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Ships, cats, et al. in bottles

So the only other thing I'd like to add to Miss Cellania's Weird Week-in-Review is actually from a few weeks back, but still pertinent--the New Jersey kitten who was found with its head stuck inside a bottle. Which was, with the pragmatic assistance of Crisco, safely removed. But the idea of something--almost anything--inside a bottle is practically always riveting. SD Jones runs a great folk art site that boasts an impressive index of artwork in bottles, including miniature meat markets (pictured!), canons (pictured!) crucifixes, tools, and wishing wells. Ships may enjoy more popularity as objects inserted into bottles, but they were by no means the first.

The SIB (Ships in Bottles) predecessor was the "patience bottle," which usually depicted Christian tableaux, or mining and smelting scenes. Andreas Lier explains the advent of the first SIB, dated in the late 18th century:

Those ship models were mostly intended as presents for the sweetheart or the family. Sometimes they have also been used to settle debts. As many sailors had been Christians one or the other may have seen "patience bottles" before. One of the sailers had possibly then decided to give an especially valuable present to his sweetheart and built the first SIB.

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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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