799: Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking is a renowned theoretical physicist, and quite possibly the world's smartest human being. He is almost completely paralyzed due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and communicates with a speech-generating device, as shown in the first panel. In this comic, mentions to Cueball and Megan maybe they could go to a movie together later, but they take it as a scientific declaration that they should go see a movie and have it published in a newspaper, which portrays it in hyperbolic tones, vastly exaggerating and misinterpreting his actual intent. In the final panel, Hawking is shown hanging his head in sadness since all he wanted to do was see a movie with his friends.
This can be taken as a satire of sensationalism of science in popular media, particularly in emphasizing the viewpoints of well-known and popular personalities in science. A similar theme was used in 1206: Einstein.
The title text continues the joke, with innocuous comments by Hawking interpreted as important revelations.
Those of you feeling bad for Steven Hawking might feel good to know that he has a healthy social life in reality, and has even dabbled in a brief acting career (typically as a cameo appearance).
- [Stephen Hawking is facing a pair of people. His voice appears in a square machine readable font.]
- Stephen Hawking: I thought maybe later we should go see a movie.
- [The two people are running.]
- [The front page of a newspaper appears instead of a third panel.]
- Name of the paper - The Times
- Main headline. - Physicist Stephen Hawking Suggests We See More Films
- [A picture of Stephen Hawking is in the center of the page.]
- Picture's caption. - Smartest Man Alive
- Secondary headline. - What Does He Know That We Don't?
- Large quote in article body. - Is this a warning?
- [Stephen Hawking is sitting alone, looking depressed.]
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