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 on: March 15, 2018, 07:41:09 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Im2Sexy4MyPants
horsey forgot to make kim into a little midget

 on: March 15, 2018, 07:21:56 pm 
Started by Im2Sexy4MyPants - Last post by Im2Sexy4MyPants

 on: March 15, 2018, 05:49:03 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey
from The Washington Post....

In fundraising speech, Trump says he made up facts
in meeting with Justin Trudeau

In Missouri, the president also seemed to threaten to withdraw U.S. troops from Korea over trade.

By JOSH DAWSEY, DAMIAN PALETTA and ERICA WERNER | 10:47PM EDT — Wednesday, March 14, 2018

President Donald J. Trump speaks during a roundtable discussion on tax policy at the Boeing Company on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018, in St. Louis. From left: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, President Trump, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, and Boeing employee Hazel Jean Mims. — Photograph: Evan Vucci/The Washington Post.
President Donald J. Trump speaks during a roundtable discussion on tax policy at the Boeing Company on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018, in St. Louis.
From left: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, President Trump, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, and Boeing employee Hazel Jean Mims.
 — Photograph: Evan Vucci/The Washington Post.

PRESIDENT TRUMP boasted in a fundraising speech on Wednesday that he made up facts in a meeting with the leader of a top U.S ally, saying he insisted to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the United States runs a trade deficit with its neighbor to the north without knowing whether or not that was the case.

“Trudeau came to see me. He's a good guy. Justin. He said ‘No, no, we have no trade deficit with you, we have none. Donald, please’,” Trump said, mimicking Trudeau, according to audio obtained by The Washington Post. “Nice guy, good looking guy, comes in — ‘Donald we have no trade deficit’. He's very proud because everybody else, you know, we're getting killed….”

“So he's proud. I said, ‘Wrong Justin, you do’. I didn't even know … I had no idea. I just said ‘You're wrong’. You know why? Because we're so stupid…. And I thought they were smart. I said, ‘You're wrong Justin’. He said, ‘Nope we have no trade deficit’. I said, ‘Well in that case I feel differently’, I said ‘but I don't believe it’. I sent one of our guys out, his guy, my guy, they went out,  I said ‘check because I can't  believe it’.”

“‘Well sir you're actually right. We have no deficit but that doesn't include energy and  timber…. And when you do we lose $17 billion a year’. It's incredible.”

The United States trade representative office says the United States has a trade surplus with Canada.

Trump launched a blistering attack against major U.S. allies and global economies, accusing the European Union, China, Japan and South Korea of ripping off the United States for decades and pillaging the American workforce. He also described the North American Free Trade Agreement as a disaster and heaped blame on the World Trade Organization for allowing other countries to box the United States in on trade.

He also seemed to threaten to pull U.S. troops stationed in South Korea if he didn't get what he wanted on trade with Seoul, an ally. He said the country had gotten rich but United States politicians never negotiated better deals. “We have a very big trade deficit with them, and we protect them,” Trump said. “We lose money on trade, and we lose money on the military. We have right now 32,000 soldiers between North and South Korea. Let's see what happens.”

“Our allies care about themselves,” he said. “They don't care about us.”

Trump's rare comments that laid bare his approach to arguing trade facts with foreign leaders show how he might try to engage with numerous other heads of state in the coming weeks. Trump has said he will impose tariffs on steel and trade imports as soon as next week, a steep increase in duties that could impact some of the U.S. government's biggest trading partners.

Trump said countries can request exemption from these tariffs but only after direct negotiations with him. And the audio from the fundraiser shows how difficult these discussions might prove.

In his 30-minute speech to donors in Missouri, Trump heaped praise on himself while ticking through a list of U.S. allies that he said were actually taking advantage of the United States.

The president did not mention his abrupt firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by tweet, or the personnel turmoil that is swirling in Washington, or special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation into Russian meddling, or reports of his affair with adult film star Stormy Daniels — and his lawyer paying her off.

While his White House picked up the pieces after a Republican lost a special election in a western Pennsylvania congressional district that Trump won by 20 percent in 2016, and pollsters said the results showed how Trump was dragging down the Republican party, Trump took none of the blame. He said that the candidate, Rick Saccone, would have lost even bigger without him. And he said the Democrat, Conor Lamb, won the seat because he was “like Trump” but that he would vote with Pelosi.

Trump was in Missouri to fundraise for Josh Hawley, who is taking on incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill. He called McCaskill “bad for Missouri, and bad for the country.” But he barely spoke about Hawley. Instead, he talked about Trump — even bragging about his 2016 election win.

Trump described his decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un through the prism of making history and besting his predecessors while lamenting his media coverage, questioning the United States allies and labeling his presidency as “virgin territory.”

“They couldn't have met” with Kim, he said, after mocking former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. “Nobody would have done what I did.”

“It's called appeasement, please don't do anything,” he said of other presidents.

“They say, maybe he's not the one to negotiate,” he said, mocking a voice of a news anchor. “He's got very little knowledge of the Korean Peninsula. Maybe he's not the one…. Maybe we should send in the people that have been playing games and didn't know what the hell they've been doing for 25 years.”

The thru-lines of his meandering speech were simple: Trump was tougher than all the rest, and that the United States was not going to be laughed at or taken advantage of.

He accused Japan of using gimmicks to deny U.S. auto companies access to their consumers, said South Korea was taking advantage of outdated trade rules even though its economy was strong, and said China had single-handedly rebuilt itself in the back of its trade surplus with the United States.

“It's the bowling ball test. They take a bowling ball from 20 feet up in the air and drop it on the hood of the car,” Trump said of Japan. “If the hood dents, the car doesn't qualify. It's horrible,” he said. It was unclear what he was talking about.

He said he didn't even want Japan to pay the tariffs but to build more automobiles in the United States, which he said Japan would do if tariffs were imposed. There is no evidence of such a possibility as of now.

His comments were among his most protectionist to date and didn't identify a single benefit the United States receives from its trading relationships.

The so-called free-trade globalists, he said, are against his trade moves because “they're worldly people, they have stuff on the other side.” Gary Cohn, the president's top economic adviser, recently quit over the tariffs and was derisively labeled by his critics as a “globalist”.

Trump mocked other politicians for wanting to keep the NAFTA, calling Mexico “spoiled” and saying that Canada had outsmarted the United States. “The best deal is to terminate it and make a new deal,” he said.

Above all, he cast his presidency in historic proportions, saying he was attracting so much media criticism because he was doing so well. He seemed fixated on his media coverage, with much of his story-time about North Korea focused on how the media covered it, even talking about a specific CNN segment with Erin Burnett.

He said the news media was criticizing him for “conceding” a meeting with Kim.

“They were afraid of being blown up. Then all of a sudden, they say, let's not meet,” he said of reporters.

While Trump said some decry his rhetoric and think his bellicose and mercurial tendencies could bring the United States into a war, Trump explained why he taunted the North Korean president as “Little Rocket Man”. He said the South Koreans told him Kim Jong-Un was agreeing to meet because of the tough United States sanctions and that they promised to not do any nuclear tests or missile launches until a meeting occurred. That comment could not be verified.

“He's going to get us in a war,” he said, again mocking a news anchor. “You know what's going to get us in a war? Weakness.”

He said Republicans needed to run on their tax bill this year, but he was determined to not call it “tax reform,” as many other Republicans have done. He said Democrats would not appoint judges that Republicans like while reversing tax cuts and taking away guns, an unproven claim.

He implicitly rebuked Senate Majority Leader for not changing the rules of the Senate where only 51 votes were needed on all legislation, saying more Republicans were needed because the current leadership would not act and no one could explain why the current status quo made sense.

Trump criticized judges in the Ninth Circuit, saying that his presidency would reshape the judiciary and change courts such as that one. He said he planned to pick 145 judges and gave a “thanks” to Obama for leaving so many vacancies.

At the end of the day, the event, like it usually is with Trump, was about marketing. He said Republicans needed to run on tax cuts because they were very “popular”.

“Do me a favor, don't call it tax reform, it hasn't worked in 45 years,” Trump said he told others. “You say, you're reforming taxes, that means taxes could go up.”

“I actually said, let's call it the Tax Cut Cut Cut plan,” Trump said. “I actually did.”

He added: “They thought it sounded a little hoaky and called it something else. I liked the first one better.”


• Josh Dawsey is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. He joined the paper in 2017. He previously covered the White House for Politico, and New York City Hall and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for The Wall Street Journal.

• Damian Paletta is White House economic policy reporter for The Washington Post. Before joining The Post, he covered the White House for The Wall Street Journal.

• Erica Werner has worked at The Washington Post since 2017, covering Congress with a focus on economic policy. Previously, she worked at the Associated Press for more than 17 years, starting in the Los Angeles bureau and going on to cover the White House and Congress.


 on: March 15, 2018, 04:51:53 pm 
Started by Kiwithrottlejockey - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

The delusional ranting of a rightie zionist moron……

from The New York Times....

Why I Am Dreading Netanyahu's Departure

Israel has had more than enough experience with novice politicians.
That's not what we need right now.

By SHMUEL ROSNER | Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel during a session at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, this week. — Photograph: Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel during a session at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament
in Jerusalem, this week. — Photograph: Menahem Kahana/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

TEL AVIV — It is time to prepare for an Israel without Benjamin Netanyahu. I'm dreading it — and you should, too.

Of course, in a democratic country no leader lasts forever. So for Mr. Netanyahu to be replaced eventually is the normal and desirable course of politics. It's also a topic that is much on Israelis' minds these days. The prime minister is the subject of a number of corruption investigations, and there's talk of him being forced out or losing an early election (though an early election was avoided this week).

Still, if you want to see Israel succeed, you should pause before getting too excited about this looming departure. That's because Mr. Netanyahu has two things that his successor — no matter who that might be — will not have: vast experience and meaningful achievements.

Mr. Netanyahu is already the second-longest-serving prime minister in Israel's 70-year history. Only the state's founder, David Ben-Gurion, served longer. And he is a master of the political game. No one becomes prime minister in a parliamentary system by accident. No one is able to form coalitions and sustain them without being canny, ruthless and formidable.

Mr. Netanyahu has it all, and then some. He failed as a leader in the 1990s and recovered. From 2003 to 2005 he was a masterful finance minister — one of the few to hold the thankless job of budgetary naysayer and emerge politically unscarred. As prime minister, he has led Israel through diplomatic negotiations, military operations and financial upheavals.

Israel will, of course, survive without him. But Mr. Netanyahu, as long as he is not forced out, is undisputedly the most experienced leader Israelis have in stock. In fact, he is the only one with real experience. The details and names can be a bore, but those who hope to succeed him are a former media personality who served briefly and unsuccessfully as finance minister, a former minister for environmental protection whose party got tired of him within a few months of taking over and an education minister with a lot of ambition but few supporters.

Within Mr. Netanyahu's own party, Likud, there is a former minister of education who quit politics a few years ago and has been waiting on the sidelines, a transportation minister with experience as agriculture minister and the speaker of the Knesset.

Successful prime ministers come in many shapes but usually share two main characteristics: experience in security and foreign policy, and intimate familiarity with the nuts and bolts of parliamentary politics. Whoever ends up replacing Mr. Netanyahu is going to be one of the least experienced and commanding prime ministers in Israel's history — that is, aside from Mr. Netanyahu himself when he first took office.

Mr. Netanyahu would probably be the first to admit that history has been unkind to inexperienced Israeli leaders. There are calmer countries, in which one can have less experience and learn on the job. There are countries that don't have an array of enemies seeking their destruction, that aren't situated in a treacherous region and that don't face a constant barrage of crises. And then there is Israel. Here, the prime minister must hit the ground running or face calamity.

The second half of the 1990s was a master class in Israeli politics and political novices. First, Mr. Netanyahu, at the time a junior diplomat, was elected in 1996. His term was tumultuous, and after three years he was thrown out of office by the voters. He was replaced by another newcomer: Ehud Barak, a decorated and respected general with little aptitude for political life. Mr. Barak survived for about a year before his coalition collapsed. As he was unceremoniously replaced, the Palestinian intifada raged across Israel.

After less than five years — the total time of both their governments — Israel came back to its senses by electing Ariel Sharon. Mr. Sharon was both an experienced military man and a crafty political tactician. Israel needed someone to trust in uncertain times, and he was there.

Alas, uncertain times persist. Iran is making inroads in the region, Russia is suddenly calling the shots, and in the United States an unpredictable president surprises the world on a weekly basis. There are many good reasons to want Mr. Netanyahu's long hold on power to end. But it's hard to resist the sentiment that circumstances like these require a steady hand. They call for a leader who already made his share of mistakes and learned his share of painful lessons.

It is too early to count Mr. Netanyahu out, as the columnist Bret Stephens wisely wrote in these pages. If an early election is called, most polls predict that he would win another round. If he is indicted, he might still be able to persuade his coalition partners to wait for a court verdict before forcing him out.

The public supports him not just because of his many achievements as prime minister but also because the alternatives don't seem better: Another young, inexperienced leader? Another novice who will lose his coalition within two years? Another political amateur who will learn on the job? Do we really need another 1996 model of Mr. Netanyahu when we have the smarter, more powerful, 2018 model?


Shmuel Rosner is the political editor at The Jewish Journal, a senior fellow at the Jewish People Policy Institute and a contributing opinion writer.


Related to this topic:

 • Is It Time for Netanyahu to Resign Yet?


 on: March 15, 2018, 02:03:26 pm 
Started by Lovelee - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The New York Times....

Stephen Hawking, Who Examined the Universe
and Explained Black Holes, Dies at 76

A physicist and best-selling author, Dr. Hawking did not allow his physical limitations
to hinder his quest to answer “the big question: Where did the universe come from?”

By DENNIS OVERBYE | Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking became a leader in exploring gravity and the properties of black holes. His work led to a turning point in the history of modern physics. — Photograph: Terry Smith/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images.
Stephen Hawking became a leader in exploring gravity and the properties of black holes. His work led to a turning point in the history of modern physics.
 — Photograph: Terry Smith/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images.

STEPHEN W. HAWKING, the Cambridge University physicist and best-selling author who roamed the cosmos from a wheelchair, pondering the nature of gravity and the origin of the universe and becoming an emblem of human determination and curiosity, died early on Wednesday at his home in Cambridge, England. He was 76.

His death was confirmed by a spokesman for Cambridge University.

“Not since Albert Einstein has a scientist so captured the public imagination and endeared himself to tens of millions of people around the world,” Michio Kaku,  a professor of theoretical physics at the City University of New York, said in an interview.

Dr. Hawking did that largely through his book A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, published in 1988. It has sold more than 10 million copies and inspired a documentary film by Errol Morris. The 2014 film about his life, “The Theory of Everything”, was nominated for several Academy Awards and Eddie Redmayne, who played Dr. Hawking, won the Oscar for best actor.

Scientifically, Dr. Hawking will be best remembered for a discovery so strange that it might be expressed in the form of a Zen koan: When is a black hole not black? When it explodes.

What is equally amazing is that he had a career at all. As a graduate student in 1963, he learned he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neuromuscular wasting disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. He was given only a few years to live.

The disease reduced his bodily control to the flexing of a finger and voluntary eye movements but left his mental faculties untouched.

He went on to become his generation's leader in exploring gravity and the properties of black holes, the bottomless gravitational pits so deep and dense that not even light can escape them.

That work led to a turning point in modern physics, playing itself out in the closing months of 1973 on the walls of his brain when Dr. Hawking set out to apply quantum theory, the weird laws that govern subatomic reality, to black holes. In a long and daunting calculation, Dr. Hawking discovered to his befuddlement that black holes — those mythological avatars of cosmic doom — were not really black at all. In fact, he found, they would eventually fizzle, leaking radiation and particles, and finally explode and disappear over the eons.

Nobody, including Dr. Hawking, believed it at first — that particles could be coming out of a black hole. “I wasn't looking for them at all,” he recalled in an interview in 1978. “I merely tripped over them. I was rather annoyed.”

That calculation, in a thesis published in 1974 in the journal Nature under the title Black Hole Explosions?, is hailed by scientists as the first great landmark in the struggle to find a single theory of nature — to connect gravity and quantum mechanics, those warring descriptions of the large and the small, to explain a universe that seems stranger than anybody had thought.

The discovery of Hawking radiation, as it is known, turned black holes upside down. It transformed them from destroyers to creators — or at least to recyclers — and wrenched the dream of a final theory in a strange, new direction.

“You can ask what will happen to someone who jumps into a black hole,” Dr. Hawking said in an interview in 1978. “I certainly don't think he will survive it.

“On the other hand,” he added, “if we send someone off to jump into a black hole, neither he nor his constituent atoms will come back, but his mass energy will come back. Maybe that applies to the whole universe.”

Dr. Hawking pushed the limits in his professional and personal life. In 2007, when he was 65, he took part in a zero-gravity flight aboard a specially equipped Boeing 727. — Photograph: Zero Gravity Corporation/Associated Press.
Dr. Hawking pushed the limits in his professional and personal life. In 2007, when he was 65, he took part in a zero-gravity flight
aboard a specially equipped Boeing 727. — Photograph: Zero Gravity Corporation/Associated Press.

Dennis W. Sciama, a cosmologist and Dr. Hawking's thesis adviser at Cambridge, called Hawking's thesis in Nature “the most beautiful paper in the history of physics.”

Edward Witten, a theorist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, said: “Trying to understand Hawking's discovery better has been a source of much fresh thinking for almost 40 years now, and we are probably still far from fully coming to grips with it. It still feels new.”

In 2002, Dr. Hawking said he wanted the formula for Hawking radiation to be engraved on his tombstone.

He was a man who pushed the limits — in his intellectual life, to be sure, but also in his professional and personal lives. He traveled the globe to scientific meetings, visiting every continent, including Antarctica; wrote best-selling books about his work; married twice; fathered three children; and was not above appearing on The Simpsons, Star Trek: The Next Generation or The Big Bang Theory.

He celebrated his 60th birthday by going up in a hot-air balloon. The same week, he also crashed his electric-powered wheelchair while speeding around a corner in Cambridge, breaking his leg.

In April 2007, a few months after his 65th birthday, he took part in a zero-gravity flight aboard a specially equipped Boeing 727, a padded aircraft that flies a roller-coaster trajectory to produce fleeting periods of weightlessness. It was a prelude to a hoped-for trip to space with Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic company aboard SpaceShipTwo.

Asked why he took such risks, Dr. Hawking said, “I want to show that people need not be limited by physical handicaps as long as they are not disabled in spirit.”

His own spirit left many in awe.

“What a triumph his life has been,” said Martin Rees, a Cambridge University cosmologist, the astronomer royal of England and Dr. Hawking's longtime colleague. “His name will live in the annals of science; millions have had their cosmic horizons widened by his best-selling books; and even more, around the world, have been inspired by a unique example of achievement against all the odds — a manifestation of amazing willpower and determination.”

Studies came Easy

Stephen William Hawking was born in Oxford, England, on January 8, 1942 — 300 years to the day, he liked to point out, after the death of Galileo, who had begun the study of gravity. His mother, the former Isobel Walker, had gone to Oxford to avoid the bombs that fell nightly during the Blitz of London. His father, Frank Hawking, was a prominent research biologist.

The oldest of four children, Stephen was a mediocre student at St. Albans School in London, though his innate brilliance was recognized by some classmates and teachers.

Later, at University College, Oxford, he found his studies in mathematics and physics so easy that he rarely consulted a book or took notes. He got by with a thousand hours of work in three years, or one hour a day, he estimated. “Nothing seemed worth making an effort for,” he said.

The only subject he found exciting was cosmology because, he said, it dealt with “the big question: Where did the universe come from?”

Dr. Hawking and his first wife, the former Jane Wilde, in 1990. The couple married in 1965. He said the marriage gave him “something to live for”. — Photograph: David Montgomery/Getty Images.
Dr. Hawking and his first wife, the former Jane Wilde, in 1990. The couple married in 1965. He said
the marriage gave him “something to live for”. — Photograph: David Montgomery/Getty Images.

Upon graduation, he moved to Cambridge. Before he could begin his research, however, he was stricken by what his research adviser, Dr. Sciama, came to call “that terrible thing.”

The young Hawking had been experiencing occasional weakness and falling spells for several years. Shortly after his 21st birthday, in 1963, doctors told him that he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. They gave him less than three years to live.

His first response was severe depression. He dreamed he was going to be executed, he said. Then, against all odds, the disease appeared to stabilize. Though he was slowly losing control of his muscles, he was still able to walk short distances and perform simple tasks, though laboriously, like dressing and undressing. He felt a new sense of purpose.

“When you are faced with the possibility of an early death,” he recalled, “it makes you realize that life is worth living and that there are a lot of things you want to do.”

In 1965, he married Jane Wilde, a student of linguistics. Now, by his own account, he not only had “something to live for”; he also had to find a job, which gave him an incentive to work seriously toward his doctorate.

His illness, however, had robbed him of the ability to write down the long chains of equations that are the tools of the cosmologist's trade. Characteristically, he turned this handicap into a strength, gathering his energies for daring leaps of thought, which, in his later years, he often left for others to codify in proper mathematical language.

“People have the mistaken impression that mathematics is just equations,” Dr. Hawking said. “In fact, equations are just the boring part of mathematics.”

By necessity, he concentrated on problems that could be attacked through “pictures and diagrams,” adopting geometric techniques that had been devised in the early 1960s by the mathematician Roger Penrose and a fellow Cambridge colleague, Brandon Carter, to study general relativity, Einstein's theory of gravity.

Black holes are a natural prediction of that theory, which explains how mass and energy “curve” space, the way a sleeping person causes a mattress to sag. Light rays will bend as they traverse a gravitational field, just as a marble rolling on the sagging mattress will follow an arc around the sleeper.

Too much mass or energy in one spot could cause space to sag without end; an object that was dense enough, like a massive collapsing star, could wrap space around itself like a magician's cloak and disappear, shrinking inside to a point of infinite density called a singularity, a cosmic dead end, where the known laws of physics would break down: a black hole.

Einstein himself thought this was absurd when the possibility was pointed out to him.

Using the Hubble Space Telescope and other sophisticated tools of observation and analysis, however, astronomers have identified hundreds of objects that are too massive and dark to be anything but black holes, including a super-massive one at the center of the Milky Way. According to current theory, the universe should contain billions more.

As part of his Ph.D. thesis in 1966, Dr. Hawking showed that when you ran the film of the expanding universe backward, you would find that such a singularity had to have existed sometime in cosmic history; space and time, that is, must have had a beginning. He, Dr. Penrose and a rotating cast of colleagues went on to publish a series of theorems about the behavior of black holes and the dire fate of anything caught in them.

Dr. Hawking in his office at the University of Cambridge in December 2011. His only complaint about his speech synthesizer, which was manufactured in California, was that it gave him an American accent. — Photograph: Sarah Lee/London Science Museum/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Dr. Hawking in his office at the University of Cambridge in December 2011. His only complaint about his speech synthesizer, which was manufactured
in California, was that it gave him an American accent. — Photograph: Sarah Lee/London Science Museum/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

A Calculation in His Head

Dr. Hawking's signature breakthrough resulted from a feud with the Israeli theoretical physicist Jacob Bekenstein, then a Princeton graduate student, about whether black holes could be said to have entropy, a thermodynamic measure of disorder. Dr. Bekenstein said they could, pointing out a close analogy between the laws that Dr. Hawking and his colleagues had derived for black holes and the laws of thermodynamics.

Dr. Hawking said no. To have entropy, a black hole would have to have a temperature. But warm objects, from a forehead to a star, radiate a mixture of electromagnetic radiation, depending on their exact temperatures. Nothing could escape a black hole, and so its temperature had to be zero. “I was very down on Bekenstein,” Dr. Hawking recalled.

To settle the question, Dr. Hawking decided to investigate the properties of atom-size black holes. This, however, required adding quantum mechanics, the paradoxical rules of the atomic and subatomic world, to gravity, a feat that had never been accomplished. Friends turned the pages of quantum theory textbooks as Dr. Hawking sat motionless staring at them for months. They wondered if he was finally in over his head.

When he eventually succeeded in doing the calculation in his head, it indicated to his surprise that particles and radiation were spewing out of black holes. Dr. Hawking became convinced that his calculation was correct when he realized that the outgoing radiation would have a thermal spectrum characteristic of the heat radiated by any warm body, from a star to a fevered forehead. Dr. Bekenstein had been right.

Dr. Hawking even figured out a way to explain how particles might escape a black hole. According to quantum principles, the space near a black hole would be teeming with “virtual” particles that would flash into existence in matched particle-and-anti-particle pairs — like electrons and their evil twin opposites, positrons — out of energy borrowed from the hole's intense gravitational field.

They would then meet and annihilate each other in a flash of energy, repaying the debt for their brief existence. But if one of the pair fell into the black hole, the other one would be free to wander away and become real. It would appear to be coming from the black hole and taking energy away from it.

But those, he cautioned, were just words. The truth was in the math.

“The most important thing about Hawking radiation is that it shows that the black hole is not cut off from the rest of the universe,” Dr. Hawking said.

It also meant that black holes had a temperature and had entropy. In thermodynamics, entropy is a measure of wasted heat. But it is also a measure of the amount of information — the number of bits — needed to describe what is in a black hole. Curiously, the number of bits is proportional to the black hole's surface area, not its volume, meaning that the amount of information you could stuff into a black hole is limited by its area, not, as one might naïvely think, its volume.

That result has become a litmus test for string theory and other pretenders to a theory of quantum gravity. It has also led to speculations that we live in a holographic universe, in which three-dimensional space is some kind of illusion.

Andrew Strominger, a Harvard string theorist, said of the holographic theory, “If it's really true, it's a deep and beautiful property of our universe — but not an obvious one.”

Dr. Hawking in 1979. The only subject at University College, Oxford, that he found exciting was cosmology because it dealt with what he called “the big question: Where did the universe come from?” — Photograph: Santi Visalli/Getty Images.
Dr. Hawking in 1979. The only subject at University College, Oxford, that he found exciting was cosmology because it dealt
with what he called “the big question: Where did the universe come from?” — Photograph: Santi Visalli/Getty Images.

To ‘Know the Mind of God’

The discovery of black hole radiation also led to a 30-year controversy over the fate of things that had fallen into a black hole.

Dr. Hawking initially said that detailed information about whatever had fallen in would be lost forever because the particles coming out would be completely random, erasing whatever patterns had been present when they first fell in. Paraphrasing Einstein's complaint about the randomness inherent in quantum mechanics, Dr. Hawking said, “God not only plays dice with the universe, but sometimes throws them where they can't be seen.”

Many particle physicists protested that this violated a tenet of quantum physics, which says that knowledge is always preserved and can be retrieved. Leonard Susskind, a Stanford physicist who carried on the argument for decades, said, “Stephen correctly understood that if this was true, it would lead to the downfall of much of 20th-century physics.”

On another occasion, he characterized Dr. Hawking to his face as “one of the most obstinate people in the world; no, he is the most infuriating person in the universe.” Dr. Hawking grinned.

Dr. Hawking admitted defeat in 2004. Whatever information goes into a black hole will come back out when it explodes. One consequence, he noted sadly, was that one could not use black holes to escape to another universe. “I'm sorry to disappoint science fiction fans,” he said.

Despite his concession, however, the information paradox, as it is known, has become one of the hottest and deepest topics in theoretical physics. Physicists say they still do not know how information gets in or out of black holes.

Raphael Bousso of the University of California, Berkeley, and a former student of Dr. Hawking's, said the present debate had raised “by another few notches” his estimation of the “stupendous magnitude” of Dr. Hawking's original discovery.

In 1974, Dr. Hawking was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the world's oldest scientific organization; in 1979, he was appointed to the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics at Cambridge, a post once held by Isaac Newton. “They say it's Newton's chair, but obviously it's been changed,” he liked to quip.

Dr. Hawking also made yearly visits to the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, which became like a second home. In 2008, he joined the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ontario, as a visiting researcher.

Having conquered black holes, Dr. Hawking set his sights on the origin of the universe and on eliminating that pesky singularity at the beginning of time from models of cosmology. If the laws of physics could break down there, they could break down everywhere.

In a meeting at the Vatican in 1982, he suggested that in the final theory there should be no place or time when the laws broke down, even at the beginning. He called the notion the “no boundary” proposal.

With James Hartle of the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Santa Barbara, California, Dr. Hawking envisioned the history of the universe as a sphere like the Earth. Cosmic time corresponds to latitude, starting with zero at the North Pole and progressing southward.

Although time started there, the North Pole was nothing special; the same laws applied there as everywhere else. Asking what happened before the Big Bang, Dr. Hawking said, was like asking what was a mile north of the North Pole — it was not any place, or any time.

By then string theory, which claimed finally to explain both gravity and the other forces and particles of nature as tiny microscopically vibrating strings, like notes on a violin, was the leading candidate for a “theory of everything.”

Dr. Hawking married Elaine Mason in 1995. — Photograph: Lynne Sladky/Associated Press.
Dr. Hawking married Elaine Mason in 1995. — Photograph: Lynne Sladky/Associated Press.

In “A Brief History of Time”, Dr. Hawking concluded that “if we do discover a complete theory” of the universe, “it should in time be understandable in broad principle by everyone, not just a few scientists.”

He added, “Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of why it is that we and the universe exist.”

“If we find the answer to that,” he continued, “it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we would know the mind of God.”

Until 1974, Dr. Hawking was still able to feed himself and to get in and out of bed. At Jane's insistence, he would drag himself, hand over hand, up the stairs to the bedroom in his Cambridge home every night, in an effort to preserve his remaining muscle tone. After 1980, care was supplemented by nurses.

Dr. Hawking retained some control over his speech up to 1985. But on a trip to Switzerland, he came down with pneumonia. The doctors asked Jane if she wanted his life support turned off, but she said no. To save his life, doctors inserted a breathing tube. He survived, but his voice was permanently silenced.

Speaking With the Eyes

It appeared for a time that he would be able to communicate only by pointing at individual letters on an alphabet board. But when a computer expert, Walter Woltosz, heard about Dr. Hawking's condition, he offered him a program he had written called Equalizer. By clicking a switch with his still-functioning fingers, Dr. Hawking was able to browse through menus that contained all the letters and more than 2,500 words.

Word by word — and when necessary, letter by letter — he could build up sentences on the computer screen and send them to a speech synthesizer that vocalized for him. The entire apparatus was fitted to his motorized wheelchair.

Even when too weak to move a finger, he communicated through the computer by way of an infrared beam, which he activated by twitching his right cheek or blinking his eye. The system was expanded to allow him to open and close the doors in his office and to use the telephone and internet without aid.

Although he averaged fewer than 15 words per minute, Dr. Hawking found he could speak through the computer better than he had before losing his voice. His only complaint, he confided, was that the speech synthesizer, manufactured in California, had given him an American accent.

His decision to write “A Brief History of Time” was prompted, he said, by a desire to share his excitement about “the discoveries that have been made about the universe” with “the public that paid for the research.” He wanted to make the ideas so accessible that the book would be sold in airports.

He also hoped to earn enough money to pay for his children's education. He did. The book's extraordinary success made him wealthy, a hero to disabled people everywhere and even more famous.

The news media followed his movements and activities over the years, from visiting the White House to meeting the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, and reported his opinions on everything from national health care (socialized medicine in England had kept him alive) to communicating with extraterrestrials (maybe not a good idea, he said), as if he were a rolling Delphic Oracle.

Asked by New Scientist magazine what he thought about most, Dr. Hawking answered: “Women. They are a complete mystery.”

Dr. Hawking saw space exploration as essential to the long-term survival of the human race. “Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global nuclear war,” he said in 2007. — Photograph: David Silverman/Getty Images.
Dr. Hawking saw space exploration as essential to the long-term survival of the human race. “Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk
of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global nuclear war,” he said in 2007. — Photograph: David Silverman/Getty Images.

In 1990, Dr. Hawking and his wife separated after 25 years of marriage; Jane Hawking wrote about their years together in two books, Music to Move the Stars: A Life With Stephen Hawking and Traveling to Infinity: My Life With Stephen. The latter became the basis of the 2014 movie The Theory of Everything.

In 1995, he married Elaine Mason, a nurse who had cared for him since his bout of pneumonia. She had been married to David Mason, the engineer who had attached Dr. Hawking's speech synthesizer to his wheelchair.

In 2004, British newspapers reported that the Cambridge police were investigating allegations that Elaine had abused Dr. Hawking, but no charges were filed, and Dr. Hawking denied the accusations. They later divorced in 2006.

His survivors include his children, Robert, Lucy and Tim, and three grandchildren. His children released the following statement:

“We are deeply saddened that our beloved father passed away today. He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humour inspired people across the world. He once said, ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love’. We will miss him forever.”

‘There Is No Heaven’

Among his many honors, Dr. Hawking was named a commander of the British Empire in 1982. In the summer of 2012, he had a star role in the opening of the Paralympics Games in London. The only thing lacking was the Nobel Prize, and his explanation for this was characteristically pithy: “The Nobel is given only for theoretical work that has been confirmed by observation. It is very, very difficult to observe the things I have worked on.”

Dr. Hawking was a strong advocate of space exploration, saying it was essential to the long-term survival of the human race. “Life on Earth is at the ever-increasing risk of being wiped out by a disaster, such as sudden global nuclear war, a genetically engineered virus or other dangers we have not yet thought of,” he told an audience in Hong Kong in 2007.

Nothing raised as much furor, however, as his increasingly scathing remarks about religion. One attraction of the no-boundary proposal for Dr. Hawking was that there was no need to appeal to anything outside the universe, like God, to explain how it began.

In “A Brief History of Time” he had referred to the “mind of God,” but in “The Grand Design”, a 2011 book he wrote with Leonard Mlodinow, he was more bleak about religion. “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper,” he wrote, referring to the British term for a firecracker fuse, “and set the universe going.”

He went further in an interview that year in The Guardian, saying: “I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark.”

Having spent the best part of his life grappling with black holes and cosmic doom, Dr. Hawking had no fear of the dark.

“They're named black holes because they are related to human fears of being destroyed or gobbled up,” he once told an interviewer. “I don't have fears of being thrown into them. I understand them. I feel in a sense that I am their master.”


Matthew Haag, Matt Stevens and Gerald Jonas contributed reporting to this obituary.

• Dennis Overbye's reporting can range from zero-gravity fashion shows and science in the movies to the status of Pluto, the death of the Earth and the fate of the universe. He joined The New York Times in 1998 as deputy science editor, resuming a newspaper career that had been disrupted in the ninth grade when he lost his job as editor of the junior high paper after being in a classroom after hours where erasers were thrown. In the meantime, he graduated from M.I.T. with a physics degree, failed to finish a novel and worked as a writer and editor at Sky and Telescope and Discover magazines. He has written two books: Lonely Hearts of the Cosmos, The Scientific Search for the Secret of the Universe (HarperCollins 1991, and Little, Brown, 1999), and Einstein in Love, A Scientific Romance (Viking, 2000). As a result of the latter, there are few occasions for which he cannot rustle up a quotation — appropriate or not — from Albert Einstein. In 2001, realizing that the reporters were having more fun and got to take cooler trips than editors, he switched to being a reporter. He has been covering the universe for more than 30 years, but lately he professes to be amazed that a huge chunk of his work is devoted to two topics that did not exist only a decade or so ago: the proliferation of planets beyond our own solar system; and the mysterious dark energy that seems to be souping up the expansion of the universe and spurring metaphysical-sounding debates among astronomers and physicists. He lives with his wife, Nancy, and daughter, Mira, in Morningside Heights. In their house, he reports, Pluto is still a planet.


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 on: March 14, 2018, 08:26:05 pm 
Started by Lovelee - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

from The Washington Post....

Stephen Hawking, physicist who came to symbolize the power
of the human mind, dies at 76

Hawking overcame a devastating neurological disease to probe the greatest mysteries
of the cosmos and become one of the planet's most renowned science popularizers.

By JOEL ACHENBACH and BOYCE RENSBERGER | 12:01AM EDT — Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Physicist Stephen Hawking sits on stage during an announcement of the Breakthrough Starshot initiative with investor Yuri Milner in New York April 12th, 2016. — Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters.
Physicist Stephen Hawking sits on stage during an announcement of the Breakthrough Starshot initiative with investor Yuri Milner in New York April 12th, 2016.
 — Photograph: Lucas Jackson/Reuters.

STEPHEN W. HAWKING, the British theoretical physicist who overcame a devastating neurological disease to probe the greatest mysteries of the cosmos and become a globally celebrated symbol of the power of the human mind, has died at his home in Cambridge, England. He was 76.

His family announced the death but did not provide any further details.

Unable to move a muscle, speechless but for a computer-synthesized voice, Dr. Hawking had suffered since the age of 21 from a degenerative motor neuron disease similar to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Initially given two years to live, a diagnosis that threw him into a profound depression, he found the strength to complete his doctorate and rise to the position of Lucasian professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge, the same post held by Isaac Newton 300 years earlier.

Dr. Hawking eventually became one of the planet's most renowned science popularizers, and he embraced the attention, traveling the world, meeting with presidents, visiting Antarctica and Easter Island, and flying on a special “zero-gravity” jet whose parabolic flight let Dr. Hawking float through the cabin as if he were in outer space.

“My goal is simple,” he once said. “It is complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.” He spent much of his career searching for a way to reconcile Einstein's theory of relativity with quantum physics and produce a “Theory of Everything”.

He wrote an international best seller, A Brief History of Time (1988), which delved into the origin and ultimate fate of the universe. He deliberately set out to write a mass-market primer on an often incomprehensible subject.

Although the book was sometimes derided as being dense, and had a reputation for being owned more than read, it sold millions of copies, was translated into more than 20 languages, and inspired a mini-empire of similar books from Dr. Hawking, including “The Universe in a Nutshell and A Briefer History of Time.

With his daughter, Lucy, he wrote a series of children's books about a young intergalactic traveler named George. His blunt 2013 memoir, My Brief History, explored his development in science as well as his turbulent marriages. In addition, Dr. Hawking was the subject of a 1991 documentary, A Brief History of Time, directed by Errol Morris, and countless newspaper and magazine articles.

With the aid of a voice synthesizer, controlled by his fingers on a keyboard, he gave speeches around the world, from Chile to China. He played himself on such TV programs as “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “The Simpsons”, the latter featuring Dr. Hawking telling the show's lazy animated patriarch, “Your theory of a doughnut-shaped universe is interesting, Homer. I may have to steal it.”

He insisted that his reputation as the second coming of Albert Einstein had gotten out of control through “media hype”.

“I fit the part of a disabled genius,” he told the Los Angeles Times in 1990. “At least, I'm disabled — even though I'm not a genius like Einstein…. The public wants heroes. They made Einstein a hero, and now they're making me a hero, though with much less justification.”

His scientific achievements included breakthroughs in understanding the extreme conditions of black holes, objects so dense that not even light can escape their gravity.

His most famous theoretical breakthrough was to find an exception to this seemingly unforgiving law of physics: black holes are not really black, he realized, but rather can emanate thermal radiation from subatomic processes at their boundary, and can potentially evaporate. Scientists refer to such theoretical emanations as “Hawking radiation”.

This revelation impressed other scientists with the way it took Einstein's general theory of relativity, which is essential for understanding the gravity of black holes, and connected it to newer theories of quantum mechanics, which cover subatomic processes.

Plus, he threw in a dash of old-fashioned thermodynamics — achieving a kind of physics trifecta.

“Black holes ain't as black as they are painted,” Dr. Hawking once said in a lecture, characteristically describing complicated physics in ordinary language. “They are not the eternal prisons they were once thought. Things can get out of a black hole, both to the outside, and possibly, to another universe. So, if you feel you are in a black hole, don't give up. There's a way out.”

He also hypothesized that miniature black holes, remnants of the big bang, may be strewn through space, though he noted that so far they haven't be discovered. “This is a pity, because if they had, I would have got a Nobel prize,” he joked.

Early life

Stephen William Hawking was born in Oxford, England, on January 8th, 1942 — the 300th anniversary of Galileo's death, he liked to point out. His father was a physician and specialist in tropical diseases; his mother was active in the Liberal Party.

Both parents were Oxford-educated, and Stephen — the eldest of four siblings — grew up surrounded by books. But he did not show particular academic promise, despite an obvious streak of brilliance that caused his friends to nickname him “Einstein”.

“I always wanted to know how everything worked,” he told Omni magazine. “I would take things apart to see how they worked, but they didn't often go back together.”

He was a bit lazy, and a bon vivant, as he later would admit. After being admitted to the University of Oxford, he skimped on his studies and enjoyed carousing with fellow members of the Oxford Boat Club, for which he was a tactically savvy coxswain. He graduated in 1962 and did just well enough on his final exam to earn admission to the University of Cambridge to pursue a doctorate.

“Physics was always the most boring subject at school because it was so easy and obvious. Chemistry was much more fun because unexpected things, such as explosions, kept happening,” Dr. Hawking wrote in his memoir. “But physics and astronomy offered the hope of understanding where we came from and why we are here. I wanted to fathom the depths of the Universe.”

Then came what he later referred to as “that terrible thing.” He'd noticed at Oxford that he'd become increasingly clumsy and would sometimes stumble and fall for no obvious reason. Tests revealed motor neuron disease; he could not expect to live more than a couple of years.

After a period of despondency in which he holed up in his room and listened to Wagner, he attended a New Year's Eve party at which he met a young student named Jane Wilde. Their courtship spurred his will to live. They married in 1965.

“We had this very strong sense at the time that our generation lived anyway under this most awful nuclear cloud — that with a four-minute warning the world itself could likely end,” Jane Hawking later told the British newspaper The Observer. “That made us feel above all that we had to do our bit, that we had to follow an idealistic course in life. That may seem naive now, but that was exactly the spirit in which Stephen and I set out in the Sixties — to make the most of whatever gifts were given us.”

They would have three children before his condition deteriorated to near-complete paralysis.

He received a doctorate in 1966 and became a post-graduate research physicist at Cambridge, where he hoped to study under the celeberated astrophysicist Fred Hoyle. Instead, he was assigned to Dennis Sciama — a disappointment, at first.

But, as he later wrote, “This turned out to be a good thing. Hoyle was abroad a lot and I wouldn't have seen much of him. Sciama on the other hand was there, and was always stimulating.”

A few years later, while on the staff of the Institute of Astronomy in Cambridge, he formed a close collaboration with Cambridge colleague Roger Penrose. They developed a theorem that the universe has not always existed.

The two showed that if the theory of relativity is true, the universe must have sprung into existence, out of what appeared to be nothing, at a specific moment in the past and from a place where gravity became so strong that space and time are curved beyond recognition — what is known as a “singularity”.

At the remarkably young age of 32, Dr. Hawking was named a fellow of the Royal Society. He received the Albert Einstein Award, the most prestigious in theoretical physics. He joined the Cambridge faculty in 1973 as a research assistant in the department of applied mathematics and theoretical physics; he was promoted to professor of gravitational physics in 1977.

Early fame

While at Cambridge, Dr. Hawking began to question the big-bang theory, which by then most people had accepted.

Perhaps, he suggested, there was never a start and would be no end, but just change — a constant transition of one “universe” giving way to another through glitches in space-time. All the while, Dr. Hawking was digging into exploding black holes, string theory and the birth of black holes in our galaxy.

Dr. Hawking was known to weigh in rather playfully on grand cosmological questions. He once suggested that if the universe stopped expanding and began to contract, time would run backward. He later said that he'd changed his mind on that.

He gained headlines when he declared that humans should colonize other worlds to hedge their bets against the possible destruction of this one.

In an updated, illustrated (easier to handle) version of “A Brief History of Time”, he added a chapter on wormholes — back-alley cosmic tunnels that might conceivably let someone travel back in time. Prancing on the edge of the plausible, he nonetheless stuck to what science can tell us.

“He thought about the deep and important questions in novel ways,” said David Spergel, Princeton University's chairman of astrophysics. “Hawking's important contribution was identifying new ways to answer those questions and formulating mathematically sophisticated ways of connecting general relativity and quantum mechanics.”

Dr. Hawking had sought to come up with a so-called Theory of Everything that would essentially put an end to theoretical physics by answering all the outstanding questions. But whether such a theory can ever be found is unclear.

Dr. Hawking said our universe might not be the only one there is — that many more may be popping into existence all around us. He suggested that “cosmic wormholes” briefly link those universes to ours and that subatomic particles may travel from one universe to another through them, accounting for some of the strange behavior of particles that physicists observe.

The power of Dr. Hawking's celebrity was measured at times by the tabloid coverage he drew for his complicated personal life. His wife Jane spent hours every day bathing, washing and feeding Dr. Hawking, who required constant nursing care. He developed pneumonia in 1985 on a trip to Geneva, and Jane battled doctors who wanted to turn off his life support.

But the marriage grew strained, in part because of her Christian faith and his adamant atheism, and in part because of what she called his remote and stoic temperament. She described him as an “all-powerful emperor” who seemed blind to how demanding his illness became for her as she also took care of their young children. He refused measures that would have made life easier for her, and she felt it was “too cruel” to coerce him to see it her way.

They grew apart and, in 1990, just shy of their 25th wedding anniversary, separated when Dr. Hawking left Jane for his nurse, Elaine Mason. He married Elaine five years later after his divorce from Jane became final. Dr. Hawking called his second marriage, which also ended in divorce, “passionate and tempestuous”.

Survivors include his children, Lucy, Robert and Tim.

Dr. Hawking's offices were filled with photographs of him standing with admirers ranging from popes (he was a member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences) to the late Soviet physicist and human rights campaigner Andrei Sakharov.

The theoretical physicist once described his heroes as “Galileo, Einstein, Darwin and Marilyn Monroe”. The last was of particular appeal to the scientist who hung posters of her and collected Monroe-related bric a brac.

“My daughter and secretary gave me posters of her, my son gave me a Marilyn bag and my wife a Marilyn towel,” he once said. “I suppose you could say she was a model of the universe.”


• Joel Achenbach covers science and politics for the National desk at The Washington Post. He has been a staff writer for The Post since 1990.

• Boyce Rensberger is a former Washington Post science writer and editor.


 on: March 14, 2018, 05:16:24 pm 
Started by Im2Sexy4MyPants - Last post by Kiwithrottlejockey

 on: March 14, 2018, 05:14:42 pm 
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