A piece of the skull of this RSX front shifter had fractured and fallen out, revealing a rare glimpse of the brain of a Shimano STI road shifter. The mountain shifters are fairly easy to open. The road shifters don't give up their secrets as easily. My preferred tools have been a large nutcracker, a vise or a four-pound sledge.
The second picture shows a flat-bar shifter pod from a fairly recent Specialized Sirrus. This pod had prematurely earwaxed. It also contained the carcass of a small insect. You might be able to make it out at the bottom of the silver disc in the center of the shifter.