Like you might have read on some of the other blogs, the EA Telethon was last night, which is always a lot of fun. I was in class until 9 PM, so I only made a couple of phone calls, but I really enjoyed talking to you guys. The night was particularly entertaining when we started sharing stories about phone calls last year to freshmen we know and love now. It was pretty funny when I looked at the sign-in sheet and saw the name of someone I knew from the blogs but had never actually met in real life. So I asked Marisa, one of the Admissions Counselors (recent MIT grads who serve on the admissions committee) where he was. He heard me calling his name and we finally were able to introduce ourselves to each other.
“Are you Dember?”
“Yeah, hi, you’re Laura, right?”
“Oh my God, I’ve known you for like a year and we’ve never actually met.”
“I know, you called me at the telethon last year.”
And so the admissions cycle comes full circle. =)
In other news….
Mystery Hunt was awesome. Like, really awesome. My story went like this:
Mystery Hunt began at noon on Friday when I was still in New Jersey. A couple of hours after that I got on a train to Boston, then took the subway. I got to campus around midnight. On the way back to my dorm I stopped at my team’s (Death From Above) headquarters for awhile, duffel bag in hand. Seven hours of puzzling later, I made it back to my room. I took a four hour nap, found something to eat and made it back to my team headquarters around 2 PM Saturday. The coin was found twelve hours later, but since the Hunt Headquarters stayed open until 3 PM Sunday, a (very small) subset of my team decided to stick around anyway.
(The way Mystery Hunt works is that the first team to find the hidden coin wins- which means they have the privilege of writing next year’s Hunt. Normally, that means someone finds the coin and the Hunt is over. This year, the Hunt organizers kept their HQ open for several more hours so that other dedicated teams who weren’t able to win were still able to actually complete the Hunt, which is a rather impressive task.)
In effect, this basically means that the Hunt was mostly over and the few remaining members of my team had no chance of finishing on our own anyway, but I elected to stay awake for 36 straight hours just for the sake of doing puzzles in sleep-deprived delirium.
I distinctly remember asking myself around 4 AM (as I was looking up Sanskrit as well as Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs for this puzzle…yeah, if you read the solution just wait until you see how far off the mark we were…) “What in the hell am I doing here?” It was a beautifully absurd MIT moment.
Of course, not everyone is as insane as I am. Plenty of them went to sleep once there was no discernible reason to continue, and there are some who even think Mystery Hunt is a waste of time. But I’m personally proud of the hours of my life spent researching obscure languages, sorting by DVD region codes, asking people about different types of tea, seeking out World of Warcraft experts, and carefully assembling little diamond-shaped paper cut-outs in a complex word pattern.
For those of you who are interested, you can find the entire 2007 Hunt here.
As for the real point of my entry, which is referenced in the title, I’d just like to say that according to this web analysis of the Hunt web page, 78.59% of puzzle hunters use Firefox (to IE’s 12.83%).
I’m not sure why, but that statistic makes me inexplicably happy. =)