Random Tuesday: Read All the Books, Overpriced Batman Clothes & Other Randomosity

I'm having one of those days where you remember about a hundred different little things that you meant to do days ago, that you promised people days ago, and yet somehow the Earth spun around the sun a few times and suddenly I'm here with none of those things done. Where do days go and how can we make them stay a little longer? Perhaps Random Things will help.

First of all, hello Mr. Falcon. Aren't you looking all badass and awesome? I'm firmly on whatever team thinks we need more superheroes with cool flying contraptions.

How did life-sized Mario Karts not exist before now? Thanks to Geekosystem and The Mary Sue for providing me this discovery.

Disney Netflix will soon be a thing it seems. Hopefully that doesn't mean that they'll pull their superhero films from Netflix. (found via TheMarySue.com)

Black Milk Clothing has an entire line of overpriced Batman inspired clothing. I'm not sure how people would react to me showing up to pool parties with a capped one piece. They also have a Hogwarts inspired line and soon a Game of Thrones line.

Amtrak is starting a "writer residency" program on their trains in case you're a writer that lives near an Amtrak line.

Thanks to a study done at Emory University and introduced to me by Lifehacker, I now have another good reason to read instead of doing something else considered "productive" by my peers.

So the current pilot season is full of comic book adaptations and one of them is a version of Constantine from Hellblazer. Thankfully they've casted a British guy to play the lead. (from The Hollywood Reporter)

I'm ending this Random Tuesday with another Marvel-related image. What happened to you, Amy Pond? Please don't eat my soul.

Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Rebecca Skloot

Crown Publishing Group (2010)
382 pages
Non-Fiction / Science / Biography

Purchase it from Amazon here

My commute to and from work requires me to sit in a car in rush hour traffic for about two hours a day.  It is just as unpleasant as it sounds, but I attempt to calm my traffic-frazzled nerves by listening to audiobooks when I can.  Normally it’s something easy that I can zone in and out of when traffic requires more of my attention, but for some reason I decided to pick up a non-fiction book about the development of cellular science and gene mapping.  At least, that’s what I thought I was getting.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is not the book I thought it was, though it’s probably the book I should have expected.  I wanted science history, controversy and the on-going discussion of bioethics, all things that I did receive from this book.  I didn’t, however, think I would be getting an anthropological look at social/racial issues through the decades or the genealogical history of the Lacks' family.  These things also held my interest for the most part.  The on-going drama of Deborah Lacks and her search for the truth about her mother and sister did not hold my interest, which sounds heartless but was the case.  I felt for the family, I really did, but I also felt like their pain and confusion was being exploited a little bit as well, which made me uncomfortable.

Henrietta Lacks was a poor black woman in Baltimore, who developed cervical cancer in the early 1950s and died soon after she began treatment from John Hopkins Hospital.  During this treatment, a piece of the tumor on her cervix was removed and sent to a lab, which started growing the cells and found that they would not die, which was and still is very unusual for human cells growing in a lab.  Over the course of the last 60+ years, these same cancer cells, tagged as HeLa, have been used to find treatments for diseases, shot into space, cloned, blown up by atom bombs, and in so many other bizarre experiments.  In this book, the author dives into the history of the cell line as well as the story of how the Lacks family has been affected by HeLa over the years.

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