VCU Open Discussion

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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by gaurav.kandlikar » Tue Aug 17, 2010 5:23 pm

8. One region within these structures contains modified smooth muscle cells called mesangial cells and octopus-like epithelial cells with many extensions, known as podocytes. Mammals and birds possess a deeply extending type of these structures which are surrounded by long capillaries called the vasa recta. A- and B-type natriuretic peptides act on a tightly packed region of cells within these structures, the (*) macula densa. Extra aquaporins are inserted into the distal portion of these structures in response to vasopressin, increasing their resorption of water. Renin is secreted by their juxtaglomerular apparatus. For 10 points, identify these structures comprised of subunits including the proximal and distal tubules, the glomerulus, and Bowman’s capsule, the smallest functional unit of the kidney.
ANSWER: nephrons
I buzzed in on this question at "mesangial cells" with "kidneys" and was negged. This didn't affect our game at all, but it's annoying to have that knowledge and get penalized for things because the writer didn't include an answer/promptable answer in the answer line. Also, maybe I have a weird sense of difficulty when it comes to things I know, but it seems like "vasa recta" and "natriuretic peptides" are dropped too early in this.

Other than this, I enjoyed the tournament.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by master15625 » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:29 pm

grapesmoker wrote: Also:
11. Pisano periods are concerned with repetitions in these entities, while the Gellin-Cesaro identity relates five members of this set. The divisibility of entities in this set by a prime p are related to the Legendre symbol of p over 5. According to Zeckendorf’s Theorem, every positive integer can be written as a sum of one or more distinct terms in this set. Yuri Matiyasevich used these entities to show that Hilbert’s Tenth Problem was unsolvable, and its generating function is the reciprocal of (*) 1-x-x squared. Explicit formulas for the members of this series include Binet’s Formula, while the number of ways to tile a 2 by n board with 1 by 2 dominoes helps explain its most famous characteristic. For 10 points, name these entities which satisfy the recurrence F sub n equals F sub n-1+F sub n-2, in which the ratio of consecutive terms is equal to the golden ratio and begins 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8.
ANSWER: Fibonacci numbers or Fibonacci sequence
I bold the part where I buzzed with "Diophantine equations" and was negged. I don't dispute the accuracy of the previous clues as applying to only Fibonacci numbers, but the bolded part is at least as true of Diophantine equations as it is of the Fibonacci numbers. I'm just going to point out that when you use a formulation like "Joe Blow used these things to show X" you'd better be sure that's uniquely identifying information; typically, "used" is a sufficiently vague term that it could and does often apply to multiple things.
Thanks very much for all your comments. I wrote that, and I completely understand why you would buzz in with Diophantine Equations at that clue. If I had been able to distinguish that might have added an extra half line, so it would've been better for me to leave that clue out; however, I thought that the clues in the previous sentences rule out Diophantine Equations, as they seem to be going for a class of numbers rather than equations, but I will avoid the confusion on future TUs.

Also, sorry for any confusion on "ratio of consecutive terms is equal to the golden ratio" if that confused anyone. I know that it is supposed to be approaches the golden ratio, but for some reason I forgot to write that.

I also did, for Sunday, factorial (which I felt could've been rearranged better) and Lagrange (which I felt had a jump in difficulty).
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:27 pm

This ruler allowed the Muscovy company to trade in Archangel and commissioned Saint Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow to celebrate his destruction of the Kazan Khanate. This ruler was close to his deaf and mute brother Iuri and his grandmother was Sophia Paleologue. The unruly Shuisky brothers dominated the early part of this son of Vasily III’s reign. After creating the streltsy, he made a state within a state that was operated by (*) oprichiniks, as well as setting up the zemsky sobor. He caused a miscarriage in his favorite son’s wife and then managed to accidently kill his son. For ten points, name this ruler of Russia that was succeeded by Boris Gudonov.
ANSWER: Ivan IV [accept Ivan the Terrible or Ivan Groznyi]
I think it was a poor decision to drop the clue about St. Basil's Cathedral in the second clue, as it seems to me that its one of Ivan the Terrible's most notable accomplishments, complete with a nice little anecdote regarding that accomplishment.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by cvdwightw » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:23 pm

Inkana7 wrote:
and his grandmother was Sophia Paleologue.
Thanks for bringing this question up, since there's something else in that question that I wanted to talk about (you can probably guess what it is from what I've quoted).

To me, ancestry/genealogy clues are really boring and I'm not sure who exactly benefits from them other than people who memorize royal family trees (actually good history players, thoughts?). This isn't to say that clues of the form "His mother was X" or "he married Y" are always a bad idea, but you better have a good reason for including them. For instance, the Sophia Palelogue clue wouldn't be out of place in an Ivan III tossup (since by marrying her, he attempted to legitimize Moscow as the center of the Orthodox peoples and a lot of the symbols of the Russian monarchy were brought over from the Byzantines through that marriage), but it's horribly out of place here (is there some sort of special relationship between Ivan IV and his grandmother that isn't being talked about in the question? If not, why is the clue there?). I guess the point of this is to re-emphasize the points hammered home in the geography discussion, which are:

1) Pick clues that are interesting and relevant to the answer's importance
2) Explain each clue's specific relevance to the answer's importance, even if that means cutting out other clues for length limits or dropping a clue further back in the question because its explanation gives too much away
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Ringil » Wed Aug 18, 2010 12:48 am

Inkana7 wrote: I think it was a poor decision to drop the clue about St. Basil's Cathedral in the second clue, as it seems to me that its one of Ivan the Terrible's most notable accomplishments, complete with a nice little anecdote regarding that accomplishment.
I wrote this question, and was unaware Saint Basil's Cathedral was so famous, especially without mentioning the part where he killed the architect. If I grossly misjudged, I'll try to improve next time.
cvdwightw wrote: Thanks for bringing this question up, since there's something else in that question that I wanted to talk about (you can probably guess what it is from what I've quoted).

To me, ancestry/genealogy clues are really boring and I'm not sure who exactly benefits from them other than people who memorize royal family trees (actually good history players, thoughts?). This isn't to say that clues of the form "His mother was X" or "he married Y" are always a bad idea, but you better have a good reason for including them. For instance, the Sophia Palelogue clue wouldn't be out of place in an Ivan III tossup (since by marrying her, he attempted to legitimize Moscow as the center of the Orthodox peoples and a lot of the symbols of the Russian monarchy were brought over from the Byzantines through that marriage), but it's horribly out of place here (is there some sort of special relationship between Ivan IV and his grandmother that isn't being talked about in the question? If not, why is the clue there?). I guess the point of this is to re-emphasize the points hammered home in the geography discussion, which are:

1) Pick clues that are interesting and relevant to the answer's importance
2) Explain each clue's specific relevance to the answer's importance, even if that means cutting out other clues for length limits or dropping a clue further back in the question because its explanation gives too much away
In regards to this question, I've always thought it was interesting Ivan IV was related to the Byzantines, through his grandmother, but I suppose its not actually that relevant to Ivan's life. I keep your suggestions in mind.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by itsthatoneguy » Wed Aug 18, 2010 1:09 pm

If anyone had any specific comments about the Fine Arts on either day, I would love to hear about it (email me or post here).

I know this is late, but I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this tournament. A special thanks to Evan, who did a ton of the editting and writing, Surya and Libo and Michael, for editting / re-writting a lot of the science.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:24 pm

Ringil wrote:In regards to this question, I've always thought it was interesting Ivan IV was related to the Byzantines, through his grandmother, but I suppose its not actually that relevant to Ivan's life. I keep your suggestions in mind.
I think such clues are interesting if they have context; for example, to reference another question in this set, Edward IV marrying Elizabeth Woodville was significant in that it ran contrary to what Richard Neville was trying to get him to do and precipitated a rift between them. So that's a significant fact about Edward IV. I'm sure the relationship to the Byzantines is relevant to Ivan in some way (actually, since Vladimir I's conversion the Russian rulers have had a long history of intermarriage with the Byzantines) but it wasn't entirely clear from the question. I don't think it's an egregious mistake or anything, maybe could have used some context though.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:30 pm

Oh, one thing I wanted to say about these two sets in particular, and as a general remark: just because something has a name (or you think it has a name) doesn't mean you need to ask about it. For example, a bonus part in one question asked about the "shell" method of finding the gravitational potential. I've never heard of any "shell" method even though the procedure described (essentially applying Gauss' law for gravity) is something you do in college freshman physics. There's no canonical name for this technique. Also, I'm somewhat annoyed by people doing things like asking for the name of Thor's belt and other minor mythological objects. Reality check: almost everything in Norse myth is named something. The vast majority of those objects are of trivial importance to the story and are mentioned only in passing. There's no reason to ask about Thor's belt because you could read the entire Eddas and not know it. It's a little like asking for the name of a character who only appears briefly in a Dickens novel or something. I wish people would stop doing this.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by itsthatoneguy » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:42 pm

grapesmoker wrote:Also, I'm somewhat annoyed by people doing things like asking for the name of Thor's belt and other minor mythological objects. Reality check: almost everything in Norse myth is named something. The vast majority of those objects are of trivial importance to the story and are mentioned only in passing. There's no reason to ask about Thor's belt because you could read the entire Eddas and not know it. It's a little like asking for the name of a character who only appears briefly in a Dickens novel or something. I wish people would stop doing this.
I wrote that Norse bonus. My bad.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Ringil » Wed Aug 18, 2010 5:06 pm

grapesmoker wrote:Oh, one thing I wanted to say about these two sets in particular, and as a general remark: just because something has a name (or you think it has a name) doesn't mean you need to ask about it. For example, a bonus part in one question asked about the "shell" method of finding the gravitational potential. I've never heard of any "shell" method even though the procedure described (essentially applying Gauss' law for gravity) is something you do in college freshman physics. There's no canonical name for this technique. Also, I'm somewhat annoyed by people doing things like asking for the name of Thor's belt and other minor mythological objects. Reality check: almost everything in Norse myth is named something. The vast majority of those objects are of trivial importance to the story and are mentioned only in passing. There's no reason to ask about Thor's belt because you could read the entire Eddas and not know it. It's a little like asking for the name of a character who only appears briefly in a Dickens novel or something. I wish people would stop doing this.
In my Physics AP class, we explicitly named the shell method. I guess I expected other people to have also heard of it, but was mistaken, again.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Aug 18, 2010 6:19 pm

Ringil wrote:In my Physics AP class, we explicitly named the shell method. I guess I expected other people to have also heard of it, but was mistaken, again.
I believe that. What I'm saying is that this is isn't a commonly used term. For example, I've heard the term "Gaussian pillbox" tossed around a lot, but it doesn't mean anything other than "apply Gauss' law to this rectangular region." It's not a concept that conveys any extra information and it totally wouldn't surprise me that it wouldn't be mentioned under this name in another class. Anyway, this is something that people obviously learn as time goes on and they write more and take more classes; it's not a catastrophic mistake but just something I would look out for in the future.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by alkrav112 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:13 pm

grapesmoker wrote:Oh, one thing I wanted to say about these two sets in particular, and as a general remark: just because something has a name (or you think it has a name) doesn't mean you need to ask about it. For example, a bonus part in one question asked about the "shell" method of finding the gravitational potential. I've never heard of any "shell" method even though the procedure described (essentially applying Gauss' law for gravity) is something you do in college freshman physics. There's no canonical name for this technique. Also, I'm somewhat annoyed by people doing things like asking for the name of Thor's belt and other minor mythological objects. Reality check: almost everything in Norse myth is named something. The vast majority of those objects are of trivial importance to the story and are mentioned only in passing. There's no reason to ask about Thor's belt because you could read the entire Eddas and not know it. It's a little like asking for the name of a character who only appears briefly in a Dickens novel or something. I wish people would stop doing this.
I wrote that Dickens question. My bad.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:56 am

alkrav112 wrote:I wrote that Dickens question. My bad.
Sorry, what?
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:18 am

grapesmoker wrote:
alkrav112 wrote:I wrote that Dickens question. My bad.
Sorry, what?
He must mean the one that was submitted for CO. I didn't mind that question, actually; Mrs. Joe (that's who it was on, right?) isn't an insignificant character in Great Expectations. It'd just have made more sense to write on a slightly more prominent figure.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Gautam » Thu Aug 19, 2010 8:37 am

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:
alkrav112 wrote:I wrote that Dickens question. My bad.
Sorry, what?
He must mean the one that was submitted for CO. I didn't mind that question, actually; Mrs. Joe (that's who it was on, right?) isn't an insignificant character in Great Expectations. It'd just have made more sense to write on a slightly more prominent figure.
A tossup on Biddy! Surely it must have been on Mrs. Havisham or something...
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Tanay » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:00 pm

grapesmoker wrote: It's a little like asking for the name of a character who only appears briefly
The tossup on the Orangedrink Lemondrink Man from Saturday's set seemed to fit this description. Close to everything from that tossup can be found within a few pages of The God of Small Things here, and there are at least four or five more important characters in that book. That same packet had a cool tossup on Redcrosse Knight, who's more notable within the book in which he appears and does more things, so the tossup avoids sounding like
13. This person is first encountered while sitting on an "electric blue foamleather car-sofa" because a "little man with the tickets" can't resist singing along to "an Elvis Pelvis nun"
and instead highlights things a character did that are significant to the plot and the work as a whole.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:03 pm

But...his name is "Orangedrink Lemondrink Man"!!
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by women, fire and dangerous things » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:15 pm

NoWayItsTanay wrote:The tossup on the Orangedrink Lemondrink Man from Saturday's set seemed to fit this description. Close to everything from that tossup can be found within a few pages of The God of Small Things here, and there are at least four or five more important characters in that book.
Yeah, that was a really bad idea. I mean, those who have read the book might convert it just because he has such a memorable name (I certainly would have, despite being terrible at remembering character names), but that's not a reason to toss something up.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:34 pm

The Quest for the Historical Mukherjesus wrote:But...his name is "Orangedrink Lemondrink Man"!!
I think major characters from works are obviously fair game, and even secondary characters from major works are fine. I have no familiarity with the OL Man, but if he really is just featured in a few pages, that's a really silly thing to write about.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:41 pm

The OL Man would have been a very good bonus part. Character tossups are kind of tricky to write because you have to choose a notable, important character, whose name is likely to be recalled, and also I suppose decide the tossup is better served asking about the character and not a specific work.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Matt Weiner » Thu Aug 19, 2010 2:51 pm

Two people told me that was the best tossup they'd heard all year. While the character only appears in two scenes, his name and his actions are discussed throughout the book. Also, it's a lot easier to remember his name than the name of any other character in the work, for obvious reasons.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Thu Aug 19, 2010 5:47 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:Two people told me that was the best tossup they'd heard all year.
So what? Also, that's crazy.
While the character only appears in two scenes, his name and his actions are discussed throughout the book. Also, it's a lot easier to remember his name than the name of any other character in the work, for obvious reasons.
I ask as someone who hasn't read the book, is he a major or minor character? Godot does not appear in Waiting for Godot but I don't think anyone would argue with a question on him. If this is a major character in the the sense that he appears in the book all the time (where by "appears" I don't mean directly participates in scenes but actually has his name appear in the book) then I guess it's fine. I'm not really invested in this specific question, to be honest; I'm just saying that minor characters tend to not make for particularly worthwhile or interesting questions.

Hey, this was a really good tournament, let me just remind people of that. Any tournament has a few off questions, which aren't by themselves worth dwelling on.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat » Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:22 pm

grapesmoker wrote: I ask as someone who hasn't read the book, is he a major or minor character? Godot does not appear in Waiting for Godot but I don't think anyone would argue with a question on him. If this is a major character in the the sense that he appears in the book all the time (where by "appears" I don't mean directly participates in scenes but actually has his name appear in the book) then I guess it's fine. I'm not really invested in this specific question, to be honest; I'm just saying that minor characters tend to not make for particularly worthwhile or interesting questions.
He is the subject of numerous flashbacks which haunt Estha for the rest of the book, making him an important character. Ammu, Velutha, Estha, Rahel, Sophie Mol, Chako, and Baby Kochamma all make more frequent appearances, but his is very memorable. In my memory of characters, he is slightly more memorable than Chako and Baby Kochamma, but less so than the others mentioned. However, the scene in which he appears is one of the 3-5 most memorable in the book.

Would I personally wouldn't write a tossup on him? No. Do I object to writing that one tossup on him? No. Are there enough clues about him that he will become a repeated answer line for tossups in hard tournaments? I highly doubt it, but he does make a good bonus part.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by alkrav112 » Fri Aug 20, 2010 8:57 am

Crazy Andy Watkins wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:
alkrav112 wrote:I wrote that Dickens question. My bad.
Sorry, what?
He must mean the one that was submitted for CO. I didn't mind that question, actually; Mrs. Joe (that's who it was on, right?) isn't an insignificant character in Great Expectations. It'd just have made more sense to write on a slightly more prominent figure.
Yes, this.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Auroni » Sun Aug 22, 2010 2:33 am

Though much of my skepticism about the Orangedrink Lemondrink Man question eroded since I first saw it on the answer sheet, I still think that the clues for it were essentially of the same difficulty, though specific quotes are always going to be harder. That difficulty capped off at "pretty hard for people that haven't actually read the book." How many rooms did this tossup go dead in?
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:30 am

every time i refresh i have a new name wrote:Though much of my skepticism about the Orangedrink Lemondrink Man question eroded since I first saw it on the answer sheet, I still think that the clues for it were essentially of the same difficulty, though specific quotes are always going to be harder. That difficulty capped off at "pretty hard for people that haven't actually read the book." How many rooms did this tossup go dead in?
It went dead in our room, but someone had buzzed in with "Lemonade man" or "Lemondrink man" (I can't remember which), was prompted, and couldn't come up with the correct name.

Edit: Spelling
Last edited by Rufous-capped Thornbill on Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:29 am

I wasn't too crazy about the tossup on the Generals of Alexander the Great. First of all, I don't think I've ever heard the term Diadochi before. A search through the archives reveals it's come up only in a pretty limited fashion. Second, I think it's a really big stretch to call these people a "group". I'd be surprised if these people ever self identified as being "Diadochi". Instead, it just seems like some historical term applied after the fact (and a pretty generic one at that--apparently it comes from the Greek for "successors"). Was anyone able to buzz early on this tossup?

For what it's worth the two CS questions we heard (Trees and Pointers) both produced immediate buzzer races. I guess you can make the argument that stronger than usual CS players were playing these tossups and should be buzzing early, but I don't think this phenomenon was regularly happening for people who were super strong in other areas (i.e. I'd be surprised if economic buffs were all eating up the first line of the few economics tossups in this tournament).
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Rufous-capped Thornbill » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:50 am

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:I wasn't too crazy about the tossup on the Generals of Alexander the Great. First of all, I don't think I've ever heard the term Diadochi before. A search through the archives reveals it's come up only in a pretty limited fashion. Second, I think it's a really big stretch to call these people a "group". I'd be surprised if these people ever self identified as being "Diadochi". Instead, it just seems like some historical term applied after the fact (and a pretty generic one at that--apparently it comes from the Greek for "successors"). Was anyone able to buzz early on this tossup?
The Diadochi are fairly important in ancient history, and I've seen that term come up frequently in my reading. Seeing as they took over Alexander's empire and formed separate empires themselves, I'd say they're pretty significant. And aren't most terms given to things in history after the fact?

Jacob Durst got that tossup towards the middle of the question, I could have gotten it around there too had I been able to remember the term Diadochi, despite reading about it two days prior.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by women, fire and dangerous things » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:56 am

I've frequently heard them referred to as the Diadochi, and the wars of succession are frequently called the Wars of the Diadochi too. It's an important topic, and I'm glad it was tossed up.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun Aug 22, 2010 1:16 pm

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:I wasn't too crazy about the tossup on the Generals of Alexander the Great. First of all, I don't think I've ever heard the term Diadochi before. A search through the archives reveals it's come up only in a pretty limited fashion. Second, I think it's a really big stretch to call these people a "group". I'd be surprised if these people ever self identified as being "Diadochi". Instead, it just seems like some historical term applied after the fact (and a pretty generic one at that--apparently it comes from the Greek for "successors"). Was anyone able to buzz early on this tossup?
Bruce got it pretty early. Diadochi is a pretty well-known term--the answer line could have used a "Prompt on...," but I think the question was fine. It's debatable whether that should be a tossup at an NSC-level event, but it turned out fine for the kind of field playing these questions.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Sun Aug 22, 2010 3:03 pm

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:I wasn't too crazy about the tossup on the Generals of Alexander the Great. First of all, I don't think I've ever heard the term Diadochi before. A search through the archives reveals it's come up only in a pretty limited fashion. Second, I think it's a really big stretch to call these people a "group". I'd be surprised if these people ever self identified as being "Diadochi". Instead, it just seems like some historical term applied after the fact (and a pretty generic one at that--apparently it comes from the Greek for "successors"). Was anyone able to buzz early on this tossup?
Gonna join with all the others and say that I've frequently heard this term used. Anyway, the generals of Alexander are a fairly well-defined group (just as much as, say, Napoleon's marshalls), so even if this term didn't exist (and it does) this wouldn't really be a problem. I probably didn't buzz as soon as Bruce did, but I remember getting this question somewhere in the middle.
For what it's worth the two CS questions we heard (Trees and Pointers) both produced immediate buzzer races. I guess you can make the argument that stronger than usual CS players were playing these tossups and should be buzzing early, but I don't think this phenomenon was regularly happening for people who were super strong in other areas (i.e. I'd be surprised if economic buffs were all eating up the first line of the few economics tossups in this tournament).
The CS questions were not so hot, keeping with the general theme of half the science questions in this set.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:08 pm

Was "Generals of Alexander the Great" or "Successors of Alexander the Great" acceptable?

There's no question that "Diadochi" is an accepted term that's used in the history books and has come up in countless questions. Sometimes, I've heard the term used in quizbowl in ways that I'm uncomfortable or unfamiliar with; for instance, I seem to recall a "Wars of the Diadochi" common-link tossup that used clues about the Syrian Wars between the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties, wars that took place several generations after Alexander the Great between rulers who were NOT generals or direct successors of Alexander and who might not be considered diadochi themselves (but who fit the literal definition of "person who wears a diadem" and who are descendants of the diadochi). I personally was confused by this tossup because they were describing things that, in my head, are NOT diadoch wars.

I guess the point is that some things are not universally considered "things" by everybody in quizbowl, or aren't considered things to the same extent. When you're making an answer line of questionable reification, consider putting in as many alternative answers as possible or being as generous as you can with what's underlined/required.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:10 pm

Morraine Man wrote:When you're making an answer line, consider putting in as many alternative answers as possible or being as generous as you can with what's underlined/required.
Fixed. Now if only we could tattoo this motto on the retinas of every quizbowl writer and editor in existence.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:18 pm

Also, random complaint about alternative answers: sometimes I see people write the Russian names of things in cyrillic font. This strikes me as completely useless. 99% of moderators cannot read cyrillic, and thus if a player answers in Russian they will be unable to tell if the answer is correct. Unless, I suppose, the player buzzes in and then scribbles down the answer in Russian and hands it to the moderator (all in 5 seconds).

I may or may not have also seen this done with Chinese, Hebrew, and Sanskrit; perhaps those were just nightmares I had.

This is probably because noted common quizbowl source Wikipedia annoyingly lists the native-language names of things in the native alphabet, and thus if you're using Wikipedia to find the alternative names of things you are stuck with an alphabet that you probably can't read. One day, when I have infinite time, I might edit all of Wikipedia to include a Latin alphabet transliteration, but until then the best solution (short of finding a transliteration elsewhere) is to just find the Wikipedia page about that alphabet and do a transliteration yourself.

But by including Cyrillic, Hebrew, Devangari, or other non-Latin scripts in your answer line, you're helping nobody. In fact, you might be crashing somebody's text viewing software or causing an online question database to choke.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by bmcke » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:07 pm

noted common quizbowl source Wikipedia wrote:A Gurdwara is also referred to as a Sikh temple.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:45 pm

Apparently, Bruce is reading my mind regarding quizbowl orthography today.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:56 pm

Morraine Man wrote:Also, random complaint about alternative answers: sometimes I see people write the Russian names of things in cyrillic font. This strikes me as completely useless. 99% of moderators cannot read cyrillic, and thus if a player answers in Russian they will be unable to tell if the answer is correct. Unless, I suppose, the player buzzes in and then scribbles down the answer in Russian and hands it to the moderator (all in 5 seconds).

I may or may not have also seen this done with Chinese, Hebrew, and Sanskrit; perhaps those were just nightmares I had.

This is probably because noted common quizbowl source Wikipedia annoyingly lists the native-language names of things in the native alphabet, and thus if you're using Wikipedia to find the alternative names of things you are stuck with an alphabet that you probably can't read. One day, when I have infinite time, I might edit all of Wikipedia to include a Latin alphabet transliteration, but until then the best solution (short of finding a transliteration elsewhere) is to just find the Wikipedia page about that alphabet and do a transliteration yourself.

But by including Cyrillic, Hebrew, Devangari, or other non-Latin scripts in your answer line, you're helping nobody. In fact, you might be crashing somebody's text viewing software or causing an online question database to choke.
There are several useful transliteration tools online. For Cyrillic, this one is good.
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Re: VCU Open Discussion

Post by Ringil » Tue Aug 24, 2010 1:59 am

Morraine Man wrote:Was "Generals of Alexander the Great" or "Successors of Alexander the Great" acceptable?

There's no question that "Diadochi" is an accepted term that's used in the history books and has come up in countless questions. Sometimes, I've heard the term used in quizbowl in ways that I'm uncomfortable or unfamiliar with; for instance, I seem to recall a "Wars of the Diadochi" common-link tossup that used clues about the Syrian Wars between the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties, wars that took place several generations after Alexander the Great between rulers who were NOT generals or direct successors of Alexander and who might not be considered diadochi themselves (but who fit the literal definition of "person who wears a diadem" and who are descendants of the diadochi). I personally was confused by this tossup because they were describing things that, in my head, are NOT diadoch wars.

I guess the point is that some things are not universally considered "things" by everybody in quizbowl, or aren't considered things to the same extent. When you're making an answer line of questionable reification, consider putting in as many alternative answers as possible or being as generous as you can with what's underlined/required.
I wrote that question, and I didn't make those acceptable, but I should have. I also tried to keep that question limited to the immediate successors of Alexander and their immediate descendants. I don't think the stuff mentioned in my tossup were too far removed from Alexander.
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