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The Theory Of Everything: A By The Numbers Biopic With Incredible Leads

Theory of EverythingBiopics live and die on the strength of their performances, and fortunately for James Marsh’s The Theory of Everything, a telling of the life and loves of Stephen Hawking, the two leads are marvelous. Eddie Redmayne (Jupiter Ascending) plays the renowned cosmologist, while Felicity Jones (The Amazing Spider-Man 2) plays his wife Jane. It is these transformative performances that are the true strength of the film, and are what elevate this above your standard life-story movie.

Based on her memoir, Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen Hawking, the focus is on the relationship between Stephen and Jane, both the remarkable ups and notable downs. Those of you looking for more science will be disappointed, but that’s not really the point here. At it’s core, Theory is a romance. You follow the young lovers from their nerdy, awkward meet cute at Oxford in 1963, through their courtship, Stephen’s diagnosis with motor neuron disease, his most groundbreaking work, and through the course of their years together.

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The Theory Of Everything Brought Stephen Hawking To Tears

the theory of everythingWatching a biopic of yourself must be a strange experience. Seeing what is ostensibly your story, played out by actors and actresses, all of whom are much better looking than you are in reality, seeing key events form your life rendered dramatically, that all sounds quite surreal. Do you get sucked up into the story like every other audience member (ideally anyway), or do you sit there mutter “that’s not how it happened” to yourself for two hours? In most of these cases, the subjects in these films are long dead, so this is a moot point, but sometimes they’re still with us, as is the case with the new Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything. If you wondered how the renowned physicist responded to this film, the answer is, he was moved to tears.

James Marsh’s (Man on Wire) film recently premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it earned a ton of praise, specifically for Eddie Redmayne (Jupiter Ascending) in the lead role as Hawking. Based on a memoir of the same name by Jane Hawking (played by Felicity Jones), Stephen’s wife, the film depicts the life of the two from their early days at Cambridge through Stephen’s deteriorating health and some of his most important work.

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Eddie Redmayne Channels Stephen Hawking In Trailer For The Theory Of Everything

This is, admittedly, about as far from science fiction as you can realistically get, but any time we get the chance to talk about Stephen Hawking, you better believe we’ll jump at that opportunity. One of the most brilliant, fascinating individuals to ever walk the earth is finally getting his very own feature-length motion picture in the form of the upcoming biopic The Theory of Everything. Release is still a ways off, but Focus Features just debuted this new trailer for you to check out.

Based on the book Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen, the memoir of Stephen’s wife Jane Hawking, the movie appears to have Oscar-bait written all over it. This is just the kind of underdog, triumph over unimaginable obstacles, real-life human drama that the Academy is probably already drooling over. And while we don’t really give two craps about end of the year awards and all of that nonsense, this does look like a powerful, moving story about a truly remarkable human being.

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Stephen Hawking Warns Against Artificial Intelligence

hawkingWhen Stephen Hawking issues a warning about something, we generally listen carefully. This time he’s not talking about black holes or time travel or telling us that the human race has to expand to other planets to prevent our extinction. This time, he’s warning us against developing artificial intelligence and predicting that if we do, the consequences could be disastrous.

In an article for the Independent, Hawking refers to Transcendence as a movie that, despite its grim technological consequences, may make us less inclined to take the ramifications of artificial intelligence seriously. He refers to a number of recent developments, such as driverless cars, Siri, Google Now, and Watson as examples of how quickly AI is progressing. While none of these are particularly threatening, he says that they’re “symptoms of an IT arms race fuelled by unprecedented investments and building on an increasingly mature theoretical foundation,” and that these advancements are only the beginning. He doesn’t specifically mention the deep learning software used by Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, nor does he mention Google and Facebook racing to bring the Internet to everyone, though I imagine these thoughts may not have been far from his mind when he noted the “IT arms race.”

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Stephen Hawking Says There Are No Black Holes

black holeDidn’t Stephen Hawking help create the black hole theory to which most scientists ascribe? What’s going on here? Either this is a wacky case of time travel or the great physicist has changed his mind. He’s allowed, isn’t he? In fact, now he calls his old black hole theory his “biggest blunder.” Everyone makes mistakes, dude. Don’t even worry about it.

In a paper published online, Hawking describes an impasse: that if we’re right about general relativity and quantum theory, then a black hole can’t actually be comprised of an event horizon, the border beyond which nothing can escape. According to classical theory, “there is no escape from a black hole,” says Hawking, but quantum theory “enables energy and information to escape from a black hole.” The physicist believes that a complete and accurate description of the process demands another theory, one that accounts for gravity as well as other cosmic forces, but scientists are still looking for that explanation.

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Simpsons Did It: The Best Science/Sci-Fi Guest Stars To Appear On Fox’s Long-Running ‘Toon

Last night The Simpsons’ long line of notable guest stars checked author Harlan Ellison off its Bucket List, alongside a return appearance from Stan “The Man” Lee. Now, don’t assume that just because I’m using a Bucket List metaphor, I think Simpsons is on its death bed. No, I’m suggesting Simpsons should have been mercifully put down ages ago. But while the show’s writing has spiraled down a well of diminishing returns, it continues to draw all manner of notable persons into the jaundiced world of Springfield. Over the years that’s included quite a few famous faces from the worlds of science and science fiction. Here’s the cream of that crop from The Simpsons’ two and a half decades (so far) of life.

TakeiGeorge Takei
Appearances: “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish” (1991), “Thirty Minutes Over Tokyo” (1999), “A Hunka Hunka Burns in Love” (2001)

Star Trek actor/Facebook staple George Takei has popped up in Simpsons several times over the years, but unlike a lot of the names on this list, he’s never appeared playing himself. He first popped up in “One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish” lending his distinctive voice to Akira, a waiter at a sushi restaurant who serves Homer a fugu blowfish, an extremely venomous dish that must be prepared by a master sushi chef or risk killing its eater. (Akira has appeared other times in the show, but was voiced by Hank Azaria on those occasions.) Takei later voiced Wink, the host of a Japanese game show called Super Happy Smile Time Family Wish Show and and an unnamed waiter in a 2001 episode.

Homer: There’s got to be something I haven’t tried. Huh? Hey, hey, what’s this? Fugu!

Akira: (Gasps.) It is a blowfish, sir. But I should warn you that one–

Homer: Come on, pal. Fugu me!

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