The Daily Pick

Monday, February 28, 2005

Perceived Attractiveness and Perceived Personality

Look at this unattractive guy. His head is too wide, his skin is too pale, his lips are thin, his eyebrows aren't dark enough, the upper half of his face is the same length as his lower half, his cheek bones are too low, and his eyelids are too thick.

Man, poor guy. Not only that, but when his picture was shown to a group of poeople in comparison to Mr. Sexy (below), he rated out as unsociable, lazy, unintelligent, unimaginative, boring, and dishonest.

They're both computer generated faces. And there's much more information about what German researchers at the universities Regensburg and Rostock discovered about perceived attractiveness and social qualites at A very interesting site.

There is also one page that edits in "child-like" features to adults. They have photos of subjects that are 100% adult or 50/50% adult/child. Don't worry, it's much more intriguing than freaky.
posted by The Daily Pick at 9:49 AM | link | 0 comments

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Foetry: Poetry Watchdog is run by "anonymous," and he/she is working to keep poetry and fiction contests fair. The site includes a list of contests, editors, and writers who have conflicts of interest in their award granting. Allegedly, one writer gave an award to her husband. This is relevant to a lot of writers who work hard, send their work off, but who don't stand much of a chance because they don't know the right people. This is a good site. Very controversial. Some claim that the site is not always accurate in its accusations. Check it out and judge for yourself. At the very least, it's making publishers think twice about their guidelines and standards. An interview with Anonymous is on

posted by The Daily Pick at 8:13 AM | link | 0 comments

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Music Helps Sleep

An article in the Journal of Advanced Nursing suggests that listening to music before bed will improve sleep in older adults by over 30%. And they seem to have the evidence to back up the claim.

"Sleep, a vital ingredient in life, can sometimes become difficult as humans get older. But a recent study by researchers at Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and the Buddhist Tzu-Chi General Hospital in Taiwan shows that listening to soft music at bedtime will help older adults sleep better and longer."

posted by The Daily Pick at 6:50 PM | link | 0 comments

Friday, February 25, 2005

Naomi Harris Photography Site

Naomi Harris is a photographer I really like. Some of the current photo series on her site include retirement homes, Miami beach, and something called Porn Star Academy. As you might imagine, this site contains nudity.

posted by The Daily Pick at 7:21 PM | link | 0 comments

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Creepy NASA Robot Head

(Another Best-of from the archives...)

"Eva" is NASA's new robot head. She's smart, she's articulate, and she's scary as hell. This link will take you directly to an mpeg video.

posted by The Daily Pick at 6:41 PM | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Hand Gestures: The Smart, the Offensive, and the Interpreted

Researchers at the University of Alberta have concluded that hand gestures improves memory and the ability for people to choose the correct word.

Furthermore, another study is mentioned here, regarding student/teacher evaluations. Apparently, professors who make more hand gestures receive higher evaluations. (Thanks to Angus Fletcher for first mentioning this. If anyone can find additional information (the researchers were (Williams and Ceci), it would be welcomed here. Thanks. -- TK)

This all leads me to believe that some groups of people have an advantage in this memory game. On that note, has listed around twenty Italian hand gestures and their meanings. And, there are also five important Buddist hand gestures on the Government of Tibet's site.

Finally, this last strange site lists international rude hand gestures that do not include the middle finger. Unfortunately, no illustrations or diagrams. Interesting reading though.

posted by The Daily Pick at 1:31 PM | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Silence of the Lambs: Hidden Imagery in Movie Poster

That skull is made from the images of seven naked women. Did you know that? I didn't know that. Somehow, knew that. That is both really cool and really creepy, which , of course, makes it a perfect addition to the Daily Pick.
posted by The Daily Pick at 12:18 PM | link | 0 comments

Monday, February 21, 2005

First Impressions

First impressions make a huge difference, especially newswise, according to the American Psychological Society. Once you've seen a news report, you may continue to believe it, even if later information shows it to be false. Link from EurekAlert.
posted by The Daily Pick at 11:46 PM | link | 0 comments

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Blog from Baghdad

A young Iraqi woman writes about current conditions in Baghdad. The site is called Baghdad Burning.This site also has a terrific links section.

posted by The Daily Pick at 9:30 PM | link | 0 comments

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Photographer Michael Macor

San Francisco Chronicle photographer Michael Macor is a terrific talent, and many of his works are collected on the site.

posted by The Daily Pick at 3:45 PM | link | 0 comments

Friday, February 18, 2005

Great Writing Exercises from Michelle Richmond

Michelle Richmond is the author of the novel Dream of the Blue Room and the story collection The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress. She currently teaches at St. Mary's College. And, she posts terrific writing exercises on her website. Check some of them out below, then surf over to her site and hit the refresh button for new exercises.

-- Choose a single flaw you have noticed in the body of someone close to you. Write about this flaw from the point of view of someone who finds it beautiful.

-- Make a list of five things you would never do. Write a story in which the main charcter does all of these .

-- To explore how you character moves, write a scene with him or her in the shower.

posted by The Daily Pick at 8:15 AM | link | 0 comments

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Gaping Maws

This Hyena and this Wolf are having a laughing contest on Gaping There are hundreds of photos here of mammals, birds, fish, you name it, opening their mouths for some reason or other. Just click the buttons at the top.

And man, I get to post a monkey and a shark! You know I'm happy now.

posted by The Daily Pick at 10:34 AM | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Star Wars Gaming World Reflects Real (and Weird) Life

In this Star Wars gaming world, players inhabit characters from the films and interact with other players. Yes, there are light saber duels and trash compactor escapes, but there are also weddings between players, war protests, dodgeball between the Emperor and a group of 5th graders, and even a riot instigated by retired stormtroopers at an Intergallactic rest home.

posted by The Daily Pick at 2:30 PM | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Logos for Twenty-Five Bucks: Take It or Leave It will design a logo for you, in 4-5 days, for twenty-five bucks. You can take it, leave it, or ask for a revision for ten dollars.

posted by The Daily Pick at 11:49 AM | link | 14 comments

Monday, February 14, 2005

Fainting Goats: All the Rage on the Net

Don't worry. That goat's not dead. He's just fainted for a few seconds. Apparently there is this breed of goats who faint whenever they are surprised or frightened. Doesn't sound exactly like darwinism at its best, but it certainly is funny to watch.

A direct link to the video is here and here. They take a minute to load. Information about the goats is available from the International Fainting Goat Association.

These videos were all over the major blogs last week. Very popular. Now, you're up to date on the latest rage.
posted by The Daily Pick at 7:00 AM | link | 0 comments

Sunday, February 13, 2005

The FedEx Subliminal Arrow

Did you know that FedEx has a subliminal arrow in its design? It's right there. Look harder.

Lindon Leader created it, and he gave an interview to The about its creation.

I'm sorry, I looked for quite some time and couldn't find it. But it's right there.

posted by The Daily Pick at 8:17 AM | link | 0 comments

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Getting the Message Across to Kids

Hey, I guess this is not the easiest thing for kids to understand. I didn't know most kids were actually worried about this, but that shows what I know.

Anyways, has this book, the follow-up Standing Up, and the completion of the trilogy, Wash Your Hands. I'm actually not joking about this.
posted by The Daily Pick at 1:40 PM | link | 0 comments

Friday, February 11, 2005

Heavy Petting: Defined

Sure, they're just dancing right now. But later, gasp!, the evening's events may turn towards heavy petting...

The wondered aloud about that 1950ish term. What is it exactly? Well, they set up a message board, and they got a lot of strange, funny, and graphic answers. One person's grandmother, in particular, set the record straight. Not for the easily offended.
posted by The Daily Pick at 6:35 AM | link | 0 comments

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Radio Uruguay: A Photo Blog from St. Petersburg

I don't know why I chose two photos involving people's backs. But they're uploaded now, and that's not the easiest thing to do on Blogger.

Radio Uruguay is Dmitri Goutnik's photoblog about St. Petersburg, Russia. Just click 'archives' in the upper right-hand corner. Have I ever steered you to a bad photolog? Check this one out. You'll love it.
posted by The Daily Pick at 1:41 PM | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Found Origami

This is an old, seemingly abandoned page with some cool origami. I just stumbled upon this while looking for pictures of coyotes. Don't ask why. Check it out before someone takes it down.

posted by The Daily Pick at 9:34 PM | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

How to Do Everything: Tricks of the Trade

The Morning News is a terrific online magazine. Half blog, half newspaper. They've been around since 1999, a regular epoch in web-years.

One of their recent features "Tricks of the Trade" offered tips from different professions about small, yet important aspects of their job. Some of the workers included a Forester, a Paramedic, a Cardboard Box Flatener, and a Massage Therapist. Around twenty-five in all. Two of my favorites:

Desktop Support

When desktop support technicians resolve a ticket, they are usually required to document the cause and solution to the problem. Supervisors see these records, so you have to be professional, but can usually get away with using the acronym “PEBKAC” in situations where the user caused the initial problem. PEBKAC stands for “Problem Exists Between Keyboard and Chair.”

Also, visit eHow: Clear Instructions on How to Do (Just About) Everything. Subjects include Automotive, Careers, Relationships, Health, and Travel.

Finally, another terrific site is How Stuff Today's frontpage had How Stem Cells Work, How Hearing Works, and the very timely How Lightsabres Work.

posted by The Daily Pick at 7:57 PM | link | 0 comments

Monday, February 07, 2005

Word Count for Writers and Publishers

"How many words are in *This* many pages?"

People often ask me this kind of question. Well, guess what dudes, I'm a writer, not a math teacher. Lucky for us all, Pam McCutcheon shows us how long that novel is going to be. If you're too lazy to even click over to the site, which I know some of you are like that, then remember that one page equals about 250 words. This is important, because it's not the same as "word count" on your word processor.

What's the difference?

"Short sentences/dialogue, chapter breaks, and scene breaks take up more space on the page, but use fewer words. For example, the sentence "Rick laughed." is only two words, but it occupies an entire line of text.

From the publisher's standpoint, it's more important to know how much space will be used in the printed book than to know the exact word count. So by using this method of estimating word count, you can give the publisher what they really want."

posted by The Daily Pick at 8:37 PM | link | 0 comments

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The Best of Flckr

FlckrBlog posts some of the best daily photos posted on
posted by The Daily Pick at 10:48 AM | link | 0 comments

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Bike Couriers: A Day in the Life

(This was also a favorite from the DP Archives...)

A former bike courier tells it like it is. Including how to deal with being hit by cars. A great article, along with postings by other bike messengers, at Kuro5hin. This is one of the best things I've read in a long while.

posted by The Daily Pick at 5:48 PM | link | 0 comments

Friday, February 04, 2005

Stupid Laws Will Be Broken

Two students from Great Britain will spend the summer breaking stupid U.S. laws. Like what? Like whale-hunting in Utah, and napping in a cheese factory in South Dakota. For more about stupid laws in all 50 states, check out

posted by The Daily Pick at 5:31 PM | link | 0 comments

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Milton Glaser Comes to Some Conclusions

Milton Glaser is a long-time designer who created the (above) Bob Dylan image, the I Heart New York sticker, The AT&T logo and many other memorable, and often simple though not simplistic, designs. Anyways, over the years, he's come to some conclusions, especially about work. They are all detailed in "10 Things I Have Learned" by Milton Glaser. This is definitely worth a visit.

Number 1

It took me a long time to learn this rule because at the beginning of my practice I felt the opposite. Professionalism inferred that you didn’t necessarily have to like the people that you worked for, and should maintain an arms length relationship to them. As a result, I never had lunch with a client or saw them socially. Some years ago I realised that I was deluded. In looking back, I discovered that all the work I had done that was meaningful and significant came out of an affectionate relationship with a client. Affection, trust and sharing some common ground is the only way good work can be achieved. Otherwise it is a bitter and hopeless struggle

posted by The Daily Pick at 1:50 PM | link | 0 comments

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Artificial Intelligence: Twenty Questions

This is actually from the archives, but it's worth a visit if you haven't been yet. is an artificial intelligence that will ask you to think of something (sunglasses, Bill Clinton, a mango, the quadratic equation, whatever you like), and then it asks you twenty questions about it. At the end, the A.I. takes a guess. I tried "Bigfoot" the first time I played, and it guessed "Yeti" at question 17. I tried tissue, and it nailed me on number 14. For some reason, it could not get "letter." It did get pajamas, gin and tonic, and duck-bill platypus. This is addictive. Play at your own risk, but definitely play.

posted by The Daily Pick at 1:40 PM | link | 0 comments

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Poison Ivy Cure

I'm always looking out for your health. Zanfel offers a cure for poison ivy.

posted by The Daily Pick at 6:58 PM | link | 0 comments