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    Lev Landau

    Jew Score:
    14

    I5

    O4

    K5
    January 22, 1908 – April 1, 1968

    We only have a few rules here at JONJ. One of them is, the day we profile ourselves is the day we shut down the site. Not that any of us are profile-worthy. But if one day we decide that we are, well, that's the best sign we've jumped the shark (or leaped the lox, if you will) and it'll be time to move on. But all this ranking of others means we occasionally consider how we, ourselves might rank.

    Which is why we can really appreciate Lev Landau. Sure he was a first-rank physicist. And he did win the Nobel Prize in 1962. But much more interesting to us is one of his more odd affectations: ranking his fellow physicists on a scale of (drumroll) 0 to 5! Now, that's a sign of true greatness.

    Of course, Comrade Landau messed it up and made 0 the best and 5 the worst, but we can't expect genius from everyone, even geniuses. So Newton was a 0, Einstein a .5, Bohr a 1, and on down the line. All of that's pretty neat (JONJ: Inspired by Nobel Prize winning physicists!), but what really catches our eye is that he went ahead and ranked himself on his own scale: a 2.

    Isn't that just typical? Sure, as Jews, we're all a little self-deprecating (and you'd better believe that Russian Jews make the rest of the self-deprecating Jewish world look like egomaniacs). And a 2 is better than most. But still. It's your scale and you're giving yourself the numerical equivalent of a C? With self-appreciation like that, who needs self-hatred?

    Well you can be assured that at JONJ we know better. And when the time comes to rank ourselves we'll be more than generous. A 9 ought to cover it.

    Verdict: Jew.

    December 26, 2008

    See Also

    Albert Einstein

    Richard Feynman

    Abram Ioffe

    Edward Teller

    Eugene Wigner
    © Jew or Not Jew, 2006-2018. j...@jewornotjew.com.