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10 Horribly Misspelled Album Titles

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By Adam K. Raymond
Misspelling album titles is one of the grandest traditions in music. From The Zombies' Odessey and Oracle released in 1968 to Ghostface Killah's The Big Doe Rehab released in 2007, misspelling titles, intentionally or not, transcends time and genre. Here are 10 of our favorites and the stories behind them.

1. Rejoyce: The Christmas Album - Jessica Simpson (2004)

Before blaming Jessica Simpson's third-grade reading level for the misspelling of her Christmas album Rejoyce, realize that it's all an act. The spelling of Rejoyce is in fact intentional—an homage to Simpson's late grandmother Joyce Adams Simpson. Jess and Joyce were very close before her passing and the entire album was dedicated to the matriarch of the Simpson clan, who, though certainly a sweet woman, let forth a torrent of suck unlike anyone since Mrs. Olive Osmond.

2. White Limozeen - Dolly Parton (1989)

album9.pngBelieve it or not, the word limousine in White Limozeen is spelled that way because neither Dolly nor songwriter Mac Davis could spell the word correctly. To be fair though, neither could we. Thank you spell check!

3. Odessey and Oracle - The Zombies (1968)

album10.pngThe famously misspelled title of the classic Zombies album is the least intentional on the list. The band wanted to call the album "Odyssey and Oracle" but cover artist Terry Quirk thwarted that. Quirk accidently spelled the title wrong and the band, too nice to tell him about his mistake, decided to run with the misspelling. But like a good rock band should, they made up a story about the title, claiming that the misspelling was meant to be a play on ode, thus odessey.

4. Amerikkka's Most Wanted - Ice Cube (1990)

album2.pngOn Ice Cube's debut solo album, the rapper turned awful, awful actor makes a blunt social and political statement by replacing the "c" in America with three Ks. The 20-year-old Cube was angry when the album was released—angry at the police, angry at America, and angry at John Walsh. According to some, or maybe just Wikipedia, the album is also a critique of Fox's criminal-catching hour America's Most Wanted, which Cube opposed because he said it perpetuated stereotypes of blacks in its criminally bad reenactments.

5. Punk in Drublic - NOFX (1994)

album 7.pngPunk in Drublic isn't the only spoonerism in musical history (the Aerosmith's Night in the Ruts and Wheatus' Suck Fony stand out), but it might be the most famous. Released at the height of pop punk's ascension into the mainstream—both Offspring's Smash and Green Day's Dookie were released in 1994—Punk in Drublic was certified gold and is still NOFX's highest charting album. Not that they care about selling records or anything. The title continues the band's tradition of advocating the use of reality-altering substances, especially in drublic.

6. Youthanasia - Megadeth (2004)

album1.pngDave Mustaine and Megadeth, not generally known as international child advocates, used the title of their sixth album to make the point that kids worldwide are being exploited. But you knew that. What you might not have known: the album was banned in Singapore and Malaysia because of the "offensive" art work. Ever the rebel, Mustaine refused to cave in to demands to censor it, saying, "Keeping our records off the shelves does not make the problem of our children being hung out to dry disappear."

7. The Big Doe Rehab - Ghostface Killah (2007)

album5.pngIf The Big Doe Rehab had you thinking that Ghostface was making a transition from hardcore New York City rapper to proprietor of a deer rehabilitation facility, you're just a hair off. When Ghostface uses "doe" in his album title he means "dough," slang for money. In an interview with MTV.com Ghostface explained the meaning of the title: he had a dream in which he was in rehab with a bunch of rich people. When he awoke the title hit him.

8. Get up Offa That Thing - James Brown (1976)

album4.pngFor those who need a translation from James Brown's superbad version of English, "offa" means "off of." As in, "get up off of that thing." As in, get up off your ass and dance. As in get up off of your ass and dance while wearing a sequin cape.

9. piouhgd - Butthole Surfers (1991)

album6.pngLeave it to a record label to ruin the absurdist statement of artists. When Rough Trade released piouhgd in 1991, it included a false press release explaining that the title should be pronounced "pee-owed" and that it meant "I told you" in Navajo. Not true. Turns out the Butthole Surfers wanted the title to be unpronounceable, in the same way their music is supposed to be unlistenable. Kidding.

10. Sheik Yerbouti - Frank Zappa (1979)

album8.pngDo you see how Zappa made a play on KC and the Sunshine Band's "Shake Your Booty" by turning it into the name of a respected Arab gentlemen? Pretty good. Sheik Yerbouti is part of Zappa's self-proclaimed "dumb entertainment"—goofier commercial albums made to finance his artier endeavors. The album included Zappa's Grammy-nominated "Dancin' Fool" and the controversial song "Jewish Princess."

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iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
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Man Buys Two Metric Tons of LEGO Bricks; Sorts Them Via Machine Learning
May 21, 2017
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iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva

Jacques Mattheij made a small, but awesome, mistake. He went on eBay one evening and bid on a bunch of bulk LEGO brick auctions, then went to sleep. Upon waking, he discovered that he was the high bidder on many, and was now the proud owner of two tons of LEGO bricks. (This is about 4400 pounds.) He wrote, "[L]esson 1: if you win almost all bids you are bidding too high."

Mattheij had noticed that bulk, unsorted bricks sell for something like €10/kilogram, whereas sets are roughly €40/kg and rare parts go for up to €100/kg. Much of the value of the bricks is in their sorting. If he could reduce the entropy of these bins of unsorted bricks, he could make a tidy profit. While many people do this work by hand, the problem is enormous—just the kind of challenge for a computer. Mattheij writes:

There are 38000+ shapes and there are 100+ possible shades of color (you can roughly tell how old someone is by asking them what lego colors they remember from their youth).

In the following months, Mattheij built a proof-of-concept sorting system using, of course, LEGO. He broke the problem down into a series of sub-problems (including "feeding LEGO reliably from a hopper is surprisingly hard," one of those facts of nature that will stymie even the best system design). After tinkering with the prototype at length, he expanded the system to a surprisingly complex system of conveyer belts (powered by a home treadmill), various pieces of cabinetry, and "copious quantities of crazy glue."

Here's a video showing the current system running at low speed:

The key part of the system was running the bricks past a camera paired with a computer running a neural net-based image classifier. That allows the computer (when sufficiently trained on brick images) to recognize bricks and thus categorize them by color, shape, or other parameters. Remember that as bricks pass by, they can be in any orientation, can be dirty, can even be stuck to other pieces. So having a flexible software system is key to recognizing—in a fraction of a second—what a given brick is, in order to sort it out. When a match is found, a jet of compressed air pops the piece off the conveyer belt and into a waiting bin.

After much experimentation, Mattheij rewrote the software (several times in fact) to accomplish a variety of basic tasks. At its core, the system takes images from a webcam and feeds them to a neural network to do the classification. Of course, the neural net needs to be "trained" by showing it lots of images, and telling it what those images represent. Mattheij's breakthrough was allowing the machine to effectively train itself, with guidance: Running pieces through allows the system to take its own photos, make a guess, and build on that guess. As long as Mattheij corrects the incorrect guesses, he ends up with a decent (and self-reinforcing) corpus of training data. As the machine continues running, it can rack up more training, allowing it to recognize a broad variety of pieces on the fly.

Here's another video, focusing on how the pieces move on conveyer belts (running at slow speed so puny humans can follow). You can also see the air jets in action:

In an email interview, Mattheij told Mental Floss that the system currently sorts LEGO bricks into more than 50 categories. It can also be run in a color-sorting mode to bin the parts across 12 color groups. (Thus at present you'd likely do a two-pass sort on the bricks: once for shape, then a separate pass for color.) He continues to refine the system, with a focus on making its recognition abilities faster. At some point down the line, he plans to make the software portion open source. You're on your own as far as building conveyer belts, bins, and so forth.

Check out Mattheij's writeup in two parts for more information. It starts with an overview of the story, followed up with a deep dive on the software. He's also tweeting about the project (among other things). And if you look around a bit, you'll find bulk LEGO brick auctions online—it's definitely a thing!

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Nick Briggs/Comic Relief
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What Happened to Jamie and Aurelia From Love Actually?
May 26, 2017
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Nick Briggs/Comic Relief

Fans of the romantic-comedy Love Actually recently got a bonus reunion in the form of Red Nose Day Actually, a short charity special that gave audiences a peek at where their favorite characters ended up almost 15 years later.

One of the most improbable pairings from the original film was between Jamie (Colin Firth) and Aurelia (Lúcia Moniz), who fell in love despite almost no shared vocabulary. Jamie is English, and Aurelia is Portuguese, and they know just enough of each other’s native tongues for Jamie to propose and Aurelia to accept.

A decade and a half on, they have both improved their knowledge of each other’s languages—if not perfectly, in Jamie’s case. But apparently, their love is much stronger than his grasp on Portuguese grammar, because they’ve got three bilingual kids and another on the way. (And still enjoy having important romantic moments in the car.)

In 2015, Love Actually script editor Emma Freud revealed via Twitter what happened between Karen and Harry (Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman, who passed away last year). Most of the other couples get happy endings in the short—even if Hugh Grant's character hasn't gotten any better at dancing.

[h/t TV Guide]

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