Feb 20, 2011

Mars - another excuse for human curiosity

why does the japanese astronaut selection process involve origami?
who ate the onions experiment?
what happens if you don't bathe or change clothes for 2 weeks?
how much will NASA pay you to stay in bed for 3 months? 
what happens to your bones then?
so how do old ladies benefit from space research? (get it?)
how do dolphins have sex under water?
is that why they don't let male dolphins in the swim-with-the-dolphins pool?
what is astronaut chow?
what concoction best simulates human shit for test purposes?
what tests are those??
what percent of people can light their farts?
why is drinking Orange County's water kind of like being an astronaut?
did you ever think that sustainability engineering and human spaceflight engineering are just different sides of the same technology?

PACKING FOR MARS by Mary Roach - a book by a science writer who walks the fine line between making fun of and seeing what is funny about space exploration and the research that is part of it!
i loved this book, and had a new view of the value of it all... all the research spills out into everyday life. her last paragraph is surely thought provoking - to summarize, any money saved from not funding space exploration would not go to any of the things you feel it should be used for anyway!  you know that!  so why not play and learn.
oh just read it, you'll laugh out loud at sentences like "The zero gravity fart has been a popular orbital pursuit, especially on all male flights."

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