CLOSE
Original image

Getting to Know Your Colors, pt 1

Original image

Colors affect us. No question there, right? Each hue seems to have a different emotional effect, whether they’re connected to our own history and experience or to something more mystical, the symbolism is profound. Here are some of the more general emblematic uses and symbols for six of the big colors. Be sure to tune into part 2, tomorrow!

1. Green

a) The ancients often used the same words for deep blue, green and steel gray.
b) In Japanese, the same word can be used to say blue or green.
c) Green = money and riches, also growth and prosperity (because of nature/trees)
d) But watch out! Too much money and prosperity makes people green with envy In antiquity, the Hebrew word for envy, qinah, referred to the burning color in the face produced by a deep emotion. The Greeks believed that jealousy was accompanied by an overproduction of bile, lending a yellowish-green pallor to the victim’s complexion. In the seventh century B.C., the poetess Sappho used the word “green” to describe the face of a stricken lover.
e) The most famous such reference and the origin of the term “green-eyed monster” is Iago’s speech in Shakespeare’s Othello: “O! Beware my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-ey’d monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”
f) Of course, these days green is associated with the movement to clean up the environment. Go green!

2. White

a) Ah, the color of light itself! That’s why it’s always been associated with God, or the local divine power. (Good over evil.)
b) The priests of Jupiter wore white robes.
d) In Egypt, Osiris wore a white tiara.
e) The Greek word for white, aspros, suggests happiness and gaiety.
f) Romans used white chalk to mark auspicious days (and, conversely, black chalk for inauspicious days).
g) But least you think white has only been associated with good, let’s not forget that pallor and blankness can be seen as sinister and, of course, ghosts and phantoms are often depcitetd as white.


3. Black

a) The opposite of innocence might be defilement—black is mourning where white is joy.
b) Black has long been associated with error and annihilation.
c) The Athenian expiatory ship that sailed every year to Crete and Delos hoisted black sails when it departed (and, surprise surprise, white sails when it returned).
d) Speaking of sailors, Pirates favored black hats.
e) More recently, we have Darth Vader and other nefarious sorts represented by black
f) The eight ball in billiards is black (“Behind the eight ball”)
g) But then there’s the other side of black that signifies a solid basic or structural strength.
h) Black also can conjure up feelings of peace and quiet, in contrast to the nosy agitation of light. Think of the deep restful quiet of a heavy night’s sleep.



4. Red

a) Of all the hues, red generally pushes the most emotional buttons.
b) Love, valor, fire, fervor, energy - they’re all red.
c) Red is the sign of alarm!
d) Why is the Staples That Was Easy Button red?
e) Red can represent sin, too: “though your sins be as scarlet.” (Isaiah 1:18)

5. Yellow

a) Next to white, yellow, the lightest of colors, also generally symbolizes “light” though not as pure as white.
b) Yellow is rich and “gold” - the noblest of metals.
c) Divine love enlightening human understanding has been symbolized by yellow
d) Yellow is the imperial color in China
e) On the other side, we have sayings like “a yellow streak”—which means acting in a cowardly way and not very brave.

6. Blue

a) Blue has long been associated with truth, wisdom, divine eternity and immortality.
c) While white may be an absolute truth, blue is a truth that could be revealed to and understood by men.
d) Blue moons, the third full moon in a season with four full moons, or the second full moon of a calendar month, are rare.
e) Blue may be sad and lonely for some these days, but traditionally its been associated with the idea of constancy and loyalty.
f) In China blue was the color of the dead (vis-à-vis red, the color of the living)
g) On a personal note, blue has long been my favorite of all the colors!

Original image
iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
arrow
technology
Man Buys Two Metric Tons of LEGO Bricks; Sorts Them Via Machine Learning
Original image
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!

Original image
iStock
arrow
technology
Here's How to Change Your Name on Facebook
Original image
iStock

Whether you want to change your legal name, adopt a new nickname, or simply reinvent your online persona, it's helpful to know the process of resetting your name on Facebook. The social media site isn't a fan of fake accounts, and as a result changing your name is a little more complicated than updating your profile picture or relationship status. Luckily, Daily Dot laid out the steps.

Start by going to the blue bar at the top of the page in desktop view and clicking the down arrow to the far right. From here, go to Settings. This should take you to the General Account Settings page. Find your name as it appears on your profile and click the Edit link to the right of it. Now, you can input your preferred first and last name, and if you’d like, your middle name.

The steps are similar in Facebook mobile. To find Settings, tap the More option in the bottom right corner. Go to Account Settings, then General, then hit your name to change it.

Whatever you type should adhere to Facebook's guidelines, which prohibit symbols, numbers, unusual capitalization, and honorifics like Mr., Ms., and Dr. Before landing on a name, make sure you’re ready to commit to it: Facebook won’t let you update it again for 60 days. If you aren’t happy with these restrictions, adding a secondary name or a name pronunciation might better suit your needs. You can do this by going to the Details About You heading under the About page of your profile.

[h/t Daily Dot]

SECTIONS
BIG QUESTIONS
arrow
BIG QUESTIONS
WEATHER WATCH
BE THE CHANGE
JOB SECRETS
QUIZZES
WORLD WAR 1
SMART SHOPPING
STONES, BONES, & WRECKS
#TBT
THE PRESIDENTS
WORDS
RETROBITUARIES