Twin Cities folks: Poetry Out Loud state finals on Monday!

In a bit of shameless promotion for our remarkable offspring, I’m putting in a plug for the Minnesota state finals of the national Poetry Out Loud competition. The finals will be Monday, 9 March, at 9:30am in St. Paul’s Fitzgerald Theater, and are free and open to the public.

The event will feature the 18 first and second places from the nine regions, each reciting one, two, or three poems depending on how far they get in the finals. Two of the 18 are from Morris: Alex McIntosh, son of Alisande Allaben (UMM Alumni Relations office) and Gordon McIntosh (UMM Physics); and Thomas McPhee. Having 11% of the finalists be from our little town is a pretty good showing, so we’ll definitely appreciate any Morris fans that are able to come out and join us.

Based on what we’ve seen getting this far, and what we’ve heard about past finals, the quality of the recitations should be really high. At the risk of being an immodest dad, I think that this should be a real artistic performance, and certainly not a painful “We’re only here for the kids” kind of experience.

The state winner goes on to the national finals next month in Washington D.C., with a chance to win a $20K scholarship!

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Celebrate your inner nerd!

TopCoder Open 2008 registration banner

Registration for both the Algorithm and Marathon competitions in this year’s TopCoder Open close in the last week of January, so start sharpening your … uh … programming … thingies …

I was participating in TopCoder events a fair bit when we first got to Colchester. I stopped, though, once the research really got up to speed, and I haven’t participated in TopCoder in several months. I’m not entirely sure I’ll be able to participate in this year’s open (there may be an unavoidable scheduling conflict), but it would be nice to try to add another t-shirt to my collection.

For those about to code, we salute you!

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