Saturday, September 01, 2007

Celebrity Lookalikes

I've spent entirely too much time on the internet looking for my celebrity lookalike. I was actually doing productive research on just the right cell phone to get when I got distracted by This was a site that Larry had told me about in Colorado that I'd been meaning to check out for while.

I didn't get any of the Bollywood stars that his friends got, but I did get a few surprises. Of course, it depended on which photo I uploaded. Here's what one of my photos matched...

The Asians seem like an obvious choice, but I can actually understand why I end up matching to an old white man as well. When I did the morph option and chose reference points, I noticed that I usually have the same creases and chin shape from smiling as the celebrities. Here's another set of matches...

In less goofy news, I tried Mister Donut and had one of their popular donuts. As Judy describes it, they are very QQ - that is to say they have a chewy bite to them, unlike any American donut I've ever tried. I tried the Pon De Kokuto and Kinako. They were surprisingly tasty - very airy and 'QQ'.

I had a quick walk through Da'an park as it started to downpour. I ran into the library and waited it out. I read a New Yorker, including a moving article about people suffering from Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome. Many with the genetic disorder are self destructive, to the point of biting their fingers and lips off. They tend to say and do opposite of what they want to, sometimes terrifyingly so, even to themselves.

Reading articles like these always makes me ponder the wonders of the brain. I went up to the English language section and picked out a book from the science section. Parkinson's: A Patient's View by Sidney Dorros, is an autobiography about his early onset of Parkinson's and the myriad of treatment options he went through. He discusses the decision making process, the struggles, the successes, the mistakes as a guide for others to learn from - including anyone who is diagnosed with the disease, works with patients, or is friends with someone. It's a compelling read, including personal accounts of what his wife and four kids went through in a twenty year span from diagnosis to publication.

Dorros references Oliver Sacks quite frequently throughout the book, including quotes from Awakenings. I bought that book years ago and let it sit on my bookshelf for a long time before packing it up in a box now in storage. I've enjoyed several of Sacks' other books (The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, Migraine, An Anthropologist on Mars) and hope to get to it someday.

Being unemployed in a country where I'm nearly illiterate, mute and deaf has some benefits. I finally feel like I can sit down and just enjoy reading for a while (in English of course). Other times I wonder if I should be using this time to study Chinese more. My goals for the next year aren't as clearly defined as they could be - certainly I'm here to spend time with PoPo and learn more about the family history, learn how to speak and read Chinese, and get in shape. But that still leaves time for much else. I need to find the balance of enjoying Taiwan and enjoying other things in life. We'll see.

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