Saturday, May 29, 2010

Fundamentals of Cuteness 101

What are the basics behind a cute face? Those answers—and more—on this week's Fundamentals of Cuteness 101. Please save all questions until the end of class.

Here is a typical smiley face, consisting of a head, two eyes and a mouth:


Rather cute, but it could be cuter... Try increasing the distance between the eyes, then raise the mouth:


Cuter!

Babies are cute. They also have large foreheads. Maximize the Cuteness Factor by moving facial features to the bottom of the head:


Another cute technique—popularized by recent Japanese mascots—is to place the facial features at the top of the head:


Finally, big eyes convey innocence, which is crucial to Cute-Facedness. But beware of overly-large eyes that can lead to Bug-Eyedness:


And there you have it, class. Cuteness, deconstructed.


Extra-credit question: If five cute faces were combined into one, would the total Cuteness Factor then be multiplied by a factor of five? Let us observe:

Cute-a-pillar

Dear heavens, what have I created? Time to call the exterminator again. That's the end of this week's Fundamentals of Cuteness 101!

~ Professor Woo

UPDATE - Oct 3, 2011:

Watch the return of the cute-a-pillar here.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Before the Incident: Shirley Stocksdale and the Sofabed

These days, there are many online articles about individuals meeting death in odd ways. The news items float by like terrible-yet-quickly-forgotten ghosts. But this 2001 newspaper article has haunted my thoughts for nine years:


There are many reasons why Ms. Stocksdale's final moments are so disturbing...

First, she was alone. No one was there to help or comfort her.


Secondly, she was physically unable to free herself. At 75, would our bodies be any stronger?



It's scary how a comfort-of-home (in this case, a sofabed) became a lethal trap.


Her phone was in view but beyond reach. Reminders of technology's limits are also unsettling.


Finally, I find it most disturbing that Ms. Stocksdale faced a slow, frightening and accidental death.


In the end, may our life be more memorable than our death. May our obituary skip the odd-news sites (or crafty blogs). And may our final passing be more comfortable than that of Shirley Stocksdale, pictured here, just moments before the incident:

Rest in peace, Ms. Stocksdale.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A Travel Suitcase and an Elephant

Last year for Mother's Day, I crocheted a plane for my mom before she flew to China for a vacation.

This year, my mom is headed to Asia again, with an extra stay in Japan. What do you give a globe-trotting mom for Mother's Day?


This overstuffed travel suitcase is filled with good wishes for her overseas adventure this month!


Meanwhile, my girlfriend's mom—Catalina—loves elephants, so I made a long-nosed keychain for her Mother's Day present:


Here's a video of two awesome moms receiving their gifts:


I hope every day is a celebration of moms everywhere, including all the moms who have passed on but remain in our thoughts.

Thank you, Moms!

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