Thursday, February 22, 2007

Face Time

What do the following people have in common?

Nobel Laureate Klaus von Klitzing
Otto von Hapsburg (claimant to the thrones of Austria, Hungary and Bohemia)
Former Chinese President Ziang Zemin
Actor Harvey Keitel
The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist
Actor Richard Gere
The Dalai Lama
Four are of European extraction, two are Asian, one is a lousy actor and then there is Richard Gere.

The answer is all of us wear (or wore) glasses and have silly, or nonexistent, grins.

So says a Web site called, which I recommend for hours of annoying fun. The site is free, but you have to register, which means you will be popup-added-to-death and put on mailing lists if you are not careful what you check off.

The idea is for you to upload a fairly straightforward, facing-the-camera headshot, and then through the magic of facial recognition technology find yourself embarrassed to see which celebrities look like you. The embarrassment comes from the technology’s utter disregard for gender.

It ranks the look-alikes by percentage of similarity to you (or whomever you upload.) The catch, however, is that the match is highly dependent on: hairstyle, hairline, glasses, smile and tilt of head. So you have to try it with different photos to find the "celebrity you" that you like.

It is not perfect, because I also have a 50 percent match with Heidi Klum. Guess which half.

Some footnotes to this, my daily indulgence in narcissism:
I am married to either Roseann Barr, Hillary Clinton or Patrick Stewart. Both and I my wife supposedly could be mistaken for L. Ron Hubbard. My son and my daughter both match up with Justin Timberlake. My daughter-in-law and my wife share some resemblance to Barbra Streisand – which means the technology must recognize political affiliation more than looks.

A friend from New Jersey comes up in one pose as a doppelganger to Donny Osmond, Judy Garland, Prince Harry and Charles deGaulle, who also shares a resemblance to me, as well (mostly height and haught. A friend from Florida and I share Jason Biggs’ features. These matches will come as a great surprise to the families of these two, dare I say, middle-aged women.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous10:23 PM

    Blogging this bullshit for six months or so and *finally* you write something that was actually entertaining to read.

    You knocked this one out of the park.