While you're waiting for fresh blogging fare at the cocktail party (it's coming soon! we promise!), let me point you to the hot new diavlog I did for BloggingHeads.tv, featuring me and author Mary Roach, whose latest book is the excellent Packing for Mars. Regular readers know I'm a longstanding fan of Mary's work, and she's just as fun and engaging over the phone as she is in print. We chatted about zero gravity (she got to ride on the Vomit Comit!), what freefall is really like during a spacewalk, the psychological complications pertaining to sex in space, Mary's foray into space toilet training, and she also had the chance to redeem the reputation of Enos the Space Chimp, unfairly maligned for masturbating during his NASA space mission. (Although if he had, Roach says, that would have given Enos the dubious honor of achieving first orgasm in space.) Go on, you know you want to give it a listen. And we'll be back soon with new posts before you know it.
About The Author
Jennifer Ouellette is a recovering English major who stumbled into science writing quite by accident, and has been avidly exploring her inner geek ever since. She is the author of four popular science books for the general public: Me, Myself, and Why, The Calculus Diaries, Black Bodies and Quantum Cats, and The Physics of the Buffyverse, all published by Penguin. Her work has also appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, New Scientist, Discover, Salon, Symmetry, and Physics World, among other publications. For two years, Jennifer served as the director of the Science and Entertainment Exchange, an LA-based initiative of the National Academy of Sciences to foster creative collaborations between industry professionals in Hollywood and scientists. She is currently a senior writer covering science and culture at Ars Technica. Jennifer lives in Los Angeles with Caltech cosmologist Sean (M.) Carroll, a.k.a. the Time Lord. Find her online at CocktailPartyPhysics.com.
2 thoughts on “here, listen to this while I’m away”
Very informative and entertaining – and your outfits matched.
Please stop talking about traveling beyond the pull of gravity! That propagates a gross misconception. Gravity in low Earth orbit is just slightly less than at Earth’s surface (gravity is an inverse square force, after all). The reason you are in free fall in a circular orbit is that you are accelerating toward the center of the Earth at the same rate as demanded by the local gravitational field. The circular orbit speed is determined from v^2/R = G*M/R^2….
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