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August 25th, 2004


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03:52 pm - Hello from the MSO!
Hello, gang! It's been a while, hasn't it? I have been very busy indeed working at the 8th Mind Sports Olympiad in Manchester. This year's event is being OK. As ever, a few steps forward from previous years, but also many steps and slides backwards.

Last year, I was responsible for producing a daily bulletin and updating the web site pretty much by myself (though with the help of godlovesevery1 from time to time); this year, I'm co-leading a team of 2 (might have been 3, going down to 1 tomorrow) in producing and processing the official results, plus leading a team of 7 5 in doing the jobs that I did last year. These are all volunteers with no prior experience of the MSO and frequently with little knowledge of mind sports at large - but, as you might guess from them being volunteering types, all nice folk. This goes to show just how good specialists at their job can be. I don't think I'm a great team leader, though I think I am avoiding the biggest mistakes by simply trying to be pleasant to everyone else on the teams. Don't know whether I'm committing the second, third, fourth (etc.) biggest mistakes or not, though.

(This is resulting in lots of 12-hour days, like last year's event did. However, I'm finding things far easier and considerably less stressful than last year's workload. The other people are good company and rapidly improving at their jobs.)

Anyway, there was a lovely piece on the MSO today on BBC Radio 4's "You and Yours". No exposure for me, happily, but lots of good people talking and good quotes. You can probably listen to it (possibly UK-only, but worth a try from overseas) until noon British time tomorrow - or this time next week? - using the BBC's "Listen Again" feature here. Please let me know if you try to listen, if it works, and what you think of it.

My wagering record for the event is +£5.03, so here I shall stop. +3p came from my boss, whose record at causing computer equipment to malfunction is sufficient to get him to wager money that I will not be able to get things to work in his presence. The other plus five came from Anne Jones. Anne is a lovely person who won the Speed Reading contest at MSO 1, MSO 2, MSO 3, MSO 4, MSO 5, MSO 7 and would have won it at MSO 6 had she not previously scared off all the competition to the point where she was the only entrant.

Reading quickly alone is not enough to win our contest - you have not only to read quickly but to prove you have taken it in by answering questions on a comprehension test; your raw score is multiplied by your proportion of comprehension test questions answered correctly so 500 words per minute with 90% recall (= 500 * 90% = 450 effective words per minute) beats 1,000 words per minute with 40% recall (= 1,000 * 40% = 400 effective words per minute).

Anne competed again this year and came out having read an unpublished 50,000-word Stephen King book in about 21 minutes or so. However, she came into the press room next door despondent, claiming that she couldn't get a rhythm going at the start and that she had scored 30% at most on the comprehension test. She wanted to get her mind off speed reading and so came and volunteered to help us for a couple of hours. I told her that I would bet her that she had won the contest again and accepted her proposed stake of a fiver. Turns out that her comprehension was a bit down on past years, but this dropped her score to a mere 1,005 effective words per minute (to be fair, lower than her previous two MSO scores) which was still a good 50% or so higher than all the competition. Thank you, gold medal, cha-ching. Anne Jones at even money is definitely a positive-expectation proposition, even when she thinks she hasn't done well. I feel filthy rich... or, at least, both rich and filthy for the way in which I won it. (No, I shall not be taking a similar bet at a considerably higher stake next year.)

Haven't had the time to read my Friends list at all, but am taking a long late lunchbreak... and, I guess, I can call this work. Thinking of you, especially absent friends, those who I know need hugs and MSO folk. (Oh, and dezzikitty, who I will be seeing again in a mere EIGHT DAYS, has let me know that sundry Chat00bs and associates have had extremely satisfying exam results. Thumbs aloft!) Will try to get to post to LJ again semi-soon, where I shall rant about lousy phonecards and ask you all lots of questions. In the interim, is it an etiquette violation to do a "can you point me to any important news of yours I may have missed, please?" post? I haven't been watching any of the Olympics, let alone reading news.bbc.co.uk, let alone reading LJ...
Current Mood: busybusy

(19 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:huskyteer
Date:August 25th, 2004 08:28 am (UTC)
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I don't do important news, merely light entertainment. There's plenty of that, though. Three journal posts and three community posts from me today! Yeah, baby!
[User Picture]
From:sir_gareth
Date:August 25th, 2004 08:52 am (UTC)

Last week's sir_gareth digest

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Life: excellent.
Apartment: settled and liking.
Work: Started Monday. So far it's hard but fair.
Computing: Laptop back yesterday. All fixed.
Girls: Two more dates with Erica (Sunday and last night). Things moving along nicely. Alissa waiting in the wings.
Personal hygiene: acceptable now that hot water has returned
Sports: Braves continue to win and look to be a very safe bet for their 14th NL East title. Haven't really watched Olympics as BBC live feeds are balcked out outside the UK and US coverage is of no interest to me. Boro scared Arsenal in a 5-3 ding-dong battle at Highbury on Sunday. Excellent advert for soccer on Sky. Juninho has gone to Celtic - I changed my Boro icon accordingly.
TV: Amazing Race down to last five but only got to see half of last night's episode due to unforeseen inpromptu date.
[User Picture]
From:jumbach
Date:August 25th, 2004 08:54 am (UTC)
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It's not bad manners at all to ask if anyone's done anything important.

The biggest event that's happened to me is when DeDe and I had to call the fire department while camping last week, because the store sold us a recalled stove. It was all very exciting, and we're glad nobody was hurt and damage was minimal.
[User Picture]
From:lambertman
Date:August 25th, 2004 09:14 am (UTC)
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I have some killer duck photos from the fair if you'd like them.

(AAAAAGGGH!!! Killer Ducks!! Run!!!!)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 31st, 2004 07:23 pm (UTC)
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Yes please!

Killer ducks? What a way to go... :-)
[User Picture]
From:lambertman
Date:September 1st, 2004 04:01 pm (UTC)

At your leisure, then:

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http://www.chris-lambert.com/DSCXXXX.jpg

replace XXXX with 2121, 2122, 2132, 2134 and 2135.

enjoy. :)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:September 1st, 2004 06:21 pm (UTC)

Re: At your leisure, then:

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Unfortunately, I'm having considerable difficulty making that work. I have tried all five as written, tried capitalising the .JPG at the end and tried turning the DSC to lower case, none of which do the trick. Please help me. Quack!

Incidentally, this self-posted comment will be, is and was the 5,000th one I have received. Happy birthday me, or something. I'm glad it's about ducks, anyway.
[User Picture]
From:lambertman
Date:September 1st, 2004 07:29 pm (UTC)

whoops

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stick a zero in front of the four-digit number and see how that goes.

I should know better than to try to do anything on the fly.

I'm currently watching an English-language Chinese sports report, live. You know why? Because I can.
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:September 1st, 2004 10:20 pm (UTC)

Re: whoops

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Aaaand, based on your most recent post, capitalise the JPG. That works!

Very cute photos, but you've got me on a free range kick, all of a sudden. While it's lovely to see many ducks in a small space and imagine the mass of wobbly yellow, it's also sad to see them in cages rather than out on ponds.

Poor little cooped-up ducks... :-(
[User Picture]
From:meggitymeg
Date:August 25th, 2004 09:58 am (UTC)
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You already know all my interesting/exciting news! :D Not sure when or if I'll be able to talk tonight, because we'll be moving and running errands from straight after work until probably pretty late - we should probably just try and talk while I'm at work tomorrow in the late afternoon/evening.

Have just made an appointment for Bella for Monday, so hopefully she'll be quiet and a bit out of it on Tuesday and Wednesday for all the disruptions, and not in a lot of pain. :-/

Have also found a couple more job listings, so will probably be working on cover letters and things this afternoon/tomorrow - we'll see.

I love you! :D *snogs*
[User Picture]
From:jumbach
Date:August 25th, 2004 10:54 am (UTC)
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Sheesh. Get a room, guys. :-)
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 25th, 2004 11:06 am (UTC)
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Early night tonight then, I think. :-) Glad that as much of it is working out as is the case, given all of what else is going on.

I love you so much and love hearing from you. Look forward to trying to talk to you tomorrow - perhaps while you're on your break at about 4:30-ish?
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 25th, 2004 02:44 pm (UTC)
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As an aside which might amuse, I've just (re?)discovered a truly awful photo of me from this time last year - heck, to the day. The 'tache got shaved off that night, as I recall, and has never been grown back since. There are no plans whatsoever for a sequel, and even less now I've been reminded of this pic.

If ever I go too long between shaves, please show me this photo.
[User Picture]
From:ericklendl
Date:August 25th, 2004 10:33 am (UTC)

The Wally Report

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I got rained on incredibly hard, waxed lyrical about how much I love my pedometer, and subsequently broke it. The exciting e-mail from some bloke I vaguely know at MSO went unjournalled, but I doubt you need to know about news that you're generating yourself.
[User Picture]
From:glissando
Date:August 25th, 2004 10:41 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure if your lovely lady would have noticed my results, as we're not really in the same fandom circle (hey, I'm not even in a circle, more of a clinger-on), but I got 5 As for my A-levels! This means that a month today I move to London, and thus increase my probability of fandom meetup particpation. Glad to see you back in the loop (a bit)!
[User Picture]
From:jiggery_pokery
Date:August 25th, 2004 11:04 am (UTC)
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This comes as no surprise to me at all. Many congratulations! I'm thrilled to hear it. :-) (What were your module scores, in the end?)
[User Picture]
From:glissando
Date:August 25th, 2004 11:36 am (UTC)
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Thanks :D

Out of 600, 480 points are required to gain an A grade, so I'm quite safely within that margin in each subject.

English Literature: 552/600 (A2 modules: 77/90, 86/90, 115/120)
History: 555/600 (A2 modules: 73/90, 104/120, 90/90) Full marks was for coursework
Mathematics: 527/600 (A2 modules: 80/100, 82/100, 82/100)Although these marks aren't as high as others, I am actually most pleased with these ones, particularly 80% for P3 - 80% is the level for an A!
French: 534/600 (A2 modules: 67/90, 66/90, 110/120)
General Studies: 300/300
[User Picture]
From:amuzulo
Date:August 25th, 2004 12:34 pm (UTC)

awww... I miss you guys!

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I even miss you guys so much that I picked up my copy of Mystery Puzzles and started reading it again. It's a great distraction from TV commercials! hehehe

Anyway, look forward to seeing a post by me soon about it. =)
[User Picture]
From:irinaauthor
Date:August 25th, 2004 12:58 pm (UTC)
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can you point me to any important news of yours I may have missed, please

Hm. Sure. I guess that's the most newsworthy thing that's happened to me lately.

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