few people think that a lot is left empty in the netherlands. on the contrary, many in the netherlands and abroad regard the country as densely populated and heavily occupied. some even regard the netherlands as full: there is hardly any room left for anything or anyone. it might therefore come as a surprise for them to know that a large part of the netherlands is indeed vacant and is growing more vacant by the day.
Anyone who thinks astronauts ply a glamorous trade would do well to read Mary Roach’s “Packing for Mars.” The book is an often hilarious, sometimes queasy-making catalog of the strange stuff devised to permit people to survive in an environment for which their bodies are stupendously unsuited.