'Grunt' tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries -- panic, exhaustion, heat, noise -- and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them. Mary Roach dodges hostile fire with the U.S. Marine Corps Paintball Team as part of a study on hearing loss and survivability in combat. She visits the fashion design studio of U.S. Army Natick Labs and learns why a zipper is a problem for a sniper. She visits a repurposed...
Sophie Lyons was a "thief from the cradle," as one chief of police said; at the early age of six she had already been trained by her stepmother to be a pickpocket and a shoplifter. A beautiful child with engaging manners, she was sent out every day into the stores and among the crowds of shoppers, and was soundly whipped if she came out of a shop with less than three pocketbooks. "I did not know it was wrong to steal; nobody ever taught me that,"...