File Size: 12340 KB
Print Length: 288 pages
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; 1 edition (June 7, 2016)
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Military science under the microscope
Now, in Grunt, her latest book, Roach has turned the girl focus on military science, specifically the science-based efforts by the U. S. defense establishment to clothe, train, armor, and heal our soldiers, sailors, and airmen and protect them from every manner of wound and loss of function. Not familiar and uncomfortable subject areas such as battlefield hearing loss, shark repellent, bird strikes on airplanes, diarrhea, and penis implantation figure in the storyplot. (The only major subject she avoids is PTSD, because, she writes, “it has had so much [coverage], and so much of it is so excellent. ”) Cockroach tells her tale with brutal honesty — and leavens it with an abundance of humor. A few passages are laugh-out-loud funny. Maybe what’s wrong with Mary Roach is that her sense of humor is so much better developed than it is in the rest of us. Inside any case, I enjoy what she writes.
If you do not are remarkably knowledgeable about the U. S. military, you are likely to learn a great deal about how exactly it actually works by reading Grunt.
*** Consider, for example , the years-long investigation completed by the Bird Aircraft Affect Hazard (BASH) team of the United States Air Force. You’ll learn why shooting chickens out there of a sixty-foot “chicken gun” at 400 mls per hour to test their impact on airplane in flight was eventually deemed unsuitable. The experts shifted to turkey vultures. As Roach informs us, “Though implicated in just one percent of Usaf birdstrikes, the weighty raptors are, by one accounting, accountable for 40 percent of the damage. ” Serious people actually spent years figuring all this out!
*** You will see why the Army’s clothing designers crafted custom-designed tops for snipers, with pockets on the sleeves simple access, a zipper quietly as opposed to the front side, and no buttons, so that when lying on the floor or crawling across it their buttons won’t get or the zipper make noise that might give away their position. (FYI, “US government button specifications run to twenty-two pages. This fact on its own yields a sense of what it is like to design clothing for the Army. ”) Can you imagine any army, anywhere else in the world, that would go to such plans to outfit its troops?
“In a place like Afghanistan, ” Cockroach writes, “sweat keeps more people alive than corpsmen do. ” The description (in Chapter 7) is fascinating.
You get the point. Military science can be fun — at least, reading regarding it can.
About the author
Mary Cockroach has written eight textbooks of science journalism. The woman work has garnered several awards and been elevated to your shortlist for many more. The woman books have been bestsellers from the start, start with her first work, Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers., Possessing spent over twenty years in the USN in the aviation field, this guide was both informative and interesting. Topics such as ability to hear as well as warmth and diarrhea are protected. Shark repellant, flies, vaginal transplants and safety all have their own chapters and these are only a few of the topics.
The submarine base in Groton, CT, caught my attention as well. The 'Wet Trainer' permits submariners the ability to increase their knowledge of how to save the 'ship'. Fascinating to learn that old methods such as a pine plug cone could be effective in an extreme leak. Also, the USS Tang (1944) and the USS Squalus (1939) occurrences were well detailed. I actually remember the USS Thresher in 1963 but was not familiar with the first two incidents.
The writer has interspersed healthy dosages of humor in this book. One thing that made me laugh out high in volume was the chapter on combat medic training. The author found some document drawers labeled 'spleens', 'aortas' and other body components. She was on the girl way to the bathroom and when she found 'head' it was a moment of interest! An additional chuckle for me personally was in the discussion of the contents of the MRE packets. The USN has baby wipes in their packs for toilet purposes and the USMC makes use of a piece of their first tee shirt! Think that nothing of us could disagree with this statement!
There are so many facts that relate to the manner in which the military is forced to operate that it makes one shake their head. And, sometimes in disbelief at the specifications that the military uses in production of an item.
The chapter that covered safety also brought back memories of my days in the USN on the ending of many runways. Inside the morning our first duty at 0800 was FOD (Foreign Object Damage) walk down. In formation, we walked looking for any object that could damage the engine of an aircraft. And, indeed bird strikes were not common but I recall several aircraft engines being damaged by them within my 20 + years.
Of particular interest to the warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are the two chapters devoted to vaginal transplants and injuries below the belt. The writer states that there are '300 genito-urological injuries for 18, 000 limb amputees'. Finally, some progress is being produced in this area for the men affected by this type of injury.
Plenty of unknown facts concerning the way the 'powers to be' make judgements on important military items.
Most strongly recommended., I actually have to assume that what she reports is accurate. I see from a disappointed reader that the lady got the manufacturer of a car wrong. However, I can't believe the science the lady reports on is incorrect. Assuming that, which I think is credible to do, this is a outstanding book. Personally i think we all owe it to people helping in the military or veterans to read this. It reveals details about injury and trauma that we all should know about. It's easy to read and her humor helps cut through the difficult information to digest, while at the same time, she maintains the respect that is proper for a few of the serious revelations., If Mary Cockroach writes it, I want to read it. Martha covers quite somewhat of serious ground in this guide while managing to maintain the tone lighthearted, and it can an exciting read. There's a section in the book about how exactly diarrhea affects war, which is very insightful - who else could have thought to tackle that issue?? - and actually pretty interesting. The book definitely provides a much different perspective of the military than other media outlets - we all know we'll never see a piece in the paper on Diarrhea in the Military - and brings it down to a civilian level that you'll understand, and enjoy learning from. Nicely worth the expense of the book - and the time you'll spend immersed in it.
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