Discovery Planet 10” Human Torso – In the Collection

If you’re as excited by scientific models of the human body as I am (that sounds weird), there are quite a few options to go for, some even ranging into the thousands of dollars. I don’t have that kind of money to spend (I didn’t even get my model new) so I’m gonna talk about one that’s quite a bit cheaper today.

The 27cm (10”) version of the 8 part human torso by Discovery Planet is the smaller of the two I could find (the larger being simply double the size). There are technically 8 parts to the model, but this includes the base and the main torso frame, into which slot/peg a heart, liver, intestines, stomach, and 2 lungs. Included in the box that unsettlingly says simply “Human Torso” is a small “manual” in full color that describes the basic shape and positioning of all the removable bits as well as some of the other “exposed” organs. Unfortunately missing from mine is a “Bonus Instructional CD”, but I don’t believe that has any effect on operation. The material is a slightly flexible plastic (vinyl?) with a very strange feel. It’ll probably hold up to some abuse from children even though it’s hollow, but then again there’s not much you could really do to it. Probably as a result of this material being hard to paint, the paint application is very minimal, but precise. It certainly doesn’t look real but it’s not all one color. Though, if I were a child I don’t know what I would actually do with it, because it’s more of a classroom “toy” than an actual one.

These kids are far too happy

This is backed up a bit by the company “Discovery Planet”, which is just a brand used by the Hong Kong import company Bowen Hill. Neither the brand nor the importer have a functioning website, but a few branded items can be found around, and there is an abysmal “Bowen Hill” Amazon Store that does sell science class product(s). This model is surprisingly still available in several places (Toys R Us for one but it can be found cheaper elsewhere), I suspect mine is quite a bit older, but there’s no copyright date on anything to indicate that.

My little statue will be going either on the shelf of weird things or the one of random artistic aids. I can see this being a nice, decently accurate model of a torso for a science class or drawing reference, and it was/is fairly cheap to aquire. If nothing else it’ll freak some houseguests out.

So, Beck Released an new single

What the hell, when did that happen? I guess I wasn’t paying attention to Beck, I was to busy being disappointed by Sublime and The Ting Tings; wondering how in the world Modest Mouse is going to record songs with Big Boi (which they’ve already done, apparently) and why Franz Ferdinand isn’t saying anything about the new album they’re working on. Oh, and I was also busy being pumped for the new Jukebox the Ghost album.

But, Beck did in fact release a new single, I’ve got it in my hand. It feels strange to be holding a freshly pressed 7″. I have new 12″ers, but those seem like they’d be more profitable in this day and age. No matter, because even though I bought the record, Third Man still didn’t give me a way to download it and I had to buy it again off Itunes.

Well, was it worth it. The B-side “Blue Randy” wasn’t, I’ll tell you that off the bat. It’s the disappointing, droning Beck I though we’d rid of when Sea Change came out. That’s when his droning got less disappointing. But really, it seems different from past efforts, maybe it will grow on me like Mutations did, but until then I’d skip the B.

But what we’re really here for is the A-side, right, those are ones that are remembered, except when they aren’t and the B-side becomes the hit. But that won’t be the case with “I Just Started Hating Some People Today”, because it is far superior to “Blue Randy”. The song has Beck going to country (and then devolving into chaos by the song’s end) which I must say I quite enjoy. Beck’s sense of humor is back, and the new country tune brings him closer to his folk roots. It’s like an extremely polished song from One Foot in the Grave or Steropathetic Soulmanure. It makes me smile to hear somehow cohesive nonsense from Beck again, no matter how much I liked Modern Guilt, Sea Change, Mutations, and to some extent The Information (on seriousness, not liking) it’s always fun to hear that. The song is thoroughly enjoyable and entirely Beck, just with a country spin. Every album Beck has done so far has evolved in songwriting and into a new genre, and this is a great jump in both directions. It’s country-Beck is all I really have to say about it and if that sounds appealing to you, then give it a listen, the A-side is worth the dollar (or eight if you buy the single {including shipping}).

I hope the new inevitable Beck album keeps up this vibe and that Third Man can continue to release Beck albums (with digital copies included).

By: Austin Smith