Archive for the ‘bearded’ Category

Well-Respected Beards, No. 008: Jim Henson

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Come on, you know you love him. How many smiles has this dude been responsible for over the last 40 years? How many people can recite that “Number 12” song without even blinking? How hard is it to be green, really? Why does some silly rainbow video have half a million hits? I mean, seriously, it’s a sack made of green felt with some guy’s fist up in it not playing a miniature banjo.

Mr. Henson, if you’re out there, I just want to say thanks for that whole Dark Crystal thing, because the swamp scene totally blew my mind. Sorry I missed you in Leland.

Photo via this here frog fanatic.

Well-Respected Beards, Nos. 032 and 033: Muybridge and Marey

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Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne-Jules Marey, chronophotographers of the late 1800s. If you like movies, thank these dudes, their beards, and their tricked-out cameras.

Well-Respected Beards, No. 011: Ernst Haeckel

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Sure, sure, the creationists like to bitch about some misleading embryo drawings, and — here’s a shocker — we’ve learned some new things about evolutionary biology since he was studying it at the turn of the (other) century. Was he a German social Darwinist at the dawn of the First World War? Yeah, prolly, but I’m no expert on the history of eugenics. It cannot be denied, however, that he was a badass academic and a scientific illustration machine, and I’ll take his stuff over Jackson bloody Pollock any day. Art is for fuckers anyway once you get a load of these radiolarians … there’s enough beautiful stuff outside to keep us happy forever, assuming we don’t paint over it all with drab gray concrete and high-rise condos.

Thanks, Ernst. Thernst.

Photos: Radiolaria from here, Ernst from Wikipedia.

Well-Respected Beards, No. 014: Konrad Lorenz

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“Ever viewing the world like some alert schoolboy about to catch a frog …”

Well-Respected Beards, No. 023: Oliver Sacks is …

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(according to Google)

  • not a master wordsmith, but he is blessed with a great memory and a willingness to state plainly what happened
  • not your typical research doctor that continuously tests and examines the subject as if it were not human
  • that he has called attention in America to the works of the great Soviet psychiatrist Aleksandr R. Luria
  • very clear and shows an extraordinary knowledge not only from his field but also from philosophy
  • the same author who wrote Awakenings a book that was turned into a very successful movie
  • right that artists with autism will never develop as acculturated, ‘real’ artists do
  • a physician and author known for his elegantly written neurological case studies
  • Continue reading

Well-Respected Beards, No. 022: Joseph LeDoux

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New York University: studies Emotion, Memory, and the Brain.
Plays guitar for the Amygdaloids.
Wrote a paper that may have inspired the science behind “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”

From a Salon interview:

Q: Most memories degrade and distort with time; why are music memories so sharply encoded?

A: I know from my own experience that it’s a very powerful way to remember things. I’ve found that in the short time we’ve been playing music we can convey the gist of a concept with a three-minute song that we’d need a chapter for in a book and many, many hours of painstaking work to get across. Then people read it and they forget everything. But you can just sing the line, “An emotional brain is a hard thing to tame,” which captures the essence of the concept, and people remember it.

Well-Respected Beards, No. 001: The Godbeard

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The First Beard. Ever.
Like even before goats were invented.

So, does that mean God created goats in His own image, too? I’m starting to see some holes in this whole Godbeard mythos thing. Maybe the guy who invented God (who was almost certainly a bearded man) should be number 001, and God can be 002 … which would make Jesus 003. Hey, but isn’t the Holy Spirit supposed to be 003? Maybe the guy who invented God decided he wanted some credit, and snuck himself in there as the Holy Spirit: “Pay no attention to the man behind the Godbeard!”

This is gonna be confusing. I hereby declare beard numbers 001-003 “Pending” until we can get to the bottom of this “First Beard” issue.

Well-Respected Beards, Nos. 044 and 031: Speilberg and Connery

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Technically, George Lucas should be in this post too, but we’ll get to him later.

These are some household-name beards right here. These dudes just sit around in their castles or whatever and have courtesans carefully groom their facial hair between sets of gold-plated bocce. Then they either come up with an idea (Speilberg) or somebody hands them one (Connery) and they go and make a movie, and 6-18 months later, they’ve got another 100 million bucks to spend on exotic beardcare products made by leper colony residents in Myanmar out of the saliva glands of jungle tapirs. Yes, I respect their work greatly, but they might as well be Osiris and Khonsu when it comes to the “What would it be like to have a beer with these guys?” metric. If they strolled into the U.N., all the heads of state would line up to get autographs and get all jealous and catty because Steven drew a picture of E.T. on the Secretary of State’s copy of the authorized biography. Ridiculous.

Well-Respected Beards, No. 017: Robert Sapolsky

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No, I haven’t read the book yet. But a brain researcher who lives with Baboons in Kenya and then writes about the neuroscience of stress? That’s just cool. Not in a Brad Pitt, Daniel Craig, ass-kicking kindof way, but cool nonetheless, which makes sense considering his other work on affiliative strategies of non-alpha males in baboon societies.