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January 11, 2012     The Julian News
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January 11, 2012
 

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i : I , I January 11, 2012 l Local Experience Since 1988 * Tree Consulting and Inspection * Long Term Forest Maintenance and Planning * Hazardous Removal and Precision Felling * Ornamental Pruning and Lacing * Brush Clearing and Chipping FREE ES TIMA TES Licensed and Bonded Fully Insured for Your Protection ERIC DAUBER H: 760-765,2975 760-271-9585 eo Box 254 JULIAN, CA. 92036 WE-8690A License #945348 The cast of "A Christmas Carol" taking their final bows Stephen HawkingTurns 70, Defying Disease by Maria Cheng (AP and OfficialWire) British scientist Stephen Hawking has decoded some of the most puzzling mysteries of the universe but he has left one mystery unsolved: How he has managed to survive so long with such a crippling disease. The physicist and cosmologist was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease when he was a 21-year- old student at Cambridge University. Most people die within a few years of the diagnosis, called motor neurone disease in the U.K. On Sunday, Hawking turned 70. "1 don't know of anyone who's survived this long," said Ammar AI-Chalabi, director of the Motor Neurone Disease Care and Research Centre at King's College London. He does not treat Hawking and described his longevity as "extraordinary." "It is unusual for (motor neurone disease) patients to survive for decades but not unheard of," said Dr. Rup Tandan, a neurology professor at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. Still, Tandan said many Iongtime survivors had ventilators to breathe for them which Hawking does not, Hawking first gained attention with his 1988 book "A Brief History of Time," a simplified overview of the universe. It sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. His subseq uent theories have revolutionized modern understanding of concepts like black holes and the Big Bang theory of how the universe began. To mark his birthday Sunday, Cambridge University is holding a public symposium on "The State of the Universe," featuring talks from 27 leading scientists, including Hawking himself. For 30 years, he held a mathematics post at the university previously held by Sir Isaac Newton. Hawking retired from that position in 2009 and is now director of research at the university's Centre for Theoretical Cosmology. Hawking achieved all that despite being nearly entirely paralyzed and in a wheelchair since 1970. He now communicates only by twitching his right cheek. Since catching pneumonia in 1985 Hawking has needed around,the-clock care and relies on a computer and voice synthesizer to speak. A tiny infrared sensor sits on his glasses, hooked up to a computer. The sensor detects Hawking's cheek pulses, which select words displayed on a computer screen. The chosen words are then spoken by the voice synthesizer. It can take up to 10 minutes for Hawking to formulate a single sentence. "The only trouble is (the voice synthesizer) gives me an American accent," the Briton wrote on his website. It took Hawking four years to write his last book, "The Grand Design," missing his publisher's original deadline. Hawking declined requests from the AP for an interview, but his personal assistant spoke to The Associated Press. Judith Croasdell, Hawking's personal assistant described her boss as remarkably patient. "The way he communicates can seem frustratingly slow to most people but he doesn't let that impede his thinking," she said. After a brief hospital stay, Hawking told her that he spent the time thinking about black holes. Hawking typically comes into the office after a big breakfast and reading the news, Croasdell said. "He's not an early morning person, but he does stay quite late," until about 7 or 8 in the evening, she said. Hawking's rooftop university office is crammed full of memorabilia: family photos, a miniature NASA shuttle, and a signed picture of himself with President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle. On top of physics books sits a disability access guide for the university. Hawking's fame has led to guest appearances on some of his favorite television shows including "The Simpsons" and "Star Trek." His animated A Christmas Carol Wrap-up 201 1 by Constance Newgard "I'm quite a baby! And I don't care! I'd rather be a baby!" The joy dawning on the faces of the audience is as bright as the new day outside Ebenezer Scrooge's window. Everyone's favorite curmudgeon leaps out of bed, a man aglow with the realization that life has given him a second chance. He is alive! And he has a renewed opportunity to mend his miserly ways and live a life Of love and generosity. Scrooge's giddiness is contagious. People leave the theater with smiles on their faces and the warm glow of the Christmas spirit in their hearts. Each year at Christmas, our little town is able to generate a first- class Christmas experience with the stage production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. "Generosity" seems to be a pervas,ve theme, as adults and children from our community dedicate weeks of personal time and energy for the play, which runs the second and third weekends in December. Professional quality singers, musicians, actors, directors, and artists share their talents and have the opportunity to present good role modeling, to the many children involved (this year, 25 of them). During rehearsals, there is laughter, singing, child play, reading, running lines, even knitting! A sense of teamwork, encouragement, and purpose prevails. People from far and near look forward to driving up the hill to enjoy this small-town play with a big-time message. Along with the beautiful production in the Town Hall, the tourists and visitors are treated to the Christmas light production made available through the efforts of Julian CERT members and the Julian Merchants Association. Small though our town is, it is , filled with big hearts. I wish to give a big thank-you to several local businesses who stepped up to contribute to the post- photo by Justin Vanbibber production party that followed the final performance of this year's play. There were donations of edible delights from Romano's Dodge House Restaurant, Mom's Pie House, Poncho Villa's, and Vandercakes. The laughter and joyful Christmas ambiance of the cast party was hearty punctuation to the many hours of rehearsal and performance dedicated to the production. Finally, I wish to thank everyone involved the directors, all the members of the production crew, cast, and parents--for making this annual community tradition possible. Our children will cherish the experience for years to come. likeness from "The Simpsons" has even been turned into an action figure one of which sits proud!y on his office desk. There's also a Homer Simpson clock that Hawking is known to glare at when visitors are late for an appointment. "He's a big ham, he loves the spotlight," said Kitty Ferguson, who's written two biographies of the physicist. She said he has a wry sense'of humor and has programmed his computer to respond to random encounters with people who ask if he's Stephen Hawking. "No, but I'm often mistaken for that man," his vome synthesizer deadpans. Lou Gehrig's disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, attacks motor neurons, cells that control the muscles. Patients typically suffer muscle weakness and wasting, become paralyzed and have proble ms talking, swallowing and breathing. Only about 10 percent of patients live longer than a decade. People who are stricken at a young age, as Hawking was, generally have a better chance of surviving longer. Most people are diagnosed between 50 and 70. Life expectancy generally ranges from two to five years after symptoms like slurred speech, diffiCulty swallowing and muscle weakness set in. Hawking's personal physicians don't discuss his condition with the press, Croasdell said. For some reason, the disease has progressed more slowly in Hawking than in most. AI- Chalabi and colleagues are analyzing a DNA sample from Hawking, along with those of other patients, to see if there is something rare about his disease or any genetic mutations that could explain his long survival and if that information could be used to help others. Some experts said the type of care Hawking has, including about a dozen health workers 24 hours a day, may have extended his life expectancy. "The disease can sometimes stabilize and then the kind of care delivered may be a factor in survival," said Virginia Lee, a brain disease expert at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. "Remaining mentally alert is also extremely important and he has clearly done that." Hawking says he tries not to think about his limitations. "1 have had (Lou Gehrig's disease) for practically all my adult life," he says on his website. "Yet it has not prevented me from having a very attractive family and being successful in my work," he writes. "1 try to lead as normal a life as possible and not think about my condition or regret the things it prevents me from doing, which are not that many." From the office pictures documenting his achievements, that certainly seems to be the case. Framed photos show the physicist with several popes and on memorable trips to China and Easter Island. He has even flown in a space simulator. In 2007, Hawking took a zero-gravity flight in Florida, the first time in 40 years he abandoned his wheelchair. "That was the happiest I've ever seen Stephen," said Sam Blackburn, Hawking's graduate assistant, who accompanied him on the ride along with about a half-dozen others, including two doctors. "He just had the biggest grin on his Pace." Hawking has also been married twice and has three children and three grandchildren. With his daughter Lucy, he has written several children's books on physics. AI-Chalabi said most patients with Lou Gehrig's disease succumb after their breathing muscles stop working. He had no predictions for what the biggest health risks to Hawking's future might be. "He is truly remarkable," AI- Chalabi said. "This ,s someone who's managed to find ways around every single problem the disease has thrown at him." (righO Stephen Hawking in his undergraduate days at Cambridge and just after he was diagnosed. The Julian News 3 Acce Here 4b Monday Saturday 9 am - 6 pm 8undsy 9 am- 5 pm L j ]Dry Cleaning Service in by Tuesday, Back by Frid Phone in Your Meat and Dell Orders - No Waiting AMERICAN LEGION POST~~ Pan Eg is, Country Potatoes Corn Beef Hash Biscuits/Sausage Gravy O0 Coffee 'and Orange Juice Sunday, January15th 7 am to 12 noon Benefit for Junior High, Washington, D.C. Trip Non.Profit Donation 2nd & Washington l All Proceeds Returned To The Community www.julianpost468.org Celebration Of Life For Phil Young May 1, 1945 - December 14, 2011 Dear friends, Please jo,n us in celebrating the life of Philip Young on Saturday January 14 11am at Julian High School in the multipurpose room the Young family