Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Translating Women - Part 1

What she says: "I don't want to make a big deal out of my birthday/Valentine's Day/Christmas."
What she means: "It's a big deal."
Make sure you have at least a card and some kind of dinner date.

What she says: "I'm fine."
What she means: "Watch out."
Nice exterior, effed interior. Women are never "fine" they are good, great and/or well. Be prepared because if you ask, "What's wrong?" You're going to get the next definition.

What she says: "Nothing!"
What she means: "Something!!"
Get ready to go into battle if this one's not handled with care. "Something is obviously wrong but I won't push it. I'm here and listening when you're ready to talk," is a nice diffuser for the ‘nothing' bomb.

What she says: Loud sigh.
What she means: She is frustrated or angry and will take any opportunity to jump down your throat. To diffuse it, ask if there's anything wrong.

What she says: Soft sigh.
What she means: She is content. Yay! Don't question it. Just embrace the moment.

What she says: "Please do!"
What she means: An opportunity to explain yourself. Be careful. She is listening intently and looking for the cracks in your case. However, if you provide satisfactory rationalization, everything will be okay.

What she says: "I never want to see you again."
What she means: "I want you to beg for my forgiveness." Or it can mean, "I never want to see you again." It's a coin toss.

What she says: "Five minutes."
What she means: At least ten... it's likely closer to a half-hour.

What she says: "Thanks."
What she means: Thanks.

What she says: "Thanks a lot!"
What she means: Oh boy. You're in trouble.

*The word "fine" can also be used as a way of ending an argument while getting the last word.
From Ginger on XYUL.CA

Friday, May 2, 2008

SIGGRAPH New Technology: From Enhancing Facial Attractiveness to Virtual Maps

Gideon Dror's group from Tel Aviv is presenting their work on a computer model for enhancement at SIGGRAPH 2008.  The paper is:

Data-Driven Enhancement of Facial Attractiveness
In this work, a data-driven approach to enhancing the attractiveness of human faces in frontal photographs is explored while maintaining close similarity with the original image.
Authors: Tommer Leyvand, Daniel Cohen-Or (Tel-Aviv University, Gideon Dror (Academic College of Tel-Aviv),Dani Lischinski(The Hebrew University)

SIGGRAPH 2008 will bring an estimated 30,000 computer graphics and interactive technology professionals from six continents to Los Angeles, California, USA for the industry's most respected technical and creative programs focusing on research, science, art, animation, gaming, interactivity, education, and the web from Monday, 11 August through Friday, 15 August 2008 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.


SIGGRAPH New Technology: From Enhancing Facial Attractiveness to Virtual Maps

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friends help define views of beauty - Fourth Facial Attractiveness Article in 2 Months!

Richard Russell (Harvard) and Matthew Bronstad (Brandelis) recently published a study in Perception. They asked adults to rate the attractiveness of various faces, they found that that siblings, friends and spouses were more likely to agree with each other than with strangers."The agreement between pairs of affiliated friends, siblings and spouses was significantly greater than between pairs of strangers drawn from the same race and culture, providing evidence that facial-attractiveness preferences are socially organized," Richard Russell, of Harvard University in Massachusetts, said in the study.

They recruited 20 married couples, 20 pairs of siblings and 41 pairs of close friends and asked each person to rate 74 faces of undergraduates on a scale of one to seven, from very attractive to very unattractive. The responses were also compared with answers from another person they did not know. Close relations were more likely to agree with each other than with strangers and the strength of their agreement also tended to increase along with the number of years that they had been in daily contact.

Friends help define views of beauty

Ugly Men With Pretty Women

Just a note to myself to clarify and address some of the information and misinformation being reported regarding the findings from the team of Professor Jim McNulty at the University of Tennessee in the Journal of Family Psychology
Basically what is being repoted is that:
  • Men who see themselves as better looking than their wives were more likely to be disgruntled and have negative feelings about their marriage,

  • “Men who were more attractive than their partner demonstrated a tendency to offer less emotional and practical support to their wives.”

  • "Attractive men have available to them more short-term mating opportunities. This may make them less satisfied and less committed to the marital relationship."

  • “Men are rated as more likeable and friendly when they have a wife who is very attractive," said Strathclyde University psychologist Alastair Ross

  • "Ugly men try harder. They care more about you and treat you like a princess. Good-looking guys are self-obsessed. That’s not attractive."

  • It appears that handsome men carry a “health warning” that makes most women believe they will eventually prove unfaithful partners.

  • Should a beautiful woman date someone who is not so fortunate in the looks department - he will treasure and appreciate her more and much better.

To explain all this in a simple manner one only has to bring up the axiom: "Women marry MPI, Men marry facial and physical attractiveness"
In other words it does not matter too much how the male looks to the female as long as he has MPI (more detail later but basically males that exudes charm and power and combined with wealth and status) she will be happy. To the man what makes him happiest is how attractive his mate is.


Can mobile phones eradicate poverty?

After publishing my last blog entry I noticed that I am not alone in my views:
Shop Talk - Innovation, Marketing and Alliances: Can mobile phones eradicate poverty?


I just ran across this on an old unpublished website I had written a few years ago interestingly I still believe strongly in this idea. Hopefully one day it will come to be.

This is just a short note of my view of what the world should be like from a utopian communications viewpoint.

Essentially my belief is that:

1. All communications should be free.

2. When you are born you should be assigned a telephone number which will follow you for the rest of your life.

Imagine this world.

You are born Mark Johnson, your telephone number is 514-416-978-3906. You are given a microphone implant and cochlear implants with this phone number. You essentially have technological telepathy. If it any point you want to be not disturbed, no problem, disconnect and divert to voice messaging or accept only text messaging to your single e-mail account which is linked to this phone number. You can also block unwanted numbers accept calls from people you want to talk to even when you are busy, caller id, whatever, you have the freedom to choose. You can disallow GPS location, or allow it.

Imagine you go off to Malaysia for a business trip, you can talk to your wife all you want for free, even on the airplane if you so wish, she can call you if she needs you. You can talk to your kids when they are at school, anything. Just say the word, "call little johnny", and there he is, talking to you in your head.

It does not make sense that wireless licenses are being sold by governments for exorbitant sums to big business whom in order to make back the money has to fleece the consumer. Government exists to serve the people not big business, the people I believe want free communication, let us use the money for that, or at least not demand it in the first place.

Software for Facial Attractiveness

Recently there have been many discussions on a software an Israeli team of computer scientists has developed that ranks facial attractiveness of women first reported in Haaretz, some links include: Haaretz; Geekpicks; Fuzzlinks; CautionInc; ZDNet; Radio Vice; Tech News Daily; Chat Marchet.

One of the most common questions asked by reporters and bloggers is why the software only focuses on female faces? There are, in fact, several reasons for why the researchers made the software focus on women only. The research and software build directly on my PhD work found in "Is an Objective Measuring System for Facial Attractiveness Possible?" available at Amazon.

In that work it is shown that objective models of attractiveness are far more accurate for female faces than for male faces. Software for male faces is possible but would be very unlikely to be as accurate. One of several underlying reasons for this, for example, is that male faces vary in attractiveness to female observers depending on the point they are at in their menstrual cycle. At mid-cycle or ovulation, women find more masculine faces more attractive and at menses, they prefer slightly more feminine male faces. This also correlates with when women are more likely to cheat on current partners.


I have several major ares of expertise which you can feel free to ask me about through the use of comments on this blog. They are:
  • PRK
  • Human Facial Attractiveness
  • Physical Attractiveness
  • Evolutionary Psychology
  • Restricted Carbohydrate Diets particularly The Zone
  • Vitamin, Antioxidant and Omega3 Supplements
  • Facial Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery and Cosmeceuticals

Of course, you may ask about anything in general that I may be able to help with and who knows I may answer - but if I do not know the answer, believe me I will tell you. Very little I find more irritating than someone who knows it all - the only thing I know with any certainty is that I do not know it all.

Surgery & Complications

Amongst surgeons it is common to say "the only surgeons who do not get complications are those who do not operate". Obviously, just like in any other technical field there are gradations of skill amongst surgeons as there are amongst for example pianists. Excellent surgeons like excellent pianists are far less likely to be off key. However, the human body is also like a piano some are better than others, a finely tuned grand is going to perform better than an out of tune banged up old piano. Some patients because of genetics and environment and underlying medical conditions do not react to surgery as well as another patient might even if the surgery performance was identical. In other words, many surgical complications (intra-operative and post-operative) are just sheer bad luck for the patient and for the surgeon and are not due to surgical error.

I will talk a bit about refractive surgery complications here in this blog as I believe that many misconceptions exist regarding them. By nature I tend to be blunt and very frank, and I will say when a complication is more likely to be surgeon related than just simply bad luck.

In LASIK one common complication post-op is called DLK (diffuse lamellar keratitis) and it is essentially unrelated to the surgical performance or to the surgeon. It essentially is "like an allergy" to the surgery - some patients bodies react to surgery by mounting a stronger immune response than the norm. The immune system orders WBCs (white blood cells) to go to the eye and to the flap of the eye to eliminate the "insult". The only problem is there is no insult beyond the desired surgery and then the WBCs do more harm than good by attacking the flap. If left untreated the DLK response can result in flap scarring or melt and a permanent reduction in visual acuity. Fortunately, if caught immediately it is easy to handle by modulating the immune response using steroids either topically or orally, or both. The WBCs which have already arrived may also be washed out from under the flap speeding up the resolution and minimising the risks of further complications.

Blog Content

A short post regarding the content of this blog and its intent.

My personal mission statement in life follows directly after my first name. Mounir means the one who brings light into your life or the enlightening one. I grew into my name without realizing it when I found myself an Ophthalmologist in 1994 and finally a refractive surgeon (LASIK surgeon) in 1999. To this date I have done over 50,000 refractive procedures mostly LASIK but a few thousand PRK as well. I am not entirely sure but this may be the most of anyone in North America at present. I have been bringing light directly into people's lives 6 days a week for almost 10 years now, by opening their eyes to newfound vision.

Beyond this, however, my goal and the goal of any company or group that I associate myself with is to improve the lifestyle, health and fitness of my clients and /or patients. On a more personal level, I also strive to "awaken" people as much as I can.

Many "conscious" people who look around them in the world realize that most people are walking around in an unconscious fog, living each day relatively joylessly, and for most intents and purposes like sleepwalkers. If I can, I try and wake up these sleepwalkers to all the joy the world has to offer, in the here and now, not in the past or future.

No Original Thoughts

I acknowledge as I start this blog that there are no original thoughts - in all likelihood there are also no truly original expressions of an old thought. Every thought has been expressed in a variety of forms over the centuries, the differences largely as a result of the current language at the time as well as the audience the thought was being directed to at the time.

By current language I mean for example Chaucer's English, Shakespeare's English, or our 21st century American/Canadian/British/Australian English. In other words, language varies with time as well as in nature, French vs. Italian vs. Mandarin vs. Cantonese vs. Hindi vs. Arabic vs. English etc.

So to the current audience varies with time (e.g. a Shakespearean era physician from a current physician) as well as by nature (e.g. the common masses vs. the intellectual minority). Even though all thoughts have likely been presented to all audiences at one period or another in time. Not all thoughts have become realities to all audiences in all times. So re-presenting thoughts in current language to current audiences is I believe the function of those conscious of the thought (and its reality) to those as yet unconscious.

My goal in this blog is to present thoughts in my language to my audience and help them make those thoughts their realities. My goal is for that audience to be the world, hence the use of the "world wide web", let us see how far I get.