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Education Science

Stephen Hawking Going To Canada 204

Posted by timothy
from the making-reservations-on-a-guild-heighliner dept.
thepacketmaster writes "A previous Slashdot article I posted mentioned the possibility of Stephen Hawking coming to Canada. The Toronto Star now reports that he has accepted the position. Hawking will hold the title of distinguished research chair at the prestigious Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics."
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Stephen Hawking Going To Canada

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  • Canada? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 27, 2008 @07:59PM (#25912003)
    Never heard of it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:00PM (#25912007)

    Good, he's probably due for an upgrade.

    • by owlnation (858981) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:43PM (#25912247)
      I wonder if they can change his voice synthesizer to pronounce "out" and "about" as "oot" and aboot," and of course add in a few random eh's for good measure.
      • by gstoddart (321705)

        I wonder if they can change his voice synthesizer to pronounce "out" and "about" as "oot" and aboot," and of course add in a few random eh's for good measure.

        I realize you're joking, but you do realize you're talking about regional pronunciation, right?

        I mean, we don't judge the US based on how people from Maine or Wisconsin speak -- Maine and New England, for instance, seem to have an aversion to enunciating the letter R, "Bah Hahbah" is how Bar Harbour sounds to anyone from not in Maine.

        I've noticed diffe

    • Maybe he'll finally meet his soulmate? [b3ta.com] I heard Davros had moved to Canada as well to get away from Dr. Who. :)

    • It is a typo, of course. It should have read "distinguished research wheelchair".* He still has a bright future, he might even become their wheelchairman! That is, unless they elect a wheelchairwoman. (* I respect him greatly, and I am sure he would not be offended by this silly joke, he is too intelligent for that.)
  • Great news. (Score:5, Funny)

    by liquidMONKEY (749280) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:03PM (#25912019)
    At least if he ever gives lectures and they start to fall asleep, he can shoot lasers out of his eyeballs.
  • Congratulations (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Philomathie (937829) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:03PM (#25912021)
    I wish him all the best, and hope he can still make more great contributions to theoretical physics. He is an example for us all.
  • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:08PM (#25912061)

    I seem to recall that he did a lot of research into black holes. Maybe he's done studying now and is leaving the country so he can get outside the event horizon to publish his findings.

    • by VirusEqualsVeryYes (981719) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:18PM (#25912131)

      I seem to recall that he did a lot of research into black holes. Maybe he's done studying now and is leaving the country so he can get outside the event horizon to publish his findings.

      Yes, perhaps he could teach you a thing or two about them. ;)

      • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:25PM (#25912177)

        Well, Hawking did suggest that anything at the event horizon would generate anti-matter of an equivalent mass... So the real Hawking could emerge, but not without sending an anti-hawking back. We can test this theory by waiting for the anti-Hawking to run for public office.

        • by jimicus (737525)

          We can test this theory by waiting for the anti-Hawking to run for public office.

          Events since 20 January 2001 suggest this has already happened.

          • We can test this theory by waiting for the anti-Hawking to run for public office.

            Events since 20 January 2001 suggest this has already happened.

            Such Hawking/Anti-Hawking paradoxes are bound to have temporal and spacial offsets. Word around the campfire is that the ghost of Newton did the Florida recount personally.

        • by Trillan (597339)

          Anti-Hawking! I shudder at the thought.

          Say, does the theory allow for the Anti-Hawking to have fallen back in before Hawking emerged?

          Just wondering if he's finishing his second term now.

      • by mybecq (131456) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @10:45PM (#25912859)

        I seem to recall that he did a lot of research into black holes. Maybe he's done studying now and is leaving the country so he can get outside the event horizon to publish his findings.

        Yes, perhaps he could teach you a thing or two about them. ;)

        I heard that he has some special technique [wikipedia.org] for getting out ...

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by K. S. Kyosuke (729550)
          This is the first proof that the Hawking radiation actually exists. Perhaps it will not be long before Britain starts radiating Hawkings into every country! We could surely use one or two here.
  • by HRbnjR (12398) <chris@hubick.com> on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:09PM (#25912071) Homepage

    It's kind of ironic in that Canada has historically had a problem with what we call the "brain drain", where students graduate and leave for the US or overseas for higher paying jobs. Nice to see us on the other end of that for once!

    • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:30PM (#25912197)

      It's apparently a bit of a myth. There is (or was) a slight tendency for recent, young graduates to run off to the US lured by promises of the big bucks. Most of them (plus others) come back though, after they start to add up what educating their kids and keeping themselves healthy will cost. Those two factors tend to wipe out any tax advantages there might be.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by compro01 (777531)

        Not to mention at the high end of the income spectrum (~350k+), US taxes can (depending on which states/provinces and municipalities we're comparing) actually be higher than they are in Canada, in addition to the not-provided-by-the-government stuff you mention.

        • by j-beda (85386)
          Where did you find that? This place http://www.investmentexecutive.com/client/en/News/DetailNews.asp?id=46992&IdSection=3&cat=3&BImageCI=1 [investmentexecutive.com] seems to indicate that Canada's rate is a bit higher than the US for high income people.

          According to http://www.aurorainternational.net/Maximum_Personal_Marginal_Income_Tax_Rates.htm [aurorainternational.net] the top federal rate is 29% plus the provincial rate giving a range of 39% (Alberta) to 53% in Quebec. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_bracket [wikipedia.org] indicates the top federal rate

          • by Alomex (148003) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @10:16PM (#25912665) Homepage

            The tax rate is way higher in California than in Canada. Sure, when you look at percentages alone it seems to be the other way around, but for a few measly more points Canadians get free health care, decent and safe free public schools, much higher welfare and unemployment insurance benefits, lower tuition fees at the University level and public infrastructure that isn't crumbling.

            The way I see it, Californians are getting royally screwed.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Medgur (172679)

              We don't spend nearly as much on military.

            • by celtic_hackr (579828) on Friday November 28, 2008 @01:48AM (#25913821) Journal

              The way I see it is Canadians have a very severe lack of easily available guns. I think we should deport the Michigan Militia to Canada, so they can bring their public schools up to American standards.

              Alas, until the Californians put an Austrian in the Governor's chair, college was free in California. Still, if Palin get elected in 2012, I'm heading for Canada.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Vexorg_q (216760)
              The taxes may be higher in Canada, and it is true that healthcare and education costs are lower. However, as an American who goes to university (McGill) in Canada, I can tell you that its far from being a socialist paradise.

              You say that infrastructure is crumbling in California, and I think you are probably right (I've only been to California a couple of times). But on the other hand, it is too in Quebec, which has had a spate of lethal collapses in the last couple of years ( this being the most recent [theglobeandmail.com]).
        • by bh_doc (930270)

          Not to mention at the high end of the income spectrum (~350k+)

          An amount which every reasonable young scientist can expect to achieve.

      • by Malc (1751)

        Haven't heard that term since really since the dot-com bomb. Nobody really seems to be worry about it these days it seems.

  • Two versions of Hawking will come into existence. One will go one way, and will stay in England. The other will go the other way (unless it crosses an event horizon), and will move to Canada.

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:16PM (#25912113)

      I think I see a flaw in your logic... See, crossing the US/Canada border *is* the event horizon. At that point hawking will split into a finite number of hawkings will cross the event horizon, while an equal number of anti-hawkings will stay inside. I'm guessing they'll head to Ohio as soon as they figure out their better halves are sitting down for tea.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Note to the geographically cgalenged: It is possible to go from England to Canada without crossing the US/Canada border. In fact it is the most direct route.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by JanneM (7445)

        "...a finite number of hawkings will cross the event horizon, while an equal number of anti-hawkings will stay inside."

        And they'll be easily distinguishable as the anti-Hawkings are all evil and have goatees.

    • by notnAP (846325)

      The institute he's en route to is called Perimeter, is it not? Surely we can work that name into the whole Hawking Radiation posts flying about.

  • by Veggiesama (1203068) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:16PM (#25912111)

    He's probably moving there to study the event horizon surrounding a certain black hole, otherwise known as the US financial market.

    We poured over $700 billion into it, and I doubt even he will discover Hawking radiation [wikipedia.org] leaking out. Maybe a few nickels, but that's it.

  • Meh (Score:2, Funny)

    by Culture20 (968837)
    We don't need him in the U.S.A. The world ends in four years and a month anyway.
  • A new chair (Score:5, Funny)

    by clarkkent09 (1104833) * on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:18PM (#25912125)
    distinguished research chair at the prestigious Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics.

    I don't know, a research chair sounds a bit dangerous, however distinguished it may be. I think he better stick with his current chair until this new one is at least in beta testing...
  • I am so glad I am not in charge of moving him and his stuff! What daunting logistics.

  • by mcalwell (669361) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:46PM (#25912261) Homepage
    $speak_text = $speak_text.' eh?';
  • by Baron_Yam (643147) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @08:47PM (#25912263)

    According to the article - it's a 'visiting Chair', and he will make regular visits to Waterloo, ON.

    In other words, he's getting a big paycheque for attaching his name to the institute and will make the minimal number of personal appearances to make it look legit.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by pipingguy (566974) *
      Maybe future Blackberries will start talking to you in an interesting new voice.
    • by Xest (935314)

      That makes sense, it did seem a bit odd to me that he'd move full time.

      The amount of research materials he must have at Cambridge and the relationship with other physicists and mathematicians there is a lot to throw away as well as being so close to CERN over in Switzerland. To throw all that away would undoubtedly set his research back a few years and I'm sure he's aware at his age and in his condition he probably realises he doesn't have even a single year to just throw away wastefully.

      Sure stuff like his

    • by lxs (131946)

      So it's just his chair that's visiting Canada then?
      I hope he has a spare to use in the meantime.

  • This guy has been around for awhile, and obviously he's still productive. How is that possible with his degenerative disorder? Don't those diseases usually get bad enough that the body fails, e.g. muscles too weak to move the lungs?
    • Re:Serious question (Score:5, Informative)

      by Shados (741919) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:08PM (#25912347)

      He's actually starting to have trouble communicating, as the movements he used for it back then (blinking I think?) are starting to become harder. He's still productive, but not as much as he used to, and probably not for very long.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by g0at (135364)

        Unfitter, unhappier, less productive?

      • He's actually starting to have trouble communicating, as the movements he used for it back then (blinking I think?) are starting to become harder.

        Perhaps the next step would be to monitor his brain waves. I don't know what the progress is in passive external electrodes, but fMRI has achieved some amazing things, like like Voice recognition software reads your brain waves [newscientist.com]. This article is about decoding what people are listening to or looking at - maybe because it's easier to correlate experimentally - r

      • The next stage is someone inserting probes directly into his brain/nerves. Fifty years from now, his brain will still be ticking away, communicating, and inventing new problems to solve.

        Let's just hope his new employer has a good health plan and a good Neuro-Surgery research department.

    • by Orion Blastar (457579) <{moc.liamg} {ta} {ratsalbnoiro}> on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:26PM (#25912403) Homepage Journal

      Never underestimate the disabled. While his body fails, his brain is in tip top shape. He is brave for continuing on with a disease that tears his body apart.

      He still has a good 10 to 20 years.

      I myself am disabled, and people underestimate me as well. I have physical and mental illnesses that are tearing apart my body and mind, but I continue on myself. I understand a bit of what Hawking is going through. But not all of it. I am not as advanced in my disease as Hawking is in his. I use computers to communicate with the world, because I lack proper social skills and communication skills and cannot speak them verbally, but I am better using a computer to communicate for me.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Baron_Yam (643147)

        The question isn't a slam on the disabled - it's my understanding (not refreshed with a recent Googling or a Wikipedia visit) that it's extremely unusual to live far into your thirties when you have motor neuron disease.

        Of course, those lifespan estimates have probably been climbing due to improved medicine since his original diagnosis regardless of anything unique to Stephen Hawking's particular progression.

      • by pipingguy (566974) *
        Keep on truckin', dude.
  • A few quotes... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:34PM (#25912443)

    "In conclusion, I understand nothing about the anomaly, even after cashing the huge check I got for writing a book about it."
    - Stephen Hawking, Futurama

    "We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."
    - Stephen Hawking

    More funny and insightful quotes here:
    http://www.quoteaddict.com/ [quoteaddict.com]

  • Watch Out, Canada! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sk999 (846068) on Thursday November 27, 2008 @09:46PM (#25912491)
    Hawking has a wicked sense of humor and will pull practical jokes. Many years ago I watched him skewer Caltech professor Kip Thorne just as he (KT) was about to begin a seminar. It was one of those "you had to be there to appreciate it" moments, but it was hilarious - the whole audience was laughing. Not bad for someone who, even then, could do little more than activate his motorized wheelchair. A sense of timing does wonders.
  • I don't want to hear any of you complaining about a Brittany Spears piece ever again.
  • Yeah, my name's Josh Beltash. I've been in a wheelchair for just over three years. I get by. I make quite a lot of inventions for myself. I made a little pantograph lift that'll take me up and down for the right level for the sink, but I think that this has got to be the best. That wheelchair will do best part of seventy mile an hour. More into seventy-two, we clocked it on the bypass, Gabriel timed me and, er, I reckon we could do eighty on a good day. But I'm not really a speed king myself, you kno

  • by Macblaster (94623) on Friday November 28, 2008 @12:13AM (#25913389) Homepage

    A vacancy has just opened up. Apply [cam.ac.uk] by December 15.

  • Perimeter = RIM? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by That.7O's.Guy (1418939) on Friday November 28, 2008 @01:34AM (#25913759)
    Q: What's a synonym for Perimeter?
    A: Rim, or more appropriately, RIM (Research In Motion)

    Not sure if it's already mentioned in the comments, but the Perimeter Institute was founded, and is primarily funded, by Mike Lazaridus, Co-CEO of RIM and Chancellor of the University of Waterloo.

    I wonder if Dr. Hawking will be getting a free Blackberry? (I guess he'll have to design an interface as his first task at Perimeter.)
  • by Revotron (1115029) * on Friday November 28, 2008 @02:27AM (#25913969)

    Well, at least now the phrase "Slower than Steven Hawking in a snowstorm" might actually have some basis in fact.

  • As a UW Student.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by mcgee_11 (1419209)
    As a UW Student in their Faculty of Mathematics, I would like to just say that I think it's wondering that UW is attracting such well known people. We have many ties with a variety of people and establishments around the world! This is just an example of how to bring the top people in the field together to help each other out and reap some very large benefits. I do not think this is a bad thing at all. Hawking is the first of 40 people that PI wishes to invite over to the Waterloo area. http://www.theglo [theglobeandmail.com]
  • ...but why did he leave Cambridge and the Newton Chair? No troll, I honestly want to know.

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