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24 Utterly Adorable Pet Halloween Costumes

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Whether or not you would ever dress up your own pet, it’s hard to deny that critters look cute in Halloween costumes, no matter what species they happen to be. Here are some of the best animal Halloween costumes from around the web for your holiday ogling pleasure.

Dogs

1. The Incredible Hulk

Who would have guessed that bulldogs look so good in jean shorts, even when covered in green paint? Flickr user istolethetv spotted this pup during the 19th Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade.

2. Hannibal Lecter

“Can you hear the lambs Clarice?” Of course you can’t, they’ve been silenced silly. This might just be the only muzzled dog spotted at the Tompkins Square Parade. Fortunately, istolethetv was still brave enough to approach this man-killer.

3. Scarlet O’Hara

It’s practically impossible to look Gracie in her delightful hoop skirt and not think to yourself, “Frankly my doggie, I don’t give a damn!” With such a delightfully intricate costume, it’s no wonder she won Best in Show at the 20th Annual Dog Run Halloween contest at Tompkins Square Park in New York City. The design was actually based around the fact that Gracie’s older age makes it difficult for her to stand and walk for long periods of time. That’s why her owner designed a costume that allowed her to sit in place all day on top of a mobile scooter, accentuated by a cat litter dome turned into a hoop skirt.

A special thanks to AnimalTourism.com for the great image and back story.

4. Zardoz

You’d be forgiven if you’ve forgotten about (or never even heard of) the 1974 Sean Connery movie Zardoz. But even if you aren’t aware of the origins of this Boston terrier’s ensemble, it’s still easy to appreciate Flickr user daveshumka’s dog Zed’s interpretation of the original.

5. Thanksgiving Turkey

It might not be quite the right holiday for a pilgrim costume, but Thanksgiving is just around the corner and Martha Stewart user newfy certainly has a hard decision to make about that loveable but delicious turkey that keeps following her around.

6. Teen Wolf

It was hard for Shelby’s owner, Flickr user gopugyourself01, to notice that her pup was turning into a werewolf. After all, her body was already covered in hair her whole life. Really, it wasn’t until the jacket suddenly appeared out of thin air that it became obvious that Shelby was a Teen Wolf.

7. Carol from Where the Wild Things Are

If you always knew your dog was a monster deep down inside, then you’d better contact Etsy seller FairlyEnchanted and order this delightful Where the Wild Things Are costume.

8. Chia Pet

Echo here was the very lucky winner of ClickerTraining.com’s pet Halloween costume contest last year. What did she get for sacrificing her dignity by posing as a plant disguised as a dog? A box of yummy treats, of course.

9. AT-AT

Perhaps the best thing about this Star Wars AT-AT costume is that Bone, the greyhound inside, looks utterly unintimidating despite wearing some of the galaxy’s best armor. Costume, image and pet courtesy of Katie Mello.

10. Sarah Palin

If you'd like your pup to come out looking like the famous former Governor of Alaska, be sure to check out Wiggles Dog Wigs by Ruth Regina.

Other Animals

Of course, dogs aren’t the only ones who get to wear costumes during Halloween. Here are a few other critters in adorably cute clothing.

11-14. Cats

Gothamist photographer Katie Sokoler attended the 2010 Cat Fashion Show at the Algonquin Hotel and her images of the geisha, Edward Cullen, Raggedy Anne and Carmen Miranda were simply delightful.

15-16. Guinea Pigs

If you’ve seen South Park episodes Pandemic and Pandemic 2: The Startling, then you know just how terrifyingly cute guinea pigs in costumes can be. If you have your own guinea pig and want to reenact these episodes, you can buy your own cavie costumes at CuddlyCavies.com, the same shop that supplied South Park with their “monsters.” The shop also provides bunny and dog costumes, so don’t feel left out if you don’t happen to have a guinea pig of your own.

17-19. Horses

There are plenty of costumes out there for smaller animals, and even for bigger-sized dogs, but horses generally get left out when it comes time to get dressed up. Fortunately, TheHorseTailor.com offers all varieties of costumes for your favorite equine friends. A few notable horse costumes available at the site include Batman, the Cowardly Lion, and Harry Potter.

20-22. Squirrels

Sugar Bush Squirrel is undoubtedly the world’s most famous squirrel model, so it’s really no wonder that he has so many delightful costumes. While his homepage is loaded with delightful images of the star in costume, some of the best pictures feature him dressed as Alex Trebek, Michael Jackson and Snow White.

23. Caimans

Caiman owner YouTube user MorRokko loves her pet, Hadies, enough to let him celebrate in style with this awesome Iron Man suit. It’s not often you see a caiman dressed up in costume, but let’s face it, it’s not often you see a tiny relative of the crocodile being kept as a pet either. Hadies makes a pretty cute superhero.

24. Turtles

This might not be the most elaborate costume on the list, but it’s not particularly easy to get a turtle into a costume and this guy does look great as a monster of the deep.
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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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