Michael Crichton

Michael Crichton, Age 26. (Photo: AP)

Michael Crichton, a doctor who used science and medicine as a jumping off point for popular novels, movies and TV shows, died yesterday of cancer. He was 66.

Crichton was something of a prodigy, cranking out popular thrillers under two pseudonyms and publishing “The Andromeda Strain” under his own name, all before he graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1969.

And he kept it up for decades, writing bestselling novels and often working to adapt them into screenplays — “Jurassic Park” being perhaps the most famous example.

Less well known, but of greater relevance for the Health Blog, was Crichton’s memoir “Travels,” which included much about his time in medical school. The book opens with a line that might invoke an odd sort of nostalgia among survivors of gross anatomy:

It is not easy to cut through a human head with a hacksaw.

The blade kept snagging the skin, and slipping off the smooth bone of the forehead. If I made a mistake, I slid to one side or the other, and I would not saw precisely down the center of the nose, the mouth, the chin, the throat. … I had to pay close attention, and at the same time I could not really acknowledge what I was doing, because it was so horrible.

Later in his life, Crichton drew controversy for “State of Fear,” a 2005 novel that questioned the evidence supporting global warming. Though it was a work of fiction, it prompted sharp responses. Publishers Weeklycalled it “half anti-global warming screed and half adventure yarn.”

the link is in blue it came from the wsj.com I read many of his books and found them much better than the movies.  and he was 6 foot 9 inches tall certainly an uncertainty. All involved the Heisenberg uncertainty principle: quantum physics--small changes make big things happen. look up the "butterfly effect". Everything you say and do, not matter how small have large sweeping changes...so think first/oops--thinking may create the very thing you think about--so...well! think positive...but my fav was Congo.Oh, Well.the future is now anyway. It is really the long now.