2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussion

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2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussion

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat Jan 24, 2015 9:16 pm

If you would like to see a specific question for the set, or point out issues with, errata in, ideological scruples with, etc. a SPECIFIC question/questions in the set, please do so here. Big packet-by-packet critique-athons of particular questions sort of straddle the line between this and the general thread, but in general I'd encourage you to err on the side of putting those here even if your many critiques highlight one general trend.

EDIT: I'd like to set the further ground rule that requests for questions to be posted should be accompanied with some reason why seeing that question will be conducive to discussion; e.g. "cna u post tossup on violas" is not going to impel me to paste said tossup, but "Can you please post the tossup on violas here? One of those clues, made me very clearly think the answer was 'theremin' -- the clue about it having a solo in some piece, maybe?" is more along the lines of what I'll reply to.

I have also pre-spun off threads on science and music due to the tendency of talk about those categories to push out other discussion in past threads. Other editors or players should feel free to start other threads beyond tvis initial set of four if they feel that the current threads do not address their needs
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:30 am

Can you post the Pure Land bonus? I was confused when I played that question because, to my recollection, the first part asked for "Pure Land" by saying "this place." To my understanding there are multiple Pure Lands and the question seemed to want a specific place, so I gave the answer "Shambhala" because it was the only specific Pure Land I could think of. Am I misunderstanding something, and should I have been given points? Also, I gave the answer "nembutsu/nianfo" for the third part and it wasn't accepted until I explained the actual action; were these not included as alternative answers?

Notwithstanding the fact that most questions were solid, there were definitely few tossups I thought were duds - namely, the tossups on "mothers" in social science, "students" in French history (rather played-out as well, in my opinion), and "Etruscans" (dropped Italian names early). What did other people think of these questions?
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by cruzeiro » Sun Jan 25, 2015 9:33 am

Erratum: The bonus on Brazil/Brazilian cuisine referred to provinces of Brazil; Brazil has had states since 1889.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:58 am

Could I see the TUs on "wheel" and "vulture", please? I negged early on both and I think the wording may have been unclear.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by vinteuil » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:08 pm

I think a prompt needs to be added to the bonus part on FFT; I answered with "discrete Fourier transform," expecting to be prompted, and was told that it says to only prompt on just "Fourier transform."

Also, the tossup on "Yippee ki-yay, motherfucker!"—I think it went from something outside of the movies straight into the climactic scene of Live Free or Die Hard, although maybe that's not a problem (I didn't even realize there had been ANOTHER one after that, so I thought it was the most recent movie in the series).
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Jan 25, 2015 12:31 pm

Pure Land: The implication was that it's "the pure land of Amitabha Buddha," which to my knowledge/research is the one looked towards by the eponymous sect; some of its alternate names were listed:
Georgia Tech wrote:17. People born in this place emerge from lotus flowers rather than being born from women. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this blissful place presided over by Amitabha Buddha, and revered by the White Lotus Society.
ANSWER: the Pure Land [or Jingtu; or Jodo; or Jeongto; or Tịnh Độ]
[10] Pure Land Buddhism is a subset of this sect of Buddhism whose name means "Great Vehicle." It's typically
considered less old than Theravada.
ANSWER: Mahayana Buddhism
[10] The monk Honen taught that doing this action frequently with complete conviction and mindfulness was the
only requirement for being reborn in the Pure Land. Some critics think it's awfully easy to do this.
ANSWER: recite the name of Amitabha Buddha [or recite the Buddha’s name; or saying Namu Amida Butsu;
accept obvious equivalents such as chanting the name of Amitabha Buddha; prompt on answers such as "reciting,"
"praying," "chanting," "meditation," or "mantra"]
Not uncovering "nembutsu"/"nianfo" is probably the fault of consulting rather cursory sources when I touched this up (it didn't mention Honen's name until I edited it, for example), though perhaps the first of those is a contraction of "Namu...Butsu"?

Wheels n' vultures:
Penn+Louisville+Waterloo B wrote:2. On some thangka wall-hangings, Yama holds one of these objects with a pig, a snake, and a rooster representing
"three poisons" of bad attitude within it. Marpa and Milarepa began the practice of using horizontally-oriented
examples of these objects, engraved with the mantra "Om mani padme hum," in Tibetan Buddhist prayer. As
Vishnu's other hands hold a conch, a lotus, and a mace, his upper-right hand holds a weaponized one of these
objects. A Jain symbol shows a hand surrounding one. In Alexandria, one of these implements was intended to break
St. Catherine, but she broke it with a touch. One of these with eight sectors is a common representation of dharma in
South Asian faiths. For 10 points, name these objects which allow chariots representing Jagganath to roll.
ANSWER: wheels [or discus; prompt on "circle"]
Bellarmine+ColumbiaB+ULL wrote:7. Some Vajrayana Buddhists consider these real-world creatures to be Dakini, a type of angelic psychopomp.
They are propitiated at buildings made of three concentric stone circles of varying height. In a ritual meant to satisfy
these creatures, a master known as a rogyapa uses a slicing knife during readings from the Tibetan Book of the
Dead. On a peak named for these creatures near Ramnagar, the Heart Sutra and Lotus Sutra were delivered by the
Buddha. When not shown as an eagle, Garuda’s brother Jatayu is one of these creatures, whose recent chemicalcaused
extinction around Mumbai has threatened the use of dakhmas there by Parsis. For 10 points, name these birds
which come to Tibetan "sky-burials" and Zoroastrian Towers of Silence to eat decomposing corpses.
ANSWER: vultures [prompt on "birds"]
Note: Things that are just underlined above were actually bolded and underlined in the real set.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Wynaut » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:11 pm

vinteuil wrote:I think a prompt needs to be added to the bonus part on FFT; I answered with "discrete Fourier transform," expecting to be prompted, and was told that it says to only prompt on just "Fourier transform."
On that note, can I see the bonus with "fast Fourier transform" in it? We were prompted on "Fourier transform" as well (we did eventually get it), but I thought I heard some synonym of "fast" in the bonus text.

Also, what category was the tossup on Georgia (country)? I got it on the leadin and I want to know how the rest of the TU would have played out. Other clues about Colchis, maybe?
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Jan 25, 2015 1:51 pm

Cape Fear wrote:
vinteuil wrote:I think a prompt needs to be added to the bonus part on FFT; I answered with "discrete Fourier transform," expecting to be prompted, and was told that it says to only prompt on just "Fourier transform."
On that note, can I see the bonus with "fast Fourier transform" in it? We were prompted on "Fourier transform" as well (we did eventually get it), but I thought I heard some synonym of "fast" in the bonus text.

Also, what category was the tossup on Georgia (country)? I got it on the leadin and I want to know how the rest of the TU would have played out. Other clues about Colchis, maybe?
Bonus:
Chattahoochee+ColumbiaB+TorontoB wrote:11 This operation can be performed in big-O of n to the log-base-2 of 3, by Karatsuba’s algorithm for two integers
of length n. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this binary operation which is commutative for real and complex numbers, but not commutative for
matrices. It can be understood as adding a number to itself repeatedly.
ANSWER: multiplication [or multiplying; or taking the product]
[10] Although multiplying two matrices of dimension n naively takes n cubed time, this algorithm computes the
product in big-O of n to the log-base-2 of 7. The time savings come from having to compute 7 products instead of 8
in each recursive step.
ANSWER: Strassen's algorithm
[10] With Arnold Schonhage, Volker Strassen also names a method for the fast multiplication of two n-digit integers
which recursively uses this algorithm. This algorithm, which is often used for fast convolutions, computes a discrete
transform between time and frequency domains.
ANSWER: fast Fourier transform [or FFT; prompt on "Fourier transform"]
It does in fact say "fast" twice, which is subpar and my bad since I was the final proofreader. (I did manage to excise the word "fast" from the quicksort bonus part, to my credit...)



The tossup on Georgia (country) was a Geography/Your Choice submission, written and edited in keeping with the new "Interesting Geography" (TM) paradigm. More on how that played out in my impending megapost.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by dxdtdemon » Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:05 pm

What category was the Permian tossup supposed to be in. I was surprised that something as famous as the Permian Basin was alluded to in the leadin.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:17 pm

cwRsync wrote:What category was the Permian tossup supposed to be in. I was surprised that something as famous as the Permian Basin was alluded to in the leadin.
Other Science, specifically geology/earth science.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Jan 25, 2015 2:19 pm

I guess my answer is ruled wrong by the fact that Amitabha Buddha does not preside over Shambhala, and Shambhala's identification as a Pure Land has as much to do with folklore as actual religious doctrine; I probably ought to do a bit more reading on this.
Not uncovering "nembutsu"/"nianfo" is probably the fault of consulting rather cursory sources when I touched this up (it didn't mention Honen's name until I edited it, for example), though perhaps the first of those is a contraction of "Namu...Butsu"?
"Namu Amida Butsu" is what you actually say if you're a Pure Land Buddhist speaking Japanese; "nembutsu" is a name for the action. "Butsu" is the word for Buddha in either case, but the character read as "nem" (idea, thought, mind) is unrelated to Sanskrit "namu" (name). It's similar to how "takbir" is used to refer to saying "Allahu Akbar."

Also, on the wheel question: one of the players on NYU B gave the answer "chakra" for "wheel" and it wasn't accepted by the moderator, which kind of sucked because that word means "wheel" and is incredibly common in religious usage.

I submitted the Georgia question and am glad you liked it, Kenji! (Plus, that's a super insane buzz you had) The other clues were about food customs, traditional costumes, and some later clues about major rivers and ports. I made a strong effort to make it an "Interesting Geography" question, since I like geography as a quizbowl subject a lot, and I think this movement is key to keeping the subject around instead of having it be eschewed because, really, a lot of old geography questions would justify the category being eschewed.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by The Stately Rhododendron » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:42 pm

In the wheel TU, the mural mentioned in the first line is a really common tibetan mural of the "wheel of existence." What Manu holds in it is that "wheel", or chakra. However, it's also a mandala, a 2-d representation of the universe. What Marpa and Milarepa use is a horizontal wheel, but it's also a mandala. I buzzed in at "Marpa" with "mandala" and I think that should be prompted, at least.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Corry » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:46 pm

May I see the tossup on 1890? I really didn't enjoy this particular question, since it was on a year that didn't seem to have any particular significance (as opposed to a presidential election year or something like that). To me, it seemed to reward memorizing random years from Wikipedia rather than actually knowing significant facts. A few people I talked to at my site had the same complaints. For instance, I knew that the Edmunds-Tucker Act (second line, I think?) was an anti-Mormon bill passed sometime in the 1880s, but who really cares when it was specifically upheld in the Supreme Court?

Otherwise, I thought the history was pretty good overall in this set. I also liked the geography. As a person who has never read an atlas in his life, I enjoyed how most of the questions emphasized interesting historical and cultural facts rather than, say, miscellaneous reservoirs and minor creeks.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:55 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Also, on the wheel question: one of the players on NYU B gave the answer "chakra" for "wheel" and it wasn't accepted by the moderator, which kind of sucked because that word means "wheel" and is incredibly common in religious usage.
This is true and fair and I would have accepted that answer if I were reading. It couldn't have hurt to put it in the answer line, an oversight for which I apologize.

I am less sure that Tibetan prayer wheels constitute "mandalas" (certainly at least in Western sources on Tibetan Buddhism, that term usually refers to the circular sand paintings they make)(though perhaps they contain them upon further investigation?) but I suppose I could have been lenient and accepted an answer of "mandalas" on the first sentence.

Re: 1890: 1890 has a lot of significance, as hopefully the question made clear!:
MarylandA+Minnesota wrote:5. In January of this calendar year, Democrats who stayed silent in the House chamber were first counted as present
against their will to thwart the "disappearing quorum" tactic. The Supreme Court upheld the Edmunds-Tucker Act in
this year, in which delegates went home from the first International Conference of American States in DC. In this
year, Herman Hollerith lent punch card readers to the first automatically tabulated U.S. Census, which announced
the closure of the frontier. Midterm elections in this year voted out Speaker Thomas Reed's Billion-Dollar Congress,
which passed the Sherman Silver Purchase and Anti-Trust Acts in this year. For 10 points, what year of Benjamin
Harrison's presidency, in which the Wounded Knee massacre took place, began a so-called "Gay" decade?
ANSWER: 1890 CE
I'll admit (this was an editors' question) that there isn't really anything "organic" linking any particular clue to the next, but I figured enough interesting and noteworthy things happened in this year to make it worth asking about on its own. Certainly foremost among those from a "this is something academics talk about and isn't remotely Wikipedia-y" standpoint, the closure of the frontier is an event which I learned about for real in AP US History, and which American history surveys mention as a moment of profound psychological impact for the nation (it prompted Frederick Jackson Turner to write up his frontier thesis almost immediately afterward, for one thing). The upholding of "an anti-Mormon bill" isn't arbitrary at all -- it led to the revelation that polygamy would be banned from the then-President of the LDS Church, which cleared the way for Utah's statehood and the eventual acceptance of the Mormons' legitimacy by the U.S. government. The Hollerith census story is an important episode in the history of computation and government efficiency (his success on this front allowed him to start up what became IBM). The leadin is about what "Czar Reed," whose name is dropped later in the tossup, did to make the Speaker of the House a powerful office. I hope I don't have to explain to you why the Sherman acts or Wounded Knee matter. I also deliberately helped minimize the "randomness" factor of a specific year by tapering down to a year which had to end in 0 (via the census clue) and a non-Presidential election year (through specifying "midterm elections"). This question is still vulnerable to the criticism that it didn't, or perhaps couldn't, show any of the above importances within the question text itself, and perhaps I should have cut a clue to embellish more what makes these things significant rather than random. And if I did that I might not have to have posted the above now!

I realize there's something of a split in actual history education over how much "micro-chronology" and the memorizing of dates should matter; in the classroom, it is sort of frowned upon as something that schoolboys used to have to do back in the day as more of a regurgitation of fact than an instillment of significance. And I have a stronger mind for dates than average, which may skew my perspective towards thinking these questions are more gettable than they are. But I think it's fair, within a quizbowl history distribution, to sprinkle in a bit of "do you know WHEN these things actually occurred" in as one of the many forms of knowledge the game can reward. (Elsewhere in the set I created a Mexican history question on the "1910s".) You're right that the dates chosen really need to be of intrinsic or major significance when doing so.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by yeah viv talk nah » Sun Jan 25, 2015 4:45 pm

EDIT: Wow, just realized how pretentious my original comment was, sorry about that.
Last edited by yeah viv talk nah on Sun Jan 25, 2015 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: General non-specific thoughts and discus

Post by yeah viv talk nah » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:03 pm

Could I please see the bonus on a certain Vedic god? I didn't catch the god's name.

Also, I personally felt that the bonus that went Daksha/Chandra/Kama, even though I got all of them, was too difficult compared to the rest of the Hindu mythology in the set. I'm not sure what the "easy" part of that bonus is supposed to be, and it'd be interesting to see the nationwide conversion stats for that bonus. However, I could be completely misjudging the difficulty, since this was my first college-level tournament.

Overall, I really enjoyed the Hindu mythology; it was very well-written and completely accurate. Same with the set as a whole!
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Re: 2015 Regionals: General non-specific thoughts and discus

Post by Pilgrim » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:08 pm

crash bandicoot wrote:Also, I personally felt that the bonus that went Daksha/Chandra/Kama, even though I got all of them, was too difficult compared to the rest of the Hindu mythology in the set. I'm not sure what the "easy" part of that bonus is supposed to be, and it'd be interesting to see the nationwide conversion stats for that bonus. However, I could be completely misjudging the difficulty, since this was my first college-level tournament.
Kama was the easy part, because people know about the sutra. It's quite possible that we needed to directly reference that, though.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:12 pm

crash bandicoot wrote:Could I please see the bonus on a certain Vedic god? I didn't catch the god's name.

Also, I personally felt that the bonus that went Daksha/Chandra/Kama, even though I got all of them, was too difficult compared to the rest of the Hindu mythology in the set. I'm not sure what the "easy" part of that bonus is supposed to be, and it'd be interesting to see the nationwide conversion stats for that bonus. However, I could be completely misjudging the difficulty, since this was my first college-level tournament.

Overall, I really enjoyed the Hindu mythology; it was very well-written and completely accurate. Same with the set as a whole!
Vedic god bonus request from general thread:
DartmouthA wrote:7. Answer the following about the Vedic god Tvastr, a craftsman god who gave all beings form, for 10 points each.
[10] According to the Mahabharata, Tvastr created this creature to get revenge on the killer of his son Trisiras. This
primordial creature, which blocked off the waters of the world, is killed with a weapon made from Dadhichi's bones.
ANSWER: Vritra [or Vrtra; or Vitra; or Ahi Vitra]
[10] Indra, the killer of Tvastr’s son Trisiras, was a deity of this natural phenomenon, which he wielded as Vajra.
Zeus frequently used this natural phenomenon to dispose of people he didn’t like.
ANSWER: lightning [accept thunder even though that’s not quite the same; accept lightning bolts]
[10] Tvastr’s daughter Saranyu married this Hindu deity of the sun, who rides in a chariot pulled by seven horses
around the celestial Mount Meru every day.
ANSWER: Surya [or Aditya]
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Re: 2015 Regionals: General non-specific thoughts and discus

Post by jmarvin_ » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:17 pm

This was mistakenly posted here, and was actually intended to go in the specific questions thread.
Last edited by jmarvin_ on Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:19 pm

For what it's worth, I think the Mexico question on the 1910s was a very good idea, since that decade was super super super important in Mexican history.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: General non-specific thoughts and discus

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:20 pm

jmarvin_ wrote:Could I see the tossup on "students?" My teammate buzzed in on the first clue with "members of the White Rose movement," and ended up marking the answer for protest (with MIT A's support, I believe), and it may be worth editing the answerline to accept at that point, depending on what the question actually said. I know nothing about the topic or what the tossup was talking about at that point, but my teammate was very sure of himself.

Also, could I see the tossup on "Ezekiel?" I buzzed in on the clue about cooking bread over human excrement, but it sounded like the question was saying he actually did it- in Ezekiel he is only instructed to cook food over human excrement, and, after he complains, the text says he was allowed to use animal dung instead. This may've just been a case of buzzing in before this issue is clarified.
You should probably post this in the specific question discussion thread.

EDIT: mods should delete this post, its purpose has been served
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by jmarvin_ » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:23 pm

Could I see the tossup on "students?" My teammate buzzed in on the first clue with "members of the White Rose movement," and ended up marking the answer for protest (with MIT A's support, I believe), and it may be worth editing the answerline to accept at that point, depending on what the question actually said. I know nothing about the topic or what the tossup was talking about at that point, but my teammate was very sure of himself.

Also, could I see the tossup on "Ezekiel?" I buzzed in on the clue about cooking bread over human excrement, but it sounded like the question was saying he actually did it- in Ezekiel he is only instructed to cook food over human excrement, and, after he complains, the text says he was allowed to use animal dung instead. This may've just been a case of buzzing in before this issue is clarified.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Corry » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:26 pm

Matthew Jackson wrote:Re: 1890: 1890 has a lot of significance, as hopefully the question made clear!:
MarylandA+Minnesota wrote:5. In January of this calendar year, Democrats who stayed silent in the House chamber were first counted as present
against their will to thwart the "disappearing quorum" tactic. The Supreme Court upheld the Edmunds-Tucker Act in
this year, in which delegates went home from the first International Conference of American States in DC. In this
year, Herman Hollerith lent punch card readers to the first automatically tabulated U.S. Census, which announced
the closure of the frontier. Midterm elections in this year voted out Speaker Thomas Reed's Billion-Dollar Congress,
which passed the Sherman Silver Purchase and Anti-Trust Acts in this year. For 10 points, what year of Benjamin
Harrison's presidency, in which the Wounded Knee massacre took place, began a so-called "Gay" decade?
ANSWER: 1890 CE
I'll admit (this was an editors' question) that there isn't really anything "organic" linking any particular clue to the next, but I figured enough interesting and noteworthy things happened in this year to make it worth asking about on its own. Certainly foremost among those from a "this is something academics talk about and isn't remotely Wikipedia-y" standpoint, the closure of the frontier is an event which I learned about for real in AP US History, and which American history surveys mention as a moment of profound psychological impact for the nation (it prompted Frederick Jackson Turner to write up his frontier thesis almost immediately afterward, for one thing). The upholding of "an anti-Mormon bill" isn't arbitrary at all -- it led to the revelation that polygamy would be banned from the then-President of the LDS Church, which cleared the way for Utah's statehood and the eventual acceptance of the Mormons' legitimacy by the U.S. government. The Hollerith census story is an important episode in the history of computation and government efficiency (his success on this front allowed him to start up what became IBM). The leadin is about what "Czar Reed," whose name is dropped later in the tossup, did to make the Speaker of the House a powerful office. I hope I don't have to explain to you why the Sherman acts or Wounded Knee matter. I also deliberately helped minimize the "randomness" factor of a specific year by tapering down to a year which had to end in 0 (via the census clue) and a non-Presidential election year (through specifying "midterm elections"). This question is still vulnerable to the criticism that it didn't, or perhaps couldn't, show any of the above importances within the question text itself, and perhaps I should have cut a clue to embellish more what makes these things significant rather than random. And if I did that I might not have to have posted the above now!

I realize there's something of a split in actual history education over how much "micro-chronology" and the memorizing of dates should matter; in the classroom, it is sort of frowned upon as something that schoolboys used to have to do back in the day as more of a regurgitation of fact than an instillment of significance. And I have a stronger mind for dates than average, which may skew my perspective towards thinking these questions are more gettable than they are. But I think it's fair, within a quizbowl history distribution, to sprinkle in a bit of "do you know WHEN these things actually occurred" in as one of the many forms of knowledge the game can reward. (Elsewhere in the set I created a Mexican history question on the "1910s".) You're right that the dates chosen really need to be of intrinsic or major significance when doing so.
I totally agree that all of the clues in this tossup were important. However, I believe that the specific year in which they occurred was not. My problem here is that I actually knew the first two clues in this tossup. I knew that Thomas Reed ended the disappearing quorum technique. I also knew that the Edmund-Tuckers Act laid the foundations for Utah's statehood. And yeah, I was aware that they both occurred sometime in the late 1800s era. But why does it matter that either thing occurred specifically in 1890? Knowing the specific year doesn't forward my understanding of either fact, or the era as a whole. That's what frustrated me about this tossup; I had the knowledge, but I still couldn't get the question because of the way the answer line was chosen.

Also, I'm somewhat more okay with decade tossups; I second-lined the tossup on the 1910s, and I certainly felt rewarded for knowledge when I did. So if this 1890 tossup had been structured as "at the beginning of this decade, etc...", I wouldn't have complained.

(Of course, even decades tossups aren't always perfect. The farther back in history you go, the harder asking for a specific decade becomes. I'd personally draw the line at 1800.)
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Bloodwych » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:42 pm

Can you post the question on "German"? Thanks!
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sun Jan 25, 2015 5:43 pm

jmarvin_ wrote:Could I see the tossup on "students?" My teammate buzzed in on the first clue with "members of the White Rose movement," and ended up marking the answer for protest (with MIT A's support, I believe), and it may be worth editing the answerline to accept at that point, depending on what the question actually said. I know nothing about the topic or what the tossup was talking about at that point, but my teammate was very sure of himself.

Also, could I see the tossup on "Ezekiel?" I buzzed in on the clue about cooking bread over human excrement, but it sounded like the question was saying he actually did it- in Ezekiel he is only instructed to cook food over human excrement, and, after he complains, the text says he was allowed to use animal dung instead. This may've just been a case of buzzing in before this issue is clarified.
UCSD+Michigan wrote:7. Though Kurt Huber wasn't one, he joined people of this sort at the guillotine after a sentence by Roland Freisler,
came down on Christoph Probst and Hans Scholl. During the 22 March Movement, Daniel Cohn-Bendit led these
people in occupying a building in Nanterre. People of this sort spread leaflets against the Nazis as part of the White
Rose group, and were benefitted with a free but secular service by the Jules Ferry laws. These people made up the
Burschenschaften, which were dissolved in the Carlsbad Decrees after one of them named Carl Sand murdered the
writer August von Kotzebue. Charles de Gaulle's administration nearly fell when a group of these people launched
the May 1968 protests in France. For 10 points, name these people who go to places like the Sorbonne to learn.
ANSWER: university students [accept University of Munich students during the first sentence]
The leadin of the students tossup is indeed about the White Rose movement. Though the question begins with "Though Kurt Huber [the professor who ring-led the group] wasn't one", so as to narrow down to what sort of social role the students occupy, I nonetheless think it's well within moderator discretion to accept "White Rose movement" outright on that first sentence, since that answer demonstrates clear knowledge of the only clue that has been read out to that point. I apologize again that my general zeal for comprehensive answer lines did not prevail in this instance. It's also worth noting that it's hard to summarize what students are in a phrase of the form "these _____"; I remember the last high-profile tossup with this answer line (at KABO 2012) got lots of flak for saying "members of this profession," which I tried to avoid here.
Georgia Tech wrote:15. It's not Habakkuk, but the story of this man is read as Haftarah on Shavuot. This man, who relates that he spent
time along the Chebar river, uses human excrement as the fuel to cook his food while lying on his side for 430 days.
Merkabah mysticism is based on an image from this man's accounts, which include a war launched against the land
of Magog by the eponymous prince of Gog. This Biblical character sees the faces of men, lions, eagles, and oxen
surrounding the throne of God on God's chariot, and has a vision of "wheels turning inside of wheels" before he is
told to breathe life into a group of reanimated bodies in the "valley of dry bones". For 10 points, name this Old
Testament prophet whose namesake book comes before Hosea and after the Lamentations attributed to Jeremiah.
ANSWER: Ezekiel [or the Book of Ezekiel]
The Ezekiel clue does indeed have the factual error you point out, which is entirely my fault as editor and for which I have no excuses. I'll add "is told to" or "blanches at" or something before the set is cleared for use at practices in the indefinite future.

Deutsch, ja:
DartmouthA wrote:18. A treatise in this language discusses the rise of science in the section "The Discovery of the World and of Man"
and argues that a certain period involved the beginning of self-conscious, calculated government in "The State as a
Work of Art." Another book in this language examines the "fear of being touched," uses the memoirs of a judge with
dementia to connect ruling and paranoia, and seeks to explain why "packets" of people follow despots. This language
was used to write The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy as well as Crowds and Power. A treatise in this
language explains how a "reserve army of labor" counters the tendency of profits to fall over time, and argues that
"commodity fetishism" characterizes modern society. For 10 points, name this original language of Das Kapital.
ANSWER: German [or Deutsch]
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Cody » Mon Jan 26, 2015 1:24 am

Matthew Jackson wrote:
Chattahoochee+ColumbiaB+TorontoB wrote:11 This operation can be performed in big-O of n to the log-base-2 of 3, by Karatsuba’s algorithm for two integers
of length n. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this binary operation which is commutative for real and complex numbers, but not commutative for
matrices. It can be understood as adding a number to itself repeatedly.
ANSWER: multiplication [or multiplying; or taking the product]
[10] Although multiplying two matrices of dimension n naively takes n cubed time, this algorithm computes the
product in big-O of n to the log-base-2 of 7. The time savings come from having to compute 7 products instead of 8
in each recursive step.
ANSWER: Strassen's algorithm
[10] With Arnold Schonhage, Volker Strassen also names a method for the fast multiplication of two n-digit integers
which recursively uses this algorithm. This algorithm, which is often used for fast convolutions, computes a discrete
transform between time and frequency domains.
ANSWER: fast Fourier transform [or FFT; prompt on "Fourier transform"]
As a general point, quizbowl should stop prompting on Fourier transform when referring to things like the DFT or the FFT. The term "Fourier transform" is exclusively used to refer to transforming a continuous time function to a continuous function in the frequency domain and is just wrong. I'll also note that the fast Fourier transform refers to a class of methods implementing the DFT "fast". It thus refers to a grouping of algorithms rather than being a singular algorithm itself. Discrete Fourier transform/DFT should be prompted.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Guile Island » Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:27 am

Could I see the psychology tossup on parents? I buzzed pretty early when they were talking about Ainsworth's Strange Situation and was rather bamboozled by the early placement of a thing I went over pretty extensively in high school AP Psychology. Can anybody else attest to how this tossup got played in their games?
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Mnemosyne » Mon Jan 26, 2015 9:58 am

Can I see the anthropology bonus on Marvin Harris? I gave myself a huge quiz bowl crash course on anthropology this week and was shocked that apparently one of the few anthropologists I didn't study came up.

EDIT: Also, the trickster gods bonus you mentioned in the other thread. I think that was from my submission, and I'd like to see how it ended up.
Last edited by Mnemosyne on Mon Jan 26, 2015 6:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Jem Casey » Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:11 am

Could I see the "massacres" tu, please? That was the only tossup in this set that didn't work for me on a conceptual level--perhaps my perspective on history is overly bloodthirsty, but the phenomenon of people killing unarmed people sadly seems too ubiquitous to deserve a question, anymore than "riots" or "Supreme Court cases" would. Thanks!
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Jan 26, 2015 2:40 pm

Just as a heads-up I'll next be able to do a big post-dump of requested questions around 9 or 10 PM tonight, at which point I'll respond to the inquiries made up till then. I'll probably continue by responding to new post requests about once daily thereafter. Thanks for your patience.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by dxdtdemon » Mon Jan 26, 2015 3:56 pm

Could I please see the "Permian" tossup? I was just wondering if the first clue was misplaced as it seemed to lead to buzzer races at a tournament site over 1000 miles away from the Permian Basin.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by vinteuil » Mon Jan 26, 2015 7:06 pm

Could I see the tossup on "zero"? It mentioned something in biblical Hebrew grammar that I've only ever seen (note: I've only seen it in Kittle/Hoffer/Wright) called the "construct form."

EDIT: Pursuant to the other thread, I thought that The Possessed was far too early for Dostoyevsky, and The Island for Fugard. Sorry if I made it sound like a huge systematic game-deciding problem!
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Jan 26, 2015 11:44 pm

Empirical evidence for Philip Larkin's hypothesis:
Chattahoochee+ColumbiaB+TorontoB wrote:11. Reactions to unresponsive examples of these figures were studied in Edward Tronick's still-face experiments.
One of these figures is moved into and out of a room in Mary Ainsworth's "strange situation" procedure. An
experiment found that a drumming toy bear elicited a higher emotionality score in animals in the absence of one of
these figures. One scientist discovered that mallards will treat farmyard ducks, but not muscovy ducks, as one of
these. Due to "contact comfort," cloth is more effective than wire mesh for creating replacements of them for rhesus
macaques. Konrad Lorenz found that, in the critical period, greylag goslings can become attached to a substitute for
one via imprinting. For 10 points, name these relatives, which Harry Harlow's experiments replaced with milkdispensing
surrogates.
ANSWER: mothers [or parents; accept surrogate mothers or surrogate parents before "surrogates" is read]
^That clue may have been a line or two early, and perhaps it's easier than the Harlow description immediately following it, but it doesn't seem that egregiously off to me. For what this piece of additional anecdotal evidence is worth, I also took AP Psych and the course never mentioned Ainsworth at all. I'm fine with "experiments that some AP Psych classes, but not all, choose to go into in-depth, and which some skip outright" being a source of second-line buzzes at regular difficulty.

Marvin Harris, who hasn't become a huge fixture in old quizbowl anthropologist questions but is salient enough in reality to merit a hard part at this tournament:
UGA+OSU+Editors1 wrote:13. This thinker argues that India's veneration of sacred cows can be rationally explained as a response to ecological
pressures, in particular the usefulness of cattle as draft animals in agriculture. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this American anthropologist, who used his method of "cultural materialism" in studies like Cows, Pigs,
Wars, and Witches and Cannibals and Kings.
ANSWER: Marvin Harris
[10] Harris explained the periodic warfare of this Amazon rainforest tribe as a response to scarcity of protein, thus
disagreeing with Napoleon Chagnon's claim that these "fierce people" are innately aggressive.
ANSWER: Yanomamo [or Yanomami]
[10] Harris criticized this foundational anthropologist and his students for using "historical particularism" and
abandoning theory. This author of The Mind of Primitive Man taught Alfred Kroeber and Margaret Mead.
ANSWER: Franz Boas
The Permian era, about which I have nothing major to say that Sriram couldn't explain or justify better:
LATech+Hopkins+RIT wrote:10. A sedimentary basin named for this period in western Texas has the world’s thickest deposits dating from here.
Its latter part involved the upward rifting of the Cimmerian subcontinent, an event that formed the Neo-Tethys sea.
Swamp-loving lycopod trees were gradually replaced in continental interiors by advanced species of seed ferns and
conifers in this period. Olson’s extinction is a small event that occurred is in the middle of this period. By the end of
this period, dicynodonts and gorgonopsians dominated terrestrial fauna. The supercontinent Pangea existed
throughout this period, which the Siberian traps may have ended. The Carboniferous period preceded, for 10 points,
what last geologic period of the Paleozoic, which ended with a massive extinction event that ushered in the Triassic?
ANSWER: Permian period
^That clue may well have been sub-optimally early.

Tricksters:
LATech+HopkinsA+RIT wrote:10. In Native American myth, this role is exemplified by culture heroes like Coyote, who stole fire for mankind, and
Raven, who released the sun, moon, and stars. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this common archetype from myth of a cunning figure who causes mischief by outwitting others. A
common example is the Norse god Loki.
ANSWER: trickster figures [or trickster heroes; accept trickster gods, even though they aren't always necessarily
gods; prompt on "culture hero"]
[10] This trickster hero caught the sun with a lasso made of his sister’s hair and beat it with the jawbone of his greatgrandmother.
He died crawling into the sleeping Hina when she woke up and crushed him between her legs.
ANSWER: Maui
[10] This Yoruban trickster and messenger orisha once posed as a trader and tricked a man with two wives into
buying nicer and nicer hats for each of them. In Santería, there are 101 different "roads" to manifestations of him.
ANSWER: Eshu [or Esu; or Exu; or Eleggua; prompt on "Legba" or "Elegba"]
Massacres:
IllinoisA+OttawaA wrote:20. One of these events was partly caused by Alexander Rigby’s diversion of resources to his siege of Lathom
House and took place at Bolton during the English Civil War. Another of these events occurred under the pretense
that the MacDonald clan was too slow in pledging allegiance to William and Mary, but was motivated by its rivalry
with the Campbells. The sister of Sweyn Forkbeard may have died during one of these events that was motivated by
tributes and Danish raids against the English. In addition to ones named for Glencoe and St. Brice’s Day, an event of
this type occurred after a speech by Henry Hunt at a Manchester gathering in protest of poor economic conditions
caused by the Corn Laws. For 10 points, name these violent events that include one called Peterloo.
ANSWER: massacres of civilians [accept stormings of cities before "MacDonald"; accept any answer indicating
that many civilians are being killed in a short period of time]
^If I had to go back and do this tournament over, I think your (Jordan's) criticism holds a lot of weight.

Zero in linguistics:
Bellarmine+ColumbiaA+ULL wrote:19. In Proto-Indo-European studies, this kind of ablaut contrasts with both the "e-grade" and "o-grade" varieties. In
English syntax, this form of complementizer is inherent to the sentence "I think they like me." This type of
"derivation" is exemplified by using a noun such as "pen" as a verb, as in "I penned it." In the Chomsky hierarchy,
unrestricted grammars are also called "Type-[this]". Arabic and Hebrew use this type of copula in sentences lacking
a word for "to be." In linguistics, this term also denotes an inferred word or part of speech that isn’t outwardly
expressed. For 10 points, identify this number word which the Mayans wrote as a shell glyph before medieval
Europeans started using it in calculations.
ANSWER: zero [or null; or 0; or zero-grade ablaut; or zero conjunction; or zero complementizer; or zero
derivation; or Type-0 grammars; or zero copula; accept any of the above answers with null in place of "zero"]
I'm pretty sure you just misheard something or are wrong, and I don't see how the clue as I wrote it could possibly invite the answer "construct form". As far as I know, the "construct form" is a way of marking possession by adding a suffix meaning "of" to the thing being possessed, rather than by using a genitive case or apostrophe-s type thing on the posseessor. In this instance, "zero copula" refers to a hypothesized syntactic thing in sentences like whatever "I happy" or "He professor of Suburban Studies" are in Hebrew/Arabic without explicitly including a copula, i.e. some form of the word "is," to link subject and predicate. Arabic and Hebrew (and I meant the modern standard forms of both, which I probably should have been clearer about) allow sentences of that sort, as far as I can tell, whereas the sentences I just typed in the prestige dialect of American English look very weird without "am" and "is" in them, respectively.
BrownA+Washington+NotreDameA wrote:8. In a play by this man, one title character counts the bruises caused by the other title character, who accuses her of
looking behind her to find a dog on the road. This author also wrote a play in which two men stage an impromptu
performance of Sophocles' Antigone after getting off their shifts as prison workers. This man created a teenager who
debates the idea of a "Man of Magnitude" to aid his composition for an English class, as well two campers who take
in an old man who does not speak English. A third play by this author of Boesman and Lena and The Island takes
place just as the title antagonist’s father is coming home from the hospital, which prompts him to be cruel to Sam
and Willie, his black servants. For 10 points, name this South African playwright of "Master Harold"...and the Boys.
ANSWER: Harold Athol Lanigan Fugard
PennA+Louisville+WaterlooB wrote:20. This author discarded a chapter describing a confession of rape to Bishop Tikhon from a novel that includes the
inadvertent hiring of a convict to kill a man’s handicapped wife, whom he had married on a dare. In that novel by
this man, a rebel group fears that the member with access to a printing press will betray them, so another man agrees
to sign a note taking responsibility for his murder before killing himself. This author wrote of the suicides of
Verkhovensky's men Kirilov and Stavrogin in his novel The Possessed. The servant Grigory tutors an epileptic
lackey in his novel about the drunken murder victim Fyodor Pavlovich, his bastard son Smerdyakov, and his
legitimate sons Dmitri, Ivan, and Alyosha. For 10 points, name this Russian author of The Brothers Karamazov.
ANSWER: Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky
Re: Dostoevsky and Fugard: In both of these tossups, there are no titles dropped until late in the fifth line, after many sentences of description, including the most basic summary of each of those works' contents. Is that really too early for you as a matter of principle?
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by vinteuil » Tue Jan 27, 2015 12:10 am

Matthew Jackson wrote: Zero in linguistics:
Bellarmine+ColumbiaA+ULL wrote:19. In Proto-Indo-European studies, this kind of ablaut contrasts with both the "e-grade" and "o-grade" varieties. In
English syntax, this form of complementizer is inherent to the sentence "I think they like me." This type of
"derivation" is exemplified by using a noun such as "pen" as a verb, as in "I penned it." In the Chomsky hierarchy,
unrestricted grammars are also called "Type-[this]". Arabic and Hebrew use this type of copula in sentences lacking
a word for "to be." In linguistics, this term also denotes an inferred word or part of speech that isn’t outwardly
expressed. For 10 points, identify this number word which the Mayans wrote as a shell glyph before medieval
Europeans started using it in calculations.
ANSWER: zero [or null; or 0; or zero-grade ablaut; or zero conjunction; or zero complementizer; or zero
derivation; or Type-0 grammars; or zero copula; accept any of the above answers with null in place of "zero"]
I'm pretty sure you just misheard something or are wrong, and I don't see how the clue as I wrote it could possibly invite the answer "construct form". As far as I know, the "construct form" is a way of marking possession by adding a suffix meaning "of" to the thing being possessed, rather than by using a genitive case or apostrophe-s type thing on the posseessor. In this instance, "zero copula" refers to a hypothesized syntactic thing in sentences like whatever "I happy" or "He professor of Suburban Studies" are in Hebrew/Arabic without explicitly including a copula, i.e. some form of the word "is," to link subject and predicate. Arabic and Hebrew (and I meant the modern standard forms of both, which I probably should have been clearer about) allow sentences of that sort, as far as I can tell, whereas the sentences I just typed in the prestige dialect of American English look very weird without "am" and "is" in them, respectively.
I indeed misheard this clue, sorry! [Sidebar: I'm sure this is a real thing in linguistics, but I learned the "to be" construction as "noun sentence"; I'm not sure anyone learning the language would learn this name for it—and I'm sure that's not a valid criticism of a linguistics (i.e. not language-learning) tossup].
Matthew Jackson wrote:
BrownA+Washington+NotreDameA wrote:8. In a play by this man, one title character counts the bruises caused by the other title character, who accuses her of
looking behind her to find a dog on the road. This author also wrote a play in which two men stage an impromptu
performance of Sophocles' Antigone after getting off their shifts as prison workers. This man created a teenager who
debates the idea of a "Man of Magnitude" to aid his composition for an English class, as well two campers who take
in an old man who does not speak English. A third play by this author of Boesman and Lena and The Island takes
place just as the title antagonist’s father is coming home from the hospital, which prompts him to be cruel to Sam
and Willie, his black servants. For 10 points, name this South African playwright of "Master Harold"...and the Boys.
ANSWER: Harold Athol Lanigan Fugard
PennA+Louisville+WaterlooB wrote:20. This author discarded a chapter describing a confession of rape to Bishop Tikhon from a novel that includes the
inadvertent hiring of a convict to kill a man’s handicapped wife, whom he had married on a dare. In that novel by
this man, a rebel group fears that the member with access to a printing press will betray them, so another man agrees
to sign a note taking responsibility for his murder before killing himself. This author wrote of the suicides of
Verkhovensky's men Kirilov and Stavrogin in his novel The Possessed. The servant Grigory tutors an epileptic
lackey in his novel about the drunken murder victim Fyodor Pavlovich, his bastard son Smerdyakov, and his
legitimate sons Dmitri, Ivan, and Alyosha. For 10 points, name this Russian author of The Brothers Karamazov.
ANSWER: Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky
Re: Dostoevsky and Fugard: In both of these tossups, there are no titles dropped until late in the fifth line, after many sentences of description, including the most basic summary of each of those works' contents. Is that really too early for you as a matter of principle?
Equally embarassingly, I must have hallucinated the beginning of the title The Island after the plot description in the second sentence; I'll retract that.

With an author as famous as Dostoyevsky, though, I do actually think that the title of The Possessed is more famous than the first half of the next sentence (until "Fyodor"). Again, sorry if I made it sound like I thought this was a huge negative, or that I disliked the literature questions in this tournament.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by at your pleasure » Tue Jan 27, 2015 1:15 pm

vinteuil wrote:
Matthew Jackson wrote: Zero in linguistics:




I indeed misheard this clue, sorry! [Sidebar: I'm sure this is a real thing in linguistics, but I learned the "to be" construction as "noun sentence"; I'm not sure anyone learning the language would learn this name for it—and I'm sure that's not a valid criticism of a linguistics (i.e. not language-learning) tossup].
I think this is just one of those things where "what grammarians call something in a given language" is different from "technical name in linguistics for a given phenomona", like "germanic strong verbs" versus "ablaut".
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Jan 27, 2015 2:38 pm

vinteuil wrote:Equally embarassingly, I must have hallucinated the beginning of the title The Island after the plot description in the second sentence; I'll retract that.
All I remember is you buzzing and saying, "Yeah, it's Fugard" about midway through the tossup. This was in no way a buzzer race.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by aseem.keyal » Tue Jan 27, 2015 7:45 pm

Could I see the visual art tossup on "squares"? I vaguely remember being confused about the answer they were looking for (I think the question asked for "these objects") until my teammate buzzed midway, but the tossup seemed to incorporate some interesting clues, like the work of Ellsworth Kelly, if I remember correctly.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:12 pm

aseem.keyal wrote:Could I see the visual art tossup on "squares"? I vaguely remember being confused about the answer they were looking for (I think the question asked for "these objects") until my teammate buzzed midway, but the tossup seemed to incorporate some interesting clues, like the work of Ellsworth Kelly, if I remember correctly.
PennB+HSers+Editors wrote:10. Agnes Martin’s paintings are almost exclusively canvases of these objects scaled to 6’ and filled with varying
grids. In one work, a red one of these objects is stretched slightly to represent a peasant woman in two dimensions.
Much of Ellsworth Kelly’s work consists of random arrangements of these objects made from colored paper, such as
in his Spectrum of Colors Arranged by Chance. While at Yale, one artist made hundreds of color-interaction studies
by nesting these objects within each other; that series is Homage to [these] by Josef Albers. Holding these shapes to
be the "first step of pure creation," Kazimir Malevich created a painting consisting entirely of a black one and
showed a different one tilted slightly in White on White. For 10 points, name these four-sided regular polygons.
ANSWER: squares [prompt on "quadrilaterals"]
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:19 pm

Personally, I thought that tossup was pretty transparent in that it was obviously asking for some kind of shape. Once things got to Color Field clues, it seemed pretty logical to just buzz with "square" (they did some circles, but most Color Field paintings that I've seen are squares). I guess you have to figure that out and know Ellsworth Kelly is a Color Field painter, though.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by gyre and gimble » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:48 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:Personally, I thought that tossup was pretty transparent in that it was obviously asking for some kind of shape. Once things got to Color Field clues, it seemed pretty logical to just buzz with "square" (they did some circles, but most Color Field paintings that I've seen are squares). I guess you have to figure that out and know Ellsworth Kelly is a Color Field painter, though.
I think you're misunderstanding color field painting a bit. Mark Rothko, the most famous color field painter, for example, did not do squares. Barnett Newman, another color field painter, is much better known for stripes than squares. And those are the two people I can think of who are even associated with specific shapes in their work.

Besides, the Ellsworth Kelly clue was supposed to reward you if you've seen one of Ellsworth Kelly's best-known paintings, so if you knew even more stuff about him and buzzed I don't see why that's an issue. For reference, this is what one of those looks like.

Re: "massacres," which I'm responsible for (and not Matt Jackson), it hadn't occurred to me that it might be a particularly boring answerline to play because massacres aren't an independently important thing. I still don't feel that way and probably would have had fun playing that question myself. This may have been just me not being in touch with how other people view history. That said, was there something especially problematic with the playability of that question? All of the clues referred to events that are, as far as I know, exclusively called "the ____ Massacre" so I think if you knew what a clue was referring to there shouldn't have been a hesitation to buzz. Did a lot of people really stop and think, "Wait I know this thing, but there's no way they're gonna toss up massacres right?" Just trying to understand the criticism here, i.e. whether it's about the novelty of the answerline or about the playability of the question.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Jan 27, 2015 9:58 pm

Upon further reflection, I guess I am misunderstanding some color field paintings. It did seem pretty obvious that the question wanted some sort of shape, though.

I didn't play that "massacres" question, though I did play the "kidnappings" and "students" questions. The former seemed fine in general (maybe Skorzeny was a bit early, but I blanked on which of his things that one was) but the latter was pretty groan-worthy (modern French people stirring up a ruckus! ambiguous referents!)

EDIT: Matt, could you post the bonus on early Arabian mythology? I had no clue what was supposed to be the medium part, but I'm guessing it was the "ghul" part I missed, which I'd like to see. I'm guessing the logic was that they crop up in modern fantasy games a lot, but I wouldn't think a ton of people (including me, until this weekend) were familiar with the origin of the word 'ghoul.'
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by peachykeen » Mon Feb 09, 2015 6:24 pm

Hey can I see the flag question? The first clue was about the March of the Flag and the second was about the Soiling of Old Glory
I answered flagpole after the clue on the photograph because it said a black lawyer was being attacked with one of these objects, iirc, and he is being attacked with the flagpole in the photo, rather than the flag, but I may have misheard. Thanks!
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Mon Feb 09, 2015 7:44 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:I didn't play that "massacres" question, though I did play the "kidnappings" and "students" questions. The former seemed fine in general (maybe Skorzeny was a bit early, but I blanked on which of his things that one was) but the latter was pretty groan-worthy (modern French people stirring up a ruckus! ambiguous referents!)
The discussion about "massacres" et al. is going pretty well and I don't have much to add except that I think both Jordan and Stephen have good positions staked out. Will, I once again encourage you to think a bit more about how much of this line of complaint is a problem with the question and how much is merely that you are a good history player with a lot of experience playing quizbowl questions. My general position on complaints of the form "x question was easy to think through to the answer on" is that they often just reduce to "I knew the answer"; if you are catching on to the fact that there are "ambiguous referents" about events occurring (not exclusively) in 20th-century France, you're not going to suss out the answer unless you already know about the role students play in postwar French history, and have a hefty dose of playing skill besides.
EDIT: Matt, could you post the bonus on early Arabian mythology? I had no clue what was supposed to be the medium part, but I'm guessing it was the "ghul" part I missed, which I'd like to see. I'm guessing the logic was that they crop up in modern fantasy games a lot, but I wouldn't think a ton of people (including me, until this weekend) were familiar with the origin of the word 'ghoul.'
Here you go. This was a myth bonus with a hefty "religious history/practice" focus to the first part:
GeorgiaTech wrote:13. Muhammad removed a statue to this god from the Kaaba after the Battle of Badr. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this moon god of the ancient Arabians. Statues of this god frequently show him performing divination
using arrows, one of which allegedly pointed to the Prophet Muhammad’s father, Abdullah.
ANSWER: Hubal
[10] Arabian mythology also includes many stories of these spirits which were given free will by Allah, who made
them out of fire. They don’t actually grant wishes.
ANSWER: djinn [or djinni; or genies]
[10] In Arabian tales, these usually-female monsters hang out in deserts and do dastardly stuff like lead travelers to
their deaths. A spurious translation of Arabian Nights is the likely origin for stories in which they live in graveyards
and eat corpses.
ANSWER: ghouls [or ghul]
I'm open to critiques that this was too Real to be suitable for Regionals.
peachykeen wrote:Hey can I see the flag question? The first clue was about the March of the Flag and the second was about the Soiling of Old Glory
I answered flagpole after the clue on the photograph because it said a black lawyer was being attacked with one of these objects, iirc, and he is being attacked with the flagpole in the photo, rather than the flag, but I may have misheard. Thanks!
ChicagoA+MaggieWalker+YaleA wrote:15. The "March of" this object titled a rabidly imperialist campaign speech by Indiana senator Albert Beveridge
after the Spanish-American War. A photograph of a white anti-busing protestor in Boston using one of these objects
to attack a black lawyer earned Stanley Forman a Pulitzer Prize. The phrase "Does the Constitution follow [this
object]?" is a common summary of the Insular Cases which arose from the occupied Philippines and Puerto Rico.
"Expressive conduct" with one of these objects outside the 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas was
protected in the case Texas v. Johnson. This object appears on Mount Suribachi with five soldiers in Joe Rosenthal's
photo of Iwo Jima. For 10 points, name this symbolic object to which American school children pledge allegiance.
ANSWER: American flag [or the stars and stripes; or Old Glory]
This was an editors' question and it was one that I'm not particularly enthused about after the fact. From a why-is-this-important perspective, an answer of "flagpole" sort of misses the point, as it were, since the critical point made by the photograph is that attacking with a flagpole that has an American flag affixed to it in the name of inequality is hypocritical at best. It's also not the case that Beveridge's oration was about a flagpole. From a gameplay perspective it might have made sense to prompt on "flagpole" since that is the thing doing the impending damage in Forman's photo (it's not like the intent was to smother the victim with the flag fabric itself or similar), and it may have been better editorially just to choose a less ambiguous clue, since there's no shortage.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:18 pm

I would say that most exposure to ideas like "ghouls" comes through fantasy and horror media, and that the bonus part, while certainly cool and appropriate for a hard part, was too difficult for a medium part. That said, it's certainly easier than Hubal, and getting to hear a bonus on Hubal was probably one of the most exciting experiences of the tournament. As a long-time fan of the fantasy genre, I'd say it's a pretty neat idea to reward people for reading about where all the crazy creatures' concepts come from.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Cheynem » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:44 pm

Flagpole seems a reasonably accurate answer to me on the Soiling of Old Glory clue; I know that the photograph just makes it seem like the person is trying to impale Ted Landsmark and that it wasn't really true, but if you just look at the photo, it looks exactly like the guy is using the flagpole to try to spear Landsmark. At the very least, I would prompt.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by ProfessorIanDuncan » Sat Feb 14, 2015 12:36 am

Can I see the Dirichlet tossup? Am I correct in assuming that question was in this set? I think I may have missed the clue, but it seems weird that a tossup on him at regular difficulty wouldn't mention his function.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Adventure Temple Trail » Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:03 am

Dirichlet the sunshine in:
Georgia Tech wrote:1. The stick-breaking process is a constructive algorithm used to generate samples from a stochastic process named
after this mathematician. This mathematician also names a multivariate continuous probability distribution defined
on a n-dimensional simplex, which is the conjugate prior of the multinomial distribution. In analytic number theory,
the Riemann zeta function is a simple non-trivial example of his type of series, which are sums over n of a-sub-n
over n to a complex power s. This mathematician also names the eta function, a simple example of one of his L-functions.
In contrast to Neumann boundary conditions, boundary conditions named after this man specify a
function’s value on the boundary of its domain. For 10 points, name this man who codified, and sometimes names,
the pigeonhole principle.
ANSWER: Peter Gustav Lejeune Dirichlet
I think his "function" is the antepenultimate sentence here.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Muriel Axon » Sat Feb 14, 2015 3:44 am

I think Alec's referring to the function that's 1 for rational numbers and 0 for irrationals. That said, there are lots of famous things about Dirichlet and I don't think it's too odd that that wasn't mentioned.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by Schroeder » Fri Feb 20, 2015 7:26 pm

I was just looking back over Bellarmine's packet and noticed a factual error in the Caddy tossup, created when a sentence was removed from our original submission:
15. This character marries a "minor movingpicture magnate" in Hollywood and divorces him in Mexico five years later. This character washes her mouth out with soap after kissing Charlie; earlier, she wrestles with a brother for kissing "a dirty girl like Natalie." At her father’s funeral, this character pays her brother a hundred dollars to see her daughter, whom she later attempts to send two hundred dollars a month. That brother notices her muddy drawers as she climbs a tree, and repeatedly remarks that this character "smells of trees." This character’s favorite brother, for whom she names her daughter, thinks of her before committing suicide at Harvard. For 10 points, name this sister of Jason, Quentin, and Benjy Compson in William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury.
Caddy pays Jason so that she can see her daughter, but it's Benjy who says that Caddy smells like trees.
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Re: 2015 Regionals: Specific question requests and discussio

Post by gerbilownage » Tue Feb 24, 2015 3:53 pm

I think the Rommel question messed up the caliber of the anti-aircraft gun he used against tanks, saying he used 80mm instead of 88mm AA guns. I know it's a small mistake, but it threw me off and I thought they were talking about something else.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8.8_cm_Flak_18/36/37/41
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