Coffee’s great when it’s hot or when it’s iced, but when it’s in that middle ground — the uncanny valley — between the two, it’s downright terrible.
The uncanny valley is a computer graphics term for that zone where replicas of humans, such as computer-animated characters or robots lie look and act almost, but not quite like real human beings. The valley is that zone between a cartoon-like approximation of human appearance and behaviour on one end and perfect human appearance and behaviour on the other. In the uncanny valley, the imitation is just “off” enough to look wrong or creepy. Examples of the uncanny valley include the robotic women in The Stepford Wives, whose behaviour was a little too much like a social conservative’s fantasies, and the way the human characters were rendered in the computer-animated film The Polar Express.