Danny Weinkauf plays bass for They Might Be Giants. He wrote and sings lead on their science song “I Am A Paleontologist” – which of course was performed during their appearance at the USA Science and Engineering Festival from last week.
He has a children’s album out this week, called No School Today. Some of the songs touch on science themes. A sort-of follow up to “I Am A Paleontologist” is “Archaeology.” “The Kidney That Lived In Four People” is based on a true story, according to Weinkauf’s website, but I have not been able to find that specific account. There is this tale of a kidney that resided in three people, so it’s not impossible. “The Moon Is Made Of Cheese” addresses moon landing conspiracy theorists, “Ice Cream (Healthy Eating)” deals with nutrition, and “Marsupial,” is about, well, you know.
Out in limited release starting today (in the U.S.) is Decoding Annie Parker. This story is not just about Annie, an 11-year old (when the film starts) whose family is devastated by breast cancer. The film is also about Dr. Mary-Claire King, a researcher who was instrumental in finding the BRCA1 gene that indicates breast cancer. The film was shot in 2011, and was completed in 2012. The cast is filled with names, with Helen Hunt playing King and Samantha Morton portraying the adult Annie Parker. So the delay between completed film and release suggests there were challenges along the way.