Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Zaria Gorvett's article "You are surprisingly likely to have a living doppelganger" is a good read. It begins:
It’s on your passport. It’s how criminals are identified in a line-up. It’s how you’re recognised by old friends on the street, even after years apart. Your face: it’s so tangled up with your identity, soon it may be all you need to unlock your smartphone, access your office or buy a house.

Underpinning it all is the assurance that your looks are unique. And then, one day your illusions are smashed.

The piece had me recalling something from an old post of mine:
Facial features can be arranged on a human being in a limited number of ways, so it's surprising that we don't notice more look-alikes. Outside of family resemblances, which are to be expected, there aren't too many people with facial likenesses strong enough to confuse us. There are a few though, I came across an instance recently. In an episode of Boston Legal, we couldn't decide whether one of the characters was being played by an actor we knew from Eureka. "He's broader", I kept trying to convince myself..."the Eureka guy is slimmer built, but...erm - he could have put on weight for the part".

Colin Ferguson who plays the sheriff in Eureka, and Mark Valley of Boston Legal, Human Target - and Fringe were the two who originally had me confused. There's a third guy who could be added to this particular look-alike list: Joel Gretsch of The 4400.

From the top: Colin, Mark, Colin, Mark, and Joel.


Astrologically, appearance is said to relate mainly to the rising sign - though I would guess that Sun and Moon signs, or any sign heavily emphasised or strongly placed on an angle, could also influence looks. I've personally come to recognise a limited number of astrology-related facial/physical features in people I've met. Gemini:wiry or skinny, bony face; Capricorn/Aquarius/Saturn: a definite look with regular features (hard to describe in words); Cancer: round face, tending towards chubbiness; and of course the famous magnetic Scorpio eyes, and the lustrous Leo hair.

Without times of birth, without knowing rising signs and Moon placement for the three guys mentioned, it's not possible conduct a proper investigation into whether astrology has any bearing on their facial likeness.

Colin Ferguson - born 22 July 1972, Montreal, Canada.
Mark Valley - born 24 December 1964 Ogdensburg, NY.
Joel Gretsch - born 20 December 1963, St. Cloud MN.

I've compared 12 noon charts for the three and can find only one point of (almost) convergence between 28 Sag and 2 Capricorn: Colin Ferguson has Jupiter at 00 Capricorn, Mark Valley has Sun at 2 Capricorn and Joel Gretsch has Sun at 28 Sagittarius. If their rising signs were somewhere around that area it'd be amazing!

There's a non-astrological possibility for the likeness too, though I've no evidence to support it: Scottish ancestry. The look they share has a definite Scottish flavour.

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