Indiana native. Purdue grad. Programmer / Dev Ops in trade. Dog owner. Husband and father. Have questions? Ask!
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Candy Heart messages written by a neural network

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Around Valentine’s Day in the US and UK, these things called candy hearts (or conversation hearts or sweethearts) appear: small and sugary, bearing a simple, short Valentine’s message. There are only room for a few characters, so they read something like “LOVE YOU” or “CALL ME” or “BE MINE”.

I collected all the genuine heart messages I could find, and then gave them to a learning algorithm called a neural network. Given a set of data, a neural network will learn the patterns that let it imitate the original data - although its imitation is sometimes imperfect. The candy heart messages it produced… well, you be the judge.

The neural net did produce some that would pass for - and arguably improve upon - the standard messages.

image

DEAR ME
MY MY
LOVE BOT
CUTE KISS
MY BEAR
LOVE BUN

Others were in the same spirit, but perhaps not quite as effective.

image

YOU A LOVE
AM GOOD
YOU ARE BABE
ME MY <3
YOU ARE IT
HEART ME
SWEET PEAR
COOL CUD
FANCY MY HERO

Others were, um, strange. I don’t know what they mean, but some of them might work on me.

image

ALL HOVER
OOG LOVE
TEAM BEAR
TIME HUG
PIN A FACE
YOU’RE ME
SWOOL MAT
BOG LOVE
I HONKER
HOW COT
BEAR WIG
FANG
BE A GOOL
TWEET UP BAT
WIRLY OOT
I WANDER
TIME STAR

These will probably not be one of the standard messages anytime soon.

image

STANK LOVE
SWEAT POO
LOVE 2000 HOGSYEA
HOLE
HOW U HOT
YOU ARE BOA
CHERT FACE
LICK
SWEAT PEAR
LOO GIN
YOU A GOO
LOOK BIG
YOU ARE BAG
U HACK

There was yet another category of message, a category you might be able to predict given the prevalence of four-letter words in the original dataset. The neural network thought of some nice new four-letter words to use. Unfortunately, some of those words already had other meanings. Let’s just say that the overall effect was surprisingly suggestive. Fill out the form here and I’ll send them to you.

Also, if you need more love help from the neural network, check out the pick up lines it wrote.

Heart pictures made using https://cryptogram.com/hearts/

UPDATE: MORE HEARTS!

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RyanAdams
11 hours ago
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Central Indiana
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Differing philosophies of Python and PHP

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Actual screenshot:

The screenshot shows the menu page of an Internet discussion
forum.  Two forum groups are in the screenshot. The most recent
discussion topic in the “PHP Development” group is “Hiding errors”.  The most recent
topic in the “Python Programming” group is “Handling errors”

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RyanAdams
7 days ago
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Central Indiana
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Study shows Super Bowl only sells 22% as many hotel rooms as NFL claims

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If you want a good concrete example of how Super Bowl economic-benefit claims are bunk, just keep in mind this paragraph from a Sunday New York Times article on the subject:

In a forthcoming paper, [Berry College economist Frank] Stephenson examines the 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl, which generated 224,000 hotel stays, according to its economic impact report. Indianapolis serves as an apt comparison to Minneapolis since it is a cold-weather city in the Midwest. Actually, in the week leading up to the Super Bowl and the three days afterward, Indianapolis hotels rented an additional 49,000 rooms compared with what would be expected, less than a quarter of the estimate.

That is a large discrepancy! We’ll have to wait for Berry’s full paper to get into the nitty-gritty of where all those Super Bowl visitors are staying, but it certainly helps explain why other economists like Holy Cross’s Victor Matheson have found the economic impact of the game to be less than a quarter what the NFL and host cities claim.

Stephenson goes on to note that there’s likely a ton of leakage of that money from the local economy, since fans “don’t give it to the housekeeper or bellboy or front-desk person; a lot of it just flows to whoever owns the hotel” — or as Matheson once put it, “Imagine an airplane landing at an airport and everyone gets out and gives each other a million bucks, then gets back on the plane. That’s $200 million in economic activity, but it’s not any benefit to the local economy.”

Meanwhile, the city of Minneapolis is spending $50 million on hosting the game (on top of the billion dollars or so it put into the Vikings‘ new stadium that’s hosting it), though it says it’s raised it from corporate donors. I think I’ll wait to see what the actual numbers look like after the fact, though — it’s becoming increasingly clear that when it comes to the Super Bowl, you want to check the final bill, not the initial estimates.

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RyanAdams
25 days ago
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Will be interested in reading the full report for sure.
Central Indiana
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Like love, taxes make people do the strangest things

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Tariff engineering is the study of how to make small changes to a product in order to achieve a more favorable tariff classification. Here are some great moments in tariff engineering:

Converse sneakers have small pieces of felt on the sole in order to be classified as slippers rather than sneakers and enjoy a 3% tariff rather than 37.5% upon import into the United States.

Marvel successfully argued in the United States that X-Men action figures are non-human, which means that they are subject to a lower tariff than for dolls. Of course, this argument completely flies in the face of the entire story line of the X-Men, who struggle to be recognized as human!

In the U.K., Pringles unsuccessfully argued that their products are not potato chips. This is another case of a company taking a tariff position that contradicts their own product's principles.

Canadian pizza restaurant chain Pizza Pizza circumvented the high tariff on imported cheese by repackaging mozzarella as pizza topping kits, thereby allowing them to be classified as "food preparations" and enter the country duty-free. This loophole pit the Canadian Dairy Commission against the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association, and the Canadian Dairy Commission won: The rule was changed so that fresh cheese is always taxed as cheese, even if packaged as part of something else.

If your Santa costume has a zipper, it is classified as clothing, taxed at around 30%. But if you replace the zipper with a Velcro-type fastener, then it's considered a festive article and is duty-free.

The automobile industry has come up with a variety of workarounds for the so-called chicken tax, which imposes a 25% tariff on commercial trucks and vans arriving in the United States. Dodge works around it by taking the finished product, disassembling it, shipping the parts to the United States, then reassembling it. Ford's solution is to produce a passenger car, and then on arrival in the United States, remove the seats and windows. (This may explain why you see paneled vans with window cutouts in the cargo area.) I remember when they came up with this solution because their press release was very proud of the fact that they were now sending the never-used seats and windows to a recycling center instead of just throwing them away like they had been before.

One of the longer sagas of tariff engineering (and in fact the case that introduced me to the concept) is the case of Heartland vs. The United States Beet Sugar Association, which I'll save for next time.

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RyanAdams
30 days ago
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Central Indiana
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"Is this where the cannibalism happens?"

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The 1969 Easter Mass Incident.
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RyanAdams
38 days ago
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Hahahahahhahahah!
Central Indiana
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Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - The Old Days

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Click here to go see the bonus panel!

Hovertext:
Of course, the real trick is to adjust the top marginal tax bracket up or down by 2 percent.

New comic!
Today's News:
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RyanAdams
59 days ago
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Central Indiana
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2 public comments
pmac
53 days ago
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Nailed it
Atlanta, GA
kbrint
58 days ago
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Nailed it.
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