Search found 2116 matches

by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:52 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: How to improve on a team with a strong generalist
Replies: 1
Views: 381

Re: How to improve on a team with a strong generalist

Learning the categories that your team struggles with is not only a great way to increase your PPG, it is also a great way to win the gratitude of your teammates. Whether you just notice that tossups on subject x always go dead at practice, or you actually talk to your teammates and figure out which...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:54 pm
Forum: Community Discussion
Topic: Losing Steam and Motivation in College
Replies: 4
Views: 1059

Re: Losing Steam and Motivation in College

Arguably, quizbowl is in far greater need of people who are good at organizing tournaments, running a team, and other logistical tasks like that than people who are good at answering tossups. If you have any interest in these things (in addition to also answering tossups or not), you should explore ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:23 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Should quizbowl reform the three-part bonus?
Replies: 18
Views: 2320

Re: Should quizbowl reform the three-part bonus?

I grew up with bouncebacks in high school and think they're just fine and worth experimenting with. One clear consequence that's going to have is fewer upsets. There's something fun about beating a superior team to a tossup, and then watching them squirm and facepalm as you get 0-10 points on a bonu...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:42 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Notable Buzzers
Replies: 20
Views: 2572

Re: Notable Buzzers

I was never a big fan of the Judge (the grippy part of the judge paddle seemed to always come off, making it a sticky mess) but many players of my era have fond memories of it. I'm told that in the years immediately after 9/11, it was often difficult to get the Judge through airport security.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Dec 16, 2019 4:50 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Notable Buzzers
Replies: 20
Views: 2572

Re: Notable Buzzers

It has occurred to me that it's been a really long time since I've seen "The Knot". It was a 16-player buzzer system, obstinately for four teams of four, but with all 16 cables coming out of a central console. The cables naturally became tangled up in a way that seemed to defy 3-dimensional Euclidi...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:44 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Notable Buzzers
Replies: 20
Views: 2572

Notable Buzzers

Am I correct in saying that the present day is a nadir for buzzer diversity in quizbowl? Seems like due to a combination of other buzzer companies going out of business and Anderson having a superior product at a lower price, everyone is just using those Anderson buzzers now? Certainly, the last qui...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:30 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Should I quit quizbowl?
Replies: 8
Views: 2424

Re: Should I quit quizbowl?

I remember being in your shoes when I was a college freshman all the way back in 2004. In those days UChicago practices were about 3 hours long, and on many nights I wouldn't get a tossup until 2 hours had passed. Part of it is that I was in a room with 3 Hall of Fame level players (Andrew Yaphe, Su...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:09 am
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Red Bull sponsorship of 2009 ACF Nationals
Replies: 0
Views: 639

Red Bull sponsorship of 2009 ACF Nationals

The "stamina at Nationals" thread reminded me of my favorite fact about 2009 ACF Nationals at Washington University in St. Louis: the event was technically "sponsored by Red Bull". I believe the story is that the TD, Matt Weiner, discovered that there was a form on Red Bull's website where you could...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Nov 06, 2019 3:32 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Abolish packet submission for ACF Fall
Replies: 29
Views: 3882

Re: Abolish packet submission for ACF Fall

My Negative Memories of Packet Submission as a Player I remember the first tossup I ever wrote. It was for ACF Fall 2004, where I was playing on Chicago E. The answerline was "John Tyler" and the lead-in clue was that during the nullification crisis, John Tyler was the only Senator to vote against ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Oct 29, 2019 2:17 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: No prizes is better than insulting prizes
Replies: 22
Views: 6827

Re: No prizes is better than insulting prizes

One thing I used to do is buy slightly more prizes than there were top scorers (so if I wanted to give out prizes to the top 8 scorers, common in my day, I would get like 10-11 books). This way if some book was truly of no interest to anyone, nobody would get stuck with it. I was often surprised at ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Oct 29, 2019 2:06 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Should Baby Seals Smile While Being Clubbed? Or: Why Should Newer Teams Stick Around College Quizbowl?
Replies: 14
Views: 4946

Re: Should Baby Seals Smile While Being Clubbed? Or: Why Should Newer Teams Stick Around College Quizbowl?

Maybe I'm reading Bruce's post wrong, but it seems like the advice that was most valuable to him (warnings about particular players and team strengths) are both: not the sort of thing the TD's email was proposed to contain (or should contain, given that the TD should maintain some neutrality and bi...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Oct 28, 2019 2:32 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Should Baby Seals Smile While Being Clubbed? Or: Why Should Newer Teams Stick Around College Quizbowl?
Replies: 14
Views: 4946

Re: Should Baby Seals Smile While Being Clubbed? Or: Why Should Newer Teams Stick Around College Quizbowl?

College Quizbowl is not the only activity where the really good teams are significantly better than the brand new teams. There are a ton of activities that fit that pattern, and most are healthier than college quizbowl (though from my perch in 2010, it sure looks like college quizbowl is much health...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Oct 07, 2019 8:48 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: A Plea for No More Excuses
Replies: 11
Views: 5305

Re: A Plea for No More Excuses

A lot of people in our society shy away from difficult or awkward conversations, even when these conversations are necessary. The fact that people who cannot write the questions they signed up to write find it easier to just not talk to their editor than to email their editor early on and say "sorry...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Sep 30, 2019 10:44 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: On the proper method to stop negging so much, 2019 edition
Replies: 3
Views: 3291

Re: On the proper method to stop negging so much, 2019 edition

I think there's a distinction between reaction time (how fast does your finger press the buzzer after your brain decides it is time to buzz) and recall time (how fast does your mouth say "The Dean's December" after your brain determines this is a novel set in Communist Romania). My personal experien...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:01 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: How do you put Quiz Bowl on a resume?
Replies: 9
Views: 5024

Re: How do you put Quiz Bowl on a resume?

You should be tailoring your resume to the position you are applying for. Figure out what it is that the people reading the resume want from an applicant, and then highlight the way that quizbowl shows you have that. For instance, if it's a job where you will be managing a budget, talk about your ex...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:20 am
Forum: Practices, Scrimmages, Online Packets, and Playtesting
Topic: Daylight time is different from standard time
Replies: 7
Views: 4207

Re: Daylight time is different from standard time

I can never remember which one is DT and which one is ST, so whenever I quote a time I make sure to say "ET" or "Central Time" rather than EST or Central Standard Time. This absolves me of the need to remember whether we are in DT or ST. Plus it saves a word or character.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Aug 05, 2019 11:29 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: Faster (Human) Parsing of Answer Lines
Replies: 6
Views: 4881

Re: Faster (Human) Parsing of Answer Lines

Anecdotally, seeing "England" in scare quotes made it really easy for me to understand that it was somehow different from the list of promptable answers in front of it.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:31 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: Different Styles of Making Flashcards
Replies: 11
Views: 5952

Re: Different Styles of Making Flashcards

I never used flashcards. I tried making them once (I think I made actual index card flashcards where the front was an object from Norse myth and the back was the owner of that object) and I found that I found the process of making flashcards to be boring and unpleasant. It was more fun to just read ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jul 16, 2019 3:04 pm
Forum: Databases and Quizbowl Software
Topic: Does every quizbowl organization need its own blog?
Replies: 9
Views: 5396

Re: Does every quizbowl organization need its own blog?

Sounds like this could be better accomplished by an individual running their own quizbowl news site, rather than by any of quizbowl's notoriously bureaucratic and slow-running organizations.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Jun 26, 2019 8:58 pm
Forum: New Collegiate Teams
Topic: Public Trivia Nights into Quizbowl Play
Replies: 7
Views: 5264

Re: Public Trivia Nights into Quizbowl Play

If I were doing this, I'd basically chop up some ACF Fall or SCT questions and insert them among the trivia rounds. Then I'd announce at the end something to the effect of "and a lot of these questions were based on REAL quizbowl questions!" Might help combat the impression that quizbowl is impossib...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Jun 09, 2019 8:56 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: The Deep Bench Format
Replies: 6
Views: 5072

The Deep Bench Format

The University of Minnesota used to host a tournament called "Deep Bench". The entire point was to reward the, well, bench strength of quizbowl teams. You had to bring a lot of people (I think 8?) and then there was a round where everyone broke up into singles (teams of 1) doubles (teams of 2) and q...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:46 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Vulching
Replies: 14
Views: 11472

Re: Vulching

I've seen captains point to a specific player on the team, to say "YOU buzz in and take this one". This could be another way to determine who buzzes in. I agree with Chris that a lot of the advice in this thread is for like 99th percentile teams seeking to become 99.9th percentile teams. Most teams ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue May 21, 2019 12:14 am
Forum: New High School Teams
Topic: Running Club Meetings
Replies: 10
Views: 9662

Re: Running Club Meetings

Saying "buzz" instead of setting up a buzzer system is what Harvard did during my time there. It definitely works better than the other no-buzzer alternative, which is people slapping the desk with their hand. Human voices differ from each other more than the sounds our hands make.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed May 15, 2019 3:12 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Making things stick.
Replies: 8
Views: 5546

Re: Making things stick.

I often made mnemonics for things that, for whatever reason, I was unable to make stick. For example, for the life of me I could not recall the order of the major battles of Alexander the Great. I could read about them all I could, but in the end I still messed up the order of Granicus River, Gaugam...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:13 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Let's tell the kids stories about CBI
Replies: 31
Views: 16019

Re: Let's tell the kids stories about CBI

I vaguely recall a story about an incident in the late 90's where there was a tossup about India that was the subject of a protest, and they resolved it by asking a player from another team who was Indian. Was that at CBI Nationals?
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:30 am
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Ken Jennings Slate article on quizbowl
Replies: 7
Views: 6169

Re: Ken Jennings Slate article on quizbowl

Yeah, quizbowl is certainly a "minor league" into Jeopardy in the way Mike Cheyne articulates above. I'm sure I'm not the only person in this thread who has auditioned for Jeopardy, and they make you list all the people you know who have been on Jeopardy...and yeah I have to list like 20 people I've...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:11 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Old time bonus formats
Replies: 19
Views: 9141

Re: Old time bonus formats

The trash tournament Ann B. Davis had the feature where once a game a player could answer a bonus all by themselves and if they got all three parts they earned 60 points, but if they got any part wrong they earned 0 points. I don't think I'm the only specialist who dreamed of one day seeing that in ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Apr 02, 2019 3:19 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Old time bonus formats
Replies: 19
Views: 9141

Old time bonus formats

When I began playing college quizbowl in 2004, there were still some wacky bonus formats being used. They were beginning to be phased out then, and we were explicitly told by our elders not to use them and to use the standard three-part bonus instead, but they definitely came up in mACF events, incl...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:17 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: 10 Years of Chicago Open: My Greatest Memories
Replies: 8
Views: 7015

Re: 10 Years of Chicago Open: My Greatest Memories

In 2006, there was a war between Israel and Lebanon. Matt Weiner sided with Israel. Chris Borglum sided with Lebanon. They argued about it on the internet, and Beirut Borglum told Matt Weiner to put down the giant turkey leg he was holding (Matt Weiner, if you've never seen him, is a very large man)...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Mar 22, 2019 1:29 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Happy 6th Watkinsgate Anniversary!
Replies: 18
Views: 9356

Re: Happy 6th Watkinsgate Anniversary!

Well, the difference between Andy Watkins and Guy Fawkes is that Guy Fawkes was caught before he did anything, right? Parliament did not blow up, the plotters were executed, and disloyal papists all over the country were dragged out of their priest holes and jailed. It's a far more satisfying outcom...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:33 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Let's tell the kids stories about CBI
Replies: 31
Views: 16019

Re: Let's tell the kids stories about CBI

CBI also must have notified the university of results, because at one point after UChicago's embarrassing 2nd place finish at CBI regionals in 2005, I was meeting with a university administrator on an unrelated matter, and upon learning that I was on the quizbowl team she congratulated me for our 2n...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:17 am
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Let's tell the kids stories about CBI
Replies: 31
Views: 16019

Let's tell the kids stories about CBI

I'm not the best person to make this thread because my college quizbowl career only briefly overlapped with CBI, but I'll kick it off and perhaps other veteran college quizbowl players can run with it. In ancient times (like the 80's or something), there was a TV game show run by an organization cal...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Mar 20, 2019 9:48 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Happy 6th Watkinsgate Anniversary!
Replies: 18
Views: 9356

Re: Happy 6th Watkinsgate Anniversary!

Watkinsgate is the biggest news story in the history of quizbowl. It was the subject of an article in a newspaper in Nepal, which I'm pretty sure has never happened before or since. As far as people in Nepal are concerned it's the only thing to ever happen in quizbowl. I have long critiqued the cele...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Mar 20, 2019 12:26 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Harder Questions in the Finals?
Replies: 11
Views: 5177

Re: Harder Questions in the Finals?

I actually buy into this, with the caveat that, if the answerlines are too hard, then you've created dead tossups in the most consequential matches of your tournament! That's obviously bad. I think this is an "underrated bad". Writers don't live in sufficient fear of creating this outcome, and play...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Mar 19, 2019 4:28 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Specializing for the college level
Replies: 2
Views: 4352

Re: Specializing for the college level

If literature is what interests you the most, go ahead and download a bunch of college packets, read them, and look up every lit clue and answerline you haven't heard of. In the fall when you go to your first college practice, figure out what the teams weaknesses are and see if you can specialize in...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sat Mar 16, 2019 4:31 pm
Forum: Community Discussion
Topic: Indulge me a moment...
Replies: 19
Views: 10593

Re: Indulge me a moment...

Honestly, the most rewarding thing I've done with quizbowl the last ~5 or so years is hanging out on the "Theory" section of this very forum and giving the kids advice on things like what books to read or how to learn myth. Hopefully, the advice is not horrifically off-base, though I can imagine a f...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:23 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: What is the purpose of a first line?
Replies: 36
Views: 12287

Re: What is the purpose of a first line?

First of all, let me say how jealous I am that writers and editors today have this wonderful data, which in my day was the province of pie-in-the-sky futurists. Truly quizbowl keeps getting better and better and it's fun to watch this happening from the retirement home. Second of all, I want to talk...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:58 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: 2019 Carper Award winners: congratulations, Rob Carson and Kelly McKenzie!
Replies: 6
Views: 3328

Re: 2019 Carper Award winners: congratulations, Rob Carson and Kelly McKenzie!

Kelly McKenzie was already just a legend when I started playing college quizbowl all the way back in 2004, but somebody told me that he popularized the idea of using the bonus prompt to introduce additional clues. E.g., saying "This President signed the Black Tariff. For ten points each, name these ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Mar 05, 2019 12:46 pm
Forum: New High School Teams
Topic: Books "for Quizbowl"
Replies: 217
Views: 161076

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

Wanted to bump this thread to make two recs for Eastern European history: God's Playground, Volume 1 by Norman Davies. . This is a history of Poland from its beginning to the partitions in 1792. It's famous outside of quizbowl and the author is super famous. I have actually not read it, but one of m...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:33 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: Mythology
Replies: 10
Views: 7193

Re: Mythology

I found the Kojiki very dense and unreadable. For everything that was quizbowl-relevant, there were 10 things that will never come up in quizbowl. I recommend finding summations of the most popular and famous stories from Japanese myth in secondary sources. Japanese culture is very popular and there...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Dec 23, 2018 9:09 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Quizbowl Epistemology?
Replies: 5
Views: 4008

Re: Quizbowl Epistemology?

Somebody who pays attention to their college classes will do alright in quizbowl, but you would be lying to your attendees if you told them that quizbowl was just a test about what you learned in school. Nobody can take enough classes to become a good quizbowl player from classes alone. Quizbowl pla...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:02 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: How to Buzz Faster
Replies: 12
Views: 8137

Re: How to Buzz Faster

This may sound obvious, but I think "preparing to buzz" plays a big role in helping you to buzz faster. For example, when you are first starting to play, the game seems to be moving fast. You hear a bunch of clues you don't know, then a clue you do know out of nowhere, BAM BOOM ZOWIE, and you're bu...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:58 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Feedback about Feedback
Replies: 7
Views: 4784

Re: Feedback about Feedback

You're going to get more bang for your buck if you give high level, systemic feedback to a question writer or editor. If you tell a question writer "your middle clues were too hard, here is some advice on how to write good middle clues", that is something they can apply to every question they ever w...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:16 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: TDs: Manage Your Fields Appropriately
Replies: 3
Views: 6520

Re: TDs: Manage Your Fields Appropriately

Long, long ago, I was the TD of a very hard tournament. A new team, that had never played a tournament before, signed up to play it. I was excited to see them field a team and welcomed them to this tournament. They got absolutely killed, including a loss to a below-average player who was playing sol...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Oct 30, 2018 4:35 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: What is World History?
Replies: 11
Views: 5734

Re: What is World History?

Re: the Morocco thing If I were writing a tossup on Morocco and wished to use clues on medieval dynasties that roughly originated in Morocco, I would probably begin the tossup with "One dynasty that originated in this modern-day country won the battle of so-and-so", followed by stuff like "one ruler...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Oct 29, 2018 9:00 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: What is World History?
Replies: 11
Views: 5734

Re: What is World History?

You may be very interested in the debate we recently had on the Theory board, where some of these same issues were discussed

viewtopic.php?f=117&t=21597
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Oct 16, 2018 11:13 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament
Replies: 23
Views: 8616

Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

Discussion of whether we can narrow down quizbowl skill to one statistic is completely ignoring the problem Jakob has raised in this thread. We don't want 100 ppg high school superstars or experienced collegiate players platying in novice tournaments, and if we have to use multiple criteria to dete...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Oct 15, 2018 4:45 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament
Replies: 23
Views: 8616

Re: Please codify eligibility restrictions for your novice tournament

In chess, it is my understanding that there are tournaments, say, for players with Elo of 1000-1500, 1500-1700, etc. Know how strong the people playing your tournament are. Chess has reduced "how good a player is" to a simple number, and made this number trivially easy to look up in an authoritativ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Aug 08, 2018 4:14 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Sports Teams as Answerlines
Replies: 15
Views: 5604

Re: Sports Teams as Answerlines

Wait, why is it bad that the giveaway is accessible? Dead tossups are bad for quizbowl. If you don't like somebody answering a Milwaukee Brewers tossup because they got it off geography rather than sports knowledge, your remedy is to learn more about sports so you can beat them to it on the sports c...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Aug 08, 2018 3:16 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Where does the Commonwealth go?
Replies: 17
Views: 7185

Re: Where does the Commonwealth go?

I've always treated Commonwealth countries as part of "World" for the traditional American / European / World split in a 4/4 History distribution, including Canada. That seems to me to be the most literal interpretation of what those words mean. I am also inclined to think of these subdistributions ...