iFive: Hawking vs. God, Layoff-Happy CEOs, Euro Shopping Spree, Walkmen vs. iPods, Hurricane Earl

Professor Stephen Hawking rethinks God, CEOs who fire more earn more, European consumer spending is up, Walkman sales somehow surpass iPod sales in Japan, and Hurricane Earl spins up the Eastern Seaboard.

Soon the TV you flick on to watch the news before your morning commute may be cinema-screen-sized and 3-D. Innovation, even when your eyes can’t take the early-hour strain.


1. Stephen Hawking’s new book is due out, and the physics guru has apparently changed his mind about God, according to an extract published in the Times U.K. today. Previously the prof had been ambivalent–physics didn’t rule out a creator, he thought, even while it reduced his powers to significantly less than godlike. Now he’s saying “It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going.” No comment from God was immediately available.

2. Want to earn more? If you’re a CEO, fire people. Lots of ’em. That’s one conclusion from a new survey revealing that CEOs of the 50 U.S. companies that ditched the most staff between late 2008 and early 2010 were paid 42% more than the average for their peer group. Oh, and as a bonus? It’ll increase your profits too.

3. Europe is seeing the strongest rise in consumer spending in years. Those Eurozoners have been forking over more cash in shops than since the start of the global economic slowdown in 2007. Europe, so thinkers now think, is more resilient in resisting financial glitches elsewhere in the world than some had worried. Our theory: thanks to Europop they listen to less Justin Bieber.


4. Even while Apple is injecting more and more deliciousness into its iPod lineup, Sony Walkman sales are reportedly surpassing the mighty iPod in Japan. How is this possible? The consumer research firm did admit that some Japanese MP3 fans were holding out for the new iPods, however.

5. Hurricane Earl girded his loins
overnight, and this morning he’s set his sights on the Outer Banks of
North Carolina. Warnings are clanging from there all the way up to parts
of Massachusetts, after weather experts wiggled their digital fingers
in the air to sample the climate, and their computer models suggested
Earl will spin Northwards today. Earl doesn’t care much for models, of
course, has been building up energy to blow winds at over 145 miles an
hour. Batten down the hatches, Eastern Seaboard! Tropical Storm Gaston
is close behind, and expected to become a hurricane on Saturday.


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