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A Few Quick Things About Little League

With the Little League World Series in full swing, now's a good time to go over a few things you might not know about Little League.

Little League was formed with the express purpose of being cost-free to players.

Little League is a non-profit organization that was founded in Pennsylvania by Carl Stotz in 1939 with the specific provision that "at no time should payment of any fee be a prerequisite for participation in any level of the Little League program." This is largely attributed to Stotz's experience with poverty in during the Great Depression, and the belief that even when times are hard and everyone is poor, we should all be able to play a little ball. And to this day, to the relief of parents, children continue to be supported by sometimes-unfortunately-named sponsors.

The first no-hitter was pitched in 1942.

pitch13-year old Edward Younken, of the Lundy Lumber team, allowed no hits in a game against Stein's Service Station (this is different from pitching a perfect game, as players can still be walked or can reach base on errors). The win resulted in the team's entrance to, and eventual win of, the league championship that season. Apparently the young Younken had no idea what he'd done until his father came running up after the game to congratulate him. For reference, in the recorded history of Major League Baseball, there have been only 263 no-hitters.

The Little League's Hall of Excellence has some pretty big names.

The Hall of Excellence, where the Little League pays tribute to former players who have gone on to be successful in life, is home to quite a few recognizables. Members of the Hall of Excellence include Rudy Giuliani, George W. Bush, Kevin Costner, Dave Barry, Cal Ripken, Nolan Ryan, Tom Selleck, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
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Did you play, coach or ump Little League? Any war stories you'd like to share?

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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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