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The Weekend Links

This is my favorite link of the week, and possibly of all time. Jim Henson created a set of unexpectedly violent coffee commercials in the late 50s for a DC company that featured early prototypes of Muppet characters. Who can get away with puppet murder in prime time anymore?
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What's cooking good looking? Bon Appétit has provided us with a Blog Envy Slideshow for holiday dishes that will have your mouth watering! (Thanks Jan!)
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Reuters' Oddly Enough News constantly provides us with a plethora of bizarre stories (such as this one), and definitely wins the awards for most exclamation marks consistently used in news headlines, but I digress. Here's a list of their weirdest and wackiest of 2008.
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Gift guides are everywhere, and some are actually helpful. But what if the person you're getting a gift for is the kind who would think Fundies or a knitted dissected frog were excellent stocking stuffers? Truly bizarre Christmas gifts at your service. Actually, I've always thought a hand window sign might be a good idea, but only to wave thanks.
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The art of decay

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Book spines sorted to make a sentence, a comment, or a joke! Library fun doesn't have to involve the stacks in that way ...
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The Straight Dope teaches us why we don't have crazy amounts of ancestors (more specifically ... if you go back and multiply generations - 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great-grandparents - 30 generations back we would all have 1 billion ancestors, or in some cases greater than the world population at the time. That's clearly not the case so ... what gives?)

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All sorts of things are doing art these days: elephants, babies ... trees? The idea of tree art is intriguing, but I'm not altogether convinced at their talent. Yet.
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From the Annals of Inanity, Jingle Cats.
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Scott sent in this link, whose URL says it all ... Drag Queen Pugs. Scott says, "it's still under construction, I believe, but some good shots none the less." Ladies and gentlemen, the internet.
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One of my friends sent me a link that I just can't explain it properly. If I tell you it's of girls being mad and crying, that doesn't sound funny. But trust me, it's very, very funny. In all honesty, this is how I sometimes react to Falcons' losses in close games.
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More rarely seen cloud formations.

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Besides my 5th grade diary, 6 Insane Discoveries That Science Can't Explain.
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Strange, funny and bizarre signs. Some are jokes, but all are funny.
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From the Department of Why Not? Comes a Beard Appreciation Blog. The facial hair style guide were interesting, but where's the Tom Selleck?
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From the Wall Street Journal, a historic look at U.S. presidents' job-approval ratings, and precipitating events.

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Remember to give the gift of links to FlossyLink@gmail.com this holiday season!

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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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