Classic Tetris World Championship / Chris Higgins
Classic Tetris World Championship / Chris Higgins

Stream The Classic Tetris World Championship Today!

Classic Tetris World Championship / Chris Higgins
Classic Tetris World Championship / Chris Higgins

Today, the sixth annual Classic Tetris World Championship takes place in Portland, Oregon. At the event, the world's best Tetris players duke it out using original Nintendo hardware, thrift-store CRT TVs, and live commentary by experts. If you dig Tetris, this is the event of the year.

If you can't make it in person, it's streaming on Hitbox, and embedded below (minus the live chat). The 32-player bracket begins Sunday, October 18, at 10am Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8). Here's the full schedule:

NES Tournament Early Rounds (Announcer: Chris Bidwell)

Round 1: 10:30am - 12:00pm (16 matches)

Round 2: 12:15pm - 1:15pm (8 matches)

Break: 1:15pm - 1:45pm

NES Tournament Top 8 (Announcer: Chris Tang)

Round 3: 2:00pm - 2:45pm (4 matches)

Round 4: 3:00pm - 3:30pm (2 matches)

Round 5: 3:45pm - 4:30pm (final match)

NES Award Presentation: 4:30pm

Note: If you are in Portland, come by the event and say hi! I'm the head referee for the championship this year.

Wait, What's the Classic Tetris World Championship?

If you're not aware of this game, it may be useful to watch Ecstasy of Order: The Tetris Masters, a documentary about the first competition of this kind. Here's the trailer:

Five years later, the event has gotten much bigger. More video, including previous years' streams of the final rounds, is available on the CTWC site.

The Queen of Code: Remembering Grace Hopper
By Lynn Gilbert, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons

Grace Hopper was a computing pioneer. She coined the term "computer bug" after finding a moth stuck inside Harvard's Mark II computer in 1947 (which in turn led to the term "debug," meaning solving problems in computer code). She did the foundational work that led to the COBOL programming language, used in mission-critical computing systems for decades (including today). She worked in World War II using very early computers to help end the war. When she retired from the U.S. Navy at age 79, she was the oldest active-duty commissioned officer in the service. Hopper, who was born on this day in 1906, is a hero of computing and a brilliant role model, but not many people know her story.

In this short documentary from FiveThirtyEight, directed by Gillian Jacobs, we learned about Grace Hopper from several biographers, archival photographs, and footage of her speaking in her later years. If you've never heard of Grace Hopper, or you're even vaguely interested in the history of computing or women in computing, this is a must-watch:

Why Are Glaciers Blue?

The bright azure blue sported by many glaciers is one of nature's most stunning hues. But how does it happen, when the snow we see is usually white? As Joe Hanson of It's Okay to Be Smart explains in the video below, the snow and ice we see mostly looks white, cloudy, or clear because all of the visible light striking its surface is reflected back to us. But glaciers have a totally different structure—their many layers of tightly compressed snow means light has to travel much further, and is scattered many times throughout the depths. As the light bounces around, the light at the red and yellow end of the spectrum gets absorbed thanks to the vibrations of the water molecules inside the ice, leaving only blue and green light behind. For the details of exactly why that happens, check out Hanson's trip to Alaska's beautiful (and endangered) Mendenhall Glacier below.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]


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