You too can have the glamorous life of a journalist (updated)

By James Fallows

Sample message from today's email inbox:

Dear James,

Hope all is well, I wanted to follow up and see what you were working on and if you would be interested in speaking with Dr. Irwin Smigel, the "Father of Aesthetic Dentistry" and the 1st and only dentist to be inducted into the Smithsonian.

Dr. Smigel has always been at the forefront of cosmetic dentistry and has put the field on the map, changing the face of dentistry forever with his inventions of bonding and veneers. It wasn't until June 2009 when he was officially recognized by the National Museum of Dentistry, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, in a permanent installation called "The Smile Experience", a two floor exhibit which pays homage to his contributions to the field. Along with being honored, Dr. Smigel received a plaque bearing his likeliness, which will be affixed to one of the soaring pillars in the museum's atrium.

Visitors can take a digital snapshot of their unique smile and instantly upload it to a monitor in the gallery. Visitors will also be presented with a multimedia experience on the evolution of the smile, including a video presentation that shows how people have enhanced their smiles throughout history, from the ancient Mayans who decorated their teeth with jade to Dr. Irwin Smigel's introduction of tooth bonding to the American public on the popular TV show "That's Incredible," which marked the beginning of the modern age of cosmetic dentistry.

Dr. Smigel maintains a cosmetic dentistry practice on Madison Avenue in New York City, which has become a multi-million dollar company with revenue reaching an estimate of $20 million in sales each year! Dr. Smigel also treats some of the most recognizable smiles in the nation including; Jimmy Fallon, Kelly Ripa, Johnny Depp, Diane Von Furstenberg, Elizabeth Taylor, Justin Timberlake, Adam Sandler, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, and Calvin Klein.

No larger point here, just in the "world is full of wonders" category. The Smithsonian angle is the intriguing part.

Update. The world is full of additional wonders. From a reader just now:

"The Father of Cosmetic Dentistry is also the Father of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.  That is, Irwin Smigel is the father of Robert Smigel, arguably the funniest comedy writer alive. 

"It's a unique name, and I remember hearing that Robert Smigel quit dentist school before turning to comedy.  I googled him and sure enough that's him.  By "sure enough" I mean "possibly, since that's what Wikipedia says."

I don't know that I've ever seen a picture of Robert Smigel's smile...

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2009/12/you-too-can-have-the-glamorous-life-of-a-journalist-updated/32322/