i ran cat /var/log/syslog | less ... and this gave me a lot of data, and it stopped at a point where i noticed these two lines:
unity-window-de: segfault at ffffffff ip 009d7507 sp bf9e3e30 error 4 in libglib-2.0.so.0.2800.6[978000+d5000]
compiz: segfault at f ip 00b8333d sp bfeb24f4 error 4 in libpthread-2.13.so[b7b000+15000]
so i went into synaptic package manager and looked up libglib and reinstalled it. and as libpthread was not installed at all, i looked up compiz and found that one of the installed packages related to it controls the window frames so i reinstalled that package.
for now things seem to be working ... but i'll have to verify a little more before i know this is a fix.
update: after checking, i was able to upload via imagekind.com ... but flickr.com once again caused weird behavior in the browser and image select dialog box, and has caused the window frames (compiz) to fail. hopefully reinstalling the entire compiz package set will fix it.