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The Weekend Links

"¢ If you are one of those savvy TV viewers who gives a knowing nod when, say, Britney Spears or Cher suddenly shows up on your favorite network show ("sweeps!" says I), some of these ridiculous celebrity cameos will probably look familiar.

"¢ The ultimate show of fandom—how about a person who makes the entire Godfather script into a piece of art? I tried to do the same thing with Drillbit Taylor, and have been banned for life from the LA art scene.

"¢ Sure, talk of third ears and buttocks injections are all fun and games when you're talking about jocks ... but what about geeks? Slate.com reports on the rampant use of "enhancement" drugs by a faction of the populous you may not expect.

"¢ Sometimes it's just best to walk away: a story on why, forty years ago, LBJ chose to bow out.

"¢ Reader Lance directs our attention to WiseGeek.com, host to a sundry of interesting queries. Sometimes they compile information, but the best is when they go searching for it, such as how to make the most of an all-you-can-eat buffet...

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...and which pro sports teams fail to own their own domain names.

"¢ A story on the strange power of slow-mo that offers up clips and history on the process that makes the mundane become so gloriously dramatic.

"¢ It was a big deal at Emory when they added a Visual Arts minor, but what if you could major in a person? Say ... Joe Pa? ESPN Page 2's dubious sources have uncovered a test from Penn State for those taking the Joe Paterno class.

"¢ After being saturated by news of the pregnant man, here's a fresh look at the matter: a blogger who takes on a labor of love—24 hours of male pregnancy.

"¢ This oldie but goodie, just because.

"¢ An in-depth look at some of the theories on how Deja Vu works. I experience it myself from time to time ... just a glitch in the Matrix, right?

"¢ Ah, now this is what I log on for. Radar counts down 10 personalities we love to hate on the internet. Would you rather be loved and forgotten, or hatefully remembered? Most of these people would probably choose the latter (but not Tony K, I love that guy). [via GorillaMask.net]

"¢ Yikes—some truly terrifying comic book covers from the 1950s. Would these be allowed today? Imagine the Congressional hearings ... (via blogs.usatoday.com/popcandy)

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"¢ More good stuff from WebUrbanist: 8 Remarkable Palace, Fort and Castle Hotels: Living it Up in (Ancient) Luxury Around the World. Can we convince this guy to guest blog for us?

"¢ Great list of pet peeves from McSweeney's. Some are funny, but you may find some to be very familiar and true (Thanks Stuart!)

"¢ If you haven't heard about the Chinese Democracy album and Dr Pepper's promise of one beverage for every American if it's ever released, educate yourself on the latest happenings. (Much thanks as always to Kevin).

"¢ As Jerry Seinfeld says, "There's no such thing as dry cleaning. There's no way of cleaning with dry. If I gave you a filthy shirt and said, 'I want this immaculate. And no liquids!' what are you going to do? Shake it? Tap it? Blow on it? Give me a break. You almost can't get something dirty with dry, let alone cleaning it." Here's a clip on the science of dry cleaning and how it can be environmentally friendly ... but yeah, using liquids.

OK guys, I go into the link trenches every week to suffer out the link mines (and make my friends do the same), so help a comrade out! Send in your links and internet oddities to FlossyLinks@gmail.com. Helping me, helping you.

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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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