How the selfie camera is driving people to get nose-jobs


There’s a strong chance that you may have come across the gif above somewhere on the internet. Or the image below. This, is the handiwork of something called Focal Lengths. It determines, very basically, how narrow or wide your lens’s field of vision is.


Camera lenses come in various types, but the two focal lengths we’re going to really address are the wide angle and the telephoto. Wide angle lenses have lower focal lengths, and basically capture a wider range of imagery, with everything in focus. Telephoto lenses, on the other hand, are responsible for taking longer shots, focusing on a much smaller area, and distinctly blurring the background keeping a subject in focus. In short, a wide angle lens is perfect for landscapes, allowing you to cram more into a single picture, whereas a telephoto lens is ideal for subject portraits, making it great for animals/subjects that are far away, or for faces, because of the way they focus on them. So what’s all this got to do with nose jobs, you ask? Well, let’s dig deeper.

You’re with a bunch of friends at a get-together, clicking pictures. You use your primary camera to capture everything from the food you eat, to a candid photo of your friends, to the sunset. All these objects are at varying distances, and your phone camera works to capture each photo and make it look good. Your food photos have a spectacular portrait-style blur, while the sunset photo is crisp and clear. The fact that your phone has two lenses on the back only makes it easier for your phone to multi-task. However, the front-facing selfie camera is a different story. There’s usually always a fixed distance between the camera and the subject… the length of your arm. The front-facing camera is almost always used for selfies, which means the distance between the camera and the subject (your face) is usually a fixed parameter, i.e., the length of your arm. The natural choice for capturing portrait pictures would be to put a telephoto lens on the front, above the screen, so you get remarkable portrait shots… but the problem there is the fact that A. telephoto lenses require subjects to be quite far away from the camera, and B. Human arms aren’t long enough.


This makes the wide-angle lens the only feasible option for the front-facing camera. It captures things in focus, and it captures a wider field of view, which means your selfies have more imagery in them, making for wonderful group selfies… but there’s a caveat. Fitting more imagery into a fixed viewing area can only mean one thing. Distortion.

Think of how a fish-eye lens works versus a telescope. Both show images within a circular area, but a fisheye lens fits in a lot more within that circle, distorting elements as a result. That’s an exaggerated but pretty accurate version of what happens when you click selfies too. The wide angle lens on your phone (coupled with how short human arms are) results in faces getting distorted, and noses looking a few sizes bigger than they already are. This distortion is enough for people to perceive themselves differently and studies show that as many as 55% of people getting nose-jobs in 2017 were concerned because their noses looked bulbous in selfies… and that’s pretty concerning.

A video below by the people at Vox talks about the phenomenon and the how, demonstrating that the further the camera is from you, the lesser distortion… which means the best bet you have right now is to either outstretch your arm or pick up a selfie stick. The difference of as little as a few feet can be pretty remarkable. What’s more is the fact that scientists are even working on an AI-based technology that can edit/correct your pictures to make your faces look less distorted… which is pretty neat considering we’ve done so much to make orur photos look great, from red-eye removal, to skin-softening algorithms, to artificial portrait modes where a machine literally analyzes and differentiates between foreground and background and blurs the latter out. Could distortion-correction be the next feature to drive smartphone sales up and nose-jobs down? Well, only time can tell. Until then, you’ll just have to make do with that selfie stick!

from Yanko Design

Valve’s Knuckles EV2 controller will let you squeeze things in VR



Valve originally introduced its vertical-grip “Knuckles” controllers for VR in 2016, and shipped working models to developers last year. Now the company sending game makers another version, the EV2, that has revamped buttons, straps and a slew of sensors that essentially translate finger motion and pressure to let you touch, grab and squeeze objects inside games.

Some of the EV2’s changes are evident: The old Steam Controller-style touchpad that dominated the controller’s top has been shrunken to an oval ‘track button’ that measures touch and force. That’s flanked by traditional inputs: A joystick (by developer demand, Valve noted in a blog post) and standard circular buttons. The strap is adjustable for different hand sizes and pulls tight to let players let go of the controller completely without dropping it — which could be key for the pressure inputs.

While last year’s model had touch inputs tracking each finger in the ‘grip’ area, the EV2 introduces pressure sensors that measure how much force the wielder is using. Obviously, this has implications for VR developers who want players to grip or squeeze objects in the world, but as Valve’s blog post points out, combining those with the touch sensors tells games when players let go of the grips — like, say, when they’re throwing things in-game. Imagine how this could allow throwing different baseball pitches, let alone introducing different control schemes.

Lastly, the battery life has been extended to last six hours. Below is a gameplay video of Moondust, a Valve-made demo (set in the Portal universe, natch) that lets developers fiddle with the full range of the EV2’s capabilities. Sadly, there’s no indication that Valve’s latest Knuckles controller is near its final form and ready for the consumer market.

from Engadget

Ask The Salty Waitress: Do chefs hate my well-done burger request?


Hey Salty, I live in a foodie-friendly city that allows my burger-loving heart (philosophically, not physically) to try out a new burger joint almost every week. I’m not terribly picky, and love trying out specialty burgers. If there’s an item that I’m not super fond of, I’ll usually try it anyway to see if they can change my mind about it. That being said, I do have one consistent request for my burgers and I’m wondering how much I’m getting judged for it, or if it might even be considered rude.

I need my burgers well done. I really do. I don’t have any medical diagnosis requiring this, but any sort of pink grosses me out to the point that I really can’t power through it. Some chefs will cook it medium-well when I ask for well in hopes of convincing me (I think), and it leaves me shamefully eating the outer ring of the burger and leaving the pink center. It’s childish, a bummer for me, and a culinary slight, I know. I just can’t get down with it.

My question is, how grumbly are chefs about requests like this? I don’t insist and I won’t send things back (unless it’s straight-up rare), and typically I even apologize for my choice. Some places even put a disclaimer on their menu stating that the chef isn’t responsible for taste if an item is requested well done, and even then I timidly go ahead and ask that mine be well done anyway. Is this insulting to the chef? If I do get a burger that’s underdone, what are the chances that it’s intentional and not genuine error? Am I a monster?


Dear Charred,

I’m gonna go ahead and say this first to save commenters the time: “How can you like burgers if you get them well done?!”


But I’m not here to burger-shame you. You do you, honey. That’s the point of going out to eat, right? I mean, unless you’re sitting down at the chef’s table at some white tablecloth place, you’re in a restaurant to get what you like. So if you like well done charcoal beef briquettes, then that’s what you like.

Just don’t expect the kitchen to be stoked about it. I suspect that when your burger turns out less done than you wanted, it’s not because the cooks are evil and trying to mess with you. It’s probably because they’re used to cooking burgers to medium and so even medium-well looks way “over” to them. And maybe one man’s well done is another man’s medium-well… these aren’t written in stone. The cooks want your burger to taste good, which to them probably means erring on the side of pink-ish.

So yeah, maybe they’re judging you a little bit. But unless the restaurant has some kind of policy against well done burgers, you should order yours the way you want. You’re not a monster—I save that term for my ex-mother-in-law. At worst you have questionable taste in meat temperature, hardly a crime. If your burger comes back with pink in it, you’re within your rights to send it back. It’s easier to cook a burger until it’s more done than it is to take a well-done burger and turn it back to medium-rare, after all.


But I do wish there was some way I could convince you of the joys of a pink-centered burger. I’ll say a rosary hoping you one day see the light.

Got a question about dining out etiquette? Or are you a server/bartender with a horror story the world needs to hear? Email us:

from Lifehacker

OH THE HUMANITY!!! Thousands Of Bourbon Barrels Smashed After Warehouse Collapses


WARNING: The following article contains graphic images that some readers may find disturbing. It is with a heavy heart that I must share with you the tragic news of the destruction of thousands of bourbon barrels. This is one of the most difficult articles I’ve ever had to write.


We take you to Bardstown, Kentucky where a national calamity occurred. One of the 29 barrel-aging warehouses on the 196 acres at the Barton 1792 distillery (which was established in 1879) collapsed around 11 a.m. last Friday, smashing thousands of barrels of bourbon. The distillery’s rickhouse houses 20,000 of aging bourbon and about 9,000 barrels of the liquid gold plummeted to the ground. The devastation and the rubble of the warehouse are heartbreaking. RIP all of these barrels of bourbon.


Thankfully, no one was injured. However, a new threat has emerged from the annihilation of the whiskey. “We want to make sure no alcohol got into the ground or water, streams in that area. They are checking that at this time. Right now, everything looks good,” said Nelson County Dispatch Director Milton Spalding. Alcohol on the surface of the water has also allegedly caught fire. Have no fear, I’ll volunteer to help contain this potential environmental catastrophe.

“Of course, there was the smell of bourbon in the air, but that’s kind of common in the warehouse facility, anyway,” Spalding said. I love the smell of bourbon in the morning. Each barrel holds 53 gallons of Kentucky’s signature spirit and weighs about 550 pounds. We should all hold our bourbons a little tighter tonight.