Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November 6th, 2011 - Packing for Mars

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void  by Mary Roach is a nonfiction analysis of what NASA's work on getting to Mars. What we know and what we need to find out.

Sounds boring, right?

It's surprisingly not. Mary Roach has a talent for picking up the weird minutiae and pulling a whole chapter out of it. Like: how do you shit in space? stay clean? eat? at what point do you reach your BO threshold and when does your skin stop accumulating oil. Is that story about Enos the chimpanzee being the first thing to orgasm in space even true? ( spoiler alert:  it's not...probably)

I'm definitely going to read her other books: Spook: Science Tackles the AfterlifeStiff: the Curious Lives of Human Cadavers, and Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex

By the way, they're using cadavers for crash test dummies now. I'm trying not to judge based on my initial reaction, but I'd be freaked out.

Anyway, I'm always hesitant about recommending nonfiction books, but if you once in your life had an interest in space you'll probably enjoy this one.

1 comment:

  1. Alex,

    I'm a huge fan of Mary Roach ever since I first read Stiff. I HIGHLY recommend Stiff, as it's oddly fascinating. Bonk was alright, and I didn't read Spook because I'm relatively familiar with that area of psychological science (weird, I know). I'm so glad you liked Packing for Mars! Mary has a Facebook fan page that she updates; she's hilarious in interviews!