Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Sub Notes: Science of Scary Hair*

Tarzan, or Newton's Untamed Descendant?
*Or:  Why English Majors Should Never Be Allowed to Teach Science

Today's Improper Poll evolved. Perhaps it's because I’ve been teaching science lately, so nothing has been normal for me.  But teaching science also means I am occasionally bombarded with pictures of various scientists from the past. I've developed a theory that science does weird things to your hair. 


Because have you ever noticed that scientists from a few centuries ago appear to have discovered interesting ways to sprout hair? Sir Isaac Newton, whom I suspect was a model for the cartoon Tarzan, has always reminded me of 80s hair bands or else 60s go-go dancers. His head is proof of Newton’s little-known discovery that a large mass of hair can actually defy gravity and therefore expand within the universe (m=1,000,000xhair²).


Copernicus, on the other hand, whose buoyant bob appears to have fallen in bouncy body-liciousness, spent many hours working on the hypothesis that the universe, in fact, revolves around his hair (otherwise known as the Hairiocentric Theory).

On the opposite pole is Charles Darwin, who was actually cute in the years before survival of the hairiest evolved him into Santa Clause’s scarier brother.

Darwin Before
Darwin After

And don’t get me started on Einstein. Discover a middle ground, people!

When red-haired people are above a certain social grade their hair is auburn.
~Mark Twain


  1. Love this, Tammy, and the Twain quote is perfect.
    Yes, the first picture of Darwin must have been painted when he was doing his early researches aboard the Beagle, and he actually was cute, wasn't he?
    And Newton's untamed descendant might even have been his untamed ancestor. LOL
    As for Copernicus, he looks very snooty, as if he's saying "Don't wave that paint brush around so fast, you might mess up my hair."
    I promise I won't get you started on Einstein. It's more fun just to imagine what you might say about him!

    1. Hee hee..."ancestor!!" Wish I'd thought of it.

  2. Tammy, this is brilliantly funny! I have been having quite a time commenting on your posts recently, but I have stayed persistant. I switched to "pop-up" comments on my own blog, and it has made getting comments on my posts a LOT easier.

  3. Please ignore the misspelled word. I don't know WHAT I was thinking, and I am embarrassed by it.

    1. Judie, I couldn't find a misspelling. I had to copy your comment and paste into spell check in order to detect it. Talk about embarrassed. I say we blame science for that, too.

  4. Okay. So how do you explain THESE guys?


  5. As a woman who once had a perm phase I sadly call my "Corky the Clown" phase, I refuse to comment on anyone's bad hair.

    Only when I shave it off will I have a good hair day.

  6. Tom, many of those movies are science fiction, thus proving my hypothesis.

    Sioux, I posted this after getting out of the shower, so my hair was allowed to do its own thing. Then I got a look in the mirror. It's catching!!!

  7. Well, you know my hair story, to flip over pr dye for! You are so funny!

  8. Funny post.
    I think you're on to something, Tammy. And there's always Sigmund Freud--if psychology is considered a science.
    Love the Mark Twain quote.

  9. Yea! You have made my commenting life soooo much easier!!!


  10. Funny post. Maybe I'm really a scientist :-) - well in the morning anyway!

  11. Haha! Only you would make this connection. But, dang, lady, I think you're right!

  12. Oh, the hair, the hair!

    Critter Alley

  13. But.. You forgot the most important example of them all -- Dr. Who!!


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