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Uncanny Dolly: Anatomically Correct Barbie

[ Comments Off ]Posted on January 4, 2011 by admin in Popular Media

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

Have you ever wanted your very own anatomically correct Barbie or Ken doll? Me neither. But there are plenty out there if you change your mind.

I imagine this is what humans would look like,
if Barbie and Ken designed them. Source

[Please note: the following may be NSFW, if naked, anatomically correct Barbies are not safe where you work] This probably belongs somewhere in the realm of the uncanny valley, but I’m not sure where. Do you remember when you were a kid and you stole your sister’s Barbie doll so you could sneak a peek and get an idea of what a girl looked like naked? Okay, maybe you were more sexually repressed, and never did this, or still are more sexually repressed, and don’t remember doing it. I don’t know if this was so common with the girls, but I know that most relatively well-adjusted guys that I know did it, myself included. As someone who grew up in a weepy liberal and often too progressive college town, I was exposed to explicit sex education in the first grade (thanks mom, for signing the permission slip), so I was a little disappointed by the whole Barbie heist-and-strip-search adventure, and the underwhelming basic biological accuracy of it all. But I’ve always wondered about the trauma other boys must have experienced the first time they were naked with a girl and they suddenly discovered they were soft, had little protuberances here and there, and (gasp) *hair on their body. So have you ever wondered what an anatomically correct Barbie would look like? Yeah, me neither, but I found out today, when I ran across an AOL “Weird News” piece called Artist Gives Barbie Nipples … and a Bad Reputation, about how San Francisco-area artist LaVonne Sallee eeks out an income “re-purposing” Barbies. This opened my eyes to the strange (and disturbingly large) world of Barbie cosmetic surgeons, whose work ranges from the ghastly results of the prankster site Zug.com to the hard-working professional over at BatKatCreations.com, who offers both Barbie and Ken models. Yes, you too can have your very own (more or less) anatomically correct doll for as little as a eighty bucks. Or if you’re more of a do-it-yourself type, Lavonne Sallee offers the tutorial How to Create One of a Kind Barbie Nipples in a Few Simple Steps! I don’t know if the world really needs any Barbie nipples, so “one of a kind” should be plenty. If you’re really into this sort of thing, also be sure to check out Barbie’s Sex Tape. Be warned, although all the “nasty bits” have been censored with little black rectangles, that last link contains explicit doll sex. I’m just gonna go back to playing with my Internet now. There has to be some eye-bleach out there to make this all go away. Read the rest of this entry »

Creepy Babies From The Uncanny Valley

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on July 5, 2009 by admin in Popular Media

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

When cute goes creepy: Why do advertisers insist on using creepy images of babies moving like adults?

It’s probably a good idea to keep them caged

There are more things wrong with the video at left than I could possibly list, but I never let that stop me. First of all, it’s an ad for a product, and I’m displaying it for free. Secondly, it’s an ad for a really stupid product, bottled water. But what really riles up my sense of wrong has more to do with a general sense of creepiness. Ever since the original dancing baby of 1996 , we’ve found ourselves occasionally assaulted by the uncanny valley effect that’s induced by making a baby do things babies don’t actually do. Whether it’s an ad for Evian (as in the clip at left) or a Lebanese diaper ad, the image of a baby moving like an adult arouses a mild cognitive dissonance that either makes one laugh or cringe, depending on one’s personal psychological make-up. Somehow it’s less disturbing when a baby thinks like an adult, as in the 1989 film Look Who’s Talking, but I imagine that’s because we anthropomorphise babies much like pets, so oddly even talking horses seem to be acceptable. For more creepy babies, check out the vintage Baby Laughs Alot doll, or these motion-sensitive babies in a toy store. And be glad there are only 27 seconds of this zombie baby from hell. It probably ate the camera person at the end of the clip. And frankly, even a real baby can be a little creepy now and then. Especially when it’s having a Kung Fu standoff with a prairie dog.

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President Robama – Our New Robot Overlord

[ Comments Off ]Posted on July 4, 2009 by admin in Politics

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Some reports are claiming that Barack Obama is a negro robot from the future.

See Robama at approximately 1:05

I’ve suspected for some time that all the world’s elected leaders are immediately replaced with robots upon taking office as part of a vast alien overlord conspiracy. Well, now I have evidence. If Disney’s Magic Kingdom can create creepy robot presidents from the Uncanny Valley like this (see Robama at 1:05) and this (see Robama at 1:20) for entertainment purposes, imagine what the dark ops people that created stealth bombers have up their sleeves. You’ll find this absurd (because that’s how an effective conspiracy works) but there is a war raging around the world, and the media is so tightly controlled that you won’t find out until it’s too late. That new Terminator movie? It’s just part of a massive PSYOP to prepare your mind for the inescapable fact that we will soon serve our robot masters. This report from a soldier in the field explains how Barack Obama’s robot army has taken over the world with their “million megawatt smiles and crushing fistbumps“. C’mon. A charming, impeccably articulate and intelligent president who exhibits almost zen-like serenity under pressure, is ridiculously handsome and is black? This had to be a dream come true. Or a robot invasion nightmare. You decide.

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More Uncanny Valley: Bobblehead Einstein Robot

[ Comments Off ]Posted on October 16, 2008 by admin in Technology

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

Relatively peculiar

One of the newest residents of the Uncanny Valley is the almost-macabre Einstein-headed robot in the video, left. There’s a strange set of ironies going on here: the uncanny realism of the face (it’s made of “Frubber”) ; the eerie motion of the robot body; the weird bobbling of the head…all combined with the idea that one of the greatest minds of the 20th century is reduced to a mumbling marionette pitching a product. The Albert HUBO, as it is called, is a product of the Korea-based Humanoid Robot Research Center, a research group that seems to be playing a little bit of catch-up with Honda’s Asimo. The welcome video on the HuboLab site is unintentionally hilarious; an Einsten-headed robot speaks with a carefully suppressed, but obvious Korean accent.

Deeper Into The Uncanny Valley

[ 1 Comment ]Posted on August 20, 2008 by admin in Technology

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008

Uncanny Valley Girls On The Web

In the video at left, a woman named Emily tells us about the cutting edge computer imaging company Image Metrics. The twist? She’s not real; she’s a product of the company’s unique facial animation tools. We’ve written about the Uncanny Valley before, but more in the context of creepy robots. For another example of creep facial animation, see this clip, created using Studio Pendulum’s Alter Ego system, in which three faces simultaneously execute the same facial expressions. Only two years ago, this animated woman was about the highest quality work around, and required extensive manual editing in Photoshop. It’s odd how not uncanny these images start to look as the images become more completely realistic.

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