Archive for the Beards Category

Van Dyck and Beards

Posted in Art, Beards with tags , , , on April 23, 2020 by telescoper

The 17th-century Flemish painter Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641) is famous not only as an artist but also for a particular style of facial hair, the goatee/moustache combo now known as a “Van Dyke”, as demonstrated by the man himself in this self-portrait:

What I didn’t realise until recently however that van Dyck painted a very large number of studies of men with all kinds of beards. Here is a particularly fine example (Study of a Bearded Man with Hands Raised, 1616).

I’m not an expert but based on the poses I suspect these studies were done in preparation for paintings with biblical themes. Indeed the model looks rather similar to the figure in Jude The Apostle completed about three years later:

R.I.P. Kenny Rogers (1938-2020)

Posted in Beards, Music with tags , on March 23, 2020 by telescoper

I’m not a great aficionado of Country music, but I was very sad to hear at the weekend of the death of one of its icons, and possessor of an iconic beard, Kenny Rogers. Here as a tribute is one of big hits, a song with a message for those of us who like a flutter now and then..

 

St Patrick’s Day Beard of Ireland 2020

Posted in Beards, Biographical with tags , on March 17, 2020 by telescoper

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!

Today is St Patrick’s Day, a national holiday in Ireland, so I’ve swapped working from home for not working from home.

Anyway it has been officially announced that I am the winner of the 2020 Beard of Ireland poll. Thank you so much to everyone who voted for me!

It is was a nail-biting contest (though we all washed our hands carefully afterwards).

The runner-up was Aodhán Connolly who is from Northern Ireland, as were many of the other contenders. There was a nice piece in the Belfast Telegraph but I haven’t seen anything in the Republic.

Anyway, for those who asked here is one of those selfie picture things that young people do, showing current beard configuration.

Now wash your hands please!

Beard of Ireland 2020 poll sees record turn-out

Posted in Beards on March 11, 2020 by telescoper

I just checked the state of the voting in this year’s Beard of Ireland poll and, no doubt owing to some form of administrative error, I seem to be in the lead!

There are still several days to go however and things often change rapidly as these polls enter the final stages.

The really good thing about this poll is that it’s generating so much interest. I hope this may help counter some of the blatant pogonophobia going around because of the Coronavirus emergency.

Kmflett's Blog

Beard Liberation Front

Press release 10th March

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

BEARD OF IRELAND 2020 POLL SEES RECORD TURN-OUT

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that competition for the Irish Beard of the Year title has seen a record turn-out with votes cast so far already more than 500% up on 2019.

The campaigners say this reflects an increased awareness of the importance of beards in public life in Ireland

The 2017 winner was politician Colum Eastwood who bearded broadcaster William Crawley for the annual Award.

In 2018 the DUP’s Lee Reynolds shaved writer Dominic O’Reilly for the honour with Colum Eastwood in a steady third place.

In 2019 Lee Reynolds retained the title

The vote ends at midnight on 15th March with the 2020 winner announced to mark St Patrick’s Day on 17th March

The BLF says that while traditionally a…

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Competition set to bristle in Beard of Ireland 2020 poll

Posted in Beards, Biographical on March 3, 2020 by telescoper

The poll for Beard of Ireland 2020 has opened and the winner will be announced on St Patrick’s Day (March 17th).

Owing to an administrative error I am among those nominated and was even in the lead in early voting (I mean after about 5 votes). Now I have fallen back so I fear I may have peaked too soon!

Anyway, please feel free to vote!

 

P.S. That’s not me in the picture.

Kmflett's Blog

Beard Liberation Front

Press release 2nd March

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

BEARD OF IRELAND 2020 POLL SEES COMPETITION BRISTLING

2019 winner Lee Reynolds

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that competition for the Irish Beard of the Year 2020 is officially open

The 2017 winner was politician Colum Eastwood who bearded broadcaster William Crawley for the annual Award.

In 2018 the DUP’s Lee Reynolds shaved writer Dominic O’Reilly for the honour with Colum Eastwood in a steady third place.

In 2019 Lee Reynolds retained the title

The 2020 winner will be announced to mark St Patrick Day on 17th March

The BLF says that while traditionally a land of predominantly clean-shaven cultures, Ireland has in recent times become something of a centre for stylish and trendy beards.

Contenders for the title in 2020 include a diverse range of the hirsute- footballers, political activists…

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Clifford’s `Space-Theory of Matter’

Posted in Beards, History, mathematics, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , on February 26, 2020 by telescoper

Well, here’s another thing I didn’t know until I was informed by Twitter.

Way back in 1876 –  forty years before Einstein presented his Theory of General Relativity – the mathematician W.K. Clifford (who is most famous nowadays for the Clifford Algebra) presented a short paper in the Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society in which he speculated that space might be described by Riemannian rather than Euclidean Geometry.

Here are a couple of excerpts:

and

The paper does not contain any actual equations, and his concentration on small scales rather than large was misguided, but it is quite remarkable that he was thinking about such matters such a long time ago!

Unfortunately Clifford died very young, in 1879, at the age of 33, tuberculosis. Had he lived longer he might have been able to develop these ideas a bit further.

As a postscript I should mention that Clifford had an impressive beard.

Call for support for Carrick McClean school student barred from A-Levels due to having a beard

Posted in Beards on January 5, 2020 by telescoper

Mr Carrick Mcclean has been barred from his A-level* classes at St Columb’s College in Derry because of his facial hair. Please sign the petition to have him reinstated. I’m sure such blatant pogonophobic discrimination would not be tolerated in a United Ireland.

*for readers in the Republic, the A-level is the Protestant Leaving Certificate.

Kmflett's Blog


Beard Liberation Front

Press Release 4th January Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

Call for support for Carrick McClean, school student barred from A-Levels due to having a beard

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has called for support for a Derry Sixth Form student Carrick McClean.

Mr McClean has been banned from sitting for his A Level at St Columbs in Derry because he has a beard.

The pogonophobic rules of the school do not allow students to have a beard

BLF Organiser Keith Flett said, this is not the 1950s and we fully support Mr McClean. There is a petition that can be signed and we expect a change of mind by the school

https://www.change.org/p/principal-abolish-st-columb-s-college-clean-shaven-policy

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Famous?

Posted in Beards with tags , on December 30, 2019 by telescoper

I noticed that the BBC website has an item about has an item about Beard of the Year 2019. The piece contains the following:

I feel the second paragraph rather contradicts the first!

Anyway, congratulations to this year’s winner, Rylan Clark-Neal, who is actually famous.

So I’m told.

The Relativity of Beards

Posted in Beards, History, The Universe and Stuff with tags , , , , on December 4, 2019 by telescoper

In my first-year module on Mechanics and Special Relativity, I’ve just moved on to the part about Special Relativity and this afternoon I’m going to talk about the Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction or, as it’s properly called here in Ireland, the Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction.

The first thing to point out is that the physicists George Francis Fitzgerald and Hendrik Lorentz, though of different nationality (the former Irish, the latter Dutch), both had fine beards:

George Francis Fitzgerald (1851-1901)

Hendrik Lorentz (1853-1928)

One of the interesting things you find if you read about the history of physics just before Albert Einstein introduced his theory of special relativity in 1905 was how many people seemed to be on the verge of getting the idea around about the same time. Fitzgerald and Lorentz were two were almost there; Poincaré was another. It was like special relativity was `in the air’ at the time. It did, however, take a special genius like Einstein to crystallize all that thinking into a definite theory.

Special relativity is fun to teach, not least because it throws up interesting yet informative paradoxes (i.e. apparent logical contradictions) arising from  that you can use to start a discussion. They’re not actually paradoxes really logical contradictions, of course. They just challenge `common sense’ notions, which is a good thing to do to get people thinking.

Anyway, I thought I’d mention one of my favorite such paradoxes arising from a simple Gedankenerfahrung (thought experiment) here.

Imagine you are in a railway carriage moving along a track at constant speed relative to the track. The carriage is dark, but at the centre of the carriage is a flash bulb. At one end (say the front) of the carriage is a portrait of Lorentz and at the other (say the back) a portrait of Fitzgerald; the pictures are equidistant from the bulb and next to each portrait is a clock.The two clocks are synchronized in the rest frame of the carriage.

At a particular time the flash bulb goes off, illuminating both portraits and both clocks for an instant.

It is an essential postulate of special relativity that the speed of light is the same to observers in any inertial frame, so that an observer at rest in the centre of the carriage sees both portraits illuminated simultaneously as indicated by the adjacent clocks. This is because the symmetry of the situation means that light has to travel the same distance to each portrait and back.

Now suppose we view the action from the point of view of a different inertial observer, at rest by the trackside rather than on the train, who is positioned right next to the centre of the carriage as the flash goes off. The flight flash travels with the same speed in the second observer’s frame, but this observer sees* the back of the carriage moving towards the light signal and the front moving away. The result is therefore that this observer sees the two portraits light up at different times. In this case the portrait of Fitzgerald is lit up before the portrait of Lorentz.

Had the train been going in the opposite direction, Lorentz would have appeared before Fitzgerald. That just shows that whether its Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction or Fitzgerald-Lorentz contraction is just a matter of your frame of reference…

But that’s not the paradoxical thing. The paradox is although the two portraits appear at different times to the trackside observer, the clocks still appear show the same time….

 

*You have to use your imagination a bit here, as the train has to be travelling at a decent fraction of the speed of light. It’s certainly not an Irish train.

 

 

 

Beard of Ireland 2019 poll opens

Posted in Beards, Politics on March 4, 2019 by telescoper

Well, much to my surprise I find I am on the ballot paper for Beard of Ireland 2019. I don’t suppose I’ll feature among the front-runners as I don’t think my beard has had much impact on the Irish landscape. At the moment, however, the current leader is a DUP politician…

Kmflett's Blog

Beard Liberation Front

Press release 3rd March

Contact Keith Flett 07803 167266

BEARD OF IRELAND 2019 POLL OPENS

The Beard Liberation Front, the informal network of beard wearers, has said that competition for the Irish Beard of the Year title is expected to see hairs split as the voting for the annual award opens

The 2017 winner was politician Colum Eastwood who bearded broadcaster William Crawley for the annual Award.

In 2018 the DUP’s Lee Reynolds shaved writer Dominic O’Reilly for the honour with Colum Eastwood in a steady third place.

The 2019 winner will be announced to mark St Patrick Day on 17th March

The BLF says that while traditionally a land of predominantly clean-shaven cultures, Ireland has in recent times become something of a centre for stylish and trendy beards.

Contenders for the title in 2019 include a diverse range of the hirsute- actors, comedians, political activists, journalists…

View original post 121 more words