Past Beards and Self-Plagiarism  

I'm once again fondling rememberly... or fondly remembering as it were, the blogging days of yesteryear; back when I had fewer readers, less exposure, yet somehow much more talent than I do now.

As the 2008 winter beard turns one month old tomorrow, I'd like to re-hash one of my favorite bearded tales from a magical place called 2006. Can anyone else believe how innocent we were back then? Good times.

Anyway, cue the flashback music... flashback music... flashback music...

A Facial of Recognition
originally posted November 20, 2006

I've wanted to try the face recognition demo over at MyHeritage for a while now, especially after seeing two prominent bloggers display their celebrity face matches. Countless others have followed by publishing theirs, but sadly those links are destined to share the fate of mine -- forgettable.

My past experience with these things has been pretty one-sided, as it usually focuses on my pronounced chin, returning such results as Jim Carrey, Ben Affleck, and Jay Leno. Which is why I decided to test the MyHeritage software with something practically unmatchable. I am of course referring to this year's beard, which turned out some impressive results:

In all honesty I saw this coming, because there really is a certain mental shift required to cope with the slendid burden of such a beard, a shift that redefines what's possible. Some notable happenings from this year is the random guy at work who saw the beard and immediately called for an impromptu high five, and the woman on the bus who asked if she could touch it. I didn't let her, and she assuredly died a little on the inside.

Getting to the results, I think the only thing surprising about the appearance of Chuck Norris here is "Why not 100%?" The most plausible explanation would be that beard is worth only 99.9% of the overall matching criteria.

Match #2 is Bruce Campbell, a cult film (plus some) icon, successful author, and all around geek-turned-badass fairy tale. Now there's a chin I don't mind being compared to.

At a close third is George Clooney, twice named "Sexiest Man Alive" by People magazine. Too bad it seems that I'm a closer match to the fat, bearded, version of Clooney from Syriana. Like I care -- Sexiest Man Alive!

Jesus was originally thought to be a shoe-in for the top spot, until falling short for two critical reasons: 1) I cut my hair, and 2) Chuck Norris is way tougher.

I must admit this last one threw me for a loop. I used to watch Life Goes On, and respect those who are able to triumph over adversity, but I seriously doubt there are a lot of Chris Burke posters hanging over the beds of teenage girls. Maybe this software has recognized the inherent good in the beard, and represented it graphically by matching me to someone with heart to spare.

But just as the tide recedes and one season fades into the next, so shall my beard move on. Though it does bring me joy and physical contact from complete strangers, it's a pretty big deal to take care of, and can be really annoying while eating (I don't know how Clooney did it). So fear not the razor's edge drawing nearer, for next year's beard season does as well.

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