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Psycho Donuts

10 Extremely Creative Doughnuts That Will Make You Drool

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Psycho Donuts

Today marks National Doughnut Day. While you may celebrate with your usual glazed or sprinkle variety, it might be worth branching out—doughnut shops around the country often have special flavors they are proud to call their own. Get inspired with some of the most extreme varieties we could find.

1. OLD DIRTY BASTARD

Yelp User Michael S.

Oregon’s Voodoo Doughnuts was one of the first shops to really start going crazy with their doughnut flavors. These days, they are well-known for their partnership with Rogue, creating beers based on doughnut flavors including Bacon Maple Ale and Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Banana Ale. But Voodoo still has its share of extreme doughnuts—including the Old Dirty Bastard, which is covered in chocolate frosting, Oreos and peanut butter. If you’re really hungry, try the Rapper’s Delight, a trio featuring the Old Dirty Bastard, the M&M-covered Marshall Mathers, and the Maple Blazer Blunt, a cone-shaped doughnut with an end dipped in maple frosting and red sprinkle embers.

2. BLUE SKY

Rebel Donut's Facebook Page

New Mexico’s Rebel Donut has a special menu item featuring blue rock candy based on the shop’s favorite show: Breaking Bad. Imagine how happy they were when Aaron Paul (a.k.a. Jesse Pinkman) came in to order a dozen of the Blue Sky donuts and even posed for a picture with the treats.

3. PSYCHOBUGZ

San Jose’s Psycho Donuts celebrated National Donut Day in 2012 by releasing two donuts topped with real insects. The Chirp Derp was a chocolate donut topped with bacon bits, bacon-cheddar crickets, and a drizzle of milk chocolate. The Worm Hole took a jalapeño and tequila donut and covered it with salted lime icing, a Key Lime drizzle, and a spiced moth larvae. (According to their menu, these doughnuts are no longer available.)

4. FOIE BOMB

Psycho Donuts

For 2013's National Doughnut Day, Psycho Donuts aimed to impress their gourmand audience with a foie gras mousse doughnut served with a pipette of honey, fig, and balsamic syrup. (Like psychobugz, the foie bomb is no longer available—but they still have plenty of crazy doughnuts to choose from.)

5. JAGER BOMB

Rebel Donut's Facebook Page

While the Jägermeister buttercream in this Jager Bomb doughnut by Rebel Donut might not get you drunk, it could at least give you a caffeine buzz with the Red Bull glaze. It certainly tastes better than the original cocktail.

6. MOJITO

Mint, sugar, and rum are great inside a cocktail glass, but even better when turned into a doughnut. Best of all, you can even make this tasty treat at home yourself with this recipe from Diethood.

7. DOUGHNUT SHOT GLASS LINERS

If you really want to let loose while still enjoying the goodness of doughnuts, skip the boozy fillings and instead use straight liquor. Just follow this tip by My Burning Kitchen and put a hollowed-out doughnut hole in your shot glass before pouring to enjoy full-strength alcohol with a sweet, doughnut-y finish.

8. DEAD ELVIS

Elvis’s favorite sandwich (made with peanut butter, bacon, bananas, and jelly) is pretty legendary, but when you switch out the bread for a custard-filled doughnut, that’s when you really get something fit for a king. If Elvis is secretly still around, you know he's made a few trips to Psycho Donuts to enjoy the Dead Elvis.

9. MANGO TANGO

Flickr user AJ LEON // CC BY 2.0

You know what makes a regular mango doughnut into something truly memorable? Just ask Voodoo Donuts and you’ll know the answer is always Tang. (Astronauts will love it.)

10. TEXAS-SIZE DOUGHNUT

It might not come in crazy flavors, but the Round Rock Donut from the Round Rock, Texas shop of the same name is certainly extreme enough to have earned its place here. That’s because this doughnut weighs in at over 2 pounds of doughnut-y goodness.

A version of this story originally appeared in 2013.

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iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
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Man Buys Two Metric Tons of LEGO Bricks; Sorts Them Via Machine Learning
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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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Why Your iPhone Doesn't Always Show You the 'Decline Call' Button
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When you get an incoming call to your iPhone, the options that light up your screen aren't always the same. Sometimes you have the option to decline a call, and sometimes you only see a slider that allows you to answer, without an option to send the caller straight to voicemail. Why the difference?

A while back, Business Insider tracked down the answer to this conundrum of modern communication, and the answer turns out to be fairly simple.

If you get a call while your phone is locked, you’ll see the "slide to answer" button. In order to decline the call, you have to double-tap the power button on the top of the phone.

If your phone is unlocked, however, the screen that appears during an incoming call is different. You’ll see the two buttons, "accept" or "decline."

Either way, you get the options to set a reminder to call that person back or to immediately send them a text message. ("Dad, stop calling me at work, it’s 9 a.m.!")

[h/t Business Insider]

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