CLOSE
Original image

18 Cakes Inspired by Memes

Original image

We’ve featured cakes for kids, horror fanatics, film aficionados, geeks and gamers, so here are some cakes for those of you who spend your days on Reddit, The Daily What and BuzzFeed. I bring you -- meme cakes!

Nyan Cat

Nyan Cat might just be the most famous meme of the last year, and given that the cat’s body is made from a Pop Tart anyway, it was just a matter of time before someone baked him into existence. This Nyan Cat cake, uploaded by LittleNinjaKitteh is by far the most famous on the net, and the use of ribbon around the tiers is quite clever.

Still, that previous cake was missing the critical strawberry Pop Tart body, which is why this cake by Laura LaCoste looks so much more accurate to the Nyan’s true form.

Sometimes though, just one internet reference isn’t enough. When that’s the case, perhaps you’ll need to call Day-Zee Cakes and ask them to make you another LulzSec Nyan Cat cake like this one.

Pedobear

This adorably creepy cartoon bear is one of the most popular and longest lasting memes on the net, and the joke is directly related to age, so it’s not surprising that there are plenty of Pedobear cakes out there. (In fact, I had one at my birthday last year.)

Perhaps the most artistic of all the Pedobear cakes out there is this one photographed by Flickr user Allontion, which is also the most inappropriate as it shows the predatory bear with an adorably pig-nosed little girl sitting on his lap under a blanket.

This Pedobear cake featuring a white van with an offering of “free candy” seems like it was pulled straight from a low-budget afterschool special; in fact, that might be where DeviantArt user ViciousVeggie got the idea for her creation.

Of course, you aren’t going to get any love from Pedobear once you grow up, as this cake, given to Reddit user afkilla, reminds us.

Keyboard Cat

Similarly, Keyboard Cat made it so big that he ended up on national TV commercials, and with a kitty this cute, it’s no wonder he’s appeared on so many birthday cakes. The most accurate cake depiction of Keyboard Cat is this 3D cake created by DeviantArt user Celsia.

Personally though, I prefer this Keyboard Cat photographed by Krista Faye and created by her friend Charra that looks so fluffy and adorable.

The Rickroll Cake Is A Lie

Alternatively, this Instructable by Papersatan can show you how to create another double-meme cake featuring the “the cake is a lie” cake from Portal that is actually rickrolled by a Rick Astley cake.

This Cake Isn’t A Lie

Of course, if you want to actually eat the cake lie, then you’d better ask Flickr user Solo to put you in touch with his friend Nicole, who really did manage to bake this Portal cake.

O RLY Owl

You know who was really surprised to see the Portal cake become a reality? The O RLY Owl, so just imagine his surprise when he was turned into a cake by Jon Marion.

Socially Awkward Penguin

Of course, Socially Awkward Penguin was always waiting to become a cake –it just caught him off guard when he then had to remember the right name while singing the birthday song. Hopefully, the creator of the cake, DeviantArt user whisper n the wind, was able to remember the birthday boy’s name –after all, it was made for her boyfriend.

Troll Face

According to this cake’s creator, DeviantArt user antenna girl, it was just chocolate mud cake with a white chocolate ganache. I don’t know about you guys, but I wouldn’t trust a troll cake –I just immediately assume this mud cake was actually made with mud. Even so, at least it looks great.

Pepper Spray Cop

Speaking of trolls, Pepper Spray Cop has a reputation for being kind of a jerk, but really, he just wants to help season your dinner. Oh wait, it’s just a cake that looks like a turkey…oh well, pepper for you! If you know the origin of this great cake, please leave a comment so I can give proper credit.

Ron Swanson

As for savory foods, Ron Swanson may be featured on a cake by Liz Shim of Eat Cake Be Merry, but the Parks and Recreation character is still only interested in bacon and eggs.

Chuck Norris

Of course, if you really want a manly man on your cake, then look no further than this Chuck Norris cake ordered and photographed by Zach Bass. You have to wonder if the knife broke when they tried to cut into Chuck’s likeness.

Rebecca Black

If you prefer your real-people memes to feature teenage girls though, then you might be happier with a Rebecca Black cake like this one, given to Flickr user synthis and featuring the songstress singing a few of the memorable lyrics from her unforgettable hit, Friday.

Hipster Ariel

For those who think Rebecca Black is too mainstream though, Hipster Ariel is here for you, as long as you happen to be where the PBR. Adorably, this cake was made by blogger Emily Beth’s mother. I have a hard enough time trying to explain memes and hipsters to my mom, let alone getting her to make me cakes with them –Emily, you’re a lucky girl.

I know most of you probably haven’t had a meme cake before, but if you have, tell everyone about it in the comments. If not, what meme would you want on your cake? I’d like to see a business cat cake at a company party, but since I work from home, I don’t see that happening any time soon.

Original image
iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
technology
arrow
Man Buys Two Metric Tons of LEGO Bricks; Sorts Them Via Machine Learning
May 21, 2017
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
quiz
arrow
Name the Author Based on the Character
May 23, 2017
Original image
SECTIONS
BIG QUESTIONS
BIG QUESTIONS
WEATHER WATCH
BE THE CHANGE
JOB SECRETS
QUIZZES
WORLD WAR 1
SMART SHOPPING
STONES, BONES, & WRECKS
#TBT
THE PRESIDENTS
WORDS
RETROBITUARIES