Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I have not posted a book review in some while, but I was most impressed with this true story.

                                                         The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

Randy Pausch was a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University.  The University has a lecture series that at one time had been called The Last Lecture. The program is designed to be entertaining, emotional, moving and inspiring, and Randy Pausch gave such a lecture.  But for him it really was a last lecture.  He was dying of cancer, and he knew it.

When he learned that the last possible treatments had failed, and he had just a few months to live, he realized he had much to do.  He had to deal with his own grief, the sadness of those who loved him, and he had to make arrangements for his family’s future.  He could have backed out of the lecture, but he knew the lectures were videotaped, so, as he put it, he was trying to put himself in a bottle for his children.  He commented that throughout his academic career, he had given some pretty good talks.  “But,” he said, “being considered the best speaker in the computer science department is like being known as the tallest of the seven dwarfs.

Randy’s lecture was titled Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams, and he talked about his childhood dreams, and how he achieved almost all of them. He had some pretty fantastic dreams.  Even if you don’t accomplish your dreams, he said, it is important to try because you can learn so much along the way.

There is a video on YouTube of his 76 minute lecture, and the book contains virtually every story he told his audience.  Just go to YouTube, type in ‘Pausch’ and look for the video that is a little over an hour long.

Humor --


To the optimist, the glass is half full. To the pessimist, the glass is half empty. To the engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

* * *

Three engineering students were gathered together discussing the possible designers of the human body.
One said, "It was a mechanical engineer. Just look at all the joints." Another said, "No, it was an electrical engineer. The nervous system has many thousands of electrical connections." The last said, "Actually it was a civil engineer. Who else would run a toxic waste pipeline through a recreational area?"


  1. Randy Pausch was truly inspiring. I remember following his blog before he passed. I wonder how his wife and children have gotten along since his passing.

  2. I did too.

    I was watching his lecture, while he was still alive, when Richard came home. I hadn't made dinner, I was transfixed, and he came over to see why that voice sounded... Sat down next to me and exclaimed, "I know that guy! I used to work with that guy! We collaborated with him on a project!" And we watched the rest of it together.

    You need the link to that lecture in your post, Don!

  3. 'The Last Lecture' is a book which should be read by every person who really wants to appreciate life...Randy Pausch gives a saving insight as to what life really is..it is the voice of a dying man who has no regrets & yet has to bid adieu to a wife & children whose love he is not fortunate enough to have for long..after reading this book, i have learnt to rethink my choices in life, i want to become a better person...if a dying man can laugh at his disease & not give a damn about the limit doctors have given to his life, how much more can we cope with our trivial problems! This book is life changing!!! It is not to be talked about..it should be every man's own reading experience...