It has been many months since I last experienced the Strange Phenomenon, which I described in excruciating detail in the very first post in this blog. I hope to sometime find the time to fully explore the possible reasons why the Strange Phenomenon has ceased. The short and obvious explanation is that the Strange Phenomenon is a very fussy phenomenon, and the exact conditions in which it manifests have not all been present for many months. I had been wondering if the underlying neurological structures in my brain that made the Strange Phenomenon possible might have altered, causing the extinction of the Strange Phenomenon, but something that I have seen recently has made me think again.
It has been a long time since I’ve been in a position to view John’s face in the exact conditions under which the Strange Phenomenon operates, but I recently noticed a photograph of John that was taken not too long ago. The photograph did not evoke the Strange Phenomenon, but it did give me a strong jolt of recognition as I saw elements of Jean’s face in John’s facial features in the picture. It is an interesting image, not a flattering shot at all. John looks pretty terrible because it is one of those unfortunate images that catch a person in the midst of an animated expression. The unnatural capturing of one moment of a moving face can look grotesque. What this photo lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in information. The photo captures a lot of the uniqueness and expression of John’s face. Just like the conditions required for the Strange Phenomenon this photo is a view of John’s face from around a 45 degree angle, the type of angle which displays the most comprehensive view of any face, and this viewpoint also minimizes the width of John’s face, which is a masculine feature of his face which prevents it from looking too much like Jean’s female face. So what you get from this 45 degree view is the best sample of the character of a face while minimizing one element of gender difference in faces.
This photo is also remarkable in that it gives a fantastic view of John’s wrinkles. He is not a particularly wrinkly person, but this shot was taken in just the right lighting conditions (natural light) to draw out the most fine details in a face. Like the conditions required for the Strange Phenomenon, this photo was an outdoor view. Wrinkles age a person, but they also draw out the character and expression and uniqueness in a face. This is why botoxed and fillered old ladies have faces that are devoid of expression. Without lines and wrinkles faces look like stupid lumps of cheese. This photo comes as close as a photograph possibly could to the conditions that would evoke the Strange Phenomenon. The Strange Phenomenon requires a view of John’s face that displays a comprehensive view, defining lines, a sense of moving expression and the least view possible of gender-defining characteristics. This picture comes pretty darn close.
A full description of The Strange Phenomenon can be found here:
A Most Peculiar Experience https://superrecognizer.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/a-most-peculiar-experience/