Specific question discussion

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Specific question discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Sep 23, 2012 11:36 am

Issues with specific questions should go in this thread.

Known issues:
Bonus numbering in packet 14
Part 2 in bonus 13, round 3 and bonus 6 round 6 has the answer to part 3 in it
Round 5 bonus 7 should have C60 fullerenes as an alternate answer
In packet 14, tossup 8, famine may be acceptable or promptable off the first sentence
Non-unique lead-in to Atlas tossup
Rephrase Thevenin's theorem in the resistor tossup
ICE Tables shouldn't be a lead-in
Milgram lead-in
Prompt on Dalmatia for Balkans
Her name isn't Ellie
Last edited by Steeve Ho You Fat on Sun Nov 11, 2012 1:10 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by vinteuil » Sun Sep 23, 2012 12:08 pm

The question on "work" did not prompt on "energy" or potential energy—1/2CV^2 seems like a little bit of an inappropriate clue in that case.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Sep 23, 2012 1:43 pm

That clue has been replaced.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by shrey96 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:40 pm

I was told that my answer of Atwood's Machine was incorrect because it was "Atwood"; however, to my understanding, the two names are equivalent. Perhaps this should be changed?

Also, could I see the tossups on "Sirius" and "resistors"? I feel like at least of the two was a bit too transparent.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:27 pm

shrey96 wrote:I was told that my answer of Atwood's Machine was incorrect because it was "Atwood"; however, to my understanding, the two names are equivalent. Perhaps this should be changed?
Joe will probably post the resistor and Sirius tossups. In the meantime, I think that not accepting "Atwood's machine" was probably just a result of overzealous moderating. I'm sorry if it affected the result of your game, and we will make sure it doesn't happen in future mirrors.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:39 pm

shrey96 wrote:I was told that my answer of Atwood's Machine was incorrect because it was "Atwood"; however, to my understanding, the two names are equivalent. Perhaps this should be changed?
Yeah, this is clearly correct, and I've clarified that in the answerline.
Also, could I see the tossups on "Sirius" and "resistors"? I feel like at least of the two was a bit too transparent.
Round 11 wrote:12. According to Thevenin's Theorem, a circuit network at a load point can be simplified down to an ideal voltage source and one of these devices in series. These devices are used as ammeter shunts to allow for the measuring of large currents. Four of these devices are coupled together to create a(*) Wheatstone Bridge. Like inductors, when in parallel, their strength adds as the inverse of the sum of the reciprocal of each one of these. For 10 points, name this circuit element whose strength is measured in ohms, which opposes the flow of current.
ANSWER: resistors
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I'm not sure how this is transparent; the clues could be harder though I guess. Thevenin's Theorem is really important, but I hadn't encountered it before I took college Electronics.
Round 2 wrote:14. This star’s white dwarf companion was first theorized by Fredrich Bessel and discovered by Alvan Clark. This star was called Sopdet in ancient Egypt and, along with Venus, rises before the sun several months of the year. Its system is the(*) fifth closest to our own, and along with Procyon and Betelgeuse, this star forms the Winter Triangle. It is almost twice as bright as Canopus, and Orion’s belt points toward this principal star of Canis Major. For 10 points, name this brightest star in the sky, also known as the dog star.
ANSWER: Sirius A [or alpha Canis Majoris; prompt on “Dog Star” until mentioned; do not accept or prompt on “Sirius B”]
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by MorganV » Sun Oct 21, 2012 8:59 pm

The leadin to the Atlas tossup was non-uniquely identifying; it essentially stated "This figure's brother Menoetius was thrown into Tartarus", which thus applies to Prometheus and Epimetheus who are the brothers of Atlas.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by shrey96 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:09 pm

Well, my reasoning is as follows:
"an ideal voltage source and one of these devices in series." - someone who doesn't know a thing about Thevenin's theorem could fraud with resistor here; there's no way that specific phrase could apply to any other simple circuit component like a capacitor or an inductor.

"This star’s white dwarf companion" - I feel like it's way more well known that Sirius has a B star than most of the clues following that one. I was able to first-line because of the B star thing, but I honestly wouldn't have known the answer until "Orion's belt" had that clue not been there. For that question, the problem isn't as much transparency as it is the ordering of clues, imo.

Could you also post the tossup on equilibrium? That's another one that I thought had too easy of a lead-in, but I didn't hear the rest of the tossup, so I can't know for sure.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Oct 21, 2012 9:33 pm

OK, I'll take a look at those, and Atlas.
Round 9 wrote:4. The final row of an ICE table shows concentrations of species in this state. The variation with temperature of this condition’s governing constant is described by the van’t Hoff equation, and the law of mass action(*) describes solutions in this state. Closed, unconstrained systems at constant temperature and pressure have the minimum Gibbs free energy in this state, which shifts to counteract changes in temperature, volume, or partial pressure by Le Chatelier’s Principle. For 10 points, name this state where the forward and reverse rates of a chemical reaction are the same.
ANSWER: Chemical Equilibrium [or equilibrium constant]
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We spent half a lecture on ICE tables in my freshman chemistry; I had never heard of it in high school, but this is chemistry so I'm not particularly qualified.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:36 am

I think "survivor" shouldn't have been in power for "beyonce". Also, "Peter the great" had a lead-in of "strelsy", which I thought was pretty easy and "catch-22" started with a fairly common stock clue. Plus, us and RM all had a buzzer race on "milgram" after 3 words.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by btressler » Mon Oct 22, 2012 9:59 am

On the Sirius tossup, as I was reading it I was wondering why no one was buzzing in after "Ancient Egypt." Had I been playing I probably would have buzzed at that point, but in my room that went almost to the end.

In the Silas Marner (bonus part I think) it said that Silas adopts "Ellie." The character's name is Eppie.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by vinteuil » Mon Oct 22, 2012 4:33 pm

Plan Rubber wrote:OK, I'll take a look at those, and Atlas.
Round 9 wrote:4. The final row of an ICE table shows concentrations of species in this state. The variation with temperature of this condition’s governing constant is described by the van’t Hoff equation, and the law of mass action(*) describes solutions in this state. Closed, unconstrained systems at constant temperature and pressure have the minimum Gibbs free energy in this state, which shifts to counteract changes in temperature, volume, or partial pressure by Le Chatelier’s Principle. For 10 points, name this state where the forward and reverse rates of a chemical reaction are the same.
ANSWER: Chemical Equilibrium [or equilibrium constant]
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We spent half a lecture on ICE tables in my freshman chemistry; I had never heard of it in high school, but this is chemistry so I'm not particularly qualified.
I know that our AP chemistry class spent about a month using ICE boxes.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Mon Oct 22, 2012 5:14 pm

Lord Hatefun Complainington wrote:I think "survivor" shouldn't have been in power for "beyonce".
We thought you folks were too young for that, but it seemed like a lot of people got it off that, so there's a good chance we'll change it. I don't know much about streltsy or Catch-22, so I'll leave that for others to deal with.
Plus, us and RM all had a buzzer race on "milgram" after 3 words.
See the other thread.
On the Sirius tossup, as I was reading it I was wondering why no one was buzzing in after "Ancient Egypt."
I don't recall many people getting that early. The Ancient Egyptians named lots of stars.
In the Silas Marner (bonus part I think) it said that Silas adopts "Ellie." The character's name is Eppie.
Fixed, thanks.
I know that our AP chemistry class spent about a month using ICE boxes.
Really? We may have to rearrange things then. I've never heard of them, despite having taken a not insignificant amount of chemistry.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by shrey96 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 6:39 pm

The Eighth Viscount of Waaaah wrote:
I know that our AP chemistry class spent about a month using ICE boxes.
Really? We may have to rearrange things then. I've never heard of them, despite having taken a not insignificant amount of chemistry.
Yeah, ICE Tables are a pretty big thing in AP Chem - we spent quite a while on them as well. I didn't think the tossup was bad; it just maybe needed a bit tougher of a lead-in.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Kilroy Was Here » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:20 pm

Can I see the Cambodia tossup?
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:26 pm

Weighted Companion Cube wrote:Can I see the Cambodia tossup?
Round 5 wrote:9. A political party in this country massacred people in a former high school called S-21, or Tuol Sleng, and overthrew Norodom Sihanouk [“sigh”-an-ouk]. That party was named after an ancient empire in this country, which was ruled by(*) Jayavarman [JAI-uh-var-man] II and led by a man who identified himself as “Brother Number One.” The Ba Chúc Massacre led to war between Vietnam and the Pol Pot-led Khmer Rouge of this nation. For 10 points, name this country where the ancient city of Angkor Wat lies to the north of Phnom [“Puh-NOM”] Penh.
ANSWER: Cambodia
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Kilroy Was Here » Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:45 pm

Plan Rubber wrote:
Weighted Companion Cube wrote:Can I see the Cambodia tossup?
Round 5 wrote:9. A political party in this country massacred people in a former high school called S-21, or Tuol Sleng, and overthrew Norodom Sihanouk [“sigh”-an-ouk]. That party was named after an ancient empire in this country, which was ruled by(*) Jayavarman [JAI-uh-var-man] II and led by a man who identified himself as “Brother Number One.” The Ba Chúc Massacre led to war between Vietnam and the Pol Pot-led Khmer Rouge of this nation. For 10 points, name this country where the ancient city of Angkor Wat lies to the north of Phnom [“Puh-NOM”] Penh.
ANSWER: Cambodia
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Well my complaints with this tossup go away and go to the moderator, I think he just didn't give me a 15 for where I buzzed.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Kilroy Was Here » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:52 pm

Could I see the tossup on the Balkan peninsula?
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Sun Oct 28, 2012 7:56 pm

Round 8 wrote:16. The Rhodope and Pirin Mountains can be found in this region. Istria lies along the westernmost portion of this region, and its northern boundary is partially delineated by the Sava River. The Dinaric Alps lie in the west of this region that is bounded to the southwest by the Ionian Sea. The cities of Plovdiv and Thessalonika [thes-a-lon-EYE-ka] can be found on this peninsula. Its southernmost tip,(*) which juts into the Mediterranean Sea, is the Peloponnesian Peninsula. For 10 points, name this European peninsula that contains Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, and Greece.
ANSWER: Balkan Peninsula [or Balkans]
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When I saw this I thought it was an interesting idea; I feel like the clues are fine, but it might not have played out the best.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Kilroy Was Here » Sun Oct 28, 2012 9:23 pm

Plan Rubber wrote:
Round 8 wrote:16. The Rhodope and Pirin Mountains can be found in this region. Istria lies along the westernmost portion of this region, and its northern boundary is partially delineated by the Sava River. The Dinaric Alps lie in the west of this region that is bounded to the southwest by the Ionian Sea. The cities of Plovdiv and Thessalonika [thes-a-lon-EYE-ka] can be found on this peninsula. Its southernmost tip,(*) which juts into the Mediterranean Sea, is the Peloponnesian Peninsula. For 10 points, name this European peninsula that contains Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, and Greece.
ANSWER: Balkan Peninsula [or Balkans]
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When I saw this I thought it was an interesting idea; I feel like the clues are fine, but it might not have played out the best.
I think the term "region" is a little misleading. Also, I may just be dumb at geography, but I feel as if there should be a prompt on "Dalmatia" after the Istria clue.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by vinteuil » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:03 pm

Weighted Companion Cube wrote:
Plan Rubber wrote:
Round 8 wrote:16. The Rhodope and Pirin Mountains can be found in this region. Istria lies along the westernmost portion of this region, and its northern boundary is partially delineated by the Sava River. The Dinaric Alps lie in the west of this region that is bounded to the southwest by the Ionian Sea. The cities of Plovdiv and Thessalonika [thes-a-lon-EYE-ka] can be found on this peninsula. Its southernmost tip,(*) which juts into the Mediterranean Sea, is the Peloponnesian Peninsula. For 10 points, name this European peninsula that contains Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, and Greece.
ANSWER: Balkan Peninsula [or Balkans]
<Dorigo Jones><ed. Herman><ed. Nutter>
When I saw this I thought it was an interesting idea; I feel like the clues are fine, but it might not have played out the best.
I think the term "region" is a little misleading. Also, I may just be dumb at geography, but I feel as if there should be a prompt on "Dalmatia" after the Istria clue.
I sort of agree with the second part, although the mountain names are modern, but the Balkans is a region just as the Caucasus is, even if they are mountains.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Sun Oct 28, 2012 10:17 pm

You may have a case for the "Istria" thing, although I think Istria is technically a bit north of Dalmatia. I'm not a geography person, so I won't comment further on that. As for the "region" issue, I don't think it's any more misleading to call the Balkans a "region" than it is to call a Canadian province a "polity," or a building a "structure." I might be more inclined to agree if you can explain what you feel the word "region" implies that makes it a poor choice, and if you can suggest a better term.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Kilroy Was Here » Mon Oct 29, 2012 12:27 am

The Eighth Viscount of Waaaah wrote:You may have a case for the "Istria" thing, although I think Istria is technically a bit north of Dalmatia. I'm not a geography person, so I won't comment further on that. As for the "region" issue, I don't think it's any more misleading to call the Balkans a "region" than it is to call a Canadian province a "polity," or a building a "structure." I might be more inclined to agree if you can explain what you feel the word "region" implies that makes it a poor choice, and if you can suggest a better term.
I have always seen a "region" as something that isn't 100% defined by geography and comes more from history. Dalmatia comes about from the roman province and Venetian territory, while the Balkan Peninsula is just all the land south of the Danube (for the most part)
My quipe with region is the fact that it could mislead someone to say something like Dalmatia or multiple other things (I believe Macedonia would be correct after the first clue), which are most certainly regions. It you said landmass instead, I wouldn't have though Dalmatia as that's not a landmass.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Mon Oct 29, 2012 9:49 am

Weighted Companion Cube wrote:(I believe Macedonia would be correct after the first clue)
Pirin Macedonia is a region of bulgaria (I know because i've got a cd of folk music from that area)
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Panayot Hitov » Thu Nov 08, 2012 4:52 pm

The Eighth Viscount of Waaaah wrote:You may have a case for the "Istria" thing, although I think Istria is technically a bit north of Dalmatia. I'm not a geography person, so I won't comment further on that. As for the "region" issue, I don't think it's any more misleading to call the Balkans a "region" than it is to call a Canadian province a "polity," or a building a "structure." I might be more inclined to agree if you can explain what you feel the word "region" implies that makes it a poor choice, and if you can suggest a better term.
Is Istria really in the Balkans?
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:35 pm

Willmune Sof Burrghtenstein wrote:
The Eighth Viscount of Waaaah wrote:You may have a case for the "Istria" thing, although I think Istria is technically a bit north of Dalmatia. I'm not a geography person, so I won't comment further on that. As for the "region" issue, I don't think it's any more misleading to call the Balkans a "region" than it is to call a Canadian province a "polity," or a building a "structure." I might be more inclined to agree if you can explain what you feel the word "region" implies that makes it a poor choice, and if you can suggest a better term.
Is Istria really in the Balkans?
By most definitions, yes, the Balkans extend into partway through Slovenia. Admittedly, Istria is somewhat on the periphery of the Balkans, and it may be hard to pull "Balkans" from "region that contains Istria."
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Mon Nov 19, 2012 7:19 pm

For some annoying reason nobody in quizbowl realizes that Meditations on First Philosophy should only have "Meditations" be underlined, since it's published not uncommonly with that title - to wit, Penguin publishes it under that title http://www.amazon.com/Meditations-Metap ... im_sbs_b_4
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by vinteuil » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:03 pm

Horned Screamer wrote:For some annoying reason nobody in quizbowl realizes that Meditations on First Philosophy should only have "Meditations" be underlined, since it's published not uncommonly with that title - to wit, Penguin publishes it under that title http://www.amazon.com/Meditations-Metap ... im_sbs_b_4
Yes, thank you. I missed a bonus at my first tournament by saying "Méditations Metaphysiques," not knowing that there was another title...
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Mon Nov 19, 2012 9:11 pm

perlnerd666 wrote:
Horned Screamer wrote:For some annoying reason nobody in quizbowl realizes that Meditations on First Philosophy should only have "Meditations" be underlined, since it's published not uncommonly with that title - to wit, Penguin publishes it under that title http://www.amazon.com/Meditations-Metap ... im_sbs_b_4
Yes, thank you. I missed a bonus at my first tournament by saying "Méditations Metaphysiques," not knowing that there was another title...
This was an alternate answer. I've eased the underlining, though.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:47 am

Round 7 wrote:4. Muldraugh Hill forms part of the northern border of this state’s Pennyroyal Plateau. This state’s southwest is known as the Jackson Purchase, and its Harlan County contains its highest point, Black Mountain. This state contains Campbellsville University, as well as(*) Red River Gorge. Its city of Bowling Green is near the world’s largest cave system, Mammoth Cave. This state, which contains Lexington, is also home to Churchill Downs, in the city of Louisville. For 10 points, name this Bluegrass State, with capital at Frankfort.
ANSWER: Kentucky
I had been hoping this question would be left out of the set at our mirror. Any team from Kentucky would power this question off of information they've known since early childhood, and the city that the tournament was held in was a clue just past power. I had been under the impression it wouldn't be in the set, but I should have done due diligence by reading the set before the tournament.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:15 am

I disagree with that logic. This is a nationwide set and I see nothing wrong with there being a question that inherently favors teams from one area. That just happens sometimes and we shouldn't have to fret about it.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by btressler » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:51 am

Horned Screamer wrote:I disagree with that logic. This is a nationwide set and I see nothing wrong with there being a question that inherently favors teams from one area. That just happens sometimes and we shouldn't have to fret about it.
I will shockingly have to agree with Charlie. If we start down that path, then suddenly we can't ask questions about any politican for fear that his or her constituents know more about the figure, and maybe the same logic applies to local sports teams, regional literature, and local history.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Make sure your seatbelt is fastened » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:53 am

I said ETC for Electron Transport Chain; I always thought that acronym was acceptable, but the moderator did not take it.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:00 pm

Bad Boy Bill wrote:
Horned Screamer wrote:I disagree with that logic. This is a nationwide set and I see nothing wrong with there being a question that inherently favors teams from one area. That just happens sometimes and we shouldn't have to fret about it.
I will shockingly have to agree with Charlie. If we start down that path, then suddenly we can't ask questions about any politican for fear that his or her constituents know more about the figure, and maybe the same logic applies to local sports teams, regional literature, and local history.
Yeah, the reason we kept it was basically a combination of Charlie/Bill's logic and a desire to focus our efforts on things that we knew to be a problem, rather than writing entirely new questions for one mirror. I recognize that it's annoying when that kind of thing happens, but it does happen to everyone - I remember Jeff posting about how a Rod Blagojevich TU got powered in 13/14 rooms at an Illinois tournament once. Sorry if I implied that it would definitely be removed.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by vinteuil » Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:55 pm

Make sure your seatbelt is fastened wrote:I said ETC for Electron Transport Chain; I always thought that acronym was acceptable, but the moderator did not take it.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ETC#Science_and_technology
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:56 pm

Make sure your seatbelt is fastened wrote:I said ETC for Electron Transport Chain; I always thought that acronym was acceptable, but the moderator did not take it.
You're right, and we'll make that more clear.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by AustinlSmith » Tue Nov 20, 2012 4:18 pm

Sulawesi Myzomela wrote:
Round 7 wrote:4. Muldraugh Hill forms part of the northern border of this state’s Pennyroyal Plateau. This state’s southwest is known as the Jackson Purchase, and its Harlan County contains its highest point, Black Mountain. This state contains Campbellsville University, as well as(*) Red River Gorge. Its city of Bowling Green is near the world’s largest cave system, Mammoth Cave. This state, which contains Lexington, is also home to Churchill Downs, in the city of Louisville. For 10 points, name this Bluegrass State, with capital at Frankfort.
ANSWER: Kentucky
I had been hoping this question would be left out of the set at our mirror. Any team from Kentucky would power this question off of information they've known since early childhood, and the city that the tournament was held in was a clue just past power. I had been under the impression it wouldn't be in the set, but I should have done due diligence by reading the set before the tournament.
In my room I feel the problem was more of the moderator laughing about three words into the question.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Tue Nov 20, 2012 5:54 pm

Horned Screamer wrote:I disagree with that logic. This is a nationwide set and I see nothing wrong with there being a question that inherently favors teams from one area. That just happens sometimes and we shouldn't have to fret about it.
That's not really what I was saying, I was more concerned with the fact that it ended up being a buzzer race in most rooms. In fact, a game that ended up determining who made the finals was affected (if not decided, since it was only a 20 point contest) on the basis of a buzzer race.
Plan Rubber wrote:Yeah, the reason we kept it was basically a combination of Charlie/Bill's logic and a desire to focus our efforts on things that we knew to be a problem, rather than writing entirely new questions for one mirror. I recognize that it's annoying when that kind of thing happens, but it does happen to everyone - I remember Jeff posting about how a Rod Blagojevich TU got powered in 13/14 rooms at an Illinois tournament once. Sorry if I implied that it would definitely be removed.
Well I told you it wasn't a big deal, so it's basically my fault. Maybe I should have just offered to write a replacement question for our mirror.
AustinlSmith wrote:In my room I feel the problem was more of the moderator laughing about three words into the question.
I agree this is a problem. This wasn't the only issue we had with that moderator (who was a volunteer who isn't actually on the team) and she won't be reading at one of our events again.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Mewto55555 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:30 pm

The Final Fantasy tossup seems pretty guessable (I got it by only buzzing off "the tenth one" and some names that sounded like they could be final-fantasyish). I'm not sure how big a deal that is. Also, your Albert Pujols question is fine as written I think(?), although Sandoval also hit 3 HR's in one WS game (I guess it was written before that happened?)

Also, I really liked this set. Thanks a lot for writing it!
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Mewto55555 » Wed Nov 21, 2012 11:35 pm

Also yeah, there's nothing wrong with a question a few (or many) teams will have an easier time on just because of where they're from (as long as they questions aren't being written to benefit a specific person/team, obviously). It's also a pretty slippery slope to go down (if a team from Tennessee plays the Kentucky tournament then do you have to remove the geo tossup on TN too? What if Stevenson HS is playing your tournament, must you replace the tossup on the election of 1952?) and is a stupid thing to worry about.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:40 am

Mewto55555 wrote:Also yeah, there's nothing wrong with a question a few (or many) teams will have an easier time on just because of where they're from (as long as they questions aren't being written to benefit a specific person/team, obviously). It's also a pretty slippery slope to go down (if a team from Tennessee plays the Kentucky tournament then do you have to remove the geo tossup on TN too? What if Stevenson HS is playing your tournament, must you replace the tossup on the election of 1952?) and is a stupid thing to worry about.
My argument was about buzzer races, and your hypothetical examples are a bit absurd--the latter only makes sense if a field is composed entirely of teams from schools named after Adlai Stevenson. I have no problem with teams getting questions on things they know because of specialty knowledge, and I think it's absolutely fabulous when that happens. But when every team knows the same things because they're all from the same place, then the question loses its ability to fairly distinguish between teams' quizbowl skill in the way that pyramidal questions are designed to do.

This wasn't a national event or one of those special tournaments where teams who can afford it fly in from all over the country. 85% of our field (and 100% of the top tier) was from Kentucky, and there were clues in power that led to buzzer races because they are so well-known among pretty much every team from Kentucky. "Where are you right now?" was basically a middle clue for the question, and a team made the finals over another team because they won a game over them that included this buzzer race on clues they learned in 4th grade. Even then it should have been on me (if anybody) to prevent this, because this was a set intended for mirrors all over the country.

Moreover, I only brought this up because other people complained about it. Several moderators told me after the tournament that some teams thought it was frustrating that this question was in the set, and I think it's my duty as a TD to pass along what actual consumers think of the product I presented to them. This was a very minor problem in a fantastic set, and I wish I had never said anything about it in hindsight.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Kilroy Was Here » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:30 am

I don't know about you guys, but I love it when at tournaments like PACE 2012 I'm the only one of around four people capable of buzzing off of the road-construction clue for Detroit, and that lets me beat teams from New Jersey.

Edit: I guess I should clarify that this is a semi-sarcastic post on why state geography for national tournaments (or tournaments with national fields) is plain unfair. Of course a team from Detroit is going to destroy a Detroit tossup or a Michigan tossup starting with some obscure island as a lead in. In regular sets like this, it's ok because most teams playing this aren't affected by it, but for national tournaments, it's simply unfair and is bound to cause frustration.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by vinteuil » Thu Nov 22, 2012 11:43 am

Weighted Companion Cube wrote:I don't know about you guys, but I love it when at tournaments like PACE 2012 I'm the only one of around four people capable of buzzing off of the road-construction clue for Detroit, and that lets me beat teams from New Jersey.

Edit: I guess I should clarify that this is a semi-sarcastic post on why state geography for national tournaments (or tournaments with national fields) is plain unfair. Of course a team from Detroit is going to destroy a Detroit tossup or a Michigan tossup starting with some obscure island as a lead in. In regular sets like this, it's ok because most teams playing this aren't affected by it, but for national tournaments, it's simply unfair and is bound to cause frustration.
Well—what about Catholic schools and questions on transsubstantiation?
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Kilroy Was Here » Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:35 pm

perlnerd666 wrote:
Weighted Companion Cube wrote:I don't know about you guys, but I love it when at tournaments like PACE 2012 I'm the only one of around four people capable of buzzing off of the road-construction clue for Detroit, and that lets me beat teams from New Jersey.

Edit: I guess I should clarify that this is a semi-sarcastic post on why state geography for national tournaments (or tournaments with national fields) is plain unfair. Of course a team from Detroit is going to destroy a Detroit tossup or a Michigan tossup starting with some obscure island as a lead in. In regular sets like this, it's ok because most teams playing this aren't affected by it, but for national tournaments, it's simply unfair and is bound to cause frustration.
Well—what about Catholic schools and questions on transsubstantiation?
You really overestimate how much they teach that kind of stuff. The only thing (at least DCC) teaches about stuff like that is the definition.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by vinteuil » Thu Nov 22, 2012 1:47 pm

Weighted Companion Cube wrote:
perlnerd666 wrote:
Weighted Companion Cube wrote:I don't know about you guys, but I love it when at tournaments like PACE 2012 I'm the only one of around four people capable of buzzing off of the road-construction clue for Detroit, and that lets me beat teams from New Jersey.

Edit: I guess I should clarify that this is a semi-sarcastic post on why state geography for national tournaments (or tournaments with national fields) is plain unfair. Of course a team from Detroit is going to destroy a Detroit tossup or a Michigan tossup starting with some obscure island as a lead in. In regular sets like this, it's ok because most teams playing this aren't affected by it, but for national tournaments, it's simply unfair and is bound to cause frustration.
Well—what about Catholic schools and questions on transsubstantiation?
You really overestimate how much they teach that kind of stuff. The only thing (at least DCC) teaches about stuff like that is the definition.
Fair point; substitute another similar example then.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Kilroy Was Here » Thu Nov 22, 2012 2:36 pm

perlnerd666 wrote:
Weighted Companion Cube wrote:
perlnerd666 wrote:
Weighted Companion Cube wrote:I don't know about you guys, but I love it when at tournaments like PACE 2012 I'm the only one of around four people capable of buzzing off of the road-construction clue for Detroit, and that lets me beat teams from New Jersey.

Edit: I guess I should clarify that this is a semi-sarcastic post on why state geography for national tournaments (or tournaments with national fields) is plain unfair. Of course a team from Detroit is going to destroy a Detroit tossup or a Michigan tossup starting with some obscure island as a lead in. In regular sets like this, it's ok because most teams playing this aren't affected by it, but for national tournaments, it's simply unfair and is bound to cause frustration.
Well—what about Catholic schools and questions on transsubstantiation?
You really overestimate how much they teach that kind of stuff. The only thing (at least DCC) teaches about stuff like that is the definition.
Fair point; substitute another similar example then.
Like what? The only one I can think of is a schools name, which I feel isn't a problem as I don't think a school like MLK magnet will teach people about MLK anymore than any other school.
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University of Michigan '18

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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Muriel Axon » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:22 pm

Sulawesi Myzomela wrote:Moreover, I only brought this up because other people complained about it. Several moderators told me after the tournament that some teams thought it was frustrating that this question was in the set, and I think it's my duty as a TD to pass along what actual consumers think of the product I presented to them. This was a very minor problem in a fantastic set, and I wish I had never said anything about it in hindsight.
Thanks for your input Nick, and in retrospect, you were entirely right that the question should have been replaced. We're sorry it made the impact it did, and might have screwed a team's chance for the finals. Unfortunately, we at MSU can only see that in hindsight; at the time, we thought it was more crucial to replace shoddy clue-writing in some other questions than to write an entirely new question for one mirror. Now that we know that question led to problems, we see (too late) that that supposition was not necessarily right.
I don't know about you guys, but I love it when at tournaments like PACE 2012 I'm the only one of around four people capable of buzzing off of the road-construction clue for Detroit, and that lets me beat teams from New Jersey.

Edit: I guess I should clarify that this is a semi-sarcastic post on why state geography for national tournaments (or tournaments with national fields) is plain unfair.
As far as I can tell, that wasn't Nick's concern. I disagree with your position, but fortunately that has nothing to do with our set, where most mirrors had teams from at most a few states.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Steeve Ho You Fat » Thu Nov 22, 2012 3:25 pm

I'm not really invested in this discussion since it's wandered away from the tournament, but y'all do realize that the logic that "Someone might know more about a topic than someone else" is kind of contrary to the point of quizbowl, right? If I hear a tossup on Cincinnati, I'll probably get it because I know a lot about Cincinnati, just like how I'll probably get a tossup on World War II because I read books about it. While it's unfortunate if a question is biased towards some of the teams in a tournament, you can't just take out all questions on World War II because someone could get it if their grandfather served in it or something.
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by Mewto55555 » Thu Nov 22, 2012 4:11 pm

Weighted Companion Cube wrote:I don't know about you guys, but I love it when at tournaments like PACE 2012 I'm the only one of around four people capable of buzzing off of the road-construction clue for Detroit, and that lets me beat teams from New Jersey.

Edit: I guess I should clarify that this is a semi-sarcastic post on why state geography for national tournaments (or tournaments with national fields) is plain unfair. Of course a team from Detroit is going to destroy a Detroit tossup or a Michigan tossup starting with some obscure island as a lead in. In regular sets like this, it's ok because most teams playing this aren't affected by it, but for national tournaments, it's simply unfair and is bound to cause frustration.
Ben Zhang's grown up in all crazy manner of places -- if he gets a tossup on the River Wye or the Amur because he lived in some random village on its banks, that's (presumably) OK, so why is it unfair for y'all to get tossups on Detroit? Just because you live there now? You get questions on Detroit stuff because your family chose to settle in Detroit, and have thus increased your chances of you learning Detroit-things; how is that any different than me 30ing the Pesach bonus because my family chooses to have seders every year, thereby exposing me to Jew-clues?

I disagree with Nick, but I at least see where he's coming from -- I'm totally befuzzled as to what you're trying to push for; should nationals tournament editors look at Fred's top five and be like "whoops, no tossups on texas or missouri or south carolina or illinois in playoff games!"?
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Re: Specific question discussion

Post by vinteuil » Thu Nov 22, 2012 5:34 pm

Mewto55555 wrote:tossup on the River Wye
Um.

Also, thanks Max for coming up with a better religion example than mine.
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