Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Virtual Book Tour IV

Mary Roach, author of Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers -- and the Virtual Book Tour -- have moved on to their third stop.

In her blog Rogue Librarian, Carrie Bickner considers the contributions that cadavers have made to automobile safety research -- and offers a personal comment on the impact of the book: "I'll never look at my own flesh quite the same way."

On the T this morning, I reached page 92, just into the fourth chapter that Bickner discusses in her post today. I've been making ample notes on the books, magazines and journals, and other media mentions that Roach makes throughout the book. There are some fascinating resources available. And Monday evening, while reading on the T ride home, I saw a woman sitting across from me reading Michael Paterniti's Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein's Brain. While Roach doesn't include the book in her bibliography, I'm sure it'd be an interesting parallel read. From

After Thomas Harvey performed Einstein's autopsy in 1955, he made off with the key body part. His claims that he was studying the specimen and would publish his findings never bore fruit, and the doctor fell from grace. The brain, though, became the subject of many an urban legend, and Harvey was transformed into a modern Robin Hood, having snatched neurological riches from the establishment and distributed them piecemeal to the curious and the faithful around the world.

I'll continue to follow the tour as it progresses, and this week Thursday, July 10 -- tomorrow! -- Mary will join me as a contributor to Media Diet, offering pointers to and commentary on magazines, books, movies, music, and other media items and artifacts related to the subject of her book.

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