CLOSE
Original image
Wayne Kerr

15 Arts & Crafts Inspired by Breaking Bad

Original image
Wayne Kerr

There’s only one episode of Breaking Bad left. In honor of one of the greatest TV dramas ever made, here’s a collection of crafts based on the show. (If this still doesn’t satisfy your finale fix though, don’t mix our collections of fan art and food inspired by Breaking Bad.)

Warning: There may be some spoilers ahead, but only from past seasons.

1. Say My Name

Michelle Coffee created these adorable plush Walter Whites for the Breaking Bad Art Project show at LA’s Gallery 1988. She has Walt when he first started cooking, after he first took on his Heisenberg persona and after he broke his nose when he intentionally got in a car accident in the hopes of stopping Hank’s investigation.

2. I’m In The Cute-pire Business

Whether you prefer Walt in his briefs or his Heisenberg ensemble, you’re sure to be happy whenever you cuddle up with Etsy seller cyberscribe’s adorable little Walter White dolls.

3. Yo, Cuddle Me…Bitch

For those who would prefer to cuddle with Jesse Pinkman, DeviantArt user DewHeart85 has you covered with this cute plush toy, complete with his own tiny bag of Blue Sky.

4. Yeah Science!

The best thing about Allison Hoffman’s adorable amigurumi Walt and Jesse plushes is that you can actually put them in (and take them out of) their crocheted hazmat suits. Plus, they even have accessories like a bag of drugs and Walt’s hat and glasses.

5. Breaking Bear

There are a lot of Breaking Bad crafts out there these days, but few come close to being as cute as Etsy seller RedCapStore’s amigurumi version of the pink teddy bear from season two.

6. Home Is Where the Meth Is

There’s nothing like a pleasant cross-stitch to brighten up your wall and make your place feel homey—especially when it’s a piece of Breaking Bad fan art. For those who don’t remember the scene referenced in this delightful creation by Wayne Kerr, here’s a link to the video. If you want to make your own “private domicile” cross-stitch, you can get a pattern from Etsy seller OhSewNerdy, but, be warned, it doesn’t have the delightful use of the word “bitch” on it.

7. Evil, Thy Name Is Heisenberg

Not a big fan of motorhomes, but still want a great Breaking Bad cross-stitch of your own? Then head over to Etsy seller togglestitch’s shop and grab this great pattern reminding people to remember the name Heisenberg.

8. Wanna Cook?

For those who prefer more classic cross-stitch themes, this “Kiss the Cook” design with Walter’s face is truly magnificent. DeviantArt user Angie Jane did a fantastic job getting so much detail into Mr. White’s face in such a small space.

9. Afghan Bad

It takes a Breaking Bad super-fan to recognize this crochet pattern as a tribute to the show; Skyler and Walt have an afghan just like this one in their living room. If you want to make your own, you can follow the pattern Sarah London created for it.

That’s not the only afghan in the show either. One of the famous scenes of Walt and Jesse sitting down for a beer after cooking up a batch also has an afghan prominently placed in the background. If you prefer to make that one, The Batter’s Box has the guide.

10. I Am The One That Protects The Furniture

Here’s a craft that everyone can do at home. Just grab a set of Perler Beads, a peg board and an iron and you’re all ready to follow Rebecca Lowrey Boyd’s instructions to create your own Breaking Bad coasters.

11. Hello Heisenberg

It is a whole lot harder to resist Heisenberg when he is also half-Hello Kitty. DeviantArt user UniqueT may have just created the cutest villain in all of history.

12. I Am The Danger

Joshua Lumitao knows how to make a seriously scary jack-o-lantern. Fortunately, it will only creep out the older kids and adults who come trick-or-treating, as they’ll be the only ones who recognize how horrifying Heisenberg is.

13. Heisenpot

Etsy seller GingerPots’ Heisenberg planter is the perfect place to grow your new lily of the valley or castor bean plants. Just be sure to keep them away from children or you might feel the rage of Jesse Pinkman.

14. Tread Lightly

The cracked blue meth design in these custom Vans slip-ons by Off the Wall Art really puts them on a level all their own. Best of all, you can even order a custom pair of your own from their Facebook Page.

15. Keeping It Real (Awesome)

Jon Defreest might just have the coolest Breaking Bad craft story ever. It all started when he came up with a cool design for Breaking Bad Converse that he posted online. Not long after, Bryan Cranston’s personal assistant got in touch with the artist, letting him know that Bryan wanted a pair of the shoes for himself.

While the shoes were originally just a Photoshop design, Defreest immediately set about getting the shoes printed and sent a pair to Bryan, who then called him to thank him, sent a few goodies in return, and invited the artist to come visit the set of the show. While he was getting a great behind-the-scenes experience, Aaron Paul approached Defreest and told him that he also wanted a pair of the shoes.

Afterwards, Bryan Cranston wore the shoes to the IFC Independent Spirit Awards and Aaron Paul carried a pair with him to show off at the SAG Awards. Defreest expressed his gratitude by saying, “In a situation that could have ended with a cease and desist, I have been consistently treated like a friend of the show. I couldn't have asked for a better experience as both an artist and a fan.”

Note: I am aware that shoe designs that start off as Photoshop images might not technically be considered a “craft,” but with a story this cool, it’s hard to resist sharing.

Original image
iStock // Ekaterina Minaeva
technology
arrow
Man Buys Two Metric Tons of LEGO Bricks; Sorts Them Via Machine Learning
May 21, 2017
Original image
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!

Original image
iStock
Sponsor Content: BarkBox
arrow
8 Common Dog Behaviors, Decoded
May 25, 2017
Original image
iStock

Dogs are a lot more complicated than we give them credit for. As a result, sometimes things get lost in translation. We’ve yet to invent a dog-to-English translator, but there are certain behaviors you can learn to read in order to better understand what your dog is trying to tell you. The more tuned-in you are to your dog’s emotions, the better you’ll be able to respond—whether that means giving her some space or welcoming a wet, slobbery kiss. 

1. What you’ll see: Your dog is standing with his legs and body relaxed and tail low. His ears are up, but not pointed forward. His mouth is slightly open, he’s panting lightly, and his tongue is loose. His eyes? Soft or maybe slightly squinty from getting his smile on.

What it means: “Hey there, friend!” Your pup is in a calm, relaxed state. He’s open to mingling, which means you can feel comfortable letting friends say hi.

2. What you’ll see: Your dog is standing with her body leaning forward. Her ears are erect and angled forward—or have at least perked up if they’re floppy—and her mouth is closed. Her tail might be sticking out horizontally or sticking straight up and wagging slightly.

What it means: “Hark! Who goes there?!” Something caught your pup’s attention and now she’s on high alert, trying to discern whether or not the person, animal, or situation is a threat. She’ll likely stay on guard until she feels safe or becomes distracted.

3. What you’ll see: Your dog is standing, leaning slightly forward. His body and legs are tense, and his hackles—those hairs along his back and neck—are raised. His tail is stiff and twitching, not swooping playfully. His mouth is open, teeth are exposed, and he may be snarling, snapping, or barking excessively.

What it means: “Don’t mess with me!” This dog is asserting his social dominance and letting others know that he might attack if they don’t defer accordingly. A dog in this stance could be either offensively aggressive or defensively aggressive. If you encounter a dog in this state, play it safe and back away slowly without making eye contact.

4. What you’ll see: As another dog approaches, your dog lies down on his back with his tail tucked in between his legs. His paws are tucked in too, his ears are flat, and he isn’t making direct eye contact with the other dog standing over him.

What it means: “I come in peace!” Your pooch is displaying signs of submission to a more dominant dog, conveying total surrender to avoid physical confrontation. Other, less obvious, signs of submission include ears that are flattened back against the head, an avoidance of eye contact, a tongue flick, and bared teeth. Yup—a dog might bare his teeth while still being submissive, but they’ll likely be clenched together, the lips opened horizontally rather than curled up to show the front canines. A submissive dog will also slink backward or inward rather than forward, which would indicate more aggressive behavior.

5. What you’ll see: Your dog is crouching with her back hunched, tail tucked, and the corner of her mouth pulled back with lips slightly curled. Her shoulders, or hackles, are raised and her ears are flattened. She’s avoiding eye contact.

What it means: “I’m scared, but will fight you if I have to.” This dog’s fight or flight instincts have been activated. It’s best to keep your distance from a dog in this emotional state because she could attack if she feels cornered.

6. What you’ll see: You’re staring at your dog, holding eye contact. Your dog looks away from you, tentatively looks back, then looks away again. After some time, he licks his chops and yawns.

What it means: “I don’t know what’s going on and it’s weirding me out.” Your dog doesn’t know what to make of the situation, but rather than nipping or barking, he’ll stick to behaviors he knows are OK, like yawning, licking his chops, or shaking as if he’s wet. You’ll want to intervene by removing whatever it is causing him discomfort—such as an overly grabby child—and giving him some space to relax.

7. What you’ll see: Your dog has her front paws bent and lowered onto the ground with her rear in the air. Her body is relaxed, loose, and wiggly, and her tail is up and wagging from side to side. She might also let out a high-pitched or impatient bark.

What it means: “What’s the hold up? Let’s play!” This classic stance, known to dog trainers and behaviorists as “the play bow,” is a sign she’s ready to let the good times roll. Get ready for a round of fetch or tug of war, or for a good long outing at the dog park.

8. What you’ll see: You’ve just gotten home from work and your dog rushes over. He can’t stop wiggling his backside, and he may even lower himself into a giant stretch, like he’s doing yoga.

What it means: “OhmygoshImsohappytoseeyou I love you so much you’re my best friend foreverandeverandever!!!!” This one’s easy: Your pup is overjoyed his BFF is back. That big stretch is something dogs don’t pull out for just anyone; they save that for the people they truly love. Show him you feel the same way with a good belly rub and a handful of his favorite treats.

The best way to say “I love you” in dog? A monthly subscription to BarkBox. Your favorite pup will get a package filled with treats, toys, and other good stuff (and in return, you’ll probably get lots of sloppy kisses). Visit BarkBox to learn more.

SECTIONS
BIG QUESTIONS
BIG QUESTIONS
WEATHER WATCH
BE THE CHANGE
JOB SECRETS
QUIZZES
WORLD WAR 1
SMART SHOPPING
STONES, BONES, & WRECKS
#TBT
THE PRESIDENTS
WORDS
RETROBITUARIES