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Mary Roach on Grunt by Mary Roach

Mary Roach on Grunt

by Mary Roach


Title Details

Running Time
44 Min.


Bestselling science writer Mary Roach visited Google's office in Cambridge, MA to discuss her book "Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War".

In "Grunt", Roach tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries?panic, exhaustion, heat, noise?and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. She dodges hostile fire with the USMC Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed movie studio where amputee actors help prepare Marine Corps medics for the shock and gore of combat wounds. In east Africa, we learn how diarrhea can be a threat to national security. Roach samples caffeinated meat, sniffs an archival sample of a World War II stink bomb, and stays up all night with the crew tending the missiles on a nuclear submarine. She answers questions not found in any other book on the military: Why is DARPA interested in ducks? How is a wedding gown like a bomb suit? Why are shrimp more dangerous to sailors than sharks?

Mary Roach is also the author of "Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void", "Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex", "Spook: Science Tackles the Afterlife", "My Planet: Finding Humor in the Oddest Places", and "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers". Her writing has appeared in Outside, Wired, National Geographic, and the New York Times Magazine, among others.

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