November 23, 2008

Radiolab: The Sperm Episode

We were driving back into the city Friday, and I switched the radio station and ended up in the last few minutes of the WNYC-produced series Radiolab. It was a woman talking about using her dead husband's sperm to conceive, and what would she tell the kid about how he's the kid of a dead guy, and how he was born after his father died.

And the kid in the back seat didn't say anything, but after five hours in the car, I didn't want to have a discussion with her of sperm and post-mortem in vitro fertilization. There are a too many missing pieces in that puzzle at this point for it to make any sense to her. So I just turned it off.

Now I just finished listening to the whole show, and it runs the gamut from Leewenhoek's initial discovery of sperm, to duck rape, to the girl who contacted every male graduate of Baylor Medical School in a 4-year span trying to find her sperm-donating biological father to the post-mortem story.

It's all fascinating as it goes, and no matter how much of a sperm expert you think you are, you'll learn something new. Though the heavily layered editing may wear you out, the way an indie film with too much handheld camerawork does. Caveat ejaculator.

Radiolab: Sperm [wnyc.org]

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