Sphere was Thelonious Monk's middle name. And it was the name of a quartet featuring two Monk alumni (Charlie Rouse and Ben Riley) - their repertoire was almost exclusively the music of their late employer.

A sphere is what you get when an infinite number of (insert adjective here) (insert plural of sentient or non-sentient species here) each holds up a circle in exactly the right place.

In the role-playing game Mage the Ascension, the nine Spheres are the terms used OOC to describe a given mage's capacity to manipulate reality. Each of the Traditions looks at each individual Sphere with a different analytical perspective, each of which is different still from the views of the Technocracy, who simply regard them as scientific principles, and are different still from the Nephandi and the Marauders, who might not even know that they use magic at all.

No matter how a mage views his magic, though, in OOC terms, each Sphere is ranked with a rating of zero to five, where zero means no practical, influential knowledge and five means the mage can do whatever the hell she pleases within that Sphere. The degree of compentency is further limited by a mage's arete- if a man does not understand the reality of reality, then he is hardly able to change it, is he?

The Sphere of Prime is the stuff of the universe. The gem of an idea brings the energy into the realm of Mind, and the focus of that idea brings it about into Spirit. When Spirit takes form, it is in the shape of Life, Matter, or Forces. Perceiving these powers are functions of Correspondence and of Time. No matter how strong a force is, though, it will eventually decay through the forces of Entropy... and eventually, it will be reborn into Prime.

One of Michael Crichton's best novels. The U.S. Navy finds a wrecked spaceship at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and assembles a team of scientists (and a psychologist, plus a few military types) to investigate. The team heads down to the depths to live in an underwater habitat for the duration of the investigation. Meanwhile, a nasty storm is brewing topside, and the surface ships are forced to leave while the storm passes.

Several members of the team have a history with each other, and this psychological aspect makes the book interesting throughout. As the investigation of the spaceship progresses, things get more and more interesting. The team finds an enormous, perfectly spherical object in a cargo hold of the ship, and are unable to figure out its purpose, its origin, or what's inside.

In no time at all, an alien presence makes an appearance, able to communicate only through words on a computer screen. As one might expect, stuff gets very exciting from here.

This is not only one of Michael Crichton's best novels, it's also one of the best science fiction novels of all time. Incredibly suspenseful, filled to the brim with plot twists and craziness that'll have you going nuts by the end, and with very cinematic chapters that wonderfully exhibit Crichton's ability to bring suspense to previously unimaginable levels.

Oh, there was a movie, too, with Dustin Hoffman and Samuel L. Jackson and Sharon Stone, but it really sucked and, as is usually the case with movies, didn't do the book a bit of justice. Don't see the movie, even if you've read the book. It'll ruin it for you.

Geometrical formulas related to the sphere, which is the set of all points equidistant from a single point in three dimentional space.

Why does this need to be here, you might ask? Well, since softlinks are transient and these nodes do form a logical grouping, it seemed appropriate. Also, they fall far from the top of the list of results for the word 'sphere', which in turn only appear if the 'Ignore Exact Match' box is checked. It was also cordelia's suggestion.

Sphere (?), n. [OE. spere, OF. espere, F. sphere, L. sphaera,. Gr. a sphere, a ball.]

1. Geom.

A body or space contained under a single surface, which in every part is equally distant from a point within called its center.

2.

Hence, any globe or globular body, especially a celestial one, as the sun, a planet, or the earth.

Of celestial bodies, first the sun, A mighty sphere, he framed. Milton.

3. Astron. (a)

The apparent surface of the heavens, which is assumed to be spherical and everywhere equally distant, in which the heavenly bodies appear to have their places, and on which the various astronomical circles, as of right ascension and declination, the equator, ecliptic, etc., are conceived to be drawn; an ideal geometrical sphere, with the astronomical and geographical circles in their proper positions on it.

(b)

In ancient astronomy, one of the concentric and eccentric revolving spherical transparent shells in which the stars, sun, planets, and moon were supposed to be set, and by which they were carried, in such a manner as to produce their apparent motions.

4. Logic

The extension of a general conception, or the totality of the individuals or species to which it may be applied.

5.

Circuit or range of action, knowledge, or influence; compass; province; employment; place of existence.

To be called into a huge sphere, and not to be seen to move in 't. Shak.

Taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and inclosing her in a sphere by herself. Hawthorne.

Each in his hidden sphere of joy or woe Our hermit spirits dwell. Keble.

6.

Rank; order of society; social positions.

7.

An orbit, as of a star; a socket.

[R.]

Shak.

Armillary sphere, Crystalline sphere, Oblique sphere,. See under Armillary, Crystalline,. -- Doctrine of the sphere, applications of the principles of spherical trigonometry to the properties and relations of the circles of the sphere, and the problems connected with them, in astronomy and geography, as to the latitudes and longitudes, distance and bearing, of places on the earth, and the right ascension and declination, altitude and azimuth, rising and setting, etc., of the heavenly bodies; spherical geometry. -- Music of the spheres. See under Music.

Syn. -- Globe; orb; circle. See Globe.

 

© Webster 1913.


Sphere (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Sphered (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Sphering.]

1.

To place in a sphere, or among the spheres; to insphere.

The glorious planet Sol In noble eminence enthroned and sphered Amidst the other. Shak.

2.

To form into roundness; to make spherical, or spheral; to perfect.

Tennyson.

 

© Webster 1913.

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