WTF Fun Fact 13153 – Albert Einstein and Yoda

The appearance of the Star Wars character Yoda was partially influenced by a poster of Albert Einstein hanging in the creator’s studio.

What’s the relationship between Albert Einstein and Yoda?

We suppose that a close look and some squinting at the Star Wars character Yoda could conjure an image of Albert Einstein in one’s head. But they’re hardly twins – and that’s not just because of the green skin and alien visage.

Still, they have more in common than just their supposed wisdom.

Stuart Freeborn is the special effects artist that worked as a Star Wars makeup supervisor and was primarily responsible for Yoda’s final look. And he had a poster of Einstein hanging on the wall of his office.

Freeborn said Einstein played a role in influencing his vision of Yoda. But he also admitted that the character is based on his own face.

CineSecrets had a quote from the artist:

“…A picture of Einstein ended up on the wall behind the Yoda sculptures and the wrinkles around Einstein’s eyes somehow got worked into the Yoda design. Over the course of this evolutionary process Yoda slowly changed from a comparatively spritely [sic], tall, skinny, grasshopper kind of character into the old wise spirited gnome that we all know today. The final step in that transformation was Franks [Oz, sic] insistence that the puppet should have no jaw fitted. That allowed him more freedom for expression as a puppeteer but it also meant that the skin hung loosely below the cheeks and that gave Yoda an older, rather chinless look that is quite different to the drawings Ralph [McQuarrie] did.”

Surprising it is not

Look at them side-by-side and see what you think. The more you look, the more you can see it.

We want to know what Einstein would have thought. There are many photos of the genius looking goofy and joking around. But he wasn’t always known as a good guy. Unlike Yoda, his attitude sometimes outstripped his wisdom.  WTF fun facts

Source: “How Einstein Influenced the Look of Yoda” — Mental Floss

WTF Fun Fact 12572 – Einstein Never Failed Math

It’s incredible how pervasive myths about Albert Einstein are. In fact, very few of the quotes attributed to him are even accurate. It turns out if you just say something about the man and it gains traction, it becomes fact in some people’s minds.

And we’ve always loved the story that even though he was a genius, Einstein failed math as a schoolboy. Algebra, to be specific.

Apologies to anyone who has used their own math grades to portend their future genius, but Einstein failing any class is just flat-out wrong. He was a genius as a child, too, especially in math.

His school records were retrieved from his Swiss school by the New York Times, showing excellent grades in every subject. They state:

“The records, contained in a collection of the great theorist’s papers now being prepared for publication at Princeton, confirm that Einstein was a child prodigy, conversant in college physics before he was 11 years old, a ”brilliant” violin player who got high marks in Latin and Greek. But his inability to master French was the bane of his school days, and may have been chiefly responsible for his failing college entrance examinations.”

So, where did we get this idea? Well, it wasn’t invented out of thin air. Instead, it was the result of a misunderstanding.

The first biographers who saw Einstein’s records were likely confused by the grading system used by his school in Switzerland. At age 16, he received a 1 out of 6 in arithmetic and algebra. But what the scholars didn’t realize is that 1 was the highest, and 6 was the lowest.

Now, there’s a further explanation that makes us realize it was an honest mistake. The following year, Einstein’s grades in math were 6 on a scale of 1 to 6. However, the school reversed the grading system that year, making 6 the highest grade. – WTF Fun Fact

Source: “Einstein Revealed as Brilliant in Youth” — The New York Times