The Passing of a Great Mind

On this day, Professor Stephen Hawking has passed away.

Just for the sake of apophenia, I always liked the fact that he was born 300 years after Galileo Galilei’s death, and now he passes away on Pi Day… I wonder what extraordinary individual shall be born 300 years from today…

Prof. Hawking was one of my childhood heroes for sure. I still remember the very first day my dad showed me “A Brief History of Time,” (the Spanish edition, since we lived in Caracas back then). I remember the very first concept he told me about, how we can look back in time through the images we get from the distant parts of the universe, as the light can take so long to reach us, and so many of the bodies we capture through imaging might not even exist anymore. Perhaps I’m being overly romantic by looking for an analogy between this concept and Prof. Hawking’s passing, but one thing is certain, his legacy changed the lives of many an aspiring physicist and scientist, and he will continue to live on in our memories and our work—a form of afterlife, one could say.

Cheers to the life of an extraordinary man,

Stephen Hawking on his 65th birthday. He took a simulated zero-g flight to help publicize the possibility of commercial space travel.
Stephen Hawking on his 65th birthday. He took a simulated zero-g flight to help publicize the possibility of commercial space travel.


Read more at: NPR, “Stephen Hawking, Who Awed Both Scientists and the Public, Dies.”

Image source: Wikimedia Commons, Physicist Stephen Hawking in Zero Gravity, 2007

More behind the image: Smithsonian Magazine, Picture of the Week: Stephen Hawking in Zero Gravity, 2012

On a side note, isn’t it mental that he lived 50+ more years than his original diagnosis estimated? He fell into depression when he got diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s/ALS when he was only 21 years old. To think that he’d say, “F*** it,” (probably), “If that’s what I have left, I might as well make the most of it,” (also probably), “and get married, get my PhD, spend time with my partner, family, and friends who love and support me, develop groundbreaking concepts that revolutionize the field of cosmology and make them known, and yeah, have babies, ’cause I still can,” (you know this is what he thought, though. Essentially).

A couple of quotes

On laughter…

“Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny.” — Stephen Hawking

How people might surprise you…

“Quiet people have the loudest minds.” — Stephen Hawking

Some of life’s biggest lessons…

“One, remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Two, never give up work. Work gives you meaning and purpose and life is empty without it. Three, if you are lucky enough to find love, remember it is there and don’t throw it away.” — Stephen Hawking

And those who matter most…

“It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.” — Stephen Hawking


Thanks for reading,


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