August 12th, 2009


Ten random things: August 12

Ten people who received the Presidential Medal Freedom yesterday:

  1. Chita Rivera, two-time Tony Award-winning actress
  2. Billie Jean King, tennis champion
  3. Stephen Hawking, physicist and arithmetician
  4. Jack Kemp, professional quarterback and U.S. Representative
  5. Nancy Brinker, founder of Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  6. Sidney Poitier, Academy Award-winning actor
  7. Dr. Pedro Jose Greer Jr., founder of the Camillus Health Concern
  8. Joe Medicine Crow, last living Plains Indian war chief
  9. Edward M. Kennedy, U.S. Senator
  10. Dr. Janet Davison Rowley, cancer researcher

Hawking was also in the news recently for being cited in an editorial in Investors Business Daily as an example of the kind of person who "would not have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless." It perhaps goes without saying that Hawking was born in and lived his entire life in the United Kingdom; he responded to the editorial by saying, "I wouldn’t be here today if it were not for the NHS. I have received a large amount of high-quality treatment without which I would not have survived.”

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