From review

SHOULD EVERYONE HAVE ACCESS TO LIFE SAVING MEDICINES?

If you’re a reader from Canada, don’t forget to check out aidsaction.ca. Here, you can look up your candidates and send off an email to support the Call to Action to reform Canada’s Access to Medicines Regime and help save lives! – – – 30 MINUTES, 70 FATES. You don’t know it, but as I write this piece, there is some serious procrastination going on. My attention span is weak and sidetracked constantly by a variety of diversions, and if you must know, it’s taken me close to half an hour to write these first two sentences. Still, one could…

DOES THE NAME DR. KRISANA KRAISINTU RING A BELL?

A review of Cocktail: A Play about the Life and HIV Drug Development Work of Dr. Krisana Kraisintu by Vince LiCata and Ping Chong Truth be told, I don’t read plays very often, if at all. In fact, I’m ashamed to admit that I think the last one I read was back in high school long ago, and if I remember correctly had something to do with vampires – ironic in that vampires at the time were not so popular. But this play was about something I am interested in – medicine and social responsibility – and it was referred…

BOOK REVIEW: BROWNE’S “DARWIN’S ORIGIN OF SPECIES: A BIOGRAPHY”

Much like David Quammen’s The Reluctant Mr. Darwin (2006) and Edward J. Larson’s Evolution: The Remarkable History of a Scientific Theory (2004), Harvard historian of science Janet Browne’s Darwin’s Origin of Species: A Biography (2007, ‘Books That Changed the World’ series, which also includes the Bible, the Qur’an, Smith’s Wealth of Nations , Plato’s Republic, Paine’s Rights of Man, and Marx’s Das Kapital) serves, I think, as a great introductory book on the topic of Darwin and evolution (for either lay persons wishing to become familiar with the topic or for undergraduate level courses in the history of science or…

KADATH: A VISION INTO THE AGE OF NANITES

Many science fiction writers have developed tales regarding mankind’s attempts to surmount the forces of nature that separate man from God. These works often portray the human species as a newcomer to Earth and as a brash and shortsighted community working feverishly towards its own demise. The history of this story has its modern roots in the late 1800s with the Transcendentalism movement in New England. Writers such as Edgar Alan Poe and Herman Melville, as well as their counterparts in England such as Mary Shelley, began examining the human spirit’s desire to conquer nature in their literature and the…

TO TALK OF THE WORLD OF BODIES

(BodyWorlds 3 is currently in Vancouver at Science World, until January 14, 2007) I had a train-wreck experience about Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds. I had previously heard nothing about the man, his work, or the show before we headed out to see it at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry, but one of my sources inside the museum world had mentioned that there had been a fair amount of controversy surrounding both von Hagens and the exhibit. The exhibit was divided into anatomical systems: locomotive, nervous, cardiovascular, and digestive, plus a kind of gallery of awe—bodies in motion, human…

REVIEW OF “YOUR DISGUSTING HEAD”

YOUR DISGUSTING HEAD: THE DARKEST, MOST OFFENSIVE – AND MOIST – SECRETS OF YOUR EARS, MOUTH AND NOSE. By The Haggis-On-Whey World of Unbelievable Brilliance. 64pp. Simon and Schuster $24.50 (Hardcover) In Norway, you say “buse.” As a geneticist, I am a lot more familiar with the concept of snot than one might suspect. And although this may appear to be a sort of an odd soundbite, it can be quickly explained by the simple fact that pure genomic DNA, isolated from any and all variety of nature’s participants, will actually take on the appearance of the stuff you might…

WATCHING THE BIRTH OF THE UNIVERSE: BOOK REVIEW: A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING

A SHORT HISTORY OF NEARLY EVERYTHING By Bill Bryson. 544 pp. DoubleDay Canada $39.95 (Hardcover) I haven’t sat and watched this much television is years. But, it’s hard not to when the birth of the universe is on. And on my television, which gets only one channel with rabbit ears, it’s on every night. So, as Bill Bryson puts it in A Short History of Nearly Everything: “The next time you complain that there is nothing on, remember that you can always watch the birth of the universe.” What Bryson is referring to, in such an illuminating and funny way,…