The new tv show Lie to Me is based on the real-life research of Dr. Paul Ekman into facial behaviors, or how muscles of the face reveal underlying psychology through microexpressions that are nearly unconscious or involuntary.
Ekman's system is called the Facial Action Coding System (FACS), and its companion is the Facial Action Coding System Affect Interpretation Dictionary (FACSAID). I first heard of Ekman's work through a Malcolm Gladwell article in the New Yorker titled "The Naked Face".
You can purchase the training system for $260. Maybe it will pay for itself through your weekly poker game?
Chase Jarvis offers 5 tips for shooting better pictures with your iPhone. He also recommends two apps for the iPhone, CameraBag ($2.99) and Pano ($2.99), both of which I use and enjoy.
I put the prices there because I know some people don't like to pay for any apps, but if there's one thing I urge people to do this year it's to pay for things that provide value, even if they're things you can obtain illegally for free. Whether it's software or music or movies, with the Internet it's easier than ever to reward people directly for work you appreciate. When apps for the iPhone cost less than a Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich, there's really no excuse. Do the right thing, fight the recession, reward people who do great work that improves your life.
Two other iPhone photography apps that I recommend: Photogene ($2.99) and QuadCamera ($1.99). The iPhone camera is not going to win any prizes for picture quality, but the use of these apps should improve your snaps noticeably. Your Facebook and Flickr friends thank you in advance.
Speaking of iPhone apps, I've reached the nine page, 144 app limit. I don't use all the apps all the time, so it's not a problem to delete a few, but the limit seems somewhat arbitrary, and at some point in the near future I can see having more than 144 apps that I'd use semi-regularly, or at least often enough that I wouldn't want to have to be deleting and installing apps all the time.
Paging through nine pages of apps doesn't exactly play to the iPhone's interface strengths (some ability to group apps or nest them in folder would be handy) but it's certainly not unusable.
Amazon's Universal wishlist feature allows you to add products from other websites. Not sure when this launched, but it's an idea I recall being bandied about at Amazon many years ago.
Metacritic compiles top 10 lists from movie critics across the land (they need to fix their HTML header as it still reads 2007 Film Critic Top Ten Lists in my browser tab). I'm still waiting for their year-end compilation graphic that assimilates all these top ten lists into a master best-of list. I'm not sure if they're producing it again this year, but I hope they do.