Queen guitarist Brian May has completed his thesis for a PhD in astronomy - more than 30 years after he started the academic paper.
The We Will Rock You star, 59, earned a physics degree from London's prestigious university Imperial College in the 1970s, but abandoned his studies for a doctorate in favour of a music career.
May resumed his PhD course earlier this year (07), taking time out from his music career - including cancelling an appearance at the recent Concert For Diana - in order to concentrate on his thesis.
But the rocker is relieved to have finally finished the study and told students at England's Exeter University - where he received an honourary doctorate on Wednesday (11Jul07) - of his joy.
He said: "For the last nine months, I've done nothing except slave over my PhD, which is now written up, thank God.
"But there are times when you really want to give up. There are times when you go, 'Why on earth did I take this on?'"
May will receive his PhD in astronomy next May (08), providing his work is considered up to standard by university professors.
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Obtaining a Masters degree sometimes involves writing and presenting a thesis paper, which includes the outcomes of the student’s thesis work plus references to current and prior research in the field of study. To obtain a PhD, one must usually contribute something original and important to existing research, so the final paper (which is the length of a book) includes both references to existing prior research and, more importantly, a detailed discussion and analysis of the PhD candidate’s research contributions in her or his field.
A Native American chief goes to his
medicine man and states I have
three squaws and many daughters. I need a son to become chief when I
die. What can I do to beget a son?
The medicine man goes to the holy mountain and fasts, chants, and
beats himself with sacred branches. After several weeks, he returns
to the chief and says It has been revealed to me. You shall gird
your loins and save your seed until the next full moon. Then, when
the moon is full you should lie with each of your squaws in her turn.
You will be rewarded for your obedience.
The Chief follows these directions and when the moon is next full,
goes first to the squaw in the teepee on the antelope hide. He next
goes to the squaw in the teepee on the buffalo hide. And finally he
goes to the third squaw, the one in the teepee on the hippopotamus
Nine moons later, as the full moon shines on the encampment, all three
squaws go into labor.
The chief awaits the outcome in his teepee, smoking the sacred pipe.
Finally, a messenger comes. The squaw on the antelope hide has
had a boy papoose!
The Chief has barely begun to celebrate when the second messenger
comes. The squaw on the buffalo hide has had another boy
And before his elation can really hit him, the third messenger
announces: the squaw on the hippopotamus hide has had twin boy
The Chief is overcome, and hurries to the medicine man. I have been
without a male offspring for many, many moons. Now I suddenly have
four. What is the meaning of this great sign?
The medicine man hurries to the sacred mountain and begins his chants,
fasts, and self-beatings. A few days later he returns to the Chief.
The meaning of this great sign has been revealed to me:
The sum of the sons of the squaw on the hippopotamus is equal to the
sum of the sons of the squaws on the other two hides.