Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

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Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by kayli » Sat May 22, 2010 8:34 pm

So, I was studying philosophy for HSNCT next week. But then, I discovered that philosophy is only .3/.3 of the distribution. Uh oh. However, pop culture with sports and current events both are allotted 1.9/1.8 questions. So, I was wondering: how do I study for sports, pop culture, and current events? I know there are a lot of good trash questions out there, but I don't think a lot of the pop culture will come from there though some sports might. Also, what should I read for current events? Old copies of The Economist? How does one get good at trash in general (not just at the HSNCT/NAQT level)?
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas » Sat May 22, 2010 8:47 pm

Current events? Boy, those are tough to study for. It's a shame they don't have some sort of thing you could read that goes out daily detailing important happenings in the world, as that would be perfect.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by kayli » Sat May 22, 2010 8:49 pm

Isaacbh wrote:Current events? Boy, those are tough to study for. It's a shame they don't have some sort of thing you could read that goes out daily detailing important happenings in the world, as that would be perfect.
Oh hey, that's right. Let me read 365 newspapers.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sat May 22, 2010 8:56 pm

Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:
Isaacbh wrote:Current events? Boy, those are tough to study for. It's a shame they don't have some sort of thing you could read that goes out daily detailing important happenings in the world, as that would be perfect.
Oh hey, that's right. Let me read 365 newspapers.
Man, is that ever the attitude! It's a shame that no newspaper covers non-local news and that there are no news-magazines that could be helpful.

I'm also amused that while you're bitterly against the presence of trash in quizbowl, particularly in national championship tournaments, you're ditching your study plan of "learn academic things that are worthwhile" for "focus on the largest distributional areas even if you are morally opposed to the idea that games might be decided on them."
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Auroni » Sat May 22, 2010 8:57 pm

studying for trash is pretty stupid, just like a subset of popular culture and hope that naqt does too
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by kayli » Sat May 22, 2010 9:01 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
Arsonists Get All the Girls wrote:
Isaacbh wrote:Current events? Boy, those are tough to study for. It's a shame they don't have some sort of thing you could read that goes out daily detailing important happenings in the world, as that would be perfect.
Oh hey, that's right. Let me read 365 newspapers.
Man, is that ever the attitude! It's a shame that no newspaper covers non-local news and that there are no news-magazines that could be helpful.

I'm also amused that while you're bitterly against the presence of trash in quizbowl, particularly in national championship tournaments, you're ditching your study plan of "learn academic things that are worthwhile" for "focus on the largest distributional areas even if you are morally opposed to the idea that games might be decided on them."
Ok, ok, aside from current events then.

Also, I'm still bitterly opposed to trash in national tournaments. I always will be, but the fact remains that it exists and in such a high quantity that, if I don't do something about it, then my team gets screwed over in the process. Although not studying and sticking to my morals is nice and all, that won't accomplish anything aside from losing matches. NAQT won't come randomly into my room, see that I haven't studied this stuff, and say "Boy, this kid is a trooper. Let's get rid of trash."

EDIT: minor format change.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sat May 22, 2010 9:28 pm

You do realize that you can also win NAQT matches by being better than the other team at all the non-trash categories, right?
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by kayli » Sat May 22, 2010 9:38 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:You do realize that you can also win NAQT matches by being better than the other team at all the non-trash categories, right?
True. But I also think that we shouldn't forfeit a good 3.8/3.6 or so every match especially since I can probably make a lot more improvement here than I can in the big three. I mean, our team isn't really even comparable in trash (unless it's CSI Shamwow, Lady Gaga, and random sports teams).
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Susan » Sat May 22, 2010 9:45 pm

It's pretty easy to bone up on current events before the tournament; when I was on the Chicago team we would occasionally do an NAQT CE-prediction-fest on our internal mailing list in which people would pick things they guessed might come up that year (usually whatever the major news stories of the year were) and send out to the list a brief overview of who, say, Bart Stupak is, plus a bunch of facts that might come up early in a question about him. (This was always ostensibly a competition to see who could correctly guess the most CE answers, but we never bothered recording what came up. If you think it might get your teammates to participate, you could try making it a competition.) You're not going to beat someone who seriously follows current affairs doing that, but it gives you a good chance to power a bunch of stuff against a lot of teams.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Cheynem » Sat May 22, 2010 9:56 pm

I'd kinda glance over Wikipedia's "important events of 2010" thing to at least get a sense of who some important newsmakers are. Might be nice to look at who died recently.

For trash, I've found NAQT trash is one of those things that you're either going to know it or not. You can at least refresh your memory by looking at recent Oscar winners or sports champions, but it's tough to predict what's going to come up AND have deep knowledge of it. At last year's ICT, almost none of my trash points came off studying--it was generally stuff I've personally seen or experienced (TV shows I watched, sporting events I saw). You really can't anticipate that or even study for it per se.

For general trash knowledge, I think your bread and butter resources are pretty strong. Brooks and Marsh's "The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows" is utterly invaluable and has gotten me many, many TV points. I also enjoy Leonard Maltin's movie guides for quick synopses and filmographies. Charles Matthews' "Oscar A to Z" provides summaries and information of important films that were Oscar nominated (it has gotten me quite a bit of academic points too). For older music, Fred Bronson's book about the Billboard Hot 100 is quite helpful (I assume he's written a more recent edition). There's any number of great sports reference books out there. For comic books, the complete run of The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe has been reprinted, so study that. I'm somewhat at an advantage because the nature of my academic career requires me to study film and television, but really, if you're intellectually curious and like looking up stuff, you can accumulate a lot of trash knowledge. The trick, of course, is having it come in useful at a tournament.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Papa's in the House » Sun May 23, 2010 1:07 am

Susan's suggestion of sending around a list of what you think will come up for current events and link's to stories on those subjects is a pretty good idea. If possible, read up on old copies of The Economist, Time, etc., but be realistic (since you've only got a week left). You should also probably flip through some primarily news channels (CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc.) and get a feel for what they're discussing; chances are that they've been discussing those subjects for quite some time now. A lot happened (both domestically and internationally) this past year, so there is a lot of potential material for this subject.

As for trash, Mike's post is pretty good and covers most of the subjects. I prefer first-hand knowledge (watching the movie or TV show, etc.), but you run into that time problem again. I watch a movie or two every night before I go to bed (usually I skip through them because there are a lot of scene changes and what-not); you could start doing this. Since it's much harder to predict what will come up in this category, just pick a few actors/actresses, directors, etc. you're interested in and look through synopses of their movies (I usually just go to IMDB when I want to see if a particular actor/actress was in a movie and to refresh my memory as to what the movie was about). Go through the prime time shows on each of the major television networks (ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, etc.) and some of the premium channels (like Starz, Showtime, and HBO) from the past few years and familiarize yourself with these shows. Usually you can just use Google to search the show and a fan site will pop up pretty quickly. You may want to look at a list of the "Top 100 Movies" or "Top 100 TV shows" of all time and familiarize yourself with those, but I don't know how effective such studying will be. I wouldn't really suggest you try to actively "study" for the trash portion of HSNCT outside of trying to just get giveaway clues. Trash tends to be hit-or-miss; either you have first-hand knowledge or you don't get it until the giveaway (and even then, you still might not get it).

EDIT: People...
Last edited by Papa's in the House on Sun May 23, 2010 12:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Tanay » Sun May 23, 2010 1:49 am

The Economist has a section online every week called "Well Red" that tests knowledge of current events from that week. I believe BBC News does something similar. The Fareed Zakaria GPS page on CNN used to have a quiz, and it still might.

Also, for sports, know the players that won major awards or set records in the last 2-3 years for the major sports. HSNCT last year had bonuses on Federer/Nadal/Djokovic (the only three players at that time who had won a title in recent memory), some AL pitchers that had won awards or set records, and some Olympic gold medalists.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun May 23, 2010 8:39 am

Papa's in the House wrote:Andy's suggestion
Susan's, but thanks.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Jesus vs. Dragons » Sun May 23, 2010 10:25 am

Yeah I can't really suggest a way to study for sports (the only non-canon thing I am good at) besides getting a Guinness Book of World Records and looking over it. This would help you in a lot of the trash as it tells you record holders in music, movies, tv, sports, etc. Since HSNCT is only about a week away, watching ESPN or CNN now won't do much. I would suggest learning the top 10 for every major stat historically and active which are available on all of the respective league's sites.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Kwang the Ninja » Sun May 23, 2010 12:52 pm

I'm not sure about the HSNCT set, but almost every NAQT set I've ever played has had a bonus somewhere in it about AFI's top 100 film quotes. Looking over those/becoming familiar with them/memorizing them would not only (probably) get you points at HSNCT, but would help you in any NAQT tournaments you plsn on playing next year.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by ryandillon » Sun May 23, 2010 3:06 pm

Listen to your local Top 40, Today's Hits, Pop/Hip-Hop whatever station and sing all the songs. I do it everyday for pure enjoyment and this season it has gotten me a grand total of (drumroll please) 2 powers and 2 bonus sweeps.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by DrCongo » Sun May 23, 2010 7:29 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:You do realize that you can also win NAQT matches by being better than the other team at all the non-trash categories, right?
This is funny, because I think this point was argued in an anti-trash thread and you shut the person down for saying this (It's not really a big deal):

"If a team wins with the trash then the losing team should have made it up somewhere else because while they were studying pages the winning team was busy listening to the Jonas Brothers or something."

Honestly, the way I "study" for trash is that I just watch a ton of tv shows on hulu while doing homework. It has gotten me maybe 6 or 7 toss ups this year, which doesn't seem like much but its better than not getting any of those.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun May 23, 2010 8:47 pm

DrCongo wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:You do realize that you can also win NAQT matches by being better than the other team at all the non-trash categories, right?
This is funny, because I think this point was argued in an anti-trash thread and you shut the person down for saying this (It's not really a big deal):
Well, there's a distinction here. I can advocate the prospective creator of a distribution: hey, you shouldn't make trash such a big part of the distribution because it can so, so easily have a big effect on matches and saying "you should be better on the other categories to account for what we did to the distribution" is no excuse.

But this is from the perspective of someone who's already dealing with a set distribution. He can't take out the trash, he just hates it. He doesn't know how to study for trash and doesn't think he knows particularly much--I'm suggesting he might benefit more, in close matches against similarly-talented teams--from learning more of the categories that he already has a start in (and that are a still bigger proportion of the distribution). (And then he doesn't have to bemoan the fact that he's stuck learning categories he doesn't in principle like.)
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by ryandillon » Sun May 23, 2010 9:08 pm

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
DrCongo wrote:
Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:You do realize that you can also win NAQT matches by being better than the other team at all the non-trash categories, right?
This is funny, because I think this point was argued in an anti-trash thread and you shut the person down for saying this (It's not really a big deal):
Well, there's a distinction here. I can advocate the prospective creator of a distribution: hey, you shouldn't make trash such a big part of the distribution because it can so, so easily have a big effect on matches and saying "you should be better on the other categories to account for what we did to the distribution" is no excuse.

But this is from the perspective of someone who's already dealing with a set distribution. He can't take out the trash, he just hates it. He doesn't know how to study for trash and doesn't think he knows particularly much--I'm suggesting he might benefit more, in close matches against similarly-talented teams--from learning more of the categories that he already has a start in (and that are a still bigger proportion of the distribution). (And then he doesn't have to bemoan the fact that he's stuck learning categories he doesn't in principle like.)
I'm pretty sure Bobby was quoting me from the other thread.

And I understand that I came across as something like "Go study academic stuff and beat teams on that so trash doesn't matter", but I do acknowledge trash can matter. I was thinking more along the lines of "You can't change it for this year's HSNCT, so just study what comes easiest for you." If you don't enjoy the sort of trash prevalent in NAQT, but you do enjoy philosophy, while the philosophy may come up less, you're not going to be able to master the high school trash canon (if there even is such a thing) as fast as you could get a good grip on the high school philosophy canon.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by kayli » Sun May 23, 2010 9:25 pm

Well, I only found out about the distribution a couple days ago, and it really scared me considering I knew nothing on how to study for the stuff. I admittedly would prefer not to study trash since I'm trying to get more into philosophy. But, I'm not adverse to studying trash either. I sort of like some of it. The dilemma is that, if I were to spend m hours studying literature or philosophy or mythology (stuff I like a lot more), I might only net n points. But, if I were to study trash with those m hours, I might net 2n points. Thus, the winning strategy is to study trash. However, I'll probably end up only using .3m hours on studying trash and .7m on stuff I like anyway. I just wanted to know what people thought the most effective way of studying trash would be.

EDIT: POST 666 :twisted:
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Tanay » Sun May 23, 2010 9:45 pm

Here's a pretty good ranking of great baseball players (based on statistical stuff), both current and retired:
http://www.baseball-reference.com/leade ... _ink.shtml
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by DrCongo » Sun May 23, 2010 9:54 pm

And you know what, there are always those intangibles like your favorite band coming up.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Sun May 23, 2010 10:42 pm

Listening to NPR everyday has gotten my the majority of current events tossups and bonuses throughout my career.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Unicolored Jay » Sun May 23, 2010 10:58 pm

Trying to study trash doesn't work for me. I can't remember anything I go over (and I go over common things, too). The only times i remember things are when I hear a song/play a game/watch a show/read sports articles many many times over.

As for Current Events, I don't specialize in it, but I do read Newsweek. It gives me an idea of things going on in the world.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by nobthehobbit » Sun May 23, 2010 10:59 pm

Wurzel-Flummery wrote:Listening to NPR everyday has gotten my the majority of current events tossups and bonuses throughout my career.
Yeah, paying regular attention to CBC.ca headlines has done the same for me (what few I get, anyway).

As for trash, there's not much you can do to predict what'll come up (unless you know a lot about the personal predilections of NAQT's writers), so take what you know and hope it comes up. Your payoff from studying things in which you already have an interest but may not know much about is likely far higher.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by TheKingInYellow » Mon May 24, 2010 8:29 am

Many internet browsers have a "Latest Headlines" bar... I frequently browse through those during school
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot » Mon May 24, 2010 4:47 pm

Studying for trash is sort of impossible. Either you're the sort of person who watches a lot of sports, sees a lot of movies, and listens to a lot of music, or you're not. To get really, really good at any trash subcategory, you sort of need to live the lifestyle. That means not only listening to music, but reading music reviews and stuff like that. NAQT trash sucks to learn about, because they really like awful music and bizarre consumer culture, so get ready to suffer through endless Justin Bieber. Listening to the radio is a good study strategy, because a day of Top 40 radio will stick the lyrics of every popular song in your head for the rest of eternity. Also, sports talk radio is a very good digest of the important stories of contemporary sports. As far as older sports go, I really enjoy reading biographies of athletes and teams. I've semi-recently read some on the 1986 Mets and the Dodgers. Older music is pretty tough, because the canon of "important" music gets huge. Unless you are already a fan of most classic rock bands, you just don't have enough time to learn anything about them that'll ever answer you a tossup, except at the very end.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Tanay » Tue May 25, 2010 12:58 pm

Watching The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are entertaining ways to learn tidbits about current events. I think most quizbowlers can differentiate between fact and sarcasm on those shows, so it's not a bad idea. Given the time constraints (only a few days until HSNCT), I would watch the weekly summaries of each show that I think you can find on their websites and skip the ten-minute interviews at the end of each actual show.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Duncan Idaho » Wed May 26, 2010 7:18 pm

Music questions frequently use clues about music videos for lead-ins. Watching music videos has (to my embarrassment) gotten me powers/first lines on things like "Blah Blah Blah" (MUT 2010), Ke$ha (custom HSAPQ trash) and "Girlfriend" on an old NAQT IS. I imagine this method of study would work quite well for Lady Gaga, since her videos tend to be rather wacky.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Smuttynose Island » Wed May 26, 2010 8:46 pm

In my opinion, studying for Trash is a lot like studying for anything else, except the media (no possible pun intended) is different. For instance, if you want to get good at Literature you read books, poems, learn about authors etc. If you want to get good at non-sports trash you listen to songs and you watch TV shows. If you want to get good at sports trash then you watch sports(specifically ESPN, SportsCenter is great for following sports) and you read books about the sport(For Baseball, if you have time and can find them at your local library, I'd recommend "The Golden Age of Baseball 1941-1964" as well as "Baseball, The Perfect Game: An All-Star Anthology Celebrating the Game's Great Players, Teams, And Moments"). In fact, studying Trash, especially music and TV related trash, can be easier than studying other areas, because you can study listen to music or watch TV while doing your homework.
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by Kwang the Ninja » Wed May 26, 2010 8:49 pm

Ben Cole wrote:Music questions frequently use clues about music videos for lead-ins. Watching music videos has (to my embarrassment) gotten me powers/first lines on things like "Blah Blah Blah" (MUT 2010), Ke$ha (custom HSAPQ trash) and "Girlfriend" on an old NAQT IS. I imagine this method of study would work quite well for Lady Gaga, since her videos tend to be rather wacky.
I'm pretty sure Kay has already seen most (all?) of Lady Gaga's videos.

PS: Is that word filter not on anymore?
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Re: Studying for Trash... if There Is Such a Thing

Post by jdeliverer » Wed May 26, 2010 8:54 pm

Watch the Lady Gaga Glee episode for a two-in-one.
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