The Lite Side

Fixing Peter Jennings' Pain in the Neck

Broderick Sagacious - 2002.01.03

Won't someone please give Peter Jennings a little more room?

Photo editing in the wrong hands can be painful, even a little dangerous.

Doesn't it just hurt your neck to look at this picture? The more you look at that picture, the more your head wants to tilt over, instinctively trying to get his attention so you can snap your head up straight as if to say, "See? Just straighten your neck. It's that easy."

I look at it for more than five minutes, and I have to go home and beg the wife for a neck massage. She just sticks the base of the blender on my neck and hits "Puree." Then she goes back to chasing our kids all over the place.

I mean, he's got to have a crick in his neck from sitting like that all day. If his banner was just a few pixels taller he could straighten his neck out - and he'd probably have a more cheerful disposition. He might refer to the United States as "our country" instead of "this country" more often, but that's probably a displaced-Canadian thing. Or a journalist-trying-to-be-impartial-and-nonpatriotic thing.

Reporters, after all, are supposed to be impartial people. Jennings probably writes a lot of his own stuff - and I suppose he uses a computer too, although I wonder if when we see him typing it's just for show. Surely he has a staff that does all the typing and an assistant to read his mail for him. (And also to keep a sharp eye out for powdery substances.) Like Al Gore inventing the Internet, he probably has someone do it for him so he can get the credit.

Speaking of Al, what's with that beard, eh? Some sort of disguise, probably. Some sort of Secret Service trick they use for when the former Vice President wants to go out in public without being mobbed. But now the secret is spoiled, because we've all seen it.

That reminds me about the Vice President, shaking hands, and SpaceCamp. Some years ago I had the opportunity to meet Dan Quayle. He certainly doesn't remember me, but maybe his Secret Service detachment remembers the fat guy with a beard that stood up at Space Camp when he wasn't supposed to stand up, and made them all stick their hands in their jackets. Probably not. I got to shake his hand anyway. I've washed that hand hundreds (more like thousands) of times since.

He actually gave a kind of passable speech, although I can't remember quite what he said except "space is good."

Space is good, except when it is being used for missile defense or government plots and alien invaders. Being from Kentucky, the world "alien" meant "not of this world" long before it meant "can I see your green card please" like it does out here in California. To folks in Kentucky, people from other places are "y'all'er not from around here, are ye." No one in Kentucky seriously says "furriner" for "foreigner" unless they've been watching too much Beverly Hillbillies. Oh, and for all our non-U.S. readers, that whole "Beverly Hillbillies" thing is talking about Tennessee, not Kentucky. And Kentucky is a place, not a way of preparing chicken.

Anyway, back to my point about missile defense. If you want Jennings to stop having that little lilt in his voice that says, "Missile defense is an unproven boondoggle," you're going to have to give him a taller office - or a shorter chair maybe. Anyone would be grumpy if they held their neck tilted like that all day long.

So, let's fix Mr. Jennings using a little trick I like to call, Fixing Mr. Jennings.

First I cut out his head using GraphicConverter. Then I rotated it -20 degrees and got this:

Next, I pasted it back onto the logo. A light touch of a few pixels later, a little Gaussian blur, a little unsharp masking, and voilà! I have given the man a few more years of pain-free living. Next thing you know, they'll be posting this picture and claiming it was their (or his) idea all along.

Amazing what you can do with a nice program and a little patience. Well, you technically have to have both, and we all know that GraphicConverter is a really nice program. I note, however, that his right eye looks smaller than his left eye. You could probably fix that, too, if you had a little time. Myself, I need to let some things stand as nature intended.

Have fun GraphicConverting!

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