Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Penile fractures, pop culture, and job security

In my blog for students The A&P Student, I recently pointed out that they of course want to apply their increasing expertise in human anatomy and physiology to their experience of popular culture.

They've already probably caught themselves second-guessing some of the diagnoses of Dr. House's team . . . at least those lame ones offered during the first fifteen minutes of an episode. Or the really off-the-mark versions of human structure and function woven into episodes of Fringe.

I told them to get used to it. Apparently, the big money that goes into TV and movie productions does NOT go to anyone who passed a basic A&P course!

Dr. Patton's Theory of Media Science (Dr. P's TMS) . . .
which I just made up after years of mulling it over . . . and shouting it to my television screen . . . states that

"biological accuracy of a science-based fictional media production is inverse to the total budget for special effects in the production."

My hope is that producers will eventually recognize the validity of my theory, and the growing population of A&P-educated viewers who can spot a stupid science "fact" that really doesn't have to be there to make the story flow or to keep the special effects within budget or allow for a snappy movie or episode title.

Then these cutting-edge producers will spring for a modest fee for an A&P consultant in each production. Which will spur an increasing demand for graduates of my A&P courses. Which will increase my job security. And then perhaps one day this trend will help me find a part-time job when I retire . . . perhaps an A&P consulting job that also involves brief, well-paid, guest-starring roles and sharing beers and pizza with my favorite TV and movie stars.

However, a recent episode of Grey's Anatomy (season 5, episode 513) brought up an anatomical issue that is rarely discussed in A&P courses . . . and so A&P students might wonder "can this be true?!" Or even, "PLEASE tell me this cannot be true!"

Yes, as I'm sure you already know, one CAN break a penis. In fact, it's a more common injury than most people suspect.

Why don't we hear about it more often?

First, if you or your partner has broken a penis, would you be talking it up everywhere you go . . . as one might with a broken leg? Second, let's face it . . . one would have a cast that's out there asking to be asked about, right? Third, at least in my part of the world . . . we simply don't talk much (out loud, in public) regarding anything having to do with sex. (In fact, some reading this will shudder at my bringing it up in a blog for students or professors . . . if they've even read this far. Click here if you have a problem with it.)

Want to know more, so your A&P lecture is up to date with the latest trends in pop culture?

Try this straightforward . . . and easy to understand . . . article from Scientific American.

You'll learn a lot of useful A&P, you'll be ready for the inevitable classroom discussion on this topic, and you'll be all set for a future career as a TV/movie consultant after you retire!

Want to know even more useful (and possibly career-enhancing) facts related to the sex organs? Then check out this book:
Skin Flutes & Velvet Gloves: A Collection of Facts and Fancies, Legends and Oddities About the Body's Private Parts

Fun fact. . .
The television show Grey's Anatomy is a word play on the title of a famous medical anatomy text by Henry Gray called Gray's Anatomy. Notice the difference in spelling. Originally published over 150 years ago (1858), the current edition remains a leader among the best available references to the human body (and now comes in many different variations to suit different needs). See my recent blog post The Anatomist for more.

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