As a result of this rather huge burst of traffic, I had to turn off the thingy that puts little user pictures in the comments. Smoke was coming out of Dreamhost's server. Hopefully I can turn it back on at some point, but it's clear to me now that it is rather inefficiently written, so I may have to think about other options. I miss seeing all your smiling faces.
Speaking of comments on old posts: I recently switched out the really crappy CAPTCHA spam protection thingy I was using for the much better reCAPTCHA system. I did this for two reasons: 1) half the time that I tried to use the old one it wouldn't work, and 2) reCAPTCHA is very, very cool. Those words it asks you to type in? Those are robot-scanned from actual books, but are words that the robot was unable to to read on its own. Since those words need to be read by humans, and because I need to make sure you're a human before you post comments (after a week or so, anyway) reCAPTCHA combines those two problems into one neat solution. When you have to type in the words it asks, you're actually helping to digitize books in addition to proving to my blog software that you're not shilling penis enlargement pills and barnyard pornography. It's win/win, really. So next time you find yourself typing in those words in that little red box (on posts older than a week old), you should feel at least partially as happy that you're helping robots read books as you are annoyed at having to type them. Bookless robots thank you.
Looking at that image, it seems almost as if the same type of effect might be able to explain that as well, because it's really the same type of image. The most noticably different features are the breasts and tummy, and they're both at exactly the same angle into the shot as Emma's were. Could it pissibly be? Let's anaglyph it and find out. (I had to scale and rotate one of the images before anaglyphing, so these aren't really the best source material for this sort of thing, but it's the best I could find.)
Interesting... The fact that it is passably 3-D (take particular notice of the knife in her belt, her overhanging hair, the space between her face and her shoulder, and the hand that's pulling back the bowstring) means one of two things:
1) this is exactly the same phenomenon as the previous photo, making all that outrage back then for naught as well
2) 3-D images are a lot easier to accidentally produce than I previously stated.
I'm going with the first one, for two reasons: firstly, because it makes me right. Secondly, because none of the 3-D images I've intentionally tried to produce with a camera have been any where near the quality of these two "accidental" ones, let alone having them occur by accident just by modifying a pic in photoshop.
So here's a challenge for the doubters: take this picture of Natalie Portman, make her boobs bigger and do whatever else you want to it and we'll see how it stacks up when converted to a 3-D anaglyph. Making boobs bigger is pretty simple, but I'd like to see if you can actually make it 3-D when you know that's your objective.
Never one to miss an opportunity to ogle Emma Watson's chest with impunity, I decided to do a little "forensic investigating" to see if there is any explanation that's a bit less sleazy. After many cries of "enhance!" were heard inside my office, I suddenly realized what happened.
See, I was having trouble getting the purportedly "before and after" images to line up properly. Things seemed skewed, shadows didn't seem to fall properly. Then I noticed the young bloke on the right's tie, and how it seemed to be at a completely different angle in the two shots.
"It's almost as if this shot was taken with two cameras at the same time," I said to myself. "Why on earth would they do that??" Then I noticed the overlayed text on the "after" image, and how it proclaimed that some of the movie would in fact be projected in 3-D iin the IMAX theaters.
Eureka! Knowing that 3-D movies are made by filming them with two cameras strategically placed a small distance apart, everything suddenly made sense.
What they're calling the "after" image is actually the shot captured by the camera that was closest to Emma, giving it a view to more of the "profile" of Emma's boob. The "before" image is the camera further away with a more "head-on" shot, making it look flatter.
Here it is as a 3-D anaglyph (that I just generated in The Gimp):
Hopefully you have some 3-D glasses around (mine say Spy-Kids 3D on them) to view this with, but I assure you that I've gotten to the bottom of it. There's no conspiracy here. No one is trying to enhance Emma (nor would the be able to if they tried; she is already a textbook example of perfection as-is), the poster designers just didn't realize that when they 2-D-ified the 3-D promotional poster (I haven't seen said poster, but I am deducing its existence based on my research), the old one used the "left" frame, and the new one used the "right" frame.
I'm sure that no one even thought of this, not realizing that two frames captured mere inches apart would cause any problems. Sadly, with thousands of internet fanboys nitpicking, it can make a huge difference.
Anyway, spread the word. No one is trying to pull anything, it's just an oversight.
Oh, and if you've seen the 3-D poster I'm postulating the existence of, I'd sure like to hear about it.
UPDATE: Some people don't quite understand, so I quickly drew up this top-view approximation of what's going on. It is not to scale.
Does that make more sense?
UPDATE: Apparently not... I thought the 3-D anaglyph would be self-explanatory, but sadly nobody actually owns the glasses required to see it. So I tried to draw a simple drawing explaining it, but that didn't do it either. See, in the drawing, the red/blue lines are meant to show what your eyes are doing when looking at a 3-D scene -- not the cameras. 3-D is all just trickery designed to fool our brains into seeing flat images the way we see objects in the real world. In the real world, each eye sees things from a slightly different perspective, and our brains calculate differences in those perspectives to tell us how far apart things are, how round, etc.
With a 3-D anaglyph, an entire scene is presented encoded in colors so that the special glasses can "filter" the view such that each eye is seeing a completely different view. But the magic really happens when the eyes start to focus at different parts of the picture. The brain is usually fairly convinced that what it's seeing is an actual scene, so your eyes begin to move about the image as they would in a normal everyday view of the world. If a 3-D image is made properly, you can focus your eyes on one element of the composition, then move to one "deeper" into the image, or "farther away" from the camera, never breaking your brain's sense of 3-D.
The 3-D anaglyph above is simply just the "before" image set as the left eye's view, and the "after" image set as the right. Nothing else was done to them, yet the 3-D encoding is perfectly realized when you put on the glasses. This doesn't happen on accident folks. My drawing above was demonstrating what your eyes would do if you'd look over at Emma's side of the composition in such a 3-D scene, to show that the closer eye would see her breast with more of a profile, and the further away one would be more head-on, thus explaining the difference in the curve of her breast and stomach. And if your eyes would behave that way, so would the two cameras.
I decided that perhaps a better explanation would be to try to take 2 similar shots myself. Now, I didn't take these at the same time, and I had to just sort of estimate the exact amount to shift the camera, so it isn't perfect -- but I think you'll get the idea. The subject of the photo was not altered in any way, the only differece between the two shots is shifting the camera about 2" laterally between taking them.
Obviously the effect is more pronounced due to the much smaller scale and the inaccurate camera movement, but I think this really concretes what I'm saying. If I had more scale action figures to play with -- and a lot more time -- I could set up the entire shot, but that's way more work than I'm prepared to put in.
I need to refute something from Sean's disproval of my latest effort to explain The Sun's photo.
The lemon: I feel this is one of those flaws in my rendering that I mentioned in my previous post. In actuality, I believe the lemon is sitting on the edge of a glass of strawberry lemonade rather than the martini glass I drew, accounting for the pinkish splotches seen running across the inside of the lemon's pericarp. Sure, the pericarp doesn't look white, but that's because it is in the shadow cast by the thicker edge of the slice. If you've ever seen a slice of lemon that's been sitting around a little while, you'd notice that the "meat" of the lemon actually shrinks as it dehydrates, accounting for the shadowing. Let's take another look at Sean's blowup:
Now, while you might argue that the pink splotches of strawberry foam are too high up on the lemon to have come from inside the glass, I'd have to assure you that those darn things are always slipping off the edge of the glass, especially when they're cut as thinly as this one is. Also, you might argue that Brits don't drink strawberry lemonade, making it impossible to even find any in the UK. That's a pretty good point, but I'd have to argue that if anyone were to have a chance of getting a strawberry lemonade where there is none, it's sure going to be someone who: a) is hanging out with a member of the Royal Family, b) has nice tits, or c) has both nice tits and a member of the Royal Family. In fact, I'd be surprised if someone matching those qualifications didn't order something impossible at every chance.
Unfortunately for me, it is Sean who is making the rules here. So, if he says it's a "button", and that it's pinned to Miss Pinkham's top, I simply have to accept it and move on. So here I go, moving on.
You'll notice that there's a button pinned to Miss Pinkham's top:
You'll also notice that this button is being pushed off to one side -- making it nearly perpendicular to her torso, as a matter of fact. Sean maintains that Miss Pinkham's breasts are following the axiom that "the breast line is one head-height below the chin," and therefore exist in the state shown in his diagram:
If there is nothing up in the upper portion of Miss Pinkham's top, then what is pushing said button to such a perpendicular angle? If there were no breasts up there, the button ought to be flat against her breast-free upper chest, no?
I feel that because my initial video footage disproved the bulk of Sean's argument against the authenticity of the photo in question, I actually do deserve the award, so I'm going to just go ahead and claim it without Sean's approval. However, Sean is right that the question of the raised left breast really needs to be answered. Since I've not yet adequately proved a case for the raisal of said breast, I have a moral opposition to the outright taking of Sean's award without his approval. So what I've done is taken half the award without permission, until which point Sean feels the need to award me the other half. You'll now find the following image proudly and boldly emblazoned on my website for the world to see, so that they will know that I deserve the "Sean Gleeson Researcher of the Century Award."
Since I've already proven the "shadows" portion to Sean's approval, I'll now prove the "left breast lift" portion as well. This solution is incredibly simple, requires no magic garment, and fits completely within what we know about the event.
I've simply extended the photograph below the bottom, using my imagination to fill in the details:
Now I'm no painter, and I have considerable trouble with anatomy, but I feel that despite the flaws in my rendering, this is a representation of a completely plausible situation. Sure, we don't know that this is what actually happened, but I feel that anyone would have to admit that a table could certainly account for Harry's "weight bearing" arm, the lifted breast, and the mystery "floating lemon wedge" -- which, inexplicably, was never initially questioned.
Q E D.
UPDATE: Crap! Foiled again. On to the next round, I guess...
It seems I'm a participant in an unfolding scandal. I was under the impression that I'd have more time to prepare a statement, but it seems the story is breaking faster than I had expected it would, prompting me to hurry this post out the door. Please excuse any typos, spelling mistakes and/or bad grammar. (My grammar is so bad that one time, she rode her Harley right into an IHOP and demanded a "Rooty-Tooty Fresh and Fruity" or she'd tear up the place.)
Entertainment Weekly contributor Sean Gleeson recently made some allegations incriminating tabloid newspaper The Sun in yet another scandal over the Bad Boy Prince photograph they published. The Sun has printed a retraction, apologizing for the timeline mistake, but Sean maintains that editors at the paper willfully manipulated the photo in question, increasing Miss Natalie Pinkham's chest size dramatically.
Sean's allegations were based on "impossible shadows", which I determined to be nothing more than the natural behavior of light on 3D objects. (Or, in this case, boobs.) Sean demanded video evidence to back up my assertions, so I decided to put aside all modesty and demonstrate the shadow-forming power of a pair of small breasts. Assuming I wouldn't be able to get permission from the owner of the only female breasts I have access to, I decided the only thing to do was use mine. If you've ever wanted to see me topless, now is certainly your chance.
In any case, because of my selfless actions, I'm now up for the prestigious "Sean Gleeson Researcher of the Century Award," which as of yet, has not actually been awarded to anyone before. Also coming with the award is a pint of Guinness, which due to not living in the same part of the country as Sean, I'll be asking he give to the charity of my choosing. (I choose the Oklahoma City Alcoholism Center.) Tomorrow morning, Sean will announce whether I've won it or not, but either way, it's going to be huge news. Heck, it's huge news already. I'm sure by now you've seen countless links to Sean's extremely influencial site from places like boingboing, digg, fark, slashdot, the Sun, and -- of course -- perezhilton.
As an adult male raised both in the relatively puritanical United States and by Hollywood, I find myself thinking frequently of breasts.
(I must say, it's quite tempting to just stop there, but I do have a point so I guess I'll soldier on.)
Anyway, the other day I was thinking of breasts and came up with an ingenius idea that I hope will make me lots and lots of money.
So what's the problem with breast implants? I'd say it's the invasive and destructive method of insertion; you've got this big object outside the breast that you want to move inside the breast, so there's going to be scarring and pain and recovery time. Oh and everyone will notice that yesterday your boobs were much smaller.
So my idea came about by thinking of Luxy, an elderly rat who has a large mammary tumor. She looked for a while very much like she just suddenly sprouted a Dolly Parton sized boob on one side which had a very natural look and feel.
So my idea is to intentionally cultivate a tumor at a precise location inside of any breasts you want to make bigger; this will allow the breasts to grow "naturally" over time and not require any surgery. Worst case scenario is an injection of a "starter" cell, best case would just be some sort of "Boob Enhancing Ray" that gets waved over the boobs in question.
The only part I haven't been able to figure out yet is how to get them to stop growing. Really though, once you decide you want bigger boobs, do you really think you're going to suddenly be happy with them? No, I think people who get implants want progressively larger ones over time, so this will just save everyone a load of hassle.
At first I was doubtful whether anyone would intentionally put something scary and harmful into their body just to "improve" their appearance, but then I remembered that millions of surprised looking people use Botox. Once you've injected deadly food poisoning into your face, what's a little cancer in your boobs?