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Sunday, October 26, 2014

the much touted first post of Stephen Hawking on Facebook...

Strange are the ways of people – many do not have time to walk around the streets, talk to thy neighbour or office colleague – but have ample time to bury their neck into the Social networking – Facebook to be precise. Facebook has become so much a part of our life now that it’s so prevalent across the world. With close to a billion users out there, one can easily throw a stone and hit a Facebook user. The amount of time users engage in Facebook activities, like updating statuses, posting photos, commenting and ‘liking’ posts has also been increasing with smartphones has become  commonplace in recent years.  It is strange that at a time when many netizens have great concerns over the issue of privacy online,  many people voluntarily share  deepest secrets about their intimate lives and post private photos on Facebook.  In the world of FB, they seek social affirmations from networking friends !

Most likely that all your family members have FB accounts (some have multiple fake accounts too !) …. My  friend’s status once read என் பொண்டாட்டி வலையில் விழுந்துட்டா  !! (can translate literally into ‘my wife has fallen in to my trap / net … actually meaning her joining the web of FB)….. those with very high number of friends can often miss out the posts of friends, as you get to see the recent posts and when you have thousands of friends and on your page falls the posts of ‘friends of friends too’ !!!  - in such a World can you imagine a post making waves with FB itself trending and it getting mentioned in all newssites including Times.   The favourite comment on the page is quoted to have come from Pamela Hughes.  She took the time to how Facebook can alter time: "Beware, facebook can teach you all about time dilation...You can spend an hour checking pages and reading articles and suddenly discover that 8 hours have passed in the real world."

In the modern World even agnostics visit this place frequently and get into huddle – and it is post of Hawking that is making sensational news. His welcome post read: "I have always wondered what makes the universe exist. Time and space may forever be a mystery, but that has not stopped my pursuit. Our connections to one another have grown infinitely and now that I have the chance, I'm eager to share this journey with you. Be curious, I know I will forever be." You might expect that someone who seeks the answers so vigorously would quickly gain followers. He's already amassed more than 1.3 million likes. Reports proclaimed that 24th Oct 2014 is a big day for social media as Queen Elizabeth II sent her first tweet, and Stephen Hawking posted his first Facebook message. Though the world-renowned theoretical physicist officially joined the site on Oct. 7 but  didn’t share anything until today:

Hawking’s plunge into the infinite social media abyss is certainly well-timed. The Theory of Everything, the film about the scientist’s personal and professional life, comes out in just a few weeks. Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA  is an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge.  Among his significant scientific works have been a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set forth a cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. Hawking is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009.

Hawking has achieved success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; his ‘A Brief History of Time’  stayed on the British Sunday Times best-sellers list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. Over the years, Hawking maintained his public profile with a series of attention-getting and often controversial statements:  he has asserted that computer viruses were a form of life, that humans should use genetic engineering to avoid being outsmarted by computers, and that aliens likely exist and contact with them should be avoided.
photo credit : time.com

Several buildings have been named after him, including the Stephen W. Hawking Science Museum in San Salvador, El Salvador, the Stephen Hawking Building in Cambridge, and the Stephen Hawking Centre at Perimeter Institutein Canada. Appropriately, given Hawking's association with time, he unveiled the mechanical "Chronophage" (or time-eating) Corpus Clock at Corpus Christi College Cambridge in September 2008. A new trailer for the upcoming Stephen Hawking biopic "The Theory of Everything" is out, and it takes viewers even deeper into the personal life of the famed astrophysicist. The 2.5-minute trailer, which came out on 1st of Oct,  is the second Focus Features has released to tout the film.

Hawking has a motor neuron disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a condition that has progressed over the years. He is almost entirely paralysed and communicates through a speech-generating device. He married twice and has three children.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

26th Oct 2014.

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