Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

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Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by STPickrell » Tue May 06, 2008 10:43 am

Miscellany is required to go in there and that includes driver's education. That is a required part of the distro. I fail to see why CDL is not a valid concept to ask about if you have to include driver's education in a match.

As for classic and current pop culture, there were 1.33 tossups and 0.87 bonuses in each of the two categories. This distinction is 100% mine and is done to make pop culture more divisible -- certainly Babe Ruth has more significance than say, Lindsay Lohan.

Since today's HS seniors were born in 1990, stuff from before 1990 is defined as 'classic pop culture.' I have made this distinction several times on both this and the Missouri forums.

So, I have 7-8 tossups and 4-5 bonuses per 6-match tournament, and even that is further subdivided into music, TV, film, sports, and miscellaneous. As for classic pop culture, I'll let the reader decide if these were impossible for HS seniors to get. There may have been a misfire or two with two hard parts instead of just one.

The Bronte bonus was too hard. Any of these should be the hard part.

Branwell (the older brother)
Gilbert Markham (character from Wildfeld Hall)
Mr. Lockwood (tentant in Wuthering Heights)
the Reeds (family in Jane Eyre)

The subject areas were:

Pop culture: Chase Daniel (QB at Mizzou), Pixar, Usher, Warcraft, Ryan Seacrest, Sidney Crosby, 10,000 BC, KISS (the band), Teen Titans, Doctor Who, Washington Nationals, Daniel Day Lewis, myspace.com, telenovelas

PC bonuses
Comic strip characters,
1990s TV shows,
Kansas City Royals,
2007 movies (Ratatouille, Saw IV, Nanny Diaries, Mighty Heart),
Britney Spears,
St. Louis Rams,
TV spin-offs,
African-American entertainment (Cedric the Entertainer, TV One, Tom Joyner, Apollo Theater),
British artists (Leona Lewis, Sugababes, Spice Girls, Arctic Monkeys)

Classic pop culture
The Ramones, (soccer) World Cup, The Breakfast Club, Hulk Hogan, Good Times, Buddy Holly, Lou Gehrig, Jane Fonda, Akira (it was released in 1988), Cosby Show, Stairway to Heaven, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, The Academy Award, MTV, Alfred Hitchcock, The Whopper

Classic PC bonuses
Fads from the decades (Legos, Coonskin caps, Pet Rocks, and Beanie Babies)
TV shows from the actors (Leave it to Beaver, the Honeymooners, the Jeffersons, Bonanza -- all are on TV Land),
Novelty songs (Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie ..., King Tut, Der Fuhrer's Face, Ahab the Arab),
NFL players (Johnny U, Eric Dickerson, Jim Brown, George Blanda),
John Wayne movies (The Quiet Man, True Grit, Rio Bravo, the Searchers),
Fast food restaurants (Church's Chicken, Hardee's, Subway, Dairy Queen),
Sodas (Jolt -- created in 1985, Dr Pepper, Faygo, Tab),
1950s TV shows (Have Gun, Will Travel; Dragnet, Huckleberry Hound, Lassie),
Teen idols (Rudy Vallee, Menudo, the Nelson family, New Edition),
Name the university given the coach (Rupp, Bryant, Robinson, Wooden),
Comic characters (Captain America, Diana Prince, Sub-Mariner, Alfred Pennyworth)
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Re: Missouri '07-'08

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue May 06, 2008 10:44 am

1. In Missouri, is "Classic Pop Culture" an established category or subcategory, or in a given year is it expected that the writer will write to a particular category like this?
Classic pop culture is entirely a creation of Shawn Pickrell's. The Missouri distribution has no specific subdistribution for pop culture, although they do have a fixed amount. The reason why I am criticizing the presence of the category is to try and convince said writer to stop using it or seriously revamp it.
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She was the scorekeeper.
I have to ask: what is a "spotter"? I thought I would have heard just about everything, but I do not understand the meaning of this position?
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Re: Missouri '07-'08

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Tue May 06, 2008 11:02 am

This distinction is 100% mine and is done to make pop culture more divisible -- certainly Babe Ruth has more significance than say, Lindsay Lohan.
You say this, but then I read through your answer choices to compare and for the most part find that your example is comparing apples and then what you actually do is a bunch of oranges in terms of significance.
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Re: Missouri '07-'08

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue May 06, 2008 11:07 am

STPickrell wrote:Miscellany is required to go in there and that includes driver's education. That is a required part of the distro. I fail to see why CDL is not a valid concept to ask about if you have to include driver's education in a match.
That's quite a premise you have there.
TV shows from the actors (Leave it to Beaver, the Honeymooners, the Jeffersons, Bonanza -- all are on TV Land),
Novelty songs (Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie ..., King Tut, Der Fuhrer's Face, Ahab the Arab),
1950s TV shows (Have Gun, Will Travel; Dragnet, Huckleberry Hound, Lassie),
Teen idols (Rudy Vallee, Menudo, the Nelson family, New Edition)
Uh, yeah, there's no reason to expect high schoolers to care about those. Also, i can't imagine how embarrassing it must have been to read a question on "Ahab the Arab" or "Akira" to an audience in a state championship match. Inane novelty songs that I have heard used as a canonical example of racism in history classes, and anime--for God's sake, anime--are not topics that you can preserve your dignity while addressing.

In general, I agree with Charlie's proposal that you stop forcing your bizarre niche interest in "classic pop culture" on unsuspecting high schoolers.
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Re: Missouri '07-'08

Post by AKKOLADE » Tue May 06, 2008 1:01 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:Uh, yeah, there's no reason to expect high schoolers to care about those. Also, i can't imagine how embarrassing it must have been to read a question on "Ahab the Arab" or "Akira" to an audience in a state championship match. Inane novelty songs that I have heard used as a canonical example of racism in history classes, and anime--for God's sake, anime--are not topics that you can preserve your dignity while addressing.
Taking issue with the anime portion of this, simply because it's a fairly popular medium of pop cultureness. I'm definitely not all about the ANIMUTRAIN~!, but Akira is one of the most influential films of its type, it was well received by critics (high Rotten Tomatoes score, listed amongst the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, etc.) and has a lasting popularity. It works as an answer choice.

Ahab the Arab? Yeah, I'm on board with saying that's a really questionable answer choice.
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Re: Missouri '07-'08

Post by DumbJaques » Tue May 06, 2008 2:59 pm

I have to agree that it's mostly just silly to ask high schoolers about some of these "classic" pop culture things. The farther you reach back, the more well-known and continually relevant things have to be. What strikes me a bit more is that some of these bonuses seem to have anywhere from 10-40 (or however you do it) points that are almost impossible for a current hs team to convert. This really screws with a match, particularly if it extends into the academic bonuses as well. Take the "African-American entertainment" bonus. Assuming the prompts aren't bogus, Apollo and Cedric are going to see close to 100% conversion (maybe not in Missouri, but I digress. . .), but is anyone really going to be answering questions on TVOne or Tom Joyner? I actually don't listen to radio much so maybe he's well-known, but I'm not under the impression too many high schoolers follow radio that closely either. As for TV One, I pretty much live where TV One broadcasts from and I get it as part of Comcast, but knowing the name of the channel on which I occasionally catch a Boston Public rerun just seems out there. I mean, I don't think they even have original programming. Even asking about the PJs or something seems more reasonable than this (hey everyone: don't write about the PJs).

The point here is not to haggle over particular answers, but to identify bonuses that seem to have huge potential to just miss the field entirely. It's hard to create perfectly balanced bonuses, but it's NOT that hard to create a bonus where every decent team should at least get 10 and have reasonable chances at 20 at the very least (in 30pt bonus terms). That is, bonuses that average something like 5 pts of conversion absolutely need to be avoided, and can be pretty easily avoided just by getting some other input. Some of these bonuses (Leona Lewis, Sugababes, Spice Girls, Arctic Monkeys/The Quiet Man, True Grit, Rio Bravo, the Searchers/Teen idols (Rudy Vallee, Menudo, the Nelson family, New Edition - seriously what in the world are these "teen idols") strike me as absolutely impossible for a team to get 10 from minimum but extant knowledge, and I really have to wonder if there are more than 2-3 high school teams in the entire country who could get full value on these bonuses. Joe Wells, I'm looking at you.

Anyway, I don't see a need to pass any value judgments here, but if you like or at least know things about the answers that we've identified, it might be worth considering getting someone else (maybe someone younger) to double-check your trash questions, as I think it's clear this stuff is not nearly known enough to warrant these bonuses as they're structured. It's a pretty big bummer to have a whole category that changes the de facto amount of possible points available through bonuses, and whether there's disagreement over how well-known these things are or they were just a best guess, it seems clear that objectively they were not great choices.

Also, while I'm not necessarily going to criticize you for perhaps writing certain "quotas" into your trash questions, but I am going to note that your brief list of answers has two questions in common with "Who Knows Black People" from Chappelle's Show.

EDIT:
Taking issue with the anime portion of this, simply because it's a fairly popular medium of pop cultureness. I'm definitely not all about the ANIMUTRAIN~!, but Akira is one of the most influential films of its type, it was well received by critics (high Rotten Tomatoes score, listed amongst the 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, etc.) and has a lasting popularity. It works as an answer choice.
Speaking in my capacity as official hsqb anime discussion squasher, Akira is objectively pretty important in pop culture. But I'm not convinced it's known enough to high schoolers to justify a tossup in the state championship. This kind of tossup (or an Anime bonus, whatever) seems almost entirely hit or miss to me, and that goes against the idea of pyramidal questions as well as our accepted bonus model. Again, I'd submit that the issue here is not the particular importance of an answer in a strictly cultural sense (I mean, Leave it to Beaver is plenty important to pop culture history), but rather its appropriateness as an answer selection for a high school tournament. Haggling over whether or not something is important or silly or whatever is largely incidental, and potentially can lead to the legitimate calls for people to more carefully evaluate answers being dismissed over differing views of anime - possibly the worst reason of all time to make any kind of decision.
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Re: Missouri '07-'08

Post by STPickrell » Tue May 06, 2008 3:18 pm

Matt, my offer for you to edit VHSL questions remains on the table provided we can agree on a price. Ditto for the other well-qualified folks commenting in this thread.

*TV shows from the actors (Leave it to Beaver, the Honeymooners, the Jeffersons, Bonanza)

I'm going to have to disagree here. All of these shows, save for perhaps Bonanza, are of extreme significance in pre-1990 television. Are you arguing that All in the Family is not worthy of being asked?

*Novelty songs (Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie ..., King Tut, Der Fuhrer's Face, Ahab the Arab),

Point conceded on Ahab the Arab. It is dated, akin to my asking about 'Amos 'n' Andy' for VHSL. The others are also dated for the most part.

*1950s TV shows (Have Gun, Will Travel; Dragnet, Huckleberry Hound, Lassie),

OK, Dragnet and Lassie are pretty iconic. Huckleberry Hound is gettable only if you watch Boomerang (probably Yogi Bear would've been better) and Have Gun, Will Travel is way dated. Those two I will concede were poor answer choices.

*Teen idols (Rudy Vallee, Menudo, the Nelson family, New Edition)

OK, these are four medium-hard and hard parts here in terms of classic pop culture. Easier parts would've been very useful here.

My African-American bonus -- the leadin gave the address of the building. Cedric is probably the easy part.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies ... yner_x.htm
"Joyner reaches 8 million nationwide on 115 radio stations."

Joyner is certainly relevant in terms of African-American culture.

TV One is one of those random channels on many cable systems and qualifies as the 'hard part' of this bonus.
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Re: Missouri '07-'08

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue May 06, 2008 3:21 pm

STPickrell wrote:I'm going to have to disagree here. All of these shows, save for perhaps Bonanza, are of extreme significance in pre-1990 television. Are you arguing that All in the Family is not worthy of being asked?
i guess the issue here is your misconception that there is anything "significant" about television to begin with? If you start with these ridiculous premises like "given that there will be 10 questions on television in this academic tournament" and "given that there will be driver's ed questions" you can justify anything you want. But why even have a distribution or a canon at all if you are going to do that?
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Re: Missouri '07-'08

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue May 06, 2008 3:23 pm

You're asking these questions to current high schoolers, dude! No one in high school watches Honeymooners reruns!
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Re: Missouri '07-'08

Post by Matt Weiner » Tue May 06, 2008 3:24 pm

DumbJaques wrote:Speaking in my capacity as official hsqb anime discussion squasher, Akira is objectively pretty important in pop culture. But I'm not convinced it's known enough to high schoolers to justify a tossup in the state championship. This kind of tossup (or an Anime bonus, whatever) seems almost entirely hit or miss to me, and that goes against the idea of pyramidal questions as well as our accepted bonus model. Again, I'd submit that the issue here is not the particular importance of an answer in a strictly cultural sense (I mean, Leave it to Beaver is plenty important to pop culture history), but rather its appropriateness as an answer selection for a high school tournament. Haggling over whether or not something is important or silly or whatever is largely incidental, and potentially can lead to the legitimate calls for people to more carefully evaluate answers being dismissed over differing views of anime - possibly the worst reason of all time to make any kind of decision.
I just don't see why we make moderators and players humiliate themselves by reading/answering tossups about anime, accessibility issues aside. We've come to the sensible conclusion that we don't make people at high school tournaments read clues about the "Land of Fuck" from Tropic of Capricorn or about that Joseph Conrad book with the disparaging term for black men in the title. And those things actually are important. How is reading a question about anime--for God's sake, anime--any different?
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Re: Missouri '07-'08

Post by STPickrell » Tue May 06, 2008 3:36 pm

Driver's ed was part of the contract. Or, I'm expected to write about miscellany, and driver's ed is one of the subjects included therein. Miscellaneous also included current events and pop culture, and subjects like industrial arts, home economics, etc.

These are in the guidelines MSHSAA provided, which I can cut and paste if needed.

Classic pop culture, well, that was me. A writer could restrict her/himself to the past 15-20 years and probably no one would have said 'boo.' 100% absence of pop culture probably would raise a few eyebrows, as would the miscellaneous being entirely pop culture.
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Re: Missouri '07-'08

Post by BuzzerZen » Tue May 06, 2008 3:42 pm

Apparently someone said something about anime in this thread, but I'm far too lazy to go back and read though it all, so I'll just point out that Matt Weiner likes comic books and leave it at that.
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Re: Missouri '07-'08

Post by The Time Keeper » Tue May 06, 2008 3:54 pm

Matt Weiner wrote: I just don't see why we make moderators and players humiliate themselves by reading/answering tossups about anime, accessibility issues aside. We've come to the sensible conclusion that we don't make people at high school tournaments read clues about the "Land of Fuck" from Tropic of Capricorn or about that Joseph Conrad book with the disparaging term for black men in the title. And those things actually are important. How is reading a question about anime--for God's sake, anime--any different?
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by DumbJaques » Tue May 06, 2008 4:03 pm

TV One is one of those random channels on many cable systems and qualifies as the 'hard part' of this bonus
This is not such a great philosophy and perhaps indicative of where the problem may lie. Basically, it ignores even passable guidelines for how to choose an answer (not only are you ignoring accessibility, you're also conceding that you're ignoring actual cultural significance). There are tons of things in pop culture that are relevant and accessible - it's not hard to pick one.
http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies ... yner_x.htm
"Joyner reaches 8 million nationwide on 115 radio stations."

Joyner is certainly relevant in terms of African-American culture.
Again, I think you're missing the point. About 8 million people listen Michael Savage, but that doesn't make him a good answer selection. These questions are not in a vacuum, they are being asked to high school quizbowlers, and everyone in this thread should know we need to keep that in mind. It's not about how objectively important All in the Family or Tom Joyner might be. If they're not going to get picked up at all, that should be it, case closed. This isn't exclusive to trash, of course - the Taizong Emperor (aka Edward Sapir) is way important (really!), but it's not enough to make him appropriate for hsers or even more appropriate than maybe up to 10 other guys from Chinese history as tossup answers in college. As Matt says, throwing the canon out the window is a pretty bad idea. Even if you reject the idea that there is a canon, there's certainly "answers that could potentially get answered in reasonable numbers by a high school field" and "answers that they are just not going to pick up, period."
I just don't see why we make moderators and players humiliate themselves by reading/answering tossups about anime, accessibility issues aside. We've come to the sensible conclusion that we don't make people at high school tournaments read clues about the "Land of Fuck" from Tropic of Capricorn or about that Joseph Conrad book with the disparaging term for black men in the title. And those things actually are important. How is reading a question about anime--for God's sake, anime--any different?
I think you know my personal viewpoints on the subject of anime in quizbowl questions, I was just arguing that pretty much no anime really passes the accessibility test for tossups anyway, in an effort to avoid turning the discussion into a debate about how everyone here feels about anime.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Tegan » Tue May 06, 2008 6:25 pm

I've recently been invested in the whole issue of miscellany .... after seeing Illinois fail to deep six the Ark of Driver's Ed for the umpteenth time (as one member of the board put it: "Is there any subject more important?") I would have pulled my hair out if there was any left .... though I digress.

I guess my feeling on miscellany swings a few ways:

1. Try to make them academically as relevant as possible .... in Illinois, we call this interdisciplinary. These would be the equivalent of questions with cute pop culture tie ins. The difference: we greatly restrict them to fulfill our miscellaneous quota .... thus some of the miscellaneous won't be gotten by the pop culture hounds waiting to get their one tossup .... an academic person will get it. Everyone relevant is happy.

2. Since I really hate to see matches swing on this stuff, part of me says: Make these few questions as unbelievably as obscure as possible .... they are black holes in the round, no one gets them, we move on. Yes people will complain "how can any high school player be expected to get this ... I respond "I don't ...... I want the match to hinge on the academic." All invested relevant parties are relatively happy, and we move on.

3. If you are going to have semi-gettable pop culturesque questions, having something akin to "retro-pop-culture" parallels my thinking above .... the person who just gobbles current pop culture, and holds the buzzer waiting for the question on Lindsey Lohan's range of dress sizes (2005-08), get's disappointed ..... and I don't care. Whereas a player who actually has gone a little beyond the mundane may have a shot. I can live with that (as long as said question is not taking the place of an academic question.

4. This becomes an issue if the tossup and bonus are paired ..... which I don't like, because this could end up killing a great academic bonus. The solution is stop pairing tossups and bonuses.

Irrelevant of all of the above .... I think you need to think carefully about writing a theme within a distribution ..... this too many times can throw a match to one side or the other especially in a close match. I know, I know, I am captain of the obvious.

edit: if the Lord had meant for us to spell better, we'd have been born with dictionaries.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by powerplant » Tue May 06, 2008 6:59 pm

I think those bonuses are absurdly hard. I'm not opposed to "classic" pop culture, but as someone that watches a good amount of older tv, I would not be able to get those shows from the actors. I think that you could probably get away with those answers and a clue besides who was in the show. I think the tossups answer selection is fine for pop culture, but maybe that's me.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Tue May 06, 2008 7:30 pm

AllsWellThatPosts4 wrote:I think those bonuses are absurdly hard. I'm not opposed to "classic" pop culture, but as someone that watches a good amount of older tv, I would not be able to get those shows from the actors. I think that you could probably get away with those answers and a clue besides who was in the show. I think the tossups answer selection is fine for pop culture, but maybe that's me.
Agreed. Also, as someone raised on John Wayne movies, I think that bonus was too hard as well. Rio Bravo is easy, The Searchers is understandable, The Quiet Man is a bit rough for a high school audience since it's less action-oriented, and I would definitely not have gotten True Grit (as I've never seen it). I'd consider that more obscure than even The Sons of Katie Elder or Three Godfathers, or something. That may just be the result of my personal experience, however. I would consider Eldorado, Chisum, McLintock, The Undefeated, or one of the war movies (e.g. The Longest Day, Donovan's Reef) to be better choices. It's pretty sad when someone who can probably rattle off 30 John Wayne movies can't get whatever perfect is on your bonus.
Also, while I probably would've gotten Tom Joyner because my bus driver freshman year listened to him, does African American culture strike anyone else as a bit of a racist theme for a bonus?
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by cvdwightw » Tue May 06, 2008 7:35 pm

Off Topic to thread:
CBI Regionals 2006 packet set would like to remind you that "umpteenth" notably contains three consecutive consonants. If I spelled like Mr. Egan we might not have won CBI '06.

Non-spelling-error-related-relevant-to-thread-response:
I think the idea of having "pop culture" questions on things that aren't necessarily recent is good. I think the idea of having a set, named, distribution of "classic pop culture" that comprises over 50% of the pop culture distribution is terrible. My personal viewpoint has been, and to the best of my knowledge always will be, that popular culture in academic packets should reflect non-academic things that the average player at the tournament would be expected to know (tossup answer) or would be expected to convert at the same level as the rest of the packet (bonuses). Usually, this is a function of two questions: how recently has it been how important, and what is its (likely, in the case of recent pop culture) cultural impact/significance? Sure, Britney Spears' psychotic episodes probably won't have any lasting effect on our culture, but the media has decided that hey, for the moment, it's pretty important, and thus it's something high school kids would probably know.

In general, the "classic pop culture" tossups seem fine, as they are mostly (with a few exceptions) on things that a high school kid could reasonably buzz on. The "classic pop culture" bonuses seem all over the place. A lot of the TV bonuses seem to be "hey you could get this if you watched [insert obscure cable channel that high school kids don't watch]", and most of the music bonuses are on things that the average high school player has never heard, let alone heard of. John Wayne movies is a terrible idea for reasons people have already stated. This leaves sports (which is inevitably either too easy or too hard; asking to identify the schools associated with Rupp, Bryant, and Wooden seems way too easy in the face of the other bonuses) and miscellany. I don't find the classic pop culture bonuses to be consistent difficulty-wise with the other bonuses.

Also, this distribution has 1/0 video games. I'm not a video game fanatic like some other people, but 1/0 seems awfully low for a category that I am under the impression high school students generally enjoy and know stuff about. Perhaps it would be better to limit the classic pop culture to less than 1/3 of the distribution and restrict it to things that are important enough today that the average high schooler would know stuff about them.

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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by aestheteboy » Tue May 06, 2008 9:36 pm

The idea that anime isn't worthy enough to be a part of the pop culture distribution is ridiculous so I'll just ignore that.
About the idea that people don't care about it enough to warrant anime questions anyway - is this really true? I mean, I'm quite ignorant about the mainstream popculture so I'm just asking. Whenever we (the entire team) practice on NAQT, the tus that tend to go unanswered are infalliably pop culture, and it's not like we are a group of nerds completely out of touch with mainstream entertainment. It seems like a sizeable subset of pop culture questions is geared toward limited audience anyway so it seems odd to single out anime. Again, I'm just asking since I really don't know much about pop culture in the US.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Deviant Insider » Tue May 06, 2008 9:59 pm

Based on the limited information above, I would estimate that we're looking at five or six bad bonuses: Novelty songs, John Wayne, 1950s TV, and teen idols almost definitely, and probably one or two others depending on the wording. My guess is that the African American entertainment one was OK allowing for the fact that the hard part of a bonus is supposed to get answered correctly about 10% of the time and this one had two hard parts out of four.

In defense of Mr. Pickrell, he was fulfilling his contractual obligations. Also, it might just be because I am old, but I think that, if you are going to have Pop Culture, then you should have some old and some new. I think the answer space listed did a good job of that. The problem was that the Classic Pop Culture bonuses leaned hard, which I just don't see as a crisis even though it is a valid criticism. The tossup answer space seems very reasonable, and if one of the big complaints about a question set is that five of the miscellaneous bonuses were too hard, then it probably was a good set. (The Bronte bonus is ridiculous, which has been admitted, and Charlie's original point that 20% of the questions were beyond difficult is a much more significant criticism than five pop culture bonuses were too hard.)

Mr. Weiner makes some good points (though they aren't Pickrell's fault). Perhaps Quizbowl has matured to the point where we're ready to have more tournaments without pop culture.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by bdavery » Wed May 07, 2008 1:04 am

Shawn did a great job spraying answers around the entire pop culture answer space (he even vacuumed out some dust bunnies in the corners.) A lot of different things are in there, every question has a fairly easy part, and if there are multiple difficult parts within one bonus, well...it _is a state championship_. It's supposed to be more difficult than a typical tournament.

And, in Missouri, with 900 points available in each game, complaining about 5 -10 (or even 20) points on a single pop-culture bonus (when the 3 other miscellaneous bonuses in each round are likely to be sports, current events, and drivers ed or whatever) is like a basketball player missing 10 free throws in a game and then saying his team lost by 1 point because the referee didn't call a foul on the last play. The vast majority of games using these rounds were decided by more than 100 points, so I doubt any results were actually affected.

I am amazed that the person who has seen so many John Wayne movies thinks "True Grit" is too obscure; it was the only film Wayne won an Oscar for, and many movie buffs know that tidbit (and/or his character in that movie, Rooster Cogburn) even if they know _absolutely nothing else_ about John Wayne movies.
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Re: Missouri '07-'08

Post by quizbowllee » Wed May 07, 2008 8:52 am

STPickrell wrote: Are you arguing that All in the Family is not worthy of being asked?
Yes.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed May 07, 2008 9:00 am

bdavery wrote:And, in Missouri, with 900 points available in each game, complaining about 5 -10 (or even 20) points on a single pop-culture bonus (when the 3 other miscellaneous bonuses in each round are likely to be sports, current events, and drivers ed or whatever) is like a basketball player missing 10 free throws in a game and then saying his team lost by 1 point because the referee didn't call a foul on the last play. The vast majority of games using these rounds were decided by more than 100 points, so I doubt any results were actually affected.
This doesn't change the fact that some of those answer choices were bad and highly unlikely to be converted, leading to questions that are just a waste of time. Some of these you might as well have just announced, "You are supposed to get a chance at ten points here, but I decided that you should have no chance to answer these questions successfully. Next question."

But good job blaming the players again! If this is all you're planning on doing in your posts here, I think it'd be best for everyone if you stop.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed May 07, 2008 9:15 am

STPickrell wrote:Pop culture answer selection.
Okay, I have a little more time on my hands here, so I'll take the moment to criticize some of these.

I am somewhat opposed to asking questions about local subjects for the sake of covering local subjects, which looks like happened with your sports questions a bit (St. Louis Rams, KC Royals & Missouri's starting QB being the most obvious issues of this complaint).

Tom Joyner and TV One really aren't notable enough to be asked about on the high school level.

The only "classic pop culture" TU I would take issue with is Good Times, which is probably too old and lacks the continued popularity of the other subjects that makes it an unreasonable answer for high schoolers.

The classic bonuses selection is probably the biggest issue. The newest one of the novelty songs is 30 years old, which is double the age of some of the players. Novelty songs aren't the most notable type of song, either.

The NFL bonuses probably could have used a couple of "newer older" players, like Steve Young, Barry Sanders, Joe Montana, etc.

TV shows from the actors is fairly difficult, since they don't get as much acclaim as their big screen counterparts. Doing it on shows that are 30 years old is far more difficult. The answer selection here isn't the issue as much as the structure, I think.

I don't think an entire bonus on John Wayne movies is cool on the high school level. This would work perfectly in a trash tournament, but I just think the scope is too narrow. Plus, you know, most are 40+ years old. I would suggest converting this into a bonus covering a variety of westerns, ranging from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly to 3:10 To Yuma.

The 1950s TV show bonus is just too difficult and a poor subject choice for this target audience. Of the four big trash categories (TV, movies, sports, music), television is the one with the worst ability to carry over to younger generations. DVD collections are shortening this gap, but it definitely still exists. I would expect high schoolers to know Lassie and to have heard of Dragnet. Expecting more then ten on this bonus just doesn't seem reasonable.

The teen idols bonus is just bad in that it would never be converted on the high school level. Menudo's the only one that I would expect your average team at states to convert.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by First Chairman » Wed May 07, 2008 9:28 am

Thanks Fred. I was going to add that a lot of "bad pop culture" questions come from the significa of :chip: 's events where basically he asks questions on pop culture that HE and the staff know about. Nothing against Arlo Guthrie, but ... the problem is that there is a little air of snobbishness that can emanate from :chip: and staff when the question goes dead. So please be careful: just because YOU think it's what everyone should know (about trash) doesn't mean that they will... and don't become obstinant when that happens.

I am learning at least on the teaching angle here to analyze the questions my students get wrong and figure out how I can better teach concepts. Quiz bowl ought to do that too.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed May 07, 2008 9:33 am

ILoveReeses wrote:Nothing against Arlo Guthrie, but ... the problem is that there is a little air of snobbishness that can emanate from :chip: and staff when the question goes dead.
Yeah, and that's the issue with pop culture questions on the high school level. Certain old school subject matter will work fine as these things have carried over a notable level of popularity/notability (e.g. The Rolling Stones, Flintstones, Aliens) while some have not (e.g. The Dave Clark Five, George of the Jungle [though this could change with the new cartoon], The Fly).
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by STPickrell » Wed May 07, 2008 10:44 am

Thanks Dave and Bryce for the support, and to Fred and the others for the feedback.

As for my British girl singers: Leona Lewis has the #1 Billboard hit, the Spice Girls are only 8-10 years old and reunited early this year. Sugababes and Arctic Monkeys both suffer from the 'two hard parts in a bonus' crisis.

Arlo Guthrie, IMO, has probably advanced to 'fine arts.' (There was a Pete Seeger bonus in fine arts, for example.)

I've probably resisted video games for too long. On the other hand, I really know nothing about video games, having stopped my evolution in video gaming around 1997-98 or so. I might have to re-jigger my percentages for pop culture a bit.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Matt Weiner » Wed May 07, 2008 10:46 am

STPickrell wrote:Arlo Guthrie, IMO, has probably advanced to 'fine arts.' (There was a Pete Seeger bonus in fine arts, for example.)
Are you TRYING to make people angry?
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed May 07, 2008 11:49 am

Yeah, see, part of the problem is when you miscategorize pop culture as one of the academic subjects, which you had a problem with in the literature (I mean, jesus, you had a tossup on "Nicholoas Sparks" with the leadin "Literature - US Literature" in the state championship game and a similar Jurassic Park tossup at districts.) Stop doing this crap, or before long Henry Gorman's wishes will come true and Guitar Hero really will be in Fine Arts.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Wed May 07, 2008 12:43 pm

STPickrell wrote:Arlo Guthrie, IMO, has probably advanced to 'fine arts.' (There was a Pete Seeger bonus in fine arts, for example.)
:aaa:

Are you out of your mind?
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by quizbowllee » Wed May 07, 2008 1:04 pm

STPickrell wrote:Arlo Guthrie, IMO, has probably advanced to 'fine arts.' (There was a Pete Seeger bonus in fine arts, for example.)
Bonus. Fine Arts. Identify the following composers based on a short list of their works.

(10) Missa Solemnis; Fur Elise
Answer: Ludwig Von Beethoven
(10) Harold in Italy; Symphonie Fantastique
Answer: Hector Berlioz
(10) Hobo's Lullaby; Alice's Restaurant
Answer: Arlo Guthrie (prompt on Guthrie)

LOL. Kill me now.
Last edited by quizbowllee on Wed May 07, 2008 1:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Deviant Insider » Wed May 07, 2008 1:11 pm

You could have an 18-minute audio tossup that starts out, "Name the singer/songwriter."
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Byko » Wed May 07, 2008 1:57 pm

ReinsteinD wrote:You could have an 18-minute audio tossup that starts out, "Name the singer/songwriter."
Hey, stop giving :chip: ideas!
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by rchschem » Wed May 07, 2008 2:01 pm

A "give and take" category at Brookwood (2005, I think) was "British invasion", and the other team started throwing out random kings and battles when we gave it to them. So maybe the kids today don't really know the 20th century all that much.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Howard » Wed May 07, 2008 6:03 pm

Tom Joyner and TV One really aren't notable enough to be asked about on the high school level.
I'm not so sure about this.

I don't listen to him, but I know that Tom Joyner has a nationally syndicated radio show and that the show was also in the news recently for a prominent resignation.

I'd also think that TV One, as a currently readily accessible channel, would qualify as something that high school students stand a reasonable chance of knowing.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed May 07, 2008 6:17 pm

No, and no.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by AKKOLADE » Wed May 07, 2008 6:20 pm

There's plenty of television stations that are readily available, and many of them would be bad answer selections. TVOne does not have a top 100 program in the Nielsen ratings to my knowledge. I think that's a fair enough basis to eliminate it.

I suppose Joyner would work as the hardest part of a bonus, but I still question if he's notable enough on the high school level.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Sir Thopas » Wed May 07, 2008 6:21 pm

Only one-tenth of people in America even receive TV One! Why are we even discussing this as a possibility?
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by pray for elves » Wed May 07, 2008 6:30 pm

metsfan001 wrote:Only one-tenth of people in America even receive TV One! Why are we even discussing this as a possibility?
I had never even heard of TV One until this thread.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Irreligion in Bangladesh » Wed May 07, 2008 6:31 pm

DeisEvan wrote:I had never even heard of TV One until this thread.
Or Tom Joyner.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Howard » Wed May 07, 2008 6:32 pm

metsfan001 wrote:Only one-tenth of people in America even receive TV One! Why are we even discussing this as a possibility?
I suppose if that's true, then I just happen to be one of those 10%. Point conceded on these grounds.

I stand by my Tom Joyner assessment, though.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by I'm a goff (in case you couldn't tell) » Wed May 07, 2008 6:41 pm

Howard wrote:
metsfan001 wrote:Only one-tenth of people in America even receive TV One! Why are we even discussing this as a possibility?
I suppose if that's true, then I just happen to be one of those 10%. Point conceded on these grounds.

I stand by my Tom Joyner assessment, though.
The only reason I've even heard the name is because he's apparently syndicated on an R&B station here in Richmond and I've seen some of the billboards. Other than that, I've got nothing.

I had to check my channel lineup, and apparently I do receive TV One.

As has been pointed out by others, "receive" does not imply "watch".
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Sir Thopas » Wed May 07, 2008 6:47 pm

Howard wrote:
metsfan001 wrote:Only one-tenth of people in America even receive TV One! Why are we even discussing this as a possibility?
I suppose if that's true, then I just happen to be one of those 10%. Point conceded on these grounds.

I stand by my Tom Joyner assessment, though.
Two Missouri stations pick up Joyner, one in each of the two big cities. However, there are no listings at all in California, nor in the New York City area. I, for one, have never heard of him. This is bad---if a significant number of top high schoolers and college players have not even heard of an answer selection, how can you even conceive of asking of it in a high school tournament?

EDIT: Also note that not one current HS player has expressed a positive view of this answer selection. Surely that should tell you something, because, after all, this is for HSers you are writing, not the readers.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Wed May 07, 2008 7:35 pm

The so-called "Kansas City" station that Joyner can be heard on is actually based out of Lexington, MO, which if you google you will find is a decent little ways out of the city. As such, I have never come across Magic 107.3 scanning the radio in my life because for the most part we can't pick it up (although I suppose that will change once it moves to NKC). But to call it an urban station reaching people is certainly a stretch, and it's worse considering most teams in the state are not remotely urban (other than in class 4).
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Wed May 07, 2008 11:22 pm

STPickrell wrote:Miscellany is required to go in there and that includes driver's education. That is a required part of the distro. I fail to see why CDL is not a valid concept to ask about if you have to include driver's education in a match.
This is true. That said, throughout history, battles have been fought (no!), but I don't write a tossup on "battles" that goes "One was fought at Tewkesbury. One was fought at Bosworth Field. Napoleon fought lots of them, and lost one at Waterloo. FTP, name this kind of armed engagement, a series of which might comprise a war." That's a bad subject to toss up, and it would be very, very hard to write a good TU on it.

Similarly, I don't know how you write a good tossup on commercial driver's licenses. "They contrast with the non-commercial variety because..." "Most student drivers wish to test for a Class C one of these..." I just don't see where it goes from here.

If the reason Illinois can't kill the driver's ed demon is because people gulp about how there can't be a more important subject than driver's ed (I'd argue for sex ed questions in quiz bowl, then--PHYSICAL CHALLENGE: put the condom on the moderator's finger) then why not test subjects in driver's ed that reward real knowledge, like a tossup on how flares work and where you should set them relative to your car, or on a subclass of sign, or a bonus on the appropriate reaction to a given situation... I don't see it as an ideal subject for quiz bowl, but if you can't escape it and can't fight it harder than you are, then be sure to do it right.
STPickrell wrote:certainly Babe Ruth has more significance than say, Lindsay Lohan.
To you and to me, yes. To a fourteen year old girl, certainly not. And I don't know if you have to hollow out a new subdistro just to preserve people of particular importance. One doesn't make sure to write nonclassical myth as well as classical myth because you sure have to preserve nonclassical myth that might otherwise get ignored. You make sure a packet has both because they're two different things that are both good to have.
STPickrell wrote:Since today's HS seniors were born in 1990, stuff from before 1990 is defined as 'classic pop culture.' I have made this distinction several times on both this and the Missouri forums.
That's kind of artificial; I was a pretty poor consumer of pop culture until I was two, at which point my dad got me addicted to watching the Pittsburgh Pirates, who unfortunately will never be half as good at baseball as Lindsay Lohan, let alone as significant. And my consumption of pop culture until I was maybe eight consisted of the Pirates and old Bruce Springsteen albums.

STPickrell wrote:Pop culture: Chase Daniel (QB at Mizzou), Pixar, Usher, Warcraft, Ryan Seacrest, Sidney Crosby, 10,000 BC, KISS (the band), Teen Titans, Doctor Who, Washington Nationals, Daniel Day Lewis, myspace.com, telenovelas
I'm okay with a lot of these, though KISS is a little old and Doctor Who is simply irrelevant to most kids. Granted, it apparently is around again now. But who watches it? If someone under eighteen tells me that they've watched it more than once, I'll concede this point.
STPickrell wrote:African-American entertainment (Cedric the Entertainer, TV One, Tom Joyner, Apollo Theater)
I'll mostly repeat what has already been said. The idea that there ought to be a bonus specifically constructed to address African-American entertainment is a little uncomfortable. "HEY WAIT THOSE PEOPLE DON'T WATCH TEEN TITANS IT'S CEDRIC TIME" Quiz bowl should probably avoid reinforcing unnecessary and unrealistic cultural boundaries. Moreover, this is the first I've heard of the middle responses.
STPickrell wrote:British artists (Leona Lewis, Sugababes, Spice Girls, Arctic Monkeys)
Spice Girls and Arctic Monkeys are excellent; the other two aren't. Why not Joss Stone? She's a name people might actually recognize, and I'm fairly sure she's from over there. Plus she's a lot more interesting. Others here know music better than I do, but what I can find about them suggests that they're more "famous... in the UK" than "famous, and from the UK."
STPickrell wrote:Good Times
I like five-year CBS sitcoms about the creator's childhood in Cabrini Green as much as the next guy, I really do, but this smacks of something where the audience can chuckle about their memories of how great that show was and kids-these-days-what-kinda-TV-they-watchin' rather than something where the teams actually have a reason to try to answer the question. And a tossup? A tossup?
STPickrell wrote:TV shows from the actors (Leave it to Beaver, the Honeymooners, the Jeffersons, Bonanza -- all are on TV Land)
Grace, Dilan and PIlar, Snapped -- all are on Oxygen. No? Not bonus material?
STPickrell wrote:Teen idols (Rudy Vallee, Menudo, the Nelson family, New Edition)
The least famous saxophonist ever (who recorded the University of Maine fight song, incidentally) and a 1977 Latino boy band are bad. A pair of semi-obscure actors and the guys who gave up on Bobby Brown are not good, but not as bad. But still: who cares about them? Can you imagine a high schooler complaining if you made more of the questions he's asked gettable? If he gets to say "yeah, I know that" more frequently?

I guess my biggest problem with this set is the idea of variability. One team might get a bonus on something reasonable, and another team might get the idols. (Or, since there might not be two pop-culture bonuses per each match, one team could get an academic bonus, and another the idols.) And isn't there more intrinsic variability in terms of what a team will get in classic PC than in stuff everyone's exposed to? What if the only channel in my house is TV Land? What if I don't watch much TV? That's the difference between a 40 and a 0--whereas a bonus on modern TV shows would get a ten or twenty simply because it's hard to avoid knowing about modern TV: whether you watch it or not, you're surrounded by people who do.

Just my two cents. I think that classic PC should be pitched in favor of what kids care about and particularly in favor of a set where bonus difficulty is more even.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Deviant Insider » Thu May 08, 2008 6:38 am

If you want to claim that it is possible to write a good question in Drivers Ed, then write one good question in Drivers Ed. Give us the exact wording.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by STPickrell » Thu May 08, 2008 7:42 am

everyday847 wrote:Similarly, I don't know how you write a good tossup on commercial driver's licenses. "They contrast with the non-commercial variety because..." "Most student drivers wish to test for a Class C one of these..." I just don't see where it goes from here.
Actually I never claimed my CDL tossup was good. :)
MSHSAA State Match #9 wrote: Endorsements to one of these include T, P, S, N, H, and X. Since 1992, they have been required in all 50 states to drive a vehicle that is Class A, Class B, or Class C. What document is needed by someone that wants to drive a school bus or tractor-trailer?
ANSWER: CDL or Commercial driver’s license
Spice Girls and Arctic Monkeys are excellent; the other two aren't. Why not Joss Stone?
Leona Lewis had a #1 Billboard Hot 100 single in April with 'Bleeding Love,' so I'm assuming she got plenty of airplay/exposure in places like Entertainment Weekly. She also appeared on American Idol a couple of weeks ago. I'm going to defend Lewis' inclusion here, as she has become relevant in American pop culture.

Sugababes I will grant is hard, but a bonus is supposed to have a hard part. Again, this might've been a miscalculation that made my intended hard part be an 'impossible part,' and if so, I apologize.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu May 08, 2008 8:20 am

Leona Lewis is OK I'd imagine. Also,
PHYSICAL CHALLENGE: put the condom on the moderator's finger
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by AKKOLADE » Thu May 08, 2008 8:40 am

Deesy Does It wrote:Leona Lewis is OK I'd imagine.
She has the #1 downloaded song on Napster today. I'll have to apologize for my earlier statement that it didn't work.

Now, I will say that #7 being Bad Day by Alvin & the Chipmunks hurts my soul.
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Re: Appropriate Pop Culture Subjects In HS

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu May 08, 2008 1:28 pm

ReinsteinD wrote:If you want to claim that it is possible to write a good question in Drivers Ed, then write one good question in Drivers Ed. Give us the exact wording.
I don't think I can write a good question in DE because I don't think I can write a good question at all. I'm a wee freshman. This is a task for good question writers--I'll pass on that enviable task to Subash, considering that he wrote several COs. I don't think I write anything "well," and I only write chemistry, computer science, and mythology acceptably (the occasional lit tossup comes out well). Perhaps my standards are too high, but I see a good question as something out of Erdos's Book. It's not something I"m going to be qualified to produce for another eight years or so.

I'm just saying that i don't see that CDL has the same potential for non-suckage that other drivers ed topics do. They might all elicit groans, but perhaps they'll be quieter. It might not be good quiz bowl (I mean, in my opinion, it's not good quiz bowl if it's not an eight-line tossup on the McMurry reaction) but it'll be incrementally better quiz bowl.

(I don't think we're talking about "how do we make good quiz bowl out of a distribution that requires DE"--rather, we're talking about "how do we make a round we can stomach out of a distribution that requires DE." Those are tough distributional requirements out of which to write a good set.)

I concede Leona Lewis.

And Charlie, I defend my PHYSICAL CHALLENGE with the same argument with which I defend the inclusion of (a little) trash in quiz bowl. Sometimes, we have to make sure that players are engaging in activities other than studying, such as listening to music and watching to TV, and most importantly,
NACutie wrote:7. In the interest of the future genetic viability of the species,
do not create qb babies.
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