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Get Friday's Amazon Bargains Now

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amazon / istock

As a recurring feature, our team combs the Web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, April 14.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

GADGETS, TOYS, AND MEDIA

LeFun Wireless Camera, Baby Monitor IP Camera WiFi Surveillance Camera HD 720P Nanny Cam with Pan Tilt Motion Detection Two Way Audio and Night Vision for Home Security System for $55.99 (list price $119.99)

XJ-CAM Hidden Spy Camera Smoke Detector 1280x960 HD DVR Security Nanny Cam Auto Video Recorder with Remote for $19.99 (list price $87.99)

The First Years Quick Serve Bottle Warmer,Colors May Vary for $11.33 (list price $24.99)

My Fairy Garden Magical Cottage Playset for $19.99 (list price $29.99)

Green Toys Dump Truck, Pink for $20.90 (list price $27.99)

Fast & Furious Street Scenes Frozen Missile Attack Vehicle for $19.99 (list price $24.99)

Fast & Furious Collection: 3 & 4 (Blu-ray + Digital HD) for $13.49 (list price $19.98)

Fast & Furious Deluxe Stunt Stars Vehicle for $19.99 (list price $28.39)

Classic Twister for $18.27 (list price $21.99)

Melissa & Doug USA Map Floor Puzzle (51 pcs, 2 x 3 feet) for $10.99 (list price $12.99)

Melissa & Doug Dinosaurs Jumbo Jigsaw Floor Puzzle (48 pcs, 2 x 3 feet) for $10.01 (list price $12.99)

Step2 Splash N Scoop Bay for $44.99 (list price $49.99)

Trouble Game for $8.77 (list price $9.94)

Uno Card Game for $4.16 (list price $12.42)

AmazonBasics Shockproof and Waterproof Bluetooth Wireless Mini Speaker for $14.71 (list price $24.99)

AmazonBasics Two-Port USB Wall Charger (4.8 Amp) - White for $8.40 (list price $9.99)

AmazonBasics Dual-Layer Case for iPhone 7 for $0.97 (list price $12.99)

GoPro HERO+ LCD [Ecommerce Packaging] for $173.49 (list price $299.99)

Amplified TV Antenna Indoor, HDTV Digtial HD Antennas, Leaf Antenna - 50 Miles Long Range - 10ft Coax Cable for $48.99 (list price $48.99)

Garmin Forerunner 230 - Black/White for $180.70 (list price $249.99)

DBPOWER 9.5-Inch Portable DVD Player with Rechargeable Battery, SD Card Slot and USB Port - Black for $66.99 (list price $89.99)

EGRD Upgrade Version Bluetooth V4.1 Wireless Stereo Bluetooth Earphones with CVC6.0 Noise Cancellation, Built-in High Sensitivity HD Micro.(Black) for $22.88 (list price $69.99)

Wireless Mouse, Tonicstar PC Mouse 2.4G USB Optical Mice for Computer Black for $9.99 (list price $29.99)

Midland WR120 NOAA Weather and All Hazard Public Alert Certified Radio with SAME, Trilingual Display and Alarm Clock - Box Packaging for $23.13 (list price $34.99)

Anker PowerCore 5000, Ultra-Compact 5000mAh External Battery with Fast-Charging Technology, Power Bank for iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy and more for $16.99 (list price $49.99)

Car Mount Holder, iOrange-E Air Vent Car Mount Holder, Universal Car Mount Cell Phone Holder Stand Cradle Car Phone Mount for iPhone 7 6S 6 Plus 5S Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Note 7 5 4 LG G5 GPS - Black for $8.99 (list price $22.99)

Anker Multi-Angle Aluminum Stand for Tablets, e-readers and Smartphones, Compatible with iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy / Tab, Google Nexus, HTC, LG, Nokia Lumia, OnePlus and More (Silver) for $8.99 (list price $39.99)

Premium Full 1080p HD Hidden Camera Spy Pen BUNDLE 16GB SD Micro Card + USB card Reader + 7 INK FILLS + updated battery + USB Plug! for $28.99 (list price $59.63)

Anker Quick Charge 3.0 39W Dual USB Car Charger, PowerDrive Speed 2 for Galaxy S7 / S6 / Edge / Plus, Note 5 / 4 and PowerIQ for iPhone 7 / 6s / Plus, iPad Pro / Air 2 / mini, LG, Nexus, HTC and More for $24.99 (list price $59.99)

Dostyle Solar Charger, Portable 15000mAh Solar Battery Charger Dual USB Solar Phone Charger Power Bank Backup Battery with 6 LED Flashlight (Black) for $15.99 (list price $59.99)

Energizer Max AA Premium Alkaline Batteries (24-Pack), No Leaks - Guaranteed or we will replace your device for $13.89 (list price $28.61)

AVLT-Power Juicy Power Universal Multi-device Charging Station and Dock Organizer with Apple Watch Stand - Four Velcro Straps Included - Charging Device NOT included - Bamboo for $21.99 (list price $39.99)

Anker SoundCore Bluetooth Speaker with 24-Hour Playtime, 66-Foot Bluetooth Range & Built-in Mic, Dual-Driver Portable Wireless Speaker with Low Harmonic Distortion and Superior Sound - Black for $35.99 (list price $79.99)

AUKEY WiFi Adapter, AC600 Dual Band USB Wireless Adapter with High-Gain Antenna for Windows 7, 8, 10, XP, Vista and Mac OS X 10.9, 10.10, 10.11 for $5.99 (list price $25.99)

Anker 3ft Nylon Braided USB Cable with Lightning Connector [Apple MFi Certified] for iPhone 7 / 7 Plus / 6s / 6s Plus / 6 / 6 Plus, iPad Pro Air 2 and More (Space Gray) for $9.99 (list price $29.99)

Original 3D Crystal Puzzle - Deluxe Pirate Ship Black for $16.99 (list price $22.17)

[Upgraded] Anker 2-Port 24W USB Wall Charger PowerPort 2 with PowerIQ for iPhone 7 / 6s / Plus, iPad Air 2 / mini 3, Galaxy S Series, Note Series, LG, Nexus, HTC and More for $12.49 (list price $29.99)

Saimly Earbuds, In-Ear Metal Earphones, Stereo Bass Headphones with Mic (Black) for $29.99 (list price $35.99)

KITCHEN

Pre Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet (12.5 inch) by Utopia Kitchen for $29.99 (list price $99.99)

Farberware Nonstick Bakeware 5-Piece Baking Pan Set, Gray for $20.98 (list price $29.99)

Oxinart Collapsible Microwave Popcorn Popper - Silicone Hot Air Popcorn Maker Bowl with Handles, Removeable Lid, Dishwasher Safe. No Oil Needed. No BPA or PVC Toxins, Free eBook (Red) for $15.58 (list price $36.69)

Glasslock 14-Piece Oven Safe Box Set with Lids for $25.03 (list price $34.99)

Brita Replacement Water Filter for Pitchers, 6 Count for $25.99 (list price $33.79)

glacio Silicone Ice Cube Trays Combo (Set of 2), Sphere Ice Ball Maker with Lid & Large Square Molds, Reusable & BPA Free for $14.44 (list price $29.95)

JK Wide Mouth Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle for $20.99 (list price $45.00)

Sistema 1117 Easy Eggs Microwave Cookware, Red for $6.00 (list price $7.18)

Oster 91115.02 Telford Covered Sauce Pan, 2.5-Quart, Red for $13.76 (list price $19.99)

Sertodo Moscow Mule Mug set of 4, Hammered Copper, 18 fluid ounces for $60.43 (list price $140.00)

PriorityChef Knife Sharpener for Straight and Serrated Knives, 2 Stage Diamond Coated Sharpening Wheel System, Black for $19.95 (list price $34.95)

Nutri Bullet N12-1201 Max, Silver for $131.43 (list price $149.99)

Pyrex 18 Piece Simply Store Food Storage Set, Clear for $35.52 (list price $44.99)

Gourmia GSI180 Automatic Healthy Frozen Dessert Maker, Makes Sorbet, Soft-Serve Sherbet & Frozen Fruit Treats, Includes Free Recipe Book for $39.99 (list price $99.99)

Durahome - Meal Prep Containers, 10-Pack, 3 Compartment, BPA Free Food Storage Container with Lids 32oz. Portion Control for $14.91 (list price $23.99)

Crock-Pot SCCPWM600-V2 Wemo Smart Wifi-Enabled Slow Cooker, 6-Quart, Stainless Steel for $119.95 (list price $149.99)

Hippih Silicone Baking Cup Reusable Cupcake Liners,Food Grade Muffin Cups(Heart molds,24 Packs) for $5.99 (list price $19.99)

Stuffed Burger Press Kit, 3 in 1 Heavy Duty Non-Stick Patty Molds, Easily Make the Perfect Burger, Stuffed Burger or Sliders for $7.99 (list price $17.99)

Electric Crepe Maker 13 3/4" for $108.95 (list price $189.00)

SipWell Stainless Steel Drinking Straws, Set of 4, Free Cleaning Brush Included for $6.95 (list price $19.95)

Uno Casa Portion Control Serving Bowls to Promote a Healthy Lifestyle. Ceramic Bowl Deep Dish for $24.99 (list price $34.99)

Chef's Star Set of 4 Handmade Hammered Copper Moscow Mule Mug - 100% Pure Copper with Brass Handle - Hammered Moscow Mule Mug Cup for $22.99 (list price $34.99)

Norpro 8oz/240ml Porcelain Ramekins, Set of 4 for $10.75 (list price $26.85)

Hamilton Beach 25490 Dual Breakfast Sandwich Maker for $17.99 (list price $33.68)

BitElegant French Press Coffee and Tea Maker 34 Oz, 8 Coffee Cup, 1 Liter, 4 Mug, Luxury Heavy Duty Stainless Steel and Thermal Shock Resistant Borosilicate Glass Coffee Press Plunger No-Plastic for $24.99 (list price $59.98)

Sharkk Basics FoodSaver Automatic Vacuum Sealer Fresh Food Saver System with Starter Bags Included for $62.95 (list price $129.99)

HOME

AmazonBasics Hypoallergenic Vinyl-Free Waterproof Mattress Protector, Queen for $21.95 (list price $25.99)

AmazonBasics Foldable Laundry Hamper for $11.04 (list price $17.99)

AmazonBasics Shower Curtain with Hooks (Treated to Resist Deterioration by Mildew) - 72 x 72 inches, White for $6.29 (list price $7.91)

360fly 360° 4K Video Camera for $355.00 (list price $499.99)

Document Frame - Made to Display Certificates 8.5x11 Inch - Document Frames, Certificate Frames, Standard Paper Frame for $12.95 (list price $29.99)

Lawrence Frames 11 by 14-Inch Black Shadow Box Frame, Linen Inner Display Board for $13.29 (list price $24.99)

Love-KANKEI Wood Picture Photo Frame for Wall Decor 26×29 inch - With 30 Clips & Ajustable Twines - Collage Artworks Prints Multi Pictures Organizer & Hanging Display Frames for $15.99 (list price $25.99)

Adeco [PF0206] Decorative Black Wood Wall Hanging Collage Picture Photo Frame, 12 Openings, 4x6" for $27.99 (list price $49.99)

Beebel™ 75-Ft 12 strands Artificial Flowers Fake Hanging Vine Plant Leaves Garland Home Garden Wall Decoration(ivy) for $15.89 (list price $18.99)

Gtidea 4pcs Artificial Flocked Lavender Bouquet in Purple Flowers Arrangements Bridal Home DIY Floor Garden Office Wedding Decor for $10.99 (list price $29.90)

Outus 12 Pack Artificial Greenery Ivy Vine Leaves Garland for Wedding Party Garden Wall Party Decoration for $15.90 (list price $17.99)

Elegant Expressions by Hosley Burlwood Vases, Set of 3 for $26.98 (list price $39.99)

Noah Decoration Cylinder Vase 11.8" for $12.99 (list price $24.99)

Hosley Large 12" Tall White Ceramic Vase for $12.99 (list price $18.98)

SONGMICS 10 Tiers Shoe Rack 50 Pairs Non-woven Fabric Shoe Tower Organizer Cabinet Black 39 3/8" x 11 3/8" x 68 7/8" ULSH11H for $36.99 (list price $39.99)

4 Family 91 Bottles Holder Wine Rack Stackable Storage 7 Tier Solid Wood Display Shelves for $69.99 (list price $149.88)

Swiffer 180 Dusters Refills Unscented 20 Count for $13.27 (list price $15.99)

O-Cedar Commercial 24" Multi-Surface Maxi-Lok Push Broom for $25.99 (list price $29.99)

Cascade Platinum ActionPacs Dishwasher Detergent, Fresh Scent, 62 count for $13.94 (list price $18.99)

Whitmor Folding Clothes Drying Rack, White, Rust-Proof Guarantee, Premium Quality for $21.88 (list price $32.00)

Sunbeam Fleece Heated Throw, Hamilton Plaid/Slate Black, TSF8UP-R871-31A00 for $42.86 (list price $59.99)

LUCID 2 Inch Foam Mattress Topper Full 3-Year Warranty for $37.58 (list price $85.00)

Essence of Bamboo Pillow -The Original Premium Hypoallergenic Down Alternative Fiber Pillow with Bamboo Derived Rayon / Poly Cover - Designed and Filled in USA - Best Sleep Ever, (Queen) for $24.99 (list price $99.99)

AIRCARE MA1201 Whole-House Console-Style Evaporative Humidifier, White for $84.99 (list price $99.99)

PurSteam Fabric Steamer, Fast-Heat Aluminum Heating Element With Travel Pouch, 180ml Capacity Perfect for Home and Travel for $26.99 (list price $59.99)

Affresh W10355049 Stainless Steel Wipes, 35 Wipes for $5.99 (list price $7.44)

AmazonBasics Wood Suit Hangers - 30 Pack, Natural for $20.82 (list price $23.99)

InterDesign Raphael Bathroom Shower Caddy, Regular - Satin for $15.61 (list price $19.99)

HEALTH AND BEAUTY

Elizavecca Milky Piggy Kangsi Pack Wrinkle care Deep Cleansing 24K Gold Mask. Anti Aging, Pore Minimizing, Blackhead removing, Moisturizing and Brightening Facial Treatment for $11.94 (list price $14.00)

Biotin (High Potency) 5000mcg Per Veggie Softgel; Enhanced with Coconut Oil for better absorption; Supports Hair Growth, Glowing Skin and Strong Nails; 120 Mini-Veggie Softgels; Made In USA. for $14.95 (list price $29.95)

Bath Bomb Gift Set USA - 6 Vegan All Natural Essential Oil Lush Fizzies. Organic Shea and Cocoa Soothe Dry Skin. Birthday Gifts for her, Teen girls, Valentine gift. Add to Bath Bubbles - Bath Basket for $19.95 (list price $54.95)

Majestic Pure Lavender Essential Oil, Therapeutic Grade, 4 fl. Oz for $13.95 (list price $29.50)

Organic Castor Oil - 100% USDA Certified Pure Cold Pressed Hexane free - Boost Growth For Eyelashes, Hair, Eyebrows, Face and Skin - with Treatment Applicator Kit - Satisfaction Guarantee, 1oz (30ml) for $15.77 (list price $29.95)

Argan Oil Shampoo, Sulfate Free, 8 oz. - With Argan, Jojoba, Avocado, Almond, Peach Kernel, Camellia Seed, and Keratin - 100% Safe for Color Treated Hair - For Men, Women, and Teens - All Hair Types - Most Beneficial Haircare Product Available for $10.95 (list price $25.00)

Clairol Nice 'n Easy Root Touch-Up 4 Matches Dark Brown Shades 1 Kit, (Pack of 2) for $13.78 (list price $15.98)

Men's Rogaine Hair Loss & Hair Thinning Treatment Minoxidil Foam, Three Month Supply for $39.99 (list price $43.99)

Paul Mitchell Men by Paul Mitchell Mitch Clean Cut Medium Hold/Semi-Matte Styling Cream for Men, 3 Ounce for $13.95 (list price $20.00)

Dove Men+Care Body and Face Wash, Deep Clean 18 oz (Pack of 3) for $16.47 (list price $21.94)

Organic Acne Treatment 100% All Natural Apple Cider Vinegar with Rose+Tea Tree. Clear Acne, Toner, Cleanser, Moisturizer. All-in-One. FREE ($15) Travel Bag+30 Wipes by Hello Cider for $49.95 (list price $49.95)

Oleavine Antifungal Soap with Tea Tree and Neem for Body, 12 oz for $14.70 (list price $29.95)

Dove Body Wash, Sensitive Skin 22 oz, Twin Pack for $9.43 (list price $15.09)

Olay Regenerist Anti Aging Skin Care Trio Pack, 6.0 Ounce for $29.86 (list price $37.99)

ToLB 72% Organic Anti Aging Serum Combo Pack - Vitamin C Serum, Retinol Serum and Hyaluronic Acid Serum for $29.95 (list price $99.95)

Anti Aging Serum Trio - Hyaluronic Acid, Retinol & Vitamin C Serum 3 Pack by Derma-nu Skin Remedies for $49.95 (list price $49.95)

Gillette Fusion Manual Men's Razor Blade Refills, 12 Count for $33.97 (list price $47.99)

Baebody Eye Gel for Dark Circles, Puffiness, Wrinkles and Bags - The Most Effective Anti-Aging Eye Gel for Under and Around Eyes - 1.7 fl oz for $23.95 (list price $55.00)

Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Strips Combo Pack, 24 Count Strips for $11.99 (list price $13.99)

JPNK Blackhead Remover Tools 6 PCS Professional Surgical Extractor Blackhead & Blemish Remover Kit with a Leather bag for $35.99 (list price $35.99)

Anti-Aging Daily Facial Moisturizer for Men 4oz - All natural & organic anti-wrinkle face lotion - For all skin types for $23.96 (list price $45.00)

Daily Power Scrub Facial Cleanser For Men - 8 OZ - Face Wash + Energizing Toner + Exfoliating Scrub All-In-One - Natural & Certified Organic Ingredients for $24.95 (list price $39.00)

Gillette Fusion ProShield Men's Razor with Flexball Handle and 2 Razor Blade Refills for $7.97 with on-screen coupon (list price $13.99)

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum Spf 45, 3 Fl. Oz., Pack Of 2 for $11.24 (list price $14.99)

Majestic Pure Anti Cellulite Cream, 87% Organic Fat Burner Cream, 9 Oz - Tight Muscles & Joint and Muscle Pain, Natural Cellulite Treatment - Soothes, Relaxes, and Tightens Skin for $14.95 (list price $21.95)

Retainer Brite 96 Tablets (3 Months Supply) for $13.99 (list price $14.99)

Maybelline Baby Lips Moisturizing Lip Balm, Cherry Me, 0.15 Ounce for $2.84 (list price $4.49)

Acnefree Spot Treatments Terminator 10 Maximum Strength 10%, 1 Ounce for $6.49

Olay ProX Even Skin Tone Spot Fading Treatment 1.3 Fl Oz for $27.10 (list price $44.99)

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Hydrating Cleanser, Creamy Formula, 12 Ounce for $7.99 (list price $8.19)

Olay Total Effects Anti-Aging Eye Cream Treatment 0.5 Fl Oz for $15.95 (list price $17.99)

real Techniques Starter Set for $16.25 (list price $17.99)

Gold Bond Ultimate Softening Foot Cream with Shea Butter, 4 Ounce for $5.98 (list price $6.99)

Conair 1875 Watt 3-in-1 Ionic Styler, Grey/Black for $16.79 (list price $29.99)

OFFICE, SCHOOL, AND CRAFTS

BIC Velocity Bold Fashion Retractable Ball Pen, Bold Point (1.6 mm), Assorted, 8-Count for $5.69 (list price $8.08)

Greenco Super Strong Foldable Step Stool for Adults and Kids - 11 inches in Height, Holds up to 300 Lb for $10.10 (list price $18.99)

Pentel Refill Erasers for Clic Eraser, Contains 24 Erasers (ZER-2) for $16.13 (list price $23.40)

Highland Pop-up Notes, 3 x 3 Inches, Assorted Pastel Colors, 12 Pack for $8.00 (list price $11.17)

AmazonBasics Height Adjustable Sit-Stand Desk Converter for $195.49 (list price $229.99)

rOtring Fountain Pen, ArtPen, Calligraphy, 2.3 mm for $19.51 (list price $24.35)

6 pcs/Lot Poem Luminous tape Fairy Dream washi tapes 15mm6m decorative adhesive masking sticker for diary book for $20.00 (list price $30.00)

10 pcs/Lot The little Leaves bookmark Sprout mini bookmarks Stationery School Office Supply for $13.50 (list price $20.00)

SUDEE STILE Colored Pencils 150 Unique Colors (No Duplicates) Art Drawing Colored Pencils Set with Case Sharpener for $23.99 (list price $127.96)

Lineon 50 Colors Gel Pens,Gel Pen Set for Adult Coloring Books Art Markers for $10.99 (list price $49.99)

Tanmit Glitter Gel Pens, 96 Gel Colored Pen Set with Grip Including 48 Unique Sparkly Colors & 48 Refills for Adult Coloring Books Crafting Doodling Drawing Art for $16.99 (list price $30.00)

Outus Glitter Vinyl Heat Transfer Paper and PU Heat Transfer Vinyl, 10 by 10 Inches, 8 Colors, 8 Sheets for $19.88 (list price $29.88)

SINGER 2259 Tradition Easy-to-Use Free-Arm 19-Stitch Sewing Machine for $96.49 (list price $129.00)

Brother XR9500PRW Project Runway Limited Edition Sewing Machine with 100 Built-in Stitches and Quilting Table for $149.99 (list price $182.19)

Laptop Stickers [100 pcs], Bezgar Car Stickers Motorcycle Bicycle Luggage Decal Graffiti Patches Skateboard Stickers for Laptop - Random Sticker Pack for $9.99 (list price $19.99)

X-ACTO SchoolPro Classroom Electric Pencil Sharpener, Heavy Duty, Blue/Grey for $21.99 (list price $29.00)

Dust-Off Disposable Compressed Gas Duster, 10 oz Cans, 2 Pack for $12.44 (list price $13.59)

FrogTape 240709 Painting Tape for Textured Surfaces, 1.41-Inch x 45-Yard Roll with 6 oz. Sealer for $11.98 (list price $17.99)

OUTDOORS, SPORTS, AND GARDEN

FoxFarm FX14000 1-1/2-Cubic Feet Ocean Forest Potting Soil for $26.99 (list price $44.95)

j/fit Medicine Ball, Red/Black, 10-Pound for $37.56 (list price $45.99)

Cap Barbell Rubber Hex Dumbbell Set, 150-Pound for $202.14 (list price $320.00)

STURME 20 Pack Natural Mosquito Repellent Bracelets, Waterproof, Bug Insect Protection up to 300 Hours, No Deet, Pest Control for Kids Adults for $15.99 (list price $22.99)

BLACK+DECKER HH2455 3.3-Amp HedgeHog Hedge Trimmer with Rotating Handle And Dual Blade Action Blades, , 24" for $59.99 (list price $63.99)

Coleman Binoculars 10 x 25 for $17.71 (list price $19.99)

SealLine Baja Dry Bag 10 (Orange) for $22.33 (list price $23.95)

Camelbak Products Chute Water Bottle, Sage, 1-Liter for $11.39 (list price $14.00)

Repel 94100 Sportsmen 30-Percent Deet Mosquito Repellent Wipes, 2Packs of 15 Count each for $13.99 (list price $18.99)

Cuisinart COS-118 Vertical 18" Charcoal Smoker, Black for $144.49 (list price $199.99)

First Nature 3052 Clear Hummingbird Nectar, 16-ounce Concentrate for $10.14 (list price $12.99)

Outdoor Interiors 21440 Luxe Eucalyptus Bench for $178.46 (list price $225.06)

Quik Shade Expedition EX100 10'x10' Instant Canopy for $83.32 (list price $149.99)

NAPIER Backroadz Compact Short Bed Truck Tent, 6-Feet, Green/Beige/Grey for $175.56 (list price $189.99)

Igloo Marine Breeze Roller Cooler (28-Quart, White) for $44.72 (list price $46.49)

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium for $44.99 (list price $59.84)

Fat Cat 11.5 Gram Texas Hold 'em Clay Poker Chip Set with Aluminum Case, 500 Striped Dice Chips for $41.49 (list price $55.87)

Kootek Tactical Flashlight Knife K1 Multifunctional Self Defense Survival Knife with LED Rechargeable Adjustable Torch Emergency Light for Vehicle Camping Outdoor for $15.99 (list price $24.98)

Incline Fit Anti-Burst Yoga Exercise Ball with Pump and Ball Base, Black for $18.81 (list price $30.84)

Plant Theatre Psychedelic Salad Kit - 5 Fantastic Salad Vegetables to Grow for $18.99 (list price $22.99)

INTEY Multitool Knife pocket, Portable Stainless Steel 14 in 1 Folding Blade Mi Pliers (Black) for $11.99 (list price $38.99)

Pictek Electric Bug Zapper, Handheld Mosquito Swatter Racket Bug Zapper Racket for Both Indoor and Outdoor Use, Powered by 2 AA batteries included for $12.99 (list price $24.99)

ELECTRONICS

Vansky Bias Lighting for HDTV USB LED Strip Normal Bright White Backlight Kit for Flat Screen TV LCD, Desktop PC (Reduce eye fatigue and increase image clarity) for $15.99 (list price $45.99)

Linksys N750 Wi-Fi Wireless Dual-Band+ Router with Gigabit & USB Ports, Smart Wi-Fi App Enabled to Control Your Network from Anywhere (EA3500) for $35.00 (list price $154.99)

ASUS ZenPad 10.1", 2GB RAM, 16GB eMMC, 2MP Front / 5MP Rear Camera, Android 6.0, Tablet, Rose Gold (Z300M-A2-GD) for $159.00 (list price $179.00)

KrBn Mechanical Keyboard Gaming Keyboard Full Sized Backlit with Phone Holder for $63.99 (list price $249.99)

TaoTronics 2.4G Wireless Cordless Handheld Barcode Bar Code Scanner Reader Kit - Black, 32-bit Decoder, Anti-interference, Mobile Moveable, Optical Laser,Short Range for $49.99 (list price $129.99)

FUGOO Style XL- Portable Rugged Waterproof Wireless Bluetooth Speaker 35 Hrs Battery Life with Built in Speakerphone (Sand/Black) for $249.99 (list price $279.99)

TP-Link Archer C7 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router (AC1750) for $89.99 (list price $92.99)

Plugable Wireless Bluetooth Mouse - Compact Travel Size with DPI adjustment for Windows, OS X, Linux, and Android for $11.00 (list price $24.99)

Aurum Ultra Series - High Speed HDMI Cable (25 feet) With Ethernet - CL3 Certified - Supports 3D and Audio Return Channel for $11.89 (list price $10.89)

Turtle Beach - Universal digital USB Stream Mic - TruSpeak - Xbox One, PS4 and PC for $79.95 (list price $99.99)

Anker Premium Lightning to USB Cable 3 Feet (0.9 Meters) for Select Iphone, Ipad Models [Apple MFi Certified](White) for $5.99 (list price $19.99)

Solar Chargers 15000mAh, GRDE Portable Dual USB Solar Battery Charger External Battery Pack Phone Charger Power Bank with Flashlight for Smartphones Tablet Camera (Blue) for $17.59 (list price $23.99)

TOOLS

Stanley FMHT33348 FATMAX Auto-Lock Tape Rule, 30' for $26.99 (list price $48.07)

DEWALT DWST17806 TSTAK VI Deep Box for $25.26 (list price $44.90)

DEWALT DWMT73807 Accessory Tool Kit, 15 Piece for $26.99 (list price $29.99)

Stanley J5C09 1000 Peak Amp Jump Starter with Compressor for $80.48 (list price $99.99)

Stanley PIC140 140W Power Inverter for $17.98 (list price $19.98)

PeakPlus Super Bright LED Tactical Flashlight Zoomable Adjustable Focus 5 Modes Water Resistant Torch with Rechargeable 18650 Lithium Ion Battery & Charger for $17.99 (list price $39.99)

Kreg KHC-PREMIUM Face Clamp for $17.92 (list price $21.99)

Kingsley Guard-a-key Black Realtor's Lockbox for $13.95 (list price $21.95)

Wooster Brush Q3108-2 Softip Paintbrush, 2-Inch for $5.33 (list price $6.93)

InnoGear 20 LED Solar Lights Motion Sensor Wall Light Outdoor Security Light Night Light for Gutter Patio Garden Path, Pack of 2 (White) for $19.99 (list price $49.99)

Anker Bolder LC90 LED Flashlight, IP65 Water-Resistant, Zoomable, Rechargeable, Pocket-Sized Torch (for Camping and Hiking) with Super Bright 900 Lumens CREE LED, 5 Light Modes, 18650 Battery Included for $29.99 (list price $55.00)

Enover TS18 15A/1800W 7-day Programmable Plug-in Digital Timer Switch with 3-Prong Outlet for $15.99 (list price $24.98)

Gorilla Tough & Clear Mounting Tape, Double-Sided, 1" x 60", Clear for $5.83 (list price $7.57)

Stanley 55-045 7-1/2-Inch Wonder Bar II Pry Bar for $4.11 (list price $6.85)

TR Industrial Anti-Fog Approved Wide-Vision Lab Safety Goggle, ANSI Z87.1 Approved for $8.99 (list price $18.99)

Blazer GT8000 Big Shot Butane Torch for $70.42 (list price $89.95)

Black & Decker 15-110 High Speed Steel General Purpose Drill Bit Set, 10-Piece for $5.98 (list price $7.15)

AquaSense 3 Setting Handheld Shower Head with Ultra-Long Stainless Steel Hose, White for $15.35 (list price $21.95)

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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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Name the Author Based on the Character
May 23, 2017
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