Yes, I said 'soundtrack'
Five songs, all written specifically to accompany five articles in the issue. IMO, they capture the emotions and feelings behind the writing.
First Article, First Song.
Article: "Will You be able to Predict - And Prevent - Your Demise?" by Michael Rosenwald
Song: "That Spells DNA"
To be completely honest, I skimmed over the article, and skipped the song. Not because I don't think they are good, but because I am less interested in where our bodies have been and currently are. I want to know about what's being done to enhance our bodies, not on preventative medicine. Because, quite frankly, I prefer natural selection over doctoring. Which is odd, as I wouldn't be alive if nature was allowed to take it's course with me. More on that later. Much, much later. In fact, probably never.
Second Article, Second Song.
Article: "Will Drugs Make Us Smarter and Happier?" by James Vlahos
Song: "I Feel FANTASTIC"
The article presents some interesting moral questions regarding off-label prescribing of medicines, and the development of drugs to fundamentally alter the way our brains work. Yet, it does not capture the feel of what our world will be like if every moment of our lives is filtered through different chemicals. The song, however, complements the article perfectly. After listening to the song, and reading the article, I had to take a moment to step back and think about the underlying messages in both the song and writing. All I can conclude is that no matter how much it would make my life a thing of constant bliss, I will not take any medications to enhance performance. Except the ones I already do. Geez, I'm really contradicting myself, aren't I?
Third Article, Third Song.
Article: "Will We Grow Babies Outside their Mother's Bodies?" by Gretchen Reynolds
Song: "Womb with a View"
I have no strong feelings or thoughts about the article or song. Sorry.
Fourth Article, Fourth Song.
Article: "Will Artificial Muscle Make You Stronger?" by Dan Ferber
Song: "Todd the T1000"
Dammit, I have lost whatever muse was shoving me to write these. I can say, however, that any song that includes the phrase 'My big smashy Claw" is a winner in my book.
Fifth Article, Fifth Song.
Article: "Is Any of this a Good Idea?" by Robert Sapolsky
I read the articles, and was becoming more and more enthusiastic about how medicines and surgeries and gene-tampering could make me Better. But, after reading the article, I'm not so sure. I mean, I still want Wings, a Prehensile Tail, and maybe some Gills, but that's it. I juist want to be able to do things and go places that my frail body won't let me. I don't want to be more intelligent, or able to remember everything, if that means giving up the fundamental human-ness I have. And no, I can't explain why a tail and wings wouldn't change that. Anyway, as to the song, it's about body modification gone way overboard. I love me the following excerpt from the lyrics:
"You started out small
Some gills and some wings and a few extra thumbs
Now you’re thirteen feet tall
Even when you’re asleep your machinery hums"
All of the songs were written, performed, and edited by Jonathon Coulton, who is my newest favourite musician. He's got the humour of Weird Al, but with a more sciencey twist. I like it. Anyway, download the soundtrack at http://www.popsci.com/soundtrack , and visit http://www.jonathancoulton.com/ to get more of Jon's great music.
It's free, but give him some cash, as it is good stuff.