Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Miscellaneous/2013 September 23

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September 23[edit]

Hairdresser selling client's (cut off) hair[edit]

AmazingPhil's hairdresser listed his cut hair on eBay. Are they allowed to do that? Once the barber has cut your hair, and you've left the shop, do you relinquish all your rights to the cast off hair? Note this is not a request for legal advice, I am not a hairdresser and I am not about to sell my client's hair! Thanks everyone (talk) 01:18, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

I am not sure what the law would be regarding advertising it is a specific person's hair, but the US Supreme Court has found that there's no presumption of ownership or privacy in discarded trash. California v. Greenwood. μηδείς (talk) 01:32, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Looks like at least one such case has raised potential legal issues in this way, but the article suggests a privacy law was at issue, with the buyer, not the seller, on the receiving end of the hair-owning celebrity's ire. - Karenjc (talk) 07:48, 23 September 2013 (UTC) Actually it was a threat to sue the seller after he failed to get the buyer to return it. Can't find out how it all ended. -Karenjc (talk) 07:52, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Who would buy such stuff - how can its provenence be proven? After all, I could bag up my old hair and claim it was any celebrity's (or at least one who has a similar hair colour). And if I was a celebrity, I could easily claim a piece of hair was not mine - who could prove otherwise? More fool the buyer. Astronaut (talk) 12:45, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
You're in the hands of the seller and whatever they produce in the way of provenance. Here's one that was apparently convincing enough to persuade a respected auction house to handle the sale. - Karenjc (talk) 21:22, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Human hair is an excellent oil adsorbent. Nylon stockings stuffed with hair are joined together and used as booms to contain oil spills, most notably around Deepwater Horizon. See this article from the BBC. Blakk and ekka 15:49, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
I tried to donate my hair for this purpose, but they told me they only take long hair (mine is fairly short). Was that actually the case? (talk) 04:33, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
Who are the "they" who told you? μηδείς (talk) 05:15, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
My barber/hairdresser. (talk) 06:38, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
That sounds like a polite way of saying "don't bother me". The absorbency is not going to be affected by the hair's length. And every hair dresser I have ever been to discards all the hair into the same receptacle, which is presumably where it would be collected from, not individually to be graded by length. :) μηδείς (talk) 18:46, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
An article at that I can't link to here (blocked) says that they weave the hair into a mat, so that's why longer hair might be preferred. This other link confirms that it's woven into mats. Though the first article later says that they'll take any length. Donations for wigs (Locks of Love, Wigs for Kids, etc) does require longer hair though. The length that I've generally seen asked for is at least 10". Dismas|(talk) 10:23, 26 September 2013 (UTC)

The question of ownership of removed hair reminds me of something that came up some years ago in the legal/medical world. A doctor removed something from a patient (tumor cells?) and then it was used for medical research advances (maybe proprietary advances?). The patient found out and sued for unapproved usage of his alleged property. I can't remember how this came out, and I can't find it on Wikipedia. Anyone remember? Duoduoduo (talk) 13:37, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

You are referring to the cell line of Henrietta Lacks Tdjewell (talk) 15:39, 27 September 2013 (UTC)
Actually that article links to the one I had in mind: Moore v. Regents of the University of California, which says
Moore v. Regents of the University of California (51 Cal. 3d 120; 271 Cal. Rptr. 146; 793 P.2d 479) was a landmark Supreme Court of California decision filed on July 9, 1990 which dealt with the issue of property rights in one's own body parts. John Moore underwent treatment for hairy cell leukemia at the UCLA Medical Center under the supervision of Dr. David W. Golde. Moore's cancer was later developed into a cell line that was commercialized. The California Supreme Court ruled that Moore had no right to any share of the profits realized from the commercialization of anything developed from his discarded body parts.
Duoduoduo (talk) 19:25, 28 September 2013 (UTC)


I'm familiar with quite a few of the characters depicted in these posters (, but can someone help me identify all of them?? (talk) 09:29, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

That's rather a tall order. Can you point to some specific ones that you would like to identify? --Viennese Waltz 09:42, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Indeed it is a tall order! Is there one poster of the two that you'd like us to concentrate on? I see members of The Watchmen, the 11th Doctor and Amy Pond, someone that I think is supposed to be The Architect from The Matrix film series (grey beard behind a desk on the left), Yogi Bear, Elmer Fudd, Yoda and other various characters from Star Wars, Mario from the Super Mario Bros. franchise, and an angry bird just to name a few. Dismas|(talk) 09:46, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
Well, I'd like to have it from both Posters 1 and 2. From Poster 1, the people I could identify were:
  • Asterix and Obelix
  • Yoda
  • Pacman
  • Mario
  • Tintin, Snowy and Capt. Haddock
  • Popeye
  • Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd
  • Yogi Bear
  • Sonic the Hedgehog
  • He man
  • Scooby Doo
  • Chewbacca
  • Bart Simpson
  • Richie Rich
  • Gollum
  • C3PO
  • The Jetsons
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog
  • Chacha Chaudhuri
  • The Joker
  • Darth Vader
  • The Hulk
  • Gandalf
  • Someone who looks like Hagrid (not sure)
  • Chhota Bheem
  • Dexter
  • The Flash
  • TMNT
  • Professor Calculus
  • Spiderman
  • Fred Flintstone
  • The Phantom
  • Captain Planet — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:05, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
  • Archie and Jugghead (?)

Who have I missed? 12:48, 23 September 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) Poster 2:

  • Are those three grim men on the far left members of MIB?
  • Doctor Octopus
  • The Swat Cats
  • Is the flying guy Inspector Gadget?
  • Spiderman again
  • Astro Boy
  • The Iron Giant
  • R2D2 and C3PO
  • The Tardis
  • Dee Dee and Mandark
  • Wall-E and Eve
  • Bianca Castafiore (I think?) and someone dancing with her (who?)
  • Mojo Jojo
  • Tony Stark with the Iron Man head in his hand
  • The Hulk again
  • Doctor Manhattan from the Watchmen (blue guy holding his arms out. But he looks uncharacteristically clueless?)
  • Who're those people (three or four boys in yellow in the front, towards the bottom edge of the poster) holding what look like missiles/really weird guns of some sort?
  • And is that Marvin the Paranoid Android beside them? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:00, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

12:58, 23 September 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Regarding the fellows in yellow: I think they are supposed to be the Ghostbusters, albeit in a fairly loose interpretation. I think you're right that Marvin is next to them. The flying guy is definitely Inspector Gadget. Behind the Ghosbusters is the the guy from Despicable Me, taking a photo of HAL_9000. SemanticMantis (talk) 16:42, 23 September 2013 (UTC)
I would agree that the boys in yellow are the Ghostbusters. Three of them white, one black, and holding some sort of ray guns attached to backpacks. It all fits. And yes, to the right of them (their left) is Marvin. Poster 1 also includes Beast from the X-Men on the Ferris wheel, Mr. Fantastic and The Thing from The Fantastic Four climbing on the Ferris wheel, Fred Flintstone is the rider of the wheel at the 9 o'clock position, Richie Rich is driving the car, RoboCop is the metal man who is outside of Richie's window, Sonic the Hedgehog is behind Pac Man, the group just to the left of the clock tower includes Darth Vader, Doctor Doom, The Joker, and The Penguin. Dismas|(talk) 07:24, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
And behind the Penguin (by Doctor Doom's elbow) is Harley Quinn. Deor (talk) 23:09, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
On the first poster, in addition to Asterix and Obelix, the druid Getafix is seen stirring the pot. Jughead Jones is peering over his right shoulder. --Xuxl (talk) 11:36, 24 September 2013 (UTC)
I believe that these are not supposed to be the characters themselves, but convention attendees cosplaying those characters. So the fact that they mostly do not look exactly like their characters is intentional. For example, on Poster 1 I believe that's supposed to be Donald Duck between Daffy and Popeye, even though the face looks wrong. You can tell that Daffy is wearing a mask as well. John M Baker (talk) 14:45, 25 September 2013 (UTC)
(Which may help them to avoid being sued by around 50 different organizations for copyright/trademark infringement! :-) SteveBaker (talk) 20:11, 25 September 2013 (UTC)