Odd Ways of Learning Things

Tell your tales of bygone days and rank historical things here.

Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Rufous-capped Thornbill » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:57 pm

The Eighth Viscount of Waaaah wrote:I got the VCU Closed question on saving Jews during the Holocaust thanks to my obsessively deep knowledge of Hark, A Vagrant!: http://harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=144

Argh! That may be the only Hark! A Vagrant I haven't read, and as a result I watched helplessly as Richard Yu powered that tossup on the Sugihara clue.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Fond du lac operon » Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:06 pm

I can't say much about this since the set's not clear, but I 30ed a history bonus on Saturday because I lost a library book in Boston once. (Losing a library book in Boston tends to make that book and what it's about unusually memorable.)
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby The Bold Ideas of Bernie Sanders (I-VT) » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:02 am

Fond du lac operon wrote:I can't say much about this since the set's not clear, but I 30ed a history bonus on Saturday because I lost a library book in Boston once. (Losing a library book in Boston tends to make that book and what it's about unusually memorable.)

I should probably get and lose a copy of The Critique of Pure Reason soon then.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Fond du lac operon » Wed Feb 13, 2013 12:35 pm

merv1618 wrote:
Fond du lac operon wrote:I can't say much about this since the set's not clear, but I 30ed a history bonus on Saturday because I lost a library book in Boston once. (Losing a library book in Boston tends to make that book and what it's about unusually memorable.)

I should probably get and lose a copy of The Critique of Pure Reason soon then.


Well, if you lose it in Boston.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Fond du lac operon » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:41 am

Two from Saturday (so I'm going to stop typing here)

Edit by staff: Don't talk about questions that are still being used for any constructive purpose.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Haaaaaaaarry Whiiiiiiiiiite » Sun Mar 24, 2013 2:06 am

I first-lined a tossup on Russia due to Day[9] (of Starcraft fame) talking about having this chart as a poster on his wall during one of his Dalies.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby blizzard » Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:49 pm

Inkana7 wrote:
The Eighth Viscount of Waaaah wrote:I got the VCU Closed question on saving Jews during the Holocaust thanks to my obsessively deep knowledge of Hark, A Vagrant!: http://harkavagrant.com/index.php?id=144

Argh! That may be the only Hark! A Vagrant I haven't read, and as a result I watched helplessly as Richard Yu powered that tossup on the Sugihara clue.


There was a story I had to read in my sixth grade reading textbook about Sugihara.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Urech hydantoin synthesis » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:11 pm

At a tournament last weekend, I picked up a book lying around and flipped to a random page and read the first couple of sentences. Several rounds later, a tossup used a clue that was mentioned in those sentences (though I didn't dare buzz).
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Cheynem » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:16 pm

I didn't actually buzz on it, but at WELD, there was a tossup on Francois de La Rochefoucald, the author of maxims dude. I had learned about this guy from the Frasier episode "Radio Wars," which ends with a long scene where Frasier tries to quote him and thus mentions his name over and over again. I always thought the writers just made the name up or were doing a take on Michel Foucault. Sadly, Will Nediger did not use the Frasier clue in the tossup because he is Canadian.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Beevor Feevor » Fri Dec 06, 2013 6:31 pm

Cheynem wrote:I didn't actually buzz on it, but at WELD, there was a tossup on Francois de La Rochefoucald, the author of maxims dude. I had learned about this guy from the Frasier episode "Radio Wars," which ends with a long scene where Frasier tries to quote him and thus mentions his name over and over again. I always thought the writers just made the name up or were doing a take on Michel Foucault. Sadly, Will Nediger did not use the Frasier clue in the tossup because he is Canadian.


That a million times. Before I had actually read or seen any of these things, I got tossups on Pygmalion, Wuthering Heights, The Flying Dutchman, Jung, just from watching Frasier episodes.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Alejandro » Sat Dec 07, 2013 4:23 am

I've gotten at least 3 tossups on or mentioning Howards End based solely on this scene from The Critic.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Jem Casey » Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:49 pm

My knowledge of Emma basically consists of "there's a scene where some evil gypsy people attack someone" and "Emma is a jerk to her aunt at a picnic;" those are the only two pieces of information I retained from my experience of watching part of an Emma movie eight years ago, and have been invaluable in making mediocre Emma buzzes on several occasions.

Also, at some point in my childhood I was very fond of Asterix, a historically-accurate Belgian comic about some Gauls who use magic potion to beat up Roman soldiers, and thus had decent knowledge of the Gallic wars, random Celtic tribes, and Roman military terms before I even knew that that sort of information might be useful for something.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Beevor Feevor » Sat Dec 21, 2013 8:08 pm

A Series of Unfortunate Events has given me exposure to tons of stuff just through the puns and allusions made, which has gotten me stuff some very weird knowledge pockets over the years from reading about stuff that is name-dropped in it.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby pajaro bobo » Mon Dec 23, 2013 9:07 pm

Playing Okami = instant Shinto knowledge.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby samus149 » Tue Dec 24, 2013 12:25 am

AlexLiu wrote:Playing Okami = instant Shinto knowledge.


Seconded. And for every other myth system, there's The Children's Book of Myths & Legends. It got me my only buzz ever on Yoruba mythology.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby harborseal » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:34 pm

I've always been surprised (and a little bit embarrassed) by the number of questions I've gotten based solely on knowledge gleaned from listening to musicals about historical events. (Assassins, Pacific Overtures, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, 1776, Evita, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Book of Mormon, Candide, the list goes on...)
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby NikhilSethi » Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:49 pm

I've gotten my fair share of Shinto tossups based on Naruto.

Edit: I can't type
Last edited by NikhilSethi on Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Thu Jan 30, 2014 3:34 pm

NikhilSethi wrote:I've gotten my fair share of Shinto tossups based Naruto.

How has your knowledge of ramen toppings done this exactly?
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:16 pm

I learned about the book David Copperfield from the Meek Mill song "Black Magic" two years ago.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Muriel Axon » Mon Jul 07, 2014 2:23 pm

SUBMIT has a question on shadow plays that mentioned the Ottoman shadow puppets Karagoz and Hacivat. In a recent episode of Arthur, Mr. Ratburn gets into an extended argument with a smartboard named HUGO 3.0 who claims to be 100% accurate. In a failed attempt to stump HUGO, Mr. Ratburn asks something like, "There are two lead characters in traditional Ottoman shadow puppetry. One is Karagoz. What is the name of the other?"

Of course, HUGO gets it right. But he is later foiled when Brain proves that it was really Jacob Katzenellenbogen, and not Francis Wheaton, who built the first steam-powered mill in Elwood city.

http://arthur.wikia.com/wiki/Get_Smart
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Lagotto Romagnolo » Mon Jul 07, 2014 11:56 pm

I first-lined the Schopenhauer tossup at SUBMIT from watching Neon Genesis Evangelion. Not a bad alternative to reading him.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Banned Tiny Toon Adventures Episode » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:29 am

My knowledge of song of roland is entirely based on fire emblem character names
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby yeah viv talk nah » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:45 am

I first-lined a tossup on Zimbabwe once because it mentioned a government official who had the same last name (Mpofu) as this cricketer: http://www.espncricinfo.com/usa/content/player/55633.html.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Aaron's Rod » Thu Jul 10, 2014 5:38 pm

One of my approximately three buzzes at 2013 ICT was first-cluing "polio" on a clue about a certain disease in India. About a year prior I was at a travel clinic getting my shots to go to India (among other places), and the waiting room had readings about India that included nearly the exact same fact about the WHO. Something about how it was considered eradicated in India after 0 cases were found in 2011, I think.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Wynaut » Fri Jul 11, 2014 6:17 am

We were playing through Modern World packets at our first summer practice, and I powered the very first tossup (on Louisiana) because it mentioned the first Vietnamese-American Congressman, Joseph Cao.

I was filling in a crossword the night before (the theme was Asian-American History) and clue 1-Across was something along the lines of "Joseph ___ (R-LA), 1st Vietnamese-American in Congress." I had all of those NYT theme crosswords in my bag, so I was able to show Will Nediger exactly what I was referring to.

What a pleasant surprise.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Mewto55555 » Fri Jul 11, 2014 12:34 pm

Cape Fear wrote:We were playing through Modern World packets at our first summer practice.


Noooooooo
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Wynaut » Fri Jul 11, 2014 4:27 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:
Cape Fear wrote:We were playing through Modern World packets at our first summer practice.


Noooooooo


I assure you it was because everyone wanted to experience the political bias first-hand.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby TSIAJ » Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:18 pm

Not quite as peculiar as previous posts, but I've gotten at least two Nixon tossups and a Kissinger tossup based off my one live-viewing of Nixon in China...
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Halved Xenon Stinging » Sat Jul 19, 2014 7:36 pm

I learned who Jeffrey Dahmer is from Juicy J in a Katy song
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Sniper, No Sniping! » Sun Jul 20, 2014 9:00 pm

Shangdevin wrote:I learned who Jeffrey Dahmer is from Juicy J in a Katy song

Similarly I learned who John Wayne Gacy was from listening to Sufjan Stevens. I also learned who Guy Fisher was from listening to Cam'Ron.

Robin Williams more or less acted Milgram's Shock experiment on an episode of Law and Order SVU, so that was my first exposure to an actual social science thing. Conversely, I learned all I needed to know about the Robbers Cave experiment from reading the discussion of it on HSQB.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Marble-faced Bristle Tyrant » Thu Mar 19, 2015 2:47 pm

There are a bunch of math and physics things I wouldn't have heard of if not for the game Half-Life 2 and its soundtrack.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Wynaut » Wed Mar 25, 2015 2:28 pm

I remember learning a bunch of English Civil War stuff from Monty Python's "Oliver Cromwell."
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby peachykeen » Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:13 pm

I got a Little Rock tossup from having seen the cover of- never actually having read- the memoir Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals, a member of the Little Rock Nine
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Muriel Axon » Tue Mar 31, 2015 6:32 pm

In undergrad, I worked in a lab that studied the cognitive science of reading. One text that we used for our experiments was Chapter 2 of Mansfield Park. Since we wanted to correlate cognitive data with the literary aspects of the text, we had to do some extensive close-reading of that chapter, which I was involved in. So I've never read the rest of Mansfield Park, but I'm pretty sure I know Chapter 2 better than anyone else in quiz bowl.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby RexSueciae » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:03 pm

Oh, I've got a story for this thread. See, in my favorite medieval grand strategy computer game of all time, one of the mercenary bands that is available for hire is the Victual Brothers. So, when I played BELLOCO last year, I made a very excited first-line buzz in a tossup which began by describing the Victual Brothers as "a group of people with this profession," certain that my unorthodox knowledge acquisition had paid off.

Unfortunately, the answerline they were looking for was "pirates," and I was negged.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby The Lutes of Dependency » Sat Apr 04, 2015 4:33 pm

I don't think he comes up much, but I learned who William Allen White was from They Might Be Giants videos.

Also because of TMBG I got a pretty good buzz on a James K Polk tossup, even though I really suck at history.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Goofy Evanescence Vine » Sun Apr 05, 2015 2:31 am

Also because of TMBG I got a pretty good buzz on a James K Polk tossup, even though I really suck at history.

Listening to that song probably has the highest points to time ratio of any of the unusual knowledge sources I have. I now refuse to learn anything else about Polk that isn't presented in song form.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Muriel Axon » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:41 pm

I got the tossup on "Palenque" at Nationals from playing this Nancy Drew game in 4th or 5th grade: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Drew ... arlet_Hand
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Lawrence Simon » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:54 pm

I used to write for the Alternative History wiki after I got into Harry Turtledove novels in middle school and the several years I spent writing for it has definitely helped me, especially with my knowledge of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:04 pm

I learned a ton about the Maya by playing a 1990's computer game called "Maya Quest", which I think was from the makers of Yukon Trail and Amazon Trail. Mostly, this means that I have never actually correctly answered a question on a Mayan city-state, because I know so many of them that I always get distracted by another possible answer and say that instead of the right answer.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Benin Rebirth Party » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:58 pm

I got the Lockerbie Bombing question at Nats from the Mayday episode
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Auks Ran Ova » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:14 pm

The Last 20 Stanley Cup Winners wrote:I got the Lockerbie Bombing question at Nats from the Mayday episode

This does not seem to be a particularly odd way of learning that thing!
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby UlyssesInvictus » Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:57 pm

http://existentialcomics.com/

(don't be misled by the URL, it's about all philosophy) I recently found this webcomic--I guess it's not particularly odd in that obviously it's trying to teach you philosophy, but it's too cool not to share and not academic enough to share in the "Quizbowl books" thread.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Ndg » Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:46 pm

UlyssesInvictus wrote:http://existentialcomics.com/

(don't be misled by the URL, it's about all philosophy) I recently found this webcomic--I guess it's not particularly odd in that obviously it's trying to teach you philosophy, but it's too cool not to share and not academic enough to share in the "Quizbowl books" thread.


Wow, this is fantastic. Thanks for sharing this!
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby UlyssesInvictus » Mon Jun 08, 2015 12:46 am

Glad you like it :) This is my personal favorite of the strips: http://existentialcomics.com/comic/58
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby otsasonr » Tue Jun 09, 2015 8:06 pm

Another great philosophy-themed webcomic is Dead Philosophers in Heaven, which is updated woefully infrequently.

A favourite: http://www.dead-philosophers.com/?p=422
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Wynaut » Thu Jun 11, 2015 1:27 am

I actually learned who Nicola Sturgeon was after seeing a comment that read "Nicola Sturgeon is my waifu" on a polandball comic.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby no ice » Sun Jul 12, 2015 7:49 pm

In our school's Dean's Office, there is a shelf with a bunch of old yearbooks, so I went in after school one Friday to try to find a picture of my bald French teacher back when he still had hair. I looked through most of the 2000s, but unfortunately, the earliest yearbook he appeared in was 2008, and he was already bald in that one, so my search proved fruitless. While I was searching, though, a section of one of the earlier yearbooks had caught my eye—it was an article about the protests in France that year, since our yearbook likes to have a current events segment to serve as a recap of the year. Hoping that it would maybe be quizbowl relevant, I read the first two paragraphs and looked at the picture before flipping the page to continue my quest of finding a picture of my teacher with hair. The very next day, in the Illinois History Bee finals, I ended up getting a tossup because it used those protests as the lead-in clue for Jacques Chirac, whom my bald French teacher had praised multiple times as his favorite French president.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Milhouse » Mon Aug 10, 2015 10:05 pm

I'm pretty sure I've gotten a tossup that mentioned the Vendee because of the first post in this thread.
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Re: Odd Ways of Learning Things

Postby Muriel Axon » Mon Aug 10, 2015 11:19 pm

I powered the CO question on The Sheltering Sky thanks to the Police song "Tea in the Sahara," whose lyrics are a description of an episode mentioned in the TU. (There's also an excellent King Crimson instrumental called "The Sheltering Sky.")
Shan Kothari

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