- Introducing our guest voices
- Nic Armstrong and the Thieves
- HAL 9000
Like the show? You know what to do.
What she dealt with daily goes beyond the pale...beyond the nightmares of most people; Children with all four limbs hacked off right above the knee or below the elbow. Twelve year olds who died in childbirth after being gang-raped by the Janjaweed. Women who gave birth to rape-babies who were then cast out by their families for shaming the family name, leaving only one avenue of survival for themselves and their children after the camps: Prostitution.That's Blue Girl, Red State, talking about a friend who went to Darfur for a month, and is, understandably, unable to process the experience just yet.
What is fucking her up is the desperation, and the fact that she worked herself to death for over a month, and she still didn't really save anyone. Now that she's gone, it's like she was never there. Even the ones she helped keep alive, she didn't save. You try dealing with that reality.
Nancy Ostrowski was a young American who'd once considered being a nun, and by the 1970s she had switched to research. But she seems to have channeled some of the moral strictures from her previous life into her new work. In her laboratory outside Washington, D.C., she would get something like a small guillotine ready, then encourage mice to have sex, and then decapitate them while they were thus engaged.(She was searching for endorphins, not just chopping happy mice's heads off.) Or my favorite, in a footnote to a chapter on Alan Turing and "the British government's codebreaking group":
Actually a "cipher-breaking" group. A code is a direct-substitution system, where one word is used to stand for another, as with a child's code in which, for example, the words national embarrassment are substituted wherever the word shrub has been written.