Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bulgy Bodies

Another entry in the 'Gross Science' category. This boxed collection features books from the Horrible Science series, including such titles as Disgusting Digestion, Chemical Chaos, and Bulging Brains.

I find it fascinating that this kind of imagery is used to teach scientific principles. It's as though science is viewed as such a 'boring' subject that it requires an extreme grotesque makeover to hold a child's attention.

This preemptive strategy is somewhat disturbing. Not only because of the attitude towards science it suggests, but the bloodthirsty vision of children it seems to convey. The last time I saw this much gore I was watching My Bloody Valentine. Then again, perhaps these books operate in the spirit of realism, by refusing to conceal life's "squishy bits"?

There is a related book and TV series called Horrible Histories which I am more familiar with. Slightly less gory, but always presenting history in terms of weirdness and grotesquery. This is the live-action version:

There is also a cartoon version of Horrible Histories, which is the one I've seen on TV here in Australia:

I haven't heard of a Horrible Science TV show as yet. Be sure to let me know if you find one!

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