16th Try

I totally destroyed an online programming challenge yesterday. The next picture shows my awesome and overwhelming victory.

Yeah! Pow! That's right, "accepted." Er, well, accepted on my 9th try. All those other guys are working on different, more difficult problems. More honest picture below.

After I got one right, I tried to make my program a bit faster, with limited success. The program had to print all the prime numbers on some range [a..b] where b-a<=100,000. The upper limit for b was a trillion. I also had a 6 second time limit. This gave me a whole new appreciation for the national debt because I had to use special fancy number types to even represent numbers with 12 zeros. Anyway, it was cool. Not like actually "cool" cool, but you know...kewl? Still I was proud of myself. I'll probably play again, they've got a zillion little problems you can bang on.

Edit: Julie helped me with the prime number test using her mad cryptography skilz.

We also went to the zoo on Sunday. Snow leopard cubs were there! And they were being cute cubs with oversized paws and ridiculously big (though very dignified) fuzzy tails. Here they are with mom (they followed her around):

The zoo here is pretty awesome. It cost $4 to enter and you get tigers and eagles and cheetahs and snow leopards. Here's another one with Julie hanging out with the wallabies.

It was a little bit sad on the way out because we found out that our grizzly bear passed away in the Spring. He was the oldest zoo bear. I think he was born in the 60's. They had a little sign up for him on the bulletin board. That seemed nice since most of the time animals suddenly aren't there any more and you never really know.

I was also feeling gamey so I bought Halo:ODST this weekend for the xbox. I got really excited during the first cinematic because we had just watched an episode of Firefly and while I was listening to the Halo scene, I realized that the captain and Jane from Firefly were doing voice work on my game! It was kinda funny because they were basically the same characters too. The game itself is fun too ;)

I'm trying to figure out how to buy a bunch of grass-fed beef. I read "the omnivore's dilemma" here a while back (not recommended: preachy, data is cherry-picked, induces starvation), and it got me on a path where I decided that feedlots aren't really very nice for anybody. (e.g. limiting antibiotics is to feedlots as conserving water is to watching your neighbor's lawn sprinkler)

So now I have a goal, "Buy grass-fed beef, not finished in a feed lot" but getting there is tricky. Not because it isn't available, but because getting it done means I'll have to talk to a stranger (the farmer, he's got a web site and everything). I'm pretty good once introductions have been made, but actually initiating this kind of thing uses a piece of my brain that just isn't very good. However, while I was in Minneapolis, Elisa tried to teach me that it was okay to talk to strangers, especially if they might be useful! I suppose I'll consider this my continuing education.


julie said…
I think you forgot to mention that I actually helped on your program! Woohoo! But not with the icky programming part. :p

I hope the farmer writes you back...or else you might have to CALL!
Revised and repaired, my tiny math monster.
4 Is More said…
Hahaha, I found that in Wisconsin that EVERYONE talks to strangers! Maybe it is a Northern Midwest thing?
I think it's a shy thing :)

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