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‘Science of Snot’ on Gross Display at Las Vegas Kids’ Museum

Many kids – and many adults, for that matter – love talking about their body “unmentionables,” sometime even celebrating the gross nature and experience of all.  Barf, burps and flatulence speak are all fair game to the truly uninhibited- IF you dare.

Now, “Grossology,” essentially the study of body ickiness, is on raw display at the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum in Las Vegas with enough exhibits on bodily secretions, noises and odors to make any grade-schooler or adult giggle uncontrollably. 

The exhibit is based on the popular children’s books with the same name, which are normally not used in classrooms but are available in public school libraries, says Mary Pike, the director of science and foreign language education for the Clark County School District in Las Vegas.

Pike said teachers appreciated how the gross can be so engrossing to so many. 

But, before you parents get the wrong idea (or a case of the giggles), not all bodily functions are explained.  Thankfully, human reproduction – SEX – is not part of “Grossology” exhibit or in books. 

By not covering sex, “Grossology” author Sylvia Branzei-Velasquez says she could be more irreverent and whimsical in her approach. 

“There is nothing very controversial about barf or poo or scabs,” she says. 

For those children and adults that still can’t get their fill of gross stuff, they can also see the real human body in full gorey detail at “Bodies…The Exhibition” at the Luxor, 3900 Las Vegas Blvd., www.luxor.com.   It provides a morgue-like display of preserved organs and skeltons. 

“Grossology” is open now and continues through September 7 at the Lied Discovery Children’s Museum, 833 Las Vegas Blvd.  For tickets and times, surf on over to www.ldcm.org

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Mobsters Are THE Las Vegas Art?

Some mobsters are peacefully decomposing in corn fields; others are unwillingly lending their frames to help mobstersupport the Hoover Dam.   But for Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, an ex-mob lawyer, those resting places are merely a mobster purgatory.   If the mayor has his way – and he usually does get his way – the City of Las Vegas will reincarnate the good ol’ trigger-finger-boys for their last stand- right into the annals of true Las Vegas history- or should I say folklore?

Mayor Goodman, in his last term of office, is definitely not a lame – or whacked – duck, rather he is fighting like a possessed madman on an energy drink I.V. to establish the Las Vegas Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement (translated: Las Vegas Mob Museum). 

oscargoodmanAnd it doesn’t matter one iota to headstrong Goodman when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, and others, like Newt Gingrich, recently said his idea is a shining example of a pork barrel project gone very bad- and one that should definitely not be part of Obama’s economic stimulus package.

Hizzoner fervently counters, saying the museum will attract 250,000 visitors a year to Las Vegas, adding, “Nobody’s going to come to downtown Las Vegas to look at paintings.  They’re not going to look at watercolors.  They’re not going to look at porcelain. They’re not going to look at miniature trains.”

Goodman steadfastly believes that Las Vegas and a mob museum marriage is a natural fit.

Perhaps, yes.  Perhaps, no.  But, regardless, it will be a tough upward climb to sell the idea in a sour economy if the $50 million mob museum project opens in 2010, as planned.   Since 2001 the project has only coughed up $3.6 million- and that was composed only of federal grants, and from matching state and local money. 

If you don’t believe there are enough “silent” mobsters still kicking around in Las Vegas that are rich enough to build their own museum, just wait until you see who digs deep in their pockets when the museum fundraisers kick off  later this year.

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