This weekend I flew to Pittsburgh to compete in the second annual Puzzlestorm. For those of you who don't know, Puzzlestorm is a day long puzzle solving competition. Teams of four are given a stack of puzzles in the morning. They can solve them in any order they want and work however they want except that they can't ask for help from other people or use more than one computer. The solution to each puzzle is a single word or short phrase. One of the puzzles is a meta puzzle, that when applied to the solutions of the others, give clues to the location of a "treasure" that is the goal of the contest. There are points for solving puzzles depending on how soon you solve them, but the winners are the ones who find the treasure first. The idea is based on the Microsoft Intern Puzzle Day and is sponsored by Microsoft. Therefor the prize is four X-boxes.

A couple years ago I heard about this type of thing from a friend of mine who worked at Microsoft. I like solving puzzle and thought it would be fun. Last year when I first heard about it, I put together a team (and facilitated a second team since I found more than three people interested). My team consisted of two co-workers, Desney Tan and Jason Pratt, and my friend Linda Wu. Ironically, I was planning on starting a house team but house friends joined to form the "We're just here for the Halo Machines" team.

Last week Linda called me and told me that puzzlestorm was going to be this weekend and that she had formed a team with Dave Mason and Joe Liu and they had saved a place for me.

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Keywords:Carnegie Mellon | Puzzles
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Looking Back, Too Far Back

The other day I was thinking about the past. I have to admit, I was taking stock of my failures with girls, from the first time I can remember having an interest in the opposite sex as such until now. I have a good memory and tend to remember a lot of small details that go unnoticed by other. I have a tendancy to make the least significant things into important memories. When it comes to people though, I also have a tendency to forget to remember. I don't actually forget but I move on, perhaps too quickly. This is all too clear in the fact that while I know much about and have met several of my college friends' high school friends, I don't think I've mentioned to them (or stayed in touch with) more than one of mine.

So, while I was going back over distant memories, I remembered someone who I had virtually forgotten. It is not surprising that I wouldn't offen think about someone I only knew for one month 10 years ago, and not even that well. It was my second year at overnight camp, just after 6th grade. I don't know if I would even call it a crush, if so the most childish version of it. But at the time I was still too socially shy to even really become good friends or stay in touch with someone who I found interesting. Even if I wasn't over idealizing events of so long ago, so much can happen in that amount of time, and people can change quite a bit. It's not often that you rediscover someone that you haven't known for a long time and really get to see the effects of time. I was curious how the years had affected someone I had known.

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Keywords:Nostalgia | Girls
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Thought Repository » February 2004