Books and a video

While in AUS and NZ, I had quite a bit of time to read. Here’s what kept me occupied and laughing. (When I like an author, I get a bit obsessed.)

  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams
  • Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish by Douglas Adams
  • Mostly Harmless by Douglas Adams
  • Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  • The Lost World (Jurassic Park Book 2by Michael Crichton
  • Sphere by Michael Crichton
  • The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton
  • The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
  • Timeline by Michael Crichton
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Books in bold were my favorite reads. I hadn’t yet read the Hitchhiker’s Guide series, so I ameliorated that gaping hole in my bookshelf on the first part of my trip. Lexie recommended Jurassic Park, which I loved. Some of Crichton’s references to the scientific research world were strikingly prescient. The Great Train Robbery is a classic adventure tale with a Victorian Twist. The main character, Pierce, is a cunning, sneaky badger. Finally, When Breath Becomes Air, is a beautiful work by the late neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi. He explains his life path through the lens of trying to find the answer to the meaning of life (to him, the answer is not 42). He details the rigorous training he underwent as a neurosurgical resident and how he had to redefine his values after his lung cancer diagnosis. It’s heartbreaking, scary, and brave all at once.

Side note: I’m so done with all these “what’s the meaning of life?” existential questions. I’m also done with people who become debilitated when they think of this question and are sucked into a world of mopeyness because of it. I think Meaning is found in living life. Not philosophizing about it in a closed room. It might be in the eyes of the people you work with or in the flower that blossoms or in the agonizing work/studies/care-taking/whatever it is that occupies your day or in the slightly-melted-but-still-firm-ice-cream that you ate as an afternoon snack. My point is that meaning is in human connections and little day to day things. Sitting around and thinking about “what is the meaning of life?” in an ‘intellectual’ way is going to be a waste of time. Or maybe I think that because I’m hungry and wondering what’s for lunch…

The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why, and Where phases. For instance, the first phase is characterized by the question ‘How can we eat?’ the second by the question ‘Why do we eat?’ and the third by the question ‘Where shall we have lunch?’

The Restaurant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams

Videos!

I made videos of my GBR dive trip and Milford Track trip. I used The Beatles Here Comes the Sun in my Milford Track video. When I uploaded the video, YouTube automatically muted the sound due to copyright laws. Oops. So I took that video down. But the GBR video is still up:

 

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