Sadly, Land of Punt favorite and noted physicist Stephen Hawking is reportedly “very ill” and has been hospitalized.
The 67 year old Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge (how awesome does that title sound) has Lou Gehrig’s disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Hawking is the one scientist/mathematician/physicist everyone, no matter how uninformed, can name. He’s also a icon to anyone who wonders at the awe-inspiring mysteries of the universe.
Hawking first made his mark on the culture at large with his 1988 book, A Brief History of Time. The book lent its name to a film about Hawking, both his life and his work. You should read the book and watch the movie, they are very entertaining and educational, not to mention accessible.
In addition to the aforementioned movie, Hawking has made enough television appearances to fill a black hole (okay, Hawking has taught us that’s impossible but you understand LOP’s point).
Below is a list of Hawking’s notable media appearances.
Late Night with Conan O’Brien (Hawking was in skit where he phoned Jim Carrey)
Masters of Science Fiction
Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The 11th Hour
The Simpsons (referenced or appears in six episodes)
The Fairly Oddparents
“Keep Talking” a 1994 song by Pink Pink Floyd.
Moreover, Hawking has been referenced in innumerable movies, television programs and popular songs, everything from Knocked Up to Seinfeld to Weird Al” Yankovic’s “White and Nerdy” .
Land of Punt hopes Hawking can pull through and return home. After all he is a fighter. Hawking has lived with ALS for 40 years when most diagnosed with the illness only last a couple of years.
The fact that Hawking has captured the imagination of so many is a tribute to his intellect, his sense of humor and his charisma. In a way Hawking is prime example of the cognitive zenith we all hope to reach–possessing the necessary intelligence to unravel the workings of the universe while maintaining the silliness needed to appear on “Conan.”