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This Week's Best Amazon Deals You Can Still Get

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As a recurring feature, we share some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. These items were the ones that were the most popular with our readers this week, and they’re still available.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers (including Amazon) and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

GADGETS, TOYS, AND MEDIA

AELEC S350 Bluetooth Headphones Wireless In-Ear Sports Earbuds Sweatproof Earphones Noise Cancelling Headsets with Mic for Running Jogging for $22.98 (list price $129.99)

Mpow Car Phone Holder,CD Slot Car Phone Mount Universal Cell Phone Holder Car Cradle Mount with Three-Side Grips and One-Touch Design for iPhone 7/7Plus/6s/6Plus/5S, Galaxy S5/S6/S7, Google Nexus, LG, Huawei and More for $9.19 (list price $12.99)

ATGOIN Bluetooth Headphones, Wireless 4.1 Earbuds Stereo Earphones, Noise Cancelling Sweatproof Headset Secure Fit for Sports with Built-in Mic for $18.99 (list price $66.99)

KMASHI 10000mAh Portable Power Bank with Dual USB Ports 3.1A Output and 2A Input - Black for $13.99 (list price $69.99)

Anker 6ft Nylon Braided USB Cable with Lightning Connector [Apple MFi Certified] for iPhone 7 / 7 Plus / 6s / 6s Plus / 6 / 6 Plus, iPad Pro Air 2 and More (Space Gray) for $11.99 (list price $35.99)

Anker PowerCore 20100 - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with 4.8A Output, PowerIQ Technology for iPhone, iPad and Samsung Galaxy and More (Black) for $33.99 (list price $79.99)

Bluetooth Headphones, Hussar Magicbuds Best Wireless Sports Earphones with Mic, IPX7 Waterproof, HD Sound with Bass, Noise Cancelling, Secure Fit for iPhone Android (2017 Upgraded) for $29.99 (list price $169.99)

CardNinja Ultra-slim Self Adhesive Credit Card Wallet for Smartphones, Black for $6.95 (list price $12.99)

LEPOWER Clip on Light / Clip on Lamp/ Light Color Changeable/ Night Light Clip on for Desk, Bed Headboard and Computers (Silver) for $16.99 (list price $39.99)

[Mini Design for Travel] iClever BoostStrip IC-BS01 Portable Smart Power Strip / USB Charger, 4320 Joules Surge Protector with 2 AC Outlet 4 USB Port, 5ft Extension Cord for Indoor & Outdoor, White for $23.99 (list price $32.99)

Cambridge SoundWorks OontZ Angle 3 Next Generation Ultra Portable Wireless Bluetooth Speaker : Louder Volume 10W+, More Bass, Water Resistant, Perfect Speaker for Golf, Beach, Shower & Home (Black) for $27.99 (list price $99.99)

1byone HDTV Antenna - 25 Miles Range with 10ft High Performance Coax Cable for $10.99 (list price $24.99)

SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive 32GB for iPhone and iPad, Black/Silver, (SDIX30C-032G-GN6NN) for $35.98 (list price $59.99)

KITCHEN

Breville BOV800XL Smart Oven 1800-Watt Convection Toaster Oven with Element IQ, Silver for $199.95 (list price $249.99)

Lodge L8DD3 Cast Iron Double Dutch Oven, 5-Quart for $38.96 (list price $52.72)

Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill for $34.99 (list price $41.99)

Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Toaster Oven, Metallic (31334) for $31.04 (list price $72.79)

Instant Read Thermometer With Backlight For Meat & Cooking. Sold In Elegant Gift Box. Best Ultra Fast Digital BBQ Food Probe. Includes Internal Barbecue Meat Temperature Guide. By Alpha Grillers for $17.99 (list price $29.97)

Chef Craft Plastic Measuring Cups, White with Blue, 4-Piece, 6.375-Inch for $3.79 (list price $5.69)

Royal 1000 Count Wood Coffee Beverage Stirrers, 5.5" for $5.03 (list price $6.70)

Anova Culinary Bluetooth Sous Vide Precision Cooker, 800 Watts, Black for $109.00 (list price $149.00)

Set of 2 Moscow Mule Copper Mugs with Shot Glass - Two 16 Oz Copper Moscow Mule Mugs - Solid Copper Hammered Mug - Copper Cups for Moscow Mules for $25.99 (list price $69.99)

Secura The Original Stainless Steel Double Wall Electric Water Kettle 1.8 Quart for $27.99 (list price $59.99)

Popsicle Molds Set - BPA Free - 6 Ice Pop Makers + Silicone Funnel + Cleaning Brush + Ice Cream Recipes E-book - by Lebice for $8.99 (list price $11.95)

Zestkit Wine Aerator Pourer Modern Aerating Pourer Red and White Wine Decanter Spout, Black for $7.99 (list price $19.99)

Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls by Finedine (Set of 6) Polished Mirror Finish Nesting Bowls, ¾ - 1.5 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 8 Quart - Cooking Supplies for $19.95 (list price $39.95)

Kebley Swivel Peeler Stainless Steel Durable Fruit Peeler and Vegetable Peeler for $8.99 (list price $14.99)

All-Clad 41126 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Fry Pan with Lid / Cookware, 12-Inch, Silver for $119.95 (list price $199.99)

Vremi 10 Piece Colorful Knife Set - 5 Kitchen Knives with 5 Knife Sheath Covers - Chef Knife Sets with Carving Serrated Utility Chef's and Paring Knives - Colored Knife Set with Matching Color Case for $17.99 (list price $49.99)

HOME

Premium Velvet Suit Hangers - 50 Pack - Heavy Duty - Non Slip - Velvet Suit Hangers Black - by Utopia Home for $19.98 (list price $39.99)

Winix PlasmaWave 5300 Air Cleaner Model for $114.34 (list price $199.99)

BISSELL PowerLifter PowerBrush Upright Deep Cleaner, 1622 for $85.25 (list price $99.00)

Tide PODS Free & Gentle HE Turbo Laundry Detergent Pacs 81-load Tub for $18.99 (list price $25.75)

Hoover AH30330NF Cleanplus 2X Concentrated Carpet Cleaner and Deodorizer, 64oz for $12.99 (list price $19.99)

Cotton Throw Blankets (King, White) Breathable Thermal Bed/Sofa Blanket Couch Quit by Utopia Bedding for $27.99 (list price $54.99)

Premium 8 Piece Towel Set (Grey); 2 Bath Towels, 2 Hand Towels and 4 Washcloths - Cotton - Machine Washable, Hotel Quality, Super Soft and Highly Absorbent by Utopia Towels for $21.99 (list price $59.99)

Premium Super Plush Fiber Filled Pillows - (2 Pack, Queen) - Pure Cotton, T-240 Mercerized Shell, Dust Mite Resistant, 3D Hollow Siliconized Material Retain Shape - by Utopia Bedding for $24.49 (list price $47.99)

Liliane Collection Kitchen Dish Towels - Commercial Grade Absorbent 100% Cotton Kitchen Towels - Classic Tea Towels (13, Red) for $17.99 (list price $25.99)

HEALTH AND BEAUTY

VIKTOR JURGEN Shiatsu Kneading Massage Pillow with Heat,Neck,Shoulder & Back Massager for Home/Car/Office for $27.95 (list price $99.00)

Fitbit Flex 2, Black for $59.95 (list price $99.95)

PRO-Women: Probiotics for Women with Cranberry Extract & D-Mannose - 15x More Effective than Probiotic Capsules - 30 Once Daily Time Release Tablets - Supports Urinary Tract Health for $22.95 (list price $35.95)

Nerdwax Stop Slipping Glasses as Seen on Shark Tank for $10.99 (list price $14.99)

CLIF BAR - Energy Bar - Cool Mint Chocolate - (2.4 Ounce Protein Bar, 12 Count) for $10.98 (list price $13.08)

AUVON iSleep Eye Mask for Sleeping, Contoured & Comfortable 3D Eye Mask with Deep Molded Eye Cup and 99% Light Blocking Performance for Naps, Insomnia, Dry-eye Sufferers and More (Black) for $6.99 (list price $16.99)

Odor-Eaters Foot Powder, 6-Ounces (Pack of 4) for $17.08 (list price $24.00)

Radha Beauty Aromatherapy Top 6 Essential Oils 100% Pure & Therapeutic grade - Basic Sampler Gift Set & Premium Kit - 6/10 Ml (Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Orange, Peppermint) for $14.95 (list price $79.99)

Tea Tree Oil Foot Soak With Epsom Salt, Helps Soak Away Toenail Fungus , Athletes Foot & Stubborn Foot Odor – Softens Calluses & Soothes Sore Tired Feet -16 oz for $13.85 (list price $19.49)

Gillette Fusion Manual Men’s Razor Blade Refills, 12 Count for $29.97 (list price $47.99)

BIC Comfort 3 Advance Disposable Razor, Men, 4-Count for $2.80 (list price $8.78)

Crest 3D White Luxe Whitestrip Teeth Whitening Kit, Glamorous White, 14 Treatments - Packaging May Vary for $31.26 after on-screen coupon (list price $44.99)

Burt's Bees Tips and Toes Kit for $11.92 (list price $12.99)

Cetaphil Men Daily Face Wash, 8 Ounce (Pack of 2) for $11.60 (list price $15.98)

Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo Original Formula, Dandruff Treatment, 4.4 Fl. Oz. for $3.95 (list price $7.59)

Cerave Sa Renewing Skin Lotion, 8 Ounce for $9.89 (list price $15.99)

OUTDOORS, GARDEN, AND SPORTS

Mpow Solar Spotlight, Landscape Waterproof Solar Motion Light for Lawn, Flag, Yard, Driveway, Garden for $11.99 (list price $32.99)

Wildlife Sciences 240 Wild Bird Suet Plus Cakes, Pack of 10 for $13.25 (list price $19.75)

SHINE HAI Folding Hand Saw, Camping/Pruning Saw with Rugged 7’’ Blades, All Purpose with Non-slip Ergonomics Handle Pruning Saws for $11.99 (list price $39.99)

Swig Savvy Water Bottles Stainless Steel - Vacuum Insulated Water Bottle + Stainless Steel Leak & Sweat proof Cap Double Wall Thermos Flask For Hot or cold Beverages (Blue, 30oz) for $12.95 (list price $20.00)

BlizeTec Survival Knife: Best 5-in-1 Tactical Pocket Folding Knife with LED Light, Seatbelt Cutter, Glass Breaker & Magnesium Fire Starter for $38.98 (list price $89.99)

Venture Pal Ultralight Lightweight Packable Foldable Travel Camping Hiking Outdoor Sports Backpack Daypack (Fuschia) for $20.99 (list price $68.99)

EGOGO Multi-functional 3 Layers Hiking Cycling Bag Sling Pack with Adjustable Shoulder Strap Cross Body Chest Bag Shoulder Sling Bag Mini-Bag for Men & Women(Blue) for $13.99 (list price $39.99)

Inflatable Camping Pillow - the Ultralight OutSmart Camp Pillows Provide Comfortable Sleeping when Traveling, Backpacking or Camping while Packing Light - 2.75 oz for $14.93 (list price $55.00)

Rain-Mate Compact Travel Umbrella - Windproof, Reinforced Canopy, Ergonomic Handle, Auto Open/Close Multiple Colors for $21.95 (list price $44.95)

Tensun Swimming Goggles Anti Fog Leak-free UV Protection Clear Lens Adjustable Straps Triathlon Swim Goggles Glasses with Nose Clip, Ear Plugs for Adult Men Women Youth Kids Child - Black for $10.38 (list price $22.99)

Scotts Turf Builder Weed and Feed Fertilizer 5M (Not Sold in Pinellas County, FL) for $14.98 (list price $22.13)

MIRA Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle | Leak-proof Double Walled Cola Shape Sports Water Bottle | No Sweating, Keeps Your Drink Cold 24 hours or Hot 12 hours | 25 Oz (750 ml) | Pearl Blue for $69.00 (list price $69.00)

Cuisinart CSBP-100 3-in-1 Stuffed Burger Press for $7.99 (list price $14.99)

Mpow Solar light, Bright 20 LED Outdoor Lighting Motion Sensor Wall Lights for Driveway Garden Path for $15.99 (list price $35.99)

Plant Theatre Bonsai Trio Kit, 3 Distinctive Bonsai Trees to Grow for $16.99 (list price $26.99)

Plant Theatre FUNKY VEG KIT Gift Box - 5 Extraordinary Vegetables to Grow -Everything you need to start growing in one box! Super Grow Kit Gift for $18.99 (list price $26.99)

Fiskars Long Handle Digging Shovel (9668) for $24.99 (list price $28.06)

Gorilla Carts Heavy-Duty Steel Utility Cart with Removable Sides with a Capacity of 1000 lb, Gray for $119.20 (list price $159.99)

TOOLS

Coast G20 LED Inspection Beam Flashlight for $11.37 (list price $18.00)

Tactical Credit Card Wallet Tool with Emergency Whistle and Gift Box for $9.99 (list price $25.99)

Etekcity Lasergrip 774 Non-contact Digital Laser Infrared Thermometer Temperature Gun -58℉~716℉ (-50℃~380℃), Yellow and Black for $14.88 (list price $35.00)

LE Headlamp LED, 4 Modes Headlight, Battery Powered Helmet Light for Camping, Running, Hiking and Reading, 3 AAA Batteries Included for $7.99 (list price $18.95)

Black & Decker 15-110 High Speed Steel General Purpose Drill Bit Set, 10-Piece for $5.98 (list price $7.15)

URPOWER Motion Sensor Light, Motion-sensing Battery Powered LED Stick-Anywhere Nightlight,Wall Light for Entrance,Hallway,Basement,Garage,Bathroom,Cabinet,Closet for $11.99 (list price $23.99)

Car Window Shade - (3 Pack ) - 21"x14" Cling Sunshade For Car Windows - Sun, Glare And UV Rays Protection For Your Child - Baby Side Window Car Sun Shades By Enovoe for $12.97 (list price $18.97)

Auto Detailing Multipurpose Microfiber Car Dash Duster From MotoSpa For Dusting Surfaces In Your Car And Home for $8.95 (list price $12.95)

Armor All 82646 Cleaning and Leather Wipes - 25 sheets (pack of 2) for $6.88 (list price $15.95)

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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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Name the Author Based on the Character
May 23, 2017
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