Thursday, June 28, 2007

Between our quests we sequin vests and impersonate Clark Gable

Firstly, the second semifinal: tomek, the highest-ranked coder in the contest, came third, and will therefore have to compete in the wildcard round for a place in the final. He was unlucky in having a silly bug in his easy problem and also failing the hard problem (along with everybody else) - he only made the wildcard because there were a lot of failures, and only one person got even two problems right.

Now, for the non-geeks reading my blog: last night we went to see "Tournament of Kings" at Excaliber, which is, wait for it... a casino! Not only is it a casino, but it's done up in a very fake garish Disney-esque castle with garish colours that probably didn't exist in the middle ages, or indeed before 1960. The actual show featured a bunch of "knights" (who were at the same time kings of assorted countries) doing jousting and sword-fighting and stuff, along with some plot involving some evil lord with demonic laughter, all of which played very loose with history, culture and mythology (it was supposedly King Arthur in charge of it all, and for some reason the kings from these other countries were the Knights of the Round Table, hence the title). The whole thing was excessively loud and seemed aimed at 10-year olds. There was also a bit tacked on the end with a bunch of acrobats, who climbed on top of each other a lot, although not in any depraved way.

The plus side of the whole adventure is that I actually got to see a genuine Vegas casino wedding chappel. Folks, this is not a mythical stereotype, it really exists. You can see it directly behind me, next to the Pizza Hut.
Tonight is The Blue Man Group, which I suspect will be a bit arty for my taste, but will hopefully have a degree of intellectual engagement more appropriate to the generally intelligent people at the TCO. Also, I compete in my semifinal in just over 3 hours. Since I still have jet-lag, it's currently 6:40am and I'm drafting this entry to kill time, and also sitting in the dark so as not to disturb my roommate.

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