Sunday, February 28, 2010

El Naschie and his three Nobel Laureate friends

Click the picture for a large version.
The Great Man may not use the Internet, but he does use Photoshop.


The large picture is http://www1.phys.uu.nl/gerard60/photos/big/group2a5.jpg [Now a dead link. See the update at the bottom of this page.], a group portrait of attendees of Gerard 't Hooft's 60th birthday party in Vlieland taken by professional photographer Ivar Pel.

The inset picture shows El Naschie with Nobel Laureates Frank Wilczek, Gerard 't Hooft, and David Gross. It comes from El Naschie's Web site, http://www.el-naschie.net/el-naschie-physicist.asp?site=249, where it has filename prof-el-naschie-nobel-laurates-gross-thooft-wilcezk.jpg.

I am so gobsmacked I hardly know what to say.

Martin a while back commented on the strangeness of the shadows. He was right. His comment was part of a private email to me almost exactly a year ago. Here is what he said:
...did you have a closer look at this photo:
http://www.el-naschie.net/bilder/image/prof-el-naschie-nobel-laurates-gross-thooft-wilcezk.jpg
Could this be worth a post? I have some questions: Look at the guy at the left, is it Gross? [Wilcezk is on our left; Gross is on our right; 't Hooft is in the middle.] He has very blurry outline and his shadow looks strange, like he was added. I'm not sure about the Big Man in this photo, but he looks somehow added too. And I can't figure the meaning of the shadows below them, they seem so edgy while the people's heads don't seem to have any of those edges. Is this worth a closer look for you?

Cheers and keep it up :)
Martin

I should have listened to him! But at the time it seemed inconceivable that El Naschie would be so brazen, and I went on to other things.


A commenter points to this, which needs to be put inline:
MathPhys says:
November 12, 2008 at 8:47 pm
...Can someone please take a look at these photos
http://www.ijnsns.com/conf/Photo-Gallery.pdf
Some seem to have been produced by photoshop
Look at the photo with Wilczek, ‘t Hooft and Gross
http://www.el-naschie.net/el-naschie-physicist.asp?site=249&lang=
Looks very suspicious to me.
This blog may soon lose its raison d'être.

UPDATE January 9, 2012: See Universiteit Utrecht pulls 't Hooft birthday pic.


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18 comments:

  1. No photographer (even an amateur) would ever make such a horrible composition as the one depicted in the photoshoped photo. Golden mean my ass!

    shrink

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  2. > The large picture is
    > http://www1.phys.uu.nl/gerard60/photos/big/group2a5.jpg,

    For the sake of accuracy, the large picture you used is actually group1a5.jpg (as is evident from the position of Kenneth Lane's arms -- the person kneeling in black shorts at far right of front row).
    The positions of the four who appear in the inset are almost identical in the two photos, so it doesn't really matter, but as already mentioned Wilczek is a few mm closer to 't Hooft, and Gross' left pant cuff is slightly higher, in group2a5.jpg, corresponding more precisely to the positions in the amateurish photoshop job naschie-nobel-laurates-gross-thooft-wilcezk.jpg from the great one's site (although this is only evident by magnifying on a grid and correcting for the low resolution of the latter).

    It wouldn't have been terribly difficult to get the shadows right (they all go down and to the left), but perhaps shadow matter is not predicted by E-infinity theory.

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  3. Thanks! Fixed. The two big photos are indeed very close. :)

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  4. Great that you could confirm my suspicion! Actually, I just wanted to check that "prof-el-naschie-nobel-laurates-gross-thooft-wilcezk.jpg" was taken at the occasion of the Vlieland meeting, when I was stuck by the group photo
    ;-)...

    Has this any consequences for the proceedings in London?

    Could the Great Man be sued by the photographer? Shouldn't his webmaster remove this fabricated photo to avoid unnecessary trouble for the Great Man, his master?

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  5. Nature's lawyers Taylor Wessing will absolutely make sure the court in London is made aware of this fraud. They'd be fools not to. This shameless Photoshop is the work of a guy whose case is that Nature presented him in a false light.

    The University of Utrecht paid the photographer for the photos. My guess is Ivar Pel couldn't sue, but could get him to take his photoshop down or label it as a Photoshop of Ivar Pel's original. But I am not a lawyer. Taylor Wessing, will you please grace this comment section with your wisdom? Anonymously is fine.

    I wonder what El Naschie will do. Will he take the Photoshop down? If he does, will he explain why it's gone missing? He may try to justify it in some way, e.g., artistic license. Or he may say he didn't know it was on his Web site and the person who Photoshopped it had no authority to do so.

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  6. > I wonder what El Naschie will do. Will he take the Photoshop down?

    That is silly. He will simply tell the full truth and nothing but: that the photo as it appears on his website more accurately reflects his memory of the event as it happened.
    Which is that he graced and comforted three Nobel laureates with his ethereal presence, not even casting a shadow. Using the same software that NASA uses to remove enhance Hubble Space Telescope images (without controversy), the image was simply cleaned of distracting noise and posted with properly enhanced signal.
    His spirit is so pure he does not perceive the non-Nobelists in his midst. The image also documents his beneficence, having generously provided his three acolytes with the ideas that led to their prizes, and they consequently kneel before him.

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  7. Haha. He won't say that, but it'll be the first thing that comes to his mind.

    As I look at the big group picture I notice something else. El Naschie, in contrast with the people on either side, is doing his damnedest to lean in as close to the Laureates as he possibly can. He's so overbalanced he is in danger of falling forward. Or drooling on them.

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  8. > I should have listened to him! But at the time it seemed inconceivable
    > that El Naschie would be so brazen, and I went on to other things.

    This had been commented elsewhere, e.g.,
    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=1109&cpage=1#comment-45180

    November 12, 2008 at 8:47 pm, MathPhys says:
    ...
    Can someone please take a look at these photos
    http://www.ijnsns.com/conf/Photo-Gallery.pdf
    Some seem to have been produced by photoshop
    Look at the photo with Wilczek, ‘t Hooft and Gross
    http://www.el-naschie.net/el-naschie-physicist.asp?site=249&lang=
    Looks very suspicious to me.

    > El Naschie, in contrast with the people on either side, is doing his
    > damnedest to lean in as close to the Laureates as he possibly can.
    > He's so overbalanced he is in danger of falling forward.

    After all this time you haven't figured out his modus operandi?
    What he was doing at 't Hooft's 60th birthday in the first place is anyone's guess ('t hooft must have some soft spot somewhere: though since the Vol 30, Issue 2 (Oct 2006) issue of CSF has an editorial that begins "The Editorial Board of Chaos, Solitons & Fractals voted to dedicate the present regular issue to Professor Gerardus ‘t Hooft on the special occasion of his 60th birthday.", perhaps he came as a journal editor promising to devote an issue of his journal to the 60th birthday celebration. Unfortunately the contents of the issue are the usual E-infinity crackpottery about which 't Hooft wrote
    http://www.phys.uu.nl/~thooft/theoristbad.html ).
    Few of the other participants likely had any idea who he was. But the group photo gambit must have been undertaken with conscious forethought. When the time came for the traditional conference photo, Mr. M.S. El Nobody had to have brazenly inserted himself directly behind the guest of honor in the photo, and moreover leaned forward intentionally to appear as close as possible to the laureates. As you've noted, he sticks out like a sore thumb, unable to behave like an ordinary participant. Perhaps the original plan was simply to crop the photo, but any rectangle would have left too many other shoulders or other stray body parts. Nonetheless for an impostor whose credibility depends on being pictured or seemingly co-authored in the vicinity of real scientists, bagging three Nobel laureates in one shot was evidently too good to resist, and he got carried away (there are other suspect photos as well).

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  9. >there are other suspect photos as well

    You should point to them while interest is high. Readers will find the originals. On this Sunday night, the El Naschie Watch hit rate is off the charts. The Great Man is going down.

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  10. Would a version of the photo with Arabic instead of English notations be useful? If a reader can provide accurate Arabic translations of the English bits, please email me or put it in a comment, and I will create an Arabic version.

    Maybe it's not important because the graphic is damning enough. Still, the pic needs to get to the Egyptian media.

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  11. They are discussing these two pictures on PhysicsForums in a thread that started the same day I posted this, but not crediting El Naschie Watch.

    http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?p=2604707

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  12. I didn't find El naschie listed as a speaker in Gerard 't Hooft's 60th birthday, despite the fact that El naschie is a close friend to 't hooft. Moreover, El naschie was the most influential scientist during this occasion, with achievement superior than anybody else there.

    I think El naschie migh was responsible for preparing coffee break and refreshments, or responsible for collecting bicycles, I see a lot of bicycles in many photos.

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  13. I've archived the two pictures, in case he removes it from the website:

    Original: http://www.webcitation.org/5pwE4ZcI2
    Photoshop: http://www.webcitation.org/5pwEGHDNT

    Damn, the douche is providing a lick service to the governing party in Egypt these days as a Rouz-el-Youssef magazine writer.

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  14. He won't remove the photoshop from his Web site I bet, because it is too humiliating a climbdown. He just won't ever talk about it. If confronted, he'll say it's not a big deal, artistic license, etc.

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  15. In the photogallery of http://www.el-naschie.net/ appears El Naschie in a 'conference room'. Behind, there is a picture of Spanish kings. But nobody in the room! Probably he was in Spain, he went in a empty room with a picture of the Spanish king, he placed the laptop and he made the pictures.

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  16. Haha yes, Rafa, I have always thought those pictures are funny. That's surely what he did. There were apparently no Nobel Laureates present, so he had to settle for making himself look at home in grand surroundings.

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