Study break

Rock, paper, scissors — shoot!

Twenty-one Princeton students, including PAW contributor Sarah Harrison ’09, left midterm studying behind Oct. 28 to participate in the debut Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament in Dillon Gym, organized by the Intramural Sports Office. Harrison filed this report for The Weekly Blog.

The best Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS) competitors pay no attention to the strategy of their opponents. That tactic worked well for Zacch Olorunnipa ’11.

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Olorunnipa reached the finals of the RPS draw, beating out the strategies of other players like senior Rob Barnett, who followed a preconceived pattern in every game he played, and junior Ian Auzenne, who worked off his opponents’ actions.
Auzenne followed a “very complicated” method in which he tried to anticipate the first move of each opponent. Most amateur players draw scissors first, Auzenne explained. He “typically throws down a rock.”
Auzenne sized me up as an amateur, so he was shocked when I started with paper. “So rarely will people throw a paper on the first draw,” he said afterward. Paper trumped rock, and I moved on.
My amateur moves carried me to the finals, but I met my match in Olorunnipa. Olorunnipa “didn’t watch anyone else play,” trying to focus only on “feeling the vibe of the room.” Watching other players would have knocked Olorunnipa off his own game.
Either Olorunnipa’s focus paid off, or my amateur tactics caught up with me. I drew scissors first and he crushed me with his rock. Olorunnipa took home first prize, an iPod nano. By Sarah Harrison ’09
Above, RPS champion Zacch Olorunnipa ’11, top, and runner-up Sarah Harrison ’09. (Photos courtesy of the Intramural Sports Office)

Names in the news, campaign edition

Princeton alumni hit the trail in the final weeks of the presidential campaign, with Tigers popping up on both sides of the aisle. For Sen. John McCain’s camp, Meg Whitman ’77, the former eBay CEO, talked technology in northern Virginia Oct. 27. (McCain has mentioned her as a possible treasury secretary.) Steve Forbes ’70, a former presidential candidate, also supported McCain in Virginia, speaking at an Oct. 25 rally. And actor Dean Cain ’88 took McCain’s side in a debate with fellow celeb Sheryl Crow on Larry King Live Oct. 13.
Sen. Barack Obama has received support from former congressmen Sen. Bill Bradley ’65 (D-N.J.) and Rep. Jim Leach ’64 (R-Iowa), as well as Paul Volcker ’49, the former Fed chairman, who has served as an economic advisor for the Democratic candidate. Eric Schmidt ’76, the CEO of Google, offered his endorsement Oct. 20 and has talked about technology at Obama events. And of course, Michelle Obama ’85 and her older brother, Craig Robinson ’83, the men’s basketball coach at Oregon State, are lending their voices to the campaign.

i-c4a696a5836998532def6a88c111b41f-one-familys-response.jpgNew books: One Family’s Response to Terrorism

In Susan Kerr van de Ven’s recently published memoir, One Family’s Response to Terrorism (Syracuse University Press), the daughter of alumnus Malcolm Kerr ’53 recalls her family’s search for justice after Kerr, the president of the American University of Beirut, was assassinated nearly 25 years ago. The story traces van de Ven’s exploration of evidence, more than a decade after the murder, and the family’s U.S. court case against the Islamic Republic of Iran. It also includes memories of Kerr, family photos and letters, and reflections on violence and politics. Van de Ven, who holds a Ph.D. from Harvard, runs a creative writing program for children in Cambridge, England.
Visit PAW Online for a list of new books by Princeton alumni and faculty.

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