Monday, January 17, 2011

Playboy for my birthday

This year for my birthday one of the presents from my wife was my first issue of Playboy. Not just any issue, but the November 1972 issue which contains the Lenna Sjööblom centerfold. A small portion of this centerfold is a very well known image in computer science. In 1973 Alexander Sawchuk tired of test lines and tv patterns grabbed a playboy from someone walking by and scanned the top 5.12 inches (the image seen on the right) to be used on a colleagues paper. This scan went on to be used in countless times in all sorts of image related research such as compression, watermarking, line detection and more. It is one of those images I have come across many times when reading papers.

Last year when watching Pawn Stars someone dropped off some boxes of Playboy's only to find out most of them were not worth anything and how the only issue that people want is #1. I made a comment to Jen about how the only issue I would want would be the one with the Lenna, explained its history and how it must be worth a lot because everyone knows about the Lenna image and reads image papers ... right? Jen secretly wrote that down and later on was able to find the issue, acquired it and stashed it away until my birthday. That issue was Playboys' best selling issue ever so it isn't rare at all and while it might not be the most valuable it is one cool birthday present to get from your wife.

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