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Don't call them freaks

Call them "body modification artists." Building on yesterday's theme, which all started with us thinking too much about the body-modified Mayans depicted in Apocalypto, we wanted to get down to brass tacks (no, that's not a body mod) and meet a few celebrities. Of the body modification world, that is.

The Enigma

For years a part of Jim Rose's traveling circus, he's a professional freak (his own words) and musician who has covered his body in blue puzzle-shaped tattoos, sports "horn implants" and performs all manner of sideshow stunts, from sword-swallowing to fire breathing.

Katzen the Tiger Lady

A bandmate (and until recently, wife) of the Enigma, she wears full-body tattoos as well as cat whiskers attached via transdermal implants on her face. "Katzen," she'll have you know, is German for "cats."

Stalking Cat

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As catlike as Katzen may be, she doesn't hold a candle to Stalking Cat, an American Indian whose devotion to body modification and catliness is unchallenged. Reportedly beginning his body modifications after a conversation with an Indian chief who counseled him to "follow the way of the tiger," Stalking's body boasts

  • extensive tattooing, including facial tattooing
  • hairline modification
  • facial transdermal implants to allow the wearing of whiskers
  • facial subdermal implants to change the shape of the brow and forehead
  • filing and capping of his teeth to have a more feline appearance
  • wearing green contact lenses with slit irises
  • having his ears surgically pointed
  • silicone injection in the lips, cheeks, chin and other parts of his face
  • and a bifurcated upper lip.

Lucky "Diamond" Rich

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Of course, no list of celebrated body modifiers would be complete without Lucky "Diamond" Rich, who claims the Guinness Book's dubious honor of being the world's most tattooed person, with ink covering his entire body, including the inside of his mouth and ears. And despite being a blue man, as far as we know he has never been associated with the Blue Man Group.

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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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