Posts Tagged ‘USAMTS (09-10)’

Spring Break

April 10th, 2010

After months of ignoring my precious blog, I randomly felt it was about time I posted. About what? Everything.

The last few weeks before spring break were quite challenging — although judging by some of the juniors, I was still pretty well-off. Our PSA project on self-esteem turned out pretty well. My Mandarin grades are somehow still staying afloat even though I never spend any time on it. Math homework is so teeth-grinding. It’s completely pointless, and it’s such a waste of our precious time.

Funny thing is, on Monday I have like a test in every class. Every teacher’s thought process went something like this: “Oh, no other teacher is going to give a test on Monday, the day right after everybody gets back from spring break, so I’ll give a test on Monday. They’ll only have this one test, no big deal.” So that’s why I have like five tests on Monday.

As for my spring break, my family flew to Seattle, drove up to Vancouver, and had a generally marvelous time up in Canada. I was able to have a lot of fun while still keeping up with my physics. I saw snow falling from the sky for the first time in my life up in Grouse Mountain, overlooking Vancouver. Unfortunately, the snow and fog prevented me from actually seeing Vancouver from tens of thousands of feet above, but I don’t mind. I loved how wonderfully cold, Canadian, and awesome Vancouver was. The awesome British-ish (Canadian?) accents, the Canadian dollars and coins and the French… which reminds me, Vancouver was not as fantastic as Montreal. Montreal was French. Really French. And it was cold. Really coold. Oh, and Toronto was cool too. CN Tower isn’t the highest building in the world anymore, though (sadly).

After returning to my smoggy hometown, I went with Hank and Jason to the movies at the mall on Friday. We watched How to Train Your Dragon and Clash of the Titans. As expected from Dreamworks, Dragon was brilliant and fully enjoyable. Clash was… uninteresting. The overusage of unintelligible action scenes makes no sense to me. Greek mythology isn’t interesting to me anymore, also, for some reason. I would’ve rather watched some horrible anime than Titans.

Oh, right, and Thursday… Orchestra Spring Tour. Busy busy. I bought a mute in Vancouver, one of those shiny metal ones because… um, it was shiny. I can’t figure out how to open it… I can’t even fit it onto a sheet of paper, so how will it slide onto my bridge? Sneaky Canadians…

As for math contests, I seem to have gotten a silver in the USAMTS, which… was expected, I suppose. I’m not going to have enough time to try for gold next year, with junior year and all. Oh, and today is… was… ARML Local, which I’m staying home from because the math tutoring industry suddenly is disgusting me. Don’t ask, because I don’t know myself.

Most importantly, the 2010 Physics Bowl competition is going to be held on Tuesday. Today I have an extra-credit Physics Bowl session with my physics teacher. Monday I have a Physics Bowl review/cumulative test. Monday afterschool the Physics Team is probably planning some sinister examination to torture us all into getting high scores. And… Tuesday is the competition. That leaves me with only… gasp, two days!! Oh no, I don’t have time to prepare! Back to watching anime.

Haha, seriously that’s what my life is like. “Oh no, I forgot to do my homework! Oh well, it can wait until I finish this episode.” Which brings me to speak about Spring 2010 animes, and my pile of unfinished Winter 2010 animes, and all the stuff I’ve been watching lately, and how awesome Ueki no Housoku / The Law of Ueki is, and how EPICx3 the To Aru Majutsu no Index novels are (especially compared to the not-really-epic-enough anime)…….

Yeah, so that’s why I’m unwilling to go off and on about anime.

Yesterday I stayed up the whole night playing a stupid MMO video game. Sometimes my lack of sanity astounds me.

After all, wouldn’t that all-nighter have been much better spent watching anime?

Protected: 17/25 = 76% (C)

November 16th, 2009

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A Haystack of Words

October 20th, 2009

The Organized Blog Post of Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Tagline: “This is not a wall of text!”


Recently, I’ve been omega-obsessed with Shugo Chara. オメガオメガ obsessed. It’s… stupid at times… but the non-stupid parts are either super-amazing, or super-moralistic, or super-hilarious.

I’ve been depressed, because Shugo Chara has been depressing after the first quarter-mark (26th episode). After the villain was defeated (or… reformed and became a good guy. it’s a shoujo anime, after all…), many of my favorite main characters left the main cast… and then the new characters are all stupid… and the new episodes are annoying. Hinamori-chan is being bullied and people are being mean to her, and her depression in the anime somehow carried over to me. However, now it’s getting better, and you start to see how all the new stuff ties together.

Anyways, sorry for ranting about Shugo Chara for two paragraphs. It’s taken up about at least 3 hours per day, every day, since I started it. I don’t know why Amu’s emotional state affects my emotional state in real life. Hmm. *science project topic!*

As for Fall 2009, things are going slow. Usually I only have one new episode to watch a day (of course, more on Friday-Sunday), so it’s not taking up much of my time, either.


Busy, busy! English H is a beehive of homework. Antigone questions, some annotation thing, Mists of Avalon essay, Antigone speech… Pleasantville extra credit, and the “signs” extra credit. For your information, I’m not doing this for your benefit. I’m just typing it out again so I don’t forget anything. (If you think that sounded “tsundere” you have been watching too much Japanese media.)

I find not logging into MSN or gTalk saves about 2~3 hours of time per day. Especially since 95% of the conversation involves “life sux” or some variant thereof.

Anyways, P.E. is awesome because we’re not swimming today or tomorrow (we will be swimming Thursday, but the weather will be nice by then). Orchestra 3 I have long since stopped caring about or worrying about, but we have a concert on Monday. Mandarin homework I finished in class, but I need to lookup a couple of words *note to self*.

Finally, AP Physics — we got our tests back, and ALL OF MY MISTAKES were stupid careless mistakes. I forgot to divide in half for the radius (when given the diameter)… and I lost like 12 points (out of 100) for that…

Luckily, Mr. Zhang is awesome! He immediately understood, and I think he’ll give me back most of my points on the free-response. As for my multiple-choice mistakes… しょうがないな?

Tomorrow — Precalc test, as well as Math Team. And~~ that makes six classes. Onwards!


TIME FOR LONG WORDY PHILOSOPHICAL REFLECTION! No, just kidding. Like hell I have that much time.

… actually I do. Or, well, I would. If I could reduce my anime watc– no, wait, that’s not possible.

Also, people, somebody at least try the really really easy math problem from like Sunday. Because… it’s really really easy…

Lol, I always go on math-problem-posting-sprees after an ARML practice. I love getting a fresh set of problems to think about for a month. Except… well… I already have USAMTS… speaking of which, my Round 1 scores are not out yet (I’m now thinking I got more like 15/25… ;______;)

If you were to plot the hours of my life onto a blueberry pie graph, I want the “anime” slice.

On the other hand, I don’t like cheesecake.

-turned-emotional rant

I miss composing. Lol, it was something I was obsessed with for spontaneous periods of time up until high school. Yeah, I know huh? High school ruins childrens’ dreams and aspirations. All your pleasures, all your desires– your hopes, the personality you wish you had, the things you want, the things you want to become. Why must it all be forsaken, all in the name… no, all under the guise of “seeking knowledge”?

If school was truly a venture meant for children to “seek knowledge”, why do they punish us if we don’t want to? Knowledge is a PRIVILEGE! If school truly wanted us to become great, healthy contributors to society, why do they make us sleep two hours a day? Why do they bar us from taking classes we are interested in?? What with “prerequisites”? What with “placement exams”? Let us take our own education, our own acquisition of knowledge into our own hands!!

—— STOP. Whew! Almost went out on another rant.

for real

God Knows will always be a classic for me. If only Aya was a better person. What else is new in my iTunes… um, Sora no Manimani character songs. They were average, not too bad, but nothing amazing or anything. Other than those albums, and arrival of tears, I don’t really have anything new. This is mostly because I never have time to add anything to my library, nor do I ever have time to listen to my existing music. When doing math homework, I like to do it in another room, away from my computer (mostly cuz of MSN), and away from my iTunes too, as a side effect.

I guess I’ll list the contents of my “to be added” folder. I have… the four new Haruhi character songs… Bakemonogatari intro… Hashimoto Miyuki’s newest album (Double Flower)… a bunch of random albums I haven’t bothered adding, from things like CANAAN, Rozen Maiden, etc…

A couple of Hayate2 character songs (of characters I don’t really like, so…), a couple of OSTs… Kanamemo stuff that I don’t care about… Princess Lover! character songs… Gendai Mahou stuff… and ooh! Da Capo music. There’s something that needs to be added soon.


Public Service Announcement: don’t drink tea after dinner, unless you’re going to sleep at 3am anyways. I’ve been doing that every day lately, for maybe half a week (recently got back into being obsessed with tea), so I was wondering why I couldn’t sleep at 10pm… haha!

Anyways, time for Ben’s Tea Corner! According to my parents, the tea they sell here in America sucks really bad. My family brings back a suitcaseloadfull of tea every time we visit our home in China, normally I would lol, but tea is good.

Lol… I was about to add a tag named “tea”…

Personal Project(s)

You’ve heard Justin running around campus hollering “CAN YOU DRAW?? CAN U DRAWW???” right? Wondering what that was about? Interested in programming? Love art? Play games a lot? How would you like to be involved in creating, designing, and producing a real 3D computer game?

Basically, from what Justin and I have come up with during PE classes while waiting for O’Brian to wake up and come to school, the plot looks something like this:

  • Post-apocalyptic Arcadia High School. (?)
  • Teachers are zombies (?) or otherwise badguys (“DOOO YOOOUURRRR HOOOMMEEEWOOORRKKKK!!!!”)
  • Use pencils, pens, erasers, whiteboard markers, etc as projectiles (“Weapon Throwing” skill).
  • Baseball bats, binders, etc. as normal weapons.
  • “Skill system” that can be trained — e.g. train “Sprint” skill at track; can be used every 2 minutes (e.g. 120sec cooldown), doubles running speed or something
  • Inventory/item system of course.
  • The setting is Arcadia High School, of course. Construction still going on (?) or all/some buildings knocked down/destroyed?
  • We still need a plot/script writer! We need somebody to come up with a reason why Arcadia High School has become like this (time-space separation causing AHS to become separated from the real world? Zombie/alien invasion? 2012 apocalypse? Government disease quarantine, and the disease causes people to become zombies?) It’s all up to you! (no salary provided)

There are more details, but this is more than you need to know. We need a good artist to design the characters (that’s why Justin has been… yeah), and preferably a good programmer to help me with the framework, game engine, and all the techy stuff. Of course, a scriptwriter, as well, like I said above. I’m not sure if Justin wants help with his 3D work, but if any of you have any idea about Maya, he might appreciate the help.

Summary of needed positions looks something like this:

  1. 3D design, level design, cutscenes, animation, rigging, texturing, lighting, rendering, etc etc etc: Justin Yong (help would be appreciated)
  2. Program design, game engine design and integration, gameplay and gameplay system, controls, IT/tech support, etc etc etc: Ben Li (help would be greatly appreciated)
  3. Music: Ben Li (help would be appreciated)
  4. Art direction, character design: [available, preferably multiple people]
  5. Scriptwriter, plot, story, tone: [available]
  6. Menial chores: [available]

Justin is actually the one who will be doing the most work, even though it looks like I have a lot. I have a lot to do at the start of the project; after everything is up and running, I only need to add the new maps, characters, items, animations, and cutscenes. Of course, I’m in charge of music too, but if you have some compositional skills (like… Hanchan?), perhaps you could consider helping us.

This will be a single-player game (not definite yet however), not an MMO. We will produce demo versions at first, and then when we have a substantial product, we will meet together and consider the option of starting a company and selling the game. (However, we will need the permission of Arcadia High School to commercially use their name and school design, probably. We may have to pay those dirty counselors some royalties.)

Our first “demo” version will only be one level/map. I believe Justin has tentatively decided on modeling J building first, and we probably won’t be able to finish character design in time for the release of this alpha.

Justin, I hope you don’t mind if I come up with a tentative timetable:

November 2009 to End of December, 2009: Release of Alpha 1 (single map; testing game engine and controls)

February 2010: Release of Alpha 2 (single or multiple maps, testing character model, character rigging, and animation, as well as gameplay system)

May/June 2010: Release of Alpha 3 (multiple maps, connected, testing multiple characters/character select (possibly), weapons and projectiles system, enemy gameplay, HP, attacks, and animation, as well as advanced gameplay system (skills, HP/MP/SP, inventory). This may possibly be a public release.)

Summer 2010: Release of Beta 1 (fully functional: multiple connected maps, multiple selectable characters, weapons+projectiles+skills system, NPCs, enemies (various types), attack system + damage calcuation, death+penalties, special items (HP potions food, water, Gatorade, textbooks, etc), fully functional gameplay system)

Justin, does this timetable look too rushed?

Anyways, come join our project! And, along the way, come up with a smart name for us.

USAMTS 2009-10 R1: Question 2

October 13th, 2009

The ordered pair of four-digit numbers (2025, 3136) has the property that each number in the pair is a perfect square and each digit of the second number is 1 more than the corresponding digit of the first number. Find, with proof, all ordered pairs of five-digit numbers and ordered pairs of six-digit numbers with the same property: each number in the pair is a perfect square and each digit of the second number is 1 more than the corresponding digit of the first number.

This is the second question from this year’s USAMTS, round one. Contest is over now, so post and discuss all you want.

It’s been like a month since I’ve last posted a math problem, so take some time to ponder upon this problem. It’s actually not that hard, and there’s a simple, systematic way of finding the solutions.

Title Obtained: Master of Centripetal Acceleration

October 13th, 2009

Today was a really nice day.

I slept ’til 10am, skipped most of school.

Then I woke up and went “oh shoot it’s 10am… and I still haven’t finished my USAMTS!”

So I had fun cramming it in for two hours. In the end, I wasn’t able to come up with a non-BS solution to number 4, but I think I still deserved some partial credit for it. I expect to score a 20~23ish at best.

… I can just see my perfect score. Out the window. Whoosh.

Maybe I’ll post one or two of the questions later. USAMTS R1 is over now, after all. Note to self: do not procrastinate for the next round.

Seriously… I submitted it at 11:59 am. One minute before the deadline =p


After that, I had lunch and went to school.

IT WAS RAINING! Awesome-est day ever.

Did my Mandarin HW during lunch (as usual), and went to Mandarin and had a really nice time. And I’m really happy that I got 49.5 out of 50 on my last test. I kinda needed a 99% in Mandarin, but now that class is at a safe, stable A.

After Mandarin was the AP Physics test. Uniform Circular Motion (UCM) was the chapter tested here, and obviously I didn’t study (never have for this class). At least I actually read the textbook chapter, which I didn’t do last test.

So, I took the test, and it was SO freakin’ easy. I probably got 100% even if he doesn’t curve the test. There wasn’t a single question I didn’t know, and I had plenty of time for all the problems. (In AP Physics, to me the biggest challenge is the time constraint.)

After my wonderful test, my mom picked me (and Eric) up, and it turns out Eric’s parents will be visiting Bryan (his brother) in San Francisco for the weekend, so Eric will be staying over at my house on Sunday! Awesome, we’ll spend the whole day fooling around and having fun!

I feel like inviting whoever wants to come over to my house on Sunday, to come over. Hanchan and I can watch anime, and Kevin can make Kevin-ic comments. Andy and I can work on our website and do random things, and Justin or Tim or Imouto can come entertain us~~

I’m in such a great mood, it feels quite unnatural. Well, I suppose it is unnatural for an AHS student to be having a good day. Well.