Sphere

I read Michael Crichton’s Sphere. The story is about a mysterious spacecraft found at the bottom of the Pacific. The Navy flies in a psychologist (Norman) and a team he has recommended (which includes a biologist, a physicist and a brilliant mathematician) to investigate it. They go down to the depths to live in a specially pressurized habitat. The spacecraft is indeed fabulous once they discover that is was built for space-time travel. Inside this craft they find a large sphere. They can’t figure out what this sphere is meant for or its contents. They can’t return to the surface too since a Pacific storm has now left them stranded with no surface support. As they race to find out the secret of the sphere, strange things start happening in the deep ocean around their habitat.

The Sphere is not a sci-fi novel, it is a psychological thriller. The mind games are real neat. There is lot of trivia bits about science which are interesting. The best is Ted’s explanation of how gravity connects space and time together. He does it using a bowl of fruit! Sphere is a good read.

Tuesdays With Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man, And Life’s Greatest Lesson

What lessons on life can a teacher facing death share with his student? Today, I spent a quiet noon in the lab reading Tuesdays With Morrie: An Old Man, A Young Man, And Life’s Greatest Lesson. This is a real life account of the Tuesday noons Mitch Albom spent with his old professor who was on his deathbed. Mitch had been a favorite student of his sociology professor Morrie Schwartz. After university, Mitch finds it tough to make a career out of his passion for music. After his favorite uncle’s death, Mitch goes back to learn journalism and becomes a famous sport journalist. His life becomes the epitome of capitalism. One day while channel flipping on late night TV, he sees his former professor on a show. He flies over to meet him. Morrie is dying a slow death due to ALS. Yet he remains peppy and active mentally and starts to talk to his former pupil about life and the need to look at it from fresh perspectives. With a journalist strike going on at his newspaper, Mitch starts to fly over every Tuesday to meet Morrie and spend time with him talking about life. The book ends with Morrie’s death.

Tuesdays With Morrie will invariably make you recollect and feel the memories of joy, sadness, family and friends from your past. As Mitch starts to discuss aspects of life with Morrie, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to my life. Do not be surprised if it changes the way you look at your life. The book is a short easy read and can be finished in a few hours. I finished it today noon at the lab. The book has also been made into a TV movie of the same name.

“When you learn how to die, you learn how to live.” — Morrie Schwartz

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