Original image

11 Songs Old Enough to Buy Booze

Original image

From "I'm Too Sexy" to "Smells Like Teen Spirit," here are 11 songs that are currently 21 years old and ready to party. Please card them—they're proud to be of age.

1. "I'm Too Sexy," Right Said Fred

Released on July 15, 1991, "I'm Too Sexy" is almost too sexy for this list—it's just days away from turning 22!

2. "Baby Got Back," Sir Mix-a-Lot

On May 7, 1992, the world changed. Sir Mix-a-Lot unleashed "Baby Got Back" and the music world was briefly shocked, then grudgingly admitted the song's awesomeness. The song quickly reached #1 on the Billboard US Hot 100 chart on the strength of its "LA face with an Oakland booty."

3. "November Rain," Guns N' Roses

Don't you hate it when you spend $1 million on your wedding/music video, and the bride character dies at the end? Well, spoiler alert, we've been grieving since June 2, 1992.

4. "Under the Bridge," Red Hot Chili Peppers

Originally written as a poem, Anthony Kiedis didn't think "Under the Bridge" could be a RHCP song until producer Rick Rubin urged him to give it a go. Good thing he did, as the song became an instant hit and remains one of the most-heard songs of the era. It was released as a single on March 10, 1992.

5. "Life Is a Highway," Tom Cochrane

If you're Tom Cochrane, you're best known for your highway-themed song. And that song is now 21 and 10 months old, having debuted in September 1991. But it's cool, because it was a huge hit back then, and a huge hit again when Rascal Flatts did a cover in 2007 for the Cars soundtrack. So Tom's gonna keep riding this song's success indefinitely (or all night long, whichever is metaphorically longer).

6. "Friday I'm in Love," The Cure

Released on May 11, 1992, "Friday I'm in Love" was the second single on The Cure's Grammy-nominated album Wish, the followup to everybody's favorite The Cure album, Disintegration. (At least it was our favorite in the 80s. It was a different time.) Anyhoo, this tune seemed impossibly poppy at the time, but the video more than made up for it. Just wonderful.

7. "To Be with You," Mr. Big

There's not much to say about this song, released in November 1991. I guess I'll quote, in its entirety, Wikipedia's summary of the song: "'To Be With You' is about a man who has his eye on a woman who has recently experienced a broken heart from a previous relationship." I particularly enjoy the diversity of men's hairstyles shown in this video.

8. "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss," P.M. Dawn

Released in August 1991, "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" and its music video are amazing records of their time. If you weren't around in the early 90s, you can learn most of what you need just by watching this: we wore a lot of awkward sunglasses, music videos had live scribbling animation on them, and we were sampling songs released just the decade prior. And we liked it.

9. "Head On," Pixies

Although this song was first released several years earlier by The Jesus and Mary Chain, my favorite version is the Pixies cover released in late 1991. Because the band refused to make fake-o music videos, they settled on this bizarro multi-camera setup and played the single live. Just weeks ago, the reunited Pixies announced that bassist Kim Deal had left the band, but she's doing fine—touring the country with her own reunited band The Breeders, and playing their 1993 classic album Last Splash.

10. "2 Legit 2 Quit," MC Hammer

"Get buck, get buck! Get buck, get buck, get buck!" That's how we liked our backup vocals in November 1991. We also liked our music videos pushed well past 10 minutes with crazy filler. In this classic extended video, MC Hammer meets James Brown (who calls Hammer his "Godson"). Brown encourages Hammer to get Michael Jackson's magic glove, and blasts him with...the power of funk? Anyway, this is amazing.

11. "One," U2

One in a string of hits from U2's album Achtung Baby, "One" is now considered among U2's best songs -- Rolling Stone listed it as #36 on the 500 "Great Songs of All Time." It may also be responsible for keeping the band from breaking up, and remains a firm pillar of their live show. "One" was released on March 6, 1992, making it old enough to buy booze in the U.S. -- but good luck smoking cloves in a bar in the States these days, buddy.

BONUS: Every Song on Nevermind, Nirvana

Oh, you thought I'd end this list without acknowledging "Smells Like Teen Spirit," or "Come as You Are," or "In Bloom," or even "Lithium"? You'd have to be drunk not to include the hits from Nevermind, released in September 1991, on this list! Here's a little Nirvana to round out your day...and make you feel super, extra, bonus old.

Original image
iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
Man Buys Two Metric Tons of LEGO Bricks; Sorts Them Via Machine Learning
Original image
iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva

Jacques Mattheij made a small, but awesome, mistake. He went on eBay one evening and bid on a bunch of bulk LEGO brick auctions, then went to sleep. Upon waking, he discovered that he was the high bidder on many, and was now the proud owner of two tons of LEGO bricks. (This is about 4400 pounds.) He wrote, "[L]esson 1: if you win almost all bids you are bidding too high."

Mattheij had noticed that bulk, unsorted bricks sell for something like €10/kilogram, whereas sets are roughly €40/kg and rare parts go for up to €100/kg. Much of the value of the bricks is in their sorting. If he could reduce the entropy of these bins of unsorted bricks, he could make a tidy profit. While many people do this work by hand, the problem is enormous—just the kind of challenge for a computer. Mattheij writes:

There are 38000+ shapes and there are 100+ possible shades of color (you can roughly tell how old someone is by asking them what lego colors they remember from their youth).

In the following months, Mattheij built a proof-of-concept sorting system using, of course, LEGO. He broke the problem down into a series of sub-problems (including "feeding LEGO reliably from a hopper is surprisingly hard," one of those facts of nature that will stymie even the best system design). After tinkering with the prototype at length, he expanded the system to a surprisingly complex system of conveyer belts (powered by a home treadmill), various pieces of cabinetry, and "copious quantities of crazy glue."

Here's a video showing the current system running at low speed:

The key part of the system was running the bricks past a camera paired with a computer running a neural net-based image classifier. That allows the computer (when sufficiently trained on brick images) to recognize bricks and thus categorize them by color, shape, or other parameters. Remember that as bricks pass by, they can be in any orientation, can be dirty, can even be stuck to other pieces. So having a flexible software system is key to recognizing—in a fraction of a second—what a given brick is, in order to sort it out. When a match is found, a jet of compressed air pops the piece off the conveyer belt and into a waiting bin.

After much experimentation, Mattheij rewrote the software (several times in fact) to accomplish a variety of basic tasks. At its core, the system takes images from a webcam and feeds them to a neural network to do the classification. Of course, the neural net needs to be "trained" by showing it lots of images, and telling it what those images represent. Mattheij's breakthrough was allowing the machine to effectively train itself, with guidance: Running pieces through allows the system to take its own photos, make a guess, and build on that guess. As long as Mattheij corrects the incorrect guesses, he ends up with a decent (and self-reinforcing) corpus of training data. As the machine continues running, it can rack up more training, allowing it to recognize a broad variety of pieces on the fly.

Here's another video, focusing on how the pieces move on conveyer belts (running at slow speed so puny humans can follow). You can also see the air jets in action:

In an email interview, Mattheij told Mental Floss that the system currently sorts LEGO bricks into more than 50 categories. It can also be run in a color-sorting mode to bin the parts across 12 color groups. (Thus at present you'd likely do a two-pass sort on the bricks: once for shape, then a separate pass for color.) He continues to refine the system, with a focus on making its recognition abilities faster. At some point down the line, he plans to make the software portion open source. You're on your own as far as building conveyer belts, bins, and so forth.

Check out Mattheij's writeup in two parts for more information. It starts with an overview of the story, followed up with a deep dive on the software. He's also tweeting about the project (among other things). And if you look around a bit, you'll find bulk LEGO brick auctions online—it's definitely a thing!

Original image
Here's How to Change Your Name on Facebook
Original image

Whether you want to change your legal name, adopt a new nickname, or simply reinvent your online persona, it's helpful to know the process of resetting your name on Facebook. The social media site isn't a fan of fake accounts, and as a result changing your name is a little more complicated than updating your profile picture or relationship status. Luckily, Daily Dot laid out the steps.

Start by going to the blue bar at the top of the page in desktop view and clicking the down arrow to the far right. From here, go to Settings. This should take you to the General Account Settings page. Find your name as it appears on your profile and click the Edit link to the right of it. Now, you can input your preferred first and last name, and if you’d like, your middle name.

The steps are similar in Facebook mobile. To find Settings, tap the More option in the bottom right corner. Go to Account Settings, then General, then hit your name to change it.

Whatever you type should adhere to Facebook's guidelines, which prohibit symbols, numbers, unusual capitalization, and honorifics like Mr., Ms., and Dr. Before landing on a name, make sure you’re ready to commit to it: Facebook won’t let you update it again for 60 days. If you aren’t happy with these restrictions, adding a secondary name or a name pronunciation might better suit your needs. You can do this by going to the Details About You heading under the About page of your profile.

[h/t Daily Dot]