Thoughts On Beauty…


A tease for my upcoming column on beauty.  Below is an excerpt:

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Gap-Toothed Man

Alfred Williams was a standout defensive end at The University Of Colorado.  He would eventually play professionally for The Denver Broncos.  During one particular season Williams played at his usual high level, but well into the season he had failed to have a single quarterback sack – which was kind of in his job description. 

It might have been 12 or 13 games into the season when Williams got his first sack for that season – also causing a fumble.  Williams recovered the fumble himself, took it down field, as fast as a 300-pound man could, and from two yards out of the end zone, he leaped into the air, stretched his body out, and extended the ball over the goal line for a touchdown.

The gap-toothed mauler; once behind enemy lines in a flash, now behind the microphone...

Here’s the punch-line:  There was not a single player from the opposing team anywhere near him.  He could have moon-walked into the end zone, but he leaped and dove – an expression of outright joy and beauty.  There was this man, who would have played that game on a field of broken glass and carpet tacks, for a dollar, doing what he most loved to do, for the fans came to see him do it.

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Please check back next week and read how I use the thread of beauty to sew together football player Alfred Williams, the heavy metal band Rush, and the death of a family dog.  Should be fun.

Oh, and there is this from Cowboy Junkies, enjoy…

3 responses

  1. Diastema (plural diastemata) is a space between two teeth. Many species of mammals have diastemata as a normal feature, most commonly between the incisors and molars.

    Condoleezza Rice, former U.S. Secretary of State, has a prominent diastema

    In humans, the term is most commonly applied to an open space between the upper incisors (front teeth). It happens when there is an unequal relationship between the size of the teeth and the jaw.

    Diastema is sometimes caused or exacerbated by the action of a labial frenulum (the tissue connecting the lip to the gum) causing high mucosal attachment and less attached keratinized tissue which is more prone to recession or by tongue thrusting, which can push the teeth apart.

    In the Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer wrote of the “gap-toothed wife of Bath”. As early as this time period, the gap between the front teeth, especially in women, had been associated with lustful characteristics. Thus, the implication in describing “the gap-toothed wife of Bath” is that she is a middle-aged woman with insatiable lust. This has no scientific basis, but it has been a popular assumption in folklore since the Middle Ages.

    In Nigerian society, diastemata are occasionally regarded as being attractive mostly among the western regions, and some people have even had them created through cosmetic dentistry. In France, they are called “dents du bonheur” (“lucky teeth”).

    Diastema is a treatable dental deformation (if considered one). Treatments include traditional braces, Invisalign, or direct dental bonding to make the teeth wider and thus fill up the space. One problem with orthodontic correction is relapse: There is a strong propensity for the gap to reappear after treatment. This can be addressed by bonding a permanent retainer to the inside surfaces of the teeth.

    Some internet sources sell elastics that are designed to pull the front teeth together and close a diastema. However, orthodontists and cosmetic dentists warn that these techniques tip the teeth rather than move them sideways as they should be moved. In some cases, people using this technique have caused their front teeth to come loose.

    Most species of herbivorous mammals have a diastema between the front teeth (incisors and canines), if present, and the cheek teeth (molars and premolars). This is also the case for rodents and lagomorphs.

    Many myrmecophagous mammals, such as the aardwolf, anteaters, and pangolin have either no teeth, or, in cases like the aardwolf, have large diastemas between their sparse teeth.

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