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Mesmerizing: Keepon Dancing Robot

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Engadget turned up a fun story today about a little yellow robot who just can't stop dancing. The robot is named Keepon (pronounced "Key-pong" though I prefer to think of him as "Keepon Dancing") and is developed by Hideki Kozima (with dance-programming by Marek Michalowski). Looking a bit like two tennis balls plus eyes and a nose, Keepon is capable of dancing along to music. Because his two eyes are actually cameras (and his nose is a microphone), Keepon is able to interact with his environment, responding to stimuli. Here's Keepon in a new music video for Spoon's song "Don't You Evah":

For interested readers, there's more about Keepon at Wikipedia, more about the Infanoid Project (including other interesting, though not so cute, robots), a New Scientist article on Keepon, and a video of Keepon rocking out to a different Spoon song. Keepon will be appearing in LA this September in a benefit concert with Spoon. Any LA area readers interested in stealing Keepon and delivering him to my apartment/dance laboratory -- where he can be subjected to intensive dance research and repeated viewings of My Neighbor Totoro -- will have my eternal gratitude.

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Opening Ceremony
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These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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Opening Ceremony

To this:

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Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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This First-Grade Math Problem Is Stumping the Internet
May 17, 2017
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If you’ve ever fantasized about how much easier life would be if you could go back to elementary school, this math problem may give you second thoughts. The question first appeared on a web forum, Mashable reports, and after recently resurfacing, it’s been perplexing adults across social media.

According to the original poster AlmondShell, the bonus question was given to primary one, or first grade students, in Singapore. It instructs readers to “study the number pattern” and “fill in the missing numbers.” The puzzle, which comprises five numbers and four empty circles waiting to be filled in, comes with no further explanation.

Some forum members commented with their best guesses, while others expressed disbelief that this was a question on a kid’s exam. Commenter karrotguy illustrates one possible answer: Instead of looking for complex math equations, they saw that the figure in the middle circle (three) equals the amount of double-digit numbers in the surrounding quadrants (18, 10, 12). They filled out the puzzle accordingly.

A similar problem can be found on the blog of math enthusiast G.R. Burgin. His solution, which uses simple algebra, gets a little more complicated.

The math tests given to 6- and 7-year-olds in other parts of the world aren’t much easier. If your brain isn’t too worn out after the last one, check out this maddening problem involving trains assigned to students in the UK.

[h/t Mashable]

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