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The Origin of Feces

I got this in my email today from "Living Social."


When I first read it, I thought it said, "Your mother always reminded you to wash your behind…", which makes sense, given the advertising subject material.  I haven't read the remainder of the deal, so we can only guess what the last sentence reads: "Pay $39 to get one colon hydrotherapy treatment that will safely and comfortably remove excess wast from your…" well, I guess from behind your ears, if you use enough hydrotherapy.  This woman, however, seems to have not washed behind her ears because she's sprouting flowers from that spot.  Either that, or the hydrotherapy is successful enough to allow growth of hydroponic plants.

I do wonder about two things in this advertisement: first, I wonder at the serene expression on her face.  Surely, this isn't the face of someone having colonic hydrotherapy.  I would expect that face to look a little more like this:

Expression Fig 20 Terror 253x300

Or this:

 Expression Fig 21 Horror 270x300

Which are both pictures taken by Benjamin Amond Duchenne during an experiment using electrodes.  

Duchenne had set out to find the muscles responsible for creating particular expressions using an electrical device he had originally developed to investigate the muscles that control the hand. He applied galvanic probes to the facial muscles of a number of different test subjects. He also took what today could be thought of as control photographs of the same people with blank expressions, and others where they were attempting to simulate expressions without the aid of the probes.


These photos fascinated Charles Darwin enough to include them in his book on emotional expressions.

Which brings me back to the second observation about the advertisement: the inclusion of a beautiful woman with flowers around her is not necessarily what comes to mind when I think about "colon hydrotherapy."  The below pictures (also from Darwin's book) express to me a more realistic response to the turning of one's colon into a water balloon.

1872 Expression F1142 figplate5

After all, what is inflated must then deflate.  We all know what the end product of hydrotherapy is: Galapagos.

Which brings up the final irony of this offer to put water in my colon for a fraction of the expected cost: it comes from a website called "Living Social."  Do people really believe that colonic somehow gives them an advantage while "living social?"  Perhaps, however, this will work for the benefit of natural selection, as they will have less of a chance to have children.

I think I'll stick with Groupon.