Sunday, April 27, 2008

Seeking inspiration

By Carol Gee

In today's difficult world it is sometimes hard to maintain optimism. Bad news abounds. There is enough scary stuff out there to make us want to take to our beds and pull the covers over our heads. But tomorrow is Monday, and we must get up and at it again. To whom can we look for inspiration to keep on keeping on? A few people come to my mind. Let me tell you about these folks and others often mentioned.

Professor Stephen Hawking -- His recent appearance at George Washington University (see 27p. - pdf transcript) was carried on television: "STEPHEN HAWKING TO DISCUSS "WHY WE SHOULD GO INTO SPACE" AS PART OF NASA'S 50TH ANNIVERSARY LECTURE SERIES, APRIL 21, 2008." This inspirational thinker has put together a great web site that is accessible, fun and interesting, like the man himself. GW's student newspaper, The GW Hatchet, has the 4/24/08 story of the lecture, as well as a video. To quote reporter Michael Moffett:

Acclaimed physicist Stephen Hawking called for renewed interest in the study of outer space and science, in a speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of NASA at the Jack Morton Auditorium on Monday.

. . . Hawking, 66, suffers from Lou Gehrig's disease and is almost completely paralyzed. He delivered his 30-minute speech to members of NASA, Lockheed Martin and the media through a voice simulator, which he operates by moving his right cheek muscle.

The scientist has made significant contributions in the study of black holes, cosmology and quantum gravity. Last April, he took a zero-gravity flight into space, becoming the first quadriplegic to float in a weightless state.

Here is a fine list with short bios of "Fifty Women Who Changed the World." Here is someone's list of the "10 most inspirational bloggers of 2007." And finally, Senator Barack Obama, who has his work cut out for him, inspires a great number of people to "keep on keeping on," including me. One of the candidate's early backers was Oprah Winfrey, included in the first list in this paragraph.

(Cross-posted at Making Good Mondays.)

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