When People Are Told They’re Beautiful

You so are beautiful – lovely words for anyone to hear. Travel Photographer Mehmet Genç’s “Very Beautiful” project is a simple idea: He tells people he meets on his travels that they’re beautiful and then photographs their reactions. His images truly demonstrate transformative power of kind words. Images from the project are below. The results are sure to bring a smile to your face. You can learn a little more about each of Mehmet’s subjects on the project’s website (translated). You can also follow his travels on his Instagram.

Best Selfies

Does A Deep Neural Network Like Your #Selfie?

Best Selfies
Andrej Karpathy trained a Convolutional Neural Network with a dataset of 2 million photographs to determine what makes the perfect selfie. The image above contains the top 100 best selfies (here are the 1,000 best selfies) Andrej concludes that the best selfies have these qualities:

  1. Be female. Women are consistently ranked higher than men. In particular, notice that there is not a single guy in the top 100.
  2. Face should occupy about 1/3 of the image. Notice that the position and pose of the face is quite consistent among the top images. The face always occupies about 1/3 of the image, is slightly tilted, and is positioned in the center and at the top. Which also brings me to:
  3. Cut off your forehead. What’s up with that? It looks like a popular strategy, at least for women.
  4. Show your long hair. Notice the frequent prominence of long strands of hair running down the shoulders.
  5. Oversaturate the face. Notice the frequent occurrence of over-saturated lighting, which often makes the face look much more uniform and faded out. Related to that,
  6. Put a filter on it. Black and White photos seem to do quite well, and most of the top images seem to contain some kind of a filter that fades out the image and decreases the contrast.
  7. Add a border. You will notice a frequent appearance of horizontal/vertical white borders.

Andrej also created a TwitterBot that will judge your selfie. Simply attach your selfie (or a include a link) to a tweet that mentions @deepselfie anywhere in it. The bot will analyze your selfie and give you its opinion (e.g. score 90% means that the Selfie Bot is 90% sure yours would be in top half of selfies. Selfie Bot was not impressed with my selfie.


More here.

Miss NASA 1971 in the Apollo 8 at the Glen Research Center

Miss NASA Beauty Pageant

Did you know NASA had some sort of Miss NASA beauty pageant? I have found very little information on the pageant but below are all the pictures I could find of Miss NASA (click for high-resolution images, as always). It appears the pageant ran from at least 1968 through 1973. I wasn’t able to find any images of Miss NASA 1972. In fact I’m not really sure there was one. The pageants seem like they might be loosely tied to specific NASA research centers (The Glen Research Center and Lewis Research Center specifically). Does anybody have any more information on this?

Update: According to doctorlinda: Deputy Administrator Lori Garver, in an opening keynote speech at NASA’s March 8th “Women@NASA” conference, did acknowledge that NASA held a “Miss NASA beauty contest” in 1968.

Miss NASA 1968/69
Miss NASA 1968/1969 with RL-10 engine display. Rocket Operations Building, Rob Control Room. Read More

Florence Colgate

The Perfect Face

The 18-year-old, Florence Colgate, @flo245 on twitter, has been blessed with what has been deemed the most naturally beautiful face in England. She’s the winner of a contest – beating out 8,000 other contestants – for having a near perfectly symmetrical face based on ratio figures that were collected by researchers.

Florence Colgate(photo from Daily Mail)

A woman’s face is said to be most attractive when the space between her pupils is just under half the width of her face from ear to ear. Florence scores a 44 per cent ratio. Experts also believe the relative distance between eyes and mouth should be just over a third of the measurement from hairline to chin. Florence’s ratio is 32.8 per cent.

Statistically speaking, there are two main universal keys to beauty for which there is persuasive evidence: facial symmetry and averageness. According to David Perrett:

The answer lies not in fancy geometry but in two basic relationships: whether the left side matches the right (symmetry), and whether the proportions match those with which we are most familiar (normality or ‘averageness’). That beauty should lie in averageness is paradoxical, because we tend to think of ‘average’ as mundane. Sure, the most beautiful faces do not have average proportions, but nonetheless learning what is ‘normal’ for the faces around us is a powerful force in defining what for us is beautiful.

This proves itself when you look at the hundreds of comments at the at the Daily Mail and Huffington Post which refer to Colgate as “boring”, “average”, and “bland”.