A Briefer History of Time
[ Issue 20 ]

Emily Bronto clearly approves of 'A Briefer History of Time'

Bikwil salutes 'A Briefer History of Time'

A Briefer History of Time

In Issue 20's Web Line column Tony Rogers takes a look at some humorous sites that derive from Stephen Hawking's famous Brief History of Time.

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Web Line — Tony Rogers


In Issue 18 (March 1999) I looked at Web sites devoted to physicist Stephen Hawking.

Not surprisingly, his world famous Brief History of Time has in recent times attracted at least one humorous derivative, namely a book by astronomer and educator Eric Schulman entitled A Briefer History of Time: From the Big Bang to the Big Mac (1999, ISBN: 07167 3389 7),

. . . a highly irreverent and scientifically entertaining overview of some of the most important cosmic milestones since the beginning of time.

The critical thing is that Schulman’s book will answer questions you might have never even conceived of asking — like why the universe is expanding and why this doesn’t make it any easier to find a parking place. Even if you were asking those very questions only yesterday, I know you can’t wait to get further info about the book from the Web. And while you’re in the mood, take in some other intelligent nonsense from Eric Schulman — The Universal History Translation Project.

In 1997 Schulman had published in The Annals of Improbable Research what he called The History of the Universe in 200 Words or Less. This gave rise to The Universal History Translation Project, which has involved the translation of those 200 Words (or Less) into more than 30 languages. A Briefer History of Time is itself based on the 200-word history. This second Web site presents us with all available translations to date, including some “in two words or less”,

(a) the scientific:
Bang. Expansion.

(b) the religious:
God. Man.

(c) the agnostic:
Nothing. Something.

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