It’s very much been a week for nerds. The coolest video on YouTube is a very not-safe-for-work celebration of Ray Bradbury, and new information on the life of Albert Einstein has been made public, revealing him as a dangerously charismatic philanderer whose wife I hope was not too put out by his outlandish behaviour. (It was said to have been a “marriage of convenience”, and since she didn’t fling an atom bomb at him when he wrote to her daily describing his affairs, we can only guess she didn’t mind too much.)
Meanwhile, teen goth favourite Robert Pattinson topped Glamour‘s Sexiest Man poll, in a list that seemed dominated by sci-fi and fantasy favourites. If Einstein could charm the socks off Marilyn Monroe with sheer brainpower, let’s take a look at some of the other brainy hotties out there …
The 40 year-old British-American journalist is best known for his Weird Weekends and When Louis Met … television series. The Singapore-born son of novelist Paul Theroux (and cousin of actor Justin Theroux), he went to school with Nick Clegg and then gained a modern history degree from Oxford. After a stint at the satirical Spy magazine, Theroux worked as a correspondent on Michael Moore’s TV Nation which led to his own television shows. One of the teenaged members of the Westboro Baptist Church developed a very obvious crush on Louis in his famous documentary, The Most Hated Family In America.
This guy is a theoretical physicist and colleague of Stephen Hawking. He works at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, and is most famous for “inventing the universe backwards“. So, like a reverse Carl Sagan, but hot.
He’s come a long way since he played Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation. A long-standing spokesman for the nerd community with his blog Wil Wheaton Dot Net, he writes about video games for The Onion AV Club and has provided voice acting in high profile games such as GTA IV. He’s now best known as Felicia Day’s lust-bunny in The Guild.
The Faith No More frontman is also a composer, producer and film and voice actor. He’s released works on John Zorn’s avant-garde Tzadik label, the first of which was 34 tracks of shouting, screaming, squeaking and moaning (no actual music or singing). Just goes to show how much you can get away with when you look that much like Johnny Depp. Earlier this year, Mondo Cane featured cover versions of 50s Italian pop performed by Patton and a 65-strong orchestra. He was also the voice of the zombies in Left 4 Dead, and the voice of the monsters in I Am Legend.
I normally wouldn’t include anyone under the age of 25, but it’s his birthday in just a couple of weeks. Cashmore is the CEO and founder of Mashable, and a regular Guardian contributor. He also writes a weekly column on technology for CNN. His Twitter page, @mashable, has over 2 million followers.
One of the most high profile video game journalists, Croal left Newsweek after 14 years last year in order to try his own hand at the game development side of things.
While chiefly famous as an actor who plays nerdy roles rather than actually as a real-life nerd, Depp is at least a wine nerd. He and long-time partner Vanessa Paradis grow grapes in their own vineyard in Saint-Tropez, and claims you can “reach nirvana” with the right bottle of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Nerrrd!
You might be aware of the snarling performances that he’s shown with his 30 year-old rock music project, Foetus, but he began by studiously revising the theories of John Cage before writing modern classical compositions for an orchestra of robots. His new album is apparently part-written in Latin, which if past form is anything to go by will avoid being as dire as it sounds on paper simply by being excellent. Those hipster shades he wears may be prescription strength, but his inherent nerdiness only makes him hotter.
The Executive Producer behind Oblivion and Fallout 3 turned up at Bethesda Game Studios before he’d even graduated and insisted they should hire him. For over a decade he’s overseen development on some of the all-time best-loved, influential and successful games, redefining the role-playing genre as both virtual world and high-octane adventure.
Once the world’s richest man, the Microsoft founder is one of the world’s most generous philanthropists. Some criticise his business practices, but he’s got grandmothers and toddlers using computers, transforming a niche toy into an indispensible tool. He started programming at 13, and by 15 had hacked the school scheduling program to place him in classes with mostly female students. He enrolled at Harvard in 1973 and dropped out in 1975 to pursue his new ‘Micro-Soft’ business with Paul Allen. By 1999 he was worth $101 billion, at which point he founded a charity and gave at least half of it away.
And, as you can see from the pic, he was in his youth a VERY sexy man. What more could you possibly want?
Of course, not all nerds are sexy.
Charles Darwin, for example, wasn’t much of a looker, and had even less charm when it came to women. According to The Guardian, he summed up his attitude to marriage thus:
Cons: reduced “freedom to go where one liked … Conversation of clever men at clubs – forced to visit relatives … quarrelling – Loss of time. – cannot read in the Evenings – fatness & idleness – Anxiety & responsibility – less money for books.”
Pros: “Children – (if it Please God) – Constant companion, (& friend in old age) who will feel interested in one, – object to be beloved & played with. – better than a dog anyhow.”