‘Big Bang Theory’ gets shout out
STOCKHOLM (AP) — Life imitated art Tuesday when “The Big Bang Theory” — the American TV sitcom, not the scientific explanation for how the universe began — entered the annals of Nobel Prize history.
The announcement of the winners of this year’s Nobel in physics began with a nod to an unlikely cultural reference: the opening lyrics to the show’s theme song. “The Big Bang Theory” had its finale in May. In the episode, two of the main characters, Sheldon and Amy, win the physics prize.
“Our whole universe was in a hot, dense state, then nearly 14 billion years ago expansion started,” academy member Ulf Danielsson said, quoting “The Big Bang” theme at the presentation in Stockholm.
A Canadian-American scientist and two Swiss scientists won the physics prize for their work in understanding how the universe has evolved from the Big Bang and the blockbuster discovery of a planet outside our solar system.
Goran Hansson, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, said the TV show was a “fantastic achievement” that brought the “world of science to laptops and living rooms around the world.” Referencing its theme song therefore seemed fitting, he said.
“The Big Bang Theory” debuted in 2007 and overcame early doubts to become a cult classic. The show featured a crew of nerdy misfits, all scientists on the West coast of the United States.
The plot of the finale episode has the group taking a final trip together to support the married Sheldon (Jim Parsons) and Amy (Mayim Bialik) after they win the Nobel Prize in physics. The couple waits anxiously by the phone getting prank calls from their friends before receiving the actual decision.
Hansson said he hoped fans of the show liked how this year’s Nobel Prizes are handled.
“I hope that Sheldon and Amy are not too disappointed today,” he said.
Man charged in LA with director’s death
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a man in the cold-case killing of a TV director who worked on “The Incredible Hulk,” ‘’The Six Million Dollar Man” and other shows more than three decades ago.
The district attorney’s office in Los Angeles said Tuesday that 53-year old Edwin Jerry Hiatt is facing one count of murder with a special allegation that he used a deadly weapon to kill director Barry Crane.
Officials say Hiatt was linked to the 1985 killing with DNA evidence.
Hiatt was arrested in North Carolina and is awaiting extradition to California. It wasn’t immediately clear if he has an attorney.
Investigators believe the 57-year-old Crane was bludgeoned with a large ceramic statue before being found with a telephone cord wrapped around his neck.
Couple get month in college scandal
BOSTON (AP) — A business executive and his wife, a former journalist, were each sentenced to a month in prison Tuesday for paying $125,000 to rig their daughter’s college entrance exams in a scandal involving dozens of wealthy and sometimes famous parents.
Gregory and Marcia Abbott, of New York and Colorado, were sentenced in Boston’s federal court after pleading guilty to a single count of fraud and conspiracy. They follow five other parents who have been sentenced so far, with prison sentences ranging from 14 days to five months.
The Abbotts paid $50,000 to have a test proctor correct their daughter’s ACT exam answers in 2018, along with $75,000 to rig her SAT subject tests in math and literature, authorities said. They kept the scheme hidden from their daughter.
Prosecutors had pushed for sentences of eight months in prison and a $40,000 fine for each parent. They said the couple planned to use the test scores to get their daughter into Duke University, where Marcia Abbott had received an English degree.
In a Sept. 27 letter to the court, Gregory Abbott said that his actions were “wrong and stupid” and that he feels “genuine remorse.”
“I share the same sensibilities as most people and, strange as it may sound, identify with the public outrage over my own actions,” he wrote. “I accept full shame and responsibility.”
Gregory Abbott, who lives in New York City, was chairman and CEO of International Dispensing Corp., a food packaging company, in New York until he took a leave of absence in March. Marcia Abbott, who lives in the couple’s home in Aspen, is a former magazine editor and writer. A wedding announcement in 1987 said she was a former fashion editor for Family Circle.
Meanwhile, the case’s lead prosecutor said he plans to recommend longer prison sentences for “Full House” star Lori Loughlin and other parents contesting the charges against them.
Massachusetts U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling said in a Sunday interview with Boston’s WCVB-TV that the longer Loughlin fights the charges, the longer her recommended sentence will be.
“Let’s say she goes through to trial: If it’s after trial, I think certainly we’d be asking for something substantially higher. If she resolved her case short of trial, something a little lower than that,” Lelling said.
Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are accused of paying $500,000 to get their two daughters into the University of Southern California as fake athletes. They have pleaded not guilty.
Lelling added that actress Felicity Huffman’s sentence of 14 days in prison was “reasonable.” The “Desperate Housewives” star was sentenced Sept. 13 after she admitted to paying $15,000 to rig her daughter’s SAT score.
“Huffman was probably the least culpable of the defendants who we’ve charged in that case,” Lelling said. “She took responsibility almost immediately. She was contrite, did not try to minimize her conduct. I think she handled it in a very classy way,” Lelling said.
Venice court temporarily blocks da Vinci loan to Louvre
MILAN (AP) — An administrative court in Venice decided Tuesday to temporarily suspend the loan of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” to the Louvre in Paris for an exhibition that is set to open later this month.
The move followed a request by the non-profit group Italia Nostra, which has been protesting the loan of the famed drawing by the Renaissance master from Venice’s Accademia Gallery.
A final decision is set for Oct. 16, just days before the exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death is set to open at the Louvre on Oct. 24.
Italia Nostra, which campaigns for the protection of Italy’s cultural treasures, argued that such a “precious and fragile” masterpiece should not leave Italy.
The Culture Ministry called the decision “incomprehensible.”
Culture Minister Dario Franceschini signed a memorandum in September securing the loan in exchange for a work by Raphael for an exhibition marking the 500th anniversary of his death next year in Rome.
“The Vitruvian Man,” Leonardo’s famed study of human proportions, is normally kept out of public view in climate-controlled conditions, but was exhibited at the Accademia Gallery from April through July as part of events marking the anniversary of his death.