But why would Penelope use a French word like “voilà” when she was nowhere near France? It is a reasonable question, and the answer is this: There are French words and phrases that only French-speaking people use, and there are French words and phrases that everyone uses. This is because some ideas are so perfectly described en français that no other language dares try to top it.
—  The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book III: The Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood (by HarperKids)

Turn Your Photos Into Fine-Art 'Paintings' on Free Website

Your selfies may never hang in a fine-art museum, but now you can see what they’d look like if they were painted in the style of some of the world’s most famous artists, courtesy of a website called DeepArt.

Users can upload photos and choose an art style from a selection of well-known paintings, illustrations and sketches in the online database — or even add new ones.

The DeepArt servers then render a reproduction of the original photo in the chosen art style — the bold, flowing strokes of Vincent van Gogh; the cubist shapes of Pablo Picasso; or the vibrant, primitive forms of Frida Kahlo. [Gallery: Hidden Gems in Renaissance Art]

DeepArt produces these artistic conversions using an algorithm created by neuroscientists that mimics the neural connections in the human brain, said ?ukasz Kidzi?ski, a computer scientist and one of DeepArt’s creators.

“The algorithm uses so-called deep, artificial neural networks — a mathematical model built of units called neurons linked with each other,” Kidzi?ski told Live Science in an email.

Kidzi?ski explained that this type of algorithm is particularly useful for object recognition, copying the way that the brain processes sensory input and recognizes patterns. It thereby enables a computer to isolate and identify elements like style and content in an image.

In this way, a computer can actually learn to detect and reproduce a range of artistic styles, and apply them to other images.

One example, shared by Twitter user @claudeschneider, combined a photograph of a dancer posing in a rocky landscape with the Picasso painting “Woman with Mandolin” (1910), to create a Cubist ballerina.

This worked phenomenally! @coastalcballet #ballerina Ana Paula Oioli, in the style of Picasso #cubism @deepart_io

— Claude Schneider (@claudeschneider)

March 30, 2016

In an unrelated computer-art project, a similar array of algorithms enabled another computer program to go one step further and create a new painting from scratch in the style of the 17th century Dutch artist Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn.

Data taken from hundreds of Rembrandt paintings informed the program’s choices of subject, palette and overall composition, and allowed it to “sketch” an original artwork resembling something that might have been painted by the Dutch master himself.

The DeepArt photo-conversion process is free, but due to the site’s popularity, the queue is lengthy. The estimated wait time for each image to “develop” is currently 2,395 minutes (40 hours). However, users are given the option of paying 1.99 euros ($2.24 U.S. dollars) to reduce the render time to 15 minutes.

You can get inspired by other users’ photo-paintings and submit images of your own on the DeepArt website. Free images are rendered at 500 by 500 pixels, but HD versions are also available, for a fee. You can even hang your newly generated art on your wall, as a paper poster or glass print, which the site also offers for purchase.

Follow Mindy Weisberger on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook & Google+. Original article on Live Science.    

Copyright 2016 LiveScience, a Purch company. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
“(…)I hope it is not unladylike for me to say so, but the paupers Baroness Hoover and I visited were filthy to the point of disgrace.” Lady Constance turned and fanned herself. “And their apartments! They were so tiny and depressing! Why they choose to live there is beyond me.”
“It is puzzling, yes,” Penelope murmured.
—  The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood
IF YOU HAVE EVER BEEN forced to give directions, or follow them, you already know what a perfect muddle the whole business of navigation can be. One person’s “go down the road a piece and bear left at the doughnut shop” is another’s “proceed one-half mile and take the eastbound ramp.” The innocent-sounding words “Yes, it’s close enough to walk” can easily lure the unsuspecting tourist into an exhausting day-long climb, requiring supplemental oxygen, crampons, and a pickax. Put simply: E = mc2. Put even more simply: Everything is relative, including time and space, both of which are essential to finding one’s way around town.

jedijones666 The church of St Martin in the Bull Ring.
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IF YOU HAVE EVER TAKEN a long-awaited journey to a far-flung destination, you may have encountered a painful condition known as “holiday fatigue.” This is the phenomenon whereby, after weeks of excitedly shopping for straw hats and suitable luggage, making lists of what to pack and what to leave behind, purchasing bug repellent and checking weather reports, and then traveling by foot, aeroplane, tramp steamer, hot-air balloon, or what you please, you arrive, finally, in Mahi-Mahi or Ahwoo-Ahwoo or some other rare and spectacular locale, only to discover that you would much prefer to be at home.
—  The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood