Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, May 5, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:11



Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 5, 2018 

TAMING THE MULTIVERSE: Stephen Hawking’s Final Theory About the Big Bang

Professor Stephen Hawking’s final theory on the 
origin of the universe, which he worked on in 
collaboration with Professor Thomas Hertog from 
KU Leuven, was published last week in the Journal 
of High Energy Physics.

 The theory, which was submitted for publication 
before Hawking’s death earlier this year, is based 
on string theory and predicts the universe is finite 
and far simpler than many current theories about 
the big bang say.

 Professor Hertog, whose work has been 
supported by the European Research Council, 
first announced the new theory at a conference at 
the University of Cambridge in July of last year, 
organized on the occasion of Professor Hawking’s 
75th birthday.

 Modern theories of the big bang predict that 
our local universe came into existence with a brief 
burst of inflation—in other words, a tiny fraction 
of a second after the big bang itself, the universe 
expanded at an exponential rate. It is widely 
believed, however, that once inflation starts, there 
are regions where it never stops. It is thought that 
quantum effects can keep inflation going forever 
in some regions of the universe so that globally, 
inflation is eternal. The observable part of our 
universe would then be just a hospitable pocket 
universe, a region in which inflation has ended 
and stars and galaxies formed.

 “The usual theory of eternal inflation predicts 
that globally our universe is like an infinite fractal, 
with a mosaic of different pocket universes, 
separated by an inflating ocean,” said Hawking in 
an interview last autumn. “The local laws of physics 
and chemistry can differ from one pocket universe 
to another, which together would form a multiverse. 
But I have never been a fan of the multiverse. If the 
scale of different universes in the multiverse is large 
or infinite the theory can’t be tested”.

 “We predict that our universe, on the largest 
scales, is reasonably smooth and globally finite. So 
it is not a fractal structure,” said Hawking.

 The theory of eternal inflation that Hawking 
and Hertog put forward is based on string theory: 
a branch of theoretical physics that attempts 
to reconcile gravity and general relativity with 
quantum physics, in part by describing the 
fundamental constituents of the universe as tiny 
vibrating strings. Their approach uses the string 
theory concept of holography, which postulates 
that the universe is a large and complex hologram: 
physical reality in certain 3D spaces can be 
mathematically reduced to 2D projections on a 

 Hawking and Hertog developed a variation of 
this concept of holography to project out the time 
dimension in eternal inflation. This enabled them 
to describe eternal inflation without having to rely 
on Einstein’s theory. In the new theory, eternal 
inflation is reduced to a timeless state defined on a 
spatial surface at the beginning of time.

 “When we trace the evolution of our universe 
backwards in time, at some point we arrive at the 
threshold of eternal inflation, where our familiar 
notion of time ceases to have any meaning,” said 

 You can contact Bob Eklund at:


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder




Christopher Nyerges

[Nyerges is the author 
of “Nuts and Berries of 
California,” “Extreme 
Simplicity,” and “How to 
Survive Anywhere.” He teaches classes in foraging 
and sustainability. He can be reached at www.]

 In the natural forest, trees sprout up from the 
humus of the forest floor, and grow upwards to the 
light. Other older trees succumb to old age, or fire or 
lightning strikes, and eventually fall back to earth to 
become the fertilizer for other trees and vegetation. 
Life and death is the cycle of the forest. 

 And in our urban areas, the life cycle of 
trees continues unabated, though the cycle is 
strongly controlled by the hand of man. Trees 
are continually cut down for developments and 
roads, and new trees are continually planted, 
sometimes for the mere appearance that the tree 
might provide.

 Are there any guidelines that we might follow 
for the ideal tree selection? Should we be 
thinking about much more than convenience and 
appearance when planting trees?

 Certainly all of us have read gardening and 
landscaping magazines which extoll the beauty of 
this or that “new” tree. But there are always many 
problems down the road by simply choosing a 
tree based on appearances. I prefer the long term 
path of sustainability, following the principles of 
permaculture where nature can take care of itself 
if we let it. 

 When I first moved into a new home in 
Highland Park, some of my neighbors were 
surprised that I cut down a few trees that didn’t fit 
into my picture of productivity and sustainability.

So let’s begin with what not to plant.


Though Eucalyptus has numerous medical and 
aesthetic values, it’s best left in its Australian 
homeland. I’ve researched extensively on the 
pros and cons of eucalyptus, and there are many 
reasons to never plant more eucalyptus trees in 
your Southern California yards. Eucalyptus trees 
suck up inordinate amounts of water, inhibit the 
growth of other vegetation under the trees, and 
actually cause the nearby soil to be less able to 
absorb water. However, if you must cut one down, 
the hard wood is good for building projects (like 
fences), and firewood.


Natives of any given area should be among your 
top choices. Here in Southern California, there 
are plenty of natives which also produce beauty 
and food. Native cherries are evergreen and they 
produce delicious fruits. Toyon is another native 
evergreen tree whose little red fruits can be eaten, 
if you take the time to learn how to prepare them. 
Elder tree is a deciduous tree that requires a bit 
more maintenance, but does produce edible and 
medicinal flowers and fruits.

 If you live in a dry and hot enough area, you should 
consider trees such as palo verde, mesquite, and jojoba 
as yard trees which also produce something edible. 


Landscapers are often the ones who have 
promoted particular trees for their beauty or 
convenience. They are the ones who’ve given us 
so many of the poisonous oleanders throughout 
Southern California. To be fair, the evergreen 
oleander requires so little maintenance that it is no 
wonder you see it along so many freeways. But if 
you have limited space and you want a productive 
yard, you’d not choose an oleander.

 For you non-gardeners, evergreens are those 
trees and bushes which never go bare, and always 
have some leaves, year-round. Deciduous means 
that they drop their leaves in the winter, and go 
bare. In some situations, a deciduous tree is a 
good choice in front of a south-facing window, so 
that it’s shady in summer, but sun is allowed into 
the home in winter when desired.

 Although a deciduous tree means that you 
might have to “clean-up” the fallen leaves, you 
should also consider the possibility of just letting 
the leaves lay there. After all, in the forest, the 
dropped and decaying leaves are what provides 
“food” for the trees, season after season.


 Yard spaces vary, and everyone’s needs vary 
as well. After I’ve selected natives for my yard, 
the next consideration is whether or not I want 
to grow some of my own food in my own yard. 
There are quite a few good choices for Southern 
California, and you should begin by making a list 
of those foods you enjoy eating. Then, cross off all 
that don’t grow well here in Southern California. 
My short list for this area includes avocadoes 
(each variety has different fruiting patterns), 
apples (Anna and Beverly Hills do well here), 
Santa Rosa plum, all citrus, figs, loquats, etc.


 Regardless of where you live, there are local 
weather patterns and wind patterns that can affect 
the trees that you grow in your property. Before 
purchasing and planting new trees, you should 
consider the lay of your land, wind patterns, sun 
exposure, soil type, and perhaps dominant trees 
in the area. If you’re like me, you’ll want to plant 
for the long term, to create a mini-environment 
which creates a pleasant living condition, is easy 
to care for, and produces food and fragrance for 
everyone living there.

 Questions? Write to me.

The worst day of the week for me is Monday. That 
means that I’m starting a new week and usually I 
have to start from scratch. All the things around 
me that annoy me, make me itchy and I have to 

 I cannot wait until the weekend gets here. It is 
the weekend where I can enjoy myself the most.

 I know on Sunday, the best day of the week for 
me, I enjoy fellowshipping with other believers 
and preaching the word of God. I do not claim 
to be the best preacher in the world, I just love 
preaching. When Sunday comes around, I have 
an opportunity to preach.

 The rest of the week, however, is really a drag.

 It was Tuesday morning and I was a little 
down, drinking my coffee rather slowly and the 
Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage looked at me 
and said quite sternly, “What’s wrong with you?”

 It is a simple question and deserves a simple 
answer. From my point of view, it’s not really that 

 Tuesday is not really Monday, which is a little 
better. However, Tuesday is not Wednesday 
either. Tuesday is a very slow day in my week and, 
do not quote me here, but I think there are at least 
30 hours on Tuesday. At least 30. Probably more.

 No matter what I do on Tuesday, it has nothing 
whatsoever to do with getting me to the weekend. 
Not only is this the slowest day of the week, but it 
is the least productive.

 If I do not do very much on Monday, I can 
always blame the fact that it’s Monday and I 
am just getting started. Tuesday I can’t say that. 
Monday should prepare me for Tuesday and 
Tuesday should be the most productive day of my 
week. Either, I’m not using Monday as I should 
or, Tuesday is just a bad day for me. 

 I still did not know how to answer my wife. I 
was so gloomy that I really did not have any way 
to explain why I was so gloomy.

 “Why,” my wife said, “Tuesday is my favorite 
day of the week.”

 I just looked at her in my gloomy attire, 
grunted and couldn’t say anything to her.

 “I can get more done on Tuesday than any day 
of the week,” she boasted.

 I do admit she gets a lot done on Tuesday, 
but that has nothing whatsoever to do with me. 
She is the most talented multitasker I have ever 
known. She can handle up to a dozen projects 
simultaneously. Get her going, and she does not 
know how to stop.

 If I had her talent, I could conquer the world. 
However, after all, it’s only Tuesday and I was a 
little gloomy.

 On Monday, I can say I worked hard over the 
weekend and deserve to take a little bit of a rest. 
Nobody would worry about that not even my 

 But Tuesday? There is no excuse I have ever 
made that justifies not doing something on a 
Tuesday, I know because I have tried everyone on 
my wife.

 Tuesday is the dead point in my week. On 
Monday, for example, I can relax and just think 
about what I did over the weekend and how my 
sermon went.

 I cannot do that on a Tuesday. The weekend is 
already over and the next weekend is far down 
the road. I can sit in my chair, sigh deeply and 
think about how soon the weekend will get here.

 It could be that as you get older your brain 
does not function as much as it did when you 
were younger. I wonder if that is a good excuse?

 “Oh,” I could say to my wife, “I’m getting older 
now and my brain doesn’t function as it once did. 
I got to slow down a little bit.”

 She could look at me and say, “Your brain 
never functioned as long as I’ve known you. It has 
nothing whatsoever to do with how old you are. 
It has everything to do with a nonfunctioning 

 So, I’m not going to give her an opportunity to 
opinionize on the functionality of my brain. My 
brain works enough to know that I better let that 
one alone.

 I have a lot of guilt on a Tuesday. I should be 
doing things, but I just cannot get the focus on 
what I should be doing. I’m looking down the 
week and I vaguely see Saturday approaching. It 
is so far down the road I am not sure I am going 
to get it in time. In time for what? I don’t know.

 At least on Wednesday the week is half over. 
Monday means a new week has started, but 
Tuesday does not mean anything.

 I was sitting in my chair drinking some coffee 
when my wife comes up and saw me and asked 
me, “Do you have anything to do?” 

Since my brain functioning was limited because 
of my age, I quickly responded, “No.”

 Before I realized what I had said, I was in deep 
trouble. My wife said, “Good, you can help me 
with some chores today.”

 As she led me to the garage, I thought of the 
Scripture, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, 
do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor 
device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, 
whither thou goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

 The weekend cannot come soon enough for 

 The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family 
of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 
34472. He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver 
Springs Shores. Call him at 352-687-4240 or 
e-mail The church web site 

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