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What happens when you vomit during a space walk? The bestselling author of Stiff explores the irresistibly strange universe of space travel and life without gravity Space is devoid of the stuff humans need to live: air, gravity, hot showers, fresh veg, privacy, beer. How much can a person give up? What happens when you can't walk for a year? Is sex any fun in zero gravity? What's it like being cooped up in a metal box with a few people for months at a time? As Mary Roach discovers, it's possible to explore space without ever leaving Earth. From the space shuttle training toilet to a 17,000 mile-per-hour crash test of NASA's space capsule (cadaver stepping in), she takes us on a surreally entertaining trip into the science of living in space.
A New York Times Bestseller “Rich in dexterous innuendo, laugh-out-loud humor and illuminating fact. It’s compulsively readable.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review In ?Bonk, ?the best-selling author of Stiff turns her outrageous curiosity and insight on the most alluring scientific subject of all: sex. Can a person think herself to orgasm? Why doesn't Viagra help women-or, for that matter, pandas? Can a dead man get an erection? Is vaginal orgasm a myth? Mary Roach shows us how and why sexual arousal and orgasm-two of the most complex, delightful, and amazing scientific phenomena on earth-can be so hard to achieve and what science is doing to make the bedroom a more satisfying place.
A New York Times / National Bestseller "America's funniest science writer" (Washington Post) Mary Roach explores the science of keeping human beings intact, awake, sane, uninfected, and uninfested in the bizarre and extreme circumstances of war. Grunt tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries—panic, exhaustion, heat, noise—and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. At Camp Lemmonier, Djibouti, in east Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Roach samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on the nuclear submarine USS Tennessee. She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks? Take a tour of duty with Roach, and you’ll never see our nation’s defenders in the same way again.
Based on components already in existence, this manual details a reference design for an interplanetary spacecraft that is simple, durable, fully reusable and comprised mostly of water. Using such an accessible material leads to a spacecraft architecture that is radically simpler, safer and cheaper than conventional capsule based designs. If developed, the potential affordability of the design will substantially open all of the inner solar system to human exploration. A spacecraft that is comprised mostly of water will be much more like a living cell or a terrarium than a conventional rocket and capsule design. It will use water for many purposes before it is superheated in electric engines for propulsion, purposes which include radiation shielding, heat management, basic life support, crew consumption and comfort. The authors coined the term "spacecoaches" to describe them, as an allusion to the Prairie Schooners of the Old West, which were simple, rugged, and could live off the land.
The best-selling author of Stiff and Bonk trains her considerable wit and curiosity on the human soul. "What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that—the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?" In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die.
In this international bestseller, Mary Roach breaks bread with spit connoisseurs, beer and pet-food tasters, stomach slugs, potato crisp engineers, enema exorcists, rectum-examining prison guards, competitive hot dog eaters, Elvis' doctor, and many more as she investigates the beginning, and the end, of our food.
"One of the funniest and most unusual books of the year....Gross, educational, and unexpectedly sidesplitting."—Entertainment Weekly Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science's boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

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