2013 ICT DII specific question discussion

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setht
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2013 ICT DII specific question discussion

Post by setht »

Here's a thread for discussion (and posting, if needed/wanted) of specific questions in the DII set.

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Re: DII specific question discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

The CE question on South Carolina had a leadin that was way too easy. A lot of people know who Elizabeth Colbert Busch is because that election has been one of the bigger political stories this year and has been covered (too) extensively by news outlets like MSNBC. The Stephen Colbert connection also means that she's well-known to a lot more people considering his show appeals to a lot of people (like at least one of my teammates) who don't know much about the politics of South Carolina and probably don't even know anything about more important SC politicians like Nikki Haley or Tim Scott.
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Re: DII specific question discussion

Post by Important Bird Area »

DII ICT round 5 wrote:Elizabeth Colbert Busch is contesting this state's congressional seat that was vacated by chain reaction when one of its U.S. senators resigned to take over the Heritage Foundation; that senate seat was filled by the only current black Republican senator, (*) Tim Scott. Scott's old seat will likely be contested by former Appalachian Trail-enthusiast Mark Sanford. For 10 points--name this state governed by Nikki Haley.
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Re: DII specific question discussion

Post by pleasewalkforward »

The tossup on "Jewish men" had at least some clues that applied to women, if I remember correctly--e.g. Jewish women immerse in a mikvah as part of the conversion process.
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Re: DII specific question discussion

Post by Important Bird Area »

DII ICT round 9 wrote:If one of these people disappears, another person may become agunah. They give an object of value in erusin, and becoming one can require the giving of a drop of blood and a mikvah immersion. Some of them are "redeemed" from a priest in the (*) pidyon ha-ben ceremony for five shekels. For 10 points--name these people who, at eight days of age, have a bris in which they are circumcised, and at age 13 celebrate bar mitzvah.

answer: _Jewish men_ or _Jewish man_ (accept equivalents that mention _male_ness and _Judaism_, including _Jewish husband_s or similar; prompt on "Jew" or "Jewish person" or "man" or "husband" or similar partial answers)
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Re: DII specific question discussion

Post by ValenciaQBowl »

The CE question on South Carolina had a leadin that was way too easy.
I certainly agree with this. It was answered in my room as soon as I read "this state," and a Valencia player told me our opponent buzzed literally as soon as "Elizabeth Colbert Busch" was read, as he didn't even get to hear the question noun. But that was a smart risk by whoever did that.
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Re: DII specific question discussion

Post by jonah »

pleasewalkforward wrote:The tossup on "Jewish men" had at least some clues that applied to women, if I remember correctly--e.g. Jewish women immerse in a mikvah as part of the conversion process.
They do not, however, give a drop of blood (or undergo circumcision if they had not already); that was a sort of "compound clue", and it was intentional that the drop of blood bit came first. I'm pretty certain that there's no way to construe any other clues as applying to women (the wife of the disappearer is called agunah, the woman receives the object of value in erusin, pidyon ha-ben only applies to firstborn males, women are not circumcised, and women have a bat mitzvah rather than a bar mitzvah), but please let me know if you disagree.
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Re: DII specific question discussion

Post by jonpin »

bt_green_warbler wrote:
DII ICT round 5 wrote:Elizabeth Colbert Busch is contesting this state's congressional seat that was vacated by chain reaction when one of its U.S. senators resigned to take over the Heritage Foundation; that senate seat was filled by the only current black Republican senator, (*) Tim Scott. Scott's old seat will likely be contested by former Appalachian Trail-enthusiast Mark Sanford. For 10 points--name this state governed by Nikki Haley.
So this question, being D-II, is not one that I read but it's a better example than any I can remember by heart (as I don't have access to the questions at this point) of something I mentioned in IRC: it seemed like there were a significant number of mocking or negative references to conservative/Republican politicians. I wish I had the D-I set that I'd read so I could post a couple more examples, but it seemed like they were not necessary and not particularly professional. In regards to the bolded clue, better phrases could include "a governor who resigned after an affair" or "former disgraced governor" (admittedly not unique nationwide by itself), or something else. Also, I don't know the exact drop-dead time on editing (I know there were clues in some questions that referenced April 2013), but "likely" was out-of-date: Sanford had won the nomination nearly two weeks before the tournament on April 2.
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Re: DII specific question discussion

Post by Holla! »

jonpin wrote:So this question, being D-II, is not one that I read but it's a better example than any I can remember by heart (as I don't have access to the questions at this point) of something I mentioned in IRC: it seemed like there were a significant number of mocking or negative references to conservative/Republican politicians.
As the person who wrote this original question (my apologies about its apparently too-easy difficulty; looking back, I'm inclined to agree with you), I can tell you that this was edited in and not the original submission.
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Re: DII specific question discussion

Post by Rococo A Go Go »

I'm as liberal as they come, but I've always that quizbowl CE questions tend to be a bit too sympathetic to liberals over conservatives. I know it's hard not to poke fun at our elephant counterparts, but this is something we should probably not do when writing questions.
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Re: DII specific question discussion

Post by mtimmons »

Given that Sanford seems to be best known for "hiking" the Appalachian Trail I don't think it is unreasonable that the question mentions it. I won't claim that the current phrasing is best but it's definitely more descriptive than disgraced former governor. Also if I recall correctly the bonus part on Ben Nelson described him as a current senator which is several months out of date.
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Re: DII specific question discussion

Post by Kyle »

I am the person who is responsible for subject-editing the current events at this level. But, the night before the tournament went to press, I passed on the responsibility for the editing to another editor who very helpfully volunteered to do the conversions from D1 to D2, which had piled up. He ended up subject editing a couple of other questions rather than waiting for R to line up the remaining D1 questions for conversion (which, I believe, would have finished off the set), and, well, I am torn between being gratified that you have so easily managed to spot the questions I didn't edit and being horrified that I didn't realize what was happening in time to fix them.

One thing that must be said at the outset is that NAQT writers submit considerably more questions about Republicans than Democrats. If you take out questions about policies made by cabinet departments (which are necessarily questions about Democrats as long as a Democratic president is in office), then I would venture to guess that there are four times as many submitted questions about Republicans as about Democrats. Why this is the case I am not sure. I tried to maintain a balance in D1, but even so there are still more questions about Republicans. There are even more questions about Republicans which did not make the set. As in, lots and lots and lots and lots.

Republicans, if you don't mind my saying so, are so given to doing and saying absolutely idiotic things that a question that catalogs their record of idiotic things done and said will sometimes appear to be mocking them. In fact, this was never the intention. I have looked back over the D1 current events this morning, and I am quite confident in saying that none of the questions there says anything inappropriate about a political figure of either party. The only question which is sort of borderline is a tossup on Michele Bachmann, which I was uneasy with having in the set in the first place, but which is actually a rather dispassionate catalog of stupid and/or corrupt things she has said or done of late. To my unending consternation, she continues to be an important and influential political figure, and thus a worthy subject of a tossup, and such a tossup has to focus on what she has said and done, and I have actually gone out of my way to make sure that this tossup has not been worded in a flippant manner. I'm serious about that.

Now, with that said, I believe that I was the one to add the "Appalachian Trail-enthusiast" clue. I didn't go over the entire question properly, which was not a good idea because I definitely would have put a different lead-in and I like to think I would have noticed that Sanford has secured the nomination. I just chanced across the question because it appeared too short, and so I wanted to add a clue about who Sanford was before mentioning his name to fill it out. Constrained by the character limit, I went for economy of language, and, voila, we got "Appalachian Trail-enthusiast." In my defense, that does very much invoke in your mind a memory who the man is and what he is most famous for.

As it happens, there are inevitably many, many politicians in the US whom any current events question writer or editor does not like. Yet, short of having one editor for the Republican questions and another for the Democratic questions, one editor has to deal with both sides. There are cases where a person with whom you disagree deserves to be treated with a certain amount of respect (I would refer you to the very respectful and appropriate tossup on Jeb Bush). And then, on the other hand, there are the perpetrators of the most audacious sex scandals. If you are a family-values conservative and you abandon your office and lie that you are going hiking on the Appalachian Trail but actually fly to Argentina to see your mistress, and if you then only a few years later decide that you are going to make a comeback and ask for people's votes once again, still presenting yourself as a family-values conservative, well, then, the occasional flippant description of you in a character-limited quizbowl tossup is the least of your problems.
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