That Mona Lisa Strangeness in Your Smile

mona lisa

mona lisaScientists have discovered the secret behind Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile. They say it has to do with which cells in the eye’s retina pick up the image. Depending on the light, the distance, the angle, etc., sometimes these cells communicate first to the brain, sometimes it’s others. Sometimes we see the smile, sometimes we don’t. I picked this up from the Telegraph. The first “related article” it lists along with the Mona Lisa piece is “Secrets of Flirting Revealed.”

The secret to flirting, at least in the laboratory, appears to be directness. Mysterious glances don’t get it. According to the scientists, the successful flirt just says, “I like you.” This is why scientists are called nerds.  It’s Leonardo’s intentions — and the secret intentions of his Mona Lisa — that can drive one wild. Nat King Cole gets it right.

Author: Glenn W. Smith

Glenn W. Smith has spent the past 30 years in journalism and politics, where he’s made a name for himself as a writer, campaign manager, activist, think tank analyst and, as Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas says, a “legendary political consultant and all-around good guy.” “There’s no one like him,” says author George Lakoff. CNN commentator Paul Begala says, “He has unmatched experience, a graceful pen (or pixel nowadays) and deep insight into the best and worst of us.” Novelist Sarah Bird speaks of his “lucid and lyrical” prose. And, she says, he’s fun. Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington says Glenn writes with “grace and abundant humor” and “uses his colorful experiences in Texas to enlighten us all.”

Smith led Ann Richards’ successful 1990 campaign for Governor of Texas. He worked for former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen. Earlier, Smith was a political reporter for the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Post. He’s coordinated national campaigns for groups such as In 2004, he authored the highly acclaimed book, The Politics of Deceit: Saving Freedom and Democracy from Extinction. He also wrote Unfit Commander, a book that detailed George W. Bush’s mysterious disappearance from military service.

In 2004, Smith was featured in the film, Bush’s Brain, a documentary about Karl Rove. Smith provided commentary on Rove’s role as then-President Bush’s senior advisor. He has made numerous media appearances with Chris Mathews on Hardball, Joe Scarborough, Brit Hume, and many others. He writes a regularly for top national web sites, including FireDogLake and Huffington Post.

As a senior fellow at George Lakoff’s prestigious Rockridge Institute in Berkeley he studied, wrote and taught on the power of metaphor and narrative in political communications. He also lectured on religion and politics at the Starr King School for Ministry in Berkeley. As a sponsor and organizer, he has pulled together numerous national events with progressive religious leaders. He also organized a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King at Riverside Church in New York City as well as “Freedom and Faith” bus tours, which was a nationwide campaign for social justice and progressive values.

Smith’s play, Double Play, which explored American Western myths and legends, was held over to sold-out audiences. He’s even written and performed songs in the Americana tradition, such as his best-known song, “Helping Marty Robbins,” a tribute to his hometown, Houston.

Most recently, Smith is the creator of DogCanyon, a political and cultural web site covering state, national and global issues from a Texas perspective. DogCanyon is an exhilarating and unique site that gets the connections between politics and culture and explores both the personal side of politics and the ups, down, craziness and beauty of “life its ownself,” as humorist Dan Jenkins would say. DogCanyon offers heartfelt personal essays, hard-hitting political analysis, and, most importantly, laughs.

As Paul Begala said, Smith writes in “the finest, firmest, fearless tradition of Texas essayists like Molly Ivins.”

8 thoughts on “That Mona Lisa Strangeness in Your Smile”

  1. The secret to flirting outside the laboratory is probably directness, too. We’re all just too busy to figure out veiled commments and secret admirers. And how nerdy do you think these guys are, if they have figured out a way to get a research project funded on flirting? As another great crooner, Mr. Frank Sinatra, sang, nice work if you can get it (and you can get it if you try).

  2. I’m with Nat and the nerdy scientists. Mysteriousness, secretiveness, games, etc, don’t do a thing for me! I like a man who knows what he wants and goes for it, with a big smile on his face! Nothing like it!

    1. Now, now. It’s not secrets or games, no no. I’m with ya on that. It’s depth and humor, it’s something about the other that will take awhile to understand or get close to, it’s something in the way you move. It’s something, not some thing that can be pinned down once and for all. We want to be with unending novels, not the ten-word morals of the stories. The direct, unambiguous “I like you” is fine, like the scientists say. But we all know that “I like you” can’t just come from anybody, and it’s that part that escapes us at first that’s arousing.

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  4. Indeed a thoughtful proposition there. It is always awesome to be together with friends and family. Keeps the bonding more strong. Like to network with people around the world. have traveled to quote a few countries and had immense experiences of meeting people and building relationships around the world.

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