Search found 210 matches

by yoda4554
Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:24 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Format discussion - round 204
Replies: 42
Views: 14316

Just wondering, Lee--if your aim is to teach your players things about Ibsen, rather than help them win qbowl tournaments, why would you want them to know about a rarely-produced early play like Brand rather than, say, the reasons that Nora has in A Doll's House for leaving her husband even though t...
by yoda4554
Mon Feb 05, 2007 7:49 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Reminder: Don't discuss specific questions...
Replies: 11
Views: 5574

As far as I know, difficulty levels aren't a corporate secret, because NAQT has more or less said how their tournaments compare to each other in the past (mods, feel free to erase this if that turns out to be inaccurate). Billy's numbers are right only up until recently. Over the summer, NAQT upped ...
by yoda4554
Thu Jan 25, 2007 12:19 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: The Economics of Studying Quiz Bowl Literature
Replies: 35
Views: 11669

I seem to remember Eric Kwartler (in the process of mocking another younger player) making the statement that it was more or less a given that people who do well at qbowl, particularly on lit., will have spent the majority of their study time working with summaries, old questions, and other things t...
by yoda4554
Sun Jan 21, 2007 7:12 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Penn Bowl Discussion
Replies: 29
Views: 11039

I don't remember what the results of Niemoller-discussion on the Vancouver thread last summer were, but I think Bronzino would be reasonable at something like ACF Regionals--I think some basic painting survey courses that have Mannerist-tilted instructors go over his portraits and some other pieces ...
by yoda4554
Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:41 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: EFT commentary
Replies: 52
Views: 26419

Rayford, while the trend you bring up may be true for other examples, I don't think it is for these two questions. "Jacobean dramatist" limits you to a few major askable people, of whom Webster is probably the most famous. And a lot of stuff has been said about Eliot's love of Webster's plays in gen...
by yoda4554
Wed Oct 04, 2006 12:49 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: What happened here?
Replies: 14
Views: 5472

That's actually not the weirdest thing about those stats. Apparently, the bonuses were not broken down, point-wise, into multiples of 5, leading to games scores such as 96. Thus, either the packets were written by people unfamiliar with qb convention (were all the bonuses worth 30 points?), or somet...
by yoda4554
Thu Aug 31, 2006 11:05 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ANNOUNCEMENT: NAQT Jr. Bird (09/23/06) at Boston U.
Replies: 2
Views: 1929

Out of idle curiosity, is there any reason why you're not playing standard NAQT CUT rules, and doing this modified version instead? Players who've put up significant PPG at ICT probably don't need teammates for an IS set.
by yoda4554
Mon Aug 28, 2006 12:10 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: high school - college retention
Replies: 72
Views: 28485

Matt, I have yet to see a tournament with a bonus that read something like, "For 30 points, write a ten-page paper discussing insanity as depicted in The Tin Drum," and I have yet to see a graded English assignment that read "Name ten novels written by Gunter Grass." I'm not arguing that the two kno...
by yoda4554
Sun Aug 27, 2006 1:43 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: high school - college retention
Replies: 72
Views: 28485

Furthermore, the qb definition of "valuable knowledge" differs fairly widely from its definition in most canonical fields. For qb, it's necessary that a good player have very broad knowledge of a subject, but for the most part going into any kind of depth has diminishing qb returns. It's my impressi...
by yoda4554
Wed Aug 02, 2006 4:27 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Ideal trashy distribution?
Replies: 32
Views: 14379

I basically like Sorice's distribution, with the exception that I think that there should be a mandated defined category of trash lit including bestsellers, comics, genre fiction, etc. And while I understand that it's sometimes too easy to write a tossup on something popular within a subfield of tha...
by yoda4554
Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:17 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Gottfried Keller Results
Replies: 31
Views: 13142

I note looking back at my post that, as is easy to do, I ended up overemphasizing stuff I didn't like in a tournament that I did like quite a bit. This is probably because most of the questions were uniformly well-written in a variety of good structures and formats, such that none particularly stand...
by yoda4554
Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:30 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Gottfried Keller Results
Replies: 31
Views: 13142

I enjoyed the tournament overall, in that there were lots of questions on things I'm interested in and that I felt good about getting questions right on subjects I knew things about. I liked the emphasis on good whole albums, Then again, I don't know enough about sports to know if the format alluded...
by yoda4554
Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:34 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Bonus Policy in ACF
Replies: 13
Views: 5898

I don't have a position one way or the other on hte policy, but the policy certainly has a measurable effect at harder tournaments. For example, the Walker Percy and Saul Bellow bonuses at ACF Nationals both had two works by those authors as the first two parts without identifying the author, and th...
by yoda4554
Fri Jul 07, 2006 3:42 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: New York/New Jersey 2006-07
Replies: 44
Views: 18930

I grew up on Long Island and played quiz bowl my last two years there. The problem is certainly not a lack of interest or teams, it's merely that there's a self-sufficient circuit there that's pretty divorced from the national qb scene (or even anything out of state-- I'd never heard of the White Pl...
by yoda4554
Wed Jul 05, 2006 11:51 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Chicago Open Update
Replies: 9
Views: 5112

Dan Klein and I are planning on playing, possibly with a friend of ours, and we'd like to grab someone else interested in getting pummeled by the assorted all-star teams all day (or so confident in their abilities, particularly in things like history and social science, that they won't mind only get...
by yoda4554
Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:56 am
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Recent Literature: General Thoughts/Who Makes the Cut?
Replies: 31
Views: 34483

People who are ascribing some sort of militant rage behind my or Borglum's suggestions are supplying that tone themselves (as with most incidences of trying to read tone off a messageboard). No one has suggested whole bonuses on characters from Europe Central, or a tossup on The Omensetters. What ha...
by yoda4554
Mon Jul 03, 2006 5:26 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Recent Literature: General Thoughts/Who Makes the Cut?
Replies: 31
Views: 34483

Glad we've calmed down a bit. I'm not suggesting that every tournament should have a 1/1 Gass/Vollman distribution-- I, certainly, would do poorly on such questions. I picked Gass because I've read him for class, because many people I know like him, and because I've seen him tossed around as someone...
by yoda4554
Mon Jul 03, 2006 1:16 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Retiring Some Questions?
Replies: 51
Views: 22644

For one, Asimov did annotated/critical books on Shakespeare, Milton, Swift, the Bible, and a lot of similar literary works. I have no idea how well they're considered critically, but the argument seems to be that need only be relatively decent to raise his status, QB-wise. That seems strange to me. ...
by yoda4554
Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:59 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Recent Literature: General Thoughts/Who Makes the Cut?
Replies: 31
Views: 34483

I've never claimed to have read anything by McEwan, because whether or not I've read anything by McEwan doesn't really matter. I'm not a signficantly literary critic, last I checked. Had I read everything he's written and thought he was the greatest author of all time, that wouldn't mean a thing. Th...
by yoda4554
Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:27 am
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Recent Literature: General Thoughts/Who Makes the Cut?
Replies: 31
Views: 34483

I don't see why topics of quizbowl questions have to "stand the test of time." Questions are not written for posterity. They are written for tournaments that occur once, usually within a couple months of writing. If something makes a large impact immediately, does it matter whether or not anyone car...
by yoda4554
Mon Jul 03, 2006 12:10 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Retiring Some Questions?
Replies: 51
Views: 22644

Asimov was diverse-- as just about every trivia collection mentions, he's got a book in every Dewey Decimal category except philosophy. He's very arguably the most diverse writer of the century--or at least, he tried very hard to make the case and a bunch of people support it. But frankly, the argum...
by yoda4554
Sun Jul 02, 2006 11:11 am
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Retiring Some Questions?
Replies: 51
Views: 22644

I mostly agree with Eric, but, while I'm not as huge a fan of it as many of my friends, there's heaps and heaps of lit. crit on LOTR. While there are a lot of people who don't like it, there are some significant literary folk who think very highly of it (WH Auden, for example). I would think he's ce...
by yoda4554
Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:42 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: high school - college retention
Replies: 72
Views: 28485

I'm curious if anyone has actual examples of teams that played D2, succeeded, and then stopped playing. I'm curious also as to why anyone thinks that such teams, who having triumphed in the lower division are unmotivated to move up, would be retained on the long term by being thrown at Chicago and M...
by yoda4554
Wed Jun 07, 2006 6:31 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: End of Year Poll
Replies: 2
Views: 2367

So... are there results for this?
by yoda4554
Wed Jun 07, 2006 12:07 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Player movement thread
Replies: 12
Views: 6542

The Williams team is more or less breaking up. Klein's going to hang out in the real world for a little while. Hirshman's going to the Comp Sci department at CMU, and may or may not play a bit there. I'm going to Temple for a couple years, which doesn't have a team as far as I understand, and there'...
by yoda4554
Wed May 10, 2006 7:23 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: The Theory of Tiebreakers
Replies: 30
Views: 31329

I suppose I used the term "aggressive" a bit too freely. To put it another way (if anyone cares): I assume that most players have worked out a strategy by which they feel a certain level of aggressiveness will result in the best tossup/neg ratio for them on any given question, and thus (in their opi...
by yoda4554
Tue May 09, 2006 4:47 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: The Theory of Tiebreakers
Replies: 30
Views: 31329

Is this really a difficult concept? Do none of you play differently based on the margin of the score in the game? I certainly do. Examples in which playing to get the most points is antithetical to trying to win-- A. You have a lead of 85 points with 2 questions left in an mACF format (or, for that ...
by yoda4554
Tue May 09, 2006 4:05 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: The Theory of Tiebreakers
Replies: 30
Views: 31329

I don't entirely agree with compucomp, but a tournament using a PPG tiebreaker should keep in mind that it will cause a team to try to play aggressively even while winning handily or playing a weak opponent purely for the purpose of racking up points, and this purpose can be antithetical to the purp...
by yoda4554
Sun Apr 30, 2006 5:08 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Best Powers
Replies: 161
Views: 69736

The buzz on Valentine is unwise, even if there's a high probability of sci-fi. It could just as easily be Ender's Game.
by yoda4554
Sat Apr 29, 2006 8:19 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Underwhelmed
Replies: 141
Views: 134475

I think the problem (or one of the problems) is not that NAQT writers decide to write poorly on boring topics, but simply that there are very few of them who have enough knowledge to write better questions. Again, based on my peon free-lance-writer access, science questions are usually the ones that...
by yoda4554
Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:13 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Underwhelmed
Replies: 141
Views: 134475

Not that I'm sure what this indicates, but it's interesting that the only noticeable complaints on difficulty were that 25%-30% of people thought the pop culture and sports were too easy (in contrast to complaints on this board that such questions are markedly more difficult than the rest of the que...
by yoda4554
Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:46 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Bad Negs
Replies: 826
Views: 319283

From Williams College's beer practice: Wrong: Babi Yar Right: Baba Yaga Wrong: Order of St. John Wrong: Order of the Garter Right: Spirochetes A couple other classics from our team: Wrong: Spontaneous human combustion Right: Balk Wrong: Antigone at Colossus Right: Oedipus at Colonus Wrong: Who's Afr...
by yoda4554
Sun Apr 16, 2006 2:06 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT discussion
Replies: 6
Views: 4152

Actually, one point that's intrigued me. Since I do some freelance writing for NAQT high school sets, I have a small amount of access to some NAQT stuff. And an interesting thing I notice on tournaments is that while many of the questions that get bitched about the most are by people who might be ch...
by yoda4554
Mon Apr 10, 2006 2:15 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Underwhelmed
Replies: 141
Views: 134475

As I believe was discussed in a thread a while back, the standard ACF/invitational distribution is more or less arbitrary. There's no particular reason why it exists other than some people decided they liked it and other people agreed enough not to argue and get it changed. It certainly doesn't repr...
by yoda4554
Tue Apr 04, 2006 12:02 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals discussion
Replies: 4
Views: 3678

One of my teammates said this was the best question set he's played on, and I don't think I can name a set that I thought was better. My fear coming into the tournament was that there would be lots of tossups on obscure stuff that people with more tournament experience than I would just get on the g...
by yoda4554
Fri Feb 17, 2006 4:56 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: The Poll
Replies: 25
Views: 16533

Williams will almost certainly be comprised of Daniel Klein, the Davids Letzler and Mathias, and Zach Thomas at ICT. That group may also be representing us at ACF Nats, or Brian Hirshman may be replacing one of the players (and to answer Bruce's question from the other thread, we're all UG).
by yoda4554
Wed Feb 15, 2006 1:03 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: QUESTION SPECIFIC Thread for NAQT SCT
Replies: 31
Views: 17327

Well, for whatever it's worth, the Finland and 1972 were picked up on their first clues in my games by a guy who, while generally up on his politics and military history, isn't an expert on either topic. That doesn't say much about whether they're good clues or efficient uses of line-space, but they...
by yoda4554
Tue Feb 14, 2006 11:20 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: THE thread for NAQT SCT discussion
Replies: 99
Views: 52614

There seems to be some disagreement over whether the trash was too hard or too easy. I'm not sure what definitions of difficulty are being used. Certainly trash questions will have to be more obscure in relation to the field of popular culture to maintain the same average point conversion across the...
by yoda4554
Mon Feb 13, 2006 12:49 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: THE thread for NAQT SCT discussion
Replies: 99
Views: 52614

As I believe Subash mentioned last year when people were singling him out for praise on SCT, NAQT has a hierarchy of editors for every set. Last year, the buck did stop at Subash for SCT and ICT, I think, and it didn't this year. So while I do suspect that Subash's presence may have improved certain...
by yoda4554
Fri Feb 10, 2006 3:11 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Regs discussion
Replies: 66
Views: 33093

Well, as far as W.H. Auden is concerned, Icarus alone is just fine as unique identification. I'm fairly sure I've seen just The Fall of Icaurs in other quasi-academic contexts. That neg happened in my room as well...
by yoda4554
Mon Feb 06, 2006 12:57 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Regs discussion
Replies: 66
Views: 33093

As Jerry mentioned, "Golliwog's Cakewalk" shows up a lot as a bonus answer. It may have been in the MLK set. It's one of those pieces that every kid taking piano lessons learns at some point. I suspect that it's his most famous after "Clair de lune" and "Afternoon of a Faun." The Blade Runner thing ...
by yoda4554
Sun Feb 05, 2006 6:54 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Regs discussion
Replies: 66
Views: 33093

The appropriate thing to do for the writing on the wall question was what Steve Watchorn did in our room when one of my guys buzzed with the feast, which was to generously prompt. A few gripes on the questions, which are minor. "Golliwog's Cakewalk" should not be in the lead-in to any Debussy questi...
by yoda4554
Thu Feb 02, 2006 4:27 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ICT predictions for 2006?
Replies: 21
Views: 10920

While, on the right packet, particularly NAQT, Mike can take down anyone, I think you guys are overrating Yale. If they stick with Mike, Andrew, Brett, and Peter as their A-Team, they're a little better than last year... but I feel like their finishes at Regionals and Nationals last year were higher...
by yoda4554
Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:19 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Penn Bowl/Sword Bowl blew ass
Replies: 79
Views: 50790

I haven't seen the questions, of course, but I'm curious about a couple of the examples of suckiness cited. For a novice-level tournament (which this was advertised as, which is one of the reasons we didn't go), is it really out of line to have Einhard as the first clue on a Charlemagne question, or...
by yoda4554
Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:01 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Michigan MLK discussion
Replies: 10
Views: 4970

Yeah. My problem was with the Godot clue in there, which formed a fairly substantial portion of the question. Presumably, when the question has progressed to that point, the players probably aren't familiar with the works that have already come up, so that clue should be able to lead players who kno...
by yoda4554
Mon Jan 23, 2006 12:43 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Michigan MLK discussion
Replies: 10
Views: 4970

Now that the mirror at BU is over I'll join in the general chorus praising the set. Not quite as good as ACF Fall, but considering this was a one-man job, quite impressive. Only a couple questions caused muttering amongst my team (are we clear to talk about specific questions?), and for each of thos...
by yoda4554
Thu Dec 08, 2005 3:24 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Overrepresentation of World Lit Topics
Replies: 66
Views: 34984

The answer space for world lit is not small because there are few writers worthy of writing questions on outside of the US and Britain (and Europe). The answer space is small because few people have actually read works by people from non-Western cultures, so they tend to fall back on the standard No...
by yoda4554
Wed Dec 07, 2005 10:03 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Overrepresentation of World Lit Topics
Replies: 66
Views: 34984

I think this comes done to a debate over what literature questions, in general, should test. The greater emphasis on world lit. comes, I think, from the belief that even if Anglo-American literature represents (let's say) 90% percent of what players read, that shouldn't matter because literature fro...
by yoda4554
Mon Nov 21, 2005 5:47 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Technophobia Discussion or Monologue, Really
Replies: 56
Views: 56307

For whatever it's worth, Jerry, Evelina 's not entirely out of left field. I've heard Fanny Burney come up twice in my career, with that book as the giveaway both times. It is, after all, the first critically (and commercially) successful novel in English by a woman, and it's fairly important to tho...
by yoda4554
Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:46 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: ACF Fall discussion
Replies: 107
Views: 93947

I remember reading or hearing a comment once that as one gets better at quiz bowl, one forgets that it is primarily a game and not a test. That is, most people play it because they find it fun to hit a buzzer and hear someone say "Correct" rather than out of a desire to validate themselves by demons...