British physicist Stephen Hawking, RIP

This video says about itself:

The Theory of Everything – Official Trailer (Universal Pictures) HD

The Theory of Everything is the story of the most brilliant and celebrated physicist of our time, Stephen Hawking, and Jane Wilde the arts student he fell in love with whilst studying at Cambridge in the 1960s. Little was expected from Stephen Hawking, a bright but shiftless student of cosmology, given just two years to live following the diagnosis of a fatal illness at 21 years of age.

He became galvanized, however, by the love of fellow Cambridge student, Jane Wilde, and he went on to be called the successor to Einstein, as well as a husband and father to their three children. Over the course of their marriage as Stephen’s body collapsed and his academic renown soared, fault lines were exposed that tested the lineaments of their relationship and dramatically altered the course of both of their lives.

From Reuters news agency today:

LONDON (Reuters) – Stephen Hawking, who sought to explain some of the most complicated questions of life while working under the shadow of a likely premature death, has died at 76.

* His children Lucy, Robert and Tim:

“He was a great scientist and an extraordinary man whose work and legacy will live on for many years. His courage and persistence with his brilliance and humor inspired people across the world. He once said: ‘It would not be much of a universe if it wasn’t home to the people you love.’ We will miss him forever.”

* Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web:

“We have lost a colossal mind and a wonderful spirit. Rest in peace, Stephen Hawking.”

* Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge:

“Professor Hawking was a unique individual who will be remembered with warmth and affection not only in Cambridge but all over the world. His exceptional contributions to scientific knowledge and the popularization of science and mathematics have left an indelible legacy. His character was an inspiration to millions. He will be much missed.”

In 2016, a United States American Christian religious fundamentalist threatened to murder Stephen Hawking for not being a religious fundamentalist, but an atheist.

Stephen Hawking campaigned against Tony Blair’s Trident nuclear arms plans; continued by Blair‘s Conservative successors Cameron and May.

Hawking maintained a generally left-wing political stance throughout his life, declaring that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a “war crime”: here.

This 2014 video is about the book by Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time.

This video says about itself:

Memorable scene from Star Trek TNG, Season 6, Episode 26 The Descent (part 1). Lieutenant Commander Data is playing poker with the most famous physics scientists of our recent history, Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton. Simulated on the holo-deck.

TRIBUTES ARE POURING IN FOR LEGENDARY PHYSICIST STEPHEN HAWKING Who died from complications due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at the age of 76. [HuffPost]


NATO governments support Saudi dictatorship

This video says about itself:

Western Governments Whitewash Saudi Dictator Mohammed bin Salman as “Reformer”

12 March 2018

While the U.S. and European governments claim Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is dedicated to “reform”, analyst Ali al-Ahmed says this is propaganda that covers up his crimes in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

This video says about itself:

Will Trump Help Saudi Arabia Build a Nuclear Program?

12 March 2018

Media reports say the U.S. is considering selling nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia. Analyst Ali al-Ahmed is skeptical, and says Trump has just removed the fig leaf of concern for human rights abuses by the Gulf dictatorship.

Donald Trump’s nuclear war threat, satiric video

This 23 February 2018 satiric animation by Mark Fiore from the USA says about itself:

Buster the Little Nuke

While we’ve all been watching dueling memos, unhinged tweets and stock market dips, the Trump administration is quietly brining us closer to nuclear war. But that’s okay, chances are it’d start out as just a small nuclear war.

British anti-nuclear weapons movement’s 60th birthday

This 20 February 2018 video from Britain is called CND 60 years on.

By Ben Chacko in Britain:

Friday, February 23, 2018

PEACE campaigners marked the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament’s 60th birthday on Wednesday night, vowing to keep fighting for a nuclear-free world.

Green MP Caroline Lucas opened proceedings, saying CND was about “hope — not in terms of some fluffy idea but as a very practical response to the huge threats that we face.”

Guests clapped and cheered as she gave a special welcome to Cuban ambassador Teresita Sotolongo, noting that “Cuba is now the fifth country to have ratified the Nuclear Prohibition Treaty.”

The meeting was sponsored by the National Education Union, whose joint general secretary Kevin Courtney sent greetings, while rail union RMT was represented by its president Sean Hoyle.

Veteran campaigner Ernest Rodker recalled the first march from Aldermaston and Londoners “singing Don’t You Hear the H Bombs Thunder and cheering the marchers on” while another hero of the peace movement, Bruce Kent, derided the government’s claim to possess an “independent” nuclear deterrent when it is delivered by US missiles.

“If you had a motor car and you had to borrow the wheels from a neighbour, would you call that independent?”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the existence of CND meant “there has always been a challenge to the idea that you go to war, drop bombs and worry about the consequences afterwards.”

He welcomed China and South Korea’s efforts to get six-party talks on disarming the Korean peninsula in response to US aggression towards North Korea and vowed to resist US President Donald Trump’s efforts to unravel the nuclear deal with Iran.

Pax Christi general secretary Pat Gaffney detailed the role of faith groups in the peace movement, while CND chair Dave Webb elaborated on the international campaign to rid the world of nuclear weapons.

Displays showed iconic images from 60 years of protests for peace and short biographies of giants of the movement living and dead, including Labour legend Tony Benn and Scottish communist peace campaigner Alan Mackinnon.

CND general secretary Kate Hudson drew applause as she vowed: “We will prevail.”

British anti-nuclear weapons movement history

British 1950s anti-nuclear weapons demonstration

By Kate Hudson in Britain:

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Marking 60 years of the CND

KATE HUDSON tells how Britain’s foremost peace campaign came into being

THE Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament exploded into life 60 years ago. Britain’s most enduring mass movement, it has remained constant in its principles and determined in its action across the decades.

The world into which CND emerged was changing rapidly. Worldwide, the colonial empires were being dismantled as national liberation movements achieved the independence of their countries.

European colonial power in east Asia had been broken by the Japanese. Britain withdrew from India, partitioning the country into the two states of India and Pakistan amid a bloodbath claiming countless lives. Dutch rule in the East Indies ended. The Chinese Communist Party came to power in the world’s most populous country in 1949. Ghana was the first colony in Africa to gain its independence, named the “Black Star of Africa” in 1957, under the leadership of Kwame Nkrumah.

Others followed rapidly. A revolution in Cuba in 1959, under the leadership of Fidel Castro, kicked out the corrupt dictator Batista and engaged in a programme of social and economic reform.

This radical wave alarmed the US and its allies to the extent that the largest conflicts in the post-war world occurred as the US intervened to try to prevent the colonial revolutions radicalising along the lines that had occurred in China. But major social change was not confined to the former colonies.

In Britain, the establishment of the welfare state by the post-war Labour government had brought health, education and jobs for all — a real advance in a country where memories of the poverty and hunger of the 1930s were still relatively recent.

The great vision of the UN for a world free of injustice, poverty and war still held widespread resonance. In many ways there was a new confidence in the ability to build a new world based on science and reason, that social progress and advance for all peoples were unstoppable.

This was also the time when “youth culture” emerged as a distinct social and cultural phenomenon, as education and wider opportunities created a more affluent and articulate generation of young people.

Indeed, opportunities were improved across all economic classes and social mobility was better than it had ever been before.
Yet the great promise of the post-war world was blighted by continuing inequalities, uneven economic development and the threat of war and nuclear annihilation.

With the end of empire, Britain’s traditional self-identity was changing, and there were plenty of people in Britain who were pleased to take part in shaping a new society with different values.

Popular culture was one area where changing values and ideas were expressed. CND in its early years was inextricably linked to the social radicalisation of the time.

The early Aldermaston marches to the Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire represented microcosms of the new Britain, articulating both widespread popular dissent and the social rebellion of the youth of the time.

In many respects it was through the early mobilisations of the anti-nuclear movement that the radical politics of what were to become the new social movements were first expressed.

The single event that most put CND on the public map was the Aldermaston march of April 1958. The Easter march to the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston, Berkshire, the main location for the research, development and production of Britain’s nuclear warheads, was originally an initiative of the Direct Action Committee (DAC), which formed a committee to organise the march in December 1957.

This committee included Hugh Jenkins, who was later to become chair of CND from 1979-81, Frank Allaun MP, Walter Wolfgang from the Labour Hydrogen Bomb Committee and Pat Arrowsmith, who became the march organiser.

The leadership of the newly formed CND gave its blessing to the project and the march drew thousands of young people into activity. It was an enormous success, drawing far more supporters than the organisers had expected. It was immediately, inextricably linked with the new-born CND in the public mind.

A lasting consequence of the first march was the famous symbol produced for the march organisers by the artist Gerald Holtom, which became CND’s own symbol and is universally recognised as the sign of peace.

According to Peggy Duff, who worked for CND in its early years, the artist explained the symbol in the following way. “First, the semaphore for the initials N and D. Second, the broken cross meant the death of man, the circle the unborn child. It represented the threat of nuclear weapons to all mankind and, because this was new, the threat to the unborn child.”

Very soon thereafter, the symbol came to adorn badges, posters, leaflets, mugs, banners and ever since has been graffitied onto walls and virtually any available flat surface all over the world.

CND and its iconic symbol will remain in the forefront of the struggle for peace in Britain and globally until nuclear weapons are eradicated.

Kate Hudson is general secretary of CND.

CND is releasing a book called CND at 60: Britain’s Most Enduring Mass Movement. Click here for details on how to attend the book launch.

On April 1st, CND will also be gathering at the atomic weapons establishment at Aldermaston for a 60th aniversary celebration. Click here for more details.

23-fold radiation increase for British nuclear weapons?

This video from England says about itself:

Protestors lock on outside AWE in Burghfield

Burghfield, Berkshire, Monday 6th June 2016. Approximately 50 anti-nuclear weapons protesters at Atomic Weapons Establishment’s (AWE) Burghfield site oppose the renewal or replacement of Trident. Burghfield and AWE Aldermaston provide the warheads for the submarine-launched missile system. The activists are protesting as the site provides war heads for the UK’s largest nuclear submarines.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Fury as scandal-hit nuclear agency demands 23-fold radiation emissions increase

CAMPAIGNERS have gone nuclear after the Atomic Weapons Establishment (AWE) applied this week to increase radiation output from its Berkshire site by over 2,000 per cent.

AWE, which produces Trident nuclear warheads, had two sites placed in renewed special measures last August over safety concerns.

Now the company is asking the Environment Agency to raise the 4.4 megabecquerel radiation limit to 100MBq for tests it claims will help counter nuclear terrorism.

But the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) said it was nuclear proliferation that increases chances of dangerous material falling into hostile hands. The group also sounded the alarm over the risk to public health.

CND radiation expert Ian Fairlie said: “While radiation amounts appear relatively low in the application, they represent a 23-fold increase. If radiation is released into the water supply in spikes, this could present a danger.”

AS WE start a New Year, Scottish CND is working on ideas to continue the struggle to rid our country and our world of the scourge of nuclear weapons. Our plans for 2018 include the organisation of a national Rally at the Faslane Nuclear Weapons Base on Saturday September 15: here.