31 Mary Roach - The Science of Your Guts

Mary Roach has been called "America's funniest science writer." Master of the monosyllabically titled bestseller, she has explored sex in Bonk, corpses in Stiff, and the afterlife in Spook. Her latest book, now out in paperback, is Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal. It's, you know, completely gross. But in a way that you can't put down. What kind of things might you learn in a Mary Roach book about the alimentary canal, that convoluted pipeline that runs from where you food goes in all the way to where something else comes out? Well, how about why suicide bombers don't carry bombs in their rectums: Their bodies would absorb much of the explosion and prevent any chance of achieving their deadly objective. It's one of the "reasons to be thankful for your anus," observes Roach on this week's episode. On the show, Roach took host Indre Viskontas on a quick tour of the colon and discussed some uses of the alimentary canal that are surely outside the normal range of advised behavior (just Google "hooping"—not the Hula Hoop kind—and you'll see what we mean). But this isn't all funny; the science of the gut can help you live more, er, comfortably. We talk to Roach about all that and more on this week’s show. This episode also features a discussion of whether humans differ, genetically, in our sensitivity to pain, and on the latest dismal survey showing just how much scientific knowledge Americans refuse to accept. iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/inquiring-minds/id711675943 RSS: feeds.feedburner.com/inquiring-minds Stitcher: stitcher.com/podcast/inquiring-minds

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