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DeviantArt user dragonslorefury

11 More Geeky Engagement and Wedding Rings

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DeviantArt user dragonslorefury

We may have already featured some great geeky engagement and wedding rings in the past, but with geek marriages happening every day, fantastically nerdy rings are going to keep popping up. Here are a few more fun nerdy wedding and engagement rings.

1. “I Love You” “I Know”

While the lines might not be the most romantic, they do make up one of the most famous sci-fi love quotes ever spoken. These matching wedding rings by Spiffing Jewelry are a great idea for any Star Wars obsessed couple.

2. R2D2

CustomMade created this gorgeous R2D2 engagement ring for Joe, a tattoo artist and graphic designer in New Jersey. Joe proposed on Halloween while he and his bride-to-be were dressed as Charlie Brown and Lucy.

3. The Stargate

Wedding Bands Design constructed this white gold Stargate wedding band so the inner band can rotate within the outer “gate” area.

4. A DHD

In the Stargate universe, a DHD, or “Dial Home Device,” works in conjunction with the Stargate. This ring is also by Wedding Bands Design. Isn’t it so fitting that the wife’s ring is designed like the controller of the man’s ring?

5. Triforce

There are plenty of Zelda-inspired rings out there, in part because the Triforce is so easy to put in jewelry form, but the decision to inscribe these rings by Zolt Szekely with the game’s most famous quote is what makes them stand out from the rest.

6. D10

Has someone scored a critical hit on your heart? Then why not show them with a special engagement ring like this D10 design by DeviantArt user dragonslorefury.

7. D20

Are you more of a classic D&D fan? Then the dice on your ring should prove it. Offbeat Bride contributor Babelglyph proposed to her girlfriend with this ring after a riveting session of the game.

8. DNA

Want to tell your lover that they now make up a part of you? Then say it with DNA jewelry from K. Brunini Jewels.

9. PlayStation

At first glance, DeviantArt user Strange-1’s engagement ring doesn’t look all that geeky. But upon closer inspection, you'll notice that the small jewels around the diamond are colored and inlaid the same way as the PlayStation’s controllers, making it the perfect ring for a gamer gal like her.

10. Constellation

Is your love your entire universe? Then tell your special someone that they are the stars in your sky with this gorgeous constellation ring by Turtle Love Company.

11. USB

This special, non-functional USB drive wedding ring was custom ordered by the wife-to-be of a Microsoft game developer. Fittingly, the inscription inside reads, “For a lifetime of memories.”

Are we missing any of your favorite geek wedding rings? Or do you have one of your own you’d like to share with everyone? Then tell us about them in the comments!

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iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
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
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]