August 3rd, 2010

Review: Mary Roach’s ‘Packing for Mars’ demystifies space science with laughter The Canadian Press

Mary Roach has made a career writing books that answer questions most people would never think to ask. Having already given readers more than they ever wanted to know about the science of cadavers (“Stiff”), souls (“Spook”) and sex (“Bonk”), she turns her inquisitive mind to the cosmos.
“Packing for Mars” is a book even the most casual space geek will enjoy. From the race to the moon in the ’60s to the current goal of a manned mission to Mars by 2030, the book features chapters exploring everything from vomiting in zero gravity (“Throwing Up and Down”) to sex in space (“The Three-Dolphin Club”). It’s written in a very casual style, with Roach inserting herself into the story whenever her curiosity demands it. She takes a ride aboard NASA’s tricked-out C-9 to experience weightlessness and drinks her own filtered urine — all in the name of research.

October 13th, 2003

Canadian, U.S. militaries develop modified plants to detect landmines The Canadian Press

The Canadian and the United States militaries are developing a new weapon in the war against landmines – genetically modified plants. Anthony Faust, a researcher with the landmine detection branch of the Department of National Defence, came up with the genetically modified plant idea after watching a TV newscast. “I caught the tail end of a clip that talked about sending genetically modified plants to Mars. These plants were going to be modified to be sensitive to heavy metals.

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