Sunday, January 10, 2010

Any Other Business : White Tree Faces

Sometimes, posts don't have a theme: they are nothing more than a collection of bits and pieces. After what seems like a lifetime attending meetings, such collections always remind me of that section at the end of the agenda - Any Other Business. So, every so often, I will feature my own Any Other Business collection : nothing important, nothing too deep, ephemera at its' best.
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There is nothing ephemeral about Evelyn Yvonne Theriault's bi-monthly Festival of Postcards. The latest edition is based around the theme "White" and once again I have been delighted to contribute (my contribution was posted on the 4th December). Evelyn has also let her readers know about our current Sepia Saturday project so hopefully this might encourage even more participants in the future. Do take a look at the White Edition of A Festival of Postcards, there are links to some wonderful and inventive postcard blogs.
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We are still blanketted in snow in this part of the world and and the presence of snow and ice on all but the main roads for the last few weeks has led to a disruption in local services. Our local scout group offer a service where they will collect old Christmas Trees for recycling : you just leave them in the front garden along with a donation to scout funds.  I left our old tree on our snow-covered lawn on Saturday morning with little hope that they would be able to collect it given the conditions (after all, the Local Authority has not been able to collect our refuse for nearly three weeks). By Saturday afternoon the tree had been removed. Well done the Scouts - how about taking on the refuse collection contract.
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I came across a website that promises to make use of facial recognition software to identify which celebrity you look like. You simply upload a picture of your face and the software makes use of its celebrity database of over 4,000 faces to tell you whether you look like George Clooney or  Angelina Jolie, George Bernard Shaw or Queen Victoria. I entered my profile picture into the system and sat back to wait for the results. After scanning and scouring for what seemed like an eternity it eventually came back with the message "Sorry, no similar faces were detected". Perhaps I should take comfort from the fact that I am unique.


  1. You don't really think about the implications of being snowed in do you? I'd be stuck without our weekly garbage collection. Good on the scouts, I don't think they do 'bob a job' any more out here. Pity. And Alan, I'm surprised the face recognition didn't match you with Santa Clause!

  2. I like the face recognition idea. Except that I'd be afraid it would come up with Ena Sharples or someone like that, which would take me weeks to get over.

  3. Remember I Have Met You Face-To-Face ! I can Tell All Blogspotters That You Look Amazingly Like (The Young) Richard Todd! Stop Being So Modest!
    off-topic......have you see this site? Lots of reference to West Yorkshire.

  4. Well, I think you look an awfully lot like my dear Uncle Steve, Alan, if that's any consolation.

    We've about 8-9 inches on the ground here, in Ohio, as well!

  5. I don't even want to look into the mirror any more, but I guess I cold let them make a copy for recognition, in case I am lost and dead... Oh well, we are going to see thawing, at ten o'clock at night. I will believe it when I see it.

  6. had to chuckle at baino's remark as the sparkle in your eye reminds me also of mr claus - although you are much more fit than mister claus!

    I will have to check out that facial recognition site.... I've had a few instances where people have thought I was a certain well-known person, I will have to see if the site agrees!

    years ago when I gave talks regularly at senior centers, at one senior center someone remarked that I reminded her of judy canova, an old time comedienne -someone I never heard of until then - all of a sudden all these old folks were going 'yes, yes, she's just like her' - but maybe it wasn't my looks but my wit...har har based on her name we probably do share the same ethnic roots - the same roots of the contemporary person that I have been 'taken for' - I only wish I could mimic accents then I'd play along....

    stay warm!

  7. what a riot! I just plugged in one picture and apparently I resemble 8 different celebrities! the person I match most with (67%) is chinese! 7 were women but there was one man in the bunch.

    this is going to be a great party game! thanks for the link..... oh by the way, the person I am "mistaken" for didn't pop up - but she's not really a celebrity in the entertainment industry rather an don't know if her face would be in their database of 4000 images.

    off to see if they match my hubby with anyone....

  8. Baino : You seem to have guessed my true profession. Who else goes off on holiday at the end of January once their busy season is over.
    Fran : Fear not, Ena is not in the database (now everyone else will be saying "Who's Ena Sharples?)
    Tony : I have just Googled a picture of the young Richard Todd and you are right, if you screw your eyes up and turn the lights down, then just for a moment ...
    Willow : I demand to see a picture of your Uncle Steve.
    LD : Don't hold your breath but I think that the thaw might just be starting over here as well.
    Kimy : You can't carry on teasing us like this - who is the famous person you resemble?

  9. O.K., I had to try it.
    I felt pretty good about the Greta Garbo match, but when I saw that it also thought I looked like Beyonce, Eddy Murphy, Ziana Ain, and Lian Aiken, I couldn't feel too self satisfied. Darn.

  10. No similar faces were detected! LOL...that sounds fun...I may have to give that a try. He may not be a celebrity, but you look very much like my beloved Uncle Steve! :)

    The white postcard theme sounds beautiful! I hope some of them join in on our sepias...which picked up several new people this past Saturday! Yay!

  11. Christine H : You got a match for Garbo. Wow!
    Betsy : As I said to Willow, Let's see a picture of Uncle Steve.

  12. Anonymous2:02 AM

    This is great...I'm off to check it out! You do remind me of my favorite Uncle Richard. But I'd also agree with Willow & Betsy about Steve, although he's not my uncle, he's my brother in law : )

  13. not to be a tease...the person I've been "mistaken" for would be martina navratilova, although I must say martina has much better musculature than I.

    among the folks on the site you mentioned it had me looking like zhang ziyi, faye dunaway, sheryl crow, roger daltry among other - including angelina jolie, which of course makes me believe their facial recognition system must be totally bogus!

    although I kinda of liked that they had my f identified with david lloyd george and max von sydow! I've had a crush on max ever since I was in high school and became hooked on ingmar bergman movies.

  14. That, um, wasn't the Scouts...

    Thanks for the tree though, it looks fabulous in my garden...


  15. Anonymous12:47 PM

    You are unique... cherish the thought. I wish I had half of your hair! We have about 8 inches of snow here. They say it is to warm up on Thursday. Let's hope cabin fever doesn't set in early this year. That is a very good project for shouts concerning desposing of the old Christmas trees. Best to you today, fine sir! The Bach

  16. For a second there I thought that you had started to hallucinate and see white faces in trees.
    Impressed with the Scouts! What a great attitude!

    As for the face recognition software - be thankful for being unique. I think that the success depends on the photo you upload and the one that they have of the celebrity. Having been compared to looking a little like Demi Moore for most of my adult life, I was a little bit surprised when they suggested that the celebrity I looked like the most was.... Chuck Palahniuk. Never heard of him.

    Come to think of it, I think you look like this really great writer that I have got to know over the past few months. Writes really great blogs... Oo, what's his name? Really lovely fellow... Oh yes, Alan Burnett :o)

  17. you are unique indeed alan. smiles.

    most of our snow is gone, except the big mountains of pushed snow on the corners...they may melt by next year.

  18. MyHeritage is a hoot! Glad to see others had such varying results. I did three photos over three decades. Results: A chinese woman, and American tv star (Christina Applegate no less) and a black man. HA!

  19. Anonymous1:16 AM

    Oh my goodness...I had to come back. My celebrity resemblance was Clay Aiken. If only I could sing like him : )


Black Friar

For a time, during the late 1970s, I had a job leading parties of foreign visitors on tours of historic London pubs. One of my favourite sto...