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The Legacy of Stephen Hawking / Tarot & Edgar Allan Poe

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Date Host George Noory
Guests Leonard Mlodinow, Rose Wright

With a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from UC Berkeley, Leonard Mlodinow is the co-author with Stephen Hawking of the best-seller "A Briefer History of Time." In the first half, he discussed his new memoir on Hawking's legacy and his long friendship with the scientist, who was one of the most influential physicists of our time. Hawking faced a great deal of adversity because of his medical condition (ALS), in which he had to breathe through a stoma in his chest, which would often become clogged. Yet, he learned how to be happy and energetic, and enjoy his life despite his physical difficulties. Typically, people with his medical condition only live for about two years after the diagnosis, Mlodinow noted, but in Hawking's case he lived for 55 years (dying in 2018).

While in graduate school at Cambridge, his diagnosis pushed him into becoming a great physicist, Mlodinow added, as he wanted to find meaning in life through understanding the universe. Hawking concluded that everything came out of nothing, and developed a cosmology that brought together the theory of relativity with quantum mechanics. After the onset of his illness, Hawking religiously took 85 different vitamins. Though there was no direct scientific evidence they helped his condition, he believed they were key to his longevity. Mlodinow also talked about the latest developments in quantum physics and how, in a sense, the universe could be thought of as a giant quantum computer.

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In the latter half, author, healer, and lifelong student of Tarot and astrology, Rose Wright talked about the life of Edgar Allan Poe, and how she was inspired to create a new Tarot deck based on his work. To Wright, Poe's stories and poems with their mysteries and dark romanticism aligned to Tarot's divination practice and the cards' evocative symbolism. Poe wrote about the occult, the paranormal, spiritualism, and ghosts, and seemingly channeled information from outside himself like an oracle, which is similar to what Tarot accomplishes, she noted. As an astrologer, Wright connected Poe's love of the macabre to his being a Capricorn, and a Pisces moon.

Poe led a hard life and struggled financially-- even burning his own furniture to stay warm at one point, Wright recounted. His death at age 40 was shrouded in mystery, with his body found on the street in clothes not his own. She suspects he may have been the victim of cooping, a kind of electoral voting fraud, where unwilling participants are forced to vote repeatedly wearing different garb. She also detailed an odd case of fiction becoming fact or a kind of psychic premonition. In Poe's novel, "The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym," a seafaring character named Richard Parker became a cannibalism victim. Some years later, a man with that same name became an actual victim of this on a lifeboat when a ship sank between England and Australia. During the last hour, Wright gave Tarot readings from her Poe deck for callers.

News segment guests: John M. Curtis, Jeff Nelken

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