Venue Details

21 Star Starred
Historic Hoover Theater
Near the corner of Naglee Ave 1635 Park Ave. San Jose, CA 95126
408-535-4747
Get directions
Suzanne Tofte
Need more lighting from parking to Theater
Imperial Fizz info Feb 18 2013 star this tip starred
Goldstar Member
They sell water, soda and some snacks at the entrance. No intermission.
Imperial Fizz info Feb 11 2013 star this tip starred

Reviews & Ratings

3 ratings
5.0 average rating
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3 events
2 reviews
3 stars
attended Aug 09 2010

Mary Roach is a very engaging speaker. She had the same humor during this Q&A that is in her science books. A great night laughing and learning about effects of outer space on our bodies.

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More Information

Website

https://tickets.commonwealthclub.org/auto_choose_ga.asp?area=90&...

Description

The Author of  Stiff and Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void took us into the world of cadavers and examined the anatomy, physiology and psychology behind sex. Now, Roach discovers the surreality and weirdness of space. For example, what happens when you’ve been in space for a year? And is it possible for a human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour? From the space shuttle training toilet to NASA’s crash simulation tests, Roach explores the strange universe.

A book signing follows the program.

Mary Roach’s biography from www.Maryroach.net

I grew up in a small house in Etna, New Hampshire. My dad was 65 when I was born. My neighbors taught me how to drive a Skidoo and shoot a rifle, though I never made much use of these skills. I graduated from Wesleyan in 1981, and drove out to San Francisco with some friends. I spent a few years working as a freelance copy editor before landing a half-time PR job at the SF Zoo. My office was in a trailer next to Gorilla World. On the days when I wasn’t taking calls about elephant wart removal surgery or denying rumors that the cheetahs had been sucked dry by fleas, I wrote freelance articles for the local newspaper’s Sunday magazine. Eventually, my editors there moved on to bigger things and took me along with them.

I mostly write books these days, but I still write the occasional magazine piece. These have run in Outside, National Geographic, New Scientist, Wired, and The New York Times Magazine, as well as many others too embarrassing to name. A 1995 article of mine called “How to Win at Germ Warfare” was a National Magazine Award Finalist, and in 1996, my article on earthquake-proof bamboo houses took the Engineering Journalism Award in the general interest magazine category, for which I was, let’s be honest, the only entrant. I often write about science, though I don’t have a science degree and must fake my way through interviews with experts I can’t understand. I also review books for The New York Times.

My first book, Stiff, was an offshoot of a column I wrote for Salon.com. It was sort of a reported humor column, wherein I covered things like vaginal weight-lifting and amputee bowling leagues and the question of how much food it takes to burst a human stomach.

I have no hobbies. I mostly just work on my books and hang out with my family and friends. I enjoy bird-watching — though the hours don’t agree with me — backpacking, thrift stores, overseas supermarkets, Scrabble, mangoes, and that late-night Animal Planet  show about horrific animals such as the parasitic worm that attaches itself to fishes’ eyeballs but makes up for it by leading the fish around.

About the Ticket Supplier: Commonwealth Club

The Commonwealth Club of California is the nation’s oldest and largest public affairs forum, presenting over 400 annual events on topics ranging across politics, culture, society and the economy.

Founded in 1903, the Commonwealth Club has played host to a diverse and distinctive array of speakers, from Teddy Roosevelt in 1911 to Erin Brockovich in 2001. Along the way, Martin Luther King, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Bill Gates have all given landmark speeches at the Club.