Paris exhibition explores bodily oddities

26th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 26 (AFP) - Flatulence, faeces, urination ... and all that's disgusting, sticky and foul-smelling about the human body and how it functions makes for an unusual but educational new Paris exhibition aimed at children.

PARIS, Nov 26 (AFP) - Flatulence, faeces, urination ... and all that's disgusting, sticky and foul-smelling about the human body and how it functions makes for an unusual but educational new Paris exhibition aimed at children.

"Crad'expo" uses kid's talk to describe "farts, poo and wee" for example, "to dare to speak of things that one does not usually speak of", organiser Perrine Wyplosz told AFP.

Indeed the exhibition's title, "Crad" is French slang for dirty or "crud".

Playful though scientific, the exhibition which opens on November 30 and runs until next August does not shy away from "naughty" words to teach youngsters about the body's respiratory and digestive systems.

Using the vocabulary of children aged five to 12, the displays gleefully refer to "bogeys", "belching" or "puke".

Visitors can play pinball machines, scoring points for "farts" by hitting marbles on the spots marked "bean" or "cabbage", or climb the epidermis wall where the hand grips are spots, scabs or warts.

The "Vomit Pump" demonstrates how a human being throws up, while sprays emit the ripe odors which emanate from smelly feet, arm pits, the anus and mouth.

Bodily noises are not ignored either. Press a button to hear the gurgling of the stomach, or enter a gigantic nose or a "food toboggan" to slide along the digestive system.

"The scientific side complements always the playful part," Wyplosz said.

Each activity is accompanied by simple explanations on where bodily secretions and excretions come from, as well as the origins of gas or the forming of spots. Screens show the inside of the body thanks to endoscopic cameras.

Visitors learn for example that the intestines measure about eight metres, that urine is made up of 96 percent water or that when you sneeze, air shoots out at 160 kilometres an hour.

"Breaking wind is a sign of good health" is another lesson learnt, or that "without mucus we would be very ill". Children will also be pleased to know that age 10 is when the nose is at its most efficient and most people can distinguish 4,000 smells.

The exhibition was dreamt up by the US company Advanced Exhibits.

The displays give children "a realistic science of the body in a way that is certainly not polite but not incorrect or indecent," said Philippe Grandsenne, a paediatrician associated with the exhibition.

It takes place at the Cite des Sciences et de l'Industrie in northern Paris. Crad'expo is open every day except Monday, from 10:00 am until 6:00 pm on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and from 9:45 am until 4:45 pm on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

Times change during school holidays, with details available on the website www.cite-sciences.fr. Entry costs five euros (6.50 dollars).

© AFP

Subject: French News

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