Blogging from a government-owned computer while waiting around at a lower-Manhattan courthouse on jury duty, I don’t have the usual browser options to post a picture or story links (nor the usual time — I’ve already been booted off once) … but I’m compelled to comment on a story in the Style section of today’s New York Times — The Sum of Your Facial Parts — that begs the question: What’s so funny ’bout peace, love and natural beauty?

The story describes a new computer software that “enhances” photos by conforming faces to a scientific algorithm of beauty — altering such factors as symmetry, distance between facial parts, and other geometric things. Though designed mainly for cosmetic uses such as advertising photography, the implications are downright scary. Among the sample photos shown with the story, one set demonstrates that a beauty like Brigette Bardot loses her “individuality” in the process. One commentator in the piece says, “There is a whole generation of girls growing up who think it’s normal not to look the way they really look.” We would have more to say, but … we’re about to get booted off this computer again! Check out the piece. — Jack Crager