Saturday, February 21, 2015

Stephen Hawking and the tour of a lifetime

The world famous scientist became a tour guide for London's Guest of Honour on a recent visit to the Science Museum and he talked about providing his computer voice in the Oscar nominated film The Theory of Everything. While he lent his voice to actor Eddie Redmayne, who played Stephen in the movie that explored his diagnosis, his career and  relationship with his ex-wife, the theoretical physicist explained that Eddie did not inherit  his looks. I admit I do love his voice - he has even appeared in the Simpsons.
California resident Adaeze Uyanwah won the contest created by VisitLondon and VisitBritain as part of the UK's GREAT Britain campaign. Adaeze asked the Professor to identify humanity's shortcoming and how he would change it, to which he replied, “The human failing I would most like to correct is aggression. It may have had survival advantage in caveman days, to get more food, territory, or partner with whom to reproduce, but now it threatens to destroy us all. A major nuclear war would be the end of civilization, and maybe the end of the human race. The quality I would most like to magnify is empathy. It brings us together in a peaceful, loving state.”

The contest allowed Adaeze to tour several well know London tourist destinations with special tour guides at every step of the way. She had an afternoon tea at Lord's Cricket Ground with Downton Abbey actor Jim Carter, appeared in the cast of Mamma Mia, visited the Royal Opera House with ballerina Darcey Bussell, had an Oxford shopping spree, a fashion photoshoot with Fenton Bailey and many other magical moments.. These experiences can be enjoyed by everyone that visits Britian except possibly without the famous tour guides. You can also enter the contest at the visitLondon site by March 31, 2015 to win a chance to be a guest of the city.
The trip to the Science Museum was a chance to visit one of Stephen's favourite places with London and he showed several items that were important to him - including his first speech synthesiser which was custom-made in 1985 and in the Space Gallery he stressed the importance of travel off planet, “Sending humans to the moon changed the future of the human race in ways that we don’t yet understand. It hasn’t solved any of our immediate problems on planet Earth, but it has given us new perspectives on them and caused us to look both outward and inward. I believe that the long term future of the human race must be space and that it represents an important life insurance for our future survival, as it could prevent the disappearance of humanity by colonising other planets.”

The Theory of Everything had a world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and will be judged in five categories during the upcoming 87th Academy Awards on February 22, 2015.

Photographs supplied.

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