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Showing posts from May, 2017

Movie Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (2017)

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, based on the book by Rebecca Skloot, opens big by showing the creation and subsequent global propagation of the HeLa cell line, and closes on a profoundly intimate scale, focusing on the family that Henrietta left behind. Oprah Winfrey, as Deborah Lacks, dominates the movie, but there are also non-Oprah things here that are good! The soundtrack is excellent, the supporting cast is outstanding, and the cinematography is on point. Overall, it’s a great complement to the book.

Background: in 1951, Henrietta Lacks dies of cervical cancer, but not before cells from her tumor are harvested by the Gey lab at Johns Hopkins. HeLa, the celebrity nickname of these immortal cells, quickly became the foundation for biomedical research and has been instrumental in the development of cures such as the polio vaccine, to name just one example of its myriad uses. To this day, HeLa is the most commonly used human cell line in scientific research, and is manufactured…

Happy Mother's Day! I Broke My Foot (Again)

Hello, fellow humans! It's raining today here in fair Boston, a sure sign of prosperity. Families will be crowding into restaurants all day, first the ones with small kids, then the boozy types who can stay up later (lucky!).

Meanwhile, hubby had prepared a billionaire bacon breakfast (secret mix: brown sugar, paprika, black pepper) for my special day. The open bottle of white wine in the fridge beckoned to me, but alas, we had no orange juice to mix it with. So I just had the wine, obviously.*

*I did not.

In other news, my wish to have some ~me time~ came true a couple of weeks ago. I really wanted a few days all to myself, to play video games and generally just laze around the house, perhaps do a little cooking without a small person issuing myriad, incessant demands.

I granted my own wish during my usual run, by rolling my right ankle so badly that a small piece of bone broke off my fibula. This is called a chip or avulsion fracture, and it hurts like a mother. Here is my ankl…

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 retains the same hilarious irreverence and absurdity as the first film, but it also has deeper and darker moments that add layers to the characters. Highlights include Baby Groot (Vin Diesel), more murder, more name-calling, and betrayals! Ah, family!

Just like its predecessor, Vol. 2 has a perfect opening sequence: a formidable battle is mere background to Baby Groot dancing adorably. Then the adventure truly begins, as the team splits up after facing off against the golden-skinned Sovereign, led by the haughty Ayesha (Elizabeth Debicki, the awesome femme fatale from The Man from U.N.C.L.E.).

Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), Gamora (Zoe Saldana), and Drax (Dave Bautista) join Star-Lord's father Ego (Kurt Russel) and his servant Mantis (Pom Klementieff) to find out more about Star-Lord's heritage. Meanwhile, Baby Groot, Rocket (Bradley Cooper), and a captive Nebula (Karen Gillan) find themselves under assault by the Ravager faction led by Yondu (Michael …