BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

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BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:31 am

In order to avoid clogging up the more general thread(s) with requests to see one question or discussion of clue placement in one specific question, please request that individual questions be posted and/or discuss specifics of a given individual question here.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Mewto55555 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 3:55 pm

Can I see that circle question? It was in Round 11 or so.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Mon Mar 26, 2012 4:40 pm

Packet 11, #8 wrote:8. This figure is homeomorphic to the one-point compactification of the real numbers. One of these figures defined by nine points intersects the midpoints of all the sides and the feet of all the altitudes of a triangle. Because the roots of unity fall on this figure, it can be parametrized by the sine and cosine functions. This figure maximizes the ratio of area to perimeter. In polar coordinates, it can be defined by the equation r equals a constant. The ability to draw one of these with any center and any size was one of Euclid’s postulates. For 10 points, name this conic section with zero eccentricity, in which all points on it are equidistant from its center.
ANSWER: circle [accept nine-point circle] <BH/AS>
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Mewto55555 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:54 pm

I may be wrong/nitpicky, but wouldn't the second sentence be more internally pyramidal if you flipped the clues? I think more people know of the existence of a "nine point circle" than what is actually on the nine-point circle.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:54 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:I may be wrong/nitpicky, but wouldn't the second sentence be more internally pyramidal if you flipped the clues? I think more people know of the existence of a "nine point circle" than what is actually on the nine-point circle.
Now that I think about it, you're right. I'll make this edit.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by TulaneKQB » Mon Apr 02, 2012 3:19 pm

The "Childish Gambino" bonus line with the "Bro-Rape" clue was...awkward, especially because I was reading it to a room that was 50% 9th graders and their parents. I don't want to sound like Tipper Gore, but I think you could still pretty easily ask that question without that clue.

That said, I really liked the trash distribution in this set; also, I'm from Stone Mountain, so the more Donald Glover questions the better.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by jekbradbury » Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:58 pm

On the question about potential energy, the first clue read something like "If a field is not irrotational [or also something else that is more or less synonymous], then this cannot be defined." I buzzed there, said "potential," and was negged without prompting, because the answer line said not to accept potential until the very end. That would make sense if the question had said "force field" instead of "field," but for a generic "field" the answer should be a generic "potential"--if the field is the electric field, the thing being defined is the electric potential (which isn't an energy), and so on. Tl;dr I would advise either changing "field" to "force field" or modifying the answer line?

Similarly, on the question about polarity, the first clue was something like "If only parts of a molecule have this property have this property, it is called amphiphilic" and I gave "hydrophilicity" and again wasn't prompted. I doubt many people will be that thickheaded in the future, but I think it and hydrophobicity deserve at least a prompt?
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Kouign Amann » Sat Apr 14, 2012 8:06 pm

I believe the bonus part on the council of Trent said that it "restored adoration of the Virgin Mary." In a Catholic context, "adoration," like "worship," applies only to God. A better word would be "veneration" or "honoring."
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:45 pm

I always feel like a whining, complaining idiot who just isn't as smart as a bunch of 17-year-olds in these sorts of threads, but once again i just think certain tossups were too difficult to be tossed up.

I only have the first 10 rounds of this set, but here's what i noticed. I'm only commenting on tossups because if i go through bonuses right now, my eyes will fall out.

Round 1
Gorky - He wrote one notable work, and to most kids playing quizbowl, they've never heard of it. Indeed, Gorky was a tossup answer at ACF Nationals in 2000 and 2005, and ACF Regionals in 2009. The tossup mentions one other named work other than The Lower Depths in the entire question. Yes, i'm aware that totally awesome teams like TJ and GDS probably first- or second-lined this question, but it went dead in other rooms.
Bone - A kid said "bone marrow" to this and it was wrong. Could/should he have been "anti-prompted" or whatever we're calling it now?
Newspapers - I just wanted to point out that this was my favorite tossup in the entire tournament and one of my favorite questions i've seen in a long time. Awesome idea. Elijah Lovejoy needs to be more well-known.

Round 2
Symphonies by Beethoven - Stop doing this. Just ask for "symphonies" or "Beethoven." These questions will always be confusing and only elite teams ever get them even semi-early. Everyone else is just confused.
Phloem - Not to be too nitpicky here, but why not have a giveaway that has the word "xylem"? This can at least reward knowledge by teams that know "hey, xylem is the opposite of phloem, i'll give phloem!" I can't recall the last tossup i've read on either concept that did not mention its opposite. I'm wondering why. Because xylem was a bonus answer later on?

Round 3
Murakami - If you're going to toss up a Japanese author at a high school tournament, it shouldn't be Murakami. Again, good for GDS and TJ for getting it on the second line and description of 1Q84. You're awesome. Instead, have Japanese literature tossups about more notable authors: Mishima (at least it's notable for another thing high schools remember, seppuku), Oe, Ishiguro (he was an answer later, fine), Kawabata. I'm not saying Murakami isn't important, but again, we're talking about a high school tossup. You know what's even better? Literature questions where the answer is "Japan." You can still make it plenty hard even if that's the answer line.

Round 4
Succession - I will admit ignorance of this in stating that i have no idea what this is, and cannot ever remember it coming up in a tournament. Indeed, it hasn't been an answer in any ACF iteration i can find. Looking harder, i see it at an answer in FICHTE in 2009, and no where else i can access.
Confirmation - This is a sacrament that's not ever asked about, and i always wondered why. Thanks for writing a tossup on it.

Round 7
Set - Egyptian mythology is still hard for a lot of high schoolers. Ask about more notable figures... or, again, just have "Egypt" as the answer and that works just fine.

Round 9
Lisbon - What's so wrong about adding, "the capital of Portugal" to this question? Is it beneath you to do that? Again, that's knowledge. Assess it.

Round 10
Stress - This is tough, and parts of it sounded a whole lot like "pressure" was going to be the answer. It was an answer at EFT 2010 but i find it nowhere else. It's a tough thing to ask about. I'm not sure how else to critique it because like 20 kids at this tournament know more about science than i do.
Billy Joel - I hate when trash questions are the last tossup of a game, but i guess that's just a personal quibble.

Additionally, i noticed many tossups with back to back literature or science. There is certainly no rule saying you can't have two tossups about a major category in a row, but it almost never happens. And it happened in this set multiple times. Just wondering why.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by jekbradbury » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:59 pm

I didn't hear the giveaway to the stress question (could someone post the question text?), but I agree that it probably isn't a good idea to toss it up at all at the high school level, unless there are late clues that lots of people know--and I definitely can't think of any right now.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:14 pm

List of villages in West Virginia wrote:Gorky - He wrote one notable work, and to most kids playing quizbowl, they've never heard of it. Indeed, Gorky was a tossup answer at ACF Nationals in 2000 and 2005, and ACF Regionals in 2009.
This isn't really a valid line of argument; lots of things that are tossup answers at ACF Regionals (and somewhat fewer things that are tossup answers at Nationals) can be tossups for high school play.

That being said, Gorky probably isn't suitable for a regular-season high school tossup (IS #67: 1/1/0 in 11 rooms; 2011 HSNCT playoffs: 5/14/5 in 19 rooms; which should say something about the levels he is appropriate at)
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:07 pm

I'll respond to the negatives. I will start by saying that I really do care about all teams' experience on this set, from the very best to the very worst, and intended to write and edit it with that in mind.
List of villages in West Virginia wrote: Gorky - He wrote one notable work, and to most kids playing quizbowl, they've never heard of it. Indeed, Gorky was a tossup answer at ACF Nationals in 2000 and 2005, and ACF Regionals in 2009. The tossup mentions one other named work other than The Lower Depths in the entire question. Yes, i'm aware that totally awesome teams like TJ and GDS probably first- or second-lined this question, but it went dead in other rooms.
I figured this was the lit tossup you mentioned. We'll reassess it, though I don't really see how Gorky's presence at college tournaments is logically connected to the fact that not enough teams know who he is.
Bone - A kid said "bone marrow" to this and it was wrong. Could/should he have been "anti-prompted" or whatever we're calling it now?
He could/should not have, since every clue in the question was on the material of bone itself and not the marrow within it.

Round 2
Symphonies by Beethoven - Stop doing this. Just ask for "symphonies" or "Beethoven." These questions will always be confusing and only elite teams ever get them even semi-early. Everyone else is just confused.
A few years ago, I felt this way, but I don't anymore. As a group, Beethoven symphonies are a salient, well-known class of work in the real world and within quizbowl. I can think of saying "Type of work and author required" at the beginning, if that needed to be spelled out, or explicitly requiring a prompt on "compositions of Beethoven" or "symphonies" alone. If elite teams are the only ones getting the early clues after that, then there's a different issue.
Phloem - Not to be too nitpicky here, but why not have a giveaway that has the word "xylem"? This can at least reward knowledge by teams that know "hey, xylem is the opposite of phloem, i'll give phloem!" I can't recall the last tossup i've read on either concept that did not mention its opposite. I'm wondering why. Because xylem was a bonus answer later on?
Indeed, xylem was mentioned later.

Round 3
Murakami - If you're going to toss up a Japanese author at a high school tournament, it shouldn't be Murakami. Again, good for GDS and TJ for getting it on the second line and description of 1Q84. You're awesome. Instead, have Japanese literature tossups about more notable authors: Mishima (at least it's notable for another thing high schools remember, seppuku), Oe, Ishiguro (he was an answer later, fine), Kawabata. I'm not saying Murakami isn't important, but again, we're talking about a high school tossup. You know what's even better? Literature questions where the answer is "Japan." You can still make it plenty hard even if that's the answer line.
We discussed this one internally at length. We picked Murakami because in the world of people who read books, he's become hugely popular outside Japan and is beginning to be assigned in some classroom settings as well. 1Q84 came out earlier this year to a huge fan following which had been anticipating it for a while, and it's prominently displayed in the "New Bestsellers" shelves of many bookstores. For those reasons I argued that Murakami would actually be much more appropriate than Oe, who is less known by real-world readers and only really has his titles memorized by "elite teams" at the expense of anyone else, and Kawabata/Mishima, who while still read have suffered a similar effect and aren't as read by real people recently.

Also, Ishiguro has lived in Britain since the age of six and is thereby really not Japanese literature.
Succession - I will admit ignorance of this in stating that i have no idea what this is, and cannot ever remember it coming up in a tournament. Indeed, it hasn't been an answer in any ACF iteration i can find. Looking harder, i see it at an answer in FICHTE in 2009, and no where else i can access.
Succession is a pretty basic concept in ecology - the change of one ecosystem into another - which can be encountered in the biology classroom and certainly within the AP Bio setting. I don't want to concede to the notion that frequency in old packets is an appropriate measure of difficulty, but it can be found in such old high school packets as 2011 Prison Bowl, HSAPQ Tournament-15, and 2010 NASAT.
Set - Egyptian mythology is still hard for a lot of high schoolers. Ask about more notable figures... or, again, just have "Egypt" as the answer and that works just fine.
This may be a smidge harder than Ra, but it's not outside the difficulty pay grade of high school tournaments. Knowing who the big bad guy is in Egyptian mythology was not out of reach of the many high school teams we read this to at BHSAT - it was converted in eight of the nine rooms to which we read it.
Lisbon - What's so wrong about adding, "the capital of Portugal" to this question? Is it beneath you to do that? Again, that's knowledge. Assess it.
It's not beneath us; though some people might argue that binary-associating capitals to countries is always bad, it is indeed knowledge. I suppose we could do it more elegantly/historically (i.e. "name this Iberian city from which Vasco da Gama sailed while it was the seat of the Portuguese monarchs.")

Round 10
Stress - This is tough, and parts of it sounded a whole lot like "pressure" was going to be the answer. It was an answer at EFT 2010 but i find it nowhere else. It's a tough thing to ask about. I'm not sure how else to critique it because like 20 kids at this tournament know more about science than i do.
I defer to Ashvin's judgment about this one if he has something to say.
Billy Joel - I hate when trash questions are the last tossup of a game, but i guess that's just a personal quibble.
Additionally, i noticed many tossups with back to back literature or science. There is certainly no rule saying you can't have two tossups about a major category in a row, but it almost never happens. And it happened in this set multiple times. Just wondering why.
We used a random list generator, into which we inputted the list of categories, to get orders for the tossups or bonuses in a given packet. Two of us eyeballed each list to ensure that there weren't gigantic clumps of one category or severe deficiencies between the halves. After that point there are more important things than the order of questions in a round, and there's no real argument for moving the tossups around further. So what if the trash tossup is last?
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:15 pm

RyuAqua wrote:So what if the trash tossup is last?
It really just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I read a game that went down to the last tossup and, eh, i guess since i hate trash so much, it was tough to swallow a great game ending on that question.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:21 pm

List of villages in West Virginia wrote:
RyuAqua wrote:So what if the trash tossup is last?
It really just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I read a game that went down to the last tossup and, eh, i guess since i hate trash so much, it was tough to swallow a great game ending on that question.
Every tossup matters to the outcome of a game, regardless of its placement in the packet. That's what I was trying to get at.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by JamesIV » Sat Apr 14, 2012 11:24 pm

RyuAqua wrote: Also, Ishiguro has lived in Britain since the age of six and is thereby really not Japanese literature.
As it happens, Ishiguro himself has rejected being categorized as a Japanese writer.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:18 am

jekbradbury wrote:On the question about potential energy, the first clue read something like "If a field is not irrotational [or also something else that is more or less synonymous], then this cannot be defined." I buzzed there, said "potential," and was negged without prompting, because the answer line said not to accept potential until the very end. That would make sense if the question had said "force field" instead of "field," but for a generic "field" the answer should be a generic "potential"--if the field is the electric field, the thing being defined is the electric potential (which isn't an energy), and so on. Tl;dr I would advise either changing "field" to "force field" or modifying the answer line?

Similarly, on the question about polarity, the first clue was something like "If only parts of a molecule have this property have this property, it is called amphiphilic" and I gave "hydrophilicity" and again wasn't prompted. I doubt many people will be that thickheaded in the future, but I think it and hydrophobicity deserve at least a prompt?
You are correct on both counts; this was my fault. Sorry about that.
Stress - This is tough, and parts of it sounded a whole lot like "pressure" was going to be the answer. It was an answer at EFT 2010 but i find it nowhere else. It's a tough thing to ask about. I'm not sure how else to critique it because like 20 kids at this tournament know more about science than i do.
Round 10 wrote:12. A tensor which contains terms for this quantity in off-diagonal entries with rows and columns indexed by 1 through 3 is related to the Ricci tensor and the metric tensor by the Einstein field equations. That tensor is named for energy and this quantity. For a fluid, the only term describing its response to this quantity is the bulk modulus, which describes the compressional form of this quantity. The shear form of this quantity is related by an expression involving Poisson’s ratio and Young’s modulus to the shear deformation. For 10 points, name this quantity, a measure of the force per unit area that deforms a body, which is related in simple materials to strain by Hooke’s law.
ANSWER: stress
Pressure is a form of stress, and ought to be promptable at least due to the clue about the bulk modulus (though I neglected to include that prompt; it has been added for future tournaments using the set).

This particular tossup is certainly on the hard side; I've made a few revisions that should make the middle clues more accessible. These middle clues are certainly not unknowable, though, and have been covered in every high-school physics textbook I've seen. Conversion was good at our site, and I'm under the impression that people learn that stress is "the thing that isn't strain" in high school. Feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by SmallerMegalomaniacalPandaOnAbsinthe » Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:40 am

As someone who listens to/writes classical music I was really amused by the note clues on that last Billy Joel tossup.

I really loved the lit at this tournament as the questions I actually got had me wrack my brain a bit to remember important quotes/descriptions (the Tennessee Williams tossup, the Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana clue for Eco, I think there was one on Cry, The Beloved Country but I can't recall) .

Could I see the Tennessee Williams tossup? I buzzed on 'mendacious' but I believe there was quote before that I didn't quite process.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:51 am

Round 3 wrote:8. One of this author’s protagonists refers to her brother-in-law’s children as “no-neck monsters”. One of this author’s characters attempts to lobotomize Catherine to prevent her from telling the circumstances of Sebastian’s death. This author created a character who complains of “mendacity” when he finds out his family has lied about his spastic colon being cancerous. Besides writing Suddenly Last Summer and creating Big Daddy Pollit, this author created a character who dreams of being carried off by Shep Huntleigh, before being assaulted by Stella’s husband, Stanley Kowalski. For 10 points, name this American playwright of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and A Streetcar Named Desire.
ANSWER: Tennessee Williams [or Thomas Lanier Williams III]
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Sun Apr 15, 2012 9:48 am

Excelsior (smack) wrote:Pressure is a form of stress, and ought to be promptable at least due to the clue about the bulk modulus (though I neglected to include that prompt; it has been added for future tournaments using the set).
Ah, that sucks. I was reading to my own team who buzzed and said "pressure" in the third line or so. Dang. Well, i'm glad it'll be updated for later uses.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by BlueDevil95 » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:35 pm

Thanks to Yale for writing the BHSAT. My team and I had plenty of fun playing it, and can't wait for next year's version.

Do you think I could see the tossups on the "origin of life" and Charles Baudelaire? The first one confused me for some reason, and for the second one, I've read "The Albatross" but didn't get it on the description. Probably just some terrible listening skills on my end. Thanks in advance.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:46 pm

(I haven't seen this set, caveat)

I can't see a Egyptian myth tossup getting too much easier than Set (maybe Anubis or Horus based on what they look like?). I agree that Egyptian myth is pretty confusing, but Set is one of the basic figures from it. He's evil.

Regarding Murukami, I would probably concur with Matt Jackson. While possibly too hard, in my experience with people my age or younger who read world literature, they are far more likely to actually read Murukami than Oe or Kawabata or even Mishima.

One thing I've contemplated for "compositions of composer" tossup is almost writing like a mini-warning at the beginning, like "Genre and composer required, example--fugues of Offenbach," or something stupid like that, just so inexperienced teams know what you want them to say. I know a lot of times questions with different types of answer lines will say things like "Genre and composer required," but I think without an example or explanation that still baffles some teams.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:17 pm

BHSAT, packet 6, April 14 wrote:One theory of this process proposes that the water gas shift reaction with pyrite catalysis near hydrothermal vents was primarily responsible for it. Any theory of this process must explain the homochirality of amino acids and the origin of compartmentalization. It may have occurred via panspermia or via the spontaneous formation of liposome-enclosed protobionts. One experiment which simulated this process electrified a mixture of primordial gases to yield biological macromolecules, and was conducted by Urey and Miller. For 10 points, name this process which preceded evolution, the appearance of beings capable of metabolism and replication.
ANSWER: the origin of life on Earth [or obvious equivalents such as the beginning of life; or abiogenesis; or biopoiesis] <AS>
BHSAT, packet 2 wrote:One of his poems begins: “I am old as all the memories / That fill the thousand drawers behind my eyes”. One of his poems describes evil as a pillow to lie on. Another of his poems describes a sailor tapping his pipe on the beak of the title captured sea-bird to mock it. Another of his poems ends with the lines “Hypocrite reader - my likeness, my brother.” Those poems, “The Albatross” and “To the Reader,” are in a collection that opens with the section “Spleen and Ideal”. For 10 points, name this father of French Symbolism, the poet of Les Fleurs du Mal.
ANSWER: Charles Pierre Baudelaire <JL>
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:45 pm

Alright let's start talking about bonus questions.

Round 1
Lascaux-Chauvet-Paleolithic - Kudos for putting in some answers that never come up in quizbowl. But, yikes, the first two are real hard. I teach an Anthropology class and i don't even make them know those cave names. Honestly, just asking for "France" might have been a better idea here somehow, because that is still decent knowledge of what are probably the most important cave systems in the world for the study of early man.

Round 3
Zulu-Cetshwayo-spear - What i like about this bonus is that two parts are truly accessible without either being "toooooo easy," and that's good. Cetshwayo though, yikes. That's a rough one to have to come up with. I realize it's the hard part, and this one is not egregious, but it's not one that i bet almost any team could pull Saturday.

Uppsala-Sweden-Lapland - Did anybody seriously know Uppsala? This is just really hard for a so-called "regular difficulty" high school tournament.

Round 4
Fo-Calvino-Pirandello - Just want to commend you for asking about Fo, who should come up more. However, this is the type of bonus that's just going to get zeroed by a lot of teams. Again, are you claiming this is a "regular difficulty" tournament? If so, where is your 10 points that below average teams will get on this bonus? When you make foreign literature bonus questions, you just need to cave in and have "Italy" as an answer. HSAPQ does this all the time with "Japan" and "South Africa" and "Australia." It's okay; you're not insulting these authors by asking 15-year-olds where it sounds like their names came from, by throwing in a clue about the country from one of their works.

Round 5
Homer-Mr. Burns-Rainier Wolfcastle - Okay, i hate to complain about trash (no i don't), but if you're going to have Wolfcastle as the hard part here (amazing Simpsons character) you should probably still mention his most notable role in the show, that of kickbutt action star McBain. Or, if you give clues about Radioactive Man, say his most notable (and funniest) line: "The goggles! They do nothing!" Okay, stupid commentary over.

Arpaio-SB1070-Homeland Security - This is one of those bonuses i hate. I have three kids on my team who watch the news all the time and are incredibly informed for 17- and 18-year-olds. They really know what is going on in the world and in this country in particular. And i am addicted to the news, blogs, and political commentary. Yet i would have sat there not being able to think of this guy's name, and saying to myself WTF when i had to pull the name of the bill! This is a great bonus... for HSNCT. It doesn't belong here. Again, just make Arizona an answer, or maybe ask for Jan Brewer, who certainly is more notable and is on the news more than just the name of the Arizona bill.

sex-evolutionary stable strategy-altruism - Sex. I had "our science player" explain to me why gender and sex aren't the same. I still don't get it. Why did this question back in Sun n Fun have two related answers promptable that your bonus apparently thinks are "not the same thing"?
In Drosophila, one molecular basis for this characteristic is the production of Sxl protein, which allows for production of the Tra molecule that blocks an intron in the DSX gene, yielding a truncated Dsx protein. In cucumbers, one can make this determination by the presence of higher levels of ethylene promoted by the F/f gene. In humans, those with this characteristic produce a large silencing Xist RNA early in development to carry out the lyonization process. That process serves to inactivate about 85% of a certain chromosome in individuals with this determination, whose phenotypic qualities are seen in individuals with Klinefelter's syndrome. For 10 points, name this characteristic possessed by humans with two X chromosomes.
Answer: femaleness [prompt on “sex determination”, “gender determination”, or the like accept things that suggest that thing we are talking about is female]
I guess i just need further help with this.

Round 7
The Crazy Physics Bonus - Why does your physics bonus apparently break the rules of quizbowl and say that moderators are supposed to repeat the first clues if the teams want? This is not allowed, and you may not write a bonus series that would expect moderators to do so. I did not offer it as it is against the rules. I would never repeat complicated biochemistry clues, or silly Japanese names, or anything else. This is no different.

Round 8
Rothko-Pollock-Full Fathom Five - I like this bonus (and i like these painters a lot), but i wish you had added just another work or two for Mark Rothko other than the mural for Four Seasons. Mention Four Darks in Red or Rust and Blue. It's not much but it could help teams that know his major single paintings without knowing the Rothko Chapel or the restaurant clue. The problem here is that both Rothko and Full Fathom Five could be debated as the hard or medium answers... which is it? Making Rothko a lot easier would have led to way less 10s on this bonus.

Round 9
Arnofini-van Eyck-Lamb - Should "Jesus" have been acceptable (or promptable) for the last answer? Okay, yes, in the piece of art it is a lamb. But YOUR answer says "Lamb of God," which is of course Christ, who is indeed being "worshiped" in the work.

Round 10
P waves-earthquakes-focus - I'm being really picky here. I know the easy answer is earthquakes. Great. You did a great job all day of having the easy parts of bonuses really really easy with tons of gettable clues (almost too many, but not for me, they were fine). Then on this one you said "prevalent in the Ring of Fire." Now, i know and you know that P waves have nothing to do with them, but i think your Ring of Fire clue could easily lead younger or non-science-oriented teams to say... volcanoes. That's what i think of first when i hear Ring of Fire... that's why we use the word "Fire" in it anyway. So, you could have just said "one of these of the coast of Japan triggered a destructive tsunami in 2011." That's easy but not stupid. That's knowledge.

Looney Tunes Trash - Okay, cool idea. Love the first two. But seriously, the NAME of the "film" with "Kill the Wabbit!" in it?! Geez. I have seen that easily 10 times (arguably just once in like the last 15 years, but still) and there's no way i'd ever know the name of it, but i can sing practically every line to it because i was obsessed with Looney Tunes when i was a kid. Seriously, did any team get this? If not, it was ludicrously hard. If so, wow, then i would be floored.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:38 pm

sex-evolutionary stable strategy-altruism - Sex. I had "our science player" explain to me why gender and sex aren't the same. I still don't get it. Why did this question back in Sun n Fun have two related answers promptable that your bonus apparently thinks are "not the same thing"?
Setting aside the fact that Sun n Fun is not an authority on anything except, perhaps, Sun and also Fun, this is a matter of scientific terminology. The X and Y chromosomes are never referred to as "gender determination chromosomes"; tortoises do not have "temperature-dependent gender determination"; the 1:1 chromosomal ratio induced by evolutionary stable strategies is never called a "gender ratio". The thing that is determined by - well, by sex chromosomes - is sex. If you were to encounter a social science question on "gender", it may be the case that "sex" would be acceptable or promptable; I don't really know, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is the case, because I am under the impression that the terms may be used interchangeably in some circumstances. However, "gender" does not see use as a biological term
The Crazy Physics Bonus - Why does your physics bonus apparently break the rules of quizbowl and say that moderators are supposed to repeat the first clues if the teams want? This is not allowed, and you may not write a bonus series that would expect moderators to do so. I did not offer it as it is against the rules. I would never repeat complicated biochemistry clues, or silly Japanese names, or anything else. This is no different.
The non-existence of a thing called "the rules of quizbowl" notwithstanding, your objection is reasonable. The bonus would operate essentially identically without that instruction, and it probably should not have been included.
P waves-earthquakes-focus - I'm being really picky here. I know the easy answer is earthquakes. Great. You did a great job all day of having the easy parts of bonuses really really easy with tons of gettable clues (almost too many, but not for me, they were fine). Then on this one you said "prevalent in the Ring of Fire." Now, i know and you know that P waves have nothing to do with them, but i think your Ring of Fire clue could easily lead younger or non-science-oriented teams to say... volcanoes. That's what i think of first when i hear Ring of Fire... that's why we use the word "Fire" in it anyway. So, you could have just said "one of these of the coast of Japan triggered a destructive tsunami in 2011." That's easy but not stupid. That's knowledge.
We had some internal debate about this bonus part. For a bit of data, let me note first that at our site, conversion was 0/3/5/0 30s/20s/10s/0s, albeit with a much harder hard part that was replaced with "focus".

I will not deny that some less-knowledgeable teams could be "misled" into answering "volcanoes" when they hear Ring of Fire; however, I don't see this as a particularly serious problem. There's no point in bonuses having an easy part unless some teams answer it incorrectly (otherwise, it does nothing in the way of distinguishing knowledge among teams). It is my supposition that the fraction of teams that will be thusly led into answering "volcanoes" will be at or below any reasonable threshold for the fraction of teams that should be missing the easy part of a bonus. I would be glad to hear from people at other sites if this was not in fact the case.
Looney Tunes Trash - Okay, cool idea. Love the first two. But seriously, the NAME of the "film" with "Kill the Wabbit!" in it?! Geez. I have seen that easily 10 times (arguably just once in like the last 15 years, but still) and there's no way i'd ever know the name of it, but i can sing practically every line to it because i was obsessed with Looney Tunes when i was a kid. Seriously, did any team get this? If not, it was ludicrously hard. If so, wow, then i would be floored.
Conversion data from the main site indicate that, on this bonus, there were 1/5/1/1 30s/20s/10s/0s. At least one team was able to answer that bonus part. As John Lawrence would likely be glad to point out, "What's Opera Doc" is one of the most famous Looney Tunes shorts, along with "Duck Amuck" and maybe a few others. It's certainly a difficult hard part, but one that seems by no means unreasonable.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:37 am

Responses to things that Ashvin didn't get to.
List of villages in West Virginia wrote:Alright let's start talking about bonus questions.

Round 1
Lascaux-Chauvet-Paleolithic - Kudos for putting in some answers that never come up in quizbowl. But, yikes, the first two are real hard. I teach an Anthropology class and i don't even make them know those cave names. Honestly, just asking for "France" might have been a better idea here somehow, because that is still decent knowledge of what are probably the most important cave systems in the world for the study of early man.
This bonus was indeed too hard for BHSAT, and will be changed to be significantly easier for future iterations. Lascaux, as one of the oldest examples of art in the world and a very notable thing, will stay even if it remains as the hard part of the question.
Round 3
Zulu-Cetshwayo-spear - What i like about this bonus is that two parts are truly accessible without either being "toooooo easy," and that's good. Cetshwayo though, yikes. That's a rough one to have to come up with. I realize it's the hard part, and this one is not egregious, but it's not one that i bet almost any team could pull Saturday.
Cetshwayo was the ruler of the Zulu people during the Anglo-Zulu War. If one studies the Anglo-Zulu War or learns about it, one might thereby find out who led the Zulus during it. Teams who know that can pull it. I don't see how the leader of one side of a major conflict is somehow off-limits or too hard for a bonus on that conflict.
Uppsala-Sweden-Lapland - Did anybody seriously know Uppsala? This is just really hard for a so-called "regular difficulty" high school tournament.
I'm open to putting Uppsala last or adding "Scandinavian" to the existing "non-capital city" descriptor to make this easier.
Round 4
Fo-Calvino-Pirandello - Just want to commend you for asking about Fo, who should come up more. However, this is the type of bonus that's just going to get zeroed by a lot of teams. Again, are you claiming this is a "regular difficulty" tournament? If so, where is your 10 points that below average teams will get on this bonus? When you make foreign literature bonus questions, you just need to cave in and have "Italy" as an answer. HSAPQ does this all the time with "Japan" and "South Africa" and "Australia." It's okay; you're not insulting these authors by asking 15-year-olds where it sounds like their names came from, by throwing in a clue about the country from one of their works.
The easy part here is Pirandello, who is extremely famous in real life and gets put as the easy part without Italy, or asked as a tossup, all the time. I'm certainly sympathetic to the strategy of giving a country as an easy part a lot of the time (this tournament alone tossed up Mexico, had a bonus part on Sweden, another bonus part on the Persian language, and yet another on China for the very reason you cite), but it's not necessary every time, just like it's not necessary to replace every tossup on Pirandello with a tossup on Italy. Some bonuses will vary in difficulty, and compared to other real outliers
Round 5
Homer-Mr. Burns-Rainier Wolfcastle - Okay, i hate to complain about trash (no i don't), but if you're going to have Wolfcastle as the hard part here (amazing Simpsons character) you should probably still mention his most notable role in the show, that of kickbutt action star McBain. Or, if you give clues about Radioactive Man, say his most notable (and funniest) line: "The goggles! They do nothing!" Okay, stupid commentary over.
Sometimes, trash questions don't use the exact clues one coach wants them to use. Moving on.
Arpaio-SB1070-Homeland Security - This is one of those bonuses i hate. I have three kids on my team who watch the news all the time and are incredibly informed for 17- and 18-year-olds. They really know what is going on in the world and in this country in particular. And i am addicted to the news, blogs, and political commentary. Yet i would have sat there not being able to think of this guy's name, and saying to myself WTF when i had to pull the name of the bill! This is a great bonus... for HSNCT. It doesn't belong here. Again, just make Arizona an answer, or maybe ask for Jan Brewer, who certainly is more notable and is on the news more than just the name of the Arizona bill.
I really, really don't know what to say. Joe Arpaio is an important political figure in the news. People have names, and part of knowing what's going on is knowing who's who, by name, and what they do. SB1070 also has a designator which is legible in every article on it, and the Department of Homeland Security was created during the lifetime of everyone who's playing BHSAT and had its time of creation and current head listed explicitly. I'm sorry your team didn't remember these things, or that you wouldn't - it happens - but that's not a real argument against either of the first two parts for a current events bonus at a high school tournament.
Round 8
Rothko-Pollock-Full Fathom Five - I like this bonus (and i like these painters a lot), but i wish you had added just another work or two for Mark Rothko other than the mural for Four Seasons. Mention Four Darks in Red or Rust and Blue. It's not much but it could help teams that know his major single paintings without knowing the Rothko Chapel or the restaurant clue. The problem here is that both Rothko and Full Fathom Five could be debated as the hard or medium answers... which is it? Making Rothko a lot easier would have led to way less 10s on this bonus.
If you don't know that Mark Rothko painted color fields and you somehow memorized one of those two titles, I'm not really convinced you've done anything worth points. There are, in certain cases, people for whom context clues and description are more knowable than specific titles, and where giving extra titles actually provides a perverse incentive for "elite teams" that no regular knowledge-having team will share in. Since Rothko's paintings are so similar and his life path is unique, good clues for him will come from the latter and not the former. Perhaps the question could mention his emigration from Latvia or his suicide to be made truly easier, but I'm not sure adding titles will do anything for anyone who's not getting the part already - after all, the "elite teams" you've been ragging on for a few days now are the ones who'll know the titles, not the teams with knowledge beyond that who are getting this part anyway.
Round 9
Arnofini-van Eyck-Lamb - Should "Jesus" have been acceptable (or promptable) for the last answer? Okay, yes, in the piece of art it is a lamb. But YOUR answer says "Lamb of God," which is of course Christ, who is indeed being "worshiped" in the work.
Definitely not acceptable, probably not promptable, since it's an actual lamb sitting there in the picture. Did someone actually do this?

I really dislike that a lot of this commentary basically boils down to "this was mentioned in college questions at some point in the past" and the unfounded inference "therefore it must be too hard for high school / it must have been directly inspired by those college questions." I don't believe quizbowl should work that way, and I can tell you from the editorial process I used that BHSAT didn't. I spent a lot of time on this set picking bonus parts for their actual fame and potential for being known by high schoolers with an intellectual curiosity, and in fact deliberately overruled a lot of blatantly collegiate material (such as many orgo clues) to that end.
Last edited by Adventure Temple Trail on Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:38 am

Excelsior (smack) wrote:
sex-evolutionary stable strategy-altruism - Sex. I had "our science player" explain to me why gender and sex aren't the same. I still don't get it. Why did this question back in Sun n Fun have two related answers promptable that your bonus apparently thinks are "not the same thing"?
Setting aside the fact that Sun n Fun is not an authority on anything except, perhaps, Sun and also Fun, this is a matter of scientific terminology. The X and Y chromosomes are never referred to as "gender determination chromosomes"; tortoises do not have "temperature-dependent gender determination"; the 1:1 chromosomal ratio induced by evolutionary stable strategies is never called a "gender ratio". The thing that is determined by - well, by sex chromosomes - is sex. If you were to encounter a social science question on "gender", it may be the case that "sex" would be acceptable or promptable; I don't really know, but I wouldn't be surprised if this is the case, because I am under the impression that the terms may be used interchangeably in some circumstances. However, "gender" does not see use as a biological term
In the social sciences, people would be even angrier if you confused the two, since "gender" there usually refers directly to socially-constructed behavior!

In keeping with existing rules and norms of quizbowl (and BHSAT was written to be played using the rules provided either by HSAPQ or by ACF), the optional instruction to repeat that one bonus part will be deleted.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:17 am

Apropos of little, but a Peaceful Resolution bonus part also gave teams the option of hearing it again if they wished.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by UlyssesInvictus » Thu Apr 19, 2012 8:14 am

Can I see the myth tossup on giants?
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:48 pm

Packet 11 wrote:7. In Cornish folklore these creatures include Cormoran and Gogmagog, who died in early Britain. Two of these creatures floated in a hollow tree trunk to survive a flood of blood in Norse myth. Artemis killed twin beings of this type who attempted to climb a stack of mountains to Olympus. Angrboda was a female one who bore Fenrir. The cow-fed Ymir is a primal one of these creatures, and Jotunheim is home to the “frost” type which antagonizes the Norse gods. For 10 points, name these beings which, in a folktale, live above the magic beanstalk planted by Jack.
ANSWER: giants [or frost giants; prompt “jotunn” or “jotnar”; do not accept “humans” or the like at any point] <MJ>
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by jonah » Sun Apr 29, 2012 1:27 pm

A few problems I noticed:

Round 1, bonus 16: Wikipedia claims that carbon has more allotropes than sulfur. I suspect it's correct. In any case, this merits further investigation, and if sources disagree the clue should probably be removed.

Round 3, tossup 20: Un'taneh Tokef is recited on Rosh HaShanah morning, not afternoon. (That is, it is part of the musaf service, which is one of the "morning services". In some synagogues, this may actually take place after 12:00 p.m., but referring to the afternoon of a Jewish holiday means the Mincha service, which does not include Un'taneh Tokef.) Un'taneh Tokef is also recited in the corresponding service of Yom Kippur, however, so this clue is not uniquely identifying. "Other piyuttim" is not helpful either, because that just means "other prayers written in the form of poems", examples of which are recited on every holiday and every regular day too.

Round 10, bonus 9: The second part's first sentence refers to h-bar/2, but the second sentence refers to h/2.

Round 10, bonus 15: Gay-Lussac's law directly, not inversely, relates pressure and temperature.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by Excelsior (smack) » Sun Apr 29, 2012 4:38 pm

jonah wrote:A few problems I noticed:

Round 1, bonus 16: Wikipedia claims that carbon has more allotropes than sulfur. I suspect it's correct. In any case, this merits further investigation, and if sources disagree the clue should probably be removed.

Round 10, bonus 9: The second part's first sentence refers to h-bar/2, but the second sentence refers to h/2.

Round 10, bonus 15: Gay-Lussac's law directly, not inversely, relates pressure and temperature.
Fixed, thanks.
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Re: BHSAT Individual Question Requests and Discussion

Post by shrey96 » Wed May 02, 2012 1:27 am

Can you post the tossup on voltage, and the bonus on circular motion with the massless person and the car?
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