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When I first heard about Carlo Hildebrand the surfactant-collector, from a family friend who knows him, I was told that in elementary school we must have been doppelgangers. We’re the same age. We had both been fiddle-playing Canadian kids full of questions. We had both been obsessed with ornithology, had both spent our days flipping through bird books, studying plumages, and keeping tallies of the species we’d seen.

Our shared childhood idiosyncrasies made me curious. But what really piqued my interest was how different our workdays are now. I spend mine in a newsroom or out reporting. Carlo spends his in a slaughterhouse, pushing a tube up into the tracheas of dead cattle.


That’s just one part of making a drug that helps open up the lungs of premature babies, and for Carlo, it’s a part-time job — Tuesdays from before dawn until late afternoon. The rest of the time, he’s writing songs, recording an album, and, when he needs a break, going rock climbing and to one-dollar bowling on Thursday nights.

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  • If this is a real subject. Get ready to suck the foam from pain patients who do away with themselves because of lack of treatment. There will be as many of those as cows. You can fill up your foam tanks to the top.

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