Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Found while doing a Google Image Search for the Letter "L"

Portraits of Statisticians: there are links to 375 images of eminent statisticians on here. According to the counter the site has been visited almost 200,000 times in the last five years. I'd say "the mind boggles", but there are some seriously awesome portraits on here. Like this one:

This is John Couch Adams, whose main claim to fame is figuring out that Neptune was there three years before it was sighted by astronomers. I can believe it. I mean, look at that big old brain, and that alienesque head tilt. Dig those Svengali eyes: I think it's entirely possible that Neptune isn't there at all, but John Couch Adams has hypnotized mankind right down to our DNA to think it's there. He was so good, he could even hypnotize machines, even ones that hadn't been built yet. Poor Voyager 2, you never stood a chance against the all-pervading mesmeric influence of John Couch Adams.

Either that or Adams knew Neptune existed because at one time he called it home. Can't you just picture him riding the supersonic winds, his head even more enlarged because the helium he needs to swell his cranial transport sac is plentiful and readily available? Imagine his eyes, ecstatic but still holding that wry gleam, as he takes in the sights of a planet four times the size of earth. He is protected by a bubble of flaming blue methane weirded into an impenetrable shield against the terrible cold, the ancient enemy of the frail Neptunians. He will float and swoop forever, his racing brain never tiring of the glory around him, his fluting laugh somehow audible above the crash of the titanic storms.

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