icpc2015 I was a problem setter and judge for the 2015 ACM-ICPC Philippines Southern Luzon Invitational Programming Contest held last September 13, 2015 at the Ateneo de Naga University.

The winning team was from Ateneo de Naga University. It solved 5 of the 10 problems. (The teams were given 5 hours.) The results are shown below. (The image has been slightly edited. Click on it to see a higher-resolution version.)

The warm-up problems are here and the contest problems are here. I provided two contest problems: ā€œDā€ (Freeway Traffic) and ā€œIā€ (Forest Fire Spread). They are both about cellular automaton models.

I was also a problem setter and judge in 2014 and in 2013.

nurseThis morning I discovered that my blog had 123 views from 95 visitors (from 13 countries) yesterday (November 10, 2015). This is way beyond the usual 20 to 30 daily views I normally get. I found out that most of the traffic was from visitors using the search terms “roy lichtenstein nurse.” (A previous blog post showed a study for Nurse.)
It turns out that Roy Lichtenstein’s Nurse (1964) was sold last November 9, 2015 by Christie’s for US$ 95,365,000 (including fees), a new record for a Lichtenstein work. (The previous record was when his Woman with Flowered Hat (1963) was sold for $56,123,750 on May 15, 2013.)

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Yesterday I got this coin in my change. Its a 2014 Philippine commemorative 5-peso coin celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Leyte Gulf Landing. According to this website, the obverse of the coin (shown on the left) has its upper background filled with the repeated text “LEYTE GULF LANDING 70 YEARS” and the reverse (shown on the right) has its lower background filled with the repeated text “REPUBLIKA NG PILIPINAS.” (Click on the images to see higher resolution versions of them.)

When I was a child, my favorite scale model was a Hot Wheels Pontiac Firebird (most likely the Hot Bird). (I blogged about it here.) I have always wanted to buy another one, but it seems that the last mainline Hot Bird was made in 1989, and all the ’77 Pontiac Firebirds that I saw for sale were very expensive. I’m glad to say that today I was able to buy the first mainline Hot Wheels ’77 Pontiac Firebird T/A (and at a 10% discount, too).

For some reason, the base of the car is labeled “77 Pontiac Firebird T/A” but the card is labeled “’77 Pontiac Firebird.” The copyright date on the bottom is 2015, but this model seems to have been first made in 2008. A small Hot Wheels logo is on the door, a Firebird emblem is on the C-pillar, and the words “TRANS AM” are on the side behind the front wheel, and on the hood near the front. Although I prefer this model in black and gold, this “micro apple red” one is also pretty nice. It doesn’t look exactly like the real Pontiac Firebird that I earlier blogged about. (It has a rear spoiler, a T-top and a different image on the hood.)

1977 seems to have been a good year for cars. (One of my other favorite cars is the 1977 Lotus Esprit S1.)

Last June 17, 2014, it was announced on MathOverflow Meta that “established users” that “have actually made (and will hopefully continue to make) valuable contributions to this site” would be given gifts if they ask for them. I filled up the form and waited, but I wasn’t sure if they would give the gifts to someone outside the U.S.A.

The goods arrived yesterday. I got a mug, an XL-size T-shirt, and three stickers in a box that was a little too big for the goods. The commercial invoice states that it was sent last October 21, 2015. I was very surprised that it took only around 7 days to reach me. (Most packages sent to me from the U.S.A. take a few weeks to a few months to reach me.) The invoice states that the mug has a value of US$ 5, the T-shirt is worth US$ 3, and each sticker is worth US$ 0.25. Thanks, MathOverflow!

bttftm The future starts today. (Click on the image above to see where I got it from.)

I’ve forgotten when I bought this 2011 Back to the Future Time Machine Hot Wheels model. This was the first mainline Hot Wheels model of this car. The metalflake silver paint looks really nice.

The time machine is a modified DeLorean DMC-12.

The image above shows Norman Rockwell’s The Right to Know painted in 1968. (I got the original image from here.)
Read the rest of this entry »

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441551 This Straight Arrow Jumbo Edition #44155 was co-published by South Pacific Publications Limited and Jubilee Publications and printed in the Philippines, most likely in the late 1970s. Excluding the covers, it has 72 pages (all story, no ads). (Click on the images to see higher-resolution versions.) It has 10 stories: Vengeance Trail (6 pages), “The Traps of Terror!” (7 pages), “The Man with the Scar!” (7 pages), “The River from Nowhere!” (8 pages), “The Flaming Trail!” (8 pages), “The Fence Stealers” (7 pages), “Straight Arrow, Bandit” (7 pages), “Doom of the North Wind” (8 pages), “The Menace of the Grey Wolves” (7 pages), “Doom Stalks the Treasure Seeker” (7 pages). The inner front cover is an article (The Plainsman: Trailblazer of the West) and the outer back cover is a comic strip (Ten-Gallon Allen).

This blog post is dedicated to Terry, who just bought all the Philippine reprints I’ve blogged about, including this one.

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240871 I’m selling this Ripley’s Believe It or Not! True Ghost Stories #24087 co-published by South Pacific Publications Limited and Rosnock Publications and printed in the Philippines most likely in the late 1970s. (Click on the images to see higher-resolution versions.) It has 24 pages (all story, no ads). For some reason, it has the cover of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! #13 but not its stories. There are 4 stories: The Black Demon of Devon (8 pages), John Bell’s Devil Witch (6 pages), The Creature from the Loch (4 pages), The Horror Called Spring-Heel Jack (6 pages). The inner front cover (Prehistoric Americans: The Pre-Incas) and the inner back cover (Fish: Gobies) are 1-page articles in comic strip form. I read this issue many times when I was a child, so it’s in poorer shape than my other Philippine reprints.

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450091 I’m selling this reprint of Heroes of the West Jumbo Edition #45009 co-published by South Pacific Publications Limited Hong Kong, Philippines and Jubilee Publications, Australia and printed in the Philippines. It has 64 pages (excluding the covers) of stories and no ads. (Click on the images to see higher-resolution versions of them.) It has a 1-peso National Book Store price tag, a ridiculously low price even during the time my father bought it (some time in the 1980s).

This issue has 8 stories: The Apache Kid: “Grey Wolf Strikes!” (7 pages), John Wayne: The Case of the Vain Bandit (10 pages), “Terror of the Range” (6 pages), Jesse James: Six Gun Terror (7 pages), John Wayne: Tall Timber (14 pages), John Wayne: Goddess Gold (6 pages), Inheritance of Death! (7 pages), Jesse James: Helltown Hold-Ups (7 pages). The inner front cover (Gunsights) and the inner back cover (Pride of the Hills) are each 1-page articles in comic strip form. It seems to be missing an 8-page story (Straight Arrow: Death from Nowhere!) that was in the original issue.


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