Why, Professor Manga . you're beautiful!
| 02 December 2005
(Bonnie Azab Powell photo)
That explains why he told his wife, Berkeley librarian Susan Storch, that People magazine had contacted him because he'd won the MacArthur in September. Storch only learned the truth from her mother, who spotted her son-in-law's likeness while thumbing through the glossy rag's Nov. 28 edition at her local supermarket. The MacArthur "genius," it turned out, had made the pages of People not for the light he sheds on the cosmos, but for sheer body heat.
Manga appears in People's "Sexiest Man Alive" issue, its annual hunk homage, below another "smart guy," U2 frontman Bono, and shares the issue's many, many pages with fellow hotties Matthew McConaughey, Jake Gyllenhaal, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Antonio Banderas, George Clooney, and Orlando Bloom, among others.
Manga, who speculates that he came to People's attention after winning the MacArthur, insists that neither honor has changed his life. "I still get to change diapers, cook, vacuum, and scrub the tub and toilets," confesses the father of two.
The scientist, who out of loyalty to the campus acceded to our request for facetime and a photo, is not exactly thrilled about his 15 minutes of sexy-man fame. "The MacArthur is so much better," he says. "The nice thing about being at Berkeley is that no one reads People, so no one knows about this - yet. And that's the way it should be. It's kind of embarrassing in a way, because it's not how I perceive myself."
Sorry, professor - your cover is blown.