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March Mustache Madness 2007

Original 2007 Call for Participation Email

I'd like to invite you to participate in the third annual March Mustache Madness, to be celebrated on Thursday, March 1st 2007. Last year, we had 23 participants, and this year it already looks like we've got quite a few people lined up. Please do your part to make this the biggest mustache celebration in department history.

Participation is simple. All you have to do is show up on March 1st with a "Free Standing Mustache" (see 'terms' below) and you've done your part. Those unable to grow a mustache (i.e. women, those under the age of 18, and Kirk Kelsey) will be provided with artificial mustaches that they may wear for the day (or just for a photo, if that is their preference).

All are welcome to join. Last year faculty, staff, and students representing four continents participated. This year we're inviting undergraduates, and the spouses and children of department members to participate as well. I have tentative commitments from students at three other universities, too, so it's up to you to ensure that the UR mustache torch burns brightest!

In lieu of a group photograph, this year we will make a photo collage showcasing all participants' mustaches. If you will be out of town on the 1st, you can coordinate with me or with Marty for an advance photo (or a photo upon your return) to ensure that your mustache makes it into the collage.

Also, if you believe that photographs of participants before, during, and after March 1st might be useful for your research (perhaps you are interested in vision algorithms that are tolerant of changes in facial hair), please let me know right away so that I can help ensure a statistically significant number of participants.

For inspiration you may wish to view last year's MMM wiki at http://www.cs.rochester.edu/twiki/bin/view/Main/MarchMustacheMadness. The wiki includes haikus written by participants and their friends, as well as a group photo showcasing many of last year's popular mustache styles.

This year, instead of haikus you are invited to assist in creating a serial novel: "Mustache." The first paragraph of the novel is on the MMM2007 wiki (http://www.cs.rochester.edu/twiki/bin/view/Main/MarchMustacheMadness2007), and you are encouraged to add sentences, paragraphs, or chapters as your schedule permits. The novel, like your mustache, will take shape before your eyes as the days pass from now until March 1st.

If you are interested in receiving further email about March Mustache Madness, or if you would like to participate, please contact me at spear@cs.rochester.edu and I will add you to the MMM2007 email list.

- Mike Spear

Mustache Terms

"Free Standing Mustache" -- a quantity of hair on the upper lip that is not connected to hair on the chin, neck, or sideburns. Such a mustache does not preclude sideburns or hair on the neck/chin, but it must not be connected to that hair.

"Unveiling" -- In years past, most participants have grown a beard or goatee for several weeks (or in the case of George Ferguson last year, over a decade!), and unveiled their mustache on the 1st.

Mustache (a serial novel)

When asked to describe him, one invariably stopped at the same feature where their description began. A well-groomed mass of hair sat above his mouth. It was like no other, and few bothered to mention the shade of his skin, the color of his hair, his build, or the manner of his speech. His luxurious whiskers identified him completely. He required no name. To all who knew him, he was simply "the man with the mustache."

-- MichaelSpear - 14 Jan 2007

Maybe that's why he was first on the list of people I called when things went sour. Four dead bodies in the cooler at the city morgue, all with no known relatives or next-of-kin. 2 men, 2 women, with no connections aside from the killer's calling card: a fake plastic mustache on the curled lips of the dead.

-- PaulArdis - 15 Jan 2007

Maybe. It's hard to harbor suspicions against a man like the man with the mustache. Hard when that mustache is but a memory from the last time you saw him, reluctantly fading with time; yet more difficult when his voice on the phone calls up some forgotten detail of that silky cascade; and damn near impossible when he is standing in front of you, the lovely mustache burning an image onto your retina as if it had been heated to 3,000 degrees and pressed directly against your eye. To what serves such mortal beauty, if not Good? But I digress. The philosophers were wise when they wrote that the mustache itself is neither good nor evil, no matter how finely nature and craft had conspired to produce it. The mustache is only a tool which can be wielded by either side. And it was my job to figure out just which side the man with the mustache was on.

-- MattPost - 02 Feb 2007

Our paths crossed once previously about a decade ago, when he was defending his dissertation. I had just entered then as a graduate student, and it was at his dissertation defense that I first saw that mustache. Throughout the entire duration of the talk, my gaze was transfixed at the rhythmic movement of those strands of hair on his upper lip as he defended his graduate work on certain aspects of Marcel Duchamp's Mona Lisa. That was the last I or anyone who knew him had heard about or seen him. Yes. Until I saw that unmistakable mustache again on a figure in an overcoat and hat scurrying around the corner today.

-- RahulKrishna - 08 Feb 2007

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Topic revision: r4 - 2007-02-08 - RahulKrishna
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