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Spook : science tackles the afterlife

Author: Mary Roach
Publisher: New York : W.W. Norton, 2005.
Edition/Format:   Book : Fiction : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that, the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?" In an attempt to find out, the author brings her curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Creative nonfiction
Material Type: Fiction, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Mary Roach
ISBN: 0393059626 9780393059625
OCLC Number: 60500113
Description: 311 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Contents: You again: a visit to the reincarnation nation --
The little man inside the sperm, or possibly the big toe: hunting the soul with microscopes and scalpels --
How to weigh a soul: what happens when a man (or a mouse, or a leech) dies on a scale --
The Vienna sausage affair: and other dubious highlights of the ongoing effort to see the soul --
Hard to swallow: the giddy, revolting heyday of ectoplasm --
The large claims of the medium: reaching out to the dead in a University of Arizona lab --
Soul in a dunce cap: the author enrolls in medium school --
Can you hear me now? : telecommunicating with the dead --
Inside the haunt box: can electromagnetic fields make you hallucinate? --
Listening to Casper: a psychoacoustics expert sets up camp in England's haunted spots --
Chaffin v. the dead guy in the overcoat: in which the law finds for a ghost, and the author calls in an expert witness --
Six feet over: a computer stands by on an operating room ceiling, awaiting near-death experiencers --
Last words.
Responsibility: Mary Roach.
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Abstract:

What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that, the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?" In an attempt to find out, the author brings her curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die. She begins the journey in rural India with a reincarnation researcher and ends up in a University of Virginia operating room where cardiologists have installed equipment near the ceiling to study out-of-body near-death experiences. Along the way, she enrolls in an English medium school, gets electromagnetically haunted at a university in Ontario, and visits a Duke University professor with a plan to weigh the consciousness of a leech. Her historical wanderings unearth soul-seeking philosophers who rummaged through cadavers and calves' heads, a North Carolina lawsuit that established legal precedence for ghosts, and the last surviving sample of "ectoplasm" in a Cambridge University archive.

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