Minesweeper Statistics Pre-College

(just decided to log here some of my minesweeper statistics before I go to college)

Top 9 Beginner times
0.88 on 26 Mar 2011
1.21 on 21 May 2011
1.24 on 06 Jun 2011
1.27 on 09 Aug 2012
1.28 on 05 Mar 2012
1.30 on 12 Jun 2012
1.31 on 16 Sep 2011
1.41 on 02 Mar 2012
1.42 on 10 Dec 2011
Beginner time World Rank=89th, USA Rank=12th, California Rank=2nd

Top 9 Intermediate times
13.29 on 11 Dec 2011
14.45 on 18 Jul 2012
14.93 on 16 Dec 2011
14.93 on 20 Dec 2011
15.04 on 22 Mar 2012
15.06 on 27 Nov 2011
15.07 on 06 Mar 2012
15.22 on 16 May 2012
15.27 on 05 May 2012
Intermediate time World Rank=126th, USA Rank=21st, California Rank=2nd

Top 9 Expert times
51.82 on 26 May 2012
52.54 on 28 May 2012
54.75 on 08 Mar 2012
54.81 on 09 Mar 2012
55.13 on 13 Aug 2012
56.19 on 27 Feb 2012
56.31 on 24 Mar 2012
56.35 on 28 Dec 2011
56.82 on 18 Aug 2012
Expert time World Rank=134th, USA Rank=18th, California Rank=3rd

Top 9 Beginner 3BV/s
6.54 on 08 Apr 2012
6.45 on 27 Apr 2012
5.92 on 13 Jun 2012
5.87 on 03 Apr 2012
5.85 on 23 Nov 2011
5.77 on 23 Jul 2012
5.74 on 16 Dec 2011
5.69 on 10 Dec 2011
5.67 on 01 Apr 2012
Beginner 3BV/s World Rank=19th, USA Rank=3rd

Top 9 Intermediate 3BV/s
3.95 on 19 Jan 2012
3.84 on 11 Jul 2012
3.84 on 21 Nov 2011
3.81 on 27 Mar 2012
3.80 on 27 Dec 2011
3.79 on 15 Mar 2012
3.78 on 13 Dec 2011
3.77 on 22 Dec 2011
3.75 on 26 May 2012
Intermediate 3BV/s World Rank=51st, USA Rank=8th

Top 9 Expert 3BV/s
3.35 on 07 Aug 2012
3.31 on 17 May 2012
3.14 on 27 Apr 2012
3.13 on 08 May 2012
3.06 on 12 Jan 2012
3.02 on 16 Aug 2012
3.02 on 11 May 2012
3.01 on 26 Feb 2012
3.00 on 03 Aug 2012
Expert 3BV/s World Rank=41st, USA Rank=9th

NF Records
Beginner time: 0.88 (Flag record: 1.30)
Beginner 3BV/s: 4.61
Intermediate time: 18.34
Intermediate 3BV/s: 2.92
Expert time: 78.10
Expert 3BV/s: 2.20

IOE Records
Beginner: 1.43
Intermediate: 1.25
Expert: 1.02
NF Beginner: 1.00
NF Intermediate: 0.85
NF Expert: 0.79

Olympic Medals per GDP

I noticed starting last olympics that people started mentioning medal counts per capita along with medal counts, claiming greater accuracy in reporting skill level. It smells like it was rooted in sinophobia, but as there’s not enough evidence supporting that suspicion, that’s letgoable.

What really annoyed me is that the Neil deGrasse Tyson Facebook page, for which I currently hope it wasn’t actually written by Tyson, wrote “What the Olympic Medal count looks like to the mathematically literate:…”

Olympic medals by population in no way mathematically accurately represent skill level, at least when compared to olympic medals by GDP. If you have to take that step, you might as well take this one, because the amount of resources one has access to is definitely a big factor to success.

By the way, if you argue that one person is one person in intrinsic skill, that’s a reasonable claim, but I’d also like to ask you to go tell colleges that underrepresented minorities should not reap the benefits of affirmative action.

In medals per $1000000000000 GDP,

Jamaica: 894
Georgia: 600
Kenya: 339
Ethiopia: 260
Belarus: 219
Cuba: 218
North Korea: 214
Azerbaijan: 193
Ukraine: 145
Hungary: 132
Croatia: 99
Kazakhstan: 88

Iran: 31
Denmark: 29
United Kingdom: 29

South Korea: 28

South Africa: 16
China: 15
Italy: 14
Germany: 13
France: 13
Spain: 12
Canada: 11
Brazil: 8
United States: 7
Japan: 7
Mexico: 7
India: 3

Of course the point of this post is not to say that per GDP is the way olympic medals should be looked at as opposed to many different possible ways, but my point is that there’s probably a reason why simple figures are presented the way they are. If you decide to add in a twist to the data you think is reasonable, you’re probably missing many more reasonable twists. And you can twist on these twists: GDP is not the best indicator of wealth. Along the continuum from the simplest method of representation to the theoretically most precise, one can’t just pick one point in the middle and say that’s the perfect point.

The Rules of Minesweeper

I occasionally get asked for some advice as to how to get better at minesweeper.

Oftentimes, one way to get better that is often underused is to better know the rules. Really. And minesweeper is no exception. Many people are not aware of certain specifics of the rules of minesweeper, and what they therefore imply they can do. Thus, here I am making a post about the rules of minesweeper. If you wish to get better, you might want to take a closer look at statements bolded and what they imply.

(In the following rules, a “square” indicates any of the units in the game of minesweeper that contain either a number, a blank (“0”), or a mine.)

The object of the game of minesweeper is to locate all the mines as quickly as possible. Specifically, the game of minesweeper is won at the point when all squares that are not mines are clicked open.

The game of minesweeper is lost when a square that the player clicks open contains a mine.

The game of minesweeper begins upon the opening of the first square the player clicks open, which starts the timer.

The grid of mines for a board is pre-generated before the start of the game. The first square clicked never contains a mine. If it did contain a mine in the board pre-generation, the mine is moved to the upper-left hand corner of the board, and if that was a mine, the next square over to the right, and so on.

There are two ways to click open a square: left-clicking the square and chording.

To click open a square by left-clicking, click the left mouse button. The square the cursor is over at the point of release of the left mouse button is the square that is opened.

When a square is successfully opened without containing a mine, it shows a number. The number indicates the number of mines that exist in the eight squares touching the square the number was in.

If the number would have been a 0, the number 0 is not shown, and all squares touching that square are opened as well.

When a square is right-clicked, a flag appears over the square. Right-clicking is intended for marking a square as a mine. Right-click again to remove the flag. (Note: In the original windows minesweeper, the second click moves to the ?, and only the third click removes the mark. The ? is obsolete in the professional minesweeper world, and by default nearly all professional minesweeper players turn off the ? option if it exists at all.) Each time a square is flagged, the number of “mines left” display is decremented.

(This process is known as chording.) If the number in a square is equal to the number of squares touching that square that are flagged, double clicking on the number opens up all remaining squares around the number. The game is lost if there is any inaccuracy in the flagging around the number. Specifically, the left mouse button must be released over the square in which the number is while the right mouse button is depressed.

The number of mines in a board is pre-determined. A Beginner board has 10 mines on an 8-by-8 board, an Intermediate board has 40 mines on a 16-by-16 board, and an Expert board has 99 mines on a 16-by-30 board. (Note: In Windows XP and later, Beginner is on a 9-by-9 board. The 9-by-9 board is not used in the official minesweeper community for records.)

(Note: Windows Minesweeper is not accepted officially for minesweeper records, because it is too easy to cheat with. The accepted versions are Clone, Arbiter, X, and VS, which can be downloaded at http://minesweeper.info/.)

(Note: In addition, one might add the rule that in official versions, the 3BV of a Beginner board is at least 2 (and 3 in some), the 3BV of an Intermediate board is at least 30, and the 3BV of an Expert board is at least 100. If you wish to learn more about things like 3BV, visit this page.)

(Note: Vista and later minesweepers in Windows are so distant from the original that they might as well not be considered minesweeper.)

This should actually be a fair speed-up in minesweeper skills, if considered thoroughly.

Global Warming is *Not* Causing More Hurricanes

There is no doubt that global warming is happening. Denying that global warming is occurring is simply a refusal to accept statistics. It’s really more of an issue of whether humans are causing global warming. That’s the more acceptable question.

In any case, many sources say that global warming is responsible for the recent surge of hurricanes. There are suddenly more hurricanes, what could it be, hmmm warm water is needed for hurricanes, what warms, oh yes it’s global warming, etc. Okay, valid point so far. It makes logical sense that when the Earth warms, the water part warms as well; after all, the majority of the surface of the Earth is water. That makes sense.

But there is actually a major problem with this theory.

There aren’t more hurricanes.

If p then q, p, therefore q. We have p; global warming is indeed happening; we also, however, have not q. Over the past few decades, the number of hurricanes has actually stayed more or less consistent.

It’s frequently been said that we’ve been having more hurricanes, but that’s actually not true. Such claims are supported by graphs like these, where there is an upward trend occurring, but the problem with this is that global warming is a global issue, and those are statistics for the Atlantic Basin.

I decided to make a graph showing Accumulated Cyclone Energy statistics for both the Atlantic Basin and the Eastern Pacific Basin.

The total amount of tropical cyclone activity around North America has not really changed much over the long run, with only short-term fluctuations. Unfortunately, I could only find Accumulated Cyclone Energy statistics for these two basins. Now, I could just leave this issue with a semantics argument that tropical cyclones are only called hurricanes around North America, but looking elsewhere in the world, the Western Pacific Basin, the most active season in the timespan of the above graph is 1997, two other highly active seasons are 1979 and 2002, and both of these are dips in activity around North America. (There is one thing to note, though: 1977 was also a year of particularly low activity in the Western Pacific. Something interesting was happening that year.) The Western Pacific Basin also is currently in lesser activity mode, so cyclone activity is definitely not really increasing recently.

So why does it sound like there are more hurricanes? Part of it could be blamed on media craze, especially post-Katrina, but really it is the fact that due to wind patterns, hurricanes tend to travel west. In the middle of the pacific, there is a sort of a trough that is unfriendly to hurricanes  and thus make it so that many hurricanes in the Eastern Pacific never hit any sort of land, and no matter how strong Eastern Pacific hurricanes get, if they don’t hit land, they don’t cause much damage, and it is not very newsworthy. On the other hand, Atlantic hurricanes do have land to hit in the west, and thus have a high potential for damage. And thus, in North America, the amount that we hear about hurricanes is roughly proportional to Atlantic hurricane activity, and thus it seems that there are more hurricanes recently, when in reality, it is not a new era of hurricanes, it is a new shift of hurricanes.

Levels of Forcedness of Acronyms and Initialisms (LOFOAAI)

The acronym that doesn’t even sound like an acronym
LASER: Light Amplification by Simulated Emission of Radiation

Unfortunate
AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

Descriptive
MADD: Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Sounds coincidental enough
ABBA: Agnetha Benny Björn Anni-Frid

Meta-acronym
CALIPSO: Cloud-Aerosol LIDAR and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite Observations

Someone had to be bored
POKEMON: POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic factor

What is this I don’t even
ATLAS: A Toroidal LHC Apparatus

Ten Thousand Views

Today, this blog reached 10000 views.

And of course, there will be statistics!

Views per Country
With the exception of countries of 1 view, ties are sorted in order of increasing country population. Countries of 1 view are sorted in the order WordPress gave them to me.

United States 7016

Taiwan 53
Canada 52
Brazil 52

Indonesia 22
Singapore 21
Philippines 19
India 19
United Kingdom 16

Australia 13
Germany 12
Bulgaria 9
Mexico 6
Japan 6

Trinidad and Tobago 4
New Zealand 4
Malaysia 4
South Korea 4
Israel 3
Poland 3
Italy 3

Ireland 2
Hong Kong 2 (acknowledged as separate from China on WordPress)
Belgium 2
Chile 2
Colombia 2
France 2
Russia 2

Egypt, Turkey, Austria, Finland, Lithuania, Croatia, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Mongolia, Portugal, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Sweden, Pakistan 1 each

Views before WordPress started identifying countries 2631

Most Popular Pages
These statistics include 41 extra views after reaching 10000 views, in other words, when I started this post.
Home Page/Archives 2893
The To-Scale Bart Map 1331
2012 USA(J)MO Qualifier Statistics 1081
2012 AIME I State Statistics 311
Nightmareboard 208
Lolatility 155
Hypothetical Young Mathematical Ability Redistricting 152
Proof by Convergent Handwriting 136
Arpeggiactorial Statistics I 130
Why 11:11:11 11/11/11 isn’t all that Meaningful 114
Mission Math Tournament Meta/Strategy Round Problem #12 Solution 107
Rhyzyxian Calendar 104
2012 MSJHS AMC10 and AMC12 A/B Comparative Statistics 98
The About Page 86
An Astronomy Puzzle 84
The AM-PM Inequality 84
Appearance versus Reality 74
Chinese Pronunciation Guide 73

Days with Most Views
16.3VY (10 Apr 2012) 898
16.3XO (30 Mar 2012) 289
16.0RO (17 Sep 2011) 180
16.4VI (07 Jun 2012) 160
16.3XI (31 Mar 2012) 153
16.2KI (17 Feb 2012) 142
16.3NE (03 Mar 2012) 133
16.3NU (04 Mar 2012) 129
16.3VU (09 Apr 2012) 125
16.0RI (18 Sep 2011) 122
16.5NI (01 Jul 2912) 122

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee.