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7 Dating Web Sites for People Who Love Pets

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Some of you might recall our post last year on Seven incredibly specific dating sites. There was one category left off the list, however: animal lovers! Here are 7 new specific dating sites just for you.

1. Dog Lover

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DogLover.biz claims it's ONLY for people who love dogs. That doesn't mean you have to own one, necessarily, only love "˜em. Other than an extensive collection of links to stories like How to Deal With Your Dog's Separation Anxiety and Sibling Rivalry-Canine Style, I don't see anything on the site that's so different from Match.com. Okay, well, maybe there are more photos of single people with their pooches, but really, that's about it.
Animal rating: meow

2. Animal Attraction

animalattraction.jpgAnimalAttraction.com not only scores points for the best name, it has the best approach I've ever seen in an online dating site: Internet dating helps raise money for pet charities like the ASPCA! How? When you register a profile, Animal Attraction gives a buck to the charity of your choice. The more you log in to their site, the more money they donate.

From the copy: "Through registrations and daily logins, we've committed $29,560 to pets in need!"

Doesn't get much better than that. Animal rating: WOOOF WOOOF!

3. Animal People

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Speaking of Match.com, Animal People Personals claims they have partnered with Match, "to bring you thousands of more animal people"¦ to meet." (Why not just join Match.com then and search by pets?)

From the Web site's copy: If you have the greatest pet in the world and the only thing missing is the love of your life, Animal People Personals can help connect you to others just like you. You don't have to have a pet, just a desire to connect with other animal lovers.

Animal rating: woof

4. Dog Gone Singles

doggonesingles.jpgDogGoneSingles.com is one small part of the vast TangoWire dating network. According to their homepage copy, they run 4,000 Web sites, all for dating. (Really?!) I poked around the site, and by the looks of it, if you're on ANY TangoWire site and your profile includes the word "˜dog' under pets, you show up on DogGoneSingles.com. Other than that, I don't see anything special for pet owners. Animal rating: meow

5. Pet People Meet

petpeoplemeet.jpgPetPeopleMeet.com is another site that seems really generic to me. Check out the special features this site offers: Picture Personals, Video and Audio Greetings, Send Contact to members, Detailed Search Criteria, Store Your Favorite Profiles"¦ the special pet-angle here is quite specific, wouldn't you say? (?)

There's really not one mention of pets other than in the URL.

Animal rating: meow

6. Must Love Pets

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Here's another site that's part of a larger network. But unlike Dog Gone Singles and their 4,000 sites, Must Love Pets is part of the U-DRIVE DATING Network of a mere 5 sites. Also unlike Dog Gone Singles, this one looks really good! From the copy:

Must Love Pets is the premiere pet finder destination for meeting and/or dating quality animal lovers who are single and seeking a sincere relationship with other dog lovers or cat lovers.

At Must Love Pets all animal lovers profiles are pre-screened and qualified insuring you a safe and enjoyable dating relationship. Must Love Pets is exclusively for pet lovers who are either a dog lover, a cat lover, or animal lover in general. Whatever your pet may be or even if you aren't a pet owner yet and are looking for a pet finder, you are more than welcome to become a member here at Must Love Pets

Animal rating: WOOF!

7. Date My Pet

datemypet.jpgDateMyPet.com looks pretty legit, too. There doesn't seem to be a connection to other dating sites, and all six of the people signed up on the site (joking!) look like nice/normal people worth getting to know. The site also offers links to articles with titles such as "Hawaii: Visting with your pet - They want to hit the beaches too" and "Traveling By Car With Your Pet."

Animal rating: woof

If you've ever met anyone through an animal-specific dating site, let us know the name of the site and how it worked out. Let's get some reviews going.

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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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