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Bush's Summer Reading List (it's heavy?!)

I don't know if you've seen, but there's been a lot of hullabaloo over this ad (left) from Canadian company Simply Audio Books, which had plastered Bush's image on billboards across Toronto, and is now taking them down in the name of diplomacy. And while we're not in the business of politics and political commentary (we'll leave that to the smarter blogs), it is interesting that Simply Audio Books hasn't been doing their reading. According to The New Yorker, W. spent his free time this summer plowing through 3 heavy reads: Camus' "The Stranger"; Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin's book about Robert Oppenheimer and the invention of the atomic bomb; and a new biography on Abraham Lincoln. Who knew? I'm not sure if he has to turn in a book report to Tony Snow at the end of it all, and I'm certain it's a good PR move publicizing the fact that the American president is sifting through these tomes, but I think the selection of books itself is pretty fascinating—a heavy philosophy book on the origins of human violence; a book revealing the personal struggles of a man devastated because he tarnished the name of science in creating the world's most terrifying weapon; and a biography about a president who agonized over a civil war and its consequences. I really hope that someone can land an interview with the President after the fact, and find out how the readings affected him.

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Food
Hate Red M&M's? You Need a Candy Color-Sorting Machine
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iStock

You don’t have to be a demanding rock star to live a life without brown M&M's or purple Skittles—all you need is some engineering know-how and a little bit of free time.

Mechanical engineering student Willem Pennings created a machine that can take small pieces of candy—like M&M's, Skittles, Reese’s Pieces, etc.—and sort them by color into individual piles. All Pennings needs to do is pour the candy into the top funnel; from there, the machine separates the candy—around two pieces per second—and dispenses all of it into smaller bowls at the bottom designated for each variety.

The color identification is performed with an RGB sensor that takes “optical measurements” of candy pieces of equal dimensions. There are limitations, though, as Pennings revealed in a Reddit Q&A: “I wouldn't be able to use this machine for peanut M&M's, since the sizes vary so much.”

The entire building process lasted from May through December 2016, and included the actual conceptualization, 3D printing (which was outsourced), and construction. The entire project was detailed on Pennings’s website and Reddit's DIY page.

With all of the motors, circuitry, and hardware that went into it, Pennings’s machine is likely too ambitious of a task for the average candy aficionado. So until a machine like this hits the open market, you're probably stuck buying bags of single-colored M&M’s in bulk online or sorting all of the candy out yourself the old fashioned way.

To see Pennings’s machine in action, check out the video below:

[h/t Refinery 29]

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