If you’re interested in the story of HeLa and Henrietta Lacks, but you don’t want to read the whole book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” (by Rebecca Skloot) listen rather than read. Did I mention it’s free? If you aren’t sure you want to spend the money on a hardcover, or just aren’t sure if you’ll like it, download this week’s RadioLab from WNYC podcast for a fun shortened version of the story, plus a few other stories about cancerous phenomenon.
In the RadioLab podcast titled “Famous Tumors” which you can get on iTunes for free (just type in RadioLab), the author is invited to speak about the cells, her journey writing the book, and even includes some live interviews she had with the living relatives of Henrietta and the scientists who originally cultured the cells. It may not sound like a blast, but the RadioLab show knows how to keep it interesting, engaging, funny, and witty. The author is sweet and well spoken, and the hosts are always great. But the story of Henrietta’s cells is just one among three stories, and the last one featured. Among the other tales of tumors are people who have strange experiences because of a brain tumor or two, which cause them to act and behave in strange ways. The entire thing is an hour long, but each story is only about 20 minutes, and they usually put three in one show. This means it is easy to skip around listen to each of them individually, of just listed the whole hour. There is a whole list of podcasts on very diverse topics, my favorites are Memory, Sleep, and Parasites. Sometimes it’s nice to listen to something other than music, and I find it’s more entertaining than a song I’ve listened to a couple times. What’s the catch? No catch! It’s awesome, hope you check it out!