Professor Stephen Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA

English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA sadly died 14 March 2018. He was born on 8 January 1942 in Oxford to Frank and Isobel Hawking His mother was Scottish. Despite their families’ financial constraints, both parents attended the University of Oxford, where Frank read medicine and Isobel read Philosophy, Politics and Economic. The two met shortly after the beginning of the Second World War at a medical research institute where Isobel was working as a secretary and Frank was working as a medical researcher. They lived in Highgate; but, as London was being bombed in those years, Isobel went to Oxford to give birth in greater safety. Hawking had two younger sisters, Philippa and Mary, and an adopted brother, Edward.

Hawking began his schooling at the Byron House School in Highgate, London. In 1948 Hawking attended St Albans High School for Girls for a few months. In 1950, Hawking’s father became head of the division of parasitology at the National Institute for Medical Research, so Hawking and his family moved to St Albans, Hertfordshire where they were considered highly intelligent and somewhat eccentric. Hawking then attended Radlett School, an independent school in the village of Radlett in Hertfordshire, for a year and from September 1952, St Albans Independent School, in St Albans in Hertfordshire. Hawking’s father wanted his son to attend the well-regarded Westminster School, but the 13-year-old Hawking was ill on the day of the scholarship examination. His family could not afford the school fees without the financial aid of a scholarship, so Hawking remained at St Albans, during 1958 Hawking and his friends built a computer from clock parts, an old telephone switchboard and other recycled component, with the help of the mathematics teacher Dikran Tahta. Hawking was known at school as “Einstein” and, inspired by Tahta, decided to read mathematics at university.

Hawking’s father wanted his son to attend University College, Oxford, his own alma mater. As it was not possible to read mathematics there at the time, Hawking decided to study physics and chemistry And was awarded a scholarship in March 1959 and Hawking began his university education at University College, Oxford in October 1959 at the age of 17 under physics tutor, Robert Berman. during his second and third year Hawking made more of an effort “to be one of the boys”. He developed into a popular, lively and witty college member, interested in classical music and science fiction. He also joined the college boat club, the University College Boat Club, where he coxed a rowing crew. Hawking only studied about 1,000 hours during his three years at Oxford which made his final exams a challenge, so he decided to answer only theoretical physics questions rather than those requiring factual knowledge. A first-class honours degree was a condition of acceptance for his planned graduate study in cosmology at the University of Cambridge. The final result was on the borderline between first- and second-class honours, making a viva (oral examination) necessary. Hawking received a first-class BA (Hons.) degree in natural science and completing a trip to Iran with a friend, he began his graduate work at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, in October 1962

During Hawking’s first year as a doctoral student He was assigned Dennis William Sciama, one of the founders of modern cosmology, as a supervisor rather than noted astronomer Fred Hoyle. Hawking was then diagnosed with a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Following the diagnosis Hawking fell into a depression – though his doctors advised that he continue with his studies, he felt there was little point. His disease progressed more slowly than doctors had predicted. Although Hawking had difficulty walking unsupported, and his speech was almost unintelligible, an initial diagnosis that he had only two years to live proved unfounded. With Sciama’s encouragement, he returned to his work. Hawking started developing a reputation for brilliance and brashness when he publicly challenged the work of Fred Hoyle and his student Jayant Narlikar at a lecture in June 1964.

When Hawking began his graduate studies, there was much debate in the physics community concerning the creation of the universe: the Big Bang and Steady State theory Inspired by Roger Penrose’s theorem of a spacetime singularity in the centre of black holes, Hawking applied the same thinking to the entire universe; and, during 1965, he wrote his thesis on this topic.Hawking received a research fellowship at Gonville and Caius College he obtained his PhD degree in applied mathematics and theoretical physics, specialising in general relativity and cosmology, in March 1966 and his essay titled “Singularities and the Geometry of Space-Time” shared top honours with one by Penrose to win that year’s prestigious Adams Prize. His scientific works include 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 out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He was a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

In his work, and in collaboration with Penrose, Hawking extended the singularity theorem concepts first explored in his doctoral thesis. This included not only the existence of singularities but also the theory that the universe might have started as a singularity. Their joint essay was the runner-up in the 1968 Gravity Research Foundation competition. In 1970 they published a proof that if the universe obeys the general theory of relativity and fits any of the models of physical cosmology developed by Alexander Friedmann, then it must have begun as a singularity. In 1969, Hawking accepted a specially created Fellowship for Distinction in Science to remain at Caius.

In 1970, Hawking postulated what became known as the second law of black hole dynamics, that the event horizon of a black hole can never get smaller. With James M. Bardeen and Brandon Carter, he proposed the four laws of black hole mechanics, drawing an analogy with thermodynamics. However Jacob Bekenstein, a graduate student of John Wheeler, went even further—and ultimately correctly—to apply thermodynamic concepts literally. Hawking’s work with Carter, Werner Israel and David C. Robinson strongly supported Wheeler’s no-hair theorem, one that states that no matter what the original material from which a black hole is created, it can be completely described by the properties of mass, electrical charge and rotation. His essay titled “Black Holes” won the Gravity Research Foundation Award in January 1971. Hawking’s first book, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, written with George Ellis, was published in 1973. Inspired by a visit to Moscow and discussions with Yakov Borisovich Zel’dovich and Alexei Starobinsky, Hawking began studying quantum gravity and quantum mechanics. His work in this area showed that according to the uncertainty principle, rotating black holes emit particles and the results of his calculations contradicted his second law, which claimed black holes could never get smaller and supported Bekenstein’s results which show that black holes emit radiation, known today as Hawking radiation. The discovery was widely accepted as a significant breakthrough in theoretical physics.


In 1974 Hawking was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) a few weeks after the announcement of Hawking radiation becoming one of the youngest scientists to become a Fellow. In 1970 Hawking was appointed to the Sherman Fairchild Distinguished visiting professorship at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and worked with a friend Kip Thorne, at the faculty, with whom he discussed whether the X-ray source Cygnus X-1 was a black hole.Hawking returned to Cambridge in 1975 as reader in gravitational physics and was regularly interviewed for print and television. He also received increasing academic recognition of his work. In 1975, he was awarded both the Eddington Medal and the Pius XI Gold Medal, and in 1976 the Dannie Heineman Prize, the Maxwell Prize and the Hughes Medal. In 1977 He was appointed a professor with a chair in gravitational physics and received the Albert Einstein Medal and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1978. Hawking was also elected Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge where his first lecture was: “Is the End in Sight for Theoretical Physics?” and proposed N=8 Supergravity as the leading theory to solve many of the outstanding problems physicists were studying. In 1981, he proposed that information in a black hole is irretrievably lost when a black hole evaporates however this contradicts a fundamental tenet of quantum mechanics.

The theory of Cosmological inflation which proposed that following the Big Bang, the universe initially expanded incredibly rapidly before settling down to a slower expansion – was proposed by Alan Guth and also developed by Andrei Ling. In 1981, Hawking and Gary Gibbons organised a three-week Nuffield Workshop in the summer of 1982 on “The Very Early Universe” at Cambridge University, which focused on inflation theory Hawking also began a new line of quantum theory research into the origin of the universe. In 1981 at a Vatican conference, he presented work suggesting that there might be no boundary to the universe, Hawking was also awarded the American Franklin Medal, and in the 1982 New Year Honours appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE)

He subsequently developed the research in collaboration with Jim Hartle, and in 1983 they published a model, known as the Hartle–Hawking state. It proposed that prior to the Planck epoch, the universe had no boundary in space-time; before the Big Bang, time did not exist and the concept of the beginning of the universe is meaningless. The initial singularity of the classical Big Bang models was replaced with a region akin to the North Pole. One cannot travel north of the North Pole, but there is no boundary there – it is simply the point where all north-running lines meet and end. Hawking did not rule out the existence of a Creator, asking in A Brief History of Time “Is the unified theory so compelling that it brings about its own existence? In his early work, Hawking spoke of God in a metaphorical sense. In A Brief History of Time he wrote: “If we discover a complete theory, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason. He also suggested that the existence of God was not necessary to explain the origin of the universe, however the existence of God was also compatible with an open universe. In1985 Hawking published a paper theorising that if the no-boundary proposition were correct, then time would run backwards if the universe stopped expanding and collapsed. However He later withdrew this concept following the publication of a paper by Don Page and independent calculations by Raymond Laflamme.

In 1988 Hawking published a successful and very informative book Entitled “A Brief history of time” Which explained his ideas and theories clearly in non-technical language. It appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks And led both Newsweek and a television special to describe Hawking as “Master of the Universe”. He received further academic recognition, including five more honorary degrees, the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society (1985), the Paul Dirac Medal and, jointly with Penrose, the prestigious Wolf Prize. In the 1989 Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Companion of Honour (CH). Hawking was an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), 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. He was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009.

Hawking pursued his work in physics: in 1993 he co-edited a book on Euclidean quantum gravity with Gary Gibbons and published a collected edition of his own articles on black holes and the Big Bang. In1994, Hawking and Penrose delivered a series of six lectures at the Cambridge’s Newton Institute, which were published in 1996 as “The Nature of Space and Time”. In 1997, he conceded a 1991 public scientific wager made with Kip Thorne and John Preskill of Caltech concerning “cosmic censorship conjecture”. Hawking later specified that such singularities would occur without extra conditions and made a bet concerning the black hole information paradox. Thorne and Hawking argued that since general relativity made it impossible for black holes to radiate and lose information, the mass-energy and information carried by Hawking radiation must be “new”, and not from inside the black hole event horizon. However this contradicted the quantum mechanics of microcausality, which suggests that the information emitted by a black hole was from inside the black hole event horizon.

A film version of A Brief History of Time, directed by Errol Morris and produced by Steven Spielberg, premiered in 1992. A popular-level collection of essays, interviews, and talks titled Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays was published in 1993 and a six-part television series Stephen Hawking’s Universe focussing entirely on science appeared in 1997. With a companion book. Hawking continued to write publishing The Universe in a Nutshell in 2001,and A Briefer History of Time, in 2005 with Leonard Mlodinow to update his earlier works with the aim of making them accessible to a wider audience, and God Created the Integers,in 2006. Hawking then developed a theory of “top-down cosmology”, with Thomas Hertog at CERN and Jim Hartle. This states that the universe had not one unique initial state but many different ones, and therefore that it is inappropriate to formulate a theory that predicts the universe’s current configuration from one particular initial state. It also posits that the present “selects” the past from a superposition of many possible histories. In doing so, the theory suggests a possible resolution of the fine-tuning question. Hawking continued to travel widely, travelling to Chile, Easter Island, South Africa, Spain (to receive the Fonseca Prize in 2008, Canada and the United States.

By 2003, Many physicists thought Hawking was wrong about Black Holes, so In a 2004 lecture in Dublin Hawking described his own, somewhat controversial solution to the information paradox problem, postulating that black holes have more than one topology. In his 2005 paper he argued that the information paradox was explained by examining all the alternative histories of universes, with the information loss in those with black holes being cancelled out by those without such loss. Hawking also emphatically argued, that the Higgs boson would never be found. The particle was proposed to exist as part of the Higgs field theory by Peter Higgs in 1964. Hawking and Higgs engaged in a heated and public debate over the matter in 2002 and again in 2008 until The particle was discovered in July 2012 at CERN following construction of the Large Hadron Collider, and Higgs subsequently won the Nobel Prize for Physics, in 2013 for his discovery

In 2007, Hawking and his daughter Lucy published George’s Secret Key to the Universe, a children’s book designed to explain theoretical physics in an accessible fashion and featuring characters similar to those in the Hawking familyThe book was followed by sequels in 2009, 2011 and 2013. Following a 1002 UK-wide vote, the BBC included Hawking in their list of the 100 Greatest Britons. He was awarded the Copley Medal from the Royal Society, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is America’s highest civilian honour and the Russian Special Fundamental Physics Prize. 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 the Perimeter Institute in 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.

During his career, Hawking supervised 39 successful PhD students. Hawking retired as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics in 2009 and worked as director of research at the Cambridge University Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics. In 2009 Hawking held a party open to all, complete with hors d’oeuvres and iced champagne, as a tongue-in-cheek test of his 1992 conjecture that travel into the past is effectively impossible, but only publicized it afterwards. In 2015, Hawking helped launch Breakthrough Initiatives, an effort to search for extraterrestrial life. Hawking created Stephen Hawking: Expedition New Earth, a documentary on space colonisation, as a 2017 episode of Tomorrow’s World. In 2017, Hawking was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Imperial College London.

Karl Marx

German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and socialist Karl Marx  sadly passed away 14th March 1883. He was born 5th May 1818 into a wealthy middle class family in Trier, formerly in Prussian Rhineland now called Rhineland-Palatinate, Marx studied at both the University of Bonn and the University of Berlin, where he became interested in the German philosopher G.W.F Hegel , whose ideas were widely debated amongst European philosophical circles at the time. He became involved with a group of radical thinkers known as the Young Hegelians, who gathered around Ludwig Feuerbach and Bruno Bauer. Like Marx, the Young Hegelians were critical of Hegel’s metaphysical assumptions. In 1836, he became engaged to Jenny von Westphalen, marrying her in 1843.

After his studies, he wrote for a radical newspaper in Cologne, and began to work out his theory of dialectical materialism. Moving to Paris in 1843, he began writing for other radical newspapers. He met Engels in Paris, and the two men worked together on a series of books. Exiled to Brussels, he became a leading figure of the Communist League, before moving back to Cologne, where he founded his own newspaper. In 1849 he was exiled again and moved to London together with his wife and children. In London, where the family was reduced to poverty, Marx continued writing and formulating his theories about the nature of society and how he believed it could be improved, and also campaigned for socialism—he became a significant figure in the International Working men’s Association.

Marx’s theories about society, economics and politics—collectively known as Marxism—hold that all societies progress through the dialectic of class struggle: a conflict between an ownership class which controls production and a lower class which produces the labour for such goods. Heavily critical of the current socio-economic form of society, capitalism, he called it the “dictatorship of the bourgeoisie”, believing it to be run by the wealthy classes purely for their own benefit, and predicted that, like previous socioeconomic systems, it would inevitably produce internal tensions which would lead to its self-destruction and replacement by a new system, socialism. He argued that under socialism society would be governed by the working class in what he called the “dictatorship of the proletariat”, the “workers state” or “workers’ democracy”.

He believed that socialism would, in its turn, eventually be replaced by a stateless, classless society called communism. Along with believing in the inevitability of socialism and communism, Marx actively fought for the former’s implementation, arguing that both social theorists and underprivileged people should carry out organised revolutionary action to topple capitalism and bring about socio-economic change. Revolutionary socialist governments espousing Marxist concepts took power in a variety of countries in the 20th century, leading to the formation of such socialist states as the Soviet Union in 1922 and the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Many labor unions and worker’s parties worldwide were also influenced by Marxist ideas. Various theoretical variants, such as Leninism, Stalinism, Trotskyism and Maoism, were developed. Marx is typically cited, with Émile Durkheim and Max Weber, as one of the three principal architects of modern social science. He published various books during his lifetime, with the most notable being The Communist Manifesto and Capital; some of his works were co-written with his friend and fellow German revolutionary socialist, Friedrich Engels.

Marx is widely thought of as one of the most influential thinkers in history, who had a significant influence on both world politics and intellectual thought, who profoundly affected ideas about history, society, economics, culture and politics, and the nature of social inquiry. Marx’s ideas brought about modern sociology, transformed the study of history, and profoundly affected philosophy, literature and the arts and played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement.  Marx has also been called one of the masters of the “school of suspicion”, alongside Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud, and his ideas have led to him becoming “the darling of both European and American intellectuals up until the 1960s”.

Marx has influenced disciplines such as archaeology, anthropology, media studies, political science, theater, history, sociological theory, cultural studies, education, economics, geography, literary criticism, aesthetics, critical psychology, and philosophy. Whose ethical message was a “morally empowering language of critique” against the dominant capitalist Society and his ideas led to the establishment of governments using Marxist thought to replace capitalism with communism or socialism. His intellectual thoughts have influenced the academic study of the humanities and the arts and he has been described as one of the most influential people in human history.

Jasper Carrott OBE- Has anybody seen my camel?

English comedian, actor, television presenter and personality.Jasper Carrott OBE (Robert Norman Davis was born in Acocks Green, Birmingham, England on 14 March 1945. In February 1969 he started his own folk club, “The Boggery”, in nearby Solihull with his friend Les Ward. Here, Carrott performed folk songs and MC duties. Before long, his banter with the audience overtook the actual songs; he became known more as a comedian than a singer. He toured the UK, appearing in rugby clubs. He independently recorded an album, financed by himself, called Jasper Carrot – In the Club, which he sold from the back of his van, and contained the original “Magic Roundabout”. Released in 1973, the LP is quite rare, although it mainly consists of material later used in his first three official LPs (such as “Hare Krishna”, “Car Insurance”, “Bastity Chelt”, and “Hava Nagila”) plus the Fred Wedlock song “The Folker”.

He had a surprise UK Top 5 chart hit in August 1975 with the novelty record “Funky Moped”, written by Chris Rohmann and produced by Jeff Lynne. The B-side of this single was a risqué monologue parodying the animated children’s TV series The Magic Roundabout. This track was banned by the BBC, which is widely believed to have contributed to the single’s commercial success, which in turn, ironically, led to his appearance on the BBC’s Top of the Pops. By the late 1970s, Carrott had developed a number of anecdotal sketches which he still performs in similar form some thirty years on. Often these sketches purported to be auto-biographical; many of them celebrate Birmingham accent and culture, including his support of his beloved Birmingham City. His sketches were captured on records such as Jasper Carrott Rabbitts on and on and on… and Carrott in Notts which were recordings of live performances. Notable hits were “Bastity Chelt” a complete song in Spoonerism, “The Football Match” describing a visit to Old Trafford, “The Nutter on the Bus” including the well known cry of “Has anybody seen my camel?”), “The Mole” (“There’s only one way to get rid of a mole – blow its bloody head off!”) and “Zits” – an explanation of an American slang word for spots that brought the word into use in England In 1979 he published A Little Zit on the Side, which purported to be a humorous autobiography. The follow-up, Sweet and Sour Labrador, mixed sections of his stand-up routines with similar autobiographical material, much of it related to his world travels.

His first appearance on television was a half hour show for BBC Midlands on August 11th 1975 in a programme about local football called “The Golden Game”. Then in 1976, A Half Hour Mislaid with Jasper Carrott recorded at Pebble Mill. His big break came two years later when he was invited by Michael Grade to make a pilot for LWT. It was well liked by Grade; a five further shows were recorded and became his first TV series, An Audience with Jasper Carrott, in 1978, this successful partnership with LWT lasted until 1981, The Unrecorded Jasper Carrott (1979) and Beat the Carrott (1981) are the two best known live stand-up performances from his time with LWT. This was followed by a move to the BBC and Carrott’s Lib – a Saturday night comedy show broadcast live – and then by a string of BBC shows. The most notable of these were Carrott’s Commercial Breakdown, which broadcast weird and wonderful adverts from around the world, and the sketch and stand-up shows Carrott Confidential, 24 Carrott Gold, The Jasper Carrott Trial and Canned Carrott, some of which also gave TV exposure to the comedy partnership of Steve Punt and Hugh Dennis.

In addition to his television work, Carrott made a foray into cinema, when he played Heinrich in the 1987 British comedy Jane and the Lost City. The next television series Canned Carrott also featured a regular police drama spoof called The Detectives, co-starring Robert Powell, which was spun off into its own series. Between 2002 and 2004, he starred in the sitcom All About Me. He performed in several of the Secret Policeman’s Ball charity concerts for Amnesty International, and returned to the stage in 2004 for several sell out shows at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham featuring classic routines from his career. He returned to a singing role for the musical Go Play Up Your Own End (written by Malcolm Stent, songs by Harvey Andrews).In 2005, he appeared in and put on the first of Jasper Carrott’s Rock With Laughter concerts. He appeared alongside performers such as Bill Bailey, Bonnie Tyler, Lenny Henry, Bobby Davro, the Lord of the Dance troupe and Bev Bevan. This has become a regular event at the NEC in Birmingham, usually staged in December and some times alternating with his “Jasper Carrott’s Christmas Crackers” events, but there have also been a few summer shows too.

Jasper also was one of the comperes for the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986, which featured many local bands such as Electric Light Orchestra and the Moody Blues, with a finale that included George Harrison from the Beatles.On 15 September 2007 he was inducted into the Birmingham Walk of Stars at a presentation as part of the Arts Fest 2007 celebrations. The award was presented by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham. Carrott is the second inductee, following Ozzy Osbourne. Jasper Carrott was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the British Comedy Awards on 6 December 2008. he also hosts the Endemol-produced game show Golden Balls for ITV1. Promising ratings led to a recommission, and the second series began in January 2008. A third series began in April 2008, and a fourth series started in October 2008. A fifth and six series were shown in 2009. He was also the host of the Sunday night interactive national pub quiz, and was ranked 20th in Channel 4′s 100 Greatest Stand-Up Comedians show.

Sir Michael Caine CBE

Cokney actor Sir Michael Caine CBE (Maurice Micklewhite), was born 14th March, 1933 in Rotherhithe, Southwark in South East London In 1944, he passed his eleven plus exam, winning a scholarship to Hackney Downs Grocers’ School. After a year there he moved to Wilson’s Grammar School in Camberwell (now Wilson’s School in Wallington, South London), which he left at sixteen after gaining a School Certificate in six subjects. Caine’s acting career began at the age of 20 in Horsham, Sussex when he responded to an advertisement in The Stage for an assistant stage manager who would also perform small walk-on parts for the Horsham-based Westminster Repertory Company who were performed at the Carfax Electric Theatre. In July 1953 he was cast as the drunkard Hindley in the Company’s production of Wuthering Heights. He moved to the Lowestoft Repertory Company in Suffolk for a year when he was 22. It was here that he met his first wife. He has described the first nine years of his career as “really really brutal.” When his career took him to London after his provincial apprenticeship, his agent informed him that there was already a Michael Scott treading the boards in London and that he had to come up with a new name immediately.

Speaking to his agent from a telephone box in Leicester Square, London, he looked around for inspiration, noted that The Caine Mutiny was being shown at the Odeon Cinema, and decided to change his name to “Michael Caine”. (Humphrey Bogart was his “screen idol” and he would later play a part originally intended for Bogart in John Huston’s film “The Man Who Would Be King”. His big break came when he was cast as Meff in James Saunders’ Cockney comedy Next Time I’ll Sing To You and was visited backstage after one performance by Stanley Baker, his co-star in A Hill In Korea, who told him about the part of a Cockney corporal in his upcoming movie Zulu, which he was producing and starring in.

After dozens of minor TV roles, Caine finally entered the public eye as the upper class British Army officer Gonville Bromhead in Zulu. Caine’s agent also got him cast in the BBC production Hamlet at Elsinore (1964) as Horatio in support of Christopher Plummer’s Hamlet. Caine also starred in classic comedy crime caper The Italian Job alongside Noël Coward in 1969 and also as RAF fighter pilot Squadron Leader Canfield among the all-star cast of Battle of Britain. Caine then played the lead role in the British Gangster Film “Get Carter”. Caine then played opposite Sir Laurence Olivier in the film Slueth and his next film was The Man Who Would Be King (1975) co-starring Sean Connery and directed by John Huston. In 1976 he appeared in the screen adaptation of the Jack Higgins novel The Eagle Has Landed as Oberst (Colonel) Kurt Steiner, the commander of a Luftwaffe paratroop brigade disguised as Polish paratroopers, whose mission was to kidnap or kill the then-British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, alongside co-stars Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall, Jenny Agutter, and Donald Pleasence. In 1978 he starred in The Silver Bears, an adaptation of Paul Erdman’s 1974 novel of the same name and was part of an all-star cast in the film “A Bridge Too Far” (1977).

He then moved to the United States, and appeared in the BAFTA Award-nominated The Magus (1968), the Academy Award-nominated The Swarm (1978) and Ashanti (1979), Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979), The Island (1980)and The Hand (1981). He also starred with his Sleuth co-star Laurence Olivier in The Jigsaw Man and had a BAFTA-winning turn in Educating Rita (1983), and an Oscar-winning one in Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) and a Golden Globe-nominated one in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) . His next films were Little Voice, which won him a Golden Globe Award and The Cider House Rules (1999), which won him his second Oscar. In the 2000s, Caine appeared in Miss Congeniality, Last Orders, The Quiet American, for which he was Oscar-nominated. Several of Caine’s classic films have been remade, including The Italian Job, Get Carter, Alfie and Sleuth. In the 2007 remake of Sleuth, Caine took over the role Laurence Olivier played in the 1972 version and Jude Law played Caine’s original role. Caine also starred as Austin Powers father in Goldmember and in 2003 he co-starred with Robert Duvall in Secondhand Lions. He also appeared in “Children of Men”, The Prestige, Flawless and “Is Anybody There?”.

in 2005, he was cast as Bruce Wayne’s butler Alfred Pennyworth in Batman Begins, Directed by Christopher Nolan, while in 2008 he reprised his role as Alfred in Nolan’s critically acclaimed Batman sequel, The Dark Knight and in the The Dark Night Rises, alongside Christian Bale, Tom Hardy and Anne Hathaway. Caine has been Oscar-nominated six times, winning his first Academy Award for the 1986 film Hannah and Her Sisters, and his second in 1999 for The Cider House Rules, in both cases as a supporting actor. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1992 Queen’s Birthday Honours for his Contribution to Cinema, and in the 2000 New Year Honours he was knighted as Sir Maurice Micklewhite CBE. On 5 January 2011, he was made a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France’s culture minister, Frédéric Mitterrand. In 2008, he was awarded the prize for Outstanding Contribution to Showbusiness at the Variety Club Awards and is one of only two actors nominated for an Academy Award for acting in every decade from the 1960s to 2000s, the other being Jack Nicholson.

Algernon Blackwood

English short story writer and novelist Algernon Henry Blackwood, CBE was born 14 March 1869 in Shooter’s Hill and between 1871 and 1880 lived at Crayford Manor House, Crayford and was educated at Wellington College. Blackwood had a varied career, working as a dairy farmer in Canada, where he also operated a hotel for six months, worked as a newspaper reporter in New York City, became a bartender, model, journalist for the New York Times, a private secretary, business man, and a violin teacher.

He became one of the most prolific writers of ghost stories and he was also a journalist, he also wrote the short story collection Incredible Adventures (1914). he was also an occasional essayist for various periodicals. In his late thirties, he moved back to England and started to write stories of the supernatural. He was successful, writing at least ten original collections of short stories and later telling them on radio and television. He also wrote fourteen novels, several children’s books, and a number of plays, most of which were produced but not published. He was an avid lover of nature and the outdoors, and many of his stories reflect this. To satisfy his interest in the supernatural, he joined The Ghost Club. He never married; according to his friends he was a loner but also cheerful company.

Blackwood was a member of one of the factions of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, as was his contemporary Arthur Machen. Cabalistic themes influence his novel The Human Chord. His two best known stories are probably “The Willows” and “The Wendigo”. He would also often write stories for newspapers at short notice. Blackwood’s novels were a speculative and imaginative treatment of possibilities outside our normal range of consciousness, often concerning hidden human powers and the extension of consciousness. He also wrote a number of horror stories and stories which induced a sense of awe in the reader such as the novels The Centaur, which climaxes with a traveller’s sight of a herd of the mythical creatures; and Julius LeVallon and its sequel The Bright Messenger, which deal with reincarnation and the possibility of a new, mystical evolution of human consciousness. Blackwood also wrote an autobiography of his early years, Episodes Before Thirty and an biography, Starlight Man, was also written by Mike Ashley

Sadly Blackwood died after several strokes. Officially his death on 10 December 1951 was of cerebral thrombosis with arteriosclerosis as contributory. He was cremated at Golders Green crematorium. A few weeks later his nephew took his ashes to Saanenmöser Pass in the Swiss Alps, and scattered them in the mountains that he had loved for more than forty years.

Albert Einstein

German-born theoretical physicist and Nobel Prize laureate, Albert Einstein was born March 14th, 1879 in Ulm, in the Kingdom of Württemberg in the German Empire. He is Often regarded as the father of modern physics and was one of the most prolific intellects in human history, and is best known for developing the theory of general relativity, E = mc2, which was revolutionary in physics. For this achievement he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”. The latter being pivotal in establishing quantum theory within physics. Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led to the development of his special theory of relativity. He realized, however, that the principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916, he published a paper on the general theory of relativity. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe as a whole.

He was visiting the United States when Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933, and did not go back to Germany, where he had been a professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences. He settled in the U.S., becoming a citizen in 1940. On the eve of World War II, he helped alert President Franklin D. Roosevelt that Germany might be developing an atomic weapon, and recommended that the U.S. begin similar research; this eventually led to what would become the Manhattan Project. Einstein was in support of defending the Allied forces, but largely denounced using the new discovery of nuclear fission as a weapon. Later, together with Bertrand Russell, Einstein signed the Russell–Einstein Manifesto, which highlighted the danger of nuclear weapons. Einstein was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, until his death in 1955.

During his life Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works. His great intelligence and originality have made the word “Einstein” synonymous with genius. In 1922, Einstein was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics, “for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect”. This refers to his 1905 paper on the photoelectric effect, “On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light”, which was well supported by the experimental evidence of that time. The presentation speech began by mentioning “his theory of relativity which had been the subject of lively debate in philosophical circles and also has astrophysical implications.

Einstein also won many awards for his work, including the Max Planck medal of the German Physical Society In 1929, for extraordinary achievements in theoretical physics. In 1936, Einstein was also awarded the Franklin Institute’s Franklin Medal for his extensive work on relativity and the photo-electric effect. The International Union of Pure and Applied Physics also named 2005 the “World Year of Physics” in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the publication of the annus mirabilis papers. The Albert Einstein Science Park is located on the hill Telegrafenberg in Potsdam, Germany. The best known building in the park is the Einstein Tower which has a bronze bust of Einstein at the entrance. The Tower is an astrophysical observatory that was built to perform checks of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity.

The Albert Einstein Memorial in central Washington, D.C. is a monumental bronze statue depicting Einstein seated with manuscript papers in hand. The statue, commissioned in 1979, is located in a grove of trees at the southwest corner of the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences on Constitution Avenue. In 1999 Time magazine named Albert Einstein the Person of the Century, ahead of Mahatma Gandhi and Franklin Roosevelt, among others. In the words of a biographer, “to the scientifically literate and the public at large, Einstein is synonymous with genius”. Also in 1999, an opinion poll of 100 leading physicists ranked Einstein the “greatest physicist ever”. A Gallup poll recorded him as the fourth most admired person of the 20th century in the U.S. In 1990, his name was added to the Walhalla temple for “laudable and distinguished Germans”, which is located east of Regensburg, in Bavaria, Germany. The United States Postal Service also honoured Einstein with a Prominent Americans series (1965–1978) 8¢ postage stamp and In 2008, Einstein was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame.

Pi Day

March 14th is Pi Day which commemorates the mathematical constant Pi The number π (/paɪ/) is a mathematical constant. Originally defined as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, it now has various equivalent definitions and appears in many formulas in all areas of mathematics and physics. It is approximately equal to 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter “π” since the mid-18th century, though it is also sometimes spelled out as “pi”.

Being an irrational number, π cannot be expressed exactly as a common fraction (equivalently, its decimal representation never ends and never settles into a permanent repeating pattern). Still, fractions such as 22/7 and other rational numbers are commonly used to approximate π. The digits appear to be randomly distributed. In particular, the digit sequence of π is conjectured to satisfy a specific kind of statistical randomness, but to date, no proof of this has been discovered. Also, π is a transcendental number; that is, a number that is not the root of any non-zero polynomial having rational coefficients. This transcendence of π implies that it is impossible to solve the ancient challenge of squaring the circle with a compass and straightedge.

Ancient civilizations required fairly accurate computed values for π for practical reasons, including the Egyptians and Babylonians. Around 250 BC the Greek mathematician Archimedes created an algorithm for calculating it. It was approximated to seven digits, using geometrical techniques, in Chinese mathematics, and to about five digits in Indian mathematics in the 5th century AD. The historically first exact formula for π, based on infinite series, was not available until a millennium later, when in the 14th century the Madhava–Leibniz series was discovered in Indian mathematics. In the 20th and 21st centuries, mathematicians and computer scientists discovered new approaches that, when combined with increasing computational power, extended the decimal representation of π to many trillions of digits after the decimal point. Most scientific applications require no more than a few hundred digits of π, and many substantially fewer, so the primary motivation for these computations is the quest to find more efficient algorithms for calculating lengthy numeric series, as well as the desire to break records. The extensive calculations involved have also been used to test supercomputers and high-precision multiplication algorithms.

Because its most elementary definition relates to the circle, π is found in many formulae in trigonometry and geometry, especially those concerning circles, ellipses, and spheres. In more modern mathematical analysis, the number is instead defined using the spectral properties of the real number system, as an eigenvalue or a period, without any reference to geometry. It appears therefore in areas of mathematics and the sciences having little to do with the geometry of circles, such as number theory and statistics, as well as in almost all areas of physics. The ubiquity of π makes it one of the most widely known mathematical constants both inside and outside the scientific community; several books devoted to it have been published, the number is celebrated on Pi Day, and record-setting calculations of the digits of π often result in news headlines. Attempts to memorize the value of π with increasing precision have led to records of over 70,000 digits.

Pi Day is celebrated on the 3rd Month 14th Day since 3, 1 and 4 are the three most significant digits of pi in the decimal form. In 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the designation of Pi Day. The earliest known official or large-scale celebration of Pi Day was organized by Larry Shaw in 1988 at the San Francisco Exploratorium, where Shaw worked as a physicist, with staff and public marching around one of its circular spaces, then consuming fruit pies. The Exploratorium continues to hold Pi Day celebrations. There are many ways of observing Pi Day. These include eating pie, discussing the significance of the number Pi and more recently watching Life Of Pi.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has often mailed its application decision letters to prospective students for delivery on Pi Day. Starting in 2012, MIT has announced it will post those decisions (privately) online on Pi Day at exactly 6:28 pm, which they have called “Tau Time”, to honor the rival numbers Pi and Tau equally.The town of Princeton, New Jersey also hosts numerous events in a combined celebration of Pi Day and Albert Einstein’s birthday, which is also March 14. Einstein lived in Princeton for more than twenty years while working at the Institute for Advanced Study. In addition to pie eating and recitation contests, there is also an annual Einstein look-alike contest.