Best Selling Author Mary Roach Discusses Weirdness of Space at The Hoover Theatre
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The last date listed for Mary Roach - Best Selling Author was Monday August 9, 2010 / 7:00pm.
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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.