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I didn’t know we had one of those…

Isaac Newton’s death mask. And by “we” I mean the Royal Society.

Several were made at the time of his death. You have to be careful about that, as sculptors regularly touched them up.

Like the famous l’Inconnue de la Seine, which has been (I suspect) heavily recarved. Nobody simpers in death.

I have been fascinated with death masks ever since I had a life mask made of myself in plaster of Paris when I was about twelve. By my mother’s entire special education class.

This went about as badly as you imagine, but it’s a story that needs telling with a lot of hand gestures and mime. And sound effects.

Anyway, I escaped with my life. Not sure what happened to the mask, though.

Today is the anniversary of Newton’s death, March 20, 1726 (or 1727 in the newfangled Gregorian calendar that was coming into use in his lifetime). If you look closely, you can just make out the dent in his head left by that apple.

That’s Uncle B’s joke.


Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: March 21, 2018, 12:02 am

Was Newton the first guy to set a chicken alight while submerged in a submarine? Or was it in a hot air balloon?

Comment from ExpressoBold
Time: March 21, 2018, 12:56 am

“OS” vs. “NS”: A tutorial:
It’s short, only two minutes to read and they do the math for you!

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 21, 2018, 2:18 am

Oh noesssss! Youtube has cracked down on people downloading their videos.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 21, 2018, 9:20 am

Really, Ric Fan? I’ve been doing that this week, funnily enough. Didn’t seem to have a problem.

If it streams to your computer, it’s just 1’s and 0’s.

Comment from Durnedyankee
Time: March 21, 2018, 9:32 am

Flat nosed bloke wasn’t he.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: March 21, 2018, 3:47 pm

For some reason Newton’s face reminds me of that of Steven Hill, who played the first team leader on the TV Mission: Impossible and later dominated Law and Order for so many years. Something about the nose. Though his character on M:I, Dan Briggs, always struck me as an intellectual spy who could devise at least the outlines of the major scams and safe-crackings they pulled. Peter Graves’s Jim Phelps on the other hand did not impress me the same way.

“Sir Isaac, your mission, should you decide to accept it . . .”

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: March 21, 2018, 4:45 pm

You were a good sport, Stoaty, to let your face be covered in Plaster of Paris.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: March 21, 2018, 6:59 pm

And we can be grateful plaster wasn’t invented in Sheboygan.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 21, 2018, 9:52 pm

Really, Ric Fan?

Yep.Was using another online dl app and it disappearedabout 6 months ago. Then found KeepVideo and they now have this msg: https://keepvid.com

I dl two different apps to see if I cd dl that way. One said no dl for videos over 3 minutes and the other no dl for videos over 30 min. They both offered premium features but I refuse to pay.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: March 21, 2018, 9:59 pm

Speaking of death face masks, the murder groupies from over seas started doing death masks of their favorite murderers. They rush the body over to a local funeral home and jump on it so they can feel the murderer still warm. (No, it is not a joke.) They then make a death mask. I asked one of them, why? I was told because the murderer will be famous and there will be movies made about their life, etc. Didnt quite answer my question beyond that these are sick individuals.

Comment from AliceH
Time: March 21, 2018, 10:13 pm

I was excited to see a post on good old Isaac, since he’s one of the most curious creature, and is a favorite of mine. His genius, of course, but also his nutty sometimes nasty personality which goes far beyond mere eccentricity. I immediately started to ponder which anecdote to share from a great biography I’d read. Of course, I soon realized I can’t remember a single one. Sigh. I’d be the life of the party if I could ever remember anything.

Anyway. The biography of Newton by James Gleick is very well written. And, yes, I had to look up the author’s name.

Comment from
Time: March 27, 2018, 7:43 am

Several were made at the time of his death

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