Nonfiction Book Club Packing For Mars Discussion – Part 2

August 24, 2015 Uncategorized 5

BookClubLogoAugPart2

 

I can’t believe this has come up so quickly, but we’re almost done with our first Nonfiction Book Club read-along! This second set of discussion questions will cover the rest of the book. I’ve included a link-up for your discussion posts that will be open through the end of the month and you can answer questions in the comments if you prefer. This post also includes a poll for a time for a twitter chat, so if you’re interested in participating, please vote and let me know what time would be best for you. I’ll post my answers and the time of the twitter chat Thursday evening.

  1. Do you have a favorite fun fact from the second half of the book?
  2. Other than other people, what do you think you’d miss most if you had to spend an extended period of time in space?
  3. Do you think you’d be good at the meticulous planning required for a mission in space?
  4. Do you like that Mary Roach asks the questions no one else asks (body odor, sex) or would you rather just not know?
  5. Would you be willing to stay in bed for months if someone paid you your current salary to do so?
  6. Do you think NASA should be able to recruit astronauts based on their genetics?

After you answer the questions, be sure to fill out this doodle poll to help pick our twitter chat time if you’re interested in joining in!

5 Responses to “Nonfiction Book Club Packing For Mars Discussion – Part 2”

  1. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review

    I have to admit that what I remember mostly about the second half is the high gross-out factor. Lots of interesting facts about BO and excretion and such, but I wouldn’t call them “fun.” I do appreciate that Mary Roach goes where other reporters don’t dare to — I think it’s important to understand what space travel is really like, and not just the glamorized image.

    No way I would stay in bed for months for my current salary. They’d have to give me a raise.
    Lory @ Emerald City Book Review recently posted…Ten Books that I’d Put on the Syllabus for Austen in AugustMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      Haha, I have to agree with you there! A lot of the end of this book was focused on topic that really grossed me out. I did like learning that these mundane things have to be thought about for space travel, but I don’t think there were any fun facts I’d want to repeat at a dinner party!

      I also think I’d have to be paid more to be willing to stay in bed all the time, given that my current job is an option 🙂

  2. Kelly

    Do you have a favorite fun fact from the second half of the book? Hmmm…I don’t have the book in front of me (back to the library it went), but the factoids that stick out the most are those about bone degeneration and such. That was something I had never considered and I found it fascinating!
    Other than other people, what do you think you’d miss most if you had to spend an extended period of time in space? I like to run, I would miss running (doing it on a treadmill with ropes tying me down doesn’t sound as fun). 🙂 And real food!
    Do you think you’d be good at the meticulous planning required for a mission in space? I am extremely type A and would be excellent at it. 🙂 Let me work for NASA as a non-astronaut! I’d do great!
    Do you like that Mary Roach asks the questions no one else asks (body odor, sex) or would you rather just not know? Oh, I love it. Some of the chapters were super gross (see: the entire chapter about toilets), but what interesting info anyway. And I feel like half her appeal is the fact that she’s willing to ask anything!
    Would you be willing to stay in bed for months if someone paid you your current salary to do so? Well, I currently make nothing as a SAHM, so sign me up! Especially if babysitting is included! Haha. But seriously, no, because I would go INSANE. I got twitchy just reading about that!
    Do you think NASA should be able to recruit astronauts based on their genetics? That’s a tough question…I think it may be useful to have it be one of many factors considered, but not the only one. I think if someone is predisposed to motion sickness, that’s significant. But if someone just doesn’t fart methane (wasn’t that an example in the book?), less important. If they permitted this though, they start to toe the line on some difficult discrimination questions, so I feel like it would never really be allowed.
    Kelly recently posted…Astronaut vomit at zero G! Packing for Mars by Mary RoachMy Profile

    • DoingDewey

      The bone degeneration info was new and interesting to me too! I’m not an incredibly active person and I still think I’d get twitchy staying in bed for months. I’d definitely have to be paid more than I’m currently making to give up my job for that, probably a lot more.

      I also think Mary Roach’s willingness to go anywhere is what makes her who she is as an author. Her books wouldn’t be the same without at least some gross facts! I got to see her in person in Syracuse and she spent a little while intentionally using curse words just so she could see how they were translated into sign language. It was silly and funny and something I couldn’t see many other people being both brave enough and fun enough to do in front of an audience. I liked her 🙂

      I think in terms of using genetics to choose astronauts, I hope we choose to solve problems we can in other ways. Like you, I think predisposition to motion sickness seems like something people might have to be screened for, but smaller things probably shouldn’t be considered. The whole idea does have a lot of potential for becoming discriminatory, depending on how important traits are distributed in the population.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I hoped you enjoyed the read-along as much as I did 🙂
      DoingDewey recently posted…Review: The Race for ParisMy Profile