The Shmooze

Important-to-Know Nose News

By Nathan Burstein

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You’d think a Jewish scientist would avoid making racial generalizations about noses, but that hasn’t stopped an Israeli professor from doing just that.

Wikimedia Commons
Barbra Streisand’s famous nose with character

Abraham Tamir, a chemical engineering professor at Ben-Gurion University, has published the results of his study of nearly 1,800 noses, based on both photos of living people and works of art. (Although Tamir’s primary work focuses on other topics, he teaches a class on the relationship between science and art.)

Tamir’s proboscis probe proves (supposedly) the existence of 14 types of Caucasian noses, which include the turned-up or “celestial” nose, the Roman and the hawk varieties. MSNBC’s “Body Odd” blog notes the prevalance of “the fleshy nose, which is large and prominent,” in Israel. (In some households The Shmooze can think of, this is referred to affectionately as a “nose with character.”)

Tamir’s study, which was published in the May issue of the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, doesn’t examine noses among non-Caucasians. But if you’d like to see whether your own nose appears among the 14 identified by Tamir, you can check out it out via the MSNBC site.


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