Emoticons – East vs West

Emoticons carry cultural baggage

Emoticons act as proxies for facial expressions, and there are a lot of studies showing that many facial expressions can be interpreted correctly by all human cultures. Despite that universality, however, there are subtle differences in interpretations across cultures. The authors propose a model in which a culture’s interpretation of facial expressions is dependent upon a combination of the culture’s emotional openness and the challenge of controlling certain facial muscles. As they put it, “Given that the eyes are more difficult to control than the mouth when people express emotions, we predicted that individuals in cultures where emotional subduction is the norm (such as Japan) would focus more strongly on the eyes than the mouth when interpreting others’ emotions. By contrast, we predicted that people in cultures where overt emotional expression is the norm (such as the US) would tend to interpret emotions based on the position of the mouth, because it is the most expressive part of the face.

You can download the research paper here (PDF). To bring this point across, they provide this example:

For example, in the United States the emoticons :) and :-) denote a happy face, whereas the emoticons :( or :-( denote a sad face. However, Japanese tend to use the symbol (^_^) to indicate a happy face, and (; _ ;) to indicate a sad (or crying) face (Pollack, 1996).

Random Crap:

Puget Custom Computer’s mineral-oil-cooled PC (from Maxxius) – We’ve definitely seen our share of wacky CPU cooling (and silencing) schemes, but most liquid-cooling setups aren’t as, uh, immersive as Puget Custom Computer’s mineral-oil-cooled PC. Essentially a motherboard in an aquarium topped off with fluid, the Washington company claims the oil effectively cools system components for up to 12 hours at peak load. While traditional homebrew oil-cooling setups use vegetable oil, the Puget crew chose mineral oil because it’s perfectly clear and, more importantly, doesn’t go rancid after a while. Disadvantage? Large quantities of mineral oil are difficult to find — Puget had to explain what they were doing to a local vet, who normally uses the stuff as a horse laxative. That means those of you looking to build one of these better get friendly with Fido’s doc, cause Puget isn’t planning on selling these. Peep a vid of the crazy setup — including the aquarium’s bubble bar in action — after the jump. I’ve seen my share of mineral oil cooled PCs, but this is the first one I’ve seen in a aquarium. Usually the ones I’ve seen are in Styrofoam boxes.

If this thread is true: Citi Dividend Platinum Select MasterCard – 5% rebate again YMMV, those who have the Citi Dividend Platinum Select card might have their cashback program bumped back up to 5%. A few months ago, they dropped the cashback program from 5% to 2% and I’ve completely stopped using them and swapped over to my Chase Cash Rewards card, which had exactly the same 5% cashback program. However, that card is no longer available to apply for and basically I’m grandfathered in.

I found this image off someone’s FaceBook picture and thought it was really cute and decided to share it.
bleach kon plush
Kon Plush (from Bleach)

10 Totally Stupid Online Business Ideas That Made Someone Rich (from Digg) – I wish I cam up with a stupid idea that made me rich too!

Wis. festival sells deep-fried testiclesAround here, it may be tough to pass up anything deep-fried. Wisconsinites have deep-fried cheese curds, candy bars and Twinkies. They now have deep-fried livestock testicles, too. … “Once you get over the mental (aspect) of what you’re eating, it’s just like eating any other food, and it tastes good,” Buster Hoffman said. … “After a few beers, you can’t really tell the difference,” Joubert said. Yum?

The “official” X-clamp Replacement Success Thread, Please read the first post carefully! (from Digg) – With the recent discovery of replacing the x-clamps on the motherboard being a good fix for 3RLOD, RBJtech suggested that we keep track of results. 3RLOD = 3 red lights of death, a pun on the BSOD (blue screen of death). Many Xbox 360s have encountered this unfortunate disaster. Microsoft hasn’t released any official numbers of how many Xbox 360s have received this fate, but I recall hearing less than 1%. You’ve probably heard of the Towel Trick. Many have guessed by using the towel trick, it heats the system to the point the re-solders the gpu back correctly. However apparently if you replace the x-clamps on the Xbox 360, many have reported success in fixing their Xbox 360s. The score so far is 150 vs 7 (95.5% success rate). So if your Xbox 360 is out of warranty, there’s no harm in trying to replace your x-clamps. Detail instructions are provided over at Tutorial : X-clamp Replacement – RBJtech’s Method and Tutorial : X-clamp Replacement – Lawdawg0931’s Method.

I was reading up on some new deals with Vizio and found out that they have a 0 dead pixel policy. I was shocked! Even Samsung doesn’t offer that here in America. Most companies have a 4-7 dead pixel policy where they’ll fix or replace your LCD if you find more than the given number of dead pixels. Vizio will replace your LCD if you find just 1. From A Lot of LCD for a Little Bit of LootAnd speaking of pixels, Vizio also offers a “no dead pixel” guarantee, which is rare in the LCD TV industry, particularly at entry-level price points. I examined the L42 closely and was not able to find a single dead pixel, so kudos to Vizio in that respect.

UserFriendly – Consumer Choice Enhancement – If HBO thinks it can get away by calling DRM Digital Consumer Enablement (which by the way, enablement isn’t a real word), by that logic piracy should be called Consumer Choice Enhancement.

Infrared – More Than Your Eyes Can See (from Digg) – I was watching this video about how night vision works and I had a hard time digesting the fact they were calling everything from radio waves to microwaves to even gamma rays light. I understand they are all part of the electromagnetic spectrum, but I’ve always associated light to only the visible range of that spectrum. According to Wikipedia: Light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that is visible to the eye (visible light) or, in a technical or scientific context, the word is sometimes used to mean electromagnetic radiation of all wavelengths. I guess with the latter definition, they were using it correctly.

MK vs. SF 3 (from RayAlome) – MK vs SF 3. See part 2 if you haven’t. Most likely the final one of the series. This is the 3rd and apparently final chapter of the MK vs. SF series (Mortal Kombat vs. Street Fighter). The animation is done really well as well as the fight choreography. All is done with sprites, which is amazingly pretty.

Fox sues website for “The O.J.Simpsons” (from Digg) – Fox doesn’t seem to have a sense of humor about a “Simpsons” parody that’s been going around the net called “The O.J. Simpsons,” reports TV Guide. The parody is quite obviously about O.J. Simpson, but done in the style of “The Simpsons,” with the same music and similar animation.

How not to ship a plasma TVThe guy who shipped this may or may not have been a professional delivery person. It’s tough to tell based on the work he did on this plasma TV. Seriously though, he might as well have shipped this thing using bowling balls. Or, I dunno, hammers. Ouch!

Cyclist OK after truck runs over headA delivery truck ran over a cyclist’s head, leaving him only with a concussion and a mangled helmet. Ryan Lipscomb, 26, was shaken up, especially after he saw the condition of his helmet. Check out the damage of the helmet and you’d be surprise he’s still alive: Bike helmet crushed, but head fine (from Digg)

Teen hurt whacking bullets with hammer– A teenager who put bullets in a vise and whacked them with a hammer to empty the brass shell casings was wounded in the abdomen by approximately the 100th bullet he hit, according to Warren County deputies. Sigh…

Texas man charged in Skittles heistA man caught removing tires from a truck has been charged with stealing the tractor-trailer containing $250,000 worth of Skittles, police said. How many tons of Skittles is that!?!?!

Light Criticism (from Consumerist) – This is the first collaboration between the Anti-Advertising Agency and Graffiti Research Lab. Modified from Ji Lee’s Abstractor TV. We used black foam core ($10/sheet) cut with a laser cutter – however, this project can be done with an x-acto blade, black construction paper, and duct tape for next to nothing. It can be repeated using any backlit display – bus shelters, display ads, television store windows… dream big, act now. NYC’s TRUE GRAFFITI PROBLEM Watch the video here.

Coca-Cola settles lawsuits over benzene (from Consumerist) – Fanta Pineapple, Vault Zero had ingredients that could form substance. The Coca-Cola Co. has agreed to offer replacements to people who purchased two soft drinks to settle lawsuits over ingredients that can form cancer-causing benzene, the plaintiffs said Monday. The only interesting part of this article was the fact that I’m a big fan of Fanta Pineapple.

Weird Al – I’ll Sue Ya (from Consumerist) – Hilarious song from Weird Al from his new “Straight Outta Lynwood” album, done in the style of Rage Against the Machine. The vid features animation by Thomas Edward Lee. Enjoy! This is so sad, yet so true. Americans have become sue-happy.

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