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Marcin Aleksander Surowiec

11 Strange and Delightful Twin Peaks Tattoos

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Marcin Aleksander Surowiec

We recently posted an article about how Twin Peaks helped revolutionize television by making a soap opera into a modern art piece. While some people watched the show, appreciated it, and then moved on to the next trend in prime time, the show, like all David Lynch creations, developed a strong cult following. In fact, many people have tattoos featuring icons of the series. Here are a few we uncovered.

1. Who Killed Laura Palmer?

The first and foremost mystery in the series is who killed Laura Palmer, but I’m willing to bet you didn’t expect anyone to have tattoos of her corpse after it washed up on shore. But here’s one by tattoo artist Josh Carlton that recounts the scene in perfect detail.

2. It’s Not the Laura You Know

Here’s another take on Laura Palmer’s corpse, only this time with classic actress Vivian Leigh filling in for actress Sheryl Lee. Why someone wanted to combine the two isn’t clear, but it is obvious that artist Mez Love did a great job illustrating the concept.

3. Two Seasons, One Tattoo

This tattoo also includes a shot of Laura lying dead on the beach, only it seems less morbid since it also incorporates other images from the show. This impressively detailed leg tattoo by Attitude Tattoo isn’t even complete, it still is waiting for the dark red curtain from the Black Lodge and a few other details to be added in.

4. A Damn Fine Tattoo

Here’s another piece that incorporates a variety of icons from throughout the series in one great image. Artist Silje Hagland combined the décor of the Black Lodge with a “damn fine” cup of coffee, an owl that is not what it seems and a blue rose that symbolizes the unsolvable case.

5. So Much Lynch, So Little Space

This half sleeve by Mez Lovealso incorporates many of the iconic images from the show, including the Black Lodge, the blue rose, and some coffee and pie from the Double R Diner. But it adds in portraits of both Agent Cooper and Gordon Cole (the character Lynch played in the show).

6. Not What They Seem

Joshua Marhall likes the show enough that he’s getting an entire sleeve based on it. The first piece he had completed was one showing that the owls are not what they seem.

7. As Black As Midnight On A Moonless Night

Next, Joshua got some of the RR coffee on his arm with Agent Cooper’s preference for the beverage. His sleeve, by artist Scott Move of Circle Tattoo, isn’t yet complete, but we can’t wait to see how it ends up when it’s done.

8. Welcome to Twin Peaks

No two images better represent Twin Peaks than the town sign shown in the intro and Agent Cooper. This tattoo by Marcin Aleksander Surowiec combines the two into a unique image that seems particularly fitting for such a strange and surreal show.

9. This Must Be Where Pies Go When They Die

It’s hard not to love the Double R, given how much Agent Cooper raves about their coffee and pie. For that reason, a surprising number of people have tattoos featuring coffee or pie from the diner, including Kat Selvocki who was inked by Ashley Love.

10. This Owl Belongs In A Cave

One of the most famous icons from the show is the owls, so it is no surprise that there are so many Twin Peaks owl tattoos. This one, on Instagram user craigy_mac, is not only topped off with a quote about the owls, but also with the owl pictogram found in the Owl Cave.

11. Traditional Owl Surprises

Ryan’s owl tattoo by Ron Henry Wells is quite striking as he decided to get the Twin Peaks icon in a very traditional tattoo style, which flows well with the message about the owls not being what they seem.

If you still can’t get enough Twin Peaks weirdness, don’t miss these great coffee ads from Japan made by David Lynch himself.

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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:

501069-OpeningCeremony3.jpg

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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