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Daybreak: Stephen Hawking Is Not Boycotting?

Plus debates continue over Japanese and Bulgarian WWII history

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• British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking’s withdrawal from a conference in Israel prompted widely reported claims that he was joining an academic boycott of Israel. According to his spokesman, Hawking is withdrawing for health reasons. Others claim he did join the boycott. [WaPo]

• The conservative government in Japan, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, will not revise the country’s apologies for crimes committed during World War II. It had been suggested that Abe might amend statements made by the Japanese government in the 1990s. [NYT]

• An initiative to name a Washington, D.C. street after Dimitar Peshev, a Bulgarian politician who is credited with saving the lives of countless Jews during World War II, has rankled some who believe the honor would gloss over Bulgaria’s troubling World War II record. [AP]

• A four-day workshop at Parsons, the New School of Design in New York City, that was set to feature disgraced fashion designer John Galliano has been canceled. [AP]

• Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is re-signing…his name to the dollar bill because his original signature looks terrible. [NPR]

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We should never be affraid to honor a hero. The deeds of others should never be allowed to discredit. If Mr. Peshev deserves a street, then he should get one.

Mr Mel says:

Meanwhile Bulgaria is one of the few EU countries willing to go after Hezbollah for committing terrorist acts on their soil.

meqmac says:

Unfortunately, a later letter from Cambridge has stated that the ‘health reasons’ excuse was wrong and that Hawking chose to ‘respect the boycott’. It may be both, of course, but if he does come out openly in support of the boycott, it does much damage. Shouldn’t we put together a group of scientists/physicists to come out against the boycott?

An article in the Guardian says: “Hawking, 71, the world-renowned theoretical physicist and former Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge … . … This article was amended on 8 May 2013. The original described Hawking as Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge.” Will Hawking’s renown surpass that of that other previous occupant of this position? That is what one could expect over 300 years after the position was instituted, but Hawking rejected the world view of that other physicist and staked his positions on a theory founded on self-contradicting non-Euclidean geometry. Another article asks, “What has Stephen Hawking done for science? Some of the physicist’s greatest hits – from singularities in gravitational collapse to a quantum theory of gravity”. I wonder whether he properly considered the question, What if Einstein was wrong about space curvature, but right about dice? Check out my the Facebook Note, The Problem With Non-Euclidean Geometry …


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Daybreak: Stephen Hawking Is Not Boycotting?

Plus debates continue over Japanese and Bulgarian WWII history

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