October 12, 2013

"And Mr. Chandor can verify to skeptics Mr. Redford’s claim that his hair remains naturally Hubbell strawberry blond."

"His locks survived the months of sun and chlorine, with no colorist in sight," writes Maureen Dowd in that NYT article that we're already talking about in that first post of the day.
“No one believes me,” Mr. Redford said. “Even my kids didn’t believe me. I keep thinking of Reagan. It’s freaking me out.”
Chandor is J. C. Chandor, the director of Redford's new movie, "All Is Lost," which is a seafaring tale, hence the "sun and chlorine."

Dowd doesn't say whether she believes him, but she quotes "No one believes me" without stating her view. She has the mysterious line "Mr. Chandor can verify," but did she ask Mr. Chandor, and who can believe that Mr. Chandor watched Mr. Redford at all times? Who thinks Ronald Reagan didn't dye his hair? But it's nice of Robert Redford to keep thinking about Ronald Reagan. These slow-aging Hollywood RRs need to stick together with their age-defying secrets.

What does Hubbell refer to in "naturally Hubbell strawberry blond"? The Hubbell telescope? "There are no 'natural color' cameras aboard the Hubble and never have been. The optical cameras on board have all been digital CCD cameras, which take images as grayscale pixels." It's Hubble, not Hubbell, so it can't be that — though I'm interested in the fakeness of all those colorful photographs of the universe that we've been looking at all these years.

Here's the atheist Christopher Hitchens burbling about "the color and depth and majesty" of the Hubble photographs as he urges us to see the revelations of science as more awe-inspiring than the old stories told by religions:

But the color is fake! The purveyors of science, like religionists, can scam us too.

Now, back to the possible scam of the color of Robert Redford's hair. And I got a sudden inspiration about the meaning of Hubbell. Some character Redford played long ago? I go to his IMDB page and search. Ah! It's the name of the guy he played in "The Way We Were." Am I ashamed not to have known? Absolutely not! I'm damned proud I never saw that movie. It was back in 1973 too, when we went to see every movie we thought was supposed to be good. We knew better.

In the comments at that first post of the day, Amexpat calls bullshit on Redford:
He hasn't aged honestly or gracefully (Paul Newman did a better job at that). His hair looks ridiculous for a man his age.
I note that he claims it's all natural, and the lovely redhead Maureen Dowd backs him up at least insofar as no one on set saw a hairdresser. I offer a poem parody (original here):
Who has seen the hairdresser
Neither you nor I
But when the 77-year-old has yellow hair
The hairdresser has passed by
One of the stated themes of that post is "Where's God?" (which came up in the context of Redford's sidekick Nick Nolte, who asked the question in the context of saying you'll kill yourself trying to answer it). So I say:
Where's God?

With the hairdresser.
But that's a joke, everyone knows that like Nick Nolte, God has gray hair:

What if God were one of us? He might go grocery shopping with Nick Nolte:

But go ahead, if you're the creative type — you don't have to be as creative as The Creator (He's so creative!) —  to take that iconic Michelangelo image of God and photoshop us a post-hairdresser pic, with God's flowing tresses rejuvenated into Hubbell strawberry blond.


You could change Adam into Robert Redford. Did you know that in the movie "All Is Lost," Robert Redford's character is called only "Our Man" and that in the Bible, Adam means "man"? Anyway, the scenario here in this imagined photoshop is God and The Man at The Hairdresser. They look about ready to consult The Manicurist. While we're punching up awe-inspiring images with color, it's probably time to repaint God's pink dress. Maybe something effulgently red, gold, and green, like the colors with which a science huckster would infuse the Hubble's pixels.


Amexpat said...

It's not only the color that bothers me about RR's hair, it's the cute, boyish haircut he has. Look at this photo taken in 2004 when he was around 66. He's still trying to play the cute young man. Also, he has some serious greying at the temples. No way that greying has migrated north in the last 10 years.

PM would be around 79 in that photo. He looks great and plausible for his age.

matthew49 said...

Hubbel is from Hubbel Gardner, the Redford role in "The Way Were" (1973), with Barbra Streisand as Katie.

matthew49 said...

Hubbel is from Hubbel Gardner, the Redford role in "The Way Were" (1973), with Barbra Streisand as Katie.

Mountain Maven said...

You hot for him Ann? J 2 posts about him? He is a movie star, who cares about his hair or anything else?

BTW I bought Screwtape Letters so I can read along. I read it years ago and never forgot it. A great window into the dark side of the invisible spiritual world.

EDH said...

Dowd doesn't say whether she believes him, but she quotes "No one believes me" without stating her view. She has the mysterious line "Mr. Chandor can verify," but did she ask Mr. Chandor, and who can believe that Mr. Chandor watched Mr. Redford at all times?

Hint: maybe Chandor and Redford shared the men's locker room, and the carpet matched the drapes?

And don't forget The Redshift and Hubbell's Law, and the EDH corollary: when an aging Hollywood actor moves to the political left his hair appears redder due to a shift in wavelength, and when he moves to the center-right it shortens the wave-length and becomes blacker.

In physics, redshift happens when light or other electromagnetic radiation from an object moving away from the observer is increased in wavelength, or shifted to the red end of the spectrum. In general, whether or not the radiation is within the visible spectrum, "redder" means an increase in wavelength – equivalent to a lower frequency and a lower photon energy, in accordance with, respectively, the wave and quantum theories of light.

Redshifts are an example of the Doppler effect, familiar in the change in the apparent pitches of sirens and frequency of the sound waves emitted by speeding vehicles. A redshift occurs whenever a light source moves away from an observer. Cosmological redshift is seen due to the expansion of the universe, and sufficiently distant light sources (generally more than a few million light years away) show redshift corresponding to the rate of increase in their distance from Earth...

Subsequently, Edwin Hubble discovered an approximate relationship between the redshifts of such "nebulae" (now known to be galaxies in their own right) and the distances to them with the formulation of his eponymous Hubble's law.

n.n said...

Religion is a philosophy of morality. The less than awe-inspiring stories of traditional religions are narratives which frame a presentation. In that respect, they are no different than historical accounts. The total veracity of which may be disputed with an expanding frame.

As for science, there is a clear criteria which distinguishes between philosophy, generally, including religion, and science. Science is a philosophy which is necessarily constrained to a limited frame of reference. It requires claims to be reproducible and testable within that limited frame. It may be guided through inference (e.g. preponderance of evidence or emergent patterns), but it cannot be established by it.

As for religious articles of faith, if they are right, then we will learn the consequences of our behavior in our post-mortem. If they are wrong, then we will simply cease to exist. I would suggest a better criterion to judge the value of a philosophy or religion is the principles which it engenders. So, what are the principles which are desirable and will invite a consensus?

Ron said...

It's not about Carl Hubbell the old NY Giants lefthanded screwball pitcher from the 1930's?


David said...

One of the great things about Reagan is that there will never be a Hollywood actor who can match his career. They can embrace all the causes they want, but Reagan has already ten-upped them.

donald said...

My hair blows Hollywood boy away.

53, no gray, right this second. I'm a miracle (in that regard only).

donald said...

Last night, in the 4th quarter of the Locust Grove vsWoodland game the Woodland coach (typical balding, so shaves his head douche), screams "Hey jeri curl! Time out!".

Now, I would never, cause my hair is basically perfect, never use any kinda product.

I ignored him till he yelled "linesman! Time out!"

Dipshit lost 12 deserved seconds.

They were getting their asses kicked anyways.
Just sayin.

MadisonMan said...

Mom had very little grey hair when she died at 85. My brother when he died this year was in his 50s and had no grey at all. Family trait on Mom's side.

Alas, I have inherited Dad's hair color gene.

St. George said...

Well, he's had plastic surgery.

And never believe anything a movie director says about his soon-to-be-released product.

Julie C said...

I saw The Way We Were a number of times (I was but a starry-eyed teenager when that movie came out). There was a scene (or maybe two) when Streisand runs her hand through his hair.

I never thought he was that great looking - his skin is a bit funky. In today's HD world it would look really bad.

But I did love him in Barefoot in the Park.

St. George said...

He's in a lovely episode of The Twilight Zone, playing against type.

Charming...to the end.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@Anne: I'm interested in the fakeness of all those colorful photographs of the universe that we've been looking at all these years....But the color is fake! The purveyors of science, like religionists, can scam us too.

Strictly speaking, Anne, all the colors you have ever seen are "fake".

Color is produced in the human brain. It is not inherent to light. Light has only its frequency. This is why different organism experience color differently, or don't at all. Whales, for example, have true grayscale vision. They see color exactly how Hubble sees it.

The Hubble pixels faithfully and accurately record the frequencies of the light that they receive. In what sense is that fake? It does not have a human brain, so it cannot experience color. Neither does your digital camera--the CCDs record numbers, not color--that's what "digital" means. Are these colors fake? Is digital photography also a scam by the scientists?

Don't forget that 35mm color film was negative. The photolab had to fake those colors when they developed your film. Only the Ektachrome and Velvia enthusiasts were honest, I guess.

Are all these people scamming us, Ann? Or maybe you should try to learn a little bit more about the physical world before you impugn the honesty of the people who study it for a living, whose studies have benefited your life in so many ways.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "
Color is produced in the human brain. It is not inherent to light."

A Lab color space is a color-opponent space with dimension L for lightness and a and b for the color-opponent dimensions, based on nonlinearly compressed CIE XYZ color space coordinates.

The dimensions of the Hunter 1948 L, a, b color space are L, a, and b.[1][2] However, Lab is now more often used as an informal abbreviation for the CIE 1976 (L*, a*, b*) color space (or CIELAB). The difference between Hunter and CIE color coordinates is that the CIE coordinates are based on a cube root transformation of the color data, while the Hunter coordinates are based on a square root transformation.


Gabriel Hanna said...

@betamax 3000: I think your sequitur circuit has defaulted to "non". You might want to get that looked at.

betamax3000 said...

Mannfred Mann Did the Best Version of "Blinded By The Light," But it was in RGB.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "Gabriel Hanna said...

@betamax 3000: I think your sequitur circuit has defaulted to "non". You might want to get that looked at."

I Thought I Was Reinforcing Your Point.

betamax3000 said...

The Point of LAB is That There is No Common Experience of Color, Therefore Define an Axis.

Two Delta Difference is Unnoticeable in Some Areas (Medium Blue) but Huge in Others (Teal, Yellows, etc). Hence: Black-and-White is King.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@betamax: You were, but it wasn't clear to me that you intended it, since a great deal of context was missing from what you posted.

As a machine, and a rather outdated one at that, I know you're not offended when I point out that it is probably difficult for you to tell how much context is necessary. You might need some tweaks in your argumentation subroutines, some variables might need reweighting. A genetic algorithm might be the way to go.

betamax3000 said...

@ Gabriel Hanna:

Context is How the Color-Blind See the Traffic Light.

Gabriel Hanna said...

@betamax: Given your age, you're probably getting the weights from a neural net, you poor thing.

Mark O said...

Embarrassing miss here, Ann. Credibility on pop culture suffers.

"Hubbel is from Hubbel Gardner, the Redford role in "The Way Were" (1973), with Barbra Streisand as Katie."

Tim H. said...

I am an astronomer who uses the Hubble Space Telescope. All of our individual exposures are taken with black and white cameras, but almost always using filters of a specific colors (technically of a certain range of wavelengths). Light of diffierent wavelengths tells us different things we might be interested in. For example, infrared light might tell us about the dust content of a galaxy or about the mass of the stars it has. Ultraviolet might tell us where clusters of young stars are. Comparing the blue and yellow light from a galaxy can tell us something about its age, and so on.

So we often have black & white pictures of a galaxy in red light, green light, and blue light. Put those together, and we can make a full-color image, which is nice for the press release version the public will see. Other times, we don't exactly have three primary colors to combine, so we might use, say, ultraviolet, yellow, and infrared, and we'll assign those to red, green,and blue. This makes an image that's not quite the color your eyes would see, but the colors contain real information, and it's sort of an exaggerated color.

Before we started doing this regularly in the press releases (and the Space Telescope Science Institute's public outreach people are fantastic!), we often did press releases of just a single b/w exposure. These were often shown in "false color," where the different grayscale levels are assigned different colors to bring out subtle details and to make the image more interesting.

Anyway, these days, the public outreach people have gotten much more sophisticated with the full-color composites, and we astronomers have gotten more sophisticated about how we choose the filters to use, to tell us more scientifically.

BrokenDownProgrammer said...

"Who thinks Ronald Reagan didn't dye his hair?"

I remember reading in Time Magazine while Reagan was president that a Time reporter had surreptitiously snagged a bit of Reagan's hair while Reagan was getting a haircut.

Time reported sending the hair to a lab and receiving results showing that Reagan did *not* dye his hair.

SOJO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Godfather said...

My late ex-mother-in-law's hair, which was brown, got darker as she grew older. I am certain that she didn't dye it. I have since known a number of people, male and female, whose hair got darker as they aged; I can't swear they didn't dye it, but I believe they didn't.

If Reagan said he didn't dye his hair, I believe him.

Redford is a different situation. He did a great job of acting handsome. But make-up was always essential for him as a screen actor. Those bumps and wens on his face, blown up on the big screen, needed to be toned down, and they were.

Paul Newman once joked that his career would have been ended if his eyes had turned brown. It was a funny line, but I'd have watched him no matter what he looked like. I don't think you can say that about Redford -- I can't, anyway.

Carl said...

The colors your eye sees are at least as "fake," since you only have three visual pigments. That's why movies can project blue and green light into your eye and you see yellow, even though there's no yellow light at all.

Anyway, the only "fakeness" of Hubble pictures is the telescope records the light of different colors sequentially, rather than simultaneously.

Mark said...

Tim H., thanks for that very lucid explanation. Science rocks!

Portia said...

Y'know really who tf cares?

William said...

Given that we have the same coloring I have always felt a kinship with Robert Redford. And the similarities don't end with hair color. We both have opposable thumbs......I don't agree with his politics, but, like Paul Newman, he seems a decent man who had reached a different conclusion than me........I think many women were offended at the hypocrisy of Redford and Newman. Despite being so called sex symbols, they were for most of their lives in monogamous relationships. Compare them to other stars such as Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, and Marlon Brando. Demographers claim that these stars made love to 17% of the attractive women in California, and that doesn't include location shooting. These men were generous enough of their time and efforts to give as many women as possible a brief encounter with Hollywood excitement. Thousands of women had one night of their lives enlightened by a shooting star. Robert Redford and Paul Newman sat alone in their trailers, memorizing lines when they could have been dispensing a once in a lifetime experience to some PA. I guess you can see who are the true democrats and populists here.

Glen Filthie said...


Ann, please - if there is anything more distasteful than old broads perving out over old men - I have yet to see it!

Maybe you should step away from the computer, retire to your room with a copy of 50 Shades Of Gray?

Gloria Swan said...

"The Way We Were" was a great movie. This is an assinine article.