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Make Strange Stories from Your Pictures with Word Camera

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Is a picture really worth 1000 words? Taking pictures has gotten easier than ever, knocking the word/picture exchange rate way out of balance. But Ross Goodwin, an NYU graduate student, recently made it a lot easier to get your picture’s worth, by automatically generating long, wordy, and sometimes eerily strange descriptions of your photos.

Goodwin created word.camera, an app that creates “lexographs,” or text documents generated from photographs. It takes images, either directly from your camera or from uploaded files, and uses Clarifai, an image recognition tool, to extract tags and then feeds them into ConceptNet, a network trained on the relationship of words to meaning and real world knowledge. It feeds the result through a template that creates sentences to weave the information together and returns a description that might be given by a Martian who’s read an encyclopedia and is looking at the picture through a foggy telescope. This can be fun, and often weirdly poetic.

For example here’s the first few paragraphs from a lexograph of this photo:

 

Accordingly, a singer, a stringed instrument, and a european. Now, the singer is made from a person who singing. The stringed instrument is for jam session, and the european is a native or inhabitant of europe. For this purpose, the singer yearns for smoking marijuiana. There, it is a person who singing. To put it another way, it evokes crooner. In conclusion, it evokes performer.

To sum up, a ballet dancer and a group: the ballet dancer belongs to a company that producing ballets, and the group evokes accession. Never, the group may include individual. Nonetheless, it is a set with composition operation. Once, it is a collecting in one place. Also, it is a set that being closed, associative, has an identity element and every element has an inverse. Immediately, the ballet dancer is known to some as ballerina. However, it may perfect his posture. Though, it is also known as a ballerina. Doubtedly, it is a one who dancing ballet.

Or a skeleton, which is for teach anatomy to student. To repeat, it is an organisation. Surely, it evokes bone. For example, it evokes skeleton in closet. Nonetheless, it evokes endoskeleton. Nevertheless, it evokes secretting.

To this end, a dalmatian, a musical performance, and a theater. By all means the dalmatian evokes romance. The musical performance may happen in auditorium, and the theater appertains to a building where theatrical performances or motion-picture shows can be presented. And yet, the dalmatian is a video game. Nearly, it is known to some as далматинец. Hence, it is a video game. Nonetheless, it is known to some as dalmát.

Yes, there is a performance happening, there is crooning and dancing. Are they Europeans? Yes. Are they Dalmations? No, they are supposed to be cats, but yes, they do sort of look like Dalmations. Do they yearn for marijuana, do they have skeletons in their closets? Well, they just might. The lexograph may know more than we do.

When I ran a bland picture of a parachute harness, the lexograph circled, semi-sensibly, around the ideas of harnesses, buckles, leg holes, and sports, but also went on a strange tangent about animals only dying once and children buttering bread, making the bland photo weirdly interesting. When someone else ran a picture of young Vladimir Putin the lexograph led with “Meanwhile, a history, a group, and an outfit. Undoubtedly, the history may repeat itself” before veering off to watercraft and war.

If you’re interested in artificial intelligence, playing with word.camera may give you interesting insights into the limits and strengths of image recognition and semantic networks. If you’re not, it may still give you serendipitous insights into the strange meanings that lurk in your photos and the world around you.

Play with word.camera here. If you make any you like, you can even turn them into albums or postcards.

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Sensorwake, Kickstarter
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Wake Up to the Aroma of Cappuccino With This Scent-Emitting Alarm Clock
Sensorwake, Kickstarter
Sensorwake, Kickstarter

Some people need an aggressive alarm clock to get them out of bed, like Simone Giertz's slapping robot, or the singNshock, which zaps you if you hit the snooze button. For others, a gentler wakeup call is what does the trick. That's what you get with Sensorwake, a new alarm clock on Kickstarter that gradually stimulates three of your senses to ease you into the day.

During the first minute of the alarm's three-minute wakeup process, it releases a pleasant aroma. You have your choice of scent cartridges, including cappuccino, peppermint, rose garden, chocolate factory, orange juice, and pine forest. A single cartridge lasts 30 days before it needs to be switched out.

After reviving your nose, Sensorwake activates its visual component: a soft light. For the final minute, the gadget plays sound like a traditional alarm clock, but instead of a blaring buzzer, you hear one of five upbeat melodies. If all that isn't enough to get you on your feet, you can hit snooze and wait for the cycle to start over in 10 minutes.

With more than three weeks left in its Kickstarter campaign, Sensorwake has already multiplied its original funding goal of $30,000. To reserve a clock and two scent capsules of your own, you can pledge $59 or more. Shipping is estimated for November of this year.

[h/t Mashable]

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Dominique Faget, AFP/Getty Images
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David Lynch's Amazon T-Shirt Shop is as Surreal as His Movies
Dominique Faget, AFP/Getty Images
Dominique Faget, AFP/Getty Images

David Lynch, the celebrated director behind baffling-but-brilliant films like Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Mulholland Drive, and Twin Peaks, is now selling his equally surreal T-shirts on Amazon.

As IndieWire reports, each shirt bears an image of one of Lynch’s paintings or photographs with an accompanying title. Some of his designs are more straightforward (the shirts labeled “House” and “Whale” feature, respectively, drawings of a house and a whale), while others are obscure (the shirt called “Chicken Head Tears” features a disturbing sculpture of a semi-human face).

This isn’t the first time Lynch has ventured into pursuits outside of filmmaking. Previously, he has sold coffee, designed furniture, produced music, hosted daily weather reports, and published a book about his experience with transcendental meditation. Art, in fact, falls a little closer to Lynch’s roots; the filmmaker trained for years at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts before making his mark in Hollywood.

Lynch’s Amazon store currently sells 57 T-shirts, ranging in size from small to triple XL, all for $26 each. As for our own feelings on the collection, we think they’re best reflected by this T-shirt named “Honestly, I’m Sort of Confused.”

Check out some of our favorites below:

T-shirt that says "Honestly, I'm Sort of Confused"
"Honestly, I'm Sort of Confused"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with a drawing of a sleeping bird on it
"Sleeping Bird"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt that says Peace on Earth over and over again. The caption is pretty on the nose.
"Peace on Earth"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an image of a screaming face made out of turkey with ants in its mouth
"Turkey Cheese Head"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an odd sculpted clay face asking if you know who it is. You get the idea.
"I Was Wondering If You Know Who I Am?"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an image of a sculpted head that is not a chicken. It is blue, though.
"Chicken Head Blue"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with a drawing of a lobster on it. Below the drawing, the lobster is labeled with the word lobster. Shocking, I know.
"Lobster"

Buy it on Amazon

T-shirt with an abstract drawing of what is by David Lynch's account, at least, a cowboy
"Cowboy"

Buy it on Amazon

[h/t IndieWire]

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