Tag Archives: mistaken identity

The Pros and Cons of Police Sketches Science, Technology & Curiosity 13 SEP 2016

We tend to see facial composite or police sketch images in the news a lot. They’ve been around forever, and are essentially a graphical representation of an eyewitness’ memory of a face, as recorded by a composite (police sketch) artist. These are used pretty much exclusively by police as an aid in the investigation of serious crimes, though they are also sometimes used to reconstruct a victim’s face in hope of identifying them.


Therein lies the inherent problem however. Although there is a small success rate linked to the used of these identikits, this usually relies on the perpetrator having a really distinctive facial appearance. Human brains tend to process faces holistically, meaning that our ability to actually see (and remember) parts of the face when looking at a person and then recalling those pieces is not particularly great (never mind the fact that our recall of detail from memory is fallible to say the least!).

Vox had a look at this issue can produced a pretty good video around the topic:

As highlighted towards the end of the view, newer evolutionary systems based on full face recognition (like EvoFIT from the UK and ID from the University of Cape Town, South Africa) appear to hold a lot of promise going forward. Give it a couple of years and perhaps we may finally find it time to retire the venerable position of the police sketch artist?

Related Link: Vox | YouTube

Joke Factory: Sex and the Photographer Jokes & other Funny Stuff 16 MAR 2012

The Smiths were unable to conceive children and so made the tough decision to use a surrogate father to start their family, but that it would be done the good old fashioned way, with no test tubes or needles in sight.

On the day the proxy father was to arrive, Mr. Smith kissed his wife good-bye and said, “Well, I’m off now. The man should be here soon.”

Half an hour later, just by chance, a door-to-door baby photographer rung the doorbell, hoping to make a sale.

“Good morning, Ma’am”, he said, “I’ve come to…”

“Oh, no need to explain,” Mrs. Smith cut in, embarrassed. “I’ve been expecting you.”

“Have you really?” said the photographer. “Well, that’s good. Did you know babies are my specialty?”

“Well that’s what my husband and I had hoped. Please come in and have a seat.”

After a moment she asked, blushing, “Well, where do we start?”

“Leave everything to me. I usually try two in the bathtub, one on the couch, and perhaps a couple on the bed. And sometimes the living room floor is fun. You can really spread out there.”

“Bathtub, living room floor? No wonder it didn’t work out for Harry and me!”

“Well, Ma’am, none of us can guarantee a good one every time. But if we try several different positions and I shoot from six or seven angles, I’m sure you’ll be pleased with the results.”

“My, that’s a lot!” gasped Mrs. Smith.

“Ma’am, in my line of work a man has to take his time. I’d love to be in and out in five minutes, but I’m sure you’d be disappointed with that.”

“Don’t I know it,” said Mrs. Smith quietly.

The photographer opened his briefcase and pulled out a portfolio of his baby pictures. “This was done on the top of a bus,” he said.

“Oh my God!” Mrs. Smith exclaimed, grasping at her throat.

“And these twins turned out exceptionally well – when you consider her mother was so difficult to work with.”

“She was difficult?” asked Mrs. Smith.

“Yes, I’m afraid so. I finally had to take her to the park to get the job done right. People were crowding around four and five deep to get a good look.”

“Four and five deep?” said Mrs. Smith, her eyes wide with amazement.

“Yes”, the photographer replied, “and for more than three hours, too. The mother was constantly squealing and yelling – I could hardly concentrate, and when darkness approached I had to rush my shots. Finally, when the squirrels began nibbling on my equipment, I just had to pack it all in.”

Mrs. Smith leaned forward. “Do you mean they actually chewed on your, um… equipment?”

“It’s true, Ma’am, yes. Well, if you’re ready, I’ll set-up my tripod and we can get to work right away.”


“Oh yes, Ma’am. I need to use a tripod to rest my Canon on. It’s much too big to be held in the hand for very long.”

At this point she fainted.

Joke Factory: Do I know You? Jokes & other Funny Stuff 10 FEB 2012

A man standing in line at a check out counter of a grocery store was very surprised when a very attractive woman behind him tapped him on the shoulder and said in a very friendly voice, “Hello!”

Not recognising her even in the slightest, he turned back at her and gave her the old “who are you?” slightly confused look.

Noticing his puzzlement, the woman apologized, saying that when she had first seen him, he had looked like the father of one of her children, and with that, she walked out of the store.

Dumbfounded at this rather peculiar display, the guy couldn’t help but mutter to himself, “What the heck is this the world coming to? Such an attractive young woman unable to keep track of who the fathers of her very own children are!”

Then a far more disturbing thought hit him like a freight train. He doesn’t remember her now, but MAYBE, just maybe, during one of those wild parties back when he was still in college…

Rushing out of the store, he caught up to her in the parking lot, grabbed her by the shoulder and spun her around, asking in a very earnest voice, and with very big eyes, “I’m sorry, but are you perhaps that girl I met back at a party when we were still in college, the one where we got really, really drunk and had wild crazy sex on the pool table in front of everyone?”

“No”, she replied, a horrified look spreading across her face. “I’m your son’s second grade teacher!”