Is there anything more attractive than an intelligent man? A man that has not only made the world a groovier place, but has actually benefited the entire world through the power of his knowledge and the courage to make a difference? Well, I think not. That's why these two sweethearts are my valentines, this year and every year.
Every gal has a guy that comes around and changes her life. He makes her see things anew, appreciate the finer things, and serenades her with the sweetest guitar you ever heard. Dr. Brian May entered my life around 1976 or so, and I haven't been the same since. And that is for the better. The moment I heard that incredible guitar of his, I KNEW what rock and roll was all about. The best Christmas present I remember was the sight of Queen's "News of the World" propped up against the tree one year, sans wrapping. My parents were smart enough to realize it needed none. How perfect was that sight to an 11-year old! I literally wore out the record, and had to buy a new one later. I have never experienced another guitar as melodious, as beautiful as Brian May's. It was a singular, unmistakable sound. Being the young genius Brian was, he actually designed and built his own guitar at an early age. And that was just the beginning of his story.
You see, he formed Queen, along with Freddie Mercury, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor between degrees. That's right. Educational degrees. Such as a Bachelor in Math. A Master's in Math and Physics, with honors, mind you. But he wasn't finished. In 2007, he completed his long work on his Doctoral thesis on Zodiacal (interplanetary) dust clouds, finally achieving his Ph.D. in Astrophysics. He was installed as chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University in 2008, and has coauthored a book entitled "Bang!" His web site, here, is well worth checking out. Be sure to take a peek at "Bri's Soapbox", his own blog that is both witty and incisive. Living a life free of drugs and drama, he is possibly rock's best kept secret. How could a girl of 11 have known what was going on behind the scenes? With each passing year, my admiration for this gentleman grows, as does my passion for his music. Thank you, Dr. May, for adding so much to my life.
There is another extraordinary gentleman, also a Briton, who has made my and so many other lives better simply for his being here. Dr. Stephen Hawking, the exemplary astrophysicist who has literally shaped the way our Universe is viewed, has contributed a monumental amount of knowledge to science. His unique theories and numerous books, films, and peer-reviewed studies have not only lent themselves to a greater understanding of the workings of the Universe by scientists and non-scientists alike, but have inspired many young people to explore the vast field of science as a hobby and as a career.
Among the most important and esoteric topics Dr. Hawking has studied are black holes and event horizons, gradation, string theory, wormholes, and entropy. He has authored numerous books, including "A Brief History of Time" and "On the Shoulders of Giants: The Great Works of Physics and Astronomy". He is a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, and like his cohort Dr. May, has been honored as a CBE (Commander of the British Empire). His long fight against motor neuron disease (likely a form of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) has not impeded his search for a greater understanding of the Universe. His amazing web site may be examined here.
Both these men are true heroes to me, and have made my life more positive through their influence. Long may my Valentine sweethearts live!