2017 NHBB Nats: Specific Question Discussion

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2017 NHBB Nats: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:14 pm

If you have any questions about a specific question, please ask them here!
I can provide question text on request; please note which set (NHBB Bee, NHBB Bowl, US History Bee, International Geography Bee) the question's from. (I won't need to know packet number/prelims vs. playoffs/etc. details to search for the question, but if you're asking for a tossup on some generic answer that may have been in there more than once, it'll probably help.)
And a reminder that Sports and Entertainment wasn't NHBB-produced, so I don't have those packets. I can take feedback and relay it to the writers, though.

Thanks!
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:29 pm

I wrote all of the USHB questions, so I'd appreciate any feedback.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Mrs. Featherbottom's Cutoffs » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:49 pm

Could I see the identity tossup?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Thu Apr 27, 2017 1:55 pm

Although not the unconscious, Cote and Levine studied the "collective" form of this concept. It was broken down into 8 separate challenges by a psychologist who wrote biographies of Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther and focused on this concept. Stages of this psychological concept, which include autonomy vs. shame and industry vs. inferiority, were included in Erik Erikson's model of it. FTP, name this psychological concept of one's self, which can experience a namesake "crisis."

Answer: identity
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by aescandell » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:29 pm

Could you please post the question on Buddhist monks from the Bee and the question on Incitatus from the Bowl?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Nate714 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:30 pm

I had a problem with I believe to be a tossup on saturday morning (I believe round one) where It talked about "Assassination of Kim Jong Un's Half Brother". I thought that it was really harsh on answers not giving the name of his half brother (Kim Jong Nam), I thought the simple "Assasination of Kim Jong Un's Half Brother" would suffice, but it didn't. Was there any reasoning for that answer not being acceptable? Did the name really change the fact that I, as many others did, knew the answer?

Also, there was a question about books in one of our rounds (believe afternoon, round 7 or 8) that i answered correct It was reversed on a protest as the other team said "bible" before I buzzed in, and were wrong at that time. What was the reasoning behind this reversal?

On a positive note: For the US History Bee, I just want to thank you for putting Rupert Boneham, Survivor castaway and Libertarian Candidate for Governor of Indiana into a question. I absolutely love Survivor and Rupert, and seeing him in a question was a delight. :grin:
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by swimmerstar » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:43 pm

Will the United States History Bee set be posted soon?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Berniecrat » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:53 pm

Could I see the James Buchanan question from the Bee playoffs?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:06 pm

After dreaming of a golden man in the sky, Emperor Ming summoned two of these people to translate a book with twenty-four chapters. One of these people, Ennin, was deported to Japan during a (+) campaign against these people by Emperor Wuzong. The travels of one of these people, (*) Xuanzang, inspired Journey to the West. A group of these people living on Mount Song developed Shaolin kung fu. FTP, name these people who engage in ascetic meditation and follow the path of dharma, dedicating their life to Buddhism.

Answer: (Chinese, Mahayana, Chan, and/or Pure Land) Buddhist monks (prompt on Buddhists; prompt on pilgrims or similar terms; prompt on Chinese people)
Suetonius noted how this figure owned a "collar of stones" and a "troop of slaves and furniture." To disprove a prophecy made by Thrasyllus of Mendes, grain barges were used to create a bridge across the Bay of Baiae for this figure to travel on. This figure, who had a name meaning "swift," was owned by the brother of Drusilla; because that man was assassinated in 41 AD, this figure never ended up becoming consul. FTP, name this horse that was beloved by Caligula.

Answer: Incitatus (prompt on Caligula's horse before "horse" is read)
A panic during this man's presidency was partially caused by the collapse of the Ohio Life and Trust Company. John Covode led a committee investigating this man for corruption. An incident under this man's predecessor involving the Black Warrior prompted this man to (+) co-write a document with Pierre Soul\'e and John Mason calling for war against Spain if the U.S. was not given Cuba. This man, who helped write the (*) Ostend Manifesto, was president during the Dred Scott case and was the only unmarried president in history. FTP, name this 15th president who preceded Abraham Lincoln.

Answer: James Buchanan, Jr.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by A_Failure » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:07 pm

Can I see the Tokogawa shogunate tossup from Saturday afternoon? My moderator accepted just "shogunate" from my opponent, which struck me as a little odd.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:14 pm

Nate714 wrote:I had a problem with I believe to be a tossup on saturday morning (I believe round one) where It talked about "Assassination of Kim Jong Un's Half Brother". I thought that it was really harsh on answers not giving the name of his half brother (Kim Jong Nam), I thought the simple "Assasination of Kim Jong Un's Half Brother" would suffice, but it didn't. Was there any reasoning for that answer not being acceptable? Did the name really change the fact that I, as many others did, knew the answer?

Also, there was a question about books in one of our rounds (believe afternoon, round 7 or 8) that i answered correct It was reversed on a protest as the other team said "bible" before I buzzed in, and were wrong at that time. What was the reasoning behind this reversal?

On a positive note: For the US History Bee, I just want to thank you for putting Rupert Boneham, Survivor castaway and Libertarian Candidate for Governor of Indiana into a question. I absolutely love Survivor and Rupert, and seeing him in a question was a delight. :grin:
I can definitely buy the argument that that tossup could have served well as Description Acceptable. In playtesting, it was basically agreed that knowing the name "wasn't that hard." That's a fine justification for the existence of the tossup - it answers the question "is this tossup too hard?" - but it doesn't touch the deeper question of "is this a better tossup with a more lenient answer line?" That question didn't get asked in playtesting and, given that it was in the first round of the day on Saturday (let alone "the Bowl prelims at all"), it deserved to get asked. Sorry about that!


Here's the books tossup where an answer of Bible (buzzed at, IIRC, Mainz or thereabouts) was upheld on protest:
Laurens Janzoon Coster is alleged to have invented one method for producing these objects. Aldus Manutius and William Caxton were among the earliest producers of one type of these objects, examples of which produced before 1501 are called incunabula. These objects are typically in codex form, and the production of these objects was revolutionized in Mainz by improvements on metal moveable type. Manuscripts were quickly replaced by, FTP, what bound objects, first mass produced by Johannes Gutenberg?

Answer: printed books
Research in the protest room showed all the previous clues apply to "Bibles" or, at worst, "Bibles and other types of books," so Bibles was given credit.
That's my fault for not anticipating buzzes of Bible and giving the moderator clear "accept" directions (or, I suppose, "anti-prompt" at "Manuscripts were replaced by," if we want to do that.).
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:17 pm

swimmerstar wrote:Will the United States History Bee set be posted soon?
USHB is the one set guaranteed to have no questions grabbed for use abroad in the coming months, so we can get that posted soon. I'll try to have that done tonight when I get home.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:18 pm

This government created a service of inspectors called metsuke to investigate corruption. Prior to the rule of this government, its second ruler disobeyed orders and fought the Sanada clan at Ueda Castle [[oo-AY-da "castle"]]. It created a policy of alternate attendance between the central court and the domains of each provincial lord. Until the Convention of Kanagawa, this government limited trade with China and Europe to the port city of Nagasaki via the sakoku law. Ieyasu founded, FTP, what final Japanese shogunate that ruled until the Meiji Restoration?

Answer: Tokugawa Shogunate (or Tokugawa Bakufu; accept Edo Bakufu or Shogunate; accept Tokugawa or Edo period, era, etc.)
Moderator error, unfortunately, and duly noted. Thank you!
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Berniecrat » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:34 pm

Could you also post the Yalta Conference question from the bowl prelims?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by aescandell » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:38 pm

Irreligion in Bangladesh wrote:
After dreaming of a golden man in the sky, Emperor Ming summoned two of these people to translate a book with twenty-four chapters. One of these people, Ennin, was deported to Japan during a (+) campaign against these people by Emperor Wuzong. The travels of one of these people, (*) Xuanzang, inspired Journey to the West. A group of these people living on Mount Song developed Shaolin kung fu. FTP, name these people who engage in ascetic meditation and follow the path of dharma, dedicating their life to Buddhism.

Answer: (Chinese, Mahayana, Chan, and/or Pure Land) Buddhist monks (prompt on Buddhists; prompt on pilgrims or similar terms; prompt on Chinese people)
Suetonius noted how this figure owned a "collar of stones" and a "troop of slaves and furniture." To disprove a prophecy made by Thrasyllus of Mendes, grain barges were used to create a bridge across the Bay of Baiae for this figure to travel on. This figure, who had a name meaning "swift," was owned by the brother of Drusilla; because that man was assassinated in 41 AD, this figure never ended up becoming consul. FTP, name this horse that was beloved by Caligula.

Answer: Incitatus (prompt on Caligula's horse before "horse" is read)
So I think both of these tossups demonstrate imprecision which was a consistent problem in both the bee and bowl set. On the monks tossup the use of "people" makes it very unclear to players what they need to buzz in and say. All of those people are buddhists. They are also all Chinese. They are also all monks (though Wuzong's campaign obviously has implications for buddhists who are not monks). How can even a player with perfect knowledge know what precisely the question author wants them to say? While an imperfect descriptor saying "people of this occupation" would have made a huge difference for players and made this tossup much less frustrating. There are probably a dozen different examples of this kind of imprecise writing on common link tossups throughout the tournament.

The incitatus tossup is ill-advised at best. First, until the word "swift" the answer "Caligula" is simply correct. In fact, it's arguably more correct than the answer that's on the answer line. Second, this is another issue that NHBB has struggled with over the last two years- selection of overly cute answer lines. As fun as it might be to write on George Washingtons teeth or the favorite ice cream flavors of our founding fathers I don't think they have a place in a national championship set.

Overall all sets seemed significantly improved over last year. In particular, the ushbb set was outstanding. I think the tournament has made many positive steps and I'm looking forward to a great set next year.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Curious Homunculus » Thu Apr 27, 2017 8:42 pm

On the colleges question from round 5: I buzzed on hospitals before FERPA and after the bit about personal information and am pretty sure that hospitals and colleges are both correct at that point in the line, even if the line before that eliminated hospitals.

If it matters, Caligula was buzzed on in our room for Incitatus.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Theory Of The Leisure Flask » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:02 pm

I wrote basically all the auditory art and US Geo of Bee/Bowl, as well as most of the Bowl's World Geo cultural questions. Any feedback on those categories (especially the music) would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Pascal Plays Poker » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:18 pm

Could I see the JFK's visit to Berlin question from the Bee Semifinals?
Also, are you planning on using the Bowl questions for the Australia and New Zealand competitions like last year?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by swimmerstar » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:32 pm

Can I see the Mukden Incident tossup?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Milhouse » Thu Apr 27, 2017 9:55 pm

A minor point: the PSS tossup on Africa said that Fanon was from that country. While the incorrect pronoun was presumably noted, the fact that Fanon was born on Martinique, and was merely living in Algeria when he wrote The Wretched of the Earth, may not have been.


EDIT: could I see the tossup on the French Revolution? It seemed like the first few clues of it- which I remember as being the Quiberon Bay Expedition and the Infernal Columns-referred to stuff that more specifically happened in the Vendee Rebellion , while it didn't seem like the answer line said to prompt on that, though im not sure because I was scorekeeping that game and didn't see the packet closely. It's also possible that the way the question was worded excluded that answer, or that there were other clues that didn't apply to it that I forgot.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:06 pm

This event included an agreement on the internationalization of the port of Dalian. Southern Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands were promised to one country at this event. This meeting, which convened in the (+) Livadia Palace, established forced labor as a means of reparations and agreed on a desire for the total unconditional (*) surrender of Germany. FTP, name this 1945 conference, held five months prior to the Potsdam Conference, at which Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt discussed post-war Europe.

Answer: Yalta Conference (accept Crimean Conference; accept Argonaut Conference)
These institutions are required by the Clery Act to publish statistics on crime that happens at or near them. These institutions cannot generally divulge records to the families of their customers, according to a law named (+) FERPA; that law only applies to people 18 years or older. A pair of 2003 lawsuits against one of these institutions in Michigan forbade the use of quotas, but allowed them to use some forms of (*) affirmative action. FAFSA is an application to receive federal aid for attending, FTP, what institutions whose admissions offices are not federally required to look at SAT or ACT scores?

Answer: colleges or universitys (accept any particular kind of body of higher learning, including community colleges, law schools, etc.; prompt on schools; prompt on public schools; prompt on private schools and/or "for-profit" schools until "Michigan" is read)
With this one, Clery Act is very much school-centric and does eliminate hospital. The second sentence on its own doesn't get to a unique answer until FERPA is said, like you note, but it could also refer to therapists, lawyers, and really anyone with X-client privilege; I was hoping that the broad nature of that clue was going to make it clear that the specificity was coming later on in the sentence. This is a good question to poll on; I think it's OK as written, but would love to hear more thoughts.

Description acceptable. Ulrich Mack took black-and-white photographs to document this trip for the magazine Quick. A speech given during this trip prompted its orator to tell Ted Sorensen "We'll never have another (+) day like this one as long as we live." During this trip, the central figure expressed amazement at the vitality of a city that had been "besieged for 18 years." This event included a meeting with Konrad (*) Adenauer and was highlighted by a speech that recalled the phrase "Civis Romanus Sum" and, according to myth, claimed its speaker was a jelly doughnut. FTP, name this 1963 foreign visit for a U.S. president.

Answer: John F. Kennedy's visit to West Berlin (accept JFK for J. Kennedy; prompt on partial answer, including responses like "JFK's visit to (West and/or East) Germany")
Three years before this event, a man nicknamed the "Old Marshal" was assassinated. Wellington Koo accompanied members of a commission sent to investigate this event. That commission was appointed by the (+) League of Nations and was named after Victor (*) Bulwer-Lytton. Kanji Ishiwara helped plan this event, which resulted in the passage of the Stimson Doctrine and involved detonating dynamite near a railway line in Shenyang. FTP, name this 1931 incident that the Japanese used to justify their invasion of Manchuria.

Answer: Mukden Incident of 1931 (accept Manchurian Incident of 1931 until "Manchuria" is read; accept answers like the invasion of Manchuria until "Kanji" is read and prompt afterward)
During this event, the Battle of Groix foiled an attempted landing at Quiberon Bay. During a part of this event, the "infernal columns" of Louis Tourreau tied humans into rafts to drown in the Loire. One uprising against this event occurred on the 13 of Vend\'emaire and was crushed with a "whiff of grapeshot" by the man who won the Siege of Toulon during this event. The Vend\'ee and armies of \'emigr\'es fought against, ftp, what event, opposed by royalists loyal to Louis XVI?

Answer: French Revolution of 1789
I'll ask our European editor about this one. Thanks!
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Thu Apr 27, 2017 11:29 pm

Now that I'm caught up on question text posting --

*We are planning on using at least some of these questions for Europe, Asia, and Australian/New Zealand championship use in the coming months. (The sets themselves are based on A-set and have questions from Nats added in after I kick out all the Americana that doesn't work overseas.)

*"People of this occupation" absolutely does fix that monks question, which I'm sorry to hear didn't play well. Additional playtesting is the key to catching things like that, and my primary goal for next year is getting the set done another week earlier to help make more time for that.

*The Incitatus question does, indeed, just plain suck due to non-uniqueness. Set aside the promise of how playtesting will make things better next year - I'm not sure how I didn't notice that issue just in editing.

I will say that I feel an answer line like Incitatus isn't overly cute; while there are certainly ample examples of overly cute examples in the set, Incitatus is a story that plenty of students will be familiar with and one I feel works well as an answer line. It's worth noting that it was used as a Quarter 1 tossup, so people who don't like the answer line can take solace in the fact that it wasn't worth 30 points (or that the problematic non-unique clues weren't poisoning power territory), a fact that the "ice cream" tossup also enjoys. George Washington's teeth ended up in Quarter 4 for distributional reasons, but its clues provide an avenue to early buzzes; if you know the name of Washington's dentist or if you have great anticipation on the story about why Henry Clinton didn't go to Yorktown, you get 30 points, and you get 20 for knowing any part of the Clinton story. Is it true that very few people studied Washington's teeth coming into the tournament? Probably, and that probably makes it a bad question to put in Quarter 4 of a playoff round. (Hence morning prelims instead.) Is it true that some people will know those clues from their own interested reading? Probably, and that probably makes it a fine question in the prelims. (One I'd probably still like better in Quarter 1; for that, I can lament.)


I will admit my preference for unusual answer lines; I will also note that my goal next year is less overall weirdness there, not more. I do hope no one's tournament was ruined by them, and I hope to hear more about ones you didn't like and ones you did, so I can better tailor their direction in the future.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Fuddle Duddle » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:27 am

WARNING: crapload of extremely picayune complaints incoming. Don't let this deceive you; I thought this was a great set.
The map section of the usgo qualifier was somewhat poorly designed and doesn't reflect actual igeo too well at all.
In the igb set, Honduras should not, not, not be promotable for Belize.
In the Zhou tossup, they dropped "King Yu" in the first line. There was an emperor Yu during the xia dynasty, so translational variation could make that correct. Even if I'm not right on that, this is confusing.
Standard rules for self-correction and timing transparently expressed to moderators and players would be great. As is there was tons of variation.
I had an issue with accepting descriptions for both Xinhai Revolution and Imjin War. Those are both named things, and at least in the case of Xinhai, saying "description acceptable" threw me off.
War of the Quadruple Alliance is too hard an answerline, at least for a bowl prelim set.
The food tossups in igb also seemed hugely beneficial to people who live in the regions/cities they were tossing up. This would be fine if they were relatively evenly distributed in terms of geography. They were not.
Chill with the hard trash answerlines
I'll echo Mr. Escandell's complaint about Incitatus.
Lightning round difficulty seemed a tiny bit unbalanced, with the US-related ones slightly easier. I'm not sure if differences between writers or editors is responsible for this, but a bit more care could be taken in this regard.
Africa seemed a little underrepresented, at least from my perspective
Gamergate is a thing that should not be an answerline for a multitude of reasons.
I'm out of bad things about the set that I remember, so here are some particularly good things:
I really liked the Stalin lit and British fascist tossups. Also, France and Mexico was a creative 2-part answerline. Props to the writers.
The Chinese history was blessedly non-dynasty focused.
The two other sections of usgo were good.
The uniqueness of this format makes it uniquely suited to interdisciplinary material. I was pleased to see nhbb starting to explore this territory.
Other than the minor mistakes listed above, there was largely a lack of factual error and question unclarity. Kudos, Brad.
The answerline difficulty was admirably high and consistent in bee finals. I think this year did a better job than last at showcasing the range of nhbb writers.
Overall a good set and a very enjoyable weekend.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Fuddle Duddle » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:32 am

Theory Of The Leisure Flask wrote:I wrote basically all the auditory art and US Geo of Bee/Bowl, as well as most of the Bowl's World Geo cultural questions. Any feedback on those categories (especially the music) would be greatly appreciated!
I liked both of the Opera tossups in the bee final, for what it's worth. Jewishness in music is a good link between disciplines that makes it buzzable by pure history as well as music knowledge. It's also the only Meyerbeer clue I know.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Fri Apr 28, 2017 11:45 am

Dare I ask what the issue is with Gamergate as an answer line?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Nate714 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:14 pm

Can I see the Gamergate tossup? I don't see the problem with the answer line. It's an aspect of current events/history and should be discussed. However, if there were some sort of bias in the question (either side of the Gamergate argument) I think you can make the argument it shouldn't be included.
Last edited by Nate714 on Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by JKHtay » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:21 pm

I wrote a decent chunk of the European history for the Bee and Bowl as well as assorted East Asian history and a bunch of LRs, and would appreciate any feedback.
Sit Room Guy wrote: I had an issue with accepting descriptions for both Xinhai Revolution and Imjin War. Those are both named things, and at least in the case of Xinhai, saying "description acceptable" threw me off.
The Xinhai tossup's original answerline was "Fall of the Qing", which is why description acceptable led the tossup, but I should have removed it.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Fuddle Duddle » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:51 pm

Cheynem wrote:Dare I ask what the issue is with Gamergate as an answer line?
Judging by my ushb semi room, in which I negged it and (uniquely in that packet) no one could pull it until the question was over, there's an issue with a lack of cultural significance beyond certain corners of the internet. Plus, there's not really a good justification for including it as either current events or trash.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Fri Apr 28, 2017 1:54 pm

Sit Room Guy wrote:WARNING: crapload of extremely picayune complaints incoming. Don't let this deceive you; I thought this was a great set.
The map section of the usgo qualifier was somewhat poorly designed and doesn't reflect actual igeo too well at all.
In the igb set, Honduras should not, not, not be promotable for Belize.
In the Zhou tossup, they dropped "King Yu" in the first line. There was an emperor Yu during the xia dynasty, so translational variation could make that correct. Even if I'm not right on that, this is confusing.
Standard rules for self-correction and timing transparently expressed to moderators and players would be great. As is there was tons of variation.
I had an issue with accepting descriptions for both Xinhai Revolution and Imjin War. Those are both named things, and at least in the case of Xinhai, saying "description acceptable" threw me off.
War of the Quadruple Alliance is too hard an answerline, at least for a bowl prelim set.
The food tossups in igb also seemed hugely beneficial to people who live in the regions/cities they were tossing up. This would be fine if they were relatively evenly distributed in terms of geography. They were not.
Chill with the hard trash answerlines
I'll echo Mr. Escandell's complaint about Incitatus.
Lightning round difficulty seemed a tiny bit unbalanced, with the US-related ones slightly easier. I'm not sure if differences between writers or editors is responsible for this, but a bit more care could be taken in this regard.
Africa seemed a little underrepresented, at least from my perspective
Gamergate is a thing that should not be an answerline for a multitude of reasons.
I'm out of bad things about the set that I remember, so here are some particularly good things:
I really liked the Stalin lit and British fascist tossups. Also, France and Mexico was a creative 2-part answerline. Props to the writers.
The Chinese history was blessedly non-dynasty focused.
The two other sections of usgo were good.
The uniqueness of this format makes it uniquely suited to interdisciplinary material. I was pleased to see nhbb starting to explore this territory.
Other than the minor mistakes listed above, there was largely a lack of factual error and question unclarity. Kudos, Brad.
The answerline difficulty was admirably high and consistent in bee finals. I think this year did a better job than last at showcasing the range of nhbb writers.
Overall a good set and a very enjoyable weekend.
Responding to the ones I've got responses to, and noting the rest:

*USGO notes - I can pass along to the people who put that together, especially if you've got more specifics on what you didn't like. I only touch quizbowl stuff, so I don't know what it looked like.
*In IGB, the Belize tossup has 'prompt on British Honduras before mentioned;' I guess in retrospect, that should have "but do not prompt or accept Honduras alone," so I'll take the blame for it and won't directly call it moderator error...but that's a moderator error.
*Without a proper opening meeting that all players are required to attend, I'm not sure how to get the word out about rules like that to all players; we did go over those things in staff meetings each day, but I won't pretend that an 8 AM staff meeting makes all the moderators experts on the rules. I'm planning on polishing up our rules pages over the summer, which will help.
*Xinhai could have survived without the "Description acceptable" disclaimer, I agree, but in both cases you mention, there are ample sources that don't directly use those names and/or other reasons that made accepting a description the right way to go. (Both those questions were tackled months ago, so I'm not immediately remembering what they were.)
*I don't have a quick way of checking food vs. non-food questions in IGB; I know there were tossups on Hawaii and NYC from food, and don't remember if there were others. What am I missing?
*Here's the list of trash answerlines from Bee and Bowl:
Bowl Prelims: Victoria (TV show), Manchester United, Khrushchev @ Disney, USFL v NFL lawsuit, Pokemon Go/DMZ, Florida/Chicago, Canada/October Crisis, sale of Babe Ruth, Bill Murray, Thrilla in Manila
Bowl Playoffs: Arthur Ashe, Preakness, Magic Johnson, Van Halen/Talking Heads, Live Aid/Elvis Costello, Super Bowl halftime show, Happy Birthday Mr. President
Bee: Roots, Baccarat, Woodstock, Soccer, Boston Marathon, Tommy John surgery, Mel Gibson, South Africa (sports), UKansas, Babe Ruth's called shot

Things I would have liked to change in retrospect - not having both Babe Ruth questions in the same year, putting the USFL v NFL lawsuit in the playoffs, not having Happy Birthday as the last tossup of a packet

I feel like USFL v NFL, Preakness, and Baccarat are probably the hardest answer lines in here; were there others that felt overly hard?

*We work a lot on calibrating lightning rounds (especially after it was one of the most glaring things that got screwed up in last year's crunch), and there are aspects we work on and aspects we don't. For example, comparing the American in Round 4 to the World in Round 5 won't be possible, unfortunately; at this point, I'm only shooting on intra-round calibration, and making sure the really hard LRs aren't in the prelims. Overall, every lightning round got edited by me, and I shot for certain difficulty targets on all three of a round's LRs. If you've got a specific example of where it felt off within a given round, or what part of the lightning round felt miscalibrated (i.e. the easy parts, the harder parts), let me know!

*Out of curiosity - did Africa feel underrepped in the Bee, the Bowl, or both? (More than Jakob can reply, please!) I've got a response, but I want more info first.
During this controversy, Phil Fish sold his company, announcing "I take the money and I run." This controversy intensified after Eron Gjoni wrote about how his ex-girlfriend had begun a relationship with Nathan Grayson. During it, a "Montreal Massacre style attack" was threatened at Utah State University to prevent (+) Anita Sarkeesian from speaking. The name for this controversy was coined by actor Adam Baldwin, who said it was a fight against (*) political correctness. It began after the publication of Depression Quest, a work of interactive fiction created by Zoe Quinn. FTP, what controversy originally began as a harassment campaign against several women in the video game industry?

Answer: Gamergate (prompt on descriptive answers)
Seems to me like a straightforward tossup here, in a set that is allowed to have pop culture answer lines (if that's a complaint).


Thank you for the notes and the kind words!
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:08 pm

I can see Gamergate being potentially too hard a tossup because people might not remember the event. I would argue the event is significant enough to be considered history, though.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Fuddle Duddle » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:28 pm

Not going to quote because I'm on my phone, but:
Brad-you listed precisely the trash answerlines I had an issue with. Thanks for saving me response time.
I take your point in terms of accepting a description on Imjin War.
Experiment: note how many Sub-Saharan Africa questions were in the bee final packet (this is longer than normal packets and seemed a fairly representative sample in terms of categories). The bowl was pretty much good in that respect. (NOTE: this critique should be taken at face value, and is not intended to be an allegation of racism or any other bias to anyone)
There were food tossups on New York, Portland, California, and Hawaii, if memory serves.

To Mike- point taken, but only because the impression I've received is that nhbb is intended to provide a more ecumenical definition of history canon than is usual.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:38 pm

Yeah, the distro for USHB specifies certain numbers of questions per time period and per category (such as social history). It's a bit tricky to determine what very recent social history is going to be accessible.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Fuddle Duddle » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:46 pm

Cheynem wrote:Yeah, the distro for USHB specifies certain numbers of questions per time period and per category (such as social history). It's a bit tricky to determine what very recent social history is going to be accessible.
This leads me to another question: are the history portions of bee and bowl distributed by time, place, or both?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:56 pm

IGB Food: the Portland tossup started with Stumptown Coffee and Voodoo donuts, then got to non-food things like Powell's. I can't find a food-based California question, but if you provide me a clue I can look further. Assuming those are the 4, it's basically pretty geographically diverse as far as America goes, modulo "midwestern food is boring, " a sentiment I don't particularly subscribe to but didn't apparently enact with the set this year. (Apart from the one gilb editor's note in this weekend's set - "your Illinois-based editor removed the word 'excellent' from the giveaway relating to pizza in Brooklyn.")
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:04 pm

Sit Room Guy wrote:
Cheynem wrote:Yeah, the distro for USHB specifies certain numbers of questions per time period and per category (such as social history). It's a bit tricky to determine what very recent social history is going to be accessible.
This leads me to another question: are the history portions of bee and bowl distributed by time, place, or both?
Good question! Last year, I had spreadsheets dividing things up by time and place; they ended up being a colossal headache when it came time to packetize. This year, we divided by place and packet, and relied on eyeball test to divide by time. If a particular packet felt particularly biased in favor of one time period, let me know so I can get a better idea for how these things are feeling.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cassian » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:14 pm

I was responsible for writing both the USGO written and map skills exams. I am happy to hear any feedback on either of these exams from the USGO participants, either in this forum or by PM.

Jakob's point about the map skills exam for USGO is certainly valid. The purpose of the exam was to assess geographical reasoning and written expression in a slightly different way than the written examination. While it was not meant to be a stand-in for the FWT at iGeo, it was meant to assess skills that would be useful on that exam. Overall, I was happy with some of the items on the exam, and less so with others.

I will be evaluating both the written and map skills exams further after iGeo in August, based on the overall performance of Team USA at the competition, and with input from all of our team members (along with David and Raynell).
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Berniecrat » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:15 pm

For the Yalta Conference, didn't the Treaty of Portsmouth also negotiate for Dalian and Sakhalin?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:24 pm

Berniecrat wrote:For the Yalta Conference, didn't the Treaty of Portsmouth also negotiate for Dalian and Sakhalin?
By my reading, the Treaty of Portsmouth notes that the Liaodong Peninsula is leased, but doesn't mention anything specific about Dalian being internationalized. Sakhalin & Kuril is closer - at Yalta they were promised to eventually be given over later, after Japan lost, and in Portsmouth they were immediately handed over as part of the deal. The latter, I should have found a better wording.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Nate714 » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:29 pm

When will USHB nationals set be up?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Sat Apr 29, 2017 11:52 pm

The 2016-2017 US History Bee questions (and qualifying exams from regionals) are available here!

The US Geography Olympiad exams are available here as well; answer keys for the written and cartographic exams will be available soon.

All other packets will be posted once they're cleared in September.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Curious Homunculus » Sun Apr 30, 2017 9:43 am

Can I see the question on sciences?
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Nate714 » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:19 pm

Irreligion in Bangladesh wrote:The 2016-2017 US History Bee questions (and qualifying exams from regionals) are available here!

The US Geography Olympiad exams are available here as well; answer keys for the written and cartographic exams will be available soon.

All other packets will be posted once they're cleared in September.
Is it just me or is USHB sets and exams not up? I only see stuff from 15-16, not 16-17.
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Re: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:35 pm

It's at the very top. Try hitting your browser's refresh button.
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