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AI technology helps render portraits from the Victorian era that are 'moving' in every way

The artists at Mystery Scoop breathe new life into old photographs using color restoration and facial movement.

ai art, ai technology used to enhance portraits

Mystery Scoop creates all kinds of moving portraits based on historical figures.

For better or worse, AI technology has opened up a whole new genre of art. Artists who use it have been able to create some truly remarkable works—whether that’s bringing back beloved icons or bringing cartoon characters to life in a hyper-realistic way.

The creators behind Mystery Scoop have also blended some digital art wizardry and AI programs to render portraits from the late Victorian era that not only have stunning color, but lifelike movements. And the results are mesmerizing.

A video posted to their YouTube channel titled “19th Century Portraits Brought To Life” shows Victorian men and women as they undergo a full restoration, thanks to colorists Klimbim and Lorenzo Folli. But the magic doesn’t stop there. The “labor of love” also incorporates the “latest tools in AI technology" to bring facial movements to the photo. These static, black-and-white portraits quickly become breathing, blinking, smirking seemingly living beings.


For many viewers, the modernized portraits provided so much more than shock value. People were genuinely moved—a tried-and-true sign of successful art. “I cannot explain the emotions that this brought over me,” one person commented. “I began to tear up immediately. Knowing that these people are long gone...yet brought to life by someone years after their passing. They're being remembered in such a beautiful way. Seeing them fade in and out of life was haunting. This was absolutely powerful.”

Another commenter poignantly noted how these simple touches helped instill feelings of empathy. “The animation allows you to see the glimmer of who they were…a shimmer of their soul perhaps! You can see their hopes and dreams rise up into their eyes and ever so fleetingly, even their fear and worry and sometimes grief flickers softly in their expressions! Then you can't help hoping that they lived happily…I know it is all an illusion and yet it makes me care about them and care deeply.”

Of course, people of the late Victorian age aren’t the only ones to receive the Mystery Scoop treatment. The group’s channels across YouTube, Instagram and TikTok are filled with historical figures of different decades.

Below is infamous outlaw Bonnie Parker, sans her beau Clyde Barrow.

@mysteryscoop Replying to @mp_849 Bonnie Parker, c.1934, famous outlaw during th 1930s, Clyde Barrow's partner. #bonnieandclyde #bonnieparker #gangsters #outlaws #barrowgang #american ♬ Cornfield Chase - Dorian Marko

Here’s another, beloved artist Frida Kahlo.

@mysteryscoop Frida Kahlo, 1939, by Nickolas Muray, brought to life. #fridakahlo #surrealist #mexicanpainter #mexianart #surrealism #kahlo#broughttolife #art #frida #mexica #mexico #mexican #nickolas #diegorivera #muray #nickolasmuray #magdalena ♬ Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God) - Kate Bush

Adding Kate Bush music to the image was certainly a nice touch.

And another of a smiling, yet stoic Abraham Lincoln.

By “infusing still pictures, statues and paintings with realism,” Mystery Scoop has found a new way to help the legacy of those who’ve passed live on in the hearts and minds of those still here. While there is much to be said about how AI can take away from the human experience, it’s hard not to see works like this and appreciate how it can bring people together just as easily. One thing is for sure—humanity could always use art that touches us on an emotional level. And when a piece of art does, that’s worth celebrating.

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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Kellogg's CEO tells people to eat cereal to save money

It doesn't matter if you're a single adult or married with children, there's nothing quite like having cereal for dinner or a late night snack once in a while.

Something about it feels nostalgic but it's also really easy to fall back on when you're too exhausted to cook a full meal. There's nothing wrong with grabbing a bowl of cereal for a meal outside of breakfast. You're feeding yourself or your family a food that contains some of the vitamins a body needs.

Maybe that's the thought process Kellogg's CEO Gary Pilnick was going with when he unintentionally sparked some serious backlash. Pilnick was interviewed by CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" discussing the cereal giant's new commercial featuring Tony the Tiger. The commercial itself isn't really the problem. It features a mom holding a box of cereal with kids excitedly awaiting their cereal for dinner chanting along with Tony the Tiger's call to eat the sweet meal.

The backlash came followeing Pilnick's comments about why his company felt the need to create a commercial advocating families eating cereal for diner.

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We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

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Pop Culture

Monica Lewinsky reclaims the office power suit in new voting campaign

The activist teamed with apparel brand Reformation to combat voter frustration in a fabulous way.

Lewinsky partnered with Reformation for their "You've Got The Power" voting campaign

Monica Lewinsky knows a thing or two about reinvention.

The former White House intern became the source of media obsession after her affair with former President Bill Clinton become public. It solidified her place in history against her will, but through her actions since, Lewinsky has transformed her public persona into a feminist icon and champion of a powerful anti-bullying campaign.

Now, the 50-year-old Lewinsky is lending her household name to sustainable fashion brand Reformation and Vote.org in hopes to encourage people to vote this year.
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Pop Culture

Don't worry, Wendy's isn't raising prices during the busiest times. But changes are coming.

People were very upset after hearing that surge pricing may come to the local drive-thru.

A combo meal from Wendy's.

In a world where prices are continuously increasing, prominent companies are turning to surge pricing to raise prices even further during peak demand times. Uber charges people more for a ride when demand is high. Hotels have been changing prices based on demand for years and Amazon uses AI to keep prices constantly in flux.

Recently, Ticketmaster, known for charging high fees, has been charging customers even more for tickets as demand rises.

On Monday, February 26, news reports began circulating that Wendy’s, America's 5th most popular fast-food chain, would implement dynamic pricing at its restaurants. Many assumed that meant a Dave’s Double burger would cost an extra $3 during dinner time or medium fries would cost an extra buck during the lunch rush.

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Pop Culture

What is in its 'golden age' but not enough people know about it?

There's so much good out there if you know where to look.

Canva

From astronomy to knitting, some fields of human endeavor are having a heyday.

When you peruse the news headlines or dive into discussions on current events on social media, it's pretty easy to feel despondent. Doom and gloom sells, unfortunately, and our natural negativity bias that's meant to protect us can be overworked by a 24/7 bombardment of humanity's challenges.

There is an anecdote to all of that, though: Curating and cultivating the good. Sometimes it's just knowing where to look to find examples of problems being solved, discoveries being made, innovation taking huge leaps and other evidence that humans are moving our collective life forward in incredible ways.

Someone on Reddit asked, "What is currently in its 'Golden age,' but not enough people know about it?" and thousands of people responded. Reading through the answers is an enlightening and uplifting glimpse of things we might not personally be involved with but are happy to see having a heyday. Like, who wouldn't like to know that we're in a golden age of astronomy and paleontology. Space and dinosaurs? It's like realizing our 5-year-old selves' ideal future.

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