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July 26th, 2008

I've got a perfect puzzle for you

Today's Manga: Air Gear 9, Spiral 4, Parasyte 4, Tsubasa 18, and Elemental Gelade 8. Just enough to get one free. And because I had a 25% off coupon, I got Kiki's Delivery Service on DVD.

Today's Gaming: I finally bit the bullet on Myst 4 and used the hint map. Largely, it told me things I already knew, but I was either standing in the wrong place to do what I was trying to do, or I was doing it with the wrong timing. Even with the right timing, it was finicky. Being able to present the solution should be enough! I shouldn't need to get just the right pixel or turn the handle for exactly 2.78532 seconds to make it work. So I got through that area, finally discovered the point of having done it, and found a clue that only appears for a few seconds and will never be shown again. And that was the one time my pen was across the room. Brilliant. Fortunately, Curt remembered most of the pattern, and I kept a save prior to that point so I can return and see it again, once I solve some of the most annoying puzzles I've ever seen - which wouldn't be so bad if the mouse would stop jumping around on the screen and screwing up what I've done. I also caved to the urge to play through Final Fantasy 8 again, which is what I'm doing in the background while I write this entry. Really, drawing magic isn't so bad if you have something to keep you occupied while you do it.

Today's brain teaser: Inspired by Louis Sachar's Wayside School books, and oddly enough, not by the book of math problems, "Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School". In one of the chapter 19s in "Wayside School is Falling Down", a teacher challenges her students to write all of the numbers in alphabetical order. I was thinking about that late last night while I couldn't fall asleep, and I thought it would make an interesting problem. So here goes:

Suppose the numbers from one to one trillion are written in alphabetical order. (The word "and" appears nowhere in this list, and spaces are ignored.)

1. What is the tenth number in the list?
2. What is the last number in the list? (This is why zero isn't included... it's a pretty obvious last.)
3. Is one before or after the halfway point in the list?
4. What number immediately precedes five?

I have my answers for all of these, but no guarantees that they're correct. I want to see what everyone else comes up with. For 1, I recommend listing all ten numbers, just so I can check your work. If your answer comes after mine, it's obviously wrong, but if yours comes before mine, I'll need proof that it's actually the tenth number and that I missed one. All comments are screened. Have fun!

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Yes, I'm THAT Nidoking. Sometimes I write fanfiction... often I waste all my time playing video games and watching anime. But it's not a waste if I enjoy it, right? I can quote from a movie, video game, anime series, or British comedy apropos of just about any situation, and one of my main goals in life is to entertain people. (The other big one is amassing as much anime and manga as I can... see below for a progress report.) That's me in a nutshell. ("Help! I'm trapped in a nutshell! What a bloody great nutshell this is!")
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