Search found 104 matches

by Brian Ulrich
Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:30 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2009 ICT discussion
Replies: 173
Views: 23411

Re: 2009 ICT discussion

I mentioned being out of touch specifically on the context of my not writing much for college anymore. Fourteen questions in this set were by me, and their dates of authorship were scattered from 2004 to summer 2008, with one CE bonus from the winter. Some of these were also things I meant to go to ...
by Brian Ulrich
Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:20 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2009 ICT discussion
Replies: 173
Views: 23411

Re: 2009 ICT discussion

. Aren't you the person who told Kyle how easy you thought it would be to write a good Ibn Khaldun tossup? Seriously, if you think this is a good tossup then you lack a fundamental understanding of the current standards of quizbowl. Yes, and I still think this. I wasn't thinking of any specific Ibn...
by Brian Ulrich
Sun Apr 05, 2009 6:15 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2009 ICT discussion
Replies: 173
Views: 23411

Re: 2009 ICT discussion

Thanks, Jeff, for posting this. I didn't get to play the 21 Demands question and am now sad to have missed it. I'm going to go ahead and assert that there should be more than one Middle Eastern history question in 18 packets of 26 questions. Seriously. This is a problem. Re: Mamluks, Bahri was misp...
by Brian Ulrich
Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:42 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2009 ICT discussion
Replies: 173
Views: 23411

Re: 2009 ICT discussion

First, I'll agree with Kyle that geography could be an interesting category, but tends to degenerate into toponym-bowl. I've occasionally tried to write more involved geography questions, as well as to introduce some geographical terms into the lexicon, but have never really put enough into it to ha...
by Brian Ulrich
Fri Mar 20, 2009 12:37 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Ratio of American History to European/World History
Replies: 68
Views: 15942

Re: Ratio of American History to European/World History

Ibn Khaldun could be a tossup at a high-level tournament (and indeed I think I remember a tossup on him), but (a) he would fit as much in social science as in history and (b) it's really, really hard to write a decent tossup on Ibn Khaldun. I tried once and never produced anything even vaguely pyra...
by Brian Ulrich
Wed Mar 18, 2009 3:10 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Ratio of American History to European/World History
Replies: 68
Views: 15942

Re: Ratio of American History to European/World History

It's a rather Eurocentric list. Doesn't Ibn Khaldun merit a mention? What about the "Imam of Historians," al-Masudi?
by Brian Ulrich
Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:57 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Ratio of American History to European/World History
Replies: 68
Views: 15942

Re: Ratio of American History to European/World History

Two subpoints: I'm not sure how much this is known, and whether it affects the discussion any, but NAQT includes historiography as part of literature. It's not its own subcategory within the distribution, and comes up perhaps once a tournament or so in the form of Herodotus or Thucydides, but it's t...
by Brian Ulrich
Mon Mar 09, 2009 10:13 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT distributions posted
Replies: 59
Views: 8463

Re: NAQT distributions posted

CE:Science can also include diseases or breakthroughs like sheep cloning or issues in the news like stem cell research. I've pushed to reduce it, but wouldn't want to see it dropped entirely. Whether it should be coded as CE Science is one of those categorization issues I don't think matters much gi...
by Brian Ulrich
Sun Feb 08, 2009 10:27 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: SCT Private Discussion Forum
Replies: 129
Views: 17313

Re: SCT Private Discussion Forum

I'm registered.
by Brian Ulrich
Fri Jan 30, 2009 6:02 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010
Replies: 79
Views: 11776

Re: List Places You'd Like to See ICT 2010

I've little doubt I'm in the extreme minority in this view, but I was disappointed in the Dallas selection only because I've been there a few times and think there's nothing interesting about the place. We are fortunate to have a healthy budget at Valencia (a CC with no intercollegiate sports), and...
by Brian Ulrich
Thu Jan 01, 2009 5:43 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Good Current Events
Replies: 28
Views: 3985

Re: Good Current Events

Donald probably is right, but I'll throw in some of my high school level efforts in response to ETC and make an observation or two... From a little over a year ago: This term can be a synonym of B-paper and second chance. It is used to describe situations in which the customer has a FICO score unde...
by Brian Ulrich
Wed Dec 31, 2008 11:23 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 19618

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

This is the second time someone in this thread has accused one of us of evasiveness. You may feel our answers are unsatisfactory in some way, but at least give us credit for trying to answer directly. This post perhaps did not help matters. NAQT has not communicated effectively with the circuit as ...
by Brian Ulrich
Wed Dec 31, 2008 10:34 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 19618

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

I assume that people, in general, think it would be a good thing if more NAQT members were active participants in the discussions on this forum. I don't see how jumping all over stray remarks like this one (especially in the context of what strikes me as a rather thoughtful response, on Ken's part,...
by Brian Ulrich
Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:33 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Distribution: Origins, Motivations
Replies: 72
Views: 56112

Re: Distribution: Origins, Motivations

I'm not so sure there aren't underlying cultural assumptions that hold literature more important than music. At the very least, I perceive, but don't have the time to seek evidence confirming or disproving, that in university general education curriculums, literature is required but music subsumed u...
by Brian Ulrich
Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:26 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 19618

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

Even if there are some borderline cases as to what is trashy vs. serious lit, I don't think there's even a remote question that a tossup on Robert Jordan the author is anything but pop culture. Why are you not kicking back these questions, along with the questions on Harry Potter that made it into ...
by Brian Ulrich
Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:59 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Are IS-A sets appropriate for new teams?
Replies: 75
Views: 10379

Re: Are IS-A sets appropriate for new teams?

For Mike - I apologize for misreading your tone. I thought I you had been active back then, which is why I assumed we'd have the same memories of the feedback NAQT got at that time. As this is not the case, I'm left wishing I knew of an easily searched archive of stuff from that time, which I think ...
by Brian Ulrich
Mon Dec 29, 2008 9:01 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Good Current Events
Replies: 28
Views: 3985

Re: Good Current Events

As far as the CE-history link, I think that much like we ask details about the 20th century we wouldn't about the 8th, so we ask about current events based on their importance at this moment and not 100 years. By the way, the reason I resist the "modern world" framing is that its too broad...
by Brian Ulrich
Mon Dec 29, 2008 8:44 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Are IS-A sets appropriate for new teams?
Replies: 75
Views: 10379

Re: Are IS-A sets appropriate for new teams?

I have no idea whether NAQT is keen to increase IS quantity, though quality is always a concern. As far as the other uses of resources, though, I think you're missing the other end of things. As I noted on the other end, NAQT produces questions for TV shows that air in a few limited markets. These ...
by Brian Ulrich
Mon Dec 29, 2008 5:11 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Are IS-A sets appropriate for new teams?
Replies: 75
Views: 10379

Re: Are IS-A sets appropriate for new teams?

Consequently, I wish someone authoritative would post regarding this one way or another, either in this thread or in Guy's thread about motivations for writing. I'm not authoritative like you're looking for, but perhaps can contribute a bit. How great a priority is it for NAQT to increase its level...
by Brian Ulrich
Mon Dec 29, 2008 3:42 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Linguistic Fraud
Replies: 60
Views: 6088

Re: Linguistic Fraud

This issue has actually been discussed among NAQT editors before. The current internal conventional wisdom is that something like a Japanese-sounding name functions much like a clue, and should be placed wherever it fits pyramidally. Knowledge of what sounds Finnish is rare enough that, in my quest...
by Brian Ulrich
Mon Dec 29, 2008 2:40 pm
Forum: Best of the Best
Topic: Distribution: Origins, Motivations
Replies: 72
Views: 56112

Re: Distribution: Origins, Motivations

I put some folktale clues and even answers in RMPFest, and have not heard any complaints about this. There was a tossup on vampires in the tiebreakers somewhere, a tossup on elves that used a lot of folkloric clues, etc. Also, I think folklore clues come up a lot in common link TU's, especially on ...
by Brian Ulrich
Mon Dec 29, 2008 1:55 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Good Current Events
Replies: 28
Views: 3985

Re: Good Current Events

If the writers who are assigned current events portions dislike the job and tend to cobble it together at the last minute, then why not deemphasize this and put more effort into the other, more substantive categories (lit, fine arts, myth, etc) instead? I don't think this is a good argument for red...
by Brian Ulrich
Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:16 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: Linguistic Fraud
Replies: 60
Views: 6088

Re: Linguistic Fraud

This issue has actually been discussed among NAQT editors before. The current internal conventional wisdom is that something like a Japanese-sounding name functions much like a clue, and should be placed wherever it fits pyramidally. Knowledge of what sounds Finnish is rare enough that, in my questi...
by Brian Ulrich
Sun Dec 28, 2008 10:05 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Good Current Events
Replies: 28
Views: 3985

Re: Good Current Events

Well, I'm not necessarily saying Brian is being dishonest here; I'm just wondering what high school tournaments he reads at, what elite teams he has seen play, what non-elite or newer teams he has seen play, whether his experience encompasses the traditions of more than one geographic area, etc. Ob...
by Brian Ulrich
Sun Dec 28, 2008 9:48 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Good Current Events
Replies: 28
Views: 3985

Re: Good Current Events

Yeah, I want to reclarify--I wasn't arguing that current affairs/events questions should only be about stuff in the news now, I was just saying that a good chunk of said questions are "ripped from the headlines" and for the aforementioned reasons, tend to come up lacking. I was specifical...
by Brian Ulrich
Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:57 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Good Current Events
Replies: 28
Views: 3985

Re: Good Current Events

There seems to be an assumption going on in this thread that good current events questions have to be on people/events/etc. that are, this very moment, in the news. I don't think this is the case; in fact, I think this is a fairly lazy way to write CE questions that produces questions with a very s...
by Brian Ulrich
Sun Dec 28, 2008 6:53 pm
Forum: High school area archives
Topic: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT
Replies: 175
Views: 19618

Re: High Schoolers and Writing for NAQT

A lot of the concern about NAQT seems to be that, similar to the Alliance of Twelve on Alias , it has wandered from its initial mission and become all about the pursuit of profit at any cost. This view may contain the unexamined view that making money and producing quality sets exist in a zero-sum r...
by Brian Ulrich
Sun Dec 28, 2008 3:22 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Good Current Events
Replies: 28
Views: 3985

Good Current Events

As NAQT's current events editor, I've thought about what makes a good current events question, so I thought I'd start an independent thread on the topic. In another thread, someone suggested "the modern world," which seems too broad. What I usually shoot for is "Current Affairs,"...
by Brian Ulrich
Wed Dec 24, 2008 5:47 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT
Replies: 20
Views: 2466

Re: Policy and Distribution Changes for the 2009 SCTs and ICT

4.7% current events (which at least in NAQT forms I'm familiar with, frequently is basically trash) equals more than 12%, more than fine arts. I think that's bad. We're also going to make sure that "trash" current events fall under pop culture, so that questions actually classified as cur...
by Brian Ulrich
Fri Dec 12, 2008 2:14 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT ICT Survey and Policies
Replies: 8
Views: 1269

NAQT ICT Survey and Policies

NAQY just posted ICT survey results (http://www.naqt.com/ict/2008/question-s ... sults.html) and changes for the coming year (http://www.naqt.com/college/2008/sct-po ... anges.html).

Brian (not speaking for NAQT)
by Brian Ulrich
Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:59 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Sub-distribution suggestions
Replies: 33
Views: 4006

Re: Sub-distribution suggestions

This discussion is endlessly pedantic. I'm guessing people care so much about it because, when you finally do get to an academic tossup on something like "African history" after wading through an ocean of trash and current events, you want it to be on something you like. Good hardcore aca...
by Brian Ulrich
Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:06 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Sub-distribution suggestions
Replies: 33
Views: 4006

Re: Sub-distribution suggestions

Speaking as someone a few weeks out from getting his Ph.D. in Middle Eastern history, you're on dangerous ground. To be honest, I agree that Byzantine questions should count as Greek despite the location of its capital in today's Turkey, but in general "Western Civilization" has been an i...
by Brian Ulrich
Fri Apr 18, 2008 12:59 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Sub-distribution suggestions
Replies: 33
Views: 4006

Re: Sub-distribution suggestions

Non-western history from the ICT: Asian (including the Middle East) (7/7) the Great Game, Seleucus I Nicator, Byzantine emperors named Michael) Do these really count as "Asian," though? To my memory, the Great Game tossup was essentially about British people. Neither Seleucus nor the Byza...
by Brian Ulrich
Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:32 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ICT Discussion
Replies: 102
Views: 17788

Re: ICT Discussion

Also xenon (lower bound now 22%). MaS The elements "quota" in Chemistry is not the problem here; the problem is the "miscellaneous science" category, which can theoretically be all elements (or all astronomy or all biochemistry or all quantum mechanics, etc.). I'm not sure there...
by Brian Ulrich
Wed Apr 16, 2008 6:58 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT's Post-ICT Survey
Replies: 84
Views: 17233

Re: NAQT's Post-ICT Survey

This has always been a tricky issue, and while I have no idea what other people at NAQT think about this, I tend to go by a sort of informal "how it feels" test. Another way of looking at it has been whether someone who has been in a coma for the past year or two could still answer it bef...
by Brian Ulrich
Wed Apr 16, 2008 10:55 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT's Post-ICT Survey
Replies: 84
Views: 17233

Re: NAQT's Post-ICT Survey

Brian, do you feel that a science CE question has to have all clues/bonus parts related to current events, or would you be willing to get science CE tossups that (say) open with a couple sentences on recent stuff and then move on to science background that isn't necessarily based on recent events? ...
by Brian Ulrich
Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:26 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT's Post-ICT Survey
Replies: 84
Views: 17233

Re: NAQT's Post-ICT Survey

The NASA-centrism is because all the science CE I really follow is space-related Ok, I don't mean to rag on you, but this is, like, a huge problem. For several reasons. One reason is that you're essentially admitting that a certain area of the science distribution gets a preferential treatment over...
by Brian Ulrich
Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:00 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT's Post-ICT Survey
Replies: 84
Views: 17233

Re: NAQT's Post-ICT Survey

-The high content of trash and CE in a tournament that bills itself as "National ACADEMIC Quiz Competitions". Considering the NAQT current events editor himself has posted on this forum that he finds it difficult to find this many relevant current events topics, why is there no talk of se...
by Brian Ulrich
Tue Apr 15, 2008 4:46 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT's Post-ICT Survey
Replies: 84
Views: 17233

Re: NAQT's Post-ICT Survey

Just a note on the CE: I don't remember details, but right now the distribution is divided into "U.S." and "World," with these being subdivided into politics, social, and miscellaneous. The line between politics and social is pretty vague, and I suspect it's initial purpose is to...
by Brian Ulrich
Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:15 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ICT Discussion
Replies: 102
Views: 17788

Re: ICT Discussion

The bonuses on the ISS and NASA priorities were part of "Science Current Events," and I wrote them. I recognize they were imperfect, but ran into the same problem as the regular science distribution: No one else was writing anything. I thought "Canada Hand" might be gettable beca...
by Brian Ulrich
Wed Apr 09, 2008 9:27 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ICT Predictions
Replies: 9
Views: 3049

Re: ICT Predictions

I actually had a dream last week that ICT was being held in a K-Mart while the store was still open, on the theory that it would help them attract customers. It was also cloudy out.
by Brian Ulrich
Mon Apr 07, 2008 3:33 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: FICHTE discussion
Replies: 29
Views: 4365

Re: FICHTE discussion

Probably the least enjoyable part of the writing process was coming up with the answers for 27/27 current events. I am unconvinced that there really are 54 things going on in the world at any given time that are worth knowing about and that one can write good questions on. I wasn't particularly pro...
by Brian Ulrich
Mon Feb 11, 2008 3:21 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Private Sectionals Discussion Forum Signup and Access
Replies: 94
Views: 13836

Username

Brian Ulrich, NAQT editor and long-time player
by Brian Ulrich
Sun Feb 10, 2008 4:12 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: SCT Discussion
Replies: 89
Views: 14680

Current Events

As NAQT's current events editor, allow me to copy Jeff's offer and ask for feedback about that category. I'm going to be travelling for the next week, and so probably won't answer, but I will read everything. It will be helpful if comments about general trends are illustrated with a specific example...
by Brian Ulrich
Wed May 02, 2007 3:08 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for Quiz Bowl
Replies: 71
Views: 32370

Questions

Back when I edited Elvis questions, I encounted... "This opera's opening night flop prompted Verdi to write, 'La Traviata was a disaster.'" La Traviata was, by the way, an answer to that question, which went on to talk about the plot. There was also a science question where someone had use...
by Brian Ulrich
Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:27 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Individual Rankings
Replies: 48
Views: 21322

Fantasy Quiz Bowl

There was an attempt at fantasy quiz bowl around NAQT SCT or ICT in 2001 or 2002. You can probably find details at the yahoogroup from about that time to see how it worked.
by Brian Ulrich
Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:09 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT ICT 2007 discussion
Replies: 127
Views: 53935

Trash Lits, Financial News

Just a quick lit note: As far as the accusation about too much Trash lit, looking just at the D-2 set, where that complaint seemed to originate, I have to go all the way down to a Harry Potter bonus in packet 5 to find the first example. This is followed by a Charlie Chan bonus in packet 7, *possibl...
by Brian Ulrich
Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:42 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT ICT 2007 discussion
Replies: 127
Views: 53935

Representativeness

The message board posters here are extremely productive in volunteering their thoughts. Complaints about tone aside, people do take them seriously. The problem is that there are also a lot of people who don't post here. Some write in, and the tone of notes I see tends to be more positive than what I...
by Brian Ulrich
Tue Apr 17, 2007 3:06 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT ICT 2007 discussion
Replies: 127
Views: 53935

Responsiveness

Just one point: NAQT has taken surveys in the past, and collects statistical data on key indicators. I'm not sure how much has been publicly released - that's an R thing to deal with - but I do know their results help guide what NAQT does, and they're probably a more reliable sense of public opinion...
by Brian Ulrich
Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:40 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: NAQT ICT 2007 discussion
Replies: 127
Views: 53935

Disparities

Moreover, the disparity between the particular complaints presented (which largely seemed to be about nit-picky things like clue placement in tossups on clearly academic subjects like the Portinari Altarpiece or Calchas) and the apocalyptic tone of the posts (I think in particular of Jerry's call f...