Albert Einstein in popular culture
Albert Einstein has been the subject of or inspiration for many works of popular culture.
On Einstein's 72nd birthday on March 14, 1951, UPI photographer Arthur Sasse was trying to persuade him to smile for the camera, but having smiled for photographers many times that day, Einstein stuck out his tongue instead. This photograph became one of the most popular ever taken of Einstein, often used in merchandise depicting him in a lighthearted sense. Einstein enjoyed this photo and requested UPI to give him nine copies for personal use, one of which he signed for a reporter. On June 19, 2009, the original signed photograph was sold at auction for $74,324, a record for an Einstein picture.
Einstein is a favorite model for depictions of mad scientists and absent-minded professors; his expressive face and distinctive hairstyles have been widely copied and exaggerated. Time magazine's Frederic Golden wrote that Einstein was "a cartoonist's dream come true."
"Einstein" has become a word used to describe someone extremely intelligent; the name is also applied sarcastically to someone who states the obvious or displays a lack of intelligence or insight ("Way to go, Einstein!").
In 1999, leading physicists voted Einstein the "greatest physicist ever".
His birthday, March 14, is also Pi Day, so called because 3/14 corresponds to 3.14, the first three digits of the number Pi. The town of Princeton, New Jersey, where Einstein lived for more than 20 years, celebrates March 14 every year as "Princeton Pi Day and Einstein Birthday Party."
Usage of his name and image
Iranian cartoonist and humorist Javad Alizadeh publishes a column titled "4D Humor" in his Persian monthly Humor & Caricature, which features cartoons, caricatures and stories on Einstein-related topics. In 1991 he published in Persian "4D Humor", a comic book on Einstein's life and work, inspired mainly by the Theory of Relativity.
Einstein bequeathed his estate, as well as the use of his image (see personality rights), to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, which from the mid-1980s has sponsored the Einstein Papers Project with the Princeton University Press. Einstein actively supported the university during his life and this support continues with the royalties received from licensing activities. GreenLight licences the commercial use of the name "Albert Einstein" and associated imagery and likenesses of Einstein, as agent for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. As head licensee the corporation can control commercial usage of Einstein's name and theoretically ensure compliance with certain standards (e.g., when Einstein's name is used as a trademark, the ™ symbol must be used).
There is a persistent popular belief that Einstein was left-handed, but there is no evidence that he was, and the belief has been called a myth. Einstein wrote with his right hand, and authoritative sources state flatly that he was right-handed. An autopsy on Einstein's brain showed a symmetry between the two hemispheres, rather than a left-sided dominance as is typical of most right-handed people or a right-sided dominance as found in most left-handed people.
Several schools are named after him.
In media and drama
Einstein has been the subject of or inspiration for many novels, films and plays, such as Steve Martin's comedic play Picasso at the Lapin Agile. He was the subject of Philip Glass's 1976 opera Einstein on the Beach, and his humorous side is the subject of Ed Metzger's one-man play Albert Einstein: The Practical Bohemian. He features prominently in Daniel Kehlmann's play about Kurt Gödel, Ghosts in Princeton (2011).
He was the subject (along with Arthur Eddington) of the BBC Two film Einstein and Eddington, featuring David Tennant as Eddington and Andy Serkis as Einstein, and detailing Einstein's development of his theories and Eddington's attempts to prove them and in Yahoo Serious's intentionally inaccurate biography of Einstein as an Australian in the film Young Einstein.
An Einstein-like character appears in Nicolas Roeg's 1985 film Insignificance. Set in New York in 1953, the film includes a scene in which "The Professor" (played by Michael Emil) the character evidently representing Albert Einstein, discusses Relativity with "The Actress" (Theresa Russell), a Marilyn Monroe-like character.
In the movie Back to the Future, the character of Dr. Emmett 'Doc' Brown, played by actor Christopher Lloyd and portrayed as a brilliant scientist, time traveler and inventor, has a dog called "Einstein", named after Brown's favorite scientist, as well as bearing a superficial resemblance to him. Lloyd also credited Einstein as being his inspiration for the character.
In the 2011 film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the Autobot character known as Que sports an Einstein-inspired head design, including his wild hairstyle, dapper mustache, and eyes. However, his accent is often confused for being German because of these similarities. Like his G1 counterpart and Einstein alike, he is one of the most intelligent members of his team, and is an accomplished scientist and inventor. However, his onscreen name "Que" was derived from Professor Q, a James Bond character, who also inspired Wheeljack/Que's overall character.
A holographic representation of Einstein, played by Jim Norton, appeared in two episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation. He first appears to debate physics with Reginald Barclay in The Nth Degree. Norton returns in the first part of Descent. The episode starts on the Enterprise with a game of poker being played by holodeck representations of Einstein, Sir Isaac Newton, and Stephen Hawking (portrayed by himself). All are programmed by Lt. Commander Data, playing as the fourth person in the game.
In the television series Eureka, the town of Eureka was established when President Harry S. Truman commissioned development of a top-secret lab, staffed by Albert Einstein, after World War II and it became home to the scientists and their families working there.
Alan Lightman's first book Einstein's Dreams, consists of short stories which are portrayed as being the dreams of Einstein while he was working on the theory of relativity; these stories explain how time would work in imaginary parallel universes.
Greek singer Giorgos Lembesis has released a song titled "Einstein" in which he states that he always admired Albert Einstein, but now he needs his help in his relationship problems.
In video games
Einstein is an integral character in the Command & Conquer: Red Alert series, being responsible in Red Alert for altering the course of history using a time traveling device he created to remove Adolf Hitler from existence in an attempt to prevent the horrors of World War II, inadvertently leading to Soviet Union's rise to power and conflict with Europe. He continues to be featured in the altered timeline in Red Alert and Red Alert 2 developing time travel technology for use by the Allies, and his fictional murder at the hands of the Soviets, also involving a time machine, is a central plot point of Red Alert 3.
In Mega Man, released in 1987, Dr. Wily's design is inspired by Albert Einstein, and was initially conceived to appear as a tall, thin scientist with a mustache, glasses, balding hair, and lab coat.
- Kupper, Hans-Josef (2000). "Various things about Albert Einstein". Retrieved 2006-10-04.
- Ingledew, John (2005). "The world's best known pictures". Photography. Laurence King Publishing. p. 133. ISBN 1-85669-432-1.
- Faber, John (1978). "Einstein's Birthday Joke". Great News Photos and the Stories Behind Them. Courier Dover Publications. p. 108. ISBN 0-486-23667-6.
- "Photo Of Einstein Nets $74K At Auction". WCVB-TV. June 20, 2009. Archived from the original on 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- Golden, Frederic (January 3, 2000). "Person of the Century: Albert Einstein". Time. Archived from the original on 2006-02-21. Retrieved 2006-02-25.
- Einstein "greatest physicist ever;" BBC news, November 29, 1999, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/541840.stm
- "Princeton Pi Day & Einstein Birthday Party". Princeton Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 2012-12-27.
- yektaweb يكتاوب. "جزيره دانش - جواد عليزاده- - گالري 9". Jazirehdanesh.com. Retrieved 2010-09-20.
- Arida, Ayssar, Quantum City, p. 41. Architectural Press, 2002.
- "http://aip.org/history/esva/einuse.htm". Archived from the original on 2005-08-30. Retrieved 2005-11-21. External link in
- "ALBRT EINSTEIN BRAND LOGO". Archived from the original on 2005-12-01. Retrieved 2005-11-21.
- "Left Handed Einstein". Being Left Handed.com. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- Price, Michael (January 2009). "The left brain knows what the right hand is doing". Monitor on Psychology (American Psychological Association) 40 (1): 60.
- "The Legend of the Dull-Witted Child Who Grew Up to Be a Genius". Albert Einstein archives. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- "Chicago Tribune photograph". blogs.chicagotribune.com. Retrieved 2016-01-24.
- "Frequently asked questions". einstein-website.de. Retrieved 2012-07-22.
- "Steve Martin backing banned play". BBC NEWS. 2009-03-15. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
- "At the Shore, Although the Water Is Shallower" by Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, 2007-12-8
- Richard F. Shepard (April 26, 1979). "Stage: Ed Metzger as Einstein; Genius and Pixie". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
- ""Ghosts in Princeton", a Play by Daniel Kehlmann". www.cjh.org. Center for Jewish History. Retrieved 2015-10-13.
- Neil Smith (2008-07-10). "Heroes to air near to US premiere". BBC NEWS. Retrieved 2013-08-07.
- "Theoretically, it's relative". Times Daily. 1989-07-08. Retrieved 2012-02-23.
- Dennis Lim (June 26, 2011). "A Second Look: 'Insignificance'". LA Times. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- Caryn James (January 8, 1995). "FILM VIEW; At the Cineplex It's Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- Gary K. Wolfe (July 11, 2001). "Spielbrick Does Aldiss". Locus online. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "The Making of Yoda (part one).". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-10-03.
- Ken Denmead (January 4, 2011). "Top 10 Awesome Dogs in Geek Culture". Wired. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- Matt Gouras (June 12, 2009). "Lloyd: `Back to the Future' still gratifying". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2013-08-08.
- "Einstein and Hawkins". Interview with Jim Norton. BBC. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- Rob Owen (July 16, 2006). "TV Reviews: Oddballs populate quirky 'Eureka'". Pittsburgh Post-gazette. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- Scarlett Thomas (February 19, 2006). "Please Mr Einstein by Jean-Claude Carrière trs John Brownjohn". The Mirror. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- "Alan Lightman looks at creation from God’s point of view". National Post. February 27, 2012. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- Appel, Jacob. Einstein's Beach House Butler University 2014
- Reutter, G Emil. Review. Fox Chase Review Nov 29 2014
- Rob Brunner (Apr 5, 2001). "Cover Story". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- Thomas Levenson (March 26, 2008). "Albert Einstein, Rock Star". Discover magazine. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- Walls, Jeanette (2008-04-18). "Mariah Surpasses Elvis With Number Ones". MSNBC. NBCUniversal. Retrieved 2011-08-09.
- Mansfield, Brian (October 21, 2011). "Kelly Clarkson's 'Stronger': A track-by-track-review". USA Today. Gannett Company. Retrieved 2013-04-16.
- "Giorgos Lembesis' album Discogs entry".
- "Command and Conquer: Red Alert for iPhone". CIO.de. December 11, 2009. Retrieved 2013-08-09.
- R20 Rockman & Rockman X Official Complete Works (in Japanese). Udon Entertainment. March 2008. p. 193. ISBN 978-4-86233-178-6.