Happy Birthday Christopher Hampton!
Christopher Hampton (born 1946, British playwright, screenwriter, and translator) – Art by Yasmina Reza (English translation)
Read about Christopher Hampton here and here
Hampton speaks of his childhood spent in Alexandria, Egypt, and his play White Chameleon, based on those experiences:
They had not foreseen the Suez crisis. There had been trouble in Egypt not long before, during the 1952 revolution. The young Chris had been spat on at school, thumped and called names, such as “filthy English”. As tension mounted in 1956, he was cornered in the school lavatories by an Egyptian boy, but didn’t tell his parents.
Then one day, his father came home from work and said they had to leave Alex immediately. In England, aged 10, he was sent to prep school. “In Egypt I had been too English,” says Hampton. “In England I was quasi-Egyptian”.
Happy Birthday Paul Halpern!
Paul Halpern – U.S. physics professor and science writer, born 1961 – Einstein’s Dice and Schrödinger’s Cat (2014)
Read about Paul Halpern here:
From an interview:
Lisa: Why does the universe seem so smooth?
Paul: If you look at the radio sky, you observe approximately the same temperature in every direction, about the same average number of galaxies per patch, and so forth. This general sameness cannot be coincidence; all these points must have at some moment been much, much closer together. That is why astronomers think that there was a moment of inflation-extremely rapid expansion-that separated very close points. It is like smoothing a sheet’s wrinkles by stretching it very quickly. Without the ultra-rapid expansion it is hard to explain the smoothness.
From Einstein’s Dice, page 75:
If lacking free will is like being in prison, general relativity is the ultimate jailer. By fusing time with space, it melds the past, present, and future together into a solid block. Time’s landscape is as frozen as a Siberian gulag. All of history is forever locked in place; we just haven’t yet served our time. … A unified theory that explained electricity along with gravity could in principle map out the neural connections of everyone who has lived or ever will live. We’d be condemned to think thoughts and take actions that have forever been ordained.
Happy New Year!
(Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds (dubbed by Betty Noyes) sing and dance Good Morning! in the 1952 film Singin’ in the Rain)
A Sunny Day!
(The Three Tenors – Luciano Pavarotti, Placido Domingo, José Carreras – sing about their sunny day, O Sole Mio)
24 Hours in New York – On the Town
The Ladies Face Another Day
(Aretha Franklin, Carole King, Celine Dion, Gloria Estefan, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain sing Natural Woman in the 1998 Divas concert)
Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton, Tammy Wynette sing
Silver Threads and Golden Needles
Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Dionne Warwick sing
Everything You Touch Is a Song
or long medley with “There’s a Place…”
Susan Boyle sings “Silent Night” here
Susan Boyle and the Hudson River Children’s Choir sing ‘Away in a Manger’ here
Susan Boyle and Celine Dion sing ‘O Holy Night’ here
Jose Feliciano sings ‘Feliz Navidad’ here
The Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing ‘Hallelujah’ chorus by Handel here
and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing
‘Gloria in Excelsis Deo!’