Smile! (It's Mandatory)

Unlike at the Virginia DMV, where smiling is forbidden, employees at the Keihin Electric Express Railway in Japan are required to get their smiles computer-checked before clocking in for work:

The device analyzes the facial characteristics of a person, including eye movements, lip curves and wrinkles, and rates a smile on a scale between 0 and 100 percent using a camera and computer.

For those with low scores, advice like "You still look too serious," or "Lift up your mouth corners," will be displayed on the screen.

Some 530 employees of the Tokyo-based railway company will check their smiles with Smile Scan before starting work each day. They will print out and carry around an image of their best smile in an attempt to remember it.

Be happy! You have no other choice.


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There is an interesting benefit to this for all you gloomy 1984ers. Psychology research has shown two things. One is that you can influence your own mood through utilizing your motor cortex. You can try it now. Smile! Hold for a minute. At first it will feel fake, but after a short time, you will find yourself smiling for real. Furthermore, research has also shown that training your brain to identify and pay attention to smiling people more will also boost your mood over time.
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