[IOI 2014 Outtakes]

Miscellaneous observations that didn’t make it into a compelling narrative, sometimes because I have forgotten exactly when they happened, sometimes because I only remembered when they happened after blogging about it, sometimes because it just seemed too tangential, sometimes just because of the circumference of the mooooooooooooooooon! (That made no sense and I’m not going to remember what I’m alluding to in a few months.)
  • During the first day a guy came into the secret computer room that the Taiwan team had concealed themselves in, saw us watching anime (SAO 2 among others), and innocently asked, “Are you the Japanese team?”
  • The organizers had provided a free whack-a-mole machine, two basketball machines, a Kinect, and a table soccer table in the basement outside the dining hall. I don’t know what it is with science olympiads and table soccer; it’s been provided at all three Olympiads I’ve gone to. Can this be just a fluke?
  • Paul spent most mornings and evenings playing Kingdom Rush in our room. Kingdom Rush is a great game, but the reason I put it here is that I was mildly amused to see a Kingdom Rush screenshot in Evan’s IMO 2014 report when it came out. Things that transcend boundaries…
  • Somewhere among the many occasions when I abruptly switched to English to greet my classmates, our team developed the “Hey, Brian!” meme, which then got two letters transposed. Just for your information.
  • I spotted T-shirts from IOI 2011, IOI 2012, IOI 2013, IMO 2012, Google Code Jam, TopCoder, Codeforces, Dropbox, and Quora.
  • There really does appear to be a critical mass of confused people dining in one place above which clapping for no reason is contagious. I observed this during IMO 2012 too. The new thing I learned was that the same trick also works with singing “Happy Birthday” to some degree.
  • During one of the bus rides, I was randomly pulled into a conversation about Phineas & Ferb. I impressed some contestant (I don’t remember which country he came from, unfortunately; it might have started with a T?) by mentioning the English name of the evil genius, Doofenshmirtz. (For a few seconds I wondered if I had met a certain IMO legend again.) The guy congratulated me, then remarked that my eye cover made me look like a character from Happy Tree Friends. “It’s not good news to be a character from Happy Tree Friends. Especially since we’re on a bus. Do you know the episode on a bus?” I didn’t know the episode on a bus, and I was pretty sure I preferred not to know.
  • I still remember xyz111, the full scorer from China, for writing the Codeforces round (#254) that totally pwned me (my first rating decrease!) and then issuing an editorial in response to an unexpected solution saying,
    This is my mistake, and I feel sorry for not noticing that, I’m too naive, and not good at solving problems. Please forgive me.
    not good at solving problems
    O_o and people wonder why I’m humble…

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