Explaining That Most Remarkable Structure

From The New York Times:

Macaulay3650_2 As David Macaulay takes a bite of salad, you can follow along in his new book as the lettuce and tomato make their journey between his enamel-coated teeth, onto his knobby tongue, into a wash of saliva, past the flapping uvula and epiglottis, down the tubular esophagus and into the churning, burning stomach. (You can pick up with the rest of the travelogue later.) “I’m a big fan of the digestive system,” Mr. Macaulay said during a recent trip to New York. Of the body’s vast array of architecture, chemical reactions and moving parts, the illustrations of the digestive tract that he drew for “The Way We Work,” are his favorite.

Paging through this 336-page book, which is being released by Houghton Mifflin Company on Tuesday, he said, “I’m constantly changing the scale, so that the reader can move around these things and get inside them.” The view of the mouth, for instance, is from the back of the throat, looking out at a “sea of saliva,” a pinkish-red cataract in which broken stalks of broccoli swirl like fallen trees caught in a maelstrom. A semicircular row of teeth shaped like arches from the Roman Colosseum serve as the backdrop. Throughout the book tiny tourists can often be spied rafting down the duodenum or wearing yellow slickers to see the nasal cavity like Maid of the Mist passengers at Niagara Falls. Fans of Mr. Macaulay — and there are millions of them — are probably most familiar with his extraordinarily detailed, erudite and witty visual explanations of architecture and engineering, which include “Cathedral,” “City,” “Pyramid,” “Underground,” “Mosque,” and the most popular, “The Way Things Work.”

Now they can see his interpretation of the most complicated system of all, the human body.

More here.