short takes
Fun with science
Randeep Wadehra

Science Time-PassScience Time-Pass
by Dilip M. Salwi. Rupa & Co. Pages 196. Rs 195

AS a student one perceives the classroom as the repository of boredom. When the subject happens to be science, and teaching unimaginative, then misery can actually be overwhelming. To make lectures interesting it is important to pepper these with fascinating and relevant anecdotes, supplementary information, including trivia. For example, the Canadian molecular biologist, Oswald Theodore Avery (1877 – 1955) once remarked, "Disappointment is my daily bread, but I thrive on it". However, it is not always possible to access such information, and not all teachers have the patience to cull it out of heavy tomes. Salwi has come to the rescue of such teachers and their pupils. He provides enough material ranging from details of accidents to advices, to ironies, sayings and scandals, to keep students of science enthralled. Great read for even a casual reader.


Potent planets

The Essence of Astrology
by P. Khurrana. Rupa & Co. Pages 170. Rs 195.

The Essence of AstrologyIT is human nature to be inquisitive about what the future has in store for us. So, in order to unravel destiny’s cryptic omens one goes to various types of soothsayers – astrologers, palmists, face readers, tarot card experts and even wayside parrot wallas. The skeptics call it the science of the artful that lightens the pockets of the gullible, while the believers vehemently declare astrology a discipline with deep roots in our ancient civilisation. Whatever the case, one cannot dispute the popularity of astrology.

Khurrana has given various details pertaining to each sign of the zodiac, like the career that would suit the native, his or her prospects in such fields as marriage, health etc.

He has also provided information on gemstones and mantras suitable for different personality traits. However, Khurrana does keep the escape route open. For example, while enumerating the traits of Librans (p.98) he describes them as "decisive in their thoughts and actions". Then in the very next paragraph he states, "They have a difficult time making decisions and can be lazy..."


ZeNLP: the power to succeedExtraordinary feats

ZeNLP: the power to succeed
by Murli Menon. Response Books. Pages 149. Rs 185

THE human mind is mysterious and powerful. By unleashing even a fraction of its hidden energy great miracles can be wrought. In fact, there are any number of instances wherein ordinary mortals have performed extraordinary feats — like that soldier, ridden with bullets, and his face partly blown by a bomb, fighting his way back to the base during the Kargil war.

Here, Menon tells his own story – how he had become a cripple after an accident. A truck collided with his vehicle and the resultant brain hemorrhage paralysed the left side of his body. He also began to suffer from epileptic attacks. Menon did not give up. With a combination of Zen and Neuro Linguistic Programming he was able to overcome his disability. He has regained full use of his limbs and has not suffered epileptic attack for years now. And yes, he swears by the power of the Gayatri Mantra too.

A well-written book that combines personal experience with scientifically enumerated information; inspires you to sustain your fortitude.