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15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About The Marine 3: Homefront

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Even if you missed the first two installments of The Marine, the third film is great fun for any action buff who knows their stuff.

1. The star knew how to act violent.

Mike Mizanin is actually a professional wrestler for the WWE who goes by the stage name “The Miz.” The Marine 3 is his first movie.

2. But the Miz was comfortable in front of the camera.

Before the Miz was a wrestler he appeared as a cast member on the tenth season of the long-running reality show The Real World.

3. The Rock did some coaching.

Before taking on his first starring film role, Mizanin told ESPN that he texted former WWE superstar Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for advice. Johnson allegedly told Mizanin to “act natural, have fun, enjoy the scenes, and enjoy yourself.”

4. The Miz got the role in a disqualification victory.

WWE Superstar Randy Orton was originally slated to star in The Marine 3, but he was dropped from the movie because he was dishonorably discharged from the actual U.S. Marine Corps in 1999.

5. Filming was quick.

Production on The Marine 3 lasted only 20 days. Conveniently, half of the shooting schedule took place on the partially sunken ferry that functions as the villain’s hideout.

6. The ferry had a real history.

The ferry is called The Queen of Sidney, which carried passengers between Vancouver and Vancouver Island when it launched in 1959. It was decommissioned and sold in 2001, and has since sat abandoned on the Fraser River in nearby Mission, British Columbia. In 2012, the vessel was deemed an environmental risk by the British Columbia Ministry of Environment and was seized by the government in order to secure the surrounding natural habitat and the vessel’s safety.

7. The ferry knows how to play supporting roles for wrestlers.

It had previously appeared in the “Stone Cold” Steve Austin film Damage.

8. Rain wasn’t on the film’s side.

The ferry location on the Fraser River flooded so often that the production used a cargo truck originally meant to appear in the movie to transport the cast and crew over flooded areas to get to the set.

9. Director Scott Wiper has a close working relationship with the WWE.

He previously directed The Condemned, which starred Austin.

10. The movie went through a ton of blank ammo.

The production allegedly fired an average of 10,000 rounds each day.

11. Clint Eastwood inspired the Miz.

As a reference for the main character of Sgt. Jake Carter, Wiper had Mizanin use Eastwood’s “Man with No Name” character from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly and Eastwood’s work in Dirty Harry for inspiration.

12. The Miz had one very long match.

The hand-to-hand fight between Jake Carter and the henchman named Cazel (played by actor Darren Shahlavi) wasn’t pre-planned, and the moves of the fight were made up on the day. The scene took 5 hours to block and 2 hours to shoot.

13. The Miz took a brutal injury.

During one of the fight scenes, Mizanin lost a toenail when a door kicked by a stuntperson hit him in the foot. “I’ve never felt pain like this before in all my life,” he told ESPN. “I’ve been hit with kendo sticks and chairs, I’ve been thrown through tables, broke my ankle, broke my nose, and have had concussions in WWE, but nothing has hurt me more than when I stubbed my toe in The Marine 3: Homefront.” 

14. A role was at stake at Wrestlemania.

Mason Norman, a former sergeant in the United States Army Reserve who appears in a non-speaking role in The Marine 3 as an FBI Agent, won the part when he auditioned at a fan contest held during WrestleMania XXVIII.

15. The Miz earned a second shot.

He will return for The Marine 4: Moving Target.

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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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Here's How to Change Your Name on Facebook
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Whether you want to change your legal name, adopt a new nickname, or simply reinvent your online persona, it's helpful to know the process of resetting your name on Facebook. The social media site isn't a fan of fake accounts, and as a result changing your name is a little more complicated than updating your profile picture or relationship status. Luckily, Daily Dot laid out the steps.

Start by going to the blue bar at the top of the page in desktop view and clicking the down arrow to the far right. From here, go to Settings. This should take you to the General Account Settings page. Find your name as it appears on your profile and click the Edit link to the right of it. Now, you can input your preferred first and last name, and if you’d like, your middle name.

The steps are similar in Facebook mobile. To find Settings, tap the More option in the bottom right corner. Go to Account Settings, then General, then hit your name to change it.

Whatever you type should adhere to Facebook's guidelines, which prohibit symbols, numbers, unusual capitalization, and honorifics like Mr., Ms., and Dr. Before landing on a name, make sure you’re ready to commit to it: Facebook won’t let you update it again for 60 days. If you aren’t happy with these restrictions, adding a secondary name or a name pronunciation might better suit your needs. You can do this by going to the Details About You heading under the About page of your profile.

[h/t Daily Dot]

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