Stephen Hawking and I

051117_hawking_hmed.hmedium.jpgFollowing the news from MSNBC , some excerpts presented  here ………….
"They had to resuscitate, and that panicked a few people," Bristol told the audience. "But he's been there before."
Part of Hawking's appeal has to do with his sheer ability to carry on despite his disability. [Link]

Brought back some memories. It is spring of 2003, Texas A & M University.
Stephen Hawking is at Texas A & M University campus on a sabbatical. I have been to his over-packed, all-sold out campus talk that had a standing ovation towards the end even classical and rock musicians would envy. I only understand half of it . He presented the talk quite well. It is just beyond my wisdom but I enjoy and admire his genius, clarity, humor, and courage.

A few days later, I am headed for lunch on a bright, sunny day on the campus. I see Stephen Hawking and a woman (could be his wife) on the sidewalk. I decide that I will not disturb them at all. However, as we pass, the lady makes an eye contact, and she says hi. I say hi too. Stephen Hawking raises his eyes, and I say hi to him deferentially - that is it. We did not write any papers, or discuss cosmology, or wager. For next 3-4 days, I jump around like a giddy high-school girl telling everyone my story.

Some of his quotes do crack me up:

* What did he think of "The Simpsons" TV show, which has had Hawking as an animated guest star? "It's the best thing on American TV."

* What was his view of the Bush administration's limits on human embryonic stem-cell research: "America will be left behind if it doesn't change policy."

* What did he think of the program to send American astronauts back to the moon? "Stupid," he answered. "Sending politicians would be much cheaper, because you don't have to bring them back."

* How high is Hawking's IQ? The physicist replied that he didn't know. "People who boast about their IQ are losers," he said.

* Which late personage would he rather meet, Isaac Newton or Marilyn Monroe? "Marilyn," Hawking said. "Newton seems to have been an unpleasant character."