Monday, September 26, 2011
The Book Jacket Blurb:
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells -- taken without her knowledge -- became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they'd weigh more than 50 million metric tons -- as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.
Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave.
Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the "colored" ward of John Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells, from Henrietta's small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia -- a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo -- to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells.
Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had lanched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family -- past and present -- is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family -- especially Henrietta's daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother's cells. Deborah was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Had they killed her to harvest her cells? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn't her children afford health insurance?
What Hooked Me:
Remarkably written, Henrietta's story is one that I should know... we ALL should know it!!
'There's a photo on my wall of a woman I've never met, its left corner torn and patched together with tape. She looks straight into the camera and smiles, hands on hips, dress suit neatly pressed, lips painted deep red. It's the late 1940s and she hasn't yet reached the age of thirty. Her light brown skin is smooth, her eyes still young and playful, oblivious to the tumor growing inside her -- a tumor that would leave her five children motherless and change the future of medicine. Beneath the photo, a caption says her name is "Henrietta Lacks, Helen Lane or Helen Larson."'(opening lines)
'After three straight days of grilling, Patillo finally decided to give me Deborah's phone number. But first, he said, there were a few things I needed to know. He lowered his voice and rattled off a list of dos and dont's for dealing with Deborah Lacks: Don't be aggressive. Do be honest. Don't be clinical, don't try to force her into anything, don't talk down to her, she hates that. Do be compassionate, don't forget that she's been through a lot with these cells, do have patience. "You'll need that more than anything," he told me.'(51)
'He sent shipments of HeLa cells to researchers in Texas, India, New York, Amsterdam, and many places in between. Those researchers gave them to more researchers, who gave them to more still. Henrietta's cells rode into the mountains of Chile in the saddlebags of pack mules. As Gey flew from one lab to another, demonstrating his culturing techniques and helping to set up new laboratories, he always flew with tubes of Henrietta's cells in his breast pocket.'(57)
'Not long after Henrietta's death, planning began for a HeLa factory -- a massive operation that would grow to produce trillions of HeLa cells each week. It was built for one reason: to help stop polio.'(93)
'Scientists knew they had to keep their cultures free from bacterial and viral contamination, and they knew it was possible for cells to contaminate one another if they got mixed up in culture. But when it came to HeLa, they had no idea what they were up against. It turned out Henrietta's cells could float through the air on dust particles. They could travel from one culture to the next on unwashed hands or used pipettes; they could ride from lab to lab on researchers' coats and shoes, or through ventilation systems. And they were stong: if just one HeLa cell landed in a culture dish, it took over, consuming all the media and filling all the space.(153)
"You know what is a myth?" Bobette snapped from the recliner. "Everybody always saying Henrietta Lacks donated these cells. She didn't donate anything. They took them and didn't ask." She inhaled a deep breath to calm herself. "What really would upset Henrietta is the fact that Dr. Gey never told the family anything -- we didn't know nothing about those cells and he didn't care. That just rubbed us the wrong way. I just keep asking everybody, 'Why didn't they say anything to the family?' They knew how to contact us. If Dr. Gey wasn't dead, I think I would have killed him myself."(169)
'When I talked to Howard Jones fifty years after he found the tumor on Henrietta's cervix, he was in his early nineties and had seen thousands of cervical cancer cases. But whan I asked if he remembered Henrietta, he laughed. "I could never forget that tumor," he said, "Because it was unlike anything I've ever seen."
I talked to many scientists about HeLa, and none could explain why Henrietta's cells grew so powerfully when so many others didn't even survive. Today it's possible for scientists to immortalize cells by exposing them to certain viruses or chemical, but very few cells have become immortal on their own as Henrietta's did.'(213)
'Cristoph taught Deborah and Zakariyya how to use the microscope, saying, "Look through this ... take your glasses off ... now turn this knob to focus." Finally the cells popped into view for Deborah. And through the microscope, for that moment, all she could see was an ocean of her mother's cells, stained an ethereal fluorescent green.(266)
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
the Beatles 1982
A treasure to keep bought from our library's used bookstore for a dollar, this awesome book has all the lyrics of 181 songs the Beatles created. I am a huge fan and love that I can now sing all their songs to my heart's content. The songs are presented in the order of their release from 1962 to 1977. If you love the Beatles and love to sing, this book will bring you joy. My favorite quotes are from my favorite songs.
From Me To You (p.25)
If there's anything that you want,
If there's anything I can do,
Just call on me and I'll send it along,
With love from me to you.
Do You Want To Know A Secret? (p.30)
Listen, do you want to know a secret,
Do you promise not to tell, Whoa .....
Closer let me whisper in your ear,
Say the words you long to hear,
I'm in love with you, oo .....
All My Loving (p.40)
Close you eyes, and I'll kiss you, Tomorrow I'll miss you,
Remember I'll always be true, And then while I'm away,
I'll write home every day, And I'll send all my loving to you.
If I Fell (p.52)
If I fell in love with you would you promise to be true, And help me understand?
'Cos I've been in love before, and I found that love was more, Than just holding hands.
If I give my heart to you, I must be sure from the very start,
That you would love me more than her.
And I Love Her (p.54)
I give her all my love, That's all I do,
And if you saw my love, You'd love her too. I love her.
She gives me ev'rything, And tenderly, The kiss my lover brings,
She brings to me, And I love her.
Ticket To Ride (p.73)
I think I'm gonna be sad, I think it's today, yeh,
The girl that's driving me mad, Is going away. She's got a ticket to ride,
She's got a ticket to ri-hi-hide, She's got a ticket to ride, but she don't care.
Help (p. 76)
When I was younger, so much younger than today, I never needed anybody's help in any way,
But now these days are gone I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind I've opened up the doors.
Help me if you can, I'm feeling down, And I do appreciate you being around,
Help me get my feet back on the ground, Won't you please please help me?
Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away, Now it looks as though they're here to stay
Oh I believe in yesterday.
Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be, There's a shadow hanging over me,
Oh yesterday came suddenly.....
Michelle ma belle These are words that go together well, My Michelle
Michelle ma belle, Sont les mots qui vont tres bien ensemble, Tres bien ensemble
I love you, I love you, I love you, That's all I want to say,
Until I find a way, I will say the only words I know you'll understand.
Is there anybody going to listen to my story, All about the girl came to stay?
She's the kind of girl you want so much it makes you sorry,
Still you don't regret a single day. Ah girl, girl.
In My Life (p.99)
But of all these friends and lovers, There is no one compared with you,
And these memories lose their meaning, When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection, For people and things that went before,
I know I'll often stop and think about them, In my life, I'll love you more.
We Can Work It Out (p. 105)
Life is very short, and there's no time, For fussing and fighting, my friend,
I have always thought that it's a crime, So I will ask you once again.
Here There And Everywhere (p.113)
There, running my hands through her hair, Both of us thinking how good it can be.
Someone is speaking but she doesn't know he's there.
I want her ev'rywhere, and if she's beside me I know I need never care,
But to love her is to meet her ev'rywere
For No One (p.118)
Your day breaks, your mind aches,
There will be times when all the things she said will fill your head, You won't forget her.
And in her eyes you see nothing, No sign of love behind the tears cried for no one,
A love that should have lasted years.
With A Little Love From My Friends (p. 128)
What would you do if I sang out of tune, Would you stand up and walk out on me.
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song, And I'll try not to sing out of key.
I get by with a little help from my friends, I get high with a little help from my friends,
I'm gonna try with a little help from my friends.
When I'm Sixty Four (p.135)
Send me a postcard, drop me a line, Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say, Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form, Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, When I'm sixty-four.
The Fool On The Hill (p.147)
Day after day, alone on a hill, The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him, They can see that he's just a fool
And he never gives an answer. But the fool on the hill sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head see the world spinning around.
Hey Jude (p.152)
Hey Jude, don't make it bad, Take a sad song and make it better,
Remember, to let her into your heart, Then you can start to make it better.
Hey Jude, don't be afraid, You were made to go out and get her,
The minute you let her under your skin, Then you begin to make it better.
I Will (p.170)
Who knows how long I've loved you. You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime, If you want me to - I will.
For if I ever saw you, I didn't catch your name.
But it never really mattered I will always feel the same.
Here Comes The Sun (p.200)
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, And I say it's all right.
Little darling, it's been a long cold lonely winter,
Little darling it feels like years since it's been here.
Her comes the sun, here comes the sun, And I say it's all right.
Let It Be (p.211)
When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness, She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
The Long And Winding Road (p.221)
Many times I've been alone and many times I've cried,
Anyways you'll never know the many ways I've tried, but
Still they lead me back to the long winding road,
You left me standing here a long, long time ago
Don't leave me waiting here, lead me to your door.
Omnibus Press Edition
Book qualifies for:100+ Reading Challenge
Good post idea from JRMD!!
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Set in St. Petersburg Russia, this classic's protagonist is Rodion Raskolnikov, a young man in the prime of his life who premeditate the murder of money-lender Alyona Ivanovna just for the mere fact that he believes he can get rid of a vile person he considers not fit to live. He commits the brutal crime and suffers the consequences of his guilty conscience, constantly vacillating between remorse and self-justification for the horrible act. His acquaintance with investigator Porfiry Petrovich who suspects him of the murder and love interest Sonia further complicates this conflict and compounds this highly thought-stimulating psychological thriller.
'On an exceptionally hot evening early in July a young man came out of the garret in which he lodged in S. Place and walked slowly, as though in hesitation, towards K. Bridge.'(opening lines)
'This evening, however, on coming out into the street, he became acutely aware of his fears.
"I want to attempt at thing like that and am frightened by these trifles," he thought, with an odd smile. "Hm ... yes, all is in a man's hands and he lets it all slip from cowardice, that's an axiom. It would be interesting to know what it is men are most afraid of. Taking a new step, uttering a new word is what they fear most ...'(2)
'Trifles, trifles are what matter! Why, it's just such trifles that always ruin everything...'(3)
'There are chance meetings with strangers that interest us from the first moment, before a word is spoken.'(9)
'In order to understand any man one must be deliberate and careful to avoid forming prejudices and mistaken ideas, which are very difficult to correct and get over afterwards.'(31)
'In a morbid condition of the brain, dreams often have a singular actuality, vividness and extraordinary semblance of reality. At times monstrous images are created, but the setting and the whole picture are so truthlike and filled with details so delicate, so unexpected, but so artistically consistent, that the dreamer, where he an artist like Pushkin or Turgenev even, could never have invented them in the waking state. Such sick dreams always remain long in the memory and make a powerful impression on the overwrought and deranged nervous system.'(48)
'He was in full possession of his faculties, free from confusion or giddiness, but his hands were still trembling. He remembered afterwards that he had been particularly collected and careful, trying all the time not to get smeared with blood...'(69)
'Fear gained more and more mastery over him, especially after this second, quite unexpected murder. He longed to run away from the plaace as fast as possible. And if at that moment he had been capable of seeing and reasoning more correctly, if he had been able to realise all the difficulties of his position, his hopelessness, the hideousness and the absurdity of it, if he could have understood how many obstacles and, perhaps, crimes he had still to overcome or to commit, to get out of that place to make his way home, it is very possible that he would have flung up everything, and would have gone to give himself up, and not from fear, but from simple horror and loathing of what he had done. ... But a sort of blankness, even dreaminess, had begun by degrees to take possession of him; at moments he forgot himself, or rather forgot what was of importance and caught at trifles.'(71-72)
'Where is it I've read that someone condemned to death says or thinks, an hour before his death, that if he had to live on some high rock, on such a narrow ledge that he'd only room to stand, and the oceans, everlasting darkness, everlasting solitude, everlasting tempest around him, if he had to remain standing on a square yard of space all his life, a thousand years, eternity, it were better to live than to die at once! Only to live, to live and live! Life, whatever it may be!'(139)
'Through error you come to the truth! I am a man because I err! You never reach any truth without making fourteen mistakes and very likely a hundred and fourteen. And a fine thing, too, in it's way ... To go wrong in one's own way is better than to go right in someone else's. In the first case you are a man, in the second you're no better that a bird. Truth won't escape you, but life can be cramped.'(176)
'Again that awful sensation he had known of late passed with deadly chill over his soul. Again it became suddenly plain and perceptible to him that he had just told a fearful lie -- that he would never now be able to speak of anything to anyone.'(200)
'If he has a conscience he will suffer for his mistake. That will be his punishment...'(230)
'Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth...'(230)
'You see I kept asking myself then: why am I so stupid, that if others are stupid -- and I know they are -- yet I won't be wiser? Then I saw, Sonia, that if one waits for everyone to get wiser it will take too long ... Afterwards I understood that that would never come to pass, that men won't change and that nobody can alter it and that it's not worth wasting effort over it. Yes, that's so. That's the law of nature, Sonia ... that's so ... And I know now, Sonia, that whoever is strong in mind and spirit will have power over them. Anyone who is greatly daring is right in their eyes. He who despises most things will be a law-giver among them and he who dares most in the right! So it has been till now and so it will always be.'(359)
'... do you know to what a point of insanity a woman can sometimes love?'(407)
a Bantam Classic Edition
Book owned. Read in St. Petersburg, Russia.
Book qualifies for: 2011 Victorian Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
Sunday, September 11, 2011
I read this in between two giant, wordy books. Because of this, I was amazed that such a short novel, consisting of seemingly-random definition of words, could contain such a poignant love story.
"I don't normally do this kind of thing," you said.
"Neither do I," I assured you. ...
Measure the hope of that moment, that feeling.
Everything else will be measured against it.(opening word)
Love is a kind of abstraction. And then there are those nights when I sleep alone, when I curl into a pillow that isn't you, when I hear the tiptoe sounds that aren't yours. It's not as if I can conjure you there completely. I must embrace the idea of you instead.(5)
There are times when I doubt everything. When I regret everything you've taken from me, everything I've given you, and the waste of all the time I've spent on us.(6)
I want my books to have their own shelves," you said, and that's how I knew it would be okay to live together.(22)
I love the vagueness of words that involve time. ...
It is easy for me to say it took me awhile to know. That is about as accurate as I can get. There were sneak previews of knowing, for sure. Instances that made me feel, oh, this could be right. But the moment I shifted from a hope that needed to be proven to a certainty that would be continually challenged? There's no pinpointing that.
Perhaps it never happened. Perhaps it happened while I was asleep. Most likely, there's no single event. There's just the steady accumulation of awhile.(24)
There has to be a moment at the beginning when you wonder whether you're in love with the person or in love with the feeling of love itself.
If the moment doesn't pass, that's it -- you're done.
And if the moment does pass, it never goes that far. It stands in the distance, ready for whenever you want it back. Sometimes it's even there when you thought you were searching for something else, like an escape route, or your lover's face.(28)
I spent all this time building a relationship. Then one night I left the window open, and it started to rust.(64)
Really, we should use this more as a verb. You daunted me, and I daunted you. Or would it be that I was daunted by you, and you were daunted by me? That sounds better. ... The key is to never recognize these imbalances. To not let the dautingness daunt us.(67)
The natural state. Our moods change. Our lives change. Our feeling for each other change. Our bearings change. The song changes. The air changes. The temperature of the shower changes.
Accept this. We must accept this.(98)
These words will ultimately end up being the barest of reflections, devoid of the sensations words cannot convey. Trying to write about love is ultimately like trying to have a dictionary represent life. No matter how many words there are, there will never be enough.(120)
It scares me how hard it is to remember life before you. I can't even make the comparisons anymore, because my memories of that time have all the depth of a photograph. It seems foolish to play games of better and worse. It's simply a matter of is and is no longer.(128)
I try not to think about us growing old together, mostly because I try not to think about growing old at all. Both things -- the years passing, the years together -- are too enormous to contemplate. But one morning, I gave in. You were asleep, and I imagined you older and older. Your hair graying, your skin folded and creased, your breath catching. And I found myself thinking: If this continues, if this goes on, then when I die, your memories of me will be my greatest accomplishment. Your memories will be my most lasting impression.(161)
Cue the imaginary interviewer:
Q: So when all is said and done, what have you learned here?
A: The key to a successful relationship isn't just in the words, it's the choice of punctuation. When you're in love with someone, a well-placed question mark can be the difference between bliss and disaster, and a deeply respected period or a cleverly inserted ellipsis can prevent all kinds of exclamations.(162)
First Edition, 2011
Book borrowed from the library
Book qualifies for: 100+ Reading Challenge
Book idea from Rummanah @ Books in the Spotlight. Thanks! I should have read it sooner than I did. Her convincing review is HERE
Monday, September 5, 2011
Romeo. Juliet. From the feuding Montague and Capulet family. Is there anything else more tragic and dramatic than the story of this young love? The prologue explains it all. The audiobook is a sure winner, the best form to enjoy Shakespeare for a novice like me.
Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona (where we lay our scene),
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life;
Whose misadventures piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.
That fearful passage of their death-marked love,
And the continuance of their parent's rage,
Which but their children's end nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend. (opening lines)
ROMEO Alas that Love, whose view is muffled still,
Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will!
Where shall we dine? O me! what fray was here?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all:
Here's much to do with hate, but more with love:
Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate,
O any thing of nothing first create! (Act I Scene 1)
NURSE His name is Romeo, and a Montague,
The only son of your great enemy.
JULIET My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy. (Act I Scene 5)
ROMEO He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou, her maid, since she in envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off. (Act II Scene 2)
JULIET O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny they father and refuse thy name;
Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.
ROMEO Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?
JULIET 'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand nor foot,
Nor arm nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,
Retain thar dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself. (Act II Scene 2)
JULIET Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow. (Act II Scene 2)
MERCUTIO Without his roe, like a dried herring:
O flesh, flesh, how art thou finished!
Now is he for the numbers that Petrarch flowed in.
Laura to his lady was a kitchen wench
(marry, she had a better love than to berhyme her),
Dido a dowdy, Cleopatra a gipsy,
Helen and Hero hildings and harlots,
This be a grey eye or so, but not to the purpose.
Signior Romeo, 'bon jour'! there's a French salutation to your French slop.
You gave us the counterfeit fairly last night. (Act II Scene 4)
FRIAR LAWRENCE These violent delights have violent ends,
And in their triumph die like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume. The sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness,
And in the taste confounds the appetite.
Therefore love moderately, long love doth so;
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow. (Act II Scene 6)
JULIET 'Romeo is banished' : to speak that word,
Is father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, Juliet,
All slain, all dead. 'Romeo is banished!'
There is no end, no limit, measure, bound,
In that word's death, no words can that woe sound. (Act III Scene 2)
JULIET O Fortune, Fortune, all men call thee fickle;
If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him
That is renowned for faith? Be fickle, Fortune:
But send him back. (Act III Scene 5)
FRIAR LAWRENCE Unhappy fortune! By my brotherhood,
That letter was not nice but full of charge
Of dear import, and the neglecting it
May do much danger. Friar John, go hence,
Give me an iron crow and bring it straight
Unto my cell. (Act V Scene 2)
PRINCE Where be these enemies? Capulet, Montague?
See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!
And I for winking at your discords too
Have lost a brace of kinsmen. All are punished. (Act V Scene 3)
PRINCE For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo. (Closing lines)
BBC Audiobooks America audiobook edition
Fully Dramatized Recording
Audiobook borrowed from the library
Book qualifies for: 100+ Reading Challenge