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Yes, Virginia, we're writing about this in September

The most frequently reprinted editorial column in American history -- the famous "Yes, Virginia" paean to childhood wonder and belief in Santa Claus -- was published 109 years ago today in the New York Sun. Yep, today, a full three months before Santa's scheduled arrival. It seems this wasn't just a ridiculous error on the Sun's part -- according to this mind-bogglingly extensive academic paper,

Virginia O'Hanlon said years after publication that she, as a child, began wondering at her birthday in July what gifts she would receive at Christmas. Her excited speculation prompted her to write to the Sun in the summer of 1897. ... Her letter has been ignored or overlooked at the Sun for weeks. O'Hanlon said on a number of occasions that she had waited at length for the newspaper to address her inquiry. [Author Francis Pharcellus] Church, however, was said to have written the reply "hastily, in the course of the day's work."

You can see the full, originally published clip after the jump, courtesy of the Newseum.

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New AI-Driven Music System Analyzes Tracks for Perfect Playlists
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Whether you're planning a bachelorette party or recovering from a breakup, a well-curated playlist makes all the difference. If you don't have time to pick the perfect songs manually, services that use the AI-driven system Sonic Style may be able to figure out exactly what you have in mind based on your request.

According to Fast Company, Sonic Style is the new music-categorizing service from the media and entertainment data provider Gracenote. There are plenty of music algorithms out there already, but Sonic Style works a little differently. Rather than listing the entire discography of a certain artist under a single genre, the AI analyzes individual tracks. It considers factors like the artist's typical genre and the era the song was recorded in, as well as qualities it can only learn through listening, like tempo and mood. Based on nearly 450 descriptors, it creates a super-accurate "style profile" of the track that makes it easier for listeners to find it when searching for the perfect song to fit an occasion.

Playlists that use data from Sonic Style feel like they were made by a person with a deep knowledge of music rather than a machine. That's thanks to the system's advanced neural network. It also recognizes artists that don't fit neatly into one genre, or that have evolved into a completely different music style over their careers. Any service—including music-streaming platforms and voice-activated assistants—that uses Gracenote's data will be able to take advantage of the new technology.

With AI at your disposal, all you have to do as the listener is decide on a style of music. Here are some ideas to get you started if you want a playlist for productivity.

[h/t Fast Company]

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