Amazing Race

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Blow, Winds, Blow!

On the far side of the stadium, Dan and Michael don't seem to be having such problems, although Michael seems to be making a career out of searching for one particular piece. "Come on, baby, I love you!" Caite screeches shrilly, then asides to us, "He's so pissed right now." Even before Brent screams, "STOP!" at a card that gets up to leave, she can tell this. They know each other so well. Cord, meanwhile, is finished, and starts gathering up the cards one row at a time to distribute them to his spectators in similar fashion. "You're number one!" his first spectator says. Nice of these people to be so into it. Soon all the people in his section are obscured by a big orange dragon. "I hope I got it," he pants, admiring the result. Everyone pauses to watch as the cards flip to flawlessly reveal the words "Section 20 Row 16 Seat 33." Cord reads it off while standing next to the guy with the megaphone who must have given the order to flip. Cord starts quickly gathering up all of his stuff he's been using as ballast, including his belt (and after all the airport security they've been through in the past few weeks, I'm sure he has this down to a science), while Jet yells at him to go get the clue already. Cord hits the stands and runs along behind the back row of the lower deck, vaulting the railings between sections. And there's his clue, right where the cards said it would be. He runs back past his section, where the restored dragon seems to be cheering him on as he waves his new clue at them. "Man, you were awesome," Jet says as he opens their clue, which is telling them to take the Metro to the Pit Stop.

Phil says that Pit Stop is the Shanghai Science & Technology Museum," which we can see is a sprawling facility with an open-air courtyard dominated by gyroscopic sculpture and a giant glass sphere. "Built in 2001, this immense facility is the size of fifteen football fields," Phil says, once again deploying The Amazing Race's standard unit of area measurement. "The last team to check in here may be eliminated," he says, and Jet repeats that in reading the clue before they dash off, telling Caite, Louie, and Jordan, "See you guys." For what it's worth, the analog scoreboard clock in the distant background now either reads 12:55 or 1:55. It's hard to say which, because the show is too cheap to shoot in HD. Which is actually fine with me, because I'm too cheap to have HD anyway.

We're about to see how two different approaches to the puzzle work. Or, more accurately, how one of them does. Michael is going back to his stack and paging through it to search for each individual piece as it comes up, which is a method I can only describe as magnificently dumb-ass. Jordan, however, is doing like his dad taught him (and how mine taught me), starting with the corners and then the edges and then working his way in. Which I'm not sure is as valid when every piece is a perfect square. This might actually be a situation that calls for my own annoyingly bizarre technique, which is to stare closely at each individual piece, figure out where it goes based on which tiny part of the picture is on it, and then place it there, whether there are adjoining pieces in place yet or not. Jet and Cord are already outside the stadium and getting directions to the Metro, which just happens to be passing by high overhead on an elevated track. They probably shouldn't try to catch that one.

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Amazing Race

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