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7 Types of Drunkards, According to the 1834 Book The Anatomy of Drunkenness

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Wikimedia Commons

Chapter IV of Glaswegian surgeon Robert Macnish’s 1834 The Anatomy of Drunkenness concerns itself with the seven different types of drunkards—or how intoxication is "modified by the physical and moral frame of the drinker." These are the strains he identifies.

1. Sanguineous Drunkard

Persons of this stamp have usually a ruddy complexion, thick neck, small head, and strong muscular fibre. Their intellect is in general mediocre, for great bodily strength and corresponding mental powers are rarely united together...They are prone to combativeness and sensuality, and are either very good-natured or extremely quarrelsome.

I'm picturing Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. Despite the dig at Sanguineous' intelligence, Macnish paints them as the life of the party, the "heroes of all drunken companies." He's the guy you call when you're looking to blow off steam with a drunken night on the town. Just be prepared for some 2am confessions: "Such men cannot conceal their feelings. In drunkenness the veil is removed from them."

2. Melancholy Drunkard

These are not people who get weepy when they drink, but melancholy people by nature who drink to pep up.

Men of this tone of mind seem to enjoy the bottle more exquisitely than even the sanguineous class. The joyousness which iT excites breaks in upon their gloom like sunshine upon darkness. Above all, the sensations, at the moment when mirth begins with its magic to charm away care, are inexpressible.

If drinking is the sunshine that breaks the darkness that is your sober life, please see a professional.

3. Surly Drunkard

This is the person who becomes a worse version of themselves after a few drinks.

A great propensity to take offence is a characteristic among persons of this temperament. They are suspicious, and very often mischievous. If at some former period they have had a difference with any of the company, they are sure to revive it, although, probably, it has been long ago cemented on both sides, and even forgotten by the other party.

More than 150 years after this book was written, this passage rings true as the way certain people get when they're inebriated. If you don't know anyone who rehashes long-forgotten fights after a few too many, you probably are that person.

4. Phlegmatic Drunkard

They are altogether a negative sort of beings, with passions too inert to lead them to anything very good or very bad. They are a species of animated clods, but not thoroughly animated—for the vital fire of feeling has got cooled in penetrating their frozen frames. A new Prometheus would require to breathe into their nostrils, to give them ordinary glow and warmth of humanity.

Ouch. This is truly the harshest, most eloquent way to call someone boring.

5. Nervous Drunkard

This is a very harmless and very tiresome personage. Generally of a weak mind and irritable constitution, he does not become boisterous with mirth, and rarely shows the least glimmering of wit or mental energy. He is talkative and fond of long-winded stories, which he tells in a driveling, silly manner.

I think, perhaps, dedicating himself to studying people at their drunkest was not great for Mr. Macnish's view of humanity. This is what years of being the only sober guy at the party will do to you.

6. Choleric Drunkard

A class of people grouped together because they didn't fit in anywhere else:

They seem to possess few of the qualities of the other races, and are chiefly distinguished by an uncommon testiness of disposition. They are quick, irritable, and impatient, but withal good at heart, and, when in humor, very pleasant and generous.

He does go on to say that, "this disposition is very prevalent among Welshman and Highland lairds."

7. Periodical Drunkard

Nothing to make fun of here. "The persons, from a state of complete sobriety, felt the most intense desire for drink; and no power, short of absolute force or confinement could restrain them from the indulgence." They sound like just plain alcoholics.

[h/t Public Domain Review]

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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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