STIFF

I ditched the states yesterday. New Zealand just sounded so much cooler, sorry people. But its kind of ironic that I’m sitting inflight reading STIFF, by Mary Roach (which I picked up in April but never got around to finishing.) Its all about the lives of Human Cadavers and is (in the words of Irene Wanner) “Fascinating and oddly fun.”

I came to the chapter entitled: “Beyond the Black Box, when the bodies of the passengers must tell the story of a crash.” The chapter serves to descibe the events that take place if an airplane were to go down over the ocean and what caused the plane to crash. Ok, so obviously not the best choice for inflight reading. I started thinking: “great, I’m flying over nothing but open ocean. Any minute now.”

Of course from that point on every time the shaking got rough I started envisioning worse case scenarios and deciding what I would do “if” the unthinkable happened. I especially loved the quote (sighting a delta crash) “It should have been very survivable. There were very few traumatic injuries. But a lot of people were killed by the fire. They found them stacked up at the emergency exits. Couldn’t get them open.”

The book in general is very respectful really, but its also filled with everything you never wanted to know along, the stuff they don’t tell you in anatomy and fascinating bits of humor. Who knew dead bodies could be so funny. I’m never had any ultimate desire to study cadavers after experiencing the scents in my anatomy lab, but Mary Roach puts a certain writing talent into her book that makes them very fascinating!

I highly recommend the book for curiosity delight. $13.95 at your local book store. . . . or free from the Library. www.maryroach.net

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