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The Van Jones Show

Mutter Museum

Aired December 10, 2014 - 21:00   ET


MIKE ROWE, SOMEBODY'S GOTTA DO IT HOST: That's me being put into an iron lung.

ANNA DHODY, DIRECTOR, MUTTER INSTITUTE AND CURATOR MUTTER MUSEUM: You have a lot of trust in us and your crew.

ROWE: I have no trust in you or my crew.

You won't see this on tonight's episode. You also won't to see holding a pair of acromegalic hands.

It's such a big hand.

DHODY: That's a big hand.

ROWE: Please no pictures.

Learning to discern differences in human skulls. Wow.

Or having my arms virtually root and be amputated.

That is bad news. The surgeon cuts off your arm and saws up the skin over your stomach.

DHODY: Bye bye arm.

ROWE: No, you won't see any of that because those where the parts that worked good enough to make it in to the final cut. Come on. I dare you not to watch.

A little early, early, early, super early here in Philadelphia. I do love the couple though in streets of Philadelphia. So rustic and historic. What's wrong with the coffee?

We're here today because a viewer named Ricky (ph) went on in my Facebook page and told me about a creepy museum called the Mutter that her husband Bruce (ph) was too scared to visit.

Since she didn't get to go, she has me to go in her place. And since I need to deliver a new show every week, I said, "Sure."

Are somebody in question is a woman named Anna Dhody. Now, you know what I know.

Hi Anna. How are you? DHODY: Good to meet you.

ROWE: It's lovely to meet you.

Curator or curator?

DHODY: What do you like?

ROWE: Well, I think curator is what most people expecting to hear.

DHODY: I think so.

ROWE: But there is something vaguely national treasurish and continental...

DHODY: Continental...

ROWE: That's curator.

DHODY: Curator, yes.

ROWE: Well just in case it doesn't come out, just tell them now. For the record, this is Anna's mission. Tell them.

DHODY: I am the historical record keeper of the human body and all of its glory, it's suffering, it's chain and it's (inaudible).

ROWE: Yeah. That's really good.

DHODY: Yeah.

ROWE: I see a lot of red circles with multiple lines through them.

No hoagies.

DHODY: No hoagies.

ROWE: No cheese steaks.

DHODY: No cheese steaks.

ROWE: No filming. No bags.

DHODY: No bags.

ROWE: And human heads.

DHODY: That's not true. We have human heads. We're part of the much larger institution. It's called the College of Physicians of Philadelphia.

ROWE: Yes.

DHODY: It is the oldest professional society in continuous operation in United States. It was start in 1787. It's college as in colleague. It's not a degree-granting institution. Where all the doctors and all the different hospitals and universities could meet to share ideas and techniques and camaraderie.

So the first thing I want to show is Dr. Mutter himself because...

ROWE: Yes.

DHODY: ... we can't talk about the Mutter Museum without talking about Dr. Mutter. So this is the handsome gentleman here with (inaudible).

Dr. Mutter's (inaudible). I think he wanted to sound a little bit more continental, so he went from Mutter...

ROWE: Mutter.

DHODY: Mutter.

ROWE: Why him?

DHODY: Dr. Mutter, it is around 1858. He was a fellow here. Unfortunately, he found himself in ill health at a fairly young age and decided to be (inaudible) to the college's entire teaching collection as well as substantial endowment.

ROWE: Yeah.

DHODY: And so when we walk around here, sometimes you'll see specimens that will say, old Mutter number or original Mutter number and those will be his original donations.

You know, he was really all about teaching and that's what we're all about here. Our mission is always been education.

Most of the people who are coming here have no medical background whatsoever.

ROWE: I got it.

Our own research is indicated. If you have something really important to say and we're doing something visually interesting, the odds that are being used are extraordinarily high.


ROWE: If on the other hand we find ourselves assuming the posture we currently are in, exchanging interesting facts of one another, even sparkling (inaudible) conversation, the odds of that being cut out are extraordinarily high.

So in my mind, I'm running this eternal calculus that says, hmm, that was interesting but gosh if only we were moving.

Steve (ph) my producer is nodding his head in violent agreement.

DHODY: That's violent agreement.

ROWE: That as violent as he gets. He's fast because they're quicker.

DHODY: Well how about if we hit Einstein's brain. I mean, not literally hit Einstein. So we go to Einstein's brain and then we can go around to the (inaudible) skulls and then we kind of go around to see some of the highlights.

We'll have to stop a little bit to like...

ROWE: Of course.

DHODY: ... you know, to do that.

ROWE: Of course. What would you business card say?

DHODY: Well -- I mean, I'm the curator of the museum but I'm also a trained forensic anthropologist. So I look at -- I focused merely in the human bones. That's what I like.

ROWE: So when you watch shows like bones for instance, does it fill you with pride for your industry or does it make you want to run screaming.

DHODY: Let's go with the run screaming. Well, I mean it makes me jealous. I mean, if I have a lab like that -- I mean, I could do some good stuff. But also there's so many things in there that are so like you'd never have living plants in a forensic lab, that's like total integrative pest management. You're introducing insects.

It's cool that they're bringing -- making forensic anthropology. Cool -- I mean ...

ROWE: And you can wear stiletto, and what not.

DHODY: Yeah, sure.

She can wear stiletto -- do not -- all right. Thank you.

ROWE: But who needs fake T.V. shows when the Mutter holds stories much more interesting, twisted and real?

DHODY: Would you like to know the reason why the term Siamese twins existed?

ROWE: I would. Is that Chang and Eng Bunker?

DHODY: Absolutely.

ROWE: I know those guys.

DHODY: Chang and Eng Bunker. Now, they are kind of build as the world's first Siamese Twins because they are born in Siam. We use the (inaudible) correct term conjoined twins now.

And we know that there had been records of conjoined twins going on since recorded history. They (inaudible) with a lot of different side shows and circuses. They were very, very popular but did eventually retire from this profession.

They bought adjoining farming in (inaudible) North Carolina.

ROWE: Conjoining farms?

DHODY: Conjoining farm.

They married sisters and they had 21 children between them.


DHODY: They have spent a couple of days of one bother's, a couple of days to the other brother's house. Whose ever house they went, that's who is boss, that who's wife's they were with.

ROWE: God.

DHODY: Because Chang like his alcohol beverages, OK?

ROWE: This one?

DHODY: Eng was a (inaudible). But Eng like to stay up late at night playing poker. So that's when they had the situation to accommodate each other's needs.

They were conjoined and they died conjoined. But what's interesting to know is that at the time of the autopsy, they found that they had conjoined liver and that's the livers right here.

ROWE: That's -- I knew it.

DHODY: Yup. Had they try to get separated in life? It would not have been successful. They would have died. The liver is highly vast here.

ROWE: You can't mess with the liver, right?

DHODY: You know, you can die just from (inaudible), from blood loss. And keep in mind, this is like late 1800s.

ROWE: Yeah.

DHODY: They would have died.

ROWE: And honestly, the sex. I just don't -- I just...

DHODY: That's where your imagination can take you. Because I'm not taking you there.

ROWE: You can't show me this and then say, yeah, and they had 21 kids...

DHODY: Yeah, it can.

ROWE: Let's move on. I can't. I'm not ready to move on.

DHODY: You realize you're in a (inaudible) position right now.

ROWE: I am. I'm a ball of horror.

DHODY: You were curled up on (inaudible) Mutter Museum. This is -- my work here is done. Piece out.

ROWE: You're so weird. Show me something.

DHODY: Thank you.

All right. All right, a (inaudible) of thing taken out of people throats. We're talking over 2,000 objects. Every single object your seeing here was taken out of somebody's throat, by one man. His name was Dr. Shevali Jackson (ph).

ROWE: This drawer after drawer stuff?

DHODY: Drawer after drawer.

ROWE: Was he like the go to -- I mean, this is all what you did?

DHODY: Yeah. This is a pretty much all he did. Safety pin, he like to call danger pin.

ROWE: These guys.

DHODY: Yeah.

ROWE: It's must be kids.

DHODY: Let's just say some of them were accidentally ingested and some were forcibly ingested.

There are some story to sadistic nanny doing this to a young child. It just -- that was one of the things that upset me when I read about that.

ROWE: So we can talk about that we can't talk about the Bunker's, you know...

DHODY: Bunking.

ROWE: Bunking. OK.

DHODY: This is one of only two places in the world where you will see parts of Einstein's brain. Now I say parts because it's a slice.

ROWE: Sure.

DHODY: And his brain was taken without his family's permission, certainly without his permission.

ROWE: Well he was no longer using it, right? DHODY: He actually said prior to his death that he did not want to preserved, any part of him to be preserved. He didn't actually want his body to be buried. I believe he was cremated. He didn't want that any kind of part of him to be relics, you know, he just wanted to...

ROWE: Yeah, be gone.

DHODY: ... be gone. The pathologist took it upon himself to remove Einstein's brain at autopsy and kept it in a pickle jar, in a (inaudible) box, in his closet for a couple of decades.

ROWE: What can we learn?

DHODY: He died around 76, I believe. But he did not have that plaque build up that a lot of us get in our brain as we get older. He had a brain of a young man. Do you want to see the Soap Lady?

ROWE: I would love to go see the Soap Lady.

DHODY: All right. Let's go. This is the real human body. She is called the saponified body. That's the process where the body fats actually turn chemically into its kind of (inaudible) soapy like substance. And that's why we call her the Soap Lady.

ROWE: That's kind of horrifying.

DHODY: OK. That's another thing that I talk about is that she's not screaming.

ROWE: Yes, she is.

DHODY: No, she's not.

ROWE: No, look at her.

DHODY: So when you decompose your mandible and your maxilla. They're only held together by a little bit of flash. Those decompose really quickly and what the first thing to happened?

ROWE: Gravity.

DHODY: Gravity.

ROWE: It's a lot of fancy talk and it's impressive but I'm just telling you she was screaming.

DHODY: She's not screaming. So the guy who procured her, he discovered these bodies, there was a soap man and a soap woman. So the Soap Lady here is ours and the soap man is at (inaudible).

ROWE: You should get them together. You got a soap guy, we got a soap girl. If you get together, have some of those little tiny parts of soap you see in the hotel rooms. It would be awesome.

DHODY: Please, we ... ROWE: You'd clean up...

DHODY: We had Soap Lady on a rope in the gift store.

ROWE: Do you really?


ROWE: You have soap on a rope in the gift store?

DHODY: Soap lady on a rope.

ROWE: Is this the gate store?

DHODY: This is the museum store, yeah.

ROWE: Oh this is awesome?

DHODY: Soap lady on a rope. Now this is dirt scented. This is lavender. Lavender scented. And I'm pretty sure this one glows in the dark.

ROWE: You have a soap lady that glows in the dark. (inaudible) if she doesn't glow in the dark, she should.

DHODY: She should, yeah. And there's only one place you can get (inaudible). You do a lot of traveling, right? Because this makes a good neck pillow. Can I? May I?

ROWE: Put a coal on around my neck for those long across the country flights.

DHODY: Yeah.

ROWE: That's nice. You have to have a sense of humor.

DHODY: Oh my god. Yeah. I mean, if you worked here all day, everyday surrounded by death, surrounded by the macab (ph), you need to have a giant stem cell so just cuddle at night.

ROWE: Is that what this is?

DHODY: That's a giant stem cell.

ROWE: Wow, like my granddad said, if you're not laughing, the jokes on you.

DHODY: All right. So I think this door open.

ROWE: We're in the commercial break now. We can go anywhere we want.

DHODY: All right.


ROWE: If you can ever wonder if there was somebody, some place who knew everything there is to know about the (inaudible) side of medical history, wonder no more, that somebody is Anna Dhody and at some place, the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia.

DHODY: You want to see some presidential assassin bits in pieces?

ROWE: Yes.


ROWE: Yes, I do.

DHODY: You know the (inaudible), right?

ROWE: Yeah, that son of a (inaudible).

DHODY: This is actually a piece of his thorax. When we say thorax, I mean that can mean anything from like here to here. I actually think probably part of his tissue from his neck area, because that's where he was shot.

ROWE: Total douche.

DHODY: You can actually say douche here because, you know, we're in a medical museum and that's like - so that's really acceptable.

ROWE: I'm guessing you can dick too.

DHODY: We say penis.

ROWE: All right. John (inaudible) was a penis.

DHODY: Yeah. So that is a piece of one presidential assassin. And we actually have the brain and the good chunk of brain of the other one.

ROWE: Yup.

DHODY: You know, we had another president that was assassinated too. We've had four, President Garfield.

There was a man, his name was Charles Catto (ph). He was a couple of taco shy, of a combo platter.

ROWE: You're such a doctor.

DH0DY: Yeah, I tried. Couple (inaudible) I've heard, is that better?

ROWE: That's good.


ROWE: Great.

DHODY: And he shot the President, but here is the thing, it took Garfield 80 days to die.

ROWE: He has lingered, yeah, almost three months.

DHODY: He lingered. We think now that it was the massive infection of al these doctors sticking their unwashed hands and their unwashed instruments into the President over and over again.

ROWE: This was 1880, 81.

DHODY: 1881. This is also (inaudible) during the time when they thought you could be set (inaudible). So they gave him beef broth (inaudible).

ROWE: Imagine how much trouble could have been avoided if only public service announcement were around back in the 1880s.

Hello. I'm Mike Rowe.

DHODY: I'm Anna Dhody.

ROWE: And we're here to talk about an important problem sweeping the country.

DHODY: The beef broth (inaudible).

ROWE: This is a tragedy and it needs to stop. Men and women following the best advice of our medical professionals are putting meat by products into their bottoms. Please, don't let this happen to you and your loved ones.

DODHY: That's true. And please just say no.

ROWE: And then leave the bottom.

There more stories here than we could tell in 10 episodes. But the one story I haven't heard yet is Anna's.

You seem to have figured something out. Did you get lucky?

DHODY: Yes. I mean, I really think that I -- I stumbled into this job. I mean, I came back from (inaudible) in Peru, doing human rights work, totally burnt out and having no -- absolutely, no idea what I was going to do next.

ROWE: What happened in Peru?

DHODY: Well, I'm a forensic anthropologist, so I was both teaching forensic anthropology to Peruvian people so they can identify their own dead and I was actually doing the analysis as well.

ROWE: Back in the 1990s, a terrorist group called the Shining Path did some very bad things to a lot of innocent people. Anna had a front row seat.

DHODY: And then I kind of was like, "Do I want to do this for the rest of my life?" I mean, when you walk into a room and its floor to ceiling body bags and you know that there is one person in every single one and it just goes. That was so intense. And when I first got down there, we estimated that about 35,000 people were killed between 1980 and 2000. And by the time I left within the truth commission (inaudible) came up that up to 75,000.

ROWE: So that's like, that's Grimm?

DHODY: Yeah.

ROWE: Just make -- it make sense to me. I mean, I get what the museum is all about.

DHODY: Right.

ROWE: You know, but why you? Why did you do it? Why do you give a crap?

DHODY: I love it. I just -- I get to wake up every morning and I get to come here. I don't feel like I have to come here. I get to come here and I get to educate the public about medicine, about the human body, the human condition. What can do wrong with it? Yes, but also the beauty that could be found in all of our different shapes and sizes.

And there's nothing that says we can't have fun while we do it.

ROWE: And that is why Anna needs a sense of humor. Well that's why we all do.

DHODY: This is a woman with a horn growing out of her face.

ROWE: Right.

DHODY: Except it's not a horn. It's a cornu cutaneum. That is a hyper growth of skin. And it's like a rhino horn, isn't really a horn.

She's already had -- OK, when you -- you know, how some people are prone to getting freckles and some people are...

ROWE: Sure.

DHODY: ... prone to getting horn. (inaudible).

ROWE: Who's prone to getting horns?

DHODY: People who have a lot of exposure to the sun because the U.V. of the can actually stimulate that. That's why the most of the horns that we see especially today are on the face and on the arms because that's where you get the most sun exposure.

ROWE: What do you mean that most of the horns we see today?

DHODY: Yeah.

ROWE: Who has a horn today? DHODY: Lot of people still get the horn. The point is they were removed before they get to those epic proportions. Yes.

ROWE: I've missed this. I miss the whole headline.

DHODY: Should we do another PSA?

ROWE: All right. Are you ready?

DHODY: All right.

ROWE: Hello. I'm Mike Rowe.

DHODY: And I'm Anna Dhody.

ROWE: And we're here to talk about a problem you maybe familiar with. A problem with consequences, however, that may shock you.

DHODY: Too much on exposure can give you a horn.

ROWE: You heard it right. Too much exposure in the sun can give you not just a tan, not just a melanoma but a freaking horn.

DHODY: So wear a lot of SPF.

ROWE: Ladder it on.

DHODY: A nice hat will always help.

ROWE: Right. Or roll the dice. Enjoy a nice bronze glow and then wake up one morning to say no to horns.

DHODY: But you know what? Now that you mess with me a little bit, I'm just only going to mess with you now. It's time to clean the mega colon.

All right, I need the make up brush and the gloves.

ROWE: And gloves. Mega colon.


ROWE: Visiting the Mutter Museum was a brilliant idea given to us by our Facebook friend Ricky (ph).

Ricky (ph) didn't actually see this place for herself when she was in Philadelphia since her husband Bruce (ph) wasn't interested. It would be rude not to say thanks.

RICKY (PH): Hi Mike.

ROWE: Ricky (ph).

RICKY (PH): This is my husband Bruce (ph).

ROWE: Bruce (ph). BRUCE (PH): Hello Mike.

ROWE: How are you?

BRUCE (PH): How are you doing?

ROWE: Doing fine. They told me Bruce (ph), that you didn't like Ricky (ph) coming into the Museum. What's up?

BRUCE (PH): What do you mean I didn't let her, like she has to get my permission?

RICKY (Ph): We were on a trip. We need to go together.

ROWE: Well, the first thing I wanted to do is thank you for your suggestion on Facebook. We came to the Mutter Museum. We're still filming. In fact there are a lot of people here, so I can't give you the full tour but just let me give you a quick sneak pick, OK. You missed this, you missed this, you missed this, you missed this, you missed all of this stuff over here.

Most of this -- a lot of skulls. See the skulls? There's a lot of information and some good reason to be disturbed when you're here, so definitely check it out next time you come. Thanks again for the suggestion. We really appreciate it, all right?

RICKY (PH): OK, well...


RICKY (PH): I'm so glad that you see it and enjoyed it.

ROWE: See you.

BRUCE (PH): Bye bye.

ROWE: Bye.

RICKY (PH): Bye.

ROWE: What a nice people. Ricky (ph) and Bruce (ph) in Dallas, telling us where to go and where to shoot. What would we do without him?

DHODY: What I would like you to do here is just the world's largest human colon.

ROWE: That's a big colon.

DHODY: Now, it's eight feet, four inches long.

ROWE: Come on.

DHODY: (inaudible) than a half and the widest diameter and at the time of death it had 40 pounds of fecal material in it. It does not have fecal material in it anymore. ROWE: Coprostasis?

DHODY: Coprostasis, yes. Basically impaction of fecal material.

ROWE: Come on. How can this occupy a human body? How does it...

DHODY: Just like this, right here.

ROWE: Oh that's the guy.

DHODY: That's the guy.

ROWE: Oh dear.

DHODY: Yeah, kind of looks like in his fifth trimester.

ROWE: All of the (inaudible), all of the (inaudible) and sediment wrapped up in the good all days, right? I get it. But...

DHODY: But...

ROWE: Modern medicine, all right. The good old -- this is part of the good old days.

DHODY: Yeah.

ROWE: A colon in the size of a mermaid.

DHODY: This is very delegate. This is -- the intestine is very thin tissue. This is been dried out. You can see it's breaking apart. So this is a make up brush, just very carefully. Just to trying to scale, a little of dust off. Be very, very gentle.

Here. Do want to get those nooks and cranny and you can see the dust coming off. Very nice.

ROWE: This is very dusty colon.

DHODY: Yeah. A very good name for a band.

ROWE: Ladies and gentlemen put your hands together all the way from the (inaudible) of Baltimore.

DHODY: There you go.

ROWE: It's the dusty colon.

DHODY: No buts about it.

ROWE: Oh, you crack me up.

DHODY: Gently, gently, like you putting blush on the unicorn?

ROWE: The colon was vast but at least it was dry.

DHODY: This is our wet specimen room. ROWE: Of course it is.

DHODY: Every single wet specimen that's not on display is in this room because they need to be kept at a very strict temperature. Now, unfortunately we don't have a lab coat that will fit you, so this is for you.

ROWE: Thank you. A beg your pardon, is that a penis?

DHODY: We'll get to that.

ROWE: I can put a penis on eye level and not get to it.

DHODY: All right.

ROWE: It's a severed penis.

DHODY: Let me give you a little background. When I first started working here I was dating my now husband. And so what I did is like I kind of want to test him, a little bit, to -- and also to let him know what he was getting into. So I said, "Close your eyes and pull out your hands." And then I put this in his hand and he opened his eyes, and...

ROWE: He didn't drop the penis?

DHODY: He didn't drop the penis and he didn't drop me.

ROWE: So wasn't really, you know, a foreshadowing of some unfortunate.

DHODY: Nope, nope, nope.

ROWE: Severing of the relationship.

DHODY: No, no. But that particularly penis has cancer. Before the certain types of treatment were available you had to amputate.

ROWE: Gosh.

DHODY: Yeah.

ROWE: I mean that's the second bad break that guy had, I mean it's so small.

DHODY: Well, you know, it might not have been all of it.

ROWE: You're saying the penis could have been this long and they just took this.

DHODY: I'm saying I have -- that's not in my paperwork and I don't judge, you know, I mean...

ROWE: Is there a penis in your paperwork? Next on CNN.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) ROWE: One of the perks who been a big time T.V. guy is getting special access.

Hey it's (inaudible).

The fabulous places like the wet specimen lab at the Mutter Museum.

If you're into stuff like this...

Get large prostate.

Or if you like the smell of for (inaudible).

We (inaudible) you.

Which should turns out is not what you want to preserve your organs in as I'm finding out from George who runs this weird Wet World.

GEORGE GRIGONIS, COLLECTIONS MANAGER: We learned over a period of time for breaks down. So our goal is to take everything we knows is from (inaudible), turning like that penis and try to get it into an alcohol based solution.

The very first thing have to do is to cut the lid off.

ROWE: I'm accustomed to putting alcohol in to my liver, putting my liver into alcohol, that's a new one exciting twist, in the name of science.

GRIGONIS: And then you just drop it on.

ROWE: Push?

GRIGONIS: Yeah, just push down on it. And you can get to see all the way around.

ROWE: I think I got it.

GRIGONIS: You got it?

ROWE: Good.

Now, I'm heading further into the back channel of the Mutter Museum.

DHODY: Tovah is here and she is going to escort you to the bone room.

ROWE: To work with Tovah in the bone room, no chance for me double (inaudible) there, right?

DHODY: So this one here, particularly one that we thought you might like, that they're so (inaudible) in the jar.

ROWE: What is it?

DHODY: What is it looks like? Yeah, it is.

ROWE: That's a penis.


ROWE: Can I touch it?

DHODY: You're wearing gloves aren't you? Now, that was listed as a horse penis but the funny thing is we don't know what animal that came from. We haven't -- we think it's probably from a large marine mammal but were not entirely sure. This is our mystery penis.


ROWE: Average. Like I have about a thousand things I could say but I'm really -- I'm just doing a quick gut check and it's -- none of them are infusible.

How did you come by it?

DHODY: If this wasn't the collection (inaudible).

ROWE: Were you on the stuff when this came to you? Or do this come before you were on stuff?

DHODY: I need a heads up when your going to...

ROWE: But seriously folks. Tovah has the job of trying to keep a giant collection of human skulls in peak condition.

These are human skulls?


DHODY: These are all human skulls, yes.

ROWE: Which one are we going to handle?

ROSS-MITCHELL: The third one on the bottom.

ROWE: Third one at the bottom?

DHODY: Very carefully.

ROWE: Our goal is to what? Clean it?

ROSS-MITCHELL: Part of it.

ROWE: What part?

ROSS-MITCHELL: The noise, very carefully. You can (inaudible) and put it over there. Right that up. Spread this water into the nasal cavity.

ROWE: Like that in here?

ROSS-MITCHELL: Yeah. Gently.

ROWE: Really super flaky stuff in there.

ROSS-MITCHELL: Yup, cartilage.

ROWE: Why is a little bit of cartilage matter?

DHODY: How is doing?

ROSS-MITCHELL: It just came out.

ROWE: Yeah, but it didn't...

DHODY: Really.

ROWE: I swear to God.

DHODY: Really.

ROWE: Yes, it came out.

DHODY: I leave for three seconds. Three seconds.

ROWE: It seem only like two. Why are we doing this? We don't know who it is? We're not sure how old it is, but we seem deeply concern with the process of preserving it?

DHODY: If we don't, they're just going to keep decaying and eventually if we don't take care of them we can lose them permanently.

ROWE: So what? How is the world (inaudible) off if the skull of a person whose identity is unknown to everyone in the room as it turns to the ashes from once it came?

DHODY: Because keep in mind, every single one of these is valuable and it's all right. This is, first of all, human being that we always treat them with the utmost of respect and also because these are very important studies specimens we never know what researchers is going to walk through our door and need to see this particular skull.

ROWE: That heart of it is very pretty, respect for the species, preservation for future research.


ROSS-MITCHELL: That's why I chose this one.

ROWE: I want to see the face of complete sadness.

OK. Well I think this will conclude our little segment here. This was fun Tovah. Are you impressed? Did I do anything right? Anything wrong?

ROSS-MITCHELL: You did some things right.

DHODY: You can fix that right?


ROWE: So a pleasure.

ROSS-MITCHELL: It's nice to meet you.

ROWE: It's nice to meet you. You want a shake?


ROWE: See you on TV.

Awkward, I really thought I could push and leave here but I can't. I have to pull it.

So this is why exists are so awful. Keep going.


ROWE: Keep going.


ROWE: If you've been watching Anna and saying to yourself, "Wow, she can have her own show." You're right, sort of.

DHODY: Hi and welcome back to another episode of (inaudible) curator's desk.

ROWE: Every week, Anna shows her faithful following something from the collection and asks them to do their best to identify what it is or what it does. For example, on this one, if you guess the jar of skin, you win. Now, I have the great honor of making a guest appearance on Anna's show.

DHODY: So this is our first mystery object. You can see that it's got a spring and little depressed area. So what do you think this would be used for? Well Mike, how about you? Give it a go.

ROWE: Hello. What is that thing by the way?

DHODY: That's the point, you have to try and guess what it is.

ROWE: I see.

DHODY: All right, I'll give you a little hint. This part of the object is meant to be inserted somewhere. This part is not.

ROWE: It's like some sort of unholy coupling between a slinky and a tuba.

DHODY: This has a legitimate medical purpose. And trust me, it does good work.

ROWE: So there are only two possible places. You can't get it into your ear, you'll never fit up your noise, the human body has several sphincters, right.

DHODY: It has nothing to do with the elementary canal. Mouths to anus, is the elementary canal.

ROWE: It has nothing to do with any of those.

DHODY: Got nothing to do with that. No.

ROWE: So this is not going up your butt or down your throat.

DHODY: No. The question is, I want you to tell me exactly why you would need to use it.

ROWE: It was device used in the late 19th Century to check for pregnancy.

DHODY: Really? Good answer. Really good - wrong. But really good. Now you are close. This is actually called a uterine repositioner. Often, after pregnancy, the uterus can actually turn inside out. If the uterus is normally like this, it goes like that. It collapses in on itself.

ROWE: Sure.

DHODY: So you would have to insert this in the vagina. This would cap the cervix here and here's the - I'm going to need you to demonstrate this. So..

ROWE: I don't know that I'm build for it.

DHODY: We're going to pretend that your shoulder is the cervix. It takes a lot of pressure to do this, so you would have to insert it.

ROWE: Right.

DHODY: Insert the whole hands as well.

ROWE: The hand? Everything?

DHODY: Yes. The whole hand, everything. And this would be place against the chest to push and to just steady pressure.

ROWE: Did I work?

DHODY: Oftentimes it did, yes.

ROWE: And sometimes, no.

ANNA(PH): Sometimes no. So a uterine repositioner. Now let's see what our next mystery object is.

ROWE: Yup, I could hang out with Anna all day not because I love looking at faces and jars, but because nothing is more fun than seeing somebody who really loves their job.

DHODY: That's just - this is OK. Yeah. ROWE: It is childish.

DHODY: Please take this away from him. That's not too annoying at all Mike.

ROWE: This is like design to make people insane.

DHODY: And until next time, I'm Anna Dhody.

ROWE: And I'm Mike Rowe.

Doughty: And, we encourage you to think outside the jar. Nice.

ROWE: I think that's...

Doughty (PH): That was good. That's cool man. Right? Right? Right? Right?

ROWE: Hello Emmy.

Kansas City, a town known for its blues, its barbecue and of course, more fountains than you can shake a turkey leg at.

Kansas City is literally bursting with fountains. They're all over the place. This is the part of the show where we prove it.

My hope was that my camera A, Troy would get up early, go around town and film a few of the hundreds of famous fountains Kansas City is known for. Instead, he shut this and this. And this strange time lapse of our production coordinator, Dan. Yes, that's what happens when Troy doesn't have his morning coffee. Fortunately, help is on the way.

Inside this old brick warehouse in Kansas City is a man named Pete Licata, the Quality Assurance Manager of the Parisi Artisan Coffee. But first, I need to show you the video that a vigilant viewer rocks my attention.

Is it an American gladiator? Is it the hunger games? No. It's the world Barista championships in Melbourne, Australia for the men in the red suits proclaimed...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The World Barista Champion 2013, Pete Licata.

ROWE: I had no idea such a thing existed, but it does. And since this guy was declared the best barista in the whole wide world, I figured he was my best hope of getting a truly transformative cap of Joe. So let the games begin.

I'm here.


ROWE: You're Pete.

LICATA: You're Mike.

ROWE: And you are like this guy who knows the entire history of coffee, the steel and hard wired into the reptilian part of your brain. And I don't want to overstate it.

LICATA: Yes. I don't if I can take credit for all of the history of coffee but I do know a few things about it for sure.

ROWE: What skills does a barista need to have in order to take home the gold?

LICATA: Well, you have to be able to make great espresso and great cappuccino. And you have to be able to make a really, really interesting signature drink.

ROWE: And which one are you going to give me in the next minute or so?

LICATA: First of all, actually let me give a little bit of coffee here.

ROWE: All right, fine.

LICATA: So I always do this in myself because personally, you need a little something that just kind of get your mouth going and get your taste buds (inaudible) and ready for the really amazing stuff.

ROWE: Now look, I'm addicted to coffee.


ROWE: I'll just tell you straight up.

LICATA: Right.

ROWE: It is...

LICATA: I think we all are, right?

ROWE: ... straight that, but no, no, no. There's addiction and there's what Troy does.

LICATA: Right.

ROWE: I've seen Troy during coffee, right before going to bed, big steaming cups of black coffee and he can still sleep through it.

LICATA: Yeah, some people can.

ROWE: You're going to like this Troy.

TROY PAFF, CAMERA A: What is this?

ROWE: I'll take of questions Troy. Just drink the coffee, run the (inaudible) camera.

Troy is like a brother to me, well more like a stepbrother that I can fire if I want to.

PAFF: That one taste a bit cold.

ROWE: You see, that's just the kind of (inaudible) comment you're going to expect from Troy.

LICATA: I got that from him. You know why?

ROWE: Now, this would taste nice, chilled.


ROWE: What is it?

LICATA: This is an organic Bolivian coffee. It's kind of a crab pleaser.

ROWE: La Paz.


ROWE: You know what's crazy about La Paz?

LICATA: What's that?

ROWE: They don't have a fire department.


ROWE: They don't. You know why?

LICATA: No fires.

ROWE: It's so high. The air is thin, they never have fire.

PAFF: I'm calling (inaudible) on that.

ROWE: It's the truth Troy. You have some coffee. Have some coffee and look it up. La Paz does not have a fire department.


ROWE: When we left you, coffee snub and impertinent camera Troy Paff just challenged the trivia fact that I throw out with great authority.

You know what's crazy about La Paz?

LICATA: What's that?

ROWE: They don't have fire department.


ROWE: They don't. You know why?

LICATA: No fires. ROWE: So high. The air is so thin, they never have fire.

All right, how many of you Google that over the commercial break. Well, save your outrages e-mails. I've been informed by Jones that La Paz does in fact have that fire department after all and they do get called out to extinguish fires from time to time. In fact, the home of the Bolivian government, known as the Palacio Quemado literally means burnt palace. It's been set on fire several times apparently. So I guess we all learned something.

Well Troy indulges himself in (inaudible) his duties. Pete will prepare a cappuccino with a Brazilian coffee and I will take another crack at South American trivia.

Have you been to Brazil?

LICATA: I have. Yes.

ROWE: Have you been to Brazilia?

LICATA: I have been to Brazilia. No.

ROWE: The capital.

LICATA: Right.

ROWE: It's fascinating. What they with Brazilia was back in the cities when the city planners laid it out, they were so obsess with jet age that they made the city to look like a plane, so a capital, it's like up where the cockpit is in the suburbs go along the wings and sort of the rougher parts of town go back in the coach section. I swear you can look it up. It's true. Please do look it up but also, please wait until the commercial break and pay close attention to the cappuccino skills of a man who won five regional barista competitions on his way to becoming the world barista champion.

You will explain what you're doing here, this little fancy shmanscy, just give a little heart.

LICATA: This is what we call latte art, right? It's just that...

ROWE: I don't know. Did they call it latte art?

LICATA: Yes. That's what it's called. This is basically just the white foam mixing in with the brown crema of the espresso.

ROWE: I see.


ROWE: Yes, his cappuccino is artistic and delicious. How hard can it be to make one?

LICATA: So let's start grinding. You I feel it getting warmer and just pouring it down the center.

ROWE: Got it.

LICATA: That is something.

ROWE: Yes. Look at that. It's mustang. A running pony. He's head is down here. He's just kicking his feet backwards there. Why don't you have a super mind and tell me what you think. Don't hold back but keep an open mind.

LICATA: It's a little grainy.

ROWE: Yeah, I was going for grainy.

LICATA: It's not terribly sweet.

ROWE: I didn't want it terribly sweet.

LICATA: Whole stringent.

ROWE: That's what I was shooting for. A little stringent, not terribly sweet, slightly grainy, piece of non-artistic latte.

LICATA: And those are good descriptors.

ROWE: It's important to be able to leave yourself enough slack to improve, manage expectations.

LICATA: Well for your first attempt, I would say that it's better than something I've tasted. So hey, you're in a good spot.

ROWE: All right, so I'm never going to know all that Pete knows, I'm probably not even pronouncing the names the beans right. Palomar. Laloma, El Roble Lebado (ph). Simply sound like Ricardo freaking Monte Blanc. La shevelle (ph).

But he does assure me he can teach me how to taste coffee like a pro. A process they called cupping (ph). To the cupping room.

LICATA: To the cupping room. OK, we're going to grind these guys. Not too course, but not too fine.

PAFF: Pete, what do you think of the aeropress.

LICATA: The aeropress is the ugliest coffee brew that's out there.

ROWE: Every so often, Troy needs to ask a question. I don't know why. I think he forgets that he's a camera man. He's just freaking curious about the coffee, he can't help himself.

PAFF: I not a big fan of the same coffee.

ROWE: He's not done yet. I don't even know why I'm here, honestly.

LICATA: All right, here's what we're going to do.

ROWE: Well, these are great. The table moves, the chairs move, everything moves. LICATA: Yes, we can move everything.

ROWE: Viewers vomiting from coast to coast.

LICATA: So, first thing first. When we cup a coffee, we're going to smell them. Smells like dark roasted coffee.

ROWE: Sure does.

LICATA: Perfect.

ROWE: So you just poured hot water right into the grinds.

LICATA: Yes. So we have hot coffee and hot water, coffee grinds, soaking together. We're going to take our spoon. You're going to put your nose down there and you're actually going to great the crust.

ROWE: I'm going to break the crust.

LICATA: Right.

ROWE: Mix it around. I have to admit, it change everything.

LICATA: So now, what we do is just take a little bit of coffee and now we're going to slurp it just like you're going to slurp hot soup, right?

ROWE: Wow, that is more satisfying.

LICATA: Right, so now we're tasting some difference...

ROWE: Yeah, yeah.

LICATA: ... in the coffees right. The purpose of slurping the coffee is to essentially spray the coffee, have a spray across your palette so it covers all of your taste buds. This is a standard way to taste the coffees.

Coffee is very - good job. Nice.

ROWE: So we continue our cupping. I'm curious about this one. And in the course of smelling and slurping. I learned that coffee started out is just a day job for Pete when he was studying Japanese which he thought was his ticket out of Kansas City. Then, he attended a workshop by a competitive barista.

LICATA: In 2004, I met the reigning world champion at the time.

ROWE: Who's that?

LICATA: His name is Tim Wendelboe. He's in a...

ROWE: Tim who?

LICATA: Wendelboe. He's Norwegian.

ROWE: Wendelboe.


ROWE: That's too bad.

Meeting the great Wendelboe inspired Pete to furnish his barista skills for a few years which ultimately led to a life changing moment.

LICATA: And then bout '07, '08, it was the first time I went to an international coffee event.

ROWE: Where is that?

LICATA: In Tokyo and this was my first trip outside of the country. It was my first trip to Japan which I always wanted to go to. And it was the World Barista Championship and everything with place coffee people. And I always wanted to travel the world and I never ever thought that it would be coffee that would get me there. It was this moment where I realized that I was part of a community that spend the entire globe and I want to be a part of it.

ROWE: It took another five plus years of hard work learning absolutely everything there is to know about coffee until he finally made into the top.

This is the passion. I mean look at your face there. That is exalted. That is victorious. That's passion and everything like coming together.

LICATA: Absolutely. That's what I strive for and that's also something that I was striving for, for years in my life trying to achieve, you know. Trying to be the best in the world or something and it's something that's inspired me to continue down this path.

ROWE: Yeah. If you were limited to just one cup of coffee everyday for the rest of your life, this is the one you would have.

LICATA: Absolutely.

ROWE: Holy crop man, that's really great. Troy, you should try this. This is seriously the best cup of coffee you'll never have.

Here try it. You're going to swallow your tongue.

PAFF: It's really good. However, I wouldn't say it's my kind of coffee. I mean it's really good.

ROWE: Freaking kill joy. Honest to God.

PAFF: What are the signs of a tongue is what...

LICATA: It's acidity.

PAFF: ... flavor profiles.

ROWE: Jesus. Well somebody's going to let Troy utter on about the coffee. I'm out. It doesn't have to me though.

Hey, if you got to do it or know somebody who does, do me a favor, go to and give me an idea. I haven't had an original one in years. I'd appreciate it. The sooner the better,, Somebody's Gotta do It.