It is a question I am often asked and can seldom answer.
People say: "What's up with your face?" You can try a response along the lines of: "Actually I am feeling happy-go-lucky. To quote that big drug-dealer fella from The Scheme I am happy as Larry. Could not be happier."
Or say: "Inside I feel like a little ray of sunshine but this is obviously not evident in the state of my visage. It may be to do with the fact I am Scottish."
Now, it seems, there is computer technology to remedy what's up with your face. Scientists at the University of Pisa have developed a robot called Face which can display human emotions, ranging from happiness to sadness and fear. We have come a long way from Marvin the dolorous and depressed robot in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. (No relation to Marvin from the Ayrshire housing estate.)
The scientists have installed 32 motors which enable the robot to simulate lifelike expressions. One day all of our heads will be full of wee motors which will allow us to give a definitive answer when asked what is wrong with the state of the coupon. Just say: "Hang on while I adjust the settings on my Face app. How do you want me? Moderately cheerful or absolutely effen ecstatic?"
With these 32 motors and sophisticated software called Hybrid Engine for Facial Expressions Synthesis, the robot is capable of subtle demeanours. These include a smile tinged with sadness and a laugh mixed with unease.
When I put my face on in the morning, the default setting will be blasé with a hint of false sincerity. Not to mention a full range of dirty looks.
Which leaves just enough room to mention other smart Italian technology: underwear that burns fat and reduces cellulite. It's made from Emana, an intelligent yarn with inbuilt bioactive crystals. The material absorbs body heat and fires back infrared rays which blitz fat and leave skin younger, more toned and supple.
I will certainly give it a go. But until the range is extended to include manly boxer shorts and vests, I will have to keep a note in my pocket to explain, in the event of being run over by a bus, why I am wearing a bra and pants.
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