It’s October. Halloween is approaching. Your kids have already chosen their costumes. You’ve come up with nothing. Sure you could be a superhero or a pirate or someone from your favorite science fiction franchise, but you’ve done that already for Sci-Fi Family Day and the Haunted S/V Denis Sullivan. You want something new, something different, a costume that no one else would even think about wearing. How about being a Leonard for Halloween? Not just any Leonard, a real Leonard. A fantastic Leonard. One of the greatest Leonards in history. Here is Discovery World’s Greatest Leonards in History Halloween Costume Guide.
7. One of the most imaginative mathematicians in history was named Leonhard. Born in Basel, Switzerland in 1707, Leonhard Euler was a physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and all-around genius person. He developed much of the standardized notation that we use in mathematics today. He also worked on prime numbers, proved a bunch of Fermat’s theorems, made incredibly important advances in calculus, and published over 900 papers and books on mathematics. You can’t go wrong with a Leonhard Euler costume. The clothes in the 1700s were awesome.
6. Dressing up as a mathematician isn’t quite your thing? No worries. Why not go as a computer expert? Why not go as the amazingly innovative Leonard Adleman? Not only is he an expert in cyber security (he co-created the RSA cryptosystem), Adleman is also a molecular biologist and has built a working DNA computer. A DNA computer would make a lovely Halloween accessory. Dress like a professor, because Adelman is a professor at both the University of Southern California and M.I.T.
Maybe you love music. Soaring music. Inspiring music. Passionate music. Haunting music. Here are two musical Leonards that you can choose from.
5. Leonard Bernstein was a composer and conductor who wrote West Side Story and the Jeremiah Symphony among lots of other things. Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts in 1918, Bernstein studied music at Harvard and went on to conduct the New York Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. He was known both for his dynamic, intelligent, and passionate conducting style and his brilliant compositions. All you need is a mane of white hair, a black turtleneck, and a conductor’s baton.
4. The other musical Leonard you might consider is Leonard Cohen. Born in Canada in 1934, he’s probably best known as the guy who wrote that awesome Jeff Buckley song “Hallelujah”. It doesn’t get much more haunting (and inspiring) than that. Cohen is also a poet, a painter, and a novelist, so he’s got that going for him. Leonard Bernstein never wrote a novel, as far as we know.
3. If a musical genius isn’t really what you’re going for, how about dressing as a Leonard with an incredible grasp of truly weird physics? Born in 1940 in the Bronx, Leonard Susskind has discovered all kinds of strange and wonderful stuff in the fields of string theory, quantum field theory, quantum statistical mechanics, and quantum cosmology. He’s also really good at explaining all that stuff. And he’s one of the only people to openly disagree with Stephen Hawking about black holes and turn out to be right. That’s pretty cool.
2. Maybe you actually want to dress up as an alien. Go with a Leonard who knows a lot about aliens, a Leonard who has spent time among aliens, has been an alien, and has defeated aliens. What about Leonard Nimoy? Born in Boston in 1931, Nimoy was an actor and director best known as Mr. Spock on Star Trek, one of the most beloved characters in all of science fiction. As a bonus, you can teach people that cool nerve pinch and sing The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins all night long.
1. Okay, these Leonards are awesome, but you want to dress up as the best Leonard, the ultimate Leonard. A Leonard with a brilliant and nimble mind, an engineer, artist, architect, geologist, and naturalist (among other things). A curious and passionate Leonard who sees the world in a wholly unique way. A polymath. A true Renaissance Leonard. Then you need to become Leonardo da Vinci. He was born in 1452, and throughout his lifetime he was relentlessly curious, unyieldingly imaginative, and he pretty much invented the Renaissance by himself. You can go on and on about your idea for a helicopter that looks a bit too much like patio furniture and doesn’t quite work. That’s okay. You’re Leonardo da Vinci. You’re fascinating. Go with it.
There. Seven fantastic Leonards and seven fantastic ideas for Halloween costumes. You’ll get all the candy. You’ll win all the prizes. You’re welcome.