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French Toast Sunday/Bryan Dugan

21 Creative TV Edits of Naughty Movie Lines

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French Toast Sunday/Bryan Dugan

There's a lot of language in movies that you can't show on TV. We're so used to the standard ways of dubbing over words for TV that we hardly notice them. Freakin', effing, flippin', heck, shoot, shucks, and "stuff you!" are favorites, but sometimes the dubs or alternate versions do something so unusual that they stand out. Here are 21 creative versions of naughty movie lines from TV edits.

1. Smokey and the Bandit

"Scum bum."

When this 1977 movie aired on TV, one character's signature phrase, "son of a bitch" (which he pronounced "sumbitch") was changed everywhere to "scum bum." For a while, it became a popular insult among kids. Hot Wheels later made a car with the phrase on the back.

2. Saturday Night Fever

"You fakers!"

In one scene, Tony and his buddies pretend to fall off a bridge. A panicked Annette looks over the railing to find them laughing and yells this at them. She did not call them fakers in the original, but the meaning of the word fits the situation well, and the sound of it almost matches the word it's covering up.

3. The Breakfast Club

“Did you slip her the hot wild affection?”

The movie contains the line “Did you slip her the hot beef injection?” which is itself already a euphemism for something else. But TV censors decided it wasn't euphemism enough and changed it. I guess it preserves some of the original meaning?

4. Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle

“Forget White Castle, let's go get some privates!”

Ah yes, the "p" word. Let's just say if it referred to cats, they would leave it as is. The substitution of "privates" in this line also preserves the meaning of the original, in perhaps too literal a way. In fact, I think it makes it sound even worse.

5. Mallrats

"All it took was a phat karate punch."

This line also covers up something that already contains a euphemism—"all it took was a fat chronic blunt"—but does not leave the meaning intact. I think. Who knows what the kids call it these days.

6. Ferris Bueller's Day Off

"Pardon my French, but you're an AARDVARK!"

It starts with the same sound as the word it's replacing, and it has the right number of syllables, and as it turns out, it does feel pretty good to yell this at someone when you're angry.

7. Bridget Jones's Diary

"I'd rather have a job washing Saddam Hussein's cars."

Think "wiping" instead of "washing." Can you guess the rest?

8. Total Recall

"Come back here you steroid."

This one is harder to guess. Sometimes these dubs have nothing in common with their originals in terms of sound or meaning. Actually, that's not true here. The original also has a "ck" and a "you." The "steroid"? That's just another way of saying aardvark.

9. Scarface

"This town's just a great big chicken waiting to get plucked!"

Well, it is pretty hot in Miami. Too hot for feathers anyway.

10. Lethal Weapon

"This is a real badge, I'm a real cop, and this is a real firing gun!"

You firing better believe it. Fire yeah!

11. The Big Lebowski

"This is what happens, Larry! This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps!"

This brilliant substitution is famous among Lebowski buffs. The linguistic structural parallels are sound—it preserves the "F a stranger in the A" pattern as well as the truncated trochaic tetrameter stress pattern. That stress pattern in also preserved when the phrase shows up again as “do you see what happens when you fix a stranger scrambled eggs?"

12. Jackie Brown

"Freeze, moldy fingers!"

Sometimes you gotta wonder why they want to try to make a TV version at all. The MF word is used so often in this movie, the editors must have gotten bored with the usual substitutions, which is why there is such a fantastic variety of MF faux profanity on display. In addition to moldy fingers, the TV audience gets to hear melon farmers, melon feelers, motor scooters, mothers and fathers, and "my mutual funded money."

13. Casino

“Forget me? Forget you, you mother forgetter!”

Again, there are some movies that it may not be worth adapting for TV.

14. Robocop

"You're gonna be one bad mothercruncher."

Someone should steal this one for a cereal ad.

15. Pulp Fiction

“That better be one charming mightyfriendly pig!”

You're mightyfriendly right about that.

16. Die Hard 2

“Yippee-ki-yay, Mr. Falcon!”

In order for this important, explosion-introducing line to make sense, the TV version made sure to change an earlier scene so that one of the bad guys is heard being called Mr. Falcon.

17. The Usual Suspects

"Hand me the keys, you fairy godmother."

It might have been closer, soundwise, to use "effing clock shucker," but they decided to go cute.  All five guys in the police lineup have to say this sentence. One after the other.

18. The Exorcist

"Your mother sews socks that smell!"

Another one about, um, shucking clocks. This line is commonly attributed to the TV edit of The Exorcist, but it really came from a Saturday Night Live skit. The actual TV edit was the less ridiculous "your mother still rots in Hell." "Sews socks" is so much better. Let's just pretend it happened.

19. Silence of the Lambs

"Would you marry me? I'd marry me, I'd marry me so hard."

Somehow, this comes off so much creepier than the original.

20. Return of the Living Dead

"Television Version."

In this zombie flick, one of the characters wears a jacket with an impertinent profanity written on the back. In scenes re-filmed for the TV edit, the jacket simply says "Television Version." Much better than "stuff you" and refreshingly honest.

21. Snakes on a Plane

"I have had it with these monkey-fighting snakes on this Monday to Friday plane!"

Haven't we all.

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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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Stephen Missal
New Evidence Emerges in Norway’s Most Famous Unsolved Murder Case
May 22, 2017
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A 2016 sketch by a forensic artist of the Isdal Woman
Stephen Missal

For almost 50 years, Norwegian investigators have been baffled by the case of the “Isdal Woman,” whose burned corpse was found in a valley outside the city of Bergen in 1970. Most of her face and hair had been burned off and the labels in her clothes had been removed. The police investigation eventually led to a pair of suitcases stuffed with wigs and the discovery that the woman had stayed at numerous hotels around Norway under different aliases. Still, the police eventually ruled it a suicide.

Almost five decades later, the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK has launched a new investigation into the case, working with police to help track down her identity. And it is already yielding results. The BBC reports that forensic analysis of the woman’s teeth show that she was from a region along the French-German border.

In 1970, hikers discovered the Isdal Woman’s body, burned and lying on a remote slope surrounded by an umbrella, melted plastic bottles, what may have been a passport cover, and more. Her clothes and possessions were scraped clean of any kind of identifying marks or labels. Later, the police found that she left two suitcases at the Bergen train station, containing sunglasses with her fingerprints on the lenses, a hairbrush, a prescription bottle of eczema cream, several wigs, and glasses with clear lenses. Again, all labels and other identifying marks had been removed, even from the prescription cream. A notepad found inside was filled with handwritten letters that looked like a code. A shopping bag led police to a shoe store, where, finally, an employee remembered selling rubber boots just like the ones found on the woman’s body.

Eventually, the police discovered that she had stayed in different hotels all over the country under different names, which would have required passports under several different aliases. This strongly suggests that she was a spy. Though she was both burned alive and had a stomach full of undigested sleeping pills, the police eventually ruled the death a suicide, unable to track down any evidence that they could tie to her murder.

But some of the forensic data that can help solve her case still exists. The Isdal Woman’s jaw was preserved in a forensic archive, allowing researchers from the University of Canberra in Australia to use isotopic analysis to figure out where she came from, based on the chemical traces left on her teeth while she was growing up. It’s the first time this technique has been used in a Norwegian criminal investigation.

The isotopic analysis was so effective that the researchers can tell that she probably grew up in eastern or central Europe, then moved west toward France during her adolescence, possibly just before or during World War II. Previous studies of her handwriting have indicated that she learned to write in France or in another French-speaking country.

Narrowing down the woman’s origins to such a specific region could help find someone who knew her, or reports of missing women who matched her description. The case is still a long way from solved, but the search is now much narrower than it had been in the mystery's long history.

[h/t BBC]