Archive for September, 2008

Guts in Venice

September 29, 2008

We had a grand ol’ time down at the Abbot Kinney Festival down in Venice yesterday, shilling guts and meeting all kinds of fun folks. One of our fave overheard comments from the day:

Girl 1: “A uterus shirt — why would you want that?”
Girl 2: “Why wouldn’t you want that?”

We had to snap photos of some of the best anatomy-related tees we saw passing our booth. Guy #1 was wearing an old school Operation tee — he turned out to be a radiologist, which made it all the cooler. Guy #2 was wearing a fabulous ye olde map of the body, a tee by Jemae he found on Threadless, plus he was sporting the chemical diagram for oxytocin, the love hormone, as a tattoo on his forearm. Awesome. We spent some time trying to remember whether the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland release the chemical, and after a tiny bit of shallow research, it turns out it’s a little bit of both — made by the hypothalamus and released by the pituitary. We also enjoyed chatting with an older man in his sixties who’d had open heart surgery and was describing his idea for a christmas card — taking a photo of himself with our plush heart and his wife, also in her sixties, wearing a sexy nurse’s uniform. I looked at her and she said, “Yeah, I’m not so excited about that part.”

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Muttering About

September 24, 2008

When a museum calls itself “disturbingly informative” you know it’s got to be great. The Mutter Museum, part of the College of Physician’s of Philadelphia, is chock full of bones, preserved guts floating in jars and other creepy stuff from the bodily world. They are perhaps best known for having a replica of Siamese twins Chang & Eng, who had a conjoined liver (hey, if you can’t share your liver with your own brother, who can you share it with?) that is preserved and on display at Mutter. This place is the original Body Worlds. Best of all, this emporium of body parts will soon carry I Heart Guts plushies, stickers and buttons, so if you’re in the Philly area and you just can’t wait, get your guts there.

Love Your Liver

September 24, 2008

We sure love livers over here at I Heart Guts — they clean our blood, they detoxify our system and are generally good to have around a body. That’s why we are so excited to team up with the National Liver Foundation this coming October — aka Liver Awareness Month! We created some fun drawings for their Love Your Liver youth education campaign, and had a ball doing it. So go check out the site and learn how to love that ol’ liver for yours. If you’ve got a non-profit that needs some fun artwork, drop us a line, we wanna work with you!

Super Plush!

September 17, 2008

September is slipping away so fast, I almost forgot to mention I Heart Guts will be in the Super Plush show at Ghetto Gloss in Los Angeles next week! We’re proud and excited to appear alongside some of our fave plush nerd friends, including sad-toast and happy-donut crafter My Paper Crane, plush goddess Anna Chambers and one-eyed weirdos 12punt3. The opening is Sept. 25th, so if you’re looking for something to do in Los Angeles next Thursday from 7-12, this is it! There will be booze, there will be dance. Peep the entire show roster here.

Watch Your Meds

September 17, 2008

There seems to be no end to medical dramas, medical procedurals and just plain ol’ medical general-interest television shows overall, as the new TV season begins. If you’re not watching Private Practice, you might be absorbed by tonight’s season premiere of House, sniffling over the last season of ER, learning about post-op gastric bypass patients on The Doctors (this one’s got real live doctors in it), or checking out Grey’s Anatomy.  Noticing all the billboards for these shows around town made me wonder why people are so hungry for shows about medicine. The drama and mystery involved in medicine make it a natural subject for television, of course. But I also wonder if the universal subject matter — we could all fall ill or get hurt at any moment, plus most of us have spent time in a hospital for one reason or another — also makes for popular tubeage. Anyway, who the hell knows?

The Body at Work

September 12, 2008

See the brain tell the muscles, heart and lung what to do in this bizarre and wonderful animation. The subtitles are my favorite part, I think. This movie seems to be part of  some kind of Nike ad, but even so, it’s pretty fabulous, so take off your sceptic’s hat for a minute and enjoy. Thanks to John of Blend Apparel (he’s got some some good guts, too) for the link.

Cute Bones and Brains

September 11, 2008

A few fun new bodily discoveries via Doma and Cuddly Rigor Mortis — a body filled with bones and an adorable pink brain that’s been snacked upon by zombies — oohhhhhh nooooo! So cute and colorful and hard to resist!

Unhealthily Obsessed

September 10, 2008

The guts are always happy to be the object of someone’s obsession, especially people we are obsessed with right back. So we’re especially honored to have been featured in Time Out New York‘s shopping section. One of my fave old ways to unwind after a long day’s work (and even longer subway ride home) was to read a fresh issue of Time Out while soaking in the bathtub and drinking a beer. Anyway, some of the nice things they said: “The deliriously happy bunch is sure to put any get-well card to shame. And having a plush version of whatever’s ailing is like reverse voodoo—somehow, punching a stuffed uterus during a bad period makes it all feel better.”

Hooray for UCSF!

September 10, 2008

Believe it or not, the guts have a tough time getting into hospital gift shops. Maybe 90% of the time we approach a store and show ’em the guts, the buyer offers us little more than an expression of total disgust and annoyance. One buyer at the Cedars Sinai hospital gift shop in Los Angeles asked me, “Why would someone who had a kidney transplant wanna wear a kidney?” I replied, “Um, uh, er…Because they have a weird sense of humor?” So we are especially grateful to UCSF hospital gift shop for going out on a limb and taking I Heart Guts into their store. Thanks, guys, for not being afraid of being freaky! Hopefully the gutsy goods will go home into the hands of some wonderful San Franciscans — and perhaps a nurse or doctor or two — after all, 75% of hospital gift shop sales are to people who work in the hospital (okay, okay, maybe they’re just grabbing a candy bar, but it’s true).

I Am Such a Nerd

September 10, 2008

The two latest books I’ve read in the vein of medical reading — First Do No Harm by Lisa Belkin and How Doctors Think by Jerome Groopman. The first chronicles several wrenching cases in one hospital in Houston, delving into hospital committee meetings where life and death decisions are sometimes made on behalf of patients. Fascinating read, it’s like watching an episode of ER, but it’s a book — total doc drama! The Groopman book is exactly as advertised — how do doctors go about solving the mysteries they are faced with every day? It’s also a great read to help patients understand the world of medicine and how to elicit the best possible care from your doctor. The jacket design is eerily similar — I guess nothing says “doc” like a stethoscope. This is especially funny because Dr. Groopman points out the stethoscope has been made nearly obsolete by advanced diagnostic tools like CT and MRI scans. But you can’t wear an MRI scanner around your neck, can you?