Why Alien Invasion Movies Are Dumb (and yet I still love them)


These movies, regardless of schlockiness, are entertaining to enough of us. We love our heroes and for humanity to come out on top despite our flaws. As the saying goes, they are a guilty pleasure – and count me among the guilty! I’m going to rant, but this post was definitely not written with the idea that these films and stories aren’t at least fun and worthwhile at some level. My tongue is in my cheek at times and I have a hope that it might encourage some writers and film makers to explore the genre in new ways. Wouldn’t that be cool?

So, anyhow, just what is my quasi-beef with them? Why have I claimed they suck in some way?

Read on!



The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – HeLa Cells


I’m finishing Rebecca Skloot’s account of the story behind the HeLa cells.  I can’t tell how much of my fascination with this book comes from the uncanniness of the story itself and how much comes from Skloot’s incredible mastery of the art of reporting a real story. It’s a non-fiction work but it looks like a work of  fiction when it gives each of its characters/facts a beginning, middle and end. It was so well written! Every phrase passed in front of my eyes like a scene from a film, a very sad film, where black people were relegated to medical apartheid and scientists and science played the great villain. When you work with people (and I know about that because I’m a doctor) sometimes it can be hard to balance professionalism and emotional detachment from the person who’s your work subject. It’s a thin line. I guess anyone who read the book can tell Rebecca Skloot got deeply involved with her research got emotionally involved with the Lacks family, and she pretty much wrote herself as a “character” into the book, in a very clever – and very professional – way. Congratulations to the author, it’s probably the best non-fiction book I have ever read.

 

Edited: and I should not forget to mention the book’s awesome approach to the ethics of tissue research at the end of the book.

 

HeLa Cells from Radiolab on Vimeo.

Podcast on HeLa cells from Radiolab



That’s what I was talking about (on my last post)


GoodReads Progress on HeLa

The Immortal Life of HeLa - Goodreads Progress

 

Boyfriend Cary is reading the very same book.



“The Way of All Flesh” by BBC’s Adam Curtis on “HeLa” Cells


I came to know about this video while  reading the book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebbeca Skloot – page 81 of the e-book edition, to be more exact.

The video and the words below are embedded from what has been puclished on Google Video.

 

 


 

The Way of All Flesh by Adam Curtis
53:33m – 2 anos atrás

Follows the story of the cells of Henriettta Lacks. She dies in 1951 of cancer, before she died cells were removed from her body and cultivated in a laboratory in the hope that they could help find a cure for cancer. The cells (known as the HeLa line) have been growing ever since, and the scientists found that they were growing in ways they could not control.

 

 If anyone has any problem, concerning copyright, with me embedding this video on my site, please contact me and I’ll be glad to talk to you.



Back to International Women’s Day


I’m an avid enthusiast of Flickr Commons and a Flickr addict, and I couldn’t help but to feel uber-ecstatic with this pearl by the Smithsonian Institution. By the occasion of International Women’s Day they put together a collection of photographs, presenting us with an album named “Women in Science”.  Bellow is a photograph  of Irene Curie, the daughter of Marie Curie, taken from the Smithsonian Collection. The image is public domain (no copyright restrictions)


Irène Joliot-Curie (1897-1956), 1921

Physicist Irène Joliot-Curie (1897-1956) is shown in full academic regalia on May 23, 1921, when she accepted an honorary degree at the University of Pennsylvania on behalf of her mother Marie Sklodowska Curie (1867-1934). Accompanied by her daughters Irène and Eve, Marie Curie had an exhausting schedule of appearances during her 1921 U.S. tour, accepting awards and a gift of radium for her research, arranged by various women’s associations and scientific groups. The photographer, James Stokley, was teaching school in Philadelphia and in 1925 became a science journalist on the Science Service staff.” *


*Description from the Smithsonian Inst.



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