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7 Things You Didn’t Know About Stephen Hawking (an article)
Posted:Mar 23, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated:Mar 23, 2019 5:52 am
135 Views

Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking died on March 14, 2018—also known as Pi Day—at age 76. The scientist stands out for his significant contributions to the field of cosmology, the study of the origin and development of the universe. During his career, Hawking became a cultural icon who tried to make scientific concepts accessible to the wider community.

His 1988 book, A Brief History of Time, set a Guinness World Record by staying on the Sunday Times best-seller list for four and a half years. Still, the book’s discussion of concepts like time, space, black holes, and the Big Bang proved to be a bit complex for non-scientists, and Hawking liked to joke that it was the least-read, most-purchased book in history. That’s why in 2005, he published a more accessible version of the original called A Briefer History of Time.

Hawking was so well-known that during his lifetime, he appeared on TV shows like Star Trek, The Simpsons, The Big Bang Theory, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. In addition, actor Eddie Redmayne won an Oscar for his portrayal of Hawking in The Theory of Everything. But despite his popularity, there’s still a lot you might not know about him.

1. Doctors told him he wouldn’t live past his early 20s
Hawking was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, when he was only 21. ALS affects the nerve cells involved in voluntary muscle movement, decreasing a person’s ability to move and speak over time. Usually, symptoms develop after age 50, and lead to death within a few months or years.

So when doctors diagnosed Hawking with ALS at the extremely young age of 21, the predicted he would only live a couple of years. Instead, he lived for 55 more years.

“The human race,” he said, “is so puny compared to the universe that being disabled is not of much cosmic significance.”

2. He was a wild wheelchair driver
Hawking began using crutches after his diagnosis in the ‘60s, and resisted transitioning to a wheelchair. But once he started, he was reportedly a pretty wild driver.

“There’s an apocryphal story out there—I don’t know if it’s true—that he actually ran over Prince Charles’ toes,” says Kristine M. Larsen, a professor astronomy at Central Connecticut State University and author of Stephen Hawking: A Biography.

“He definitely liked to dance in his wheelchair on the dance floor,” she says. “I remember seeing him wiz through conferences in his wheelchair.” After one incident where he crashed his wheelchair and broke his hip, he also joked “about being a bad driver.”

3. He made lots of scientific bets, even though he kept losing them
Professor Stephen Hawking giving a lecture entitled: “A Brief History of Mine” during the Starmus Festival on the Spanish Canary island of Tenerife on June 29, 2016.

Hawking is known for his theoretical contributions to science. But like any scientist, he didn’t always get everything right the first time; and he had a reputation for placing and losing bets on scientific concepts.

In 1975, he bet physicist Kip Thorne a Penthouse subscription that an astronomical object known as Cygnus X-1 was not a black hole. Later, he also bet someone an encyclopedia over Hawking’s claim that information gets lost in black holes, and wagered $100 that no one would ever discover the Higgs boson. Eventually, he lost all three of these bets.

4. Some of his scientific theories were controversial at first
Despite these misplaced bets, Hawkins did get a lot of things right.

“Among his first theoretical discoveries was his prediction that black holes should radiate,” Larsen says. “But when he first came up with this idea and presented it to his colleagues, they thought it was rubbish.”

However, once his calculations for this theory went through scientific peer-review, “they found that yes, this is what the laws of physics as we understand them predict,” she says. “That black holes under the right circumstances should evaporate, should radiate.”

This scientific concept is now known as “Hawking radiation,” and remains one of his biggest contributions to cosmology.

5. Artificial intelligence made him uneasy
Hawking believed that developing better technology was imperative for humans’ survival. But he was also very concerned about the pursuit of artificial intelligence, or A.I.

“Alongside the benefits, A.I. will also bring dangers, like powerful autonomous weapons, or new ways for the few to oppress the many,” he said in 2014 at the launch for the Centre for the Future of Intelligence at Cambridge University.

“In the future, A.I. could develop a will of its own—a will that is in conflict with ours,” he continued. “The rise of powerful A.I. will be either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity. We do not yet know which.”

The subject was personal for Hawking because, despite his fears about where A.I. would lead, he benefited greatly from advances in the field. Starting in 2008, Hawking communicated by tensing his cheek. Using technology that could detect these cheek movements, a machine learning algorithm translated these into sound, gradually getting better and quicker at translating as it learned from Hawking’s speech patterns.

6. He had a tumultuous relationship with his first wife
When The Theory of Everything debuted in 2014, it received some criticism for its portrayal of Hawking’s marriage to his first wife, Jane Wilde. Based on Wilde’s writing about her life and marriage, the film offered a romantic, sentimental portrait of a woman who made sacrifices for her husband in the face of a very serious disease.

In real life, things were a bit more complicated. Jane took on the task of caring for her husband along with three children as Hawking refused to talk with her about his illness. At one point, she described him as “a child possessed of a massive and fractious ego.”

In the last years of their marriage Hawking left Jane for his nurse, Elaine Mason, who became his second wife.

7. He wrote five children’s books with his daughter Lucy
In addition to his many books for adults, Hawking wrote several children’s books with his daughter, Lucy, that combine science and adventure.

These books all focus on a young boy named George, who learns about the universe by traveling around it. In the most recent one, George and the Blue Moon, George enters a Mars training program, “fighting for survival in what feels like the Hunger Games set on the red planet,” according to Hawking’s own description.

Yes, Hawking knew about the Hunger Games, as well as a few other things the kids are into these days. When asked about the significance of Zayn Malik leaving the band One Direction, he replied: “One day there may well be proof of multiple universes … and in that universe Zayn is still in One Direction.”

https://www.history.com/news/7-things-you-didnt-know-about-stephen-hawking
4 Comments
Taking stock...
Posted:Mar 22, 2019 3:02 pm
Last Updated:Mar 23, 2019 3:38 pm
472 Views

Taking stock ... 'review or make an overall assessment of a particular situation, typically as a prelude to making a decision.'

Spring is almost noticeable (in some places), and winter will soon be a distant memory.

I am more than halfway to my next birthday (my God), and over halfway to the label of 'septuagenarian.'

already past the landmark of having worked continuously for 45 years.

My youngest child is now 31, my oldest (stepson) is almost 53.

I have been a widow almost years ( the end of April).

It is almost two years since I had brain surgery (yes, I really did).

It's been one year since I was given the job title 'program manager' and took on 3x the work I was doing before.

It's been over 4 years since my last serious attempt at having a relationship with a man, and I don't mean just sex.

Time to 'take stock.'
7 Comments
I don't flirt well
Posted:Mar 8, 2019 7:41 am
Last Updated:Mar 9, 2019 9:29 am
930 Views



All those messages and IMs from would-be lovers ... I just want to click 'off' when I read, "what if I showed up at your house as a delivery guy?," "have you ever been with a young guy before?," "would you like your pussy licked?" And those are the mild sure ... I can't even begin to fathom what young, beautiful women with posted pictures receive on a daily basis.

Really? I think my eyes have rolled so far back in my head so many times I can't roll them anymore.

Maybe it's because too analytical, logical, pragmatic. Here are my answers:

No, I would NOT do the delivery guy even if you were the delivery guy (are you freekin' insane?)

Yes, I've been with young men since I was a young woman, for Christ's sake. Use your brain ... 'that's what it's there for. Besides , did you read my profile or blog intro at ALL? Younger than 45 yrs , I have no interest in your whimsies or fantasies. Why have you even sent a message ... you'd have to be in the .1% percentile of age-appropriate maturity and compatability with me to even make me look twice even if you do have a smokin- body and gorgeous face.

Only by someone I like and doesn't put pressure on me with questions like "would you like your pussy licked," "are you there yet?" etc. Those questions don't even count in a chat with me; in fact, I'm likely to ditch you in a chat if you start asking me that shit. If you aren't in the group of men I would consider meeting (READ MY PROFILE), then it doesn't even matter as far as you are concerned.

I don't flirt well.
11 Comments
Why Men and Women See Infidelity So Differently (an article)
Posted:Mar 6, 2019 4:42 am
Last Updated:Mar 15, 2019 2:35 am
1103 Views

by Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S

There is a school of thought that says if a woman cheats, it is more likely to signal an end to her primary relationship than if a man cheats. And this may in fact be the case, because men and women tend to think and feel differently about sex and relationships.

Men are generally more likely than women to be able to compartmentalize sex and intimate connections. For many men, sex is sex, and relationships are relationships, and the two do not necessarily overlap. Thus, a man who casually cheats may do so without feeling a significant degree of emotional connection to a mistress, while a woman who cheats could see things differently, with sex and emotional connection intermingled in ways that make compartmentalization more difficult.

Stated another way, when women cheat, there is usually an element of romance, intimacy, connection, or love. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to cheat to satisfy sexual urges, with fewer thoughts of intimacy. Of course, many men cheat because they feel love as well as sexual attraction for an outside partner, but many more don’t: For them, infidelity can be an opportunistic, primarily sexual action that, in their minds, does not affect their primary relationship. In fact, when asked, many such men will report that they’re very happy in their primary relationship, that they love their significant other, that their sex life is great, and that, despite their cheating, they have no intention of ending their primary relationship.

Women are less likely to operate that way. For most women, a sense of relational intimacy is every bit as important as the sex; often more important. As such, women tend to not cheat unless they feel either unhappiness in their primary relationship or an intimate connection with their extracurricular partner — and either could cause a woman to move on from her primary relationship.

Consider the results of a well-known study in which men and women were shown videos of two men having sex and two women having sex. Male test subjects’ responses were highly gender specific: Straight guys were turned on only by the videos of women, and gay men were turned on only by the videos of two men. Meanwhile, two-thirds of the women, regardless of sexual orientation, were aroused by both male and female stimuli — in particular, the videos that displayed or hinted at an emotional and psychological connection. This research is hardly an outlier: Numerous other studies have produced similar results, confirming that, generally speaking, women are attracted to and turned on by emotional intimacy (especially in committed relationships), while men are more turned on by sex acts.

Put another way, male sexual desire tends to be driven by physiological rather than psychological factors. This is why porn sites created for male users feature short scenarios focused on body parts and overt sexual acts and little else. Even porn literature for men tends to focus more on sexual acts than on relationships and feelings.

Not so for women. Open up a romance novel, or tune in to True Blood, the Twilight movies, or other female-oriented romance/erotica, and you’ll see this rather clearly. In such stories, you'll find very little in the way of purely objectified, non-relational sex. Instead, you'll encounter broad-chested, square-jawed, deep-voiced bad boys who melt when they spot the story’s heroine. This is true even of the more overtly sexual Fifty Shades of Grey series, in which a really bad boy meets a really nice girl who knows in her heart that she can find the good in him and make the relationship work.

Men typically do not need to be in love to enjoy sex. In fact, they don’t even need to be in like; they just have to be turned on. Generally, it’s more difficult to get a woman interested in sex because they want a deep voice AND big biceps AND a sense of humor AND a guy who listens AND a desire to have kids and fix up a house together AND a whole bunch of other stuff.

This difference is most likely the product of thousands of years of evolution. Researchers Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam describe this as well as anyone, writing in their book A Billion Wicked Thoughts:

"When contemplating sex with a man, a woman has to consider the long term. This consideration may not even by conscious, but rather is part of the unconscious software that has evolved to protect women over hundreds of thousands of years. Sex could commit a woman to a substantial, life-altering investment: pregnancy, nursing, and more than a decade of child-raising. These commitments require enormous time, resources, and energy. Sex with the wrong guy could lead to many unpleasant outcomes."

Ogas and Gaddam call this feminine need to thoroughly vet a potential partner’s physical and character traits before becoming both physically and psychologically turned on “Miss Marple,” referencing Agatha’s Christie’s celebrated female detective. They note that this internal safety mechanism is not willing to give cognitive approval for sex until multiple conditions are met. (Of note: Women with histories of sexual trauma tend to not have this self-defense mechanism, and as such, are more likely to engage in casual cheating and to be further victimized as adults.)

Men have less of a need to guard against the dangers of casual sex, so they have not developed this inner detective. They will sometimes cheat just for the sex, even when they are perfectly happy with their primary relationship. This is why a relationship damaged by a man’s infidelity might be more likely to survive after infidelity is uncovered, as opposed to when a woman has cheated. Men can and do cheat on a good relationship, and good relationships are worth saving. Meanwhile, women are more likely to cheat when their primary relationship is not going well, and that type of already-troubled connection might not be worth the pain and effort required to rebuild relationship trust, emotional intimacy, and long-term harmony.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/love-and-sex-in-the-digital-age/201707/why-men-and-women-see-infidelity-so-differently
6 Comments
FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
Posted:Dec 9, 2018 5:36 pm
Last Updated:Mar 22, 2019 2:47 pm
6695 Views

I realize that I am treading some very dangerous water here by sharing this particular blog entry, but as the expression goes ‘the truth will set you free.’ Consider this a rare rant about something serious, something about sex, and something besides the frivolous commentary usually seen in blogs here.

Many of the profiles posted on this and similar sites contain the phrase “D&D free,” or similar wording. I don’t dispute that the owners of those profiles intend for that phrase to assure their potential lovers that no nasty bugs will pass during coitus, but it’s a weak bit of reassurance, IMO. Unless you are tested immediately before having sex with someone, and get those results immediately, your previous status means very little, especially since the standard tests are usually limited to about 6 different diseases, and there at least 30 actual STDs/STIs. Test results are only as good as the day your samples were tested; if you have sex the day after, you run the risk of becoming less-than D&D free. Nevertheless, I get it. It’s intended to imply … safety .. and the person in the profile is probably hoping that the self-labeling will get him/her laid quicker or more often.

Pfftttt.

From the perspective of a person with an incurable (but quite common) STD, please let me share my thoughts.

I contracted HSV2 from someone over 30 years ago and I didn't even know I had it until I had a breakout after I became a mother (the change in my personal biology probably triggered the breakout.) Sexual safety wasn’t as big an issue then as it is now, at least not in my social circle. The bigger concern was an unwanted pregnancy. I don’t know who gave it to me, and I’m not sure if he even knew he had it. Regardless, he was guilty of spreading an STD, and I was guilty of naivete and not asking the right question beforehand. Done and done.

But let’s put one thing right out there and dispel some misconceptions. Well, maybe a couple of things.

First, it only takes ONE sexual experience to contract a disease. It could be your first sexual encounter, or your 500th … it just takes one time with someone who carries a virus or a bacteria that could be passed to you. This is not a morality issue people … STDs are a fact of life, and everyone who is sexually active is subject to contracting something, sometime in their lifetime. And on the issue of morality … check any ‘holier-than-thou’-ness at the door. Consensual sex is not the only way to contract a disease; if you are a child you are just as likely to contract HSV1 by getting a kiss from your great Aunt Martha when you’re a kid and then guilty if you spread it as an adult to someone you have oral sex with. And lest we dare forget, victims of sexual assault are often the unluckiest of the unlucky … they are crime victims but can also be the unwilling recipient of STDs in the process. So much for your moral judgments.

Second … it rankles me that a person without an STD (or perceived to have no infectious disease) calls themselves “clean,” while anyone with an STD is considered the opposite … “dirty.” This is how slut-shaming, stereotypes and bad jokes are allowed to exist unchecked. Consider that STDs or STIs have been at all-time highs for the past several years, and then decide if it’s wise to point the finger. How many people are guilty of spreading infection because they are in denial about their own health, too scared to disclose to potential partners, or just don’t give a damn about anyone else except themselves? How many of your friends or relatives may be silently suffering when the horrible jokes are made and everyone laughs about STDs, or when you brag about your own ‘cleanliness?’

I disclose to anyone I might be considering having sex with, if our relationship gets to that level, and I don't take it lightly. It is the right thing to do. And yes, it gets me shut down most of the time. And yes, I will get some email or responses to this that will consist of name-calling or lectures, telling me I’m dirty, disgusting or whatever other self-righteous beratement they can come up with. But that’s okay. I’d rather take the high road than be accused of being deceitful. I’d rather give a potential lover the choice, because I wasn’t given the choice and I have paid the price. WIth medication, use of condoms and avoidance during times when I am most likely to pass an infection, there is only about a 1% chance of me spreading my illness to a partner. I was married for 32 years and my late husband never contracted it. Much better odds to have sex with me than with someone who doesn’t know their risk factor, or worse, who knows and doesn’t disclose to you. Just saying...

Don’t tell me you’re sorry about my situation, and don’t give in to the hype. Speak your truth and support others who are not brave enough to speak their own truth yet.

The truth will set us all free.
3 Comments

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