Thursday, February 2, 2012

Stephen Hawking, Arthur C. Clarke and women

In its 7 January issue New Scientist interviewed physicist Stephen Hawking on the occasion of his 70th birthday. He talked about black holes, supersymmetric particles, M-theory and suchlike. Here is the final question and his answer:
What do you think most about during the day?
Women. They are a complete mystery.
So here is the excellent Neil Hannon, who trades as the Divine Comedy, on the same topic in “Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World” from the album Victory for the Comic Muse. Sample lyrics:
Do you remember that old TV show
Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World?
Well if ITV make a new series
They ought to come take a look at my girl [. . .]

She’s a mass of contradictions
A pick’n’mix of strange convictions
It can be a source of friction
But there are worse afflictions
Love doesn’t make distinctions.

Now to make matters worse she claims the universe
Is expanding like a balloon
But baby if it’s meant to be infinite
Then where is it expanding to?

A good question. The way Michael Moorcock tells it, Arthur C. Clarke found women a bit of a mystery too.

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