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austin_dern

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Aug. 25th, 2012

I did mention back a ways that The Price Is Right wrapped up its regular season but that it would have a ``back to school'' special in August. And, yeah, that was last week. I just thought of it this week. And as I expected they were playing everyone's favorite manifestation of the Knapsack Problem, ``Pay The Rent'' (here billed as ``Pay The Tuition''). So let me update my odd little tracking of the game, which again went un-won.

The prizes were a pack of pens ($5.99); Post-It Notes ($4.60); a dry-erase board ($8.00) (wow); Hershey's chocolate syrup ($2.29); Fritos ($3.49); and that energy drink caffeine stuff ($3.99, which hardly seems like enough to pay for those vaguely creepy CGI advertisements of slow animals mocking lycra-wearing cheetahs in clubs). The contestant put the pens on the first level ($5.99), the Fritos and the Post-It notes on the second ($8.09), the chocolate syrup and the caffeine on the third ($6.28) which is where he lost everything, and left the dry-erase board on top ($8.00), showing at least that the current make of college students knows the price for dry-erase boards. I'd have put it at the $3.00 range.

The correct placement I find is the pens on the first level ($5.99); the Post-Its and the Hershey's on the second ($6.89); the Fritos and the energy drink on the third ($7.48); and the dry-erase board on top ($8.00). I believe this to be a unique arrangement, but I'm also starting to have thoughts about how to go about proving there isn't another arrangement, based on the differences between prices of products. More to come.

The difference is item price ranges is a more generous than average $5.71. To date the item price ranges have been $10.00, $3.70, $3.90, $3.90 again, $6.14, $4.30, $4.30 again, $2.54, $2.73, and $5.71.

The level price ranges was also a bit more generous than average, at $2.10, which is still pretty rough. This season's level ranges have been $4.00, $1.50, $1.30, $0.99, $2.00, $1.70, $1.70 again, $1.00, $1.23, and now $2.10.

Also, I watched this streaming over the Internet and I'm happy to say I got through the whole thing without skips, dropped connections, or the web browser freezing up due to Flash. Unfortunately they're now stuffing enough advertisements in to make it more annoying to watch online than over the air. Also apparently Michigan political advertisements are driven entirely by the fear of Canada, which I thought had faded away from American politics around the time of the Fenian raids, for crying out loud.

Trivia: The earliest recorded bet on baseball dates to 1858, and the earliest known fixed game to 1865. Source: Crazy '08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created The Greatest Year In Baseball History, Cait Murphy. (The book is several years old and it is possible further research has found earlier instances.)

Currently Reading: Vegetables: A Biography, Evelyne Bloch-Dano, Translator Teresa Lavender Fagan.

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