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Tama-chan

10 Delicious Examples of Sushi Art

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Tama-chan

In a classic sense, the "art of sushi" lies in the skill of making a delectable morsel that causes people to want more of your creations. But here we are talking about visual art, which you can enjoy on the internet, where communicating taste is still in the future. That itself comes in two kinds: sushi (or in some cases, onigiri, or rice balls) that look like something artful besides sushi, and other foods made to resemble sushi.

Panda

Sushi comes in several different styles. Makizushi is wrapped into a cylinder, then cut into slices, which opens the door for creative visuals. Making makizushi art requires rolling each component of the artwork in just the right part of the cylinder to ensure uniformity in the roll. Comedian runnyrunny gives a pretty clear demonstration on how to make a panda face sushi roll in this video (NSFW language). Meaghan M. posted a slightly simpler tutorial that uses added carrots for the eyes, as shown in the picture above.

If you prefer the whole panda, you might want to try this simple panda onigiri tutorial. Read it here in Japanese.

Battleship

Artist Mayuka Nakamura created this imperial warship for her graduate work at the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music. It is part of an 11-ship series, all made from rice, nori, and seafood.

Tank

This tank made of sushi is offered at the Kurisakiya restaurant in Oarai, Japan. It was created in honor of Japanese anime Girls und Panzer, which is set in the same town.

Star Wars Characters

Lydia McNabb made black and white rice balls into various Star Wars characters (Ewoks, Jawas, etc) with the addition of smoked salmon, nori, basil leaves, and other foods in the shapes that make them recognizable. The treats were for a Star Wars movie marathon she hosted.

Paintings

Tokyo sushi chef Tama-chan takes sushi art to a whole new level. His creations are so in demand that he run classes in sushi art. See photos of Tama-chan in action, as well as more of his creations.

Peeps Sushi

Photograph by Robin Lee.

So a skilled artist can make sushi look like whatever they want to. There is another facet of sushi art: making other foods that look like sushi. This is "Peepshi," made with marshmallow peeps. And it does contain rice -in the form of Rice Krispies marshmallow treats! The instructions for making them are at Serious Eats.

Sushi Cupcakes

Craftster member eggyolk put together Bento boxes of mini-cupcakes that look exactly like sushi. The rice you see is actually white sprinkles. Chopsticks and gummy fish added the finishing touch.

Waffle Sushi

The only thing that Waffle Breakfast Sushi has in common with traditional makizushi is the part in which they are both wrapped into a cylinder and then cut -but that's what makes it look like sushi. The ingredients are waffle, fruit, and cream cheese. Yum!

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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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Opening Ceremony
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These $425 Jeans Can Turn Into Jorts
May 19, 2017
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Opening Ceremony

Modular clothing used to consist of something simple, like a reversible jacket. Today, it’s a $425 pair of detachable jeans.

Apparel retailer Opening Ceremony recently debuted a pair of “2 in 1 Y/Project” trousers that look fairly peculiar. The legs are held to the crotch by a pair of loops, creating a disjointed C-3PO effect. Undo the loops and you can now remove the legs entirely, leaving a pair of jean shorts in their wake. The result goes from this:

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Opening Ceremony

To this:

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Opening Ceremony

The company also offers a slightly different cut with button tabs in black for $460. If these aren’t audacious enough for you, the Y/Project line includes jumpsuits with removable legs and garter-equipped jeans.

[h/t Mashable]

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