Episode 26 – Death and the Afterlife

It’s October, so it’s time for some spooky tales of how Science is Stranger Than Fiction: Death and the Afterlife with Dr. Leslie New from WSU Vancouver. Content warning: lots of discussion of dead bodies, murder, trepanning (pre-historic brain surgery), anatomical models, mummies, grave robbing, books made of human skin, and many of the exhibits in the Mutter Museum.

See below for images and links to resources she talks about during the episode.

Minute ~8:30 University of Maryland – Aging and Applied Thanatology

Minute ~10:00 – Trepanned skull from Jericho (Wikimedia Commons)
Minute ~10:15 – Trepanning in the middle ages (Wikimedia Commons)
Minute ~12:21 – Museo de las Momias (Wikimedia Commons)

Minute ~14:38 – Ripley Alchemical Scroll

Starting ~17:08 – Detail of an écorché (with mummification) of a horse and its rider made by the French anatomist Honoré Fragonard (Wikimedia Commons)

Starting ~17:08 – Article and images of papier mâché horses by Dr. Louis Auzoux

Starting ~19:53 – Many pictures of Anatomical Venuses

Starting ~19:53 – Anatomical Venus (Wikimedia Commons)
~21:50 – Madonna-like Anatomical Venus showing how to turn breech baby (Image source: Dangerousminds.net)

Mentioned at ~22:23 – The book The Anatomical Venus: Wax, God, Death, and the Ecstatic, by Joanna Ebenstein

Minute ~24:52 – Plastinated person (Image from Atlas Obscura)
Minute ~24:57 – Plastinated hands (Image from Atlas Obscura)
Minute ~26:36 – One of Mumler’s most famous images, purportedly showing Mary Todd Lincoln with the ghost of her husband, Abraham Lincoln (Wikimedia Commons)
Minute ~35:36 – William Burke’s skeleton (Wikimedia Commons)
Minute 35:51 – Calling-card case made of Burke’s skin (Wikimedia Commons)

Starting ~42:48 – The Mutter Museum! Check out their website for images of the Chang and Eng Bunker, the skull collection, collection of swallowed objects, Harry Eastlack, growing a horn out of your head, the megacolon, and Albert Einstein’s brain.

Minute ~1:00:55 – The Body Farm at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Minute ~1:01:40 – The Order of the Good Death

Thanks to Graham Tully and Stephen Perry for sound production.

As always, a final thanks to Jonathan Coulton for the use of his song Mandelbrot Set as our theme music.

Thanks to Graham Tully for sound production.

As always, a final thanks to Jonathan Coulton for the use of his song Mandelbrot Set as our theme music.

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