Saturday, May 28, 2011

santa barbara

last weekend my good friend christine olson visited me; she was here in LA shooting a wedding, shes an excellent photographer.

before she hit the big time, she was a student at brooks institute of photography, and i was often the subject of her images. this is one of my favorites, that i came across tonight, on an old flash drive. this is from 2008, i believe.

ps im not sure why i posed like that. i do weird things. but its still a pretty picture!

Monday, May 23, 2011

guilty pleasure: the bachelorette

ugh, i think ABC's the bachelor and bachelorette series is just terrible. but i love this garbage. even though there are enough corny lines for a lifetime of Lifetime movies.

the previews show that this season is going to be full of (manufactured?) drama. i think even a trip to the hospital! and of course trips all over the world.

but i like trying to guess who is going to last, sooo here are who i think will make the top 8 (im probably wayyy off):

Ames (portfolio manager. annoying)

ugh how annoying is this guy? 2 masters degrees, and phd and a jd. OH, and over 20 marathons, and he also runs super marathons. ugh, gag, dude. get a new hobby, besides bragging.

JP (construction manager)

one of only a handful that doesnt make me want to puke.

Lucas (oilfield blah blah blah)

would have been first to go, if it were me. boring o rama.

Mickey (chef)

not someone i would look at twice, but ashley seems to dig him. i hate when men wear this color.

Chris D. (sports marketing)

dullish, but cute.

Ryan P. (solar energy developer.executive)

if this isnt her perfect man, well, ill get over it. but he seems good for her.

Ben F. (owns a winery)

he was pretty woo-ey. ashley loves being wooed.

Constantine (restaurant owner)

she seems to like these long haired guys.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

the uncanny valley

a student of mine recently wrote a paper on what is called the uncanny valley, and since then i have heard more and more about it, and felt like blogging about it. beepbop.

the uncanny valley is a theory that suggests humans respond differently to objects, based on how human or unhuman the objects look. I MAKE IT SOUND REALLY INTERESTING DONT I. well, don't get bored yet... the theory is that humans respond positively to things (objects, robots) that look a little similar to humans (Wall-e, Blossom from Power Puff Girls), but respond negatively to things (objects, robots) that look too similar to human. The idea is that big cute eyes are not threatening (see Blossom below) but reborn dolls make us trip out.



a reborn doll is a babydoll that is altered by someone to have more human characteristics. reborns and the concept of the uncanny valley came up during an episode of TABOO on National Geographic a few weeks back. Taboo follows individuals in our society who do things that are seen as less than normal. the show chronicled a day in the life of a woman who "collects" reborns. to be sure, i was weirded out. and so were the people that saw the woman out on the street pushing her reborn baby around in a stroller, and taking the reborn baby for icecream.

i know this might disappoint, but i am not writing this post to delve into the psyche of those who chose to carry reborns around as real children (though i could have a lot to say about it), but instead to address what i think is missing from the uncanny valley theory/hypothesis. ... i was listening to a scientific american podcast also a few weeks back (before having heard about the uncanny valley) and the show was talking about how insects gross us out! even though insects are tiny and most are harmless, we freak out when we see them. the SCIAM guys were saying we dont like insects because they are SO FAR from human looking. it made me think about district 9, and how the alien robot insect prawns were NOT lovable.

CUTE! will not take over the human race, no way!!

GROSS. WILL take over the human race, very very soon.

anyways, i just think that the uncanny valley should also include how humans respond negatively not only to objects that look too human, but objects that look entirely unhuman. why is that not apart of the formal uncanny valley? WHYYY!

addendum: THIS LAST PICTURE of the prawn from district 9 is actually at a point in the film (imho) when the director is trying to encourage the audience to feel sympathetic toward the aliens; you can tell by looking at the shape of the prawn's eyes. but for the most part, PRAWNS/aliens = GROSS.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

fred aremsin from snl is hilarious and weird. a few of his characters on snl are as hilarious and weird as i think he is, but his show portlandia is ALL hilarious and weird. this is my most favorite skit:

"you straight up got dust right in my eyes!"

Friday, May 13, 2011

my first academic journal publication; is a review of someone else's academic work.

Personality and the Foundations of Political Behavior. By Jeffery J. Mondak. (Cambridge University Press, 2010.)
Meredith Conroy (2011).

The Journal of Politics
Volume 73
Issue 02, April 2011 pp 621-622

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dead Squirrel

this video was shared with me by my friend, Shauna... and i love it. holy crap, i could watch the first minute over and over again.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

oh please.

i was out the other night in oldtowne pasadena getting a salad for dinner and it turns out a guy drew a picture of me.

then he said i could have it for 5 dollars.

and because this drawing of a girl is like way prettier than i am i BOUGHT IT. and uploaded it to my blog.