Legend of the month – Stephen Hawking






Professor Stephen William Hawking was born on 8th January 1942 (exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo) in Oxford, England. His parents’ house was in north London but during the second world war Oxford was considered a safer place to have babies. When he was eight his family moved to St. Albans, a town about 20 miles north of London. At the age of eleven, Stephen went to St. Albans School and then on to University College, Oxford (1952); his father’s old college. Stephen wanted to study mathematics although his father would have preferred medicine. Mathematics was not available at University College, so he pursued physics instead. After three years and not very much work, he was awarded a first class honours degree in natural science.

In October 1962, Stephen arrived at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP) at the University of Cambridge to do research in cosmology, there being no-one working in that area in Oxford at the time. His supervisor was Dennis Sciama, although he had hoped to get Fred Hoyle who was working in Cambridge. After gaining his PhD (1965) with his thesis titled ‘Properties of Expanding Universes‘, he became, first, a research fellow (1965) then Fellow for Distinction in Science (1969) at Gonville & Caius college. In 1966 he won the Adams Prize for his essay ‘Singularities and the Geometry of Space-time’. Stephen moved to the Institute of Astronomy (1968), later moving back to DAMTP (1973), employed as a research assistant, and published his first academic book, The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time, with George Ellis. During the next few years, Stephen was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (1974) and Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology (1974). He became a Reader in Gravitational Physics at DAMTP (1975), progressing to Professor of Gravitational Physics (1977). He then held the position of Lucasian Professor of Mathematics (1979-2009). The chair was founded in 1663 with money left in the will of the Reverend Henry Lucas who had been the Member of Parliament for the University. It was first held by Isaac Barrow and then in 1669 by Isaac Newton.  From 2009, Stephen was employed as the Dennis Stanton Avery and Sally Tsui Wong-Avery Director of Research at DAMTP.

Professor Stephen Hawking worked on the basic laws which govern the universe. With Roger Penrose he showed that Einstein’s general theory of relativity implied space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes (1970). These results indicated that it was necessary to unify general relativity with quantum theory, the other great scientific development of the first half of the 20th century. One consequence of such a unification that he discovered was that black holes should not be completely black, but rather should emit ‘Hawking’ radiation and eventually evaporate and disappear (1974). Another conjecture is that the universe has no edge or boundary in imaginary time. This would imply that the way the universe began was completely determined by the laws of science. Towards the end of his life, Stephen was working with colleagues on a possible resolution to the black hole information paradox, where debate centres around the conservation of information.

His many publications included The Large Scale Structure of Spacetime with G F R Ellis, General Relativity: An Einstein Centenary Survey, with W Israel, and 300 Years of Gravitation, with W Israel. Among the popular books Stephen Hawking published are his best seller A Brief History of Time, Black Holes and Baby Universes and Other Essays, The Universe in a Nutshell, The Grand Design and My Brief History.

Professor Stephen Hawking received thirteen honorary degrees. He was awarded CBE (1982), Companion of Honour (1989) and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (2009). He was the recipient of many awards, medals and prizes, most notably the Fundamental Physics prize (2013), Copley Medal (2006) and the Wolf Foundation prize (1988). He was a Fellow of the Royal Society and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

In 1963 Stephen was diagnosed with ALS, a form of Motor Neurone Disease, shortly after his 21st birthday. In spite of being wheelchair-bound and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication Stephen continued to combine family life (he has three children and three grandchildren) with his research into theoretical physics, in addition to an extensive programme of travel and public lectures. Thanks to the Zero-G Corporation, he experienced weightlessness in 2007 and always hoped to make it into space one day.


Verne Troyer Dead at 49




Verne Troyer — best known for playing Mini-Me in the ‘Austin Powers’ comedies, and for being one of the shortest men in the world — has died.

Verne died Saturday, according to a statement from his family. We’d been told he was on some form of life support since being taken to the hospital earlier this month after cops got a report he was drunk and suicidal, and was treated for possible alcohol poisoning.

Verne’s family says during the recent adversity, “he was baptized while surrounded by his family.”

He also struggled with alcoholism for years and had been to rehab many times.

Troyer was born with the genetic disorder known as achondroplasia dwarfism, but said growing up on a farm in Michigan he was never treated differently by his parents than his average-sized siblings.

Verne began his Hollywood career in 1994 as a stunt double for Baby Bink in the film “Baby’s Day Out.” He then landed small roles in “Men in Black” and “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” … before making it big as Mini-Me in 1999’s “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.”

He continued to land bit roles in comedies and appeared on many popular reality shows over the years … like “Celebrity Juice,” “Celebrity Wife Swap,” and “The Surreal Life.”

Verne was 49.



Ewan McGregor’s wife breaks her silence as actor files for divorce

Ewan McGregor‘s estranged wife Eve Mavrakis has spoken of her “upset” following the star’s decision to file for divorce. Ewan, 46, cited “irreconcilable differences” in official paperwork to end his 22-year marriage to Eve this week. Speaking to the Sun on Sunday, Eve said: “It’s disappointing and upsetting but my main concern is our four children are ok.” According to TMZ, divorce papers show that Ewan is seeking joint custody of the couple’s children youngest three children. Eve, meanwhile, is said to have requested sole custody with visitation rights for the Hollywood star. HELLO! Online has contacted Ewan’s rep for comment.

Ewan and Eve decided to separate in May – although the news did not become public knowledge until October, when Ewan was spotted kissing his Fargo co-star Mary Elizabeth Winstead in a London café. The following month Eve broke her silence on the split with a simple but heartbreaking sentence. A follower had taken to the comments section on her Instagram account to express shock at Ewan’s new romance, to which Eve replied: “What can I do?”

Earlier this month, Ewan stunned fans at the Golden Globes when he thanked both Eve and Mary Elizabeth during his acceptance speech. “I want to take a moment to just say thank you to Eve, who always stood by me for 22 years,” he said. “And our four children Clara, Esther, Jamyan and Anouk.” The actor then went on to mention his new girlfriend Mary Elizabeth, 33, who he met while filming his role in the successful show. “I’ve always loved being an actor and I got amazing actors to hang out with, and there wouldn’t have been any Emmett without David Thewlis and Michael Stuhlbard and Carrie Coon. And there wouldn’t have been any Ray without Mary Elizabeth Winstead.” Ewan concluded.

Ewan and Eve were together for 22 years and share four daughters: Clara, 21, Jamyan, 16, Esther, 15, and Anouk, 6. Mary Elizabeth, meanwhile, was previously married to director Riley Stearns, but the couple announced their split in May after seven years of marriage.





Princess Eugenie shows off engagement ring in newly-released official pictures

Official photographs of Princess Eugenie and her fiancé Jack Brooksbank, taken by photographer Jonathan Brady, have been released by Buckingham Palace to mark the couple’s engagement. One picture sees the happy couple embrace, with the 27-year-old royal proudly showing off her dazzling engagement ring. The beautiful ring contains a padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds. The photos, which were taken in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace, come just moments after Eugenie’s parents, the Duke and Duchess of York, confirmed the news in a statement, which read: “The Duke and Duchess of York are delighted to announce the engagement of Princess Eugenie to Mr Jack Brooksbank. Her Royal Highness and Mr Jack Brooksbank became engaged in Nicaragua earlier this month. The wedding will take place in the autumn of 2018 at St George’s Chapel in Windsor, with further details to be announced in due course.”

Jack and Eugenie are set to marry at St George’s Chapel, Windsor – just months after Prince Harry and his bride-to-be Meghan Markle will walk down the aisle. Jack’s parents, Nicola and George Brooksbank, also shared their joy in a brief statement. “We could not be more delighted with the news of the engagement. We are completely over the moon and are very excited for them both,” they said. Eugenie has been in a relationship with Jack for more than six years, after they were introduced to each other during a ski break in Verbier, Switzerland.

Their relationship has gone from strength to strength and continued even when Eugenie moved to Manhattan to work for an online auction house. The son of an accountant, Jack was educated at £10,000-a-term Stowe school in Buckinghamshire and with the support of his parents chose to work in hospitality. After spending several years working at Chelsea’s Admiral Codrington, a pub and private dining room, and at The Markham Inn, he finally went on to become the Brand Ambassador of Casamigos Tequila, the award winning brand owned by George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman, which was recently sold.






Bill Cosby Fans Out in Philly Goes Public On a Wing And a Prayer

Bill Cosby must really like the Eagles’ chances against the Vikings, ’cause he mustered up enough courage to show his face in public rockin’ their gear.

The disgraced comedian resurfaced Sunday in Philly wearing an Eagles windbreaker and hat as he stopped off at a coffee shop ahead of the team’s NFC Championship game.

We haven’t seen much of him since his mistrial last summer, when the jury couldn’t reach a verdict on charges of sexual assault. His retrial begins in April.

Prosecutors in the Cosby case asked a judge last week to allow 19 additional women to testify against him, in the hopes of establishing a pattern of sexual assault. The judge, Steven T. O’Neill, has yet to rule on the request.

Looks like Cosby’s liking his chances, too, at this point … we’re sensing no shame here.




Adriana Lima Gets Lost in Translation … I’m Not Quitting Victoria’s Secret!


Adriana Lima is not hanging up her VS angel wings anytime soon, despite recently saying she won’t be taking off her clothes anymore for an “empty cause.”

Lima, who’s Brazilian, posted a lengthy message about turning down a sexy video shoot recently, saying, “I am tired of the impositions, we ‘as woman’ can’t be continuing living in a world with such superficial values, it’s not fair for us, beyond fair, it’s physically and mentally not healthy …” she ranted.

We’re told that post was ONLY referencing the video shoot, and NOT her work with VS. While many interpreted it as her quitting her Angel gig … it just ain’t so. We’re told Adriana thinks Victoria’s Secret actually empowers women to be confident. The “empty cause” was the video shoot unrelated to the lingerie line.

Lima, who walked in the VS fashion show in Shanghai last month, had said she wants to stay with VS until she walks in her 20th show with them — and we’re told that’s still the plan. Rest easy, guys.



Prince William and Kate ‘to host Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for Christmas’



Looks like it’s going to be a fun Christmas for the young royals this year! A report by Us Weekly has revealed that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are set to host Prince Harry and his fiancée Meghan Markle at their Amner Hall home in Norfolk over the festive period. The magazine says the newly-engaged couple will first spend Christmas Eve with the Queen at Sandringham, before joining William and Kate. A source told the publication: “They’ll be William and Kate’s guests and travel back and forth with them.”

Us Weekly has also reported on the order of events for the royal foursome on Christmas day. It is believed the couples will begin with a traditional English breakfast before attending a church service at 11am at St. Mary Magdalene Church, followed by Christmas lunch and watching the Queen’s speech. The magazine reveals that a turkey is also sent to the nursery for the children. It is thought that Meghan will keep Kate company at home on Boxing Day. HELLO! has previously reported on Meghan’s first Christmas with the royals, following her engagement to Prince Harry. Invitations are usually restricted to Her Majesty’s closest family members, with a ‘no ring, no bring’ policy in place. But now that Meghan is preparing to become a full-time royal, it appears the actress has secured a coveted invite to the celebrations.

On Christmas Eve when all the clan are together, the Queen’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren put the finishing touches to the Christmas tree. Presents will be opened that day at tea time with gifts laid out in the Red Drawing Room on a trestle table. At 8pm on Christmas Eve, a candle-lit dinner is served with the ladies in gowns and jewels and the men in black tie. On the morning of 25 December, a full English breakfast is served, before everyone attends the traditional church service.


O.J. Simpson Neighborhood’s Cool With Juice on the Loose


O.J. Simpson‘s getting the friendly neighborhood treatment in the Vegas community where he’s shacking up, and it should stay that way … unless a media circus spoils it.

Several homeowners in the area where Simpson’s hanging out tell TMZ … they have no problem with him being there as long as media presence in the ‘hood doesn’t get crazy. We’re told restaurants and other business establishments nearby don’t care if O.J. pops in … and one restaurant owner says he’ll gladly serve him a steak, just like anyone else.

As for Simpson’s favorite hobby, golf … our golf course sources tell us he’s welcome everywhere within driving distance. We couldn’t find any course enforcing an O.J. ban, and one golf course staffer told us they might even invite Simpson to participate in a tournament.

As we reported … O.J.’s staying in a sprawling Las Vegas estate in a gated community, right next to a golf course.

So far, it seems … the living’s easy.

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Kate pregnant: Everything you need to know about the new baby

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Kate and Prince William are expecting their third child, Kensington Palace has confirmed.

A statement said that the Queen is “delighted” to be expecting another great-grandchild, a little brother or sister to Prince George and Princess Charlotte. “Their royal highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child,” the statement read. “The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news. “As with her previous two pregnancies, the Duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum.”

“Her royal highness will no longer carry out her planned engagement at the Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in London today.

“The Duchess is being cared for at Kensington Palace.”

The new baby will be fifth in line to the British throne and the Queen’s sixth great-grandchild. Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, popularly known as Kate Middleton, are already in for a busy year as they move back to London to increase their royal workload. Prince George, 4, will begin school this week. Royal fans have long-speculated that the couple might choose to expand their brood and give George and Princess Charlotte, 1, a younger brother or sister.

How will Kate’s third pregnancy differ from her first two?

The Duchess is again suffering from severe morning sickness, as she did during her first two pregnancies. Doctify gynaecologist & obstetrician Mr Mahantesh Karoshi has explained that women who suffer from the condition during their first pregnancy are likely to experience it in subsequent ones.

“In women who have suffered recurrent bouts of severe morning sickness, studies suggest a markedly higher recurrence risk (80%) of severe nausea and vomiting in subsequent pregnancies,” he said. “Although the risk for hospitalisation in subsequent pregnancies is likely to be lower, morning sickness can get progressively worse.”

Mr Karoshi added that because Kate is now older, at 35, than she was during her first two pregnancies, she might notice a few differences during her third pregnancy. “Her belly might look much farther along than she appeared in her previous pregnancies at the same gestational periods because of repeated stretching of abdominal muscles,” he explained.

What will Kate and Prince William name their third child?

The Duke and Duchess will most likely choose a name with royal heritage. George and Charlotte are both the names of former British monarchs, in keeping with tradition. Alice and Victoria are the most likely options if the couple have another daughter, according to bookmakers Betfair. Prince Philip’s mother was named Alice, as was Queen Victoria’s daughter. The name also has a special meaning for Kate, who wrote a dissertation on Alice in Wonderland while at university.Victoria would be a nod to Britain’s second-longest reigning monarch, whose incredible tenure is beaten only by Queen Elizabeth II.While they are likely options for the royals, both names have fallen out of favour among the general public in recent years.They both ranked among the top 20 baby girls’ names in the early 1990s, but now rank 24th (Alice) and 98th (Victoria).

If Kate and William have a boy, Betfair predicts that they will call him Arthur or Henry. Arthur is William’s second name, and was reportedly what Prince Charles originally wanted to call his first born. The last prominent Prince Arthur was Queen Victoria’s son. Henry is the name of eight previous kings of England, and is also the correct first name of Prince William’s brother – known to most as Prince Harry.

Odds on baby names for Kate and William’s third child

Girls’ names

Alice 8/1

Victoria 8/1

Mary 10/1

Alexandra 10/1

Grace 10/1

Elizabeth 16/1

Olivia 16/1

Frances 16/1

Caroline 16/1

Catherine or Kate 20/1

Sophie 25/1

Diana 25/1



Princess Diana’s driver breaks his silence on Paris car crash


It’s been 20 years since Princess Diana was tragically killed in a car crash in Paris. But the loss is still keenly felt by those around her – including her regular driver, Colin Tebbutt. In his first live television interview since the fatal accident, Colin struggled to hold back the tears as he spoke about the aftermath of the crash, and revealed he had “always” felt responsible for not being her driver on that fateful night. “Yes, you always do [feel responsible],” he told Good Morning Britains Kate Garraway and Ben Shephard on Thursday.

Colin also spoke about the moment he arrived at the Paris hospital, where the Princess’s body had been taken following the crash. “I was taken to help. I went to the hospital and arrived and there was lots of people about,” he explained. “There was a lot of people.” He continued: “It was very difficult and emotional to see someone laying on a bed, not a mortuary. I could see people standing on a roof. That worried me because there were no curtains, so I got some blankets along the windows which made it hotter in the room.

“I went to get some fans to cool the room down. That was the one moment in my life when my professionalism was lacking a little bit, because as I turned around, the eyelashes and the hair of the Princess were moving, caused by the fan. That just stuck with me. I had to turn away, think about it, and get on with what I was doing.” Asked by his hosts if he could “piece together” what had happened in the tunnel to cause the crash, Colin replied: “I think they went in too fast. In the inquest that was sorted out.”

Colin also spoke fondly about his working relationship with Diana, but stressed that there “was a line” owing to her royal status. “You don’t cross that line,” he said. “You speak to her when you are spoken to, which was correct. She was still very much a royal. We were often together in the car and she had a tremendous sense of humour. I never had a cross word in two years.”