Chris Lindland (who founded the awesome Betabrand writes, "I went to college at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with my partner in kudzu crime, Anthony Jaffe, who now lives in Atlanta. For years, we've talked about building a giant monument to Godzilla out of the famed Vine That Ate The South. While everyone knows what Godzilla is, for the most part only Southerners are truly familiar with kudzu. It's an invasive vine that grows up to a foot a day and fully envelopes trees, telephone poles, and buildings -- making them look like giant, leafy monsters.
"So we naturally thought, "Why not crowdfund an enormous, Godzilla-like structure and allow it to be covered in Kudzu." The result: Kudzilla.
We've amassed a team of architects, builders, gardeners, and topiary artists to make this come to life next spring. Where it will grow remains to be determined; we actually think that finding Kudzilla's home will be one of the most entertaining parts of the project.
The Wikipedia entry on Kudzu has all kinds of factoids about its growth, if you'd like to learn more.
KUDZILLA -- A Monumental Monster Made of Kudzu
The Nightmare Machine is an MIT project to use machine learning image-processing to make imagery for Hallowe’en.
The Stormtrooper Decanter is on back-order, but you can pre-order one from the next batch for £22 — it’s based on Andrew Ainsworth’s original movie helmet moulds from 1976, and will provide endless opportunities to point to lowball glasses and say things like “aren’t you a little short for a Stormtrooper drink?” (via Bonnie Burton)
Yahoo has released a machine-learning model called open_nsfw that is designed to distinguish not-safe-for-work images from worksafe ones. By tweaking the model and combining it with places-CNN, MIT’s scene-recognition model, Gabriel Goh created a bunch of machine-generated scenes that score high for both models — things that aren’t porn, but look porny.
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