Jewish tech billionaire gives $100M to Stephen Hawking’s search for aliens


A Jewish-Russian tech billionaire is teaming up with renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking to launch an unprecedented search for intelligent extraterrestrial life.

Yuri Milner, an investor in tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Spotify, is dedicating $100 million to the 10-year project, called the Breakthrough Listen Initiative, according to the French news agency AFP. The initiative will use powerful telescopes to scan the stars, reaching farther than previous methods employing radio signals or lasers.

The project will be 50 times more sensitive than previous attempts and scan 10 times more area, according to AFP. Milner said the project will take the search for aliens to “a completely new level.”

But Hawking warned that dangers come along with the project: If a civilization is far more developed than the Earth’s, it may view humans as unevolved and of no value.

“A civilization reading one of our messages could be billions of years ahead,” Hawking said, according to AFP. “If so, they will be vastly more powerful and may not see us as any more valuable than we see bacteria.”

The ultimate bar or bat mitzvah playlist


Tired of listening to Kool & the Gang at b’nai mitzvah parties? Here is a playlist of 13 songs that will bring the shy boys and boy-crazy girls to the dance floor, while following in the talmudic tradition of adding a little commentary to the big day.

“When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)”
The Beach Boys (1965)
That would be today, fellas.

“I’ll Be There for You”
(theme song from “Friends”)
The Rembrandts (1995)
Invite 300 of your closest friends!

“Get the Party Started”
Pink (2001)
Best. Entrance. Song. Ever.

“Fire”
Jimi Hendrix (1967)
Don’t forget bubbe and zayde during the candle lighting.

“I Want to Take You Higher”
Sly and the Family Stone (1969)
Lift that chair in the air!

“Shiver”
Coldplay (2000)
Is it me or is the synagogue freezing?

“Gimme Little Sign”
Brenton Wood (1967)
No party is complete without a signing board.

“Suit & Tie”
Justin Timberlake (2013)
You’d better dress up, boys.  

“Happy”
Pharrell Williams (2013)
Clap along if you feel … like “Havah Nagilah” is played out.

“Beautiful Day”
U2 (2000)
Sure is.

“Parents Just Don’t Understand”
DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince (1988)
Sorry, Mom and Dad, but the next 13 years will be even harder.

“Hold On, We’re Going Home”
Drake (2013)
Not if this Jewish rapper has anything to say about it.

“Best Day of My Life”
American Authors (2013)
Until your 16th birthday, that is.