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Which Notable Bald-Headed Women Were Really Bald?

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When a celebrity takes on an unconventional new hairstyle it always makes headlines, and nothing draws curiosity or comment more than a shaved head, especially when the head in question belongs to a woman.

But the words “shaved” and “bald” have a tendency to get tossed around far too often these days, for haircuts that bear little resemblance to bald, haircuts that would never be called shaved if they were on a man. If we want to be finicky, a shave demands a razor and baldness customarily means a smooth head. Is it because we are so hung up on the notion that women need long, luxurious tresses that anything substantially short of that is bald? Is it only creative exaggeration by the press? You make up your own mind.

To illustrate, here’s an assortment of famous women who allegedly went bald at some point in their careers. Let’s spot who was really shaved and who wasn’t?

Persis Khambatta (Star Trek: The Motion Picture) – Unmistakably shaved completely and utterly bald. I would go as far as to declare Persis the benchmark for celebrity female baldness. She had a smooth, bald, totally bare dome. They don’t come much smoother than model and former beauty queen was around 1978-79. Years after her death, it’s still the image most closely associated with her.

Britney Spears – She buzzed it to the skin, but Britney stopped short of shaving her noggin. Why, of all the dumb things Britney did around that time, is cutting her hair deemed the ultimate proof of insanity? It’s doubtlessly one of the most benign.

Natalie Portman (V for Vendetta) – A really nice combination. Somebody who already has a following of horny fanboys, and is typically considered hot, gets shorn for a part in a movie and rocks the stubbled look both on and off screen. There are definite parallels to Persis, and Portman might well have done for the female buzzcut what Persis did for bald women, but let’s be perfectly honest. Natalie Portman was not bald.

Amber Rose – The bleach-blonde hair does create an illusion of baldness to the casual observer, and she has buzzed it pretty close to the scalp at times, but she is not bald. As a model and celebrity girlfriend, she does seem to take some criticism for her extreme coiffure. I think she looks fantastic, albeit not the sort of girl I’d take home to meet Mom.

Cassie, Rihanna and the rest of the buzzed-side gals – The single clippered side is an interesting look, it attracts attention, but come on. That isn’t even remotely close to a bald head.

Sigourney Weaver (Alien 3) – Buzzed very close, but not smooth. I did admire her reaction to being asked to take her hair off for the movie. She wanted more money. Good for her. I can never make up my mind whether Sigourney looks good in a buzz or not, but then, I can never make up my mind whether I find Sigourney attractive or not. Her appeal seems to change from movie to movie, and I can never quite figure out why.

Maggie McOmie (THX 1138) – Maggie might be up for debate. She did get a proper shave before shooting began, but we mostly see her sporting varying amounts of peach fuzz on screen. I suppose she counts as shaved, because she did really did have her head shaved smooth.

Demi Moore (G.I. Jane) – This is another grey area. She wasn’t bald for the movie. She cut it with clippers on-screen, and spent the rest of the movie just a bit of stubble, making her technically not bald. However, after Demi finished shooting the movie, she then shaved her head smooth on her own time, and appeared in public with her shaved dome. Pretty cool.

Bai Ling (Anna and the King) – Shaved, for sure. Bai Ling is another one with some real guts, since her raven hair was past her butt when she shaved her head, and it was only for a little bit of actual on-screen baldness.

Joan Chen (You Seng: Temptation of a Monk) – Joan not only shaved her head, but we see a bit of lather-free straight razor shaving in this Asian flick. Chen’s character, a sort of bounty hunter, poses as an initiate in order to infiltrate a temple where a fugitive general is posing as a monk. Chen shaved her head for just a brief part of the movie. Again, a truly bald dome, and not a bad movie either.

Samantha Morton (Minority Report) – Although she was was described in the media at the time as bald or shaved, Samantha Morton was buzzed to stubble for the role of Agatha, one of three psychics enslaved by the police of the future to predict criminal acts before they occur. Definitely not bald.

Annie Burgstede (Smallville) – A bald pate does seem like a reasonable move for a character homicidally obsessed with Lex Luthor, but to actually do it, and do it for real, is more than I expected from Smallville. I have to salute any woman who would shave her head completely bald for the final act of an hour-long TV episode. That goes double in Burgstede’s case, when it’s a teen drama full of beautiful people, and she’s the bald nut sharing a scene with a perfectly-coiffed Erica Durance. Pretty brave.

Virginia Hey (Farscape) – In Mad Max 2, she was the hottie with the crossbow and the big, golden 80s hair. And in the 90s, she adopted a hairless pate to play an alien hottie (shades of Persis there) in the series Farscape. She was already in love with the role when the subject of shaving her head came up, and she was ready to do it. What is really impressive here is the commitment. It’s one thing to shave your head for a part in a movie or a single episode, but it’s quite another to do it for a series that might require you to stay bald for the better part of the next four or five years.

Linh Dan Pham and Simona Maicanescu (Dante 01) – Both women, and the the entire cast were shaved smooth on top for this French sci-fi film. Not exactly sure why this was, other than to give things a sterile, dystopian look, and it was reminiscent of both THX 1138 and Alien 3.

Delphine Chaneac (Splice) – With all the digital tricks the filmmakers used to make this charming French actress into a genetically modified human-animal chimera, you’d almost have expected them to fake the bald head too, but it’s the real deal. Chaneac apparently had no qualms about shaving her head, and enjoyed being bald. And in spite of the somewhat unnatural nature of her character, she manages to be very pretty, in a creepy sort of way.

Robin Tunney (Empire Records) – Not shaved, but a close on-screen buzz cut with clippers for the role of a troubled teenager. A memorable scene in an otherwise forgettable movie.

Judith Light (Wit) – Judith Light, from the 80s sitcom Who’s the Boss, had her head shaved bald for the role of Prof. Vivian Bearing in this drama, as many other actresses have done to star in many productions of the play over the years. A professional stage play is another potentially long-term commitment to staying bald, and this was a drastic change from the poofy blonde 80s hair we all remember.

Emma Thompson (Wit) – Thompson was shaved for the role of Bearing in the HBO TV movie of Wit.

Sofia Vassilieva (My Sister’s Keeper) – The teenage actress had her hair and eyebrows shaved off for the part of a cancer patient. Vassilieva said at the time that it was the least she could do for such a wonderful character, and it gave her a better idea of what her character was going through. Compare that to her costar, Cameron Diaz, who opted for a latex cap that gave her a bloated, saggy alien head. And yet Diaz, looking anything but realistic managed to capture headlines for her “bald” look. Go figure.

There are, of course many more women in show business who have shaved or buzzed their hair, either in public, on stage or screen, or in the media, but the ones listed here make the point well enough. If you know of others, make up your own mind if they really shaved.

Just remember, there is shaved and there is buzzed, but bald caps never count… ever.

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What is This New Backside Illumination on the New iPhone?

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Recently Apple announced the new iPhone and a number of the hardware changes were targeted at the camera. Thanks to the infamous lost iPhone fiasco we expected the 5 mega-pixel camera and flash, but Jobs announced the camera had backside illumination. That left us puzzled so we did a some research on camera chips.

What is backside illumination?

First stop giggling… OK… I’ll admit I think they could have found a better name. Some of the jokes I saw on Twitter seemed to be especially crude about this feature. Backside illumination is a trick of getting better digital photos by getting more of the available light to where it is measured.

First an overview on digital cameras

The key part of all digital cameras is a chip called the CCD (charge coupled device) which senses the light falling on its surface. The light affects the charge a grid of millions of tiny capacitors created on the silicon when the chip is made (making chips is called fabrication and involves a lot of etching and depositing of thin layers and different materials in precisely controlled ways). For simplicity just think about black and white CCD’s where the array of capacitors corresponds to the array of pixels which make up a digital image (color sometimes uses a lot more tricks). The chip has additional circuitry that measures the charge of all of the capacitors which is basically how the light levels of the image are read. To be able to read all of these capacitors there are minutely thin wires running over the top. They’re not actually wires but a thin layer of aluminum or copper that is effectively sprayed on to the chip and then carefully eaten away using acids to leave connecting traces, which are pretty much metal wires bonded to the chip.

Why backside illumination?

All those wires and other parts of the capacitors sit on top of a square silicon tile (called the die) with the capacitors at the bottom. The circuitry and wires don’t obstruct it too much as it works but it does block some light and scatter some in to surrounding capacitors which reduces the quality of image captured especially with limited lighting. Back to that square silicon tile. Silicon is the main ingredient of regular glass (aka silicon dioxide) but the stuff used in making chips is a super pure silicon crystal and transparent. With backside illumination the issues with traditional CCD’s of the capacitors being on the bottom is quite literally turned upside down and now you shine the image on what was the bottom of the silicon tile and let the light shine through the silicon to the capacitors. This way you avoid all the wires and get more light to the capacitors.

With this new camera chip Apple has shown some beautiful looking pictures but they key performance area will be low lighting. Capturing scenes like the last light of a fading sunset. The earlier iPhones (Original and 3G) had very basic fixed focus 2 mega-pixel cameras which struggled in low lighting. The 3GS brought auto focus and auto white balance that improved performance but still struggled with such scenes, often distorting colors. Now with the new camera chip the iPhone should take vastly improved photos, coupled with the in-built flash to handle low lighting indoors.

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WOW Golden Pearl Farming – Fast Way to Make Gold on WOW

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Using the Auction House for making gold on WOW is the fastest way to make it on WOW. But what do you do if you need some fast way to make gold on WOW to begin with?

Many players are trying to farm gold as a fast way to make it on WOW – but that is not the best way, it is not even a good way for making gold on WOW at most cases.

Farming is only good at high level and even then it is not the best way!

This is true especially because when you level up you can make more gold at less time – so you will want to start by leveling up as fast as possible before you start farming in the first place.

But there is an exception to that rule – WOW Golden Pearl Farming!

WOW Golden Pearl Farming is good as they can be sold for a lot of gold at the WOW Auction House most of the time.

There are times that Golden Pearl are sold for 4g-5g, but more often than none you can sell them on the WOW Auction House for a very high prices – that is 80g-100g and even up to 200g per pearl!

This means that if you can get 4-6 Golden Pearls an hour from farming you can make between 500g to 1000g per hour, and you can start farming for Golden Pearl from as low level as 40 while leveling in the same time, or go pearl farming as a fast way to make gold on WOW at a low level as 50.

The secret is not to farm for the pearls themselves but to farm for specific clams that drop them as well as buy them from the WOW Auction House itself.

You see there is a secret for farming those pearls, and you will be amazed how simple it is to get them.

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WoW Best Gold Farming Spots in Wotlk – Wrath of the Lich King

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There is a great need for any player who wishes to survive in the recent expansion to the World of Warcraft (WoW), the Wrath of the Lich King (WotLK). Just like in the real world, living in WoW has become more expensive as new garb and weapons are becoming pricier. Even relaxing at a pub in Dalaran could be worth some amount of gold. This has spurred the emergence of not a few WoW gold guide articles that aim to help the WotLK gamer in farming for gold in Northrend. Most of these articles would tell you where to go to farm WoW gold and the fastest way to make gold in WoW. Even the best WoW gold making guide contains almost the same tips and techniques that you’ll find in these WoW farming for gold articles.

Here are some WoW money making tips that are constantly referred to in these WoW farming guides:

1. Get the right gathering profession. Having the right profession will allow you to be able to build on the right skills to make gold. The best professions are those that are easy to level up and easy to earn gold in. Some of these professions include:

o Mining: Your ores can fetch you lots of gold. If you max your gathering skill level into grand master level, you will be able to mine most ores. You can go to the Burning Steppes and the Un’goro for Mithil and Thorium or the Netherstorm, Terokkar, and Nagrand for Adamantite ore.

o Herbalism: You can find a lot of herbs to sell for gold in the different zones of WoW. You can find some Mana Thistle in the Outlands or some Nightmare Vine drops when you go to Shadowmoon Valley. Other herbs that you can find are Fel Lotus, Ancient Lichen and the Netherbloom.

o Skinning: There is a huge amount of gold that can be made with selling rare leather like those made from cobra scales and wind scales. These can be found at the Shadowmoon Valley, nagrand, and the Blade’s Edge Mountains. You can even be crafty enough to make these into armors and other more useful items to make it worth more gold.

2. Max your crafting profession: Just like your gathering profession, you need to make sure that your crafting profession level is way up before you enter the WotLK. These professions include alchemy, jewelcrafting, and leatherworking. As you would note, these skills can be combined with your gathering professions to be able to increase the gold values of your gathered items.

3. Trade your goods: Watch the auction house. You can make more gold in finding out which ones are selling for less amounts of gold but with potential of selling for higher amounts of gold at a later time. Follow the basic rules of trading which is to buy low and sell high. Watch for things selling at a bargain that could possibly fetch a higher price later on because of an increase in demand.

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