Mummy Buzz


Wanted: Hawking's Right Hand (Wo)man

No Instruction Manual Provided

Looking for a fresh start to the new year? For many, 2012 could include a welcome job change...

How would you like to be Stephen Hawking’s assistant? For a mere 25,000 pounds ($39,300 CDN) a year, all you have to do is operate the famed British physicist's complex voicebox.

Following a tracheotomy in 1985, Hawking who suffers from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease which left him almost completely paralyzed, can't communicate his genius except through an electronic speech system that interprets "the twitches of his face."

On his website Hawking claims the successful applicant must be "computer literate, ready to travel, and able to repair electronic devices 'with no instruction manual or technical support.'"

A bit of an understatement, I'd say. The wheelchair-mounted computer not only enables Hawking's trademark robotic speech, it can also connect to the Internet over cell phone networks and allows him to control light switches, watch TV and open doors via a universal infrared remote.

Although it may take a genius to rival Hawking's in order to operate the software—not to mention that the pay is a little on the stingy side—but think of the great public service you'd be doing. Geniuses are few and far between. Let's not silence this one.