Is this John?

Double-awk?  Heck, at this point, we can’t even call it single-awk because no one has been posting.  Sorry about that.  I’d like to be able to blame my absence on another exciting vacation, or a bout of extreme productivity on the book, but I can’t.  I’ve been spending most of my time stressing about selling our beautiful condo (email me if you or someone you know is interested), and giving myself bloody manicures as I creep on creative writing MFA acceptance blogs.  I have no news (of my own, at least) on that front.  I do know that Unsaid is into Alabama, Indiana, and Southern Illinois-Carbondale for poetry, that Amy Charles’s posts often inflame other readers, and that reading these blogs can get in the way of basics like showering and leaving the house.

I do have one further bit of excitement to share: the face-recognizer in the new version of iPhoto, which I obtained courtesy of Dad, who is always kind enough to get family packs when he purchases new software.  Thanks, Dad!

It works like this (completely non-technical explanation): you identify a person in a photograph, and then it goes through all of your other photos looking for that person.  As you refine its understanding of what given people look like, it continues to sort your photos and help you label each one according to who is in it.  As you work with a given person, it pulls up other photos who it thinks might be of that person, then asks, “Is this _______?”  The technology is pretty impressive, but some quirks quickly emerged.

1.  Bad pictures of my friend Katherine look like me.  This was not pleasing.  Katherine is a beautiful woman, but any time there was an unflattering photo of her, iPhoto thought it was me.  When she looked like her normal gorgeous self, it knew just who she was.

2.  Allison Davis and my mom look alike.  I only look like my mom in incredibly good photos of me.

3.  Karen and Morgan are practically indistinguishable.

4.  Except when they look like John, my husband, who is apparently a man of many faces.  Below are pictures that actually inspired iPhoto to ask, “Is this John?”  On several occasions, this led to my falling out of my chair onto the floor.  With laughter.  And maybe a few drips of urine.  Ok, not urine.  Just laughter.  I swear.

Second Guy from the Left: Is this John?

Second Guy from the Right: "Is this John?" I count at least three people who look more like John than that guy, including the second guy from the left, who is my great-uncle Harry. iPhoto thinks the guy on the left is Bill Cook. Perhaps he should be even more insulted. I think the guy on the right is Ed Lalanne. This commentary is only interesting if you know those two people. Sorry.

"Is this John?" iPhoto asks.  But not about John.  About his sister Janet.

"Is this John?" iPhoto asks. But not about John. About his sister Janet.

"Is this John?"  Is this more awkward for Morgan, John, or me?

"Is this John?" Is this more awkward for Morgan, John, or me?

 "Is this John?" Another awkward-dome: Karen vs. John vs. Leda.  Three people enter.  Apparently only two leave, because two of them are indistinguisable.  One of them looks like an unflattering version of Katherine (not pictured).

"Is this John?" Another awkward-dome: Karen vs. John vs. Leda. Three people enter. Apparently only two leave, because two of them are indistinguishable. The other looks like an unflattering version of Katherine (not pictured).

And, the coup de grâce. Guy on the right: "Is this John?" Is iPhoto trying to tell me something about my future? Does my computer hate my husband? Also, the woman in the photo is my lovely great-aunt Mariane, from Argentina. I have no idea who the dudes are. Except that one of them apparently is my husband's doppelgänger.

And, the coup de grâce. Guy on the right: "Is this John?" Is iPhoto trying to tell me something about my future? Does my computer hate my husband? Also, the woman in the photo is my lovely great-aunt Mariane, from Argentina. I have no idea who the dudes are. Except that one of them apparently is my husband's doppelgänger.

THIS is John.  And me, aka, unattractive version of Katherine.  Also pictured: flattering, romantic lighting.

THIS is John. And me, aka Katherine on a bad day. Also pictured: flattering, romantic lighting.

I hope you had as much fun playing as we did.  Now you know that Elijah Wood isn’t John’s only evil twin.  And I promise to try to blog more regularly.

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7 comments so far

  1. Nina on

    LOL xo Nina

  2. Karen Soares on

    Leda, you should send this in as an advertising campaign for the software. This is the BEST thing I have ever heard and I am going to try to find this software soon.

    I hope for Muckle’s sake this is not the same face recognition software that law enforcement uses.

  3. JT on

    I might have done a bit o piddle at the future vision of your husband.

  4. Morgan on

    I’m sorry you look like a drunk hunch back, John, but I’m a little jealous of your smokin’ legs.

  5. ashley on

    I just fell out of my chair laughing over the “is this Bill Cook” photo.

  6. Seth on

    I’m 100% positive this group will find a drinking game in here somewhere.

  7. Scott on

    This is genius. and I second Ashley’s comment about thinking it was bill. Bill needs a mustache. Happy to be commenting +5 months from original posting.


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