Why didn’t people smile in old portraits?

Why didn’t people smile in old portraits?

Why didn’t people smile in old portraits?


Robinson Meyer for The Atlantic:

“By the 17th century in Europe,” he writes, “it was a well-established fact that the only people who smiled broadly, in life and in art, were the poor, the lewd, the drunk, the innocent, and the entertainment.”

Indeed, not only were smiles of the middling sort, they breached propriety. In 1703, one French writer lamented “people who raise their upper lip so high… that their teeth are almost entirely visible.” Not only was this discourteous, he asked: Why do it at all? After all, “nature gave us lips to conceal them.”

They couldn’t really do selfies, that’s why.

Thoughts on the new Quora app

The new Quora app for iOS 7 was fully redesigned to take advantage of the new navigation paradigm offered by the new OS. It’s beautiful and the new navigation is really interesting. 

Some changes, however, were perhaps slightly too radical. 

• It is not clear that the Quora button on the top-left corner is a navigation button. Its position might reveal its purpose, but maybe there should be an indication that this button is tappable. 

• When you tap on a question, the back button now is on the bottom-left corner which is rather unintuitive. You can however swipe from left to right to go back. 

So, Quora Product team, if by any chance you are seeing this, explain these changes. 

Over the course of your life, you have probably walked past hundreds of black widows without even realizing it. Each one packs enough venom to lay out a heavyweight boxer for days, yet globally only a few people each year are killed by widow bites.

If you ever wondered about how it felt like being bitten by a black widow, read this.

What are politicians doing at Glastonbury and the GQ awards? I feel guilty going, and I’m a comedian. Why are public officials, paid by us, turning up at events for fashion magazines? Well, the reason I was there was because I have a tour on and I was advised it would be good publicity. What are the politicians selling? How are they managing our perception of them with their attendance of these sequin-encrusted corporate balls?

Wisdom courtesy of Russell Brand.