BISB Specific Question Discussion

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BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by BlueDevil95 » Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:52 pm

Please post any questions or comments regarding specific tossups or bonuses in this thread.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by msbg360 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:24 am

Would it be possible to see the bonus part on Bolivia in the Edward Snowden bonus and the bonus on A Clockwork Orange?
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by msbg360 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:11 am

Could I also see the tossup on the Thirty Years War? Thank you.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:10 am

Sure.

Air travel was frequently in the news in the summer of 2013. For 10 points each:
[10] Layoffs in the FAA significantly slowed down air travel in April 2013, as a result of these across-the-board, automatic budget cuts which took effect in March after Congress failed to avoid the fiscal cliff.
ANSWER: the budget sequester [or the sequestration]
[10] News agencies were shocked when this South Korean company’s Flight 214 suspiciously crashed on a cross-Pacific flight landing in San Francisco.
ANSWER: Asiana Airlines
[10] This nation’s president was stranded when France and Portugal refused to let his plane land, suspecting Edward Snowden to be smuggled aboard. This nation, Venezuela, and Nicaragua have offered Snowden asylum.
ANSWER: Plurinational State of Bolivia

^This last part should obviously have mentioned "Latin American" nation in the the second sentence; it was written when these were the only three countries that had offered him asylum and never got updated after July, which is unfortunate.

After undergoing this procedure, the novel’s protagonist asks a beautiful woman if he can be her true knight, and attempts to lick the boots of a man who steps on his face. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this procedure which renders that character unable to listen to Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. It is initially mistaken for just some vitamins and movies.
ANSWER: the Ludovico technique
[10] Alex undergoes the Ludovico technique, conditioning him to avoid ultraviolence, in this novel by Anthony Burgess, made into a Stanley Kubrick film.
ANSWER: A Clockwork Orange
[10] Alex and his fellows constantly communicate in this language which mixed teenage slang with Russian. In this language, the word droog means “friend.”
ANSWER: Nadsat

Twenty-seven men were executed in Old Town Square following a battle during this war. Conquering armies in this war pillaged lands according to the most famous usage of bellum se ipsum alet. A commander in this conflict used shallower, linear formations to defeat the tercio. Seeking refuge in the Twelve Years’ Truce, an Elector Palatinate fled to the Netherlands during this war, which began with a struggle between Ferdinand II and Frederick V. This war began after two messengers were thrown out of a castle into horse manure in Prague. For 10 points, name this war ended by the Peace of Westphalia, fought between European Catholics and Protestants from 1618 to 1648.
ANSWER: Thirty Years War
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by snacksinthebasement » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:08 pm

Can you post the Ibsen tossup? Thanks!
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:13 pm

At the end of a play by this author, one character responds to the question “What is your destiny” with the phrase “To be the thirteenth at table.” One of his characters manifests “hope flashing across his mind” by asking “The most wonderful thing of all--?” This author wrote about a man afflicted with photography’s “life-lie”, and about a “little skylark” who forges a signature. A “beautiful death” is planned by another of his characters when she burns a manuscript. One of this man’s protagonists slams the door on Torvald, who promptly yells “Nora! Nora!” For 10 points, name this Norwegian author of The Wild Duck, Hedda Gabler, and A Doll’s House.
ANSWER: Henrik Ibsen
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by Lagotto Romagnolo » Sun Oct 06, 2013 2:43 pm

I really apreciated those warnings before tossups with multiple answers and important italicized words; I'll need to
start doing that more. Well done.

My comments:
-No matter what the world or the dictionary says, that bonus on chords was a pleasure to read.
-the NOT tossup was a well-executed idea with a great clue about the NOT logic gate
-Round 5 - Osama bin Laden died in 2011, not 2013
-Round 7 tossup 10 - the answer 'Italian Mafia' was given in my room? Should that be accepted (I assume he meant the mafia in the
US composed of Italian-Americans, but wasn't sure)
-Round 8 tossup 14 - a player in my room gave the correct answer, but was curious whether 'starting pitcher' would have been
promptable or acceptable at any point.
-Round 8 tossup 16 - I wouldn't have buzzed on the Rhodes clue, but Zimbabwe was once called Rhodesia, so... eh, it's probably not a huge deal
-Round 10 bonus 8 is a repeat of Round 5 bonus 5
-Someone said exothermic was backwards, but I'm not sure
-Transfigured Night isn't really twelve-tone; that was written before Schoenberg invented the technique.
-That Montreal question said something about the expo happening in 1969; it was 1967.

I'll add any other corrections if I find them.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Sun Oct 06, 2013 3:14 pm

The Superfluous Man wrote:I really apreciated those warnings before tossups with multiple answers and important italicized words; I'll need to
start doing that more. Well done.

My comments:
-No matter what the world or the dictionary says, that bonus on chords was a pleasure to read.
-the NOT tossup was a well-executed idea with a great clue about the NOT logic gate
-Round 5 - Osama bin Laden died in 2011, not 2013
-Round 7 tossup 10 - the answer 'Italian Mafia' was given in my room? Should that be accepted (I assume he meant the mafia in the
US composed of Italian-Americans, but wasn't sure)
-Round 8 tossup 14 - a player in my room gave the correct answer, but was curious whether 'starting pitcher' would have been
promptable or acceptable at any point.
-Round 8 tossup 16 - I wouldn't have buzzed on the Rhodes clue, but Zimbabwe was once called Rhodesia, so... eh, it's probably not a huge deal
-Round 10 bonus 8 is a repeat of Round 5 bonus 5
-Someone said exothermic was backwards, but I'm not sure
-Transfigured Night isn't really twelve-tone; that was written before Schoenberg invented the technique.
-That Montreal question said something about the expo happening in 1969; it was 1967.

I'll add any other corrections if I find them.
Thanks for the feedback; in response to minor issues: none of the people in the baseball tossup (Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig) were pitchers, so I'm going to go with no; the Mob tossup was specifically about the American Mob, so though some clues like Omerta overlap, Sicily wasn't acceptable after a certain point in the tossup. And the description of exothermic is correct as written, the bond energy of the products would be greater than that of the reactants (formation of a bond would have a negative enthalpy, so energy is released with greater bond energy in the products), and the Le Chatelier shift is toward the reactants. Sorry about the repeat; we caught it in playtesting and I thought it'd been fixed, but apparently Dvorak's New World symphony got confused with a bonus about New World explorers.

Glad you enjoyed the set!
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by msbg360 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:28 pm

I remember that "mafia" was accepted without prompting on the Omerta clue so I was wondering if this was the correct procedure.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by heterodyne » Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:47 pm

Could I possibly see the lit from the second to last final round? (The round with tossups on Hardy and Alan Greenspan).
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by BlueDevil95 » Sun Oct 06, 2013 9:00 pm

This Urn Is So Grecian wrote:Could I possibly see the lit from the second to last final round? (The round with tossups on Hardy and Alan Greenspan).
Of course:
In a novel by this author, a mother visiting her son and daughter-in-law is refused entry into the house, then gets bitten by an adder and dies. A character created by this author leaves the note “Done because we are too menny”, then hangs himself and his siblings because there’s not enough to eat. At the end of another of his novels, the title character is arrested at Stonehenge, and while Angel Clare looks on, she’s executed for killing Alec. Because furmity apparently tastes better than it sounds, a character created by this author sells his wife and baby daughter to a sailor. For 10 points, name this author of depressing books like The Mayor of Casterbridge and Tess of the D’urbervilles.
ANSWER: Thomas Hardy
At the end of one work, this group claims, “we cannot call a mortal being happy before he’s passed beyond life free from pain.” Epirrhema were spoken by the leader of this group, the coryphaeus. It entered during the parodos. Hoopoe convinces members of this group to listen to Pisthetaerus and Euelpides in one work, while in another, this group speaks the line “bre-ke-ke-kex-koax-koax.” They alternated reading strophes, antistrophes, and epodes when performing odes. A parabasis was spoken by this group, which was increased in size by Euripides. In The Birds, this group consists of actual birds. For 10 points, name this group which served as the commentator in Greek plays.
ANSWER: chorus [prompt on The Frogs; prompt on The Birds before mention; do not accept or prompt on “choragos”]
This author wrote about a boy who screams “Malabar, it’s Malabar” in his attempt to “get there”, then dies of brain fever in a desperate attempt to avert his mother’s poverty. This author wrote that, “Ours is essentially a tragic age-so we refuse to take it tragically.” In a novel by this author of the “The Rocking-Horse Winner”, Gertrude dies of a morphine overdose after preventing Miriam from being affectionate with her son Paul. Mrs. Bolton looks after a paraplegic from the war, leaving Constance alone with Oliver Mellors, in a work by this author censored for obscenity. For 10 points, name this author of Sons and Lovers and Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
ANSWER: David Herbert Lawrence
One of this author’s characters calls God a “shout in the street” and says that “history is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.” The last line of one of his short stories notes that snow falls over all the living and all the dead. A novel by this author ends with a woman raving “and yes I said yes I will Yes.” A different novel by him begins with the sentence “riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s”, which loops around to the book’s end, and also includes the line “three quarks for Muster Mark.” His best-known novel begins by describing “stately, plump Buck Mulligan” and includes chapters titled “Nausicaa” and “The Lotos-Eaters”. For 10 points, name this Irish novelist of Ulysses.
ANSWER: James Joyce
Did you want bonuses, too?
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by touchpack » Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:46 am

(mostly) Science comments!

So, this tournament was great. I haven't seen many high school tournaments, but this tournament had some of the best science I've ever seen in a high school tournament.

That said, it's MINOR NITPICKING TIME

Packet 1:
-The leadin kinda tells you it’s tetravalent immediately, although I doubt many high schoolers will pick up on that and buzz
-speed of light tossup is great
-It was really amusing watching all the Illinois high schoolers not listen to the pronoun and neg with “Chicago” on the Adler Planetarium clue. Nothing wrong with the question though.
-In general, I really hate the term “partial” for “partial derivative” and find it confusing. I guess in a length-limited tossup I can see why you would do that to make equations take up less space, but in a bonus that isn’t very long (this ideal gas bonus) I would use the word “derivative”
-I’m not sure this weathering/leaching/O horizon bonus quite has an easy part—this bonus seems like it’d be more appropriate for NSC/HSNCT

Packet 2:
-Someone in my room insisted that he had heard them called “distillation chips,” and a simple google search indicates a non-zero amount of results, so I resolved the protest in his favor. I’d accept distillation answers until “Clausius-Clapeyron.”
-It’s kinda sad that the Lotka-Voltera equations have become so stock that they’re considered easier than biomagnification. I would have just not used them as a clue, but I’d be willing to believe an argument that there just aren’t any other good clues for this answerline
-One of the biggest annoyances in this tournament’s science is the use of letter/symbol clues that are questionably buzzable/unique. We only used “h” for the pressure head in my engineering fluid mech class. Additionally, I don’t think the clue “symbolized psi” is going to cause anyone to buzz, even if they know what the pressure head is and have used the letter psi to represent it.
-the imaginary unit is a great bonus part

Packet 3:
-this mitochondria tossup is great
-Helmholtz free energy is often symbolized F—that clue is a hose.
-Upon reading it, I thought mole fraction/percent was a really lame bonus part that would be a second easy part, but then I watched a team not get it and remembered that most high schoolers aren’t very good at playing the game of quizbowl.

Packet 4:
-The middle clues in this friction tossup kinda suck. There are tons of nonconservative forces, making that clue useless, and the sign of work is purely a sign convention—I’ve seen work done ON the system be both defined as positive and negative in different classes. To be fair, this is a hard tossup to write without putting in stupid stock shit like Amontons or Tomlinson.
-Ghrelin is definitely easier than Prader-Willi syndrome. I’d guess IGFs are possibly easier than Prader-Willi as well. I do understand not wanting to put random doubly-eponymous thing in the first line, but is this thing really well-known? (If it’s some like, really high-school-stock thing that just never comes up in college, then I could be just wrong)
-endocytosis is a lame bonus part from these clues. I like iron though.
-half-integer is a great bonus part

Packet 5:
-Again, I don’t think this use of the letter S provides additional buzzable information (and doing a few minutes of looking through textbooks on google books, I’ve already found a textbook that uses a different letter!) Maaaybe someone might figure it out based on the fact that x’ y’ t’ etc are widely used to describe variable changes in different reference frames. Granted, this answerline is very limiting as there aren’t really very many clues for it. I’d consider talking about the Lorentz transformations (possibly giving a short description or talking about boosts/Minkowski space if you don’t want to just drop their name)
-I like the idea of writing an electronegativity tossup with 0 stock clues in it, but I’d flip the “2.2” and “C-H bond is nonpolar” parts of that sentence, since the former can be buzzed on with a simple memorization, while the latter requires actual understanding of the concept of electronegativity.
-I understand it’s hard to describe the Buckingham pi theorem without a long paragraph that can’t fit in a quiz bowl question, but you’ve got some room to do a little better than “find dimensionless quantities given units of other quantities”

Packet 6:
-Spin tossup: First, like I’ve said before, the letters alpha/beta are not unique. In my quantum chemistry class, we used alpha/beta, but in my quantum physics class, we used either a ket with a +1/2 or -1/2 inside or a column vector denoted chi. The quantum entanglement clue can apply to like, any property of a particle that can change.
-This log tossup from only chemistry clues is an inspired.

Packet 7:
-I understand you don’t want to basically describe a hydrolysis reaction on the first line of this water tossup, but I think the leadin would be more buzzable if you mentioned GTP. Good idea though, and well executed.
-The first clue of this mercury tossup is 1) not a sentence and 2) more famous than the next two clues after it
-I’d change the sentence structure of the 3rd part of this math bonus to “it equals the sum from n equals 1 to infinity of 1 over n,” since people read from left to right, and the limits of the sum are on the left and the thing being summed is on the right when you write it down. Good bonus though.

Packet 8:
-This tossup claims that reflection does not occur at Brewster’s angle, which is not true. This is a pretty bad error.
-Uh, anything with a hydroxyl group (that isn’t completely sterically hindered) is going to be able to nucleophillically attack a phosphate. That’s kind of how nucleophiles work. Solid tossup otherwise.
-a simple bond order calculation as a hard part is pretty cool

Packet 9:
-I don’t know much about the early clues in this leaf tossup, but they look really good.
-again, this might be just how I’ve been taught, but I think “the partial derivative of u with respect to t” is way clearer than “partial u partial t”
-Calling a nephron a “cell” seems dubiously correct and definitely confusing to me. Why not just say “structures?”

Packet 10:
-You measure, not calculate, the stopping potential. This tossup is great though.
-Filtration is a creative idea.

Packet 11:
-Deuterium would also create an M+1 peak. So would literally any heavier-than-normal isotope.
Packet 12:
-Wigglers are also used in synchrotrons. Of course, that would be a ludicrous tossup for a high school tournament, but a “it’s not x, but” would be appropriate here.

Packet 14:
-Age is a cool idea. Probably a little on the hard side (aside from the last line), but whatever. This is likely to be a finals packet anyway.
-I’m delighted that Pxy and Txy diagrams are coming up in quizbowl. You’re absolutely right that this tossup is hard and would probably be better suited to NSC/HSNCT, but there’s nothing wrong with having a couple tossups on the harder side in a tournament.
-You should accept “single-headed” arrows as well, as well as any other reasonable synonyms.
-12-bar blues yessssss



Basic summary: keep doing what you're doing, Adam, but please be more careful when you use symbol/letter clues. Sometimes the notation is very standard (like say, the a and b parameters in the van der Waals equation), but sometimes it really isn't.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Mon Oct 07, 2013 7:30 am

I very much appreciate the nitpicking and will make adjustments appropriately.

As is probably evident, I like trying to reward knowledge that people learn in actual science classes--in my mind, notation is one of those things that people do know, but I wasn't aware on a lot of these about varying notation, so that's very useful, thanks. (Helmholtz is symbolized with a F, too? Shows what I know.)

In response to specific comments:

I still maintain that weathering should be easy, but nobody on Tech's team believed me then, either.
Mole fraction was indeed intended as the hard part, like you said, because nobody picked it up when I had it as a the middle part and then I realized that no one in high school is studying chemical engineering so what do they know?
I only know about Prader-Willi from House, so I'm overestimating, I'll move that clue up.
I'm not entirely sure that endocytosis is an easy part at this level so I gave everyone a pretty nice hint, but perhaps unnecessarily.
The spin tossup was a disaster from the start and I nearly excised it from the tournament, but it played out okay in playtesting so I didn't bother. Regardless, that one needs some overhauling.
In regard to mass spec, yes, but at least the calculations that we did in my orgo class made the assumption that the extra mass was mostly due to C13 because of its relative abundance so you can neglect bromine, hydrogen, etc. isotopes. I don't know how reasonable that assumption is but it seemed like a fair clue to me. (This tossup has all sorts of other issues, and I really really didn't like it, but 14/14 HS chemistry can be tough).
The Raoult's Law tossup was motivated by studying for my intro Chem E class' final, so there you go.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by Schroeder » Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:13 pm

When I played this set yesterday, I remember that there was both a Descartes tossup and a Descartes bonus (both about his philosophy), as well as a separate Descartes bonus part about math.

Clues from Beowulf were also mentioned in at least three questions in the set, although not necessarily overlapping: as a bonus, in the tossup about Cain (Grendel and his mother) and in the tossup about deer (Heorot).

Also, something that came up in my room in Round 3 was the tossup on traveling to the underworld: I think the first clue was describing Odysseus in the underworld preparing to talk to the dead, and someone in my room buzzed in on that clue and said "talking to the dead." Was that a faulty clue, or did it say "After performing this action" or something like that?

Could you post the tossup on "All the world's a stage"? I buzzed in and guessed it just before the moderator declared it dead.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by BlueDevil95 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:42 pm

Two questions, one in round 3 and one in round 8, asked for Descartes. I don't think it'll be a problem, though, since the two bonuses deal with very different topics and have no overlapping information.
In order to do this action, one mythical figure tied a black ram to a ewe, then poured milk and honey, followed by wine and water, into a pit. That person spoke to Elpenor and Anticlea while doing this. A different hero was required to talk to the Cumaean Sibyl and deliver the Golden Bough to her in order to do this action, in order to talk to his father Anchises. This action, performed by Odysseus and Aeneas, was also performed by Heracles as part of his Twelfth Labor. One person who did this looked back at his wife Eurydice, causing him to lose her forever. For 10 points, name this action which Orpheus took to try and bring back his wife to the living.
ANSWER: going into the Underworld [or going into Hades; accept same-knowledge equivalents such as “leaving the Underworld” or “entering the Underworld”]
I'll let Adam decide on this, but I think Odysseus did those actions specifically to get into the Underworld; in other words, gaining access to the Underworld was a prereq for talking to the dead, but he didn't need a ram or honey to talk to them.
A figure in this short work is “Full of strange oaths and bearded like a pard,” “seeking bubble reputation/Even in the cannon’s mouth.” Another figure in this work is “sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad /made to his mistress’ eyebrow.” The speaker of this work states that life will end in “mere oblivion/sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”. This speech, given in Act II, is addressed to the Duke Senior in the Forest of Arden. Its speaker says that “all the men and women,” with their “exits and entrances,” are “merely players.” For 10 points, name this speech in which Jacques compares the seven phases of life to acting in a play, which appears in As You Like It.
ANSWER: “All the world’s a stage” [or Jacques’s monologue from As You Like It; prompt on “As You Like It”; or accept “The Seven Ages of Man”]
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by Schroeder » Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:06 pm

Oh, I remember now, the Descartes tossup I was thinking of I heard during practice, right before the start of the tournament. No problem there.

I believe the ram and all those liquids were part of a sacrifice to the dead so that they would be able to talk to them. A passage from my copy of the Odyssey (Circe giving instructions to Odysseus):
10.561–581 wrote:Beach your vessel hard by the Ocean's churning shore
and make your own way down to the moldering House of Death.

Once there, go forward, hero. Do as I say now.
Dig a trench of about a forearm's depth and length
and around it pour libations out to all the dead—
first with milk and honey, and then with mellow wind,
then water third and last, and sprinkle glistening barley
over it all, …
and to Tiresias,
alone, apart, you will offer a sleek black ram,
the pride of all your herds. And once your prayers
have invoked the nations of the dead in their dim glory,
slaughter a ram and a black ewe…
But looking at the rest of the question now, Odysseus spoke to Elpenor and Anticlea while he was in the underworld, and it seems that the clue about Orpheus is not so much going to the underworld but coming out of the underworld. So maybe you could clarify the answer line to say something like "visiting the underworld" so that it wouldn't be interpreted specifically as "entering the underworld."

Also, what was the complete lead-in to the Kafka bonus? It started with "What's worse than waking up on your birthday and [something else]?" I was very amused at that.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:03 pm

The answerline for the Underworld tossup did specifically say, "accept same-knowledge equivalents like 'leaving the Underworld' or 'entering the Underworld'", so I'm inclined to say that "visiting the Underworld" would count as the same thing. I would have accepted talking to dead people on the Odysseus clue, since that was the motivation for his actions, I suppose, but I think that the two are pretty inclusive answers, so hopefully a moderator gave a prompt?

The tossup you requested:

A figure in this short work is “Full of strange oaths and bearded like a pard,” “seeking bubble reputation/Even in the cannon’s mouth.” Another figure in this work is “sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad /made to his mistress’ eyebrow.” The speaker of this work states that life will end in “mere oblivion/sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”. This speech is addressed to the Duke Senior in the Forest of Arden in Act II of the play in which it appears. Its speaker says that “all the men and women,” with their “exits and entrances,” are “merely players.” For 10 points, name this speech in which Jacques compares the seven phases of life to acting in a play, which appears in As You Like It.
ANSWER: “All the world’s a stage” [or Jacques’s monologue from As You Like It; prompt on “As You Like It”]

We found the Descartes and Beowulf repeats during playtesting but decided that none of the clues overlapped, so it wasn't a big issue. I hope it didn't confuse anyone.

The Kafka leadin went something along the lines of, "What's the only thing worse than waking up on your birthday and being arrested for a crime you didn't commit? Waking up as a giant cockroach." I warned you about bad jokes in the forum post, you get what you paid for! :)
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by Schroeder » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:40 pm

The Descartes and Beowulf overlaps are definitely not a problem, but our moderator did not accept or prompt on "talking to the dead." Giving that answer might also imply that he's still in the realm of the living and is simply summoning the spirits of the dead, though.

Also, I was curious, for the question about the moon in photography, would "space" have been acceptable or promptable?
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:54 pm

Schroeder wrote:The Descartes and Beowulf overlaps are definitely not a problem, but our moderator did not accept or prompt on "talking to the dead." Giving that answer might also imply that he's still in the realm of the living and is simply summoning the spirits of the dead, though.

Also, I was curious, for the question about the moon in photography, would "space" have been acceptable or promptable?
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Most photographs taken of this place were captured with three Hasselblad cameras. A trip to this location inspired a photograph that is partly attributed to Ronald Evans and is called The Blue Marble. An early picture of this place was meant to study the effects of regolith and shows a man’s protruding footprint. An iconic photo focused on this place was taken near a cemetery in Hernandez, New Mexico. The title of another Ansel Adams photo taken in Yosemite pairs this place with Half Dome. The image of a man climbing down the steps of the Eagle was taken on, for 10 points, what body photographed by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong.
ANSWER: the Moon [or Sea of Tranquility or Mare Tranquillitatis; or Earth’s Moon]

I don't see anything here that really has _space_ make any sense at all.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by Schroeder » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:47 pm

Well, I think "space" would make sense in the second clue (as in, "a trip to space inspired Ronald Evans…"), although I do agree that all of the other clues refer to the Moon specifically. I don't see how "Sea of Tranquility" makes sense for the clues about the Ansel Adams photos though.

For that bonus (I think in Round 10) about exploration of the Americas, I remember the third part asked specifically for "God, gold and glory," in that order. Is there any reason for requiring the specific order? Googling the phrase produces the three in multiple different orders.

(Sorry for the multiple posts, I'm posting these as I think of them)
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Mon Nov 11, 2013 11:37 pm

I think the difference is that one of the photos in the tossup did specifically focus on the Sea of Tranquility, while none of them focused on space, and I don't think calling space a "location" really makes a lot of sense.

On the other hand, you're absolutely right that this should be accepted in any order; when writing the bonus, I'm guessing we had all heard it presented in that same order in our history classes, but there's apparently a non-zero amount of people who learn it in a different order, so go figure! :)
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by bryant_cong » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:54 pm

Could I see the bonus on 47%/binders full of women and the bonus on Kafka?
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by Schroeder » Tue Nov 12, 2013 11:22 pm

Could I also see the Schubert tossup?
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:26 am

A string quartet by this composer is based on a Matthias Claudius poem and is characterized by sudden dynamic changes from fortissimo to pianissimo. Another work by this composer represents a horse’s movement with running triplets, as a father and son are pursued by the title creature. This composer wrote a piece for piano and strings named for his own song “Die Forelle.” This composer of Death and the Maiden and Der Erlkonig is best-known for his eighth symphony, which was originally intended to have a third movement Scherzo only sketched before his death. For 10 points, name this composer of the Trout Quintet and the Unfinished Symphony.
ANSWER: Franz Schubert

Answer the following about reasons that late-night comedians loved Mitt Romney, oh so much. For 10 points each:
[10] Pundits had a field day after Romney claimed that this percent of people would vote for Obama no matter what, because they are dependent on the government.
ANSWER: 47%
[10] Romney never heard the end of it for a gaffe during the second debate, when he used this four-word phrase to describe what he was brought when he asked for female candidates for his cabinet while Governor of Massachusetts.
ANSWER: “binders full of women”
[10] In response to Romney’s claim that the US Navy had shrunk in size since WWI, President Obama noted in the third debate, “Well, Governor, we also have fewer” of these two things. Name both.
ANSWER: horses and bayonets [or bayonets and horses]

What’s the only thing worse than waking up on your birthday to find out that you’ve been arrested for a crime you didn’t commit? Waking up as a giant cockroach. For 10 points each:
[10] Name the Czech-German author who wrote about Gregor Samsa’s unfortunate transformation in The Metamorphosis.
ANSWER: Franz Kafka
[10] In this Kafka novel, a priest explains to Josef K. a parable entitled “Before the Law”, before K. is stabbed by two mysterious men. He responds “Like a dog!” and dies.
ANSWER: The Trial [or Der Process]
[10] Kafka’s story “A Report to an Academy” is narrated by a character of this type. A character of this type is responsible for murdering Madame L’Espanaye in the first-ever detective story.
ANSWER: an ape [or an orangutan; or a monkey; or various other members of the primate family which are not human]
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:09 pm

Could I see the tossups on Ruhollah Khomeini, shoes, Wounded Knee, and Napoleon? Thanks
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Sun Nov 17, 2013 1:52 pm

Hitoshi Igarashi was killed by this leader’s forces. Mike Wallace asked this leader if he was crazy in a segment on 60 Minutes, which occurred weeks after his first PM, Bazargan, resigned. At this man’s state funeral, upset mourners seized the body and nearly tore it to shreds. This non-Chinese leader carried out a Cultural Revolution with his Basij paramilitary. The “Guardianship of the Jurist” was explained by this politician after he returned from exile in Paris for opposing the White Revolution. He was Time magazine’s person of the year in 1979 after he oversaw a 444-day hostage crisis. For 10 points, name this Supreme Leader and Ayatollah, leader of the Iranian Revolution.
ANSWER: Ruhollah Khomeini [or Ayatollah Khomeini; do not accept or prompt on “Khameini”, and ask them to spell their answer if necessary]

An incident allegedly involving one of these items was caused by Lorenzo Sumulong’s remarks at the 902nd Plenary Meeting. In September 2012, a collection of these items was destroyed by termites because its owner had been in exile for 26 years in Hawaii. Thousands of these objects are at the center of the Holocaust memorial in Washington DC. An extravagant collection of these items was owned by Imelda Marcos. At a 2008 press conference, Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw two of them at George W. Bush. For 10 points, name this type of item allegedly used by Nikita Khrushchev at a UN meeting to hit a desk.
ANSWER: shoes [or equivalents]

In 1986, Curtis Kills Ree and Birgil Kills Straight established a 120 mile long horseback tour to memorialize this event. At a a 1973 incident at the same place this event occurred, Richard Wilson’s dissidents were killed by the GOONs. This event began at Pine Ridge after one side engaged the Miniconjou and Chief Big Foot surrendered. After shirts were unable to protect the victims of this event, followers of the self-proclaimed messiah, Wovoka, ended their adherence to the Paiute [PIE-OOT] Ghost Dance. For 10 points, name this December 1890 event in South Dakota at which the US Army massacred over 150 Lakota Sioux near a namesake creek.
ANSWER: Wounded Knee Massacre

This man lost one battle when his cavalry fell into a ravine at the hollow road to Ohain, and he was beaten by an opposing commander’s use of the reverse slope defense. This commander executed the “Ulm Maneuver” in a successful campaign which vanquished Mikhail Kutuzov, Alexander I, and Francis II. This man blamed two of his military defeats on “the Spanish Ulcer” and “General Winter”. Waiting for mud to dry, this leader lost a battle when Prussian troops led by Gebhard von Blucher outflanked his cuirassiers. This man’s defeat by the Seventh Coalition ended the Hundred Days and left him exiled to St. Helena. For 10 points, name this Frenchman who lost at Waterloo.
ANSWER: Napoleon Bonaparte [or Napoleon I; prompt on “Bonaparte”; do not accept “Louis-Napoleon” or “Napoleon III”]
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by relaxationutopia » Sun Nov 17, 2013 6:55 pm

May I see the tossup on Y-Chromosome?

I remember not hearing the question correctly and receiving funny looks when I buzzed with testes.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:11 pm

I think I see what you might have done:

Swyer syndrome is caused by a defect in this structure. A defect in the AZF region of this structure can cause Sertoli cell-only syndrome. TDF is encoded by SOX genes, which have their locus on this structure. Because it cannot undergo recombination, this structure, the home of the SRY gene, may have lost over 90% of its genetic information. The “criminal” karyotype includes two of these chromosomes, which are also the smallest and most misshaped. For 10 points, name this sex-determining chromosome which human males possess, in contrast to the X chromosome.
ANSWER: Y chromosome

If you buzzed on Sertoli cells, then an answer of testes probably makes sense; I was hoping the word "structure" would dissuade people from thinking the answer was testes while trying to be coy about the answer being a chromosome, but this tossup could probably use some clarifications in prompts and the like, and perhaps changing the nouns to something more appropriate.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by jesseshelburne » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:37 pm

Could I see the tossup on Calvin Coolidge from round 9? It seems that every question written about him has the same set of clues--McNary-Haugen Bill, Boston police strike, Davis/La Follette, "Silent," etc. I don't mean that as a criticism in any way, there just aren't a whole lot of buzzable clues for Coolidge.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by relaxationutopia » Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:38 pm

Thanks!

Also may I see the Plants question from round 1?
Having glyoxysomes on the first line is a bit early, maybe? I recall that my textbook had glyoxysomes as a "vocab word" for the chapter on cell parts.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:23 pm

This president vetoed the McNary-Haugen Farm Bill twice due to objections to establishing price ceilings. He was criticized for his leadership during the “Great Mississippi Flood.” This man signed the Indian Citizenship Act into law. This president capitalized on dissention in the opposition party by defeating compromise candidate John W. Davis in his reelection campaign. He put down a police strike during his time as Governor of Massachusetts. This man was sworn in at 3 in the morning after the death of the previous President, Warren Harding. For 10 points, name the 30th President of the United States, known as “Silent Cal.”
ANSWER: Calvin Coolidge

Specialized peroxisomes called glyoxysomes are found in organisms of this kingdom. The rosette terminal complex is found only in members of this taxon. In preprophase, these organisms form a phragmoplast, which allows for the development of the cell plate in cytokinesis. Stromules and plasmodesmata form between cells in this kingdom. An organelle specific to these organisms contains grana, which are stacks of thylakoids. Turgor in these cells in maintained by the central vacuole, which can make up 90% of the cell’s volume. For 10 points, name this kingdom which has cells with walls made of cellulose, as well as chloroplasts.
ANSWER: plants [or plant cells; or Plantae]

I definitely never heard of glyoxysomes in HS; props to you for some well-deserved knowledge. I think Brady wrote the Coolidge tossup if he wants to comment on it I'll let him.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Mon Nov 18, 2013 4:47 pm

Also, if its not too much, may I see the Charlemagne tossup? Thanks
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by AustinlSmith » Mon Nov 18, 2013 8:50 pm

Could I see the chemistry tossups on Log and reduction please? Thanks!
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Mon Nov 18, 2013 10:41 pm

Venice was given de facto independence after this leader’s negotiations with Nikephoros I ushered in the Pax Nicephori. The different regions of this ruler’s empire were overseen by counts known as centenarii, who were aided by officials called the missi dominici. After the Battle of Fontenoy, this man’s grandchildren split his empire into three parts in the Treaty of Verdun. Einhard was the biographer of this loser at Roncevaux Pass. This son of Pepin the Short was crowned by Pope Leo III on Christmas Day in 800 AD. For 10 points, name this Holy Roman Emperor known as the King of the Franks.
ANSWER: Charlemagne [or Charles the Great or Charles I or Carolus Magnus or Karoli Magnus; prompt on “Charles”]

This function of the vapor pressure is given by “A minus B over T plus C” in Antoine’s equation. The derivative of this function of the equilibrium constant with respect to temperature is related to the enthalpy of reaction by the Van’t Hoff equation. This function is applied to the reaction quotient, then multiplied by RT over nF, in the Nernst equation. pKa can be calculated as the negative of this function of the acid dissociation constant, and analogously, pH is the negative of this function of hydronium ion concentration. For 10 points, name this function, the inverse of exponentiation.
ANSWER: logarithm [or common logarithm; or natural logarithm; or ln]

Metallic hydrides almost always catalyze these reactions. In line notation, the species which undergoes this reaction is placed on the right. Protons undergo this reaction in a SHE cell, which sets its namesake potential equal to zero. In general, that potential is multiplied by Faraday’s constant in order to determine the Gibbs free energy change of one of these reactions. In organic chemistry, they usually result in addition of hydrogen atoms and removal of oxygen atoms. These reactions occur at the cathode of voltaic cells. For 10 points, name these reactions which occur when a species gains electrons, the opposite of an oxidation.
ANSWER: reductions [prompt on “redox” or “oxidation-reduction” or “reduction-oxidation”, but not “oxidation”]
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by blizzard » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:32 pm

Please note that these are just my personal opinions, and I don't mean to insinuate that I am always correct or whatever; this is just what I thought of some of the questions that may be of assistance in editing/improving.

-The Ibsen tossup seems fairly unbuzzable for the first half, although I don't really know how important those quotes are.
-We have learned about weathering and erosion hand-in-hand since fourth grade, so I think weathering is a fine easy part, but the leaching and O Horizon both seem a bit hard, so an easier middle part may be better.
-I like the asthma/apnea/diabetes bonus. It has accessible topics while still having an easy, medium, and hard part.
-The boiling tossup was very good; it used accessible clues while still being pyramidal.
-Murakami and Fitzgerald both seem like hard parts for that bonus. Which did you consider the middle part?
-For the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle bonus, I feel like the Bohr part could be made easier to better fit an "easy" bonus part. Maybe describe the Bohr model more?
-The Heidegger bonus could have an easier easy part.
-I liked the affirmative action tossup. It took real knowledge of the Fisher v. UT case, and I liked the mention of the Espenshade and Chung study because it rewards people who have truly done research on it in a scholarly, rather than quizbowl/rote memorization way, though I may be biased because I just wrote a research paper on affirmative action where I referenced that study.
-The Henry's law bonus part could be explained better, perhaps mentioning solubility. My AP Chem book defines it as solubility equals Henry's Constant times the pressure of the gas, and its well-known applications deal with solubility, so I'm guessing (though I'm really not sure) that's how most people will know it.
-The 1984 bonus could have a more medium middle part; The Book is pretty hard, and 2+2=5 could also be the hard part.
-I would invert the fourth sentence in the Cambodia tossup so that Prince Sihanouk comes before Brother Number One and Year Zero.
-The Achilles dragging Hector clue in the Troy tossup seems misplaced; I think it would probably belong after Briseis is mentioned.
-I really liked the shoes tossup; it was very unique and had really good clues.
-Minor issue: Duke Ellington didn't actually write Take the 'A' Train, he just performed it.
-Meleager and Nessus both seem like hard parts. Maybe just use Atalanta instead of one of them?
-I liked the "helmet" bonus part in the Don Quixote bonus because it was so unique, but still accessible.
-Santeria seems too hard to tossup at a regular-difficulty tournament.
-The "glass" tossup was really inventive.
-"Nephrons" seems like too hard of a tossup.

Once again, I really enjoyed this tournament. These are pretty much my only critiques for the first nine rounds, so pretty much all of the questions were well-written with good clues on good topics.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by shrayo » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:33 am

Could I see the tossup on Herman Melville? Thanks.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by getspolanthers » Wed Nov 20, 2013 2:31 am

jesseshelburne wrote:Could I see the tossup on Calvin Coolidge from round 9? It seems that every question written about him has the same set of clues--McNary-Haugen Bill, Boston police strike, Davis/La Follette, "Silent," etc. I don't mean that as a criticism in any way, there just aren't a whole lot of buzzable clues for Coolidge.
Yeah the Coolidge question was mine, and after writing the question I'll definitely agree that there are a dearth of good clues for him. It is certainly possible I underestimated how well-known McNary-Haugen is for Coolidge.
blizzard wrote:-Minor issue: Duke Ellington didn't actually write Take the 'A' Train, he just performed it.
Whoops, I know that and that's a lazy mistake. I think I was focused on putting the song into a clue and had a momentary lapse on who actually wrote it, I'll get this fixed for future mirrors. Hopefully this didn't lead you to neg with Billy Strayhorn!
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Wed Nov 20, 2013 8:24 am

In one story by this author, the title character is a salesman who fails to convince the narrator that the center of a room is the safest place during a storm. In a novel by this author, Daggoo is a 6’5” man who works for Flask and Father Mapple gives a hellfire sermon. In another story by this author, the title character used to work in a “dead letter office” and now works with Nippers and Ginger Nut. This author included “The Lightning-Rod Man” and “Bartleby, the Scrivener” in his collection The Piazza Tales, and his most famous work takes place mainly upon the Pequod. For 10 points, name this author who wrote about Captain Ahab hunting a giant whale in Moby-Dick.
ANSWER: Herman Melville
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Thu Nov 21, 2013 9:13 pm

Could I see the question on Election of 1800? Thanks
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by BlueDevil95 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:20 am

James Bayard Sr. convinced his colleagues not to vote during this election year. The eventual winner of this election was called “not so dangerous a man” by an outgoing politician. The loser joined with James Wilkinson in a Spanish plot to have the American West secede. The Twelfth Amendment was passed in response to this year’s election. In the lame duck period after this election, a Judiciary Act allowed for the appointment of Midnight Judges like William Marbury. For 10 points, name this election in which a tied electoral vote gave Thomas Jefferson the presidency over Aaron Burr and John Adams.
ANSWER: Election of 1800
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by JKHtay » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:15 am

Who wrote the math bonus (the first one in packet 7)? I love you for it.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Tue Nov 26, 2013 12:16 pm

Me, and you're welcome.

1. Evaluate each of the following functions for an input of one, for 10 points each:
[10] What is the natural logarithm of one? Any natural number raised to this power equals one.
ANSWER: zero [0]
[10] What is the arctangent of one? Express your answer in radians and over the range of negative pi over two to positive pi over two.
ANSWER: pi over four [or one-fourth pi; or pi divided by four; or equivalent mathematical expressions]
[10] What is the Riemann zeta function of one? It equals the sum, as n ranges from one to positive infinity, of one over n.
ANSWER: infinity [or undefined; or the series diverges; or people waving their arms indicating that the answer is too big for numbers to adequately describe]

I'm curious as to what people thought about this bonus; I was going for something a little bit different here, and though I know the powers-that-be frown upon math-comp (justly, for the most part), I think there's a legitimate reason to have bonuses like this that don't actually require any specific calculation while still testing basic algebra/trigonometry/calculus concepts. I think it rewards people who have actually, say, seen a harmonic series in a calculus class. I don't think you can really succeed with this type of bonus at any difficulty beyond regular HS, but I think it fit in nicely with the math distribution here, which I really tried to tailor toward things that I've learned in my math classes, and not ask about stuff like graph theory or geometry theorems that nobody actually learns about in HS.

Sam, I will respond (much more in depth) to your comments once Hell Week at Tech ends tomorrow. :)
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by JKHtay » Tue Nov 26, 2013 7:10 pm

I thought the bonus was appropriate in that it didn't require any significant math computation and you should be able to get them from paying attention in math. ln 1 is a fairly basic identity, arctan 1 is easy for those who memorized the unit circle in precal, and since I haven't learned about series yet I didn't get the third part. I tried to picture 1 + 1/2 + 1/3 + 1/4... but it never occurred to me it might be infinity, so I think you're right that it rewards the people who paid attention in class. It's better than asking about geometry theorems I read about in a MAA math book on geometry that I haven't found a use for in competitive math through AIME.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by blizzard » Wed Nov 27, 2013 3:48 pm

I feel like that math bonus was computation in name only; it dealt with actual knowledge as opposed to doing any calculation, which makes it just like any other math question. This bonus was especially good because it dealt with high school math topics, unlike many math questions that are extremely less likely to be brought up in high school curriculum, while still having an easy, medium, and hard part.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by adamsil » Fri Nov 29, 2013 1:19 pm

In response to Sam's comments:

I can't speak for Mostafa, as he wrote the Ibsen question, but I wrote a pretty similar tossup on James Joyce, and I think our plan was to reward people who had read the plays by filling them with what we (and Sparknotes) considered memorable quotes. I'm just not sure if these clues really are buzzable ("The most wonderful thing of all" got buzzed in playtesting, and I would have gotten The Wild Duck off that leadin, but if you haven't read Ibsen you haven't got a chance of getting this question early, and I think that's a problem). Also, if you're reading for enjoyment and not for a class, it's unlikely that you're going to stop and discuss some of the symbols like "the most wonderful thing of all" in A Doll's House, and hence, this kind of tossup only rewards people who have studied the works from an academic point-of-view, perhaps unfairly.

Asking about symbolism was a pretty common theme throughout the literature too; the bonus part on the _pear tree_ in Their Eyes Were Watching God, for instance, or the clue about the foghorn in Long Day's Journey Into Night. Are these things that people pick up on if they haven't read the books?

I never know what Haruki Murakami is for HSers, so I threw out so middling-ish clues on him and decided it was a middle part. He's popular, so I figured it would work, though perhaps not. If I gave, like, Kafka on the Shore, would that make it any easier?

You're probably right about Henry's Law in that most of the time, HSers will have used it to talk about dissolved gases in solution, and not used it to calculate vapor pressures. I will fix that to make it a bit easier.

Yes, I think the 1984 bonus was hard, but I justified it with the fact that pretty much everybody's read it, so it can probably survive having two pretty hard parts. One of my pet peeves with much literature in HS quizbowl nowadays is how unbalanced bonuses can be. A bonus that goes Winston/1984/Orwell is not equivalent to a bonus that goes, like, Swann/Remembrance of Things Past/Proust, because a large number of people have read Orwell and not Proust. I think this bonus probably overshot its mark, but at the same time, I'd be interested to see if conversion stats were actually any lower for it than the rest of the literature. Also, 2+2=5 is extremely memorable, even if you haven't read the book.

This is probably a dangerous assertion, so feel free to argue the point. I don't support literature in HS quizbowl getting any harder. However, I think it should get reduced to more canonical books and authors that people have heard of and have actually read, and if we make that change, I think it's fair to ask about obscurer things from these books. Similarly, we wrote tossups in the set on things like Daisy Buchanan, with rather difficult early clues, because everyone has read Gatsby and letting people buzzer-race on the first clue on Dan Cody is just dumb.

Is Meleager really a hard part? I guess he doesn't come up that much.

I considered Santeria probably the hardest non-finals tossup in the set, certainly among the religion, but I refuse to toss up Zoroastrianism. :)

On the other hand, I completely disagree that nephrons is too hard, that seems squarely canonical to me. (?) It was a tiebreaker, so if that's really something that people don't know, then that's an issue that I need to fix.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by blizzard » Sun Dec 01, 2013 7:35 pm

adamsil wrote:
I can't speak for Mostafa, as he wrote the Ibsen question, but I wrote a pretty similar tossup on James Joyce, and I think our plan was to reward people who had read the plays by filling them with what we (and Sparknotes) considered memorable quotes. I'm just not sure if these clues really are buzzable ("The most wonderful thing of all" got buzzed in playtesting, and I would have gotten The Wild Duck off that leadin, but if you haven't read Ibsen you haven't got a chance of getting this question early, and I think that's a problem). Also, if you're reading for enjoyment and not for a class, it's unlikely that you're going to stop and discuss some of the symbols like "the most wonderful thing of all" in A Doll's House, and hence, this kind of tossup only rewards people who have studied the works from an academic point-of-view, perhaps unfairly.
I guess my issue with the Ibsen question isn't that it contains quotes (which I actually support for lit questions), but that approximately half of the question was about quotes, which seemed like a bit much.
adamsil wrote: Asking about symbolism was a pretty common theme throughout the literature too; the bonus part on the _pear tree_ in Their Eyes Were Watching God, for instance, or the clue about the foghorn in Long Day's Journey Into Night. Are these things that people pick up on if they haven't read the books?
I am all for asking about symbols in literature. I think it rewards in-depth analysis over memorizing plot points, which is, in my opinion, always beneficial. People who haven't read the books are less likely to pick up on them, but I don't think that should discourage questionwriters from asking about them.
adamsil wrote:
I never know what Haruki Murakami is for HSers, so I threw out so middling-ish clues on him and decided it was a middle part. He's popular, so I figured it would work, though perhaps not. If I gave, like, Kafka on the Shore, would that make it any easier?


I personally think that Murakami should be a hard part no matter what you give for him, but I'd like to hear what other people think about his difficulty.
adamsil wrote:
Yes, I think the 1984 bonus was hard, but I justified it with the fact that pretty much everybody's read it, so it can probably survive having two pretty hard parts. One of my pet peeves with much literature in HS quizbowl nowadays is how unbalanced bonuses can be. A bonus that goes Winston/1984/Orwell is not equivalent to a bonus that goes, like, Swann/Remembrance of Things Past/Proust, because a large number of people have read Orwell and not Proust. I think this bonus probably overshot its mark, but at the same time, I'd be interested to see if conversion stats were actually any lower for it than the rest of the literature. Also, 2+2=5 is extremely memorable, even if you haven't read the book.

This is probably a dangerous assertion, so feel free to argue the point. I don't support literature in HS quizbowl getting any harder. However, I think it should get reduced to more canonical books and authors that people have heard of and have actually read, and if we make that change, I think it's fair to ask about obscurer things from these books. Similarly, we wrote tossups in the set on things like Daisy Buchanan, with rather difficult early clues, because everyone has read Gatsby and letting people buzzer-race on the first clue on Dan Cody is just dumb.
I really appreciated the Daisy Buchanan tossup. Even though I haven't read The Great Gatsby yet, I though it was done really well and was a very unique answerline without being hard. I also think that asking hard questions about the extremely canonical works is a great idea and can be a good way to have higher conversion rates without being too easy or creating too many buzzer races.
adamsil wrote:
Is Meleager really a hard part? I guess he doesn't come up that much.
Meleager comes up so rarely that it is hard to tell how hard he is. My guess is that for a majority of teams Meleager would be considered a hard part, but it is difficult to tell because he isn't that obscure of a figure.
adamsil wrote:
On the other hand, I completely disagree that nephrons is too hard, that seems squarely canonical to me. (?) It was a tiebreaker, so if that's really something that people don't know, then that's an issue that I need to fix.
I would like to hear what other people think of this, but I still see nephrons as being a hard tossup that a good portion of teams would not be able to convert. But then again, I could be completely wrong!
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by jesseshelburne » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:41 pm

I'll preface this by saying that I am not exactly a science person, although it isn't my worst subject and I did take AP Bio last year, so I may be biased and/or wrong. For me, as long as the question is clearly asking for the functional unit (or perhaps prompts on kidney until the end or something like that), nephrons is quite canonical and should be easily convertible for most teams at least by the giveaway. I know "nephron" has been tossed up in an A set (or something of similar difficulty, it may not have been NAQT) at least once or twice in recent years, and it is generally the giveaway on kidney tossups. I would think of it as maybe a middle part of a kidney bonus, which fits well with the overall nature of this set (i.e. the tossups on Daisy Buchanan and other things that aren't the main/most famous item but are still pretty well-known).

Other than that I generally agree with Sam's analysis. I would also like to add that I appreciated the variety that was thrown into military history tossups with clues on tactics, although I think that some questions relied on them too heavily as middling parts since military tactics aren't as canonical as they perhaps should be.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Mon Dec 02, 2013 7:53 pm

I think that was a non-NAQT set (the most recent NAQT nephron tossups were in the 2012 HSNCT and IS #56 from 2005-06).
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by jesseshelburne » Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:33 pm

In that case, the particular question I had in mind was probably a kidney tossup that accepted (or prompted on) nephron early because I know someone else on my team powered it. I believe I am thinking of IS #117A. Or I could be entirely wrong, which is also highly possible. If either is the case, perhaps nephron is not as convertible as I thought, but I still wouldn't classify it as overly or inappropriately difficult for this set.
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Re: BISB Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cody » Mon Dec 02, 2013 9:27 pm

jesseshelburne wrote:In that case, the particular question I had in mind was probably a kidney tossup that accepted (or prompted on) nephron early because I know someone else on my team powered it. I believe I am thinking of IS #117A. Or I could be entirely wrong, which is also highly possible. If either is the case, perhaps nephron is not as convertible as I thought, but I still wouldn't classify it as overly or inappropriately difficult for this set.
Just because something has come up before (even in an easy set), doesn't mean it's appropriate for any other set. You can't justify the difficulty of something by saying it's in the "canon".
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