Life contains these things: leakage and wickage and discharge, pus and snot and slime and gleet. We are biology. We are reminded of this at the beginning and the end, at birth and at death. In between we do what we can to forget.— Mary Roach
The most helpful Mary Roach quotes to discover and learn by heart
The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. Most of your time is spent lying on your back. The brain has shut down. The flesh begins to soften. Nothing much new happens, and nothing is expected of you.
I dont fear death so much as I fear its prologues: loneliness, decrepitude, pain, debilitation, depression, senility. After a few years of those, I imagine death presents like a holiday at the beach.
Instead, I quietly excused myself and went to the bar, to commune with spirits I know how to relate to.
All the clothes in my closet are Oakland, California, clothes.
You can't wear those anywhere else. The barometric pressure drops and then where are you?
You won't see me writing about particle physics, or even planetary geology, or chemistry. I practically failed chemistry, and if I had to write a book in any of those areas, I don't think it would go well.
The suffix 'naut' comes from the Greek and Latin words for ships and sailing.
Astronaut suggests 'a sailor in space.' Chimponaut suggests 'a chimpanzee in sailor pants'.
Yes, the money could be better spent on Earth.
But would it? Since when has money saved by government redlining been spent on education and cancer research? It is always squandered. Let's squander some on Mars. Let's go out and play.
Sexual desire is a state not unlike hunger.
Space doesn't just encompass the sublime and the ridiculous. It erases the line between.
Masters points out that the heterosexuals were at a disadvantage, as they do not benefit from what he called “gender empathy”. Doing unto your partner as you would do unto yourself only works well when you're gay.
The broader the topic, the easier it is, not only to fill a book, but to set the bar pretty high for really great stuff.
If you could really guarantee that the money would be spent on something more worthwhile, I'd say, absolutely, scrap the space program, but it never works that way.
The human head is of the same approximate size and weight as a roaster chicken.
I have never before had occasion to make the comparison, for never before today have I seen a head in a roasting pan.
My books are not really books; theyre endless chains of distraction shoved inside a cover. Many of them begin at the search box of Pub Med, an Internet database of medical journal articles.
Here is the secret to surviving one of these [airplane] crashes: Be male.
In a 1970 Civil Aeromedical institute study of three crashes involving emergency evacuations, the most prominent factor influencing survival was gender (followed closely by proximity to exit). Adult males were by far the most likely to get out alive. Why? Presumably because they pushed everyone else out of the way.
I began thinking about my skeleton, this solid, beautiful thing inside me that I would never see.
The simplest strategy for bouts of noxious flatus is to not care.
Or perhaps to take advantage of a gastroenterologist I know: get a dog. (To blame.)
It is the mind that speaks a woman's heart, not the vaginal walls.
In the words of the late Francis Crick.
..You, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. (13)
There are people who would love to spend their last ten years, or five years, or whatever it is, on the surface of Mars.
If you can trigger the Lazarus reflex in a dead person, why not the orgasm reflex?
Worry lives a long way from rational thought."---Self
Normally I object to strangers beaming force fields into my brain.
I don't write on topics that require a lot of urgency.
But in 'Stiff,' I wanted to change people's hearts about organ donation. Whenever I get a chance, I try to talk about that.
People are vomiting unrealistically in movies, and something must be done about it.
The writing is always the easy part, provided I can get the good material.
It's the getting of the good material that's a challenge.
NASA might do well to adopt the Red Bull approach to branding and astronautics.
Suddenly the man in the spacesuit is not an underpaid civil servant; he's the ultimate extreme athlete. Red Bull knows how to make space hip.
Bodily fluids and solids are universally the most disgusting things we as human beings can come upon, but as long as they are inside us, it's part of you.
I've read plenty of amazing science pieces where the writers don't hang out in labs. I just have fun doing it. And I get rewarded for it; I get gushy, especially when kids tell me they expected to be bored by my books, but weren't.
It's this mood, these sentiments - the excitement of exploration and the surprises and delights of travel to foreign locales - that I hope to inspire with this book.
To me, NASA is kind of the magical kingdom.
I was sort of a geek, and you go there, and there are just these wondrously strange things and people.
One IGHS member said that, yup, she could hear it, too.
Then again, during a dinner conversation earlier in the trip, this same woman heard “Siegfried and Roy” as “Sigmund Freud.” The resulting image-Sigmund Freud with flowing hair and tigers and too much men’s makeup-haunts me to this day.
The paper does not provide the exact number of penises eaten by ducks, but the author says there have been enough over the years to prompt the coining of a popular saying: 'I better get home or the ducks will have something to eat.
For the scientists, they're kind of puzzled and pleased that somebody finds their work interesting. It makes it fun for me. I feel like I've sort of turned over a stone that hasn't been turned over.
Many people will find this book disrespectful.
There is nothing amusing about being dead, they will say. Ah, but there is.
Death. It doesn't have to be boring.
I very much was inspired by Bill Bryson.
He does cover science, but more often, it's a mixture of science and travel, and whatever he happens to be writing about - Shakespeare, Australia, the United Kingdom, or when he covers science in 'A Short History Of Nearly Everything' - he has an incredible ability to be both entertaining and enlightening.
You do not question an author who appears on the title page as "T.
V.N. Persaud, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., F.R.C.Path. (Lond.), F.F.Path. (R.C.P.I.), F.A.C.O.G.
Hormones are nature's three bottles of beer.
I would have sold my wife and children into slavery for a ride into space.
Every crazy fad from the 1800s comes back or they never go away.
It’s like fashion, like everything’s already been invented, and somebody stumbles onto it and people will always, always be looking for an answer for some vague illness they can’t get a diagnosis for.
In my whole life, I've never vomited from seeing something disgusting.
Does it really even happen, outside of movies and TV? I believe it may be a myth.
You are a person and then you cease to be a person, and a cadaver takes your place.
The point is that no matter what you choose to do with your body when you die, it won't, ultimately, be very appealing. If you are inclined to donate yourself to science, you should not let images of dissection or dismemberment put you off. They are no more or less gruesome, in my opinion, than ordinary decay or the sewing shut of your jaws via your nostrils for a funeral viewing.
In 'Packing for Mars,' I tried to convey the importance of getting young people interested in science.
It would be especially comforting to believe that I have the answer to the question, 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 laptop?
In my experience, the most staunchly held views are based on ignorance or accepted dogma, not carefully considered accumulations of facts. The more you expose the intricacies and realtities of the situation, the less clear-cut things become.
Sharing a room with a cadaver is only mildly different from being in a room alone. They are the same sort of company as people across from you on subways or in airport lounges, there but not there. Your eyes keep going back to them, for lack of anything more interesting to look at, and then you feel bad for staring.
Gravity disappears again, and we rise up off the floor like spooks from a grave.
It's like the Rapture in here every thirty seconds.