health.

Gunther von Hagens and ‘Plastination’

A special plastination technique invented by controversial German anatomist Dr. Gunther von Hagens in 1977 makes it possible to dissect a body to show various structures and systems of human anatomy in a way that, to date, has not been possible otherwise. Originally von Hagen’s technique was used for medical purposes only. He did however became very controversial when he was preparing his first ‘Body Worlds’ show in Japan in 1995, in which he showed full body specimen in lifelike poses. The exhibition ‘Body Worlds’ has stirred many intense emotions and opinions ever since, but has also opened up a revolutionary scientific understanding of our bodies. Despite all its controversy, ‘Body Worlds’ has attracted  37 million visitors in its exhibitions all over the world.

In 2015 ,after many legal battles, Dr. Gunther von Hagens opened his own museum in Berlin, MeMu – MenschenMuseum.

An exhibition of immense educational value

In the past ‘Body Worlds’ has even been called a freak show, but over time people have come to realize  what revolutionary insights ‘Body Worlds’ is offering us all into our own functioning of our bodies. “Body Worlds: Pulse will bring together anatomy and the latest health and wellness findings in a visually compelling and highly entertaining and informative exhibition. ”

More than 200 plastinated specimens will be on view at the California Science Center — including whole bodies, body configurations, translucent slices, and organs, as well as 3D displays . The exhibition is curated and presented in galleries that feature the various systems of the body.

Tickets can be purchased online at:  https://californiasciencecenter.org/body-worlds-tickets

To get an idea of what visitors will experience, we encourage to watch KTLA‘s video of the exhibition in Los Angeles:


Credits:KTLA, California Science Center.      Image: By Pattymooney (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons



Bringing the Myth of Cleopatra to Life

Two Scientists in Search of Historical Truth and Evidence

CLEOPATRA” at the California Science Center in Los Angeles

Having been an intriguing figure already in her lifetime, Cleopatra became a legend that’s been kept alive throughout the centuries. Historians, authors and filmmakers alike have gotten inspired by her life , her story and her much appraised exceptional  beauty.

An expansive show that started on Wednesday, May 23, at the California Science Center in L.A. tries to shed light on this legend. With help of the discoveries of the ancient submerged Royal Quarters of Alexandria and the lost cities of Heracleion, Menouthis, Canopis and others, the exhibition is putting the many historical puzzle pieces together to find out: who was Cleopatra really?

The visitor gets immersed into the ancient world of Egypt by enormous statues, amazingly preserved and beautiful jewelry  and other artifacts from that time that have been recently recovered by archeologists Franck Goddio and Zahi Hawass. An audio tour, provided to every guest as part of the exhibition experience, is guiding through the exhibition in “Cleopatra’s voice”.

“Cleopatra” is on view from May 25 to December 31 at the California Science Center. It is the only West Coast appearance.

To enhance the experience of ancient Egypt the movie “ Mysteries of Egypt” shows at the IMAX theatre at the museum at the following movie times – May 23, 2012 – June 28, 2012 , 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 pm, (5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday only)

Tickets for the exhibition are $19.75 for adults and $12.75 for children.

Here are some of the amazing artifacts:

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Kids ‘Approved’ Museum Shows around L.A. – Kindgerechte Ausstellungen in Museen rund um L.A.

Museums are a great way to educate children about science, history, music and art, and in fact about life in general. If these shows are even fun on top of it, the learning experience is even more impressive. A trip to the musuem can be a great adventure for the whole family and will give you stuff to talk about for days to come.

There are a few shows here in Southern California that I wanted to mention and which are definitely worth while to take your kids to. The Natural History Museum in LA has a great exhibition that opened during the summer. Age Of Mammals goes back in history and tells the story of the extinction of the dinosaurs to the evolution of the  mammals. In a superbly researched exhibit one can read about and see historical mammals’ skeletons that used to live here in our neighborhood, like a Smilodon fatalis, a sabor-toothed tiger that was found in the Brea Tar Pits. The exhibition is great for kids, even though in my opinion children above the age of eight might get more out of it and value it more, since there is much to read and explore on panels and computer screens. (read more about the show in a LA Times article)

Aside from the Age of Mammals show the Natural History Museum in LA has a lot more to offer. My six-year old loves to walk through the permanent exhibits of animals of the world, standing close to elephants in the Sahara or in the big plains next to grazing Bisons. In the Discovery Center on the ground floor, kids can get hands-on experience as a paleontologist and dig for dinosaur bones. Another popular attraction is the Insect Zoo, which features anything from weird spiders to scorpions to velvet ants.

Next to the Natural History Museum is the California Science Museum, an impressive museum in and out, with mind-blowing shows, like Mummies of the World or Ecosystems . We have yet to visit the Mummies of the World show, but couldn’t hear enough good about it from other parents while visiting the Ecosystems. While Ecosystems and so many other special exhibits are all free at the California Science Center, the Mummies of the World exhibition does have a ticket fee. In fact it is advisable to buy tickets in advance, since the show is in high demand. Don’t delay and visit it soon. Mummies of the World is only open for a limited time and very popular! (Read Article below: ‘Mummies of the world welcomes 100,000 visitor’)

Ecosystems is another exhibit you want to make sure to bring your kids to. Eight zones illustrate a different ecological principle. “Explore the varied ecosystems of land and sea, and discover how the physical and living worlds are connected and shaped by the same fundamental ecological principles.” (California Science Museum website) Lots of hands-on displays make the information digestible also for little kids. Ecosystems is a show you can go back to several times and find yourself discovering new things every time you are there.

Another museum that deserves great attention is the El Muzeo in Anaheim. A small museum with only a limited exhibition space , compared to the big museums just mentioned above, this museum is putting on various shows throughout the year that are stunning as well as admirably researched in detail. The latest one is Frogs: A Chorus of Colors. The exhibition features over 100 live frogs, many interactive displays (great for younger & older kids!) and various movies on different topics of frogs’ lives but also on the topic of how frogs are an indicator of environmental changes on our planet earth. The kids station that offers several frog games as well as computers with special frog animation games and a computer with a special program for virtually dissecting a frog, is very popular with children of all ages. Great, great exhibit! Hurry to not miss this wonderful, colorful show, since it is only open until September 12th, 2010.

Another museums where kids can have a lot of fun is the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. A great attraction among the many regularly changing shows is for sure the permanent Dino Quest, where kids can earn little token once they have mastered the Dino Quest. On our list to visit next is the Natural Science Musuem in San Diego with its Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries and The Art Shack at the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach.



Fun In The Sun – Summer Attractions in Southern California

Summer in Southern California means diving not only into the waves at the beach but also into the wealth of attractions and fun activities offered by every city along the beaches but also inland. Great about it is, that most of the fun is FREE! Look at the endless beaches. One always can find a great spot and enjoy a whole day at the beach without paying prime time money to secure a nice sunspot contrary to being on the Italian or French riviera. Most often the beach cities are offering a whole entertainment program for free as well. Look out for movies or concerts at the  beach or street fairs. Check out your local press for the latest announcements. All you need to pay for  is usually for food & drinks and trinkets  you would like to buy at the fair. One fun street fair is the weekly one in downtown Huntington Beach Main Street every Tuesday from 5 – 9 PM.

Speaking of Fairs, the Orange County Fair in Costa Mesa has started last Friday and will last until August 15th. Apart from all the carnival ride attractions there is entertainment of all kinds. The Ice Museum presented by Carving Ice, features the fair’s coolest attraction. In a 25′ by 25′ ice gallery that’s kept at 15 degrees, the visitor can watch ice sculptures of classic artworks, like the Mona Lisa. So, should you get too hot at a day’s long visit at the fairgrounds , go and cool off at the Ice Museum.

Three famous summer art festivals are happening in Laguna Beach at the moment and are fun for the whole family. The Festival of the Arts, Sawdust Art Festival and Art-A-Fair. A triple value passport is offered through www.lagunabaechpassport.com or by calling (949)497 0521. For just $19 you receive unlimited admission to all three festivals. Every ticket includes a one-time, all-day free parking!

The Festival of The Arts offers a great way for the whole family to spend a whole day immersed into the art world. Start the day with a free guided art tour, offered weekdays (11am & 3pm) weekends (11am & 4pm) . The artists are all present, which makes it easy to chat with them and get to know the person behind the artwork. Sign up for the many daily free art work shops, where you can learn about the various art techniques. Offered are workshops on :  Printmaking, RAKU ceramic workshops, and Video 101 FOA (thru august 30th, 10-11am) and more.

Every Saturday afternoon there is the Summer Smooth Jazz Concert Series at the Festival of The Arts from 1-3:30pm ( free with Festival Admission $7). In the mood for an exquisite wine tasting? Then don’t miss the Art, Jazz, Wine & Chocolate! Events every Thursday 5-8pm. Experience fine chocolate and wine tasting at its best for a nominal $12 fee in addition to the general Festival admission. (Check out their calendar for the daily events). At night enjoy the show of the Pageant of the Masters. A celebration of art showing world know master pieces as “living pictures”.

Almost right across from the Festival of the Arts is the Sawdust Art Festival, which my 6-year old really enjoys every time. The visitor will find a mix of fine art and craft. ‘Media include hand-blown and fused glass, painting, jewelry, surf art, ceramics, clothing and textiles, wood and metal sculpture,

Sawdust Festival 2010

scrimshaw, photography, and so much more’ (see Sawdust Festival website). Kids love the four stations with ‘hands on art projects’ like the pottery station, where kids but also adults can learn how to make a little piece of clay into a beautiful bowl, vase, etc.

If you have enough form the sun and outdoor activities please take a look at the great show at Southern California museums . The Los Angeles Natural History Museum just had the grand opening of its exhibition “Age Of Mammals”, featuring spectacular and rare specimens on display, including a sabor-toothed cat. And at the San Diego Natural History museum at Balboa Park the dinosaurs are loose.  Don’t leave before seeing some of the various dinosaur movies in 3-D and check out “Dinosaur Sundays” from 11am to 3pm during the summer, where kids can dig for fossils, create dinosaur art and much more.

Another fun dino quest takes place at the Discovery Science Center in Santa Ana. While this is a permanent exhibit throughout the year there are interesting exhibits going on all the time which are well worth visiting as well. Grossology and Tinkertoy as well as the Boing Rocket Lab are current exhibits.

Another not to be missed exhibit is the “Mummies of the World” exhibit at the California Science Center in LA. According to the Goethe Institut it “…is one of the largest traveling exhibitions of mummies ever mounted. Based on the work of the German Mummy Project,  it features a collection of 150 human and animal mummies dating as far back as 6,500 years.” Admission to the Science Center’s permanent exhibition galleries is free. Tickets for the “Mummies of the World” are $19.50 adult or $12.50 for a child. Call (213) 744-2019 to reserve your ticket or buy them online.