Friendly Organ Friends


Physically expressing love for your internal organs and all the hard work they do can be a little difficult, what with all the flesh, bone, and muscle between you and the object of your affection. That’s why where the adorable stuffed surrogates come in.  This plush, huggable prostate gland is just one of many delightfully odd products from I Heart Guts, our favorite designer of cute organs that appear to have been dissected from Hello Kitty.   The site also features an entertaining “Fun With Guts” video and a lively blog covering all thing anatomical and alerting us to these ostensibly cute yet somehow frightening organ mascots manufactured by 1-800-MASCOTS.


When Candy isn’t Dandy



American artist Stephen Shanabrook gives new meaning to the phrase “dark chocolate” with his 2006 piece “On the Road to Heaven Highway to Hell,” an exacting duplicate of the remains of a suicide bomber sculpted in everyone’s favorite confection.

Shanabrook, who spent his youth working at a chocolate factory, has previously turned the medium to macabre ends with his “Morgue Chocolates” series — a set of luxury chocolate boxes filled with confections representing stab wounds, bullet wounds, rough autopsy sutures, and other trauma sites.  Like his suicide bomber, these pieces are crafted in loving detail.  And there’s no questioning the realism as these sweets were cast from molds Shanabrook made from actual bodies while visiting morgues in Russia.

Not appetizing, you say?  Apparently not everyone agrees, as some of Shanabrook’s pieces have disappeared into hungry mouths while on exhibition.  “Mostly kids,” he explains in an interview with Vice Magazine.  “They’re not scared of it. They just want the chocolate.”

(Pictures via



Even Then, It Must Have Looked Strange

Scary hospital clowns, bizarre devices, and cadaver lab pix are just some of the medically themed gems you can turn up while perusing the photos archives of the National Museum of Health & Medicine and the Library of Congress.

Violet wand use as physical therapy in military hospital. From the Flickr set of the Otis Historical Archives of the National Museum of Health & Medicine.


Dissection room, American University of Beirut, Lebanon. Circa 1936. Can’t you smell the formaldehyde? (Library of Congress)


Apparatus for measuring extension-flexion of the wrist. World War I. From the Flickr set of the Otis Historical Archives of the National Museum of Health & Medicine.

Children’s Hospital Circus. Washington, D.C., 1923.   How many children do you see smiling in this picture? (Library of Congress)


Grandma’s Got a Velcro Fetish!

Laughing Squid has alerted us to another product from Koken, the manufacturer of the vaguely naughty medical simulation devices previously mentioned in this blog.

They write:

“We all know getting older isn’t fun, but Koken, a Japanese manufacturer of training gear for medical professionals, wants to be sure you know the specific details. To that end, they’ve produced this cousin to the “fatsuit,” or “empathy belly,” a little bondage ensemble they not-so-idiomatically have dubbed “The Aged Simulation Set.” Not sure where the Bib of Shame or orange-and-green color scheme comes in, but then seniors aren’t known for their fashion sense.”

Paperback Nurses: Nurse versus Nature

Paperback romance novels about nurses experienced a peculiar popularity throughout the ’60s and ’70s.   Without reading a single example, and without the Women’s Studies degree necessary to painfully belabor the point, it seems safe to say they were glutted with sexist stereotypes and leave the discussion of content there.  It’s more fun to judge them by the covers anyway, and thankfully there are tons of them online for those ready to look.  One resources is the Library of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Special Collections, where you can find over  425 examples.

Here is a thematic sampling from their collections:  Nurse dropped into rather unlikely natural settings. More to follow in the coming weeks.


This one places Nurse “Cherry Caldwell”  amid seaside crags where she must struggle with issues of familial loyalty and, presumably, her porn star name.


Postcard perfect nurses at  Grand Canyon?  I guess someone has to treat poison ivy and burro bites…


This one featured an excerpt that caught my eye….

“Nurse Quentin McCall had two great loves—skiing and nursing . . . but lovely Quentin soon found herself tangled in a snowdrift of conflicting emotions . . . Quentin asked herself, ‘If a mask was a necessity for love, was she willing to wear one?’”

Some nurse-themed kind of paean to ski-mask sex?


I suppose this is just inevitable.  Wait till you see how they treat jellyfish stings!


Insert “log” joke here.  But be gentle.

AoB Ambulance at Actual Emergency

Last night Art of Bleeding “medical staff” attended a overnight event sponsored by the Boyle Heights Paranormal Project at the abandoned Linda Vista Hospital.

I did not stay for the overnight portion, so I have yet to hear if remaining staff was spirited away by ghosts.  However, I had an interesting experience driving the ambulance back.  I had to get gas (okay, “diesel”) and I pulled into a station.

While filling up, this party bus pulls up.

A door opens, and awful music, gusts of alcohol, and  a crowd of passengers intent on buying munchies  explodes out.

The girls were all in uniform:  too-tight tube tops and fuck-me pumps, and the combination of bus steps, alcohol, and fuck-me pumps was too much for one of the sloshier ones.  She takes a spill, losing her cup and sending a 10-foot spray of vodka all over.

Her friends were mildly concerned at the bleeding knee, and an odd sense of responsibility settles over me.  I rummage for a second in the back of the ambulance,  then approach her with some alcohol wipes and bandaids used as props in our make-believe “clinics” at shows.

Her friends were as grateful as their conditioned allowed, but she squealed at the idea of stinging alcohol wipes.  As if she were in any kind of state to feel pain!

Anyway, this kind of makes up for all the times I feel guilty driving up to an accident along the road, and then have to watch the people’s heads turn in disbelief as I go drive off without stopping.



AoB’s Anatomy Minutes 2: The Salivary Glands has posted the latest episode of Art of Bleeding “Anatomy Minutes,” writing:

A parody of the scratchy old educational films used to sedate students of a bygone era, this latest from The Art of Bleeding — the second in the “Anatomy Minutes” series — quickly acquaints you with those most mouthwatering glands in the human body….

The Birds, The Bees, & a Bag of Hay


Don’t scream. I know, I know — it looks like the nightmare creation of some shambling scarecrow who stole your pillows and stitched them into a “wife” and “kids” out in the barn.

Either that or really messed up designer pillows.

Sadly, it’s neither.  What this really represents is the 18th-century answer to Yesterday’s post — an early obstetrics training-mannequin displayed in the Museum of Flaubert and the History of Medicine, in Rouen, France

Back before they had silicon and RealDolls, if you wanted to build a woman, you had limited choices.  But this did not deter Madam Du Coudray, an inventive midwife intent on sharing her knowledge of obstetrics with ignorant provincials through models.

She took great care in reproducing the firmness and flexibility of genuine female anatomy.  To that end, a fairly sophisticated system of leather straps with wood and iron framing was employed.  But the best part has been revealed by contemporary X-rays.  Beneath the fabric and stuffing, lending a distinctly natural shape to the form, is the pelvic bone of a young woman.

Now you can scream.