Saturday, 3 April 2010

The Professor's Hair

Since launching The Periodic Table of Videos on YouTube, I've received more than 1,000 comments about Martyn Poliakoff's hair style!


So I thought I'd take this opportunity to discuss the famous hair style (and share some of the YouTube comments).

"The hair is the thing that pulls you in. Then you can't look away."

"The hair is actually an extension of his brain. The slightest contact with a comb or pair of scissors would mean certain death."

"Sir your hair is amazing"

Firstly, I'll point out an unexpected way in which these comments are useful.

Every time someone posts ANY comment on a YouTube video, the comment's also emailed to me. I must have received 40,000 to 50,000 such emails covering countless topics.


"His hair oozes gangsterness."

"Good video, agreed the white haired dude is now hero of the universe."

However when the emails start mentioning Martyn's hair, it's a tell-tale sign a video has been featured on YouTube's front page.... That's because it means we're reaching new viewers - people are seeing our videos (and Martyn) for the first time.

So sure enough, the first way I usually learn YouTube are giving us extra exposure is because of references to hair.


"At first sight, I couldn't believe a tenured professor would be so tacky as to wear his hair like that; but after having seen several videos, I couldn't imagine him otherwise. Often times, myself included, brilliant people certainly are statistical outliers."

"He's a genius. His hair is Pimp"

"These videos here give me hope that YouTube isnt full of sh-t now ...and because I love the white afro guy."

So what does Martyn (known to most YouTubers simply as "The Professor") think about this?

Well he's used to it, and I don't think he pays much attention. However he realises it's a talking point, and has commented in some of our videos.




"I think his hair is great and for those mocking it, go find a picture of Einstein's hair."

"You must utilise the power of your spectacular hairstyle and bring peace to the world!"

People also send us look-alike photos. In this video Martyn was a great sport and let us take the mickey!

All the reactions are genuine and no-one was shown the picture beforehand.




And here's a picture from Martyn's wedding day, revealing his hair has always looked like that!!!


And finally, more comments from viewers on YouTube:

"I knew it, even when he was a youngster he had that crazy fro hair."

"Love the hair. I wonder what shampoo he uses?"

"Why do so many highly intelligent people have such bizzare hair?"

"1.21 GIGAWATTS! *combs hair with hands for one second* *whisper* 1.21 gigawatts"

"Prof Poliakoff's fluctuating hair volume is also a great point of interest, but my pupils all think it's simply a sign of his genius!"

"I think we have finally found who is the father of Chuck Norris, it has to be the guy with white hair, only he can be amazing enough to have a son like that."

"Good video, agreed the white haired dude is now hero of the universe."

"The Prof has had his hair cut. Can we order pillow/duvet sets stuffed with his hair?"

"Why in the world do these people have no idea about barbers? Are they all trying to look like Einstein? Don't they know that looking like Einstein doesn't make you as smart as Einstein."

"His hair isn't anything like Einstein's... Its just the same color.."

"I'm not sure what's cooler, his tie or his white afro :)"

"The camera loves Professor Poliakoff and his wonderful hair!!!"

"I subbed for the hair alone ;-)"

"Element 112 - it's this guys hair product."

"Instead of going to a stylist, he dunks his head into an iron formula and sits in an MRI machine every month or two."

"This dude's hair is bitchin!"

"The hair adds credibility to his scientific statements......hes a genius....look at the hair!"

"The hair are like little radio recievers. It absorbs information from the surroundings."

"Looks like an old, white afro ninja!"

"His hair serves two purposes, the first is to hide the fact that he has an enormous brain, the second is to shield that enormous brain from high energy waves and particles. Its more like a hat than hair."

"I think the key to anti gravity technology lies within this guys hair."

"He should not change a single hair on his head. He way too cool. I predict he is going to be very popular GLOBALLY."

"That hair gets more spectacular with each video. It will eventually fill the university, I'm sure of it."

"Can we use the red doppler shift to calculate the expansion of his hair?"

"Great hair ...but....watch out for the bunsen burner....could be quite spectacular!!!"

"Man has always wondered what the purpose of life is.... His hair is the purpose of life."

12 comments:

  1. "Martyn" on the march/12 Science cover: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/vol327/issue5971/cover.dtl

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  2. @mvpetri Well spotted. I like it!

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  5. What is the book on the top shelf, over his left shoulder?

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