Friday, May 31, 2013

Mary Roach: Real wit and intelligence

Quite a while ago, Lynn read "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" by Mary Roach..  Several parts were too good not to read aloud.  I remembered the name and looked up the book, to find that she has several other interesting sounding ones:
MARY ROACH is the author of "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers," "Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife," "Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex," and "Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void." She lives in Oakland, California.

She has since come out with "My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places" and "Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal." She also has a TED talk on 10 things you didn't know about orgasm.  When you read something by her, prepare to laugh, to learn something quite unusual, maybe something you doubted you would ever know.

Naturally, I focused on the book mentioned above that is about sex.  Even after we have reproduced and our reproductions have reproduced and then still another round has reproduced, we still have various drives in us that make us of aware of and sensitive to sex drives.  It seems that the drive to respond to members of the opposite sex is very firmly planted in us.  Most societies, maybe all, have realized the need for babies to replenish their numbers and the connection between the birth of babies and that mysterious desire to touch someone.  Since we live in a scientific age, and since sex is basic all the way through life, it is natural that scientific attention will sometimes be paid to all aspects of attraction and intercourse.  This is where "Bonk" comes in.
I can pretty well guarantee you that if you read "Bonk", you will laugh and you will learn many new things.  I cannot assure you that you won't be embarrassed at times.  You can see Mary Roach in her TED talks. She is pretty and well-built but as you will learn, also adventurous, as is her frequently challenged husband.  If you watch "10 Things You Didn't Know About Orgasm", you may be able to sense the slight tension in the audience as she discusses penises, vaginas and other things usually below the level of acceptable subjects.  If you don't want to read the whole book, you can visit this web page of my selection of highlights from the pages of Bonk.

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