Internet History

Selfies in the 2000’s: Remembering Daily Mugshot 2009-2012

video via Daily Mugshot YouTube, video made by Mary Miracle using Daily Mugshot

Do you remember It did what apps on our phones can do now. You would use your webcam to take one still photo a day, or less frequently.

Forgotten pieces of the internet like this can show us how our lives have changed but stayed the same.

According to founder Keith Gould’s page, Daily Mugshot was created in 2009. Gould’s LinkedIn describes Daily Mugshot as “a free service which helps you chronicle daily images of yourself and share them as an animated sequence”. This website featured over 1000 mugshots per day and over 600 result pages. This was a lot in 2009.

According to the now-defunct Daily Mugshot About page, Keith Gould was inspired to create the site because “The Daily Mug shot began when I came across a dude who took a picture of himself every day and turned it into a video. He had taken pictures of himself every day for years, and the video was amazing. I thought: I want to do that too! Then I began thinking about what sort of system would make the entire process as easy as possible, and furthermore, what would be the most fun and easy way to show these videos to friends on the net.” 

In 2010, Gould told the Tampa Bay Times that “People are so much more attuned to adjusting how they look in front of a camera,” and that “Now they make precise decisions about every part of their face and angle of their head.” when referring to the use of Daily Mugshot.

In 2009, users could use Daily Mugshot or Daily Booth to perform this service. In addition to taking and posting a photo of yourself, you could add comments to your pictures or share them with others. Functionality was fairly limited. This CNET article makes light of this by comparing the two sites to Twitpic, “Twitpic they ain’t, but they are fun”.

As of 2017, Twitpic is another now-defunct site. Twitpic was used to upload photos that were then shared on Twitter because at that time it was not possible to upload photos directly to Twitter. Twitter took over the domain and archive in 2014. shut down in 2012.

While the URL for Daily Mugshot still exists, it is now bizarrely closer to an actual mugshot website. It says that it can be used to locate mugshots, perform inmate searches, and locate court records. This seems to be for a very limited number of areas and does not seem to be very functional. I recommend sticking with government websites for those types of searches.

The above video is a collection of my webcam selfies taken and then uploaded to Daily Mugshot from July 1, 2009, to January 6, 2012. Yes, between working on this website and ChaCha, I was online a lot during that time.

What are my personal thoughts on my selfies from then? That’s a lot of hats and hairdos. So, it was pretty accurate.

Reminiscing on these sites is nostalgic, but not sad as we now have cameras on smartphones in our pockets and numerous social media apps to share them with each other. However, there was something about the simplicity of sharing a photo just because, not to make a social media website money off our “content”.

How often do you take photos of your everyday life in 2022? Is it daily? What is the purpose? How often do you get them developed into physical photos?

Film/TV Sociology

Sidney Poitier as a Charismatic Leader

Sadly, actor Sidney Poitier passed away yesterday at 94 years of age. In memory of him, I am publishing an academic essay I wrote for a sociology class in October 2019 that discusses him. I have edited the tenses to reflect his passing. 

Compare and Contrast – Two Leaders in Diplomacy

This essay compares Shirley Temple Black and Sidney Poitier as charismatic leaders in diplomacy. I will showcase this using the characteristics of Idealized Influence, Inspirational Motivation, Intellectual Stimulation, and Individualized Consideration. These two public figures are most alike in terms of Idealized Influence and Inspirational Motivation. Conversely, they differ in terms of Intellectual Stimulation and Individualized Consideration. 

Shirley Temple Black was a successful child actress, and later a diplomat. She was the United States ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia and Chief of Protocol of the United States. Sidney Poitier is a successful actor and director. He also served as the non-resident Bahamian ambassador to Japan from 1997-2007 and the ambassador from the Bahamas to UNESCO from 2002 to 2007.

Shirley Temple Black, screencap by Mary Miracle

Shirley Temple Black used Idealized Influence quite well as a positive role model. She had been seen as a role model since she was a famous actress during her childhood. Her persona was considered extremely positive in Ghana. From what I’ve read, this was unusual. The public adored her. She was often photographed in their newspaper when she visited. However, she was shrewd when working as the face of a movement. She once had to tell a coworker not to interrupt her when he was trying to “amplify what she was saying” during interviews. She told him to never do so again and that “there was only one star on the stage” during her interviews. 

Sidney Poitier was also adept at Idealized Influence. He came off as humble in interviews. However, he constructed a heroic, intelligent, noble, sensitive brand as an actor. He created an idealized perfect man for others to aspire to. This is even more commendable, as this was on the cusp of the Civil Rights movement. He is considered the first black leading man in Hollywood. That’s a lot to carry, but he did so with grace.

Sidney Poitier in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, screencap by Mary Miracle

Shirley Temple Black did well with Inspirational Motivation. She was seen as hugely inspiring to her followers. It was said that she cultivated contacts well and that her calls were always taken. People couldn’t seem to turn her down. She was seen as inspirational by many world leaders. Then-President Bill Clinton pronounced that “She has to be the only person who both saved the entire movie studio from failure and also contributed to the fall of communism. From her childhood to the present day, Shirley has always been an ambassador for what’s best in America”

Sidney Poitier is also a master of Inspirational Motivation. Then-President Barack Obama once stated, “It has been said that Sidney Poitier does not make movies. He makes milestones — milestones of artistic excellence. Milestones of American progress.” In 1963, Poitier inspired many when he became the first African-American to win the Academy Award for best actor. In an interview with Poitier, Oprah once said “In my spirit I knew that because you had won the Oscar, I too could do something special—and I didn’t even know what it was. I thought, If he can be that, I wonder what I can be.” Poitier has stated that he knew about his influence as “so much was riding on me as one of the first blacks out there”.

Sidney Poitier and President Barack Obama, screencap by Mary Miracle

When it comes to Intellectual Stimulation, Shirley Temple Black challenged her followers to think outside of the box. She encouraged those who protested. She was always making use of her charisma. She used a protest in Czechoslovakia to get to know the movers and shakers of that area. 

Sidney Poitier used Intellectual Stimulation in an entirely different way. He challenged whites to see African Americans as equals within the context of his films. At the same time, he was true to his upbringing. Poitier did not harbor any internalized racism. He’s said, “I had in mind what was expected of me—not just what other blacks expected but what my mother and father expected. And what I expected of myself”. However, he did realize the breadth of racism once he was exposed to it. He’s stated, “You’re gonna have to be twice as good as the white folks in order to get half as much”. Some saw his craft as almost boring. This came up in a well known article that referred to his acting style as “an antiseptic, one-dimensional hero”. His characters struck some as too admirable, and therefore not human enough. Some called him an “Uncle Tom”. At that same time, Poitier was an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement. He even stood alongside protestors for Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s 1963 March on Washington. Sidney Poitier’s career started by breaking race barriers in film, but he has acknowledged that “I am not all about race…I’ve had to find balance”.

Shirley Temple in The Little Princess, screencap by Mary Miracle

When it comes to Individualized Consideration, Shirley Temple Black was a master. When visiting foreign countries as a U.S. ambassador, she showed respect for the locals’ feelings by speaking their language. It has been reported that she always “made a point of saying welcome and thank you in local languages”. No matter the person’s social standing, she did not turn down photos when asked. She always seemed delighted to take photos with people anywhere, including the airport. Shirley Temple Black was not just the face of what she believed in. She also put in the work. It was not unusual for her to work 10 hour days and take the time to personally talk to people in the streets when campaigning for change. 

Sidney Poitier used Individualized Consideration differently. He has made a point to always sign autographs when asked as he does not want fans to experience the rejection that he once felt in their place. However, most of his followers’ needs have been addressed on a larger scale. In his roles, he exuded black pride. He turned down roles that contrasted with his values even when he needed the money.  He also believed that “we are a part of a single human family — regardless of race, religion or social status”. He has espoused the following, “While you are here, try to do the best you can with your life and be faithful to your values and principles. Be kind and respectful of others”.

Sidney Poitier in To Sir With Love, screencap by Mary Miracle

In conclusion, I found that Shirley Temple Black and Sidney Poitier, as charismatic leaders in diplomacy, are most similar with regard to Idealized Influence and Inspirational Motivation. They differ greatly in terms of Intellectual Stimulation and Individualized Consideration. I believe that their differences can be attributed to their upbringing. Shirley Temple was born into a middle-class family in Santa Monica, California. Her mother promptly paid for her to attend a dance school. Though she was always a hard worker, she did not struggle for success. 

Conversely Sidney Poitier struggled for the first chunk of his life. He was born a preemie that his father assumed would die. He was born into extreme poverty on Cat Island in the Bahamas. His father was a dirt farmer. He did not receive much education or social interaction. At age 15, he left to find a better life. Finding segregation in Florida, he then moved to New York. He worked as a janitor in exchange for acting lessons. Their similarities may stem from them both being actors who are adept at public speaking. 

Overall, I believe that Shirley Temple Black best highlights the model I chose for the characteristics of a charismatic leader.  I believe that Poitier has made more of an impact in the United States. He made huge strides for the Civil Rights Movement. However, primarily in terms of a diplomatic charismatic leader, Shirley Temple Black had more opportunities to exercise these characteristics. Poitier’s work in diplomacy was brief and yielded very little during my research.


This piece was written over two years before Poitier’s passing. It was not written precisely to celebrate him, but rather to fit into an assignment for my university. We were given free rein on each piece to choose our leaders. I did choose and keep Poitier despite not being able to find as much on him politically as the other actor because I think he is very important overall in terms of change and rights in our country. I chose to neither use in-text citations or hyperlinks for my references as it flows better this way, but they are below.


A Tribute to Sidney Poitier – Hollywood Game Changer. (n.d.). Retrieved from

An exclusive interview: Sidney Poitier. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Jacobs, L. (2018, April 24). Sidney Poitier, 1967, and One of the Most Remarkable Runs in Hollywood History. Retrieved from

Jones, C. (2019, February 13). Grammys torture: How stars can learn from Sidney Poitier at the Oscars in these dire days of the acceptance speech. Retrieved from

Kennedy, L. (2016, May 6). From quiet life in Bahamas, a star was born. Retrieved from

Leadership Qualities of Shirley Temple: Remembering Shirley. (2014, February 12). Retrieved from

Miller, M. (2017, February 20). Sidney Poitier Turns 90: Inside the Actor, Activist and Diplomat’s Incredible Life. Retrieved from

Op-ed: The Littlest Rebel Shirley Temple Cheered a Nation and Modeled Independence for Girls. (2014, February 12). Retrieved from

Ryan, M. (1990, January 8). As Ambassador to Prague, Shirley Temple Black Watches a Rebirth of Freedom. Retrieved from

Shirley Temple Black: From the Good Ship Lollipop to the Ship of State. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Sidney Poitier. (2018, June 12). Retrieved from

Smith, N. M. (2011, May 3). A Gracious Sidney Poitier Honored by Friends, Peers and Devotees at 38th Chaplin Award Gala. Retrieved from

Winfrey, O. (2000, October). Oprah Talks to Sidney Poitier. Retrieved from

Griggs, B. (2022, January 7). Sidney Poitier, Oscar-winning actor and Hollywood’s first Black Movie Star, dies at 94. CNN. Retrieved January 7, 2022, from

Film/TV Movie Reviews

Is A Christmas Story the Best Christmas Movie?

Let’s talk about why A Christmas Story should be crowned the greatest Christmas movie. Holidays are ostensibly about family and the memories we make when we are with our family. The plot of A Christmas Story is not a big, showy production. It is simply about young Ralphie’s Christmas with his family and his hopes for the perfect Christmas present. Remember your childhood? Remember when you thought about what you would get for Christmas for at least a month? This is the highly effective hook of A Christmas Story. The story is told through the unique story device of an adult Ralphie providing the voiceover in retrospect.

As a child, my father sat the family down to watch A Christmas Story. I was initially uninterested. In the years holidays that ensued and the highly effective 24-hour cable marathons, pre-cutting the cord, watching A Christmas Story at least biannually became one of my family’s traditions.

This film is intentionally dated and intentionally cheesy. It is a way to connect to the child you were. When I watch this film with my father, it takes him back to his childhood. This is not because his childhood was exactly the same as in the the film. As an adult, I too experience nostalgia for this film.

Peter Billingsley in A Christmas Story, screencap by Mary Miracle

This movie touches on many childhood struggles that a lot of us went through: the perfect Christmas toy, wearing giant snowsuits against our will, performing like a monkey at your parents’ request, meeting Santa, childhood fights, and dares. Most importantly, A Christmas Story is so effective at putting us in Ralphie’s shoes that we get to experience our childhood again, even if it was superficially different. It is family friendly-fare that is perfect to put on when everyone is gathered together this holiday season.

C’mon, let’s choose A Christmas Story as the greatest Christmas movie! Please join me in checking out the rest of the contenders over on the LAMB

A Christmas Story Leg Lamp, screencap by Mary Miracle

Art Conventions

Philly Wizard World 2015: Entering the Marvel Talent Contest

Marvel Standard Talent Incentive Enrollment Form
by Sam Hice

I’m not going to lie, I procrastinate. Not on a very frequent level, mind you, but just enough to make me not type as many of these as I want to. I have a thousand and one different subjects in my head, and not nearly enough time to cover them all. So, I think I’m going to just start by covering one that my lovely Emma has wanted me to do, the Philadelphia Wizard World Comic Con art contest. As many of you who frequent the site probably know, the two of us stopped over in Philadelphia for a couple of days to enjoy the magic that is the Wizard World Comic Con. There were so many amazing things there, the food, the community, the artwork. I can go on forever.

But, speaking of artwork, yours truly is a bit of an amateur artist. I mainly work on pencil sketches, but I love to draw. I’ve loved drawing since I was in kindergarten. Crayons and markers are always fun, but I will always enjoy the precision of pencils and the permanency of pens. Moving on, the two of us scavenged through some of my artwork and put together a small portfolio for me to enter into the contest along with a Marvel Standard Talent Incentive Enrollment Form. Believe it or not, not a lot of people really entered this little showing. I didn’t win, because I can only imagine the pure skills everyone else had in front of me. But, to be honest, I didn’t mind.

by Sam Hice

I was told that I was in the top ten candidates, but that only a couple of people would have a personal interview with the talent agent who was looking through all of our paperwork. Now, on my end, I don’t really know exactly how many people signed up altogether. I was told that day it was between 50 and 60. So, ending up in the top ten kinda felt pretty good, considering. What that did for me was fuel my passion even more for drawing, sketching, and just plain doodling. Now I’m going to shamelessly add the artwork to this blog.

I’ve included some of the ones I submitted (above), along with some more recent drawings, and others I thought about putting in (below). If you think I should have added these pictures, taken some out, or quit art altogether, and gotten a normal job like flipping burgers for minimum wage, I am open to criticism.

by Sam Hice

In the meantime, I’m going to read an incredible art book from my local book store called DragonArt Collector’s Edition. This book is filled with incredible how-tos for sketching out and creating these incredible works of beauty. This book is worth every penny you spend, believe me. I recommend buying it. 

In the meantime, I’m going to go grab 3 cans of Red Bull and a nice piece of paper, and then crumble it up after 2 hours of work. Then, grab another piece of paper and break down into tears. Until, I grab a third piece of paper, and go fuck it, good enough. Because that’s how I roll.

You can check out more of Sam Hice’s work on Readymag.

Thanks to Wizard World for providing Sam Hice and me with a complimentary weekend press pass to the 2015 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con.

by Sam Hice
by Sam Hice

Conventions Film/TV

Meeting Matthew Mercer

Matthew Miller, also known as Mathew Motherfucking Mercer, is a voice acting icon and legend, lending his voice to many television shows and video games, Oh god, so many video games. He’s worthy of gushing over as one of my favorite voice actors, right up there with Tara Strong, the sexy vixen of a thousand voices.

Now, I’m a rather big fan of animated television shows. One is a show called Attack on Titan, a post-apocalyptic anime about the life of an emotionally unstable teenager, bent on vengeance against an army of naked, man-eating giants. Sound fun? Well, it should be, especially when introducing the most bad-ass, titan-killing motherfucker this side of the wall.

Now, this time around, I’m not going to talk about every show he’s been in. I’ll save you the list, believe me. Instead, I’m going to tell you about my personal experience with meeting this man. 

My lovely partner Mary and I were in Philadelphia, enjoying the delights of Wizard World Comic Con. It was day two and dear god, I was tired as hell. I had just been walking around in a jester costume, posing for pictures, and running from panel to panel to see all of the famous actors, answering scripted questions asked by the panel’s moderator. The only reason why I’m so perturbed is mainly that I didn’t get to ask my obviously important question involving a drinking game for Arrow. 

Anywho, I was a little more than tired. We were in a line to meet Cary Elwes for a picture. Now, I kinda knew who he was at the time and she was super excited to meet him. I was half in and out before she had mentioned there was going to be a meet and greet for a man who plays on Attack on Titan. So, we parted ways, and I started my little adventure of maneuvering through all of the Doctor Who posters and tattoo artists.

He was in a room in the building, but it was so far from the actual convention that there was no music playing. Only a few people knew he was there, so the conversations were a lot more personal. After a small chat with everyone, a fitness/combat training instructor walked into the room, and it turned from a meet and greet into a self-defense class. 

It was fucking incredible, but I was sore from the day, so I only made it about halfway through the class. I decided to call it quits and stepped out. Matt was just right outside of the room texting on his phone. I thought it was probably the closest thing to an interview I was going to get, except it wasn’t an interview. Plus, I had absolutely no questions whatsoever, as I was distracted by the fact that I was talking to Levi from Attack on Titan. We stood there for a good part of 10-15 minutes just bullshitting. The guy is seriously down to earth. Most voice actors are. They are a severely underrated class of actors, but what are you gonna do, right?

Sam Hice with Matthew Mercer, via Sam Hice

In the end, I got a good couple of pictures with him, none of which had my face. I gotta say, I kinda regret not getting one. However, before the picture was taken, he made the suggestion that I wear the mask because it was both creepy and awesome. I obliged. When an actor tells you to do something, you do it. Especially, when it is followed after a compliment.

After I went back to the main part of the convention, I told my story to Mary, like an excited 10-year-old who just saw his favorite cartoon character live!!! Except, I was a 23-year-old man, who saw his favorite cartoon character live. So, all in all, it was a pretty good day.

Thanks to Wizard World for providing Mary and me with a complimentary weekend press pass to the 2015 Wizard World Philadelphia Comic Con.