PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

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PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Hobbie Klivian » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:47 pm

This thread is for discussing specific questions from Penn Bowl 2016. Any commentary regarding answer choice, difficulty, clarity, etc. is welcome.
Last edited by Hobbie Klivian on Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by wcheng » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:57 pm

Could someone please post the tossup on exorcisms? I was somewhat confused by the first few clues of the tossup, which seemed like they could have equally described demonic possessions.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:00 pm

Penn Bowl 2016 Packet 4 wrote: In Ethiopia, a debtera creates a kitab in order to prevent instances of these events done in response to an occurrence of a buda. An Old Testament account of one of these events involved David playing a harp and Sarah strangling seven men. A young boy in the New Testament falls into both water and fire before being involved in one of these events, an instance of which occurs in every gospel except John. Either one or two men subject to a miracle of Jesus were involved in this kind of event which ended with (*) pigs being drowned in a lake. In Islam, a variety of this action called a ruqiya is performed by reciting the Throne Verse to foil Iblis. A deliverance ministry is related to this type of event, a film about which was based on the case of Anneliese Michel. For 10 points, name this action which Jesus carried out in order to expel the demon Legion.
ANSWER: exorcism [accept meaningful equivalents like driving out spirits]
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:05 pm

Yeah that's not specific enough; it should just accept demonic possession outright. I'll make sure to change the answerline.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by AustinlSmith » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:09 pm

Can you post the question on enthalpy? Thanks.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:12 pm

AustinlSmith wrote:Can you post the question on enthalpy? Thanks.
The change in this quantity is equal to the product of the area under the curve and a device-specific constant K in DSC. A diagram in which this quantity appears on the y-axis also shows dryness lines in one section; those diagrams plot it against entropy and are sometimes named for (*) Mollier. This quantity remains constant when a gas expands through a porous plug, which is an example of a throttling process. The overall change in this quantity is equal to its change at each step according to Hess’s law. The change in this quantity minus the temperature times the change in entropy is equal to the change in Gibbs free energy. For 10 points, name this chemical quantity symbolized H.
ANSWER: enthalpy
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by RexSueciae » Sun Oct 23, 2016 4:14 pm

May I see the religion tossup on killing one's self? I remember a lead-in about how practitioners of the mountain-dwelling sect Shugendo sometimes do this (paraphrased), which to me seemed odd because 1) Shugendo practitioners do a lot of things, and 2) the practice of suicide via starvation is not historically unknown among multiple Buddhist sects in Japan and Tibet.

May I also see the tossup on Air America? I believe this was the first time that it's been tossed up, or possibly even mentioned in quizbowl, and I am curious if anybody managed to pull that.

In the tossup on absinthe in literature, the short story "Hills Like White Elephants" is clued. While the story's characters do, in fact, drink Anis del Toro (identifiable as absinthe based on the fact that it's drunk with water and tastes like licorice, and further by the fact that the word "absinthe" appears once), the characters spend a lot more time drinking beer, which they seem to enjoy better. I foresee a number of people who buzzed there and said "beer" at the Hemingway clue. (On a side note, I just realized that Jig is drinking hard alcohol during her pregnancy.)

I am curious to see the tossup on "Bohemian Rhapsody," as I kinda zoned out on the assumption that it was music and thus didn't pay attention to the clues, which I don't remember other than "Bismillah."
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by What do you do with a dead chemist? » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:37 pm

Can I have a look at the Michaelis Menten bonus set, as looking back at my lecture notes, neither my first year reaction kinetics, nor my 2nd year Biochemistry course differentiates between the "quasi-SSA" and the normal SSA. (assuming you've dealt with the lead in issue on the question)
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:43 pm

Negger Extraordinaire wrote:Can I have a look at the Michaelis Menten bonus set, as looking back at my lecture notes, neither my first year reaction kinetics, nor my 2nd year Biochemistry course differentiates between the "quasi-SSA" and the normal SSA. (assuming you've dealt with the lead in issue on the question)
4. These things were thought to bond to their substrates by a “lock and key” model, although there is more support for an “induced fit” model. For 10 points each:
[10] Name these proteins which transform substrates into products. They lower the activation energy of a reaction.
ANSWER: enzyme
[10] This model of enzyme kinetics gives reaction rate as maximum rate times substrate concentration, over its namesake constant plus substrate concentration.
ANSWER: Michaelis-Menten model
[10] Michaelis-Menten kinetics relies on this assumption that the concentration of the intermediate complex remains steady on the timescale of product formation
ANSWER: Briggs-Haldane [or quasi-steady-state or pseudo-steady-state; do NOT accept just “steady state”]
My class called it the Briggs-Haldane approximation FWIW, and explicitly mentioned it was a quasi-steady-state approximation

EDIT: I just checked my textbook, and it calls it just "steady state"; mea culpa.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by sarita » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:01 pm

RexSueciae wrote:May I see the religion tossup on killing one's self? I remember a lead-in about how practitioners of the mountain-dwelling sect Shugendo sometimes do this (paraphrased), which to me seemed odd because 1) Shugendo practitioners do a lot of things, and 2) the practice of suicide via starvation is not historically unknown among multiple Buddhist sects in Japan and Tibet.

May I also see the tossup on Air America? I believe this was the first time that it's been tossed up, or possibly even mentioned in quizbowl, and I am curious if anybody managed to pull that.

In the tossup on absinthe in literature, the short story "Hills Like White Elephants" is clued. While the story's characters do, in fact, drink Anis del Toro (identifiable as absinthe based on the fact that it's drunk with water and tastes like licorice, and further by the fact that the word "absinthe" appears once), the characters spend a lot more time drinking beer, which they seem to enjoy better. I foresee a number of people who buzzed there and said "beer" at the Hemingway clue. (On a side note, I just realized that Jig is drinking hard alcohol during her pregnancy.)

I am curious to see the tossup on "Bohemian Rhapsody," as I kinda zoned out on the assumption that it was music and thus didn't pay attention to the clues, which I don't remember other than "Bismillah."
Notes: I'm not an editor by a long shot, just copying these questions into here for discussion. "Suicide" and "absinthe" were both first-lined in my room, and neither are purely obscure academic references since a few other people in the room seemed to post-buzz recall where they're from. In particular, there was a documentary on the Shugendo that wasn't unpopular, and Hills Like White Elephants is often included in the high school English curriculum.
14. The mountain-dwelling Shugendo sect practices an esoteric variety of this practice called sokushinbutsu. Al-Bukhari relates that, in several instances in which Muhammad almost engaged in this action while God’s revelations ceased, Gabriel appeared to remind him of his role as prophet. The final vow of Jainism is to engage in a form of this practice known as sallekhana. A controversial form of this action which would usually condemn its performer to (*) hell is justified by the idea of ishtishhad according to many Islamist militant groups. A famous photograph by Malcolm Browne depicts a Vietnamese monk engaging in a specific form of this action, which is much more common in Protestant societies than Catholic ones according to a famous monograph by Emile Durkheim. For 10 points, name this action which religious militants might perform in carrying out a bombing.
ANSWER: suicide [prompt on killing or murder; accept specific forms like suicide bombing or starvation or self-immolation; prompt generously on asceticism]

3. The unknowing founder of this organization earlier founded a similar group recognized by its shark iconography and lacking any formal hierarchy. The slogan of this organization was the generic “Anything, Anytime, Anywhere, Professionally.” The members of this group were surprised when their supervisors asked them to switch to H-19s instead of their familiar C-46s, though these were later replaced by UH-34s. This group was formed from the assets of a Chinese group founded by Whitting Willauer and Claire (*) Chenanult, and was notably used to relieve French forces at Dien Bien Phu. During the United States’ secret intervention in Laos, this organization provided support to Vang Pao, and is suspected to have trafficked heroin and opium for the Hmong. Created to circumvent the Geneva Accords, for 10 points, name this CIA front, which conveyed covert operatives in Southeast Asia during the mid-20th century.
ANSWER: Air America [accept CAT]

14. One woman in a Hemingway short story gives this thing as an example of “all the things [she’s] waited for,” and then remarks on its taste shortly after commenting that the hills near them look like white elephants. Rehnhjelm and Falander discuss theater and consume this substance in a chapter named after it in The Red Room. A woman in Waiting at Grenelle is featured with her back turned to the viewer as she consumes this thing in a painting by Toulouse-Lautrec. A character in “All the King’s Men” calls this substance with (*) rye the best hangover cure, and Oscar Wilde compared it to a sunset. A Picasso portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto features this thing, and a Picasso sculpture named for it contains a sugar cube sitting on a spoon. For 10 points, name this titular “green fairy” pictured alongside a miserable woman in a painting by Degas.
ANSWER: absinthe

4. The final section of this work returns to the tempo and form of its introduction in E-flat major before a set of rapid modulations ends in C minor for its reflective, somber finale. It transitions into its third section with the piano playing quiet staccato A major chords, and its second section may reference Turiddo’s aria from Mascagni’s opera Cavalleria Rusticana, (*) “Mamma, quel vino e generoso.” The soloist in this song sings “Bismillah” in an appeal for God to protect his soul from Beelzebub, and rebukes the listener for thinking that they can “stone him” and “leave [him] to die,” though he feels guilty for having “just killed a man.” It ends in a slow, mournful fadeout in which the singer states that “nothing really matters.” For 10 points, name this song which asks if this is “real life, or just fantasy,” by Queen.
ANSWER: Bohemian Rhapsody
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by samus149 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:03 pm

RexSueciae wrote: In the tossup on absinthe in literature, the short story "Hills Like White Elephants" is clued. While the story's characters do, in fact, drink Anis del Toro (identifiable as absinthe based on the fact that it's drunk with water and tastes like licorice, and further by the fact that the word "absinthe" appears once), the characters spend a lot more time drinking beer, which they seem to enjoy better. I foresee a number of people who buzzed there and said "beer" at the Hemingway clue.
Can confirm this is what I did.

In science, some problems I remember were the M^3.5 relation in the first line of the luminosity tossup, "smoldering" being in power in the combustion tossup, and the clue about Shor's algorithm in the decryption tossup not being specific to cryptography.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by cchiego » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:06 pm

RexSueciae wrote: In the tossup on absinthe in literature, the short story "Hills Like White Elephants" is clued. While the story's characters do, in fact, drink Anis del Toro (identifiable as absinthe based on the fact that it's drunk with water and tastes like licorice, and further by the fact that the word "absinthe" appears once), the characters spend a lot more time drinking beer, which they seem to enjoy better. I foresee a number of people who buzzed there and said "beer" at the Hemingway clue.
Yeah this was negged with "beer" early in my room too off that clue. I think there are plenty of better absinthe-related clues out there so I'll see if I can rustle up some.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Ben Salter » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:58 pm

I might be misremembering, but I think the bonus set on "The Wanderers" didn't have "Peredvizhniki" listed as an acceptable alternative (I'm fairly sure they're the same thing). Was this the case, or was it just moderator error?
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:31 pm

Ben Salter wrote:I might be misremembering, but I think the bonus set on "The Wanderers" didn't have "Peredvizhniki" listed as an acceptable alternative (I'm fairly sure they're the same thing). Was this the case, or was it just moderator error?
This was a moderator error, because that answer was in fact listed.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by RexSueciae » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:41 pm

sarita wrote: Notes: I'm not an editor by a long shot, just copying these questions into here for discussion. "Suicide" and "absinthe" were both first-lined in my room, and neither are purely obscure academic references since a few other people in the room seemed to post-buzz recall where they're from. In particular, there was a documentary on the Shugendo that wasn't unpopular, and Hills Like White Elephants is often included in the high school English curriculum.
I see that sokushinbutsu was mentioned by name, and withdraw my comment on suicide. (I am aware of who the Shugendo are.)

I maintain that tossing up Air America was certainly an odd attempt at canon expansion.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by wcheng » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:59 pm

I agree that the Air America tossup was egregiously difficult. No one on Maryland A knew what the question was referring to at the end, and none of the teams that I informally surveyed were able to convert the tossup.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by JKHtay » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:15 pm

Can I see the tossups on Poland and Pompey please?
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:24 pm

wcheng wrote:I agree that the Air America tossup was egregiously difficult. No one on Maryland A knew what the question was referring to at the end, and none of the teams that I informally surveyed were able to convert the tossup.
As in the radio network?
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by wcheng » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:29 pm

AKKOLADE wrote:
wcheng wrote:I agree that the Air America tossup was egregiously difficult. No one on Maryland A knew what the question was referring to at the end, and none of the teams that I informally surveyed were able to convert the tossup.
As in the radio network?
No, the airline/CIA front.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:49 pm

AKKOLADE wrote:
wcheng wrote:I agree that the Air America tossup was egregiously difficult. No one on Maryland A knew what the question was referring to at the end, and none of the teams that I informally surveyed were able to convert the tossup.
As in the radio network?
Is there a reason you're posting in the specific question discussion forum without actually having seen or played the specific questions?
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Oct 23, 2016 10:55 pm

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
AKKOLADE wrote:
wcheng wrote:I agree that the Air America tossup was egregiously difficult. No one on Maryland A knew what the question was referring to at the end, and none of the teams that I informally surveyed were able to convert the tossup.
As in the radio network?
Is there a reason you're posting in the specific question discussion forum without actually having seen or played the specific questions?
From what I've gathered from his post, it's because he was curious about the content of a specific question! Additionally, you do not get to tell people where to post or not post.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by AKKOLADE » Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:00 am

Periplus of the Erythraean Sea wrote:
AKKOLADE wrote:
wcheng wrote:I agree that the Air America tossup was egregiously difficult. No one on Maryland A knew what the question was referring to at the end, and none of the teams that I informally surveyed were able to convert the tossup.
As in the radio network?
Is there a reason you're posting in the specific question discussion forum without actually having seen or played the specific questions?
Excuse the shit out of me for existing.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Ewan MacAulay » Mon Oct 24, 2016 6:25 am

Our team negged the "decryption" tossup with "factorisation" on the clue about Shor's algorithm - could the clue made more specific?

The first clue of the elimination tossup sounded a hell of a lot like catalytic Riley oxidation. Maybe could be rephrased as "In a reaction of this type hydrogen peroxide oxidises a selenide intermediate..." or something.

Also I just want to thank whoever wrote the amazing Panama Canal/BDI/Rotterdam bonus set. Highlight of my day, my quizbowl career, and probably my life right there.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:28 am

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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by JKHtay » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:43 am

Ewan MacAulay wrote:Our team negged the "decryption" tossup with "factorisation" on the clue about Shor's algorithm - could the clue made more specific?
The team we were playing that round also did this.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Jem Casey » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:49 am

Penn Bowl 2016 Packet 12, Bonus 4 wrote: This work begins with a discussion of the Borges story “On Exactitude in Science,” and has an epigraph falsely attributed to the Book of Ecclesiastes. For 10 points each:
Penn Bowl 2016 Packet 12, Tossup 12 wrote: This writer quoted Suarez Miranda’s Travels of Prudent Men in “On Exactitude in Science"...
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cheynem » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:58 am

I apologize to Will Alston for not playing the set, but in the exorcism tossup:

The clue about the "Old Testament" example makes it sound like it's talking about one event but it seems to be discussing both David playing the harp to ward off Saul's evil spirit in 1 Samuel and Sarah being possessed in the Book of Tobit (which isn't Old Testament in many denominations).
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Periplus of the Erythraean Sea » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:42 am

Cheynem wrote:I apologize to Will Alston for not playing the set, but in the exorcism tossup:

The clue about the "Old Testament" example makes it sound like it's talking about one event but it seems to be discussing both David playing the harp to ward off Saul's evil spirit in 1 Samuel and Sarah being possessed in the Book of Tobit (which isn't Old Testament in many denominations).
That's a good (and productive) catch. My Bible knowledge isn't great, and I should have been more careful editing this. In any case, the answerline has been changed, but I should clarify the wording of the question.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Ike » Mon Oct 24, 2016 11:45 am

Ewan MacAulay wrote:Our team negged the "decryption" tossup with "factorisation" on the clue about Shor's algorithm - could the clue made more specific?
Sorry that has been fixed. I missed that earlier.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Amizda Calyx » Mon Oct 24, 2016 12:18 pm

Ewan MacAulay wrote:Our team negged the "decryption" tossup with "factorisation" on the clue about Shor's algorithm - could the clue made more specific?
Sam also negged "decryption" with "factorization". I'll echo the complaints about "smoldering" being in power as well as the quasi-steady-state bonus part.
The tossup on "waves" was just not good. Aside from being really transparent (to the point that I and several other people expected it to be asking for something more specific and hesitated to buzz on the blowholes clue), the answerline should include what Sam buzzed with at the berm clue, which was "shorelines".
While I liked the bio tossups, they seemed quite USMLE Step One-heavy at the expense of more molecular, mechanistic clues. This is probably me just being salty about my atrocious power count (especially in comparison to last year), though. Overall the set was just a lot harder than expected.
Another thing that Sam grumbled to me about was the fact that "closure" was out of power in the Nozick clue, despite being the hard part at Stanford Open.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Ike » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:17 pm

I don't see how shorelines is at any point acceptable. Especially on the berms clue. Can someone post it please? While I really have no interest in defending this tossup, I will point out that it's a contradiction to suggest "this tossup was so transparent to everybody" and then to immediately say something akin to "someone else I know negged this tossup with an answer that is of a completely different type than what the answer is." I'll ask penn to examine the scoresheets to see if everyone is powering this tossup, but I really doubt so.

If you have any complaints, feel free to post them. But neither I, nor the tournaments writers find second-hand accounts to be useful criticism. If Sam wants to make his argument that shorelines needs to be accepted, he needs to make it himself.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cherrybell Miramonte » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:28 pm

The leadin to the potassium tossup in round 9 says that:
Glycyrizzhizic acid, which is found in licorice, increases the secretion of this ion.
The correct name should be glycyrrhizic or glycyrrhizinic acid, and some research also seems to indicate that the opposite is true.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by cchiego » Mon Oct 24, 2016 1:44 pm

2. The pneumatic behavior of these things can create so-called blowholes, such as the one in Lion's Den of Cornwall, England. The height of these things is multiplied by lambda squared and divided by h cubed to calculate the Ursell Number, which is used to classify their complex behavior in nonlinear regimes. Berms are defined as the innermost region where these things can dissipate material and energy. These things are responsible for creating (*) "rhythmic topography" of both inner and outer crescentic bars. These entities exhibit either plunging, collapsing, surging, or spilling behavior when they interact with a coast; often times these things translate their potential energy to turbulent kinetic energy when they break. For 10 points, name these entities, which create swash as they run up beaches.
ANSWER: ocean waves
"Blowholes" is really early here--it basically implies that this is something on the coast that creates holes in rocks. I don't think that "shoreline" should be acceptable here based on the first two sentences, but I definitely see how "berm" could confuse people because berms are basically mounds on the shoreline that waves impact.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cody » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:08 pm

Ideally, the sentence would be backwards but I don't think anyone buzzing with shorelines has a leg to stand on. You can't just buzz on a clue/word without knowing its relation to the answerline and expect to be right 100% of the time.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Victor Prieto » Mon Oct 24, 2016 2:33 pm

Can someone please post the hydrogen cation tossup in round 10? It was the source of an unresolved protest in our room.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by jinah » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:21 pm

Victor Prieto wrote:Can someone please post the hydrogen cation tossup in round 10? It was the source of an unresolved protest in our room.
This species is transferred intramolecularly in ESIPT chromophores. 1,8 bis-dimethy-amino-napthalene serves as a “sponge” for this species. The transfer of this species is the fastest reaction in organic chemistry, which is why carbon nucleophiles are completely unusable in its presence. The transfer of this species to the ketone oxygen is one way of (*) catalyzing keto-enol tautomerism. The “hopping” of this species generates the eigen and the zundel cations in the Grotthus mechanism. Solvents that are polar and lack this species are commonly used in SN2 reactions. The negative log of the concentration of this species gives the pH. For 10 points, name this species, which Bronstead-Lowry acids donate.
ANSWER: protons [or H+]
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Victor Prieto » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:46 pm

jinah wrote:The transfer of this species is the fastest reaction in organic chemistry...
ANSWER: protons [or H+]
I was taught at some point that a hydride shift was the fastest possible reaction in organic chemistry. In any case, this answerline needs more information:

ANSWER: protons [or H+; or hydrogen cation; prompt on hydrogen or hydrogen ion]
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Edmund » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:21 pm

Packet 8 Bonus 2 wrote:[10] In this kind of non-Newtonian fluid, the apparent viscosity increases with stress. Examples include printer ink.
ANSWER: rheopectic
I think this is not accurate. A rheopectic fluid shows increasing viscosity with *continued* application of (shear) stress, i.e. as a function of time. Saying "apparent viscosity increases with stress" implies that "viscosity is proportional to stress" which would simply define a _shear thickening_ fluid or _dilatant_ fluid, which isn't the same thing. I understand from Wiki that printer ink is indeed rheopectic.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Too Late » Tue Oct 25, 2016 5:07 pm

One of my team said shear thickening very confidently but I don't know enough to have a hard opinion here.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by sbraunfeld » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:29 pm

Ike wrote:I don't see how shorelines is at any point acceptable. Especially on the berms clue. Can someone post it please? While I really have no interest in defending this tossup, I will point out that it's a contradiction to suggest "this tossup was so transparent to everybody" and then to immediately say something akin to "someone else I know negged this tossup with an answer that is of a completely different type than what the answer is." I'll ask penn to examine the scoresheets to see if everyone is powering this tossup, but I really doubt so.
2. The pneumatic behavior of these things can create so-called blowholes, such as the one in Lion's Den of Cornwall, England. The height of these things is multiplied by lambda squared and divided by h cubed to calculate the Ursell Number, which is used to classify their complex behavior in nonlinear regimes. Berms are defined as the innermost region where these things can dissipate material and energy. These things are responsible for creating (*) "rhythmic topography" of both inner and outer crescentic bars. These entities exhibit either plunging, collapsing, surging, or spilling behavior when they interact with a coast; often times these things translate their potential energy to turbulent kinetic energy when they break. For 10 points, name these entities, which create swash as they run up beaches.
ANSWER: ocean waves
"Pneumatic action" just refers to the action of compressed air, and doesn't seem to be some technical term that is commonly applied to waves (a quick google search yields two instances). Since it doesn't seem to be describing some more specific mechanism, I would interpret the leadin as basically saying, "These things interact with compressed air to form blowholes," or perhaps, "These things create compressed air which forms blowholes." In either case, this describes shorelines, or other answers such as caves or oceans (both of which I considered buzzing with at the time), as well as waves. The second clue is presumably unique. For the berms clue, "Berms are defined as the innermost region where [shorelines] can dissipate material and energy," seems as true a sentence as, "Berms are defined as the innermost region where [waves] can dissipate material and energy."

Also, I would like to echo Chris and Joelle that the blowholes clue is really early. I would guess that people are less familiar with the Ursell number than with blowholes. I imagine people were prevented from buzzing on the leadin not due to lack of knowledge of what blowholes are, but due to not being able to figure out what answerline the clue was trying to specify.
Ike wrote:If you have any complaints, feel free to post them. But neither I, nor the tournaments writers find second-hand accounts to be useful criticism. If Sam wants to make his argument that shorelines needs to be accepted, he needs to make it himself.
I was unaware this feeling was widespread. Quizbowl threads are littered with second-hand accounts, which frequently seem useful. Look, for example, at the several second-hand mentions of Shor's algorithm in this thread.

While I'm posting, I might as well say that I largely liked the CS in this tournament. As a comment with somewhat wide applicability, I would avoid asking for algorithm runtimes as the hard part of bonuses, unless they're unusual runtimes. Most algorithms people use are n, nlogn, or n^2 (with a few n^3, and logn and constant also common for data structure operations). This means that a team with very little knowledge can guess and be correct with fairly high probability, as apparently happened on the "median-of-medians" part in some rooms at the Penn site. Also, can the shortest path/priority queue/A^* bonus be posted?
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Milhouse » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:00 pm

Could the nihilism/[something I forgot]/Pyrrhonism bonus be posted? Thanks.

EDIT: Also, the Mu'tazilite/sunna/hadith one?
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Hobbie Klivian » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:29 pm

9. Walter Sobchak points out that, “say what you want about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos” while criticizing this philosophical view. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this philosophical position characterized by lack of belief, similar to skepticism. Its moral form claims that moral facts do not exist and thus that moral claims are not truth-apt.
ANSWER: nihilism
[10] In Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong, this thinker uses the argument from “queerness” to defend moral skepticism. He claims that moral facts would be so strange that we would not know them through our regular senses.
ANSWER: J.L. Mackie
[10] Moral skeptics of this type believe that we do not have moral knowledge, but that it may be possible. Its name comes from an Ancient Greek philosophical school whose principles were outlined by Sextuss Empiricus.
ANSWER: Pyrrhonian skepticism [or Pyrrhonism]
4. This school combined use of Greek philosophy, or falsafa, with kalam in an attempt to solve the problem of evil and other conundra. For 10 points each:
[10] Identify this rationalist school of theology prominent under the Abbasid Caliphate, whose rulers persecuted this school’s opponents during the mihna. Its advocates summarized their beliefs in five principles, including tawhid and divine justice.
ANSWER: Mu’tazili School [or Mu’tazila]
[10] Anti-Mu’tazili scholars argued that theology sound instead be rooted in the Quran and this body of Islamic traditions, which are based on how Muhammad conducted his life and lends its name to a branch of Islam.
ANSWER: sunnah [which Sunni Islam is named after]
[10] An important source of sunnah are these sayings of Muhammad, which were compiled in the 8th to 10th centuries by scholars like al-Bukhari.
ANSWER: hadith
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cody » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:37 pm

Aeolian processes are very prominent movers of material and energy in the backshore environment, as is precipitation / runoff. I won't claim the phrasing is great, but interpreting "this thing" as "shoreline" does not fit the clue.

I likewise would not claim that the phrasing of the lead-in is great, but I'd be hard-pressed to describe a shoreline as having pneumatic behavior that creates blowholes, which often do not involve the shoreline proper.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Ike » Tue Oct 25, 2016 11:46 pm

I agree that the Ursell's clue is less suggestive / harder than the blowholes clue, and I've swapped them out already.

But I really can't understand the substance of the pneumatic clue - it makes sense to talk about the pneumatic behavior of waves, and in fact it's not such an uncommon term - my textbook for one, uses it, and when I search "pneumatic waves" I get thousands of hits. But if you search "pneumatic caves" or "pneumatic shorelines" you get fewer than 100 hits, and no earth science reference is among them. Either way though, I think it's really poor English to even talk of shorelines as being pneumatic. In particular, it's not the caves or the shorelines that are creating blowholes, it's the waves pushing the water upwards rhythmically. The caves may be there to "guide" the waves upwards, but it's definitely wrong to say that the "pneumatic behavior" of a cave or shoreline creates a blowhole.

Again, I find the usage of English incorrect and bizarre in the berms complaint. Saying "Berms are defined as the innermost region where shorelines can dissipate material and energy" makes no sense to me, since a shoreline is literally a line and cannot have any "innermost region." Giving you a generous reading, and assuming you said "shores," it still is incorrect, since "the innermost region where a shore can dissipate energy" would be the innermost section of the shore period (which may or may not be reachable by waves) since you can just walk to that point on the shore, jump up and down, and the shore would be dissipating your energy at that location.

My problem with the second-hand account is that it was largely useless and rude. Saying some tossup is terrible and not giving any details is useless, and I don't care if you think some tossup sucks. The most productive comment came from Chris Chiego, since he pointed out something and I made a swap out because of it.

As to your complaint about computer science, I respectfully disagree. Much in the same way it's ok to write science bonuses asking for what power some variable is raised to, or how many Tamil epics are there as hard parts, this is no different and acceptable (and arguably better since the answers are much less constrained). I've made this point before in several other threads, and I'm not going to relitigate it now other than to say it's not going anywhere. Again, these second-hand accounts are meaningless to me - these could be people who are just talking about what they would have guessed if they got the bonus, or it could be people who actually guessed because they knew that ~quickselect~ takes less time than nlogn and this must be faster, or really a number of things that may be called "guessing," but that I have no problem giving 30 points for.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by sbraunfeld » Wed Oct 26, 2016 2:18 am

Ike wrote:I agree that the Ursell's clue is less suggestive / harder than the blowholes clue, and I've swapped them out already.

But I really can't understand the substance of the pneumatic clue - it makes sense to talk about the pneumatic behavior of waves, and in fact it's not such an uncommon term - my textbook for one, uses it, and when I search "pneumatic waves" I get thousands of hits. But if you search "pneumatic caves" or "pneumatic shorelines" you get fewer than 100 hits, and no earth science reference is among them. Either way though, I think it's really poor English to even talk of shorelines as being pneumatic. In particular, it's not the caves or the shorelines that are creating blowholes, it's the waves pushing the water upwards rhythmically. The caves may be there to "guide" the waves upwards, but it's definitely wrong to say that the "pneumatic behavior" of a cave or shoreline creates a blowhole.

Again, I find the usage of English incorrect and bizarre in the berms complaint. Saying "Berms are defined as the innermost region where shorelines can dissipate material and energy" makes no sense to me, since a shoreline is literally a line and cannot have any "innermost region." Giving you a generous reading, and assuming you said "shores," it still is incorrect, since "the innermost region where a shore can dissipate energy" would be the innermost section of the shore period (which may or may not be reachable by waves) since you can just walk to that point on the shore, jump up and down, and the shore would be dissipating your energy at that location.
Sure, “pneumatic waves” appears a lot, but the vast majority of these hits are talking about things not related to this question, such as pneumatic wave generators. Anyway, the question doesn’t refer to pneumatic waves, but to the pneumatic behavior of waves, and this phrase makes virtually no appearances (actually, none on google). Since there doesn’t seem to be any real description of the relation between the answerline and the pneumatic behavior that is creating the blowholes, the leadin seems to me to amount to an “is associated with”-style clue, i.e. "The answerline is in some fashion associated with the compressed air that forms blowholes," and the shore(line) certainly is (by the way, it seems fairly common to treat “shore” and “shoreline” as synonyms. See, e.g., Wikipedia). From what I can tell, your response is “But shores aren’t the sort of thing that one ascribes pneumatic behavior to,” whatever the not-very-well-defined phrase “pneumatic behavior” may mean, and my response is “Well, based on some google searches, waves don’t seem to be either.”

As for the berms clue, of course there are types of energy the shoreline dissipates past the berm. As you have mentioned in other another thread, question writers frequently omit caveats in the interest of space, or in an attempt to not be transparent. The caveat that we are omitting in order for shoreline to make sense as an answer is that we are talking about a specific type of energy, i.e. the mechanical energy of waves. However, we must make similar caveats for the waves to make sense as an answer as well. For example, we must ignore the acoustic energy of waves, which dissipate well past the berm. This is why I claimed shorelines was “as true" as waves for the berms clue, rather than simply true.

Anyway, I’m willing to say that waves is probably a better answer than shorelines, but I believe there is some vague/ambiguous wording in the clues we’ve been discussing that make shoreline a reasonable answer, and those clues ought to be made more precise.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by George Corfield » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:36 am

A minor point, but packet 1 seems to have 2 physics bonus sets (Atwood machines & Ductile fracture) and 0 chemistry bonus sets - or at least that was the case with the packets we received at the UK mirror, it may have since been rectified.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Cody » Wed Oct 26, 2016 7:06 am

There's a difference between a caveat and inaccuracy, though I admit it is a bit subjective.

A caveat fundamentally should not change the meaning of a clue—you are omitting an assumption in the interest of space. Because the berm is defined in terms of the mechanical energy of waves (though often not in so many words), omitting other forms of energy that waves may impart is fine and would certainly be a caveat—no one would correct you in the real world if you said this about berms.

To say that shores only dissipate material & energy up to the berm is plain inaccurate—aeolian & erosion processes are extremely important transporters of material and energy in a beach environment and to not qualify the clue in some way makes it wrong.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by sbraunfeld » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:48 am

Cody wrote:There's a difference between a caveat and inaccuracy, though I admit it is a bit subjective.

A caveat fundamentally should not change the meaning of a clue—you are omitting an assumption in the interest of space. Because the berm is defined in terms of the mechanical energy of waves (though often not in so many words), omitting other forms of energy that waves may impart is fine and would certainly be a caveat—no one would correct you in the real world if you said this about berms.

To say that shores only dissipate material & energy up to the berm is plain inaccurate—aeolian & erosion processes are extremely important transporters of material and energy in a beach environment and to not qualify the clue in some way makes it wrong.
"Berms are defined as the innermost region where [shorelines] can dissipate material and energy," is true, as long as it is implicit that we are discussing material/energy due to waves, and it is reasonable to think that this is implicit in the clue, and not explicit due to transparency concerns. Such caveats/inaccuracies are common in quizbowl questions, perhaps unfortunately, and perhaps this deserves a topic unto itself. For example, the leadin to the Turing machines question mentions somebody solving the domino problem. This is of course incorrect. He didn’t solve the domino problem, but showed it was undecidable. Presumably, the writer doesn’t want to say this because it would be transparent, so it’s up to the listener to make the clue correct by putting it in the right context, i.e. he solved the meta-question of the decidability of the domino problem. (Edit: Wikipedia describes Berger as "solving the domino problem" right after saying that the domino problem asks for a solution for every set of tiles. This phrase doesn't really appear elsewhere, though. If you don't like my example, find another. There are plenty.) If you never buzzed on a clue that was technically inaccurate, you would miss out on a lot of questions. I’m willing to admit shore is technically wrong, but it seems to be so in a way that is common for quizbowl.

I’ll close by summarizing my recollection of my thought process while hearing this question, to show how somebody with pretty good knowledge of clues 1 and 3 could still be led to neg, given how it’s written and the conventions of quizbowl. Even if you’re convinced that waves is the only appropriate answerline, this still seems like an outcome worth trying to avoid, although Penn Bowl probably has bigger fish to fry.

Clue 1: “Ok, I know what blowholes are. But what exactly does “pneumatic action” mean [i.e. beyond simply telling me that compressed air is involved]? Do they want caves? The ocean? Best to wait.”
Clue 2: “No idea.” (Although, if I had paid more attention, I would have heard that the answerline has a height.)
Clue 3: “Well, berms are the most interior place of the shoreline that dissipates wave energy. I guess they didn’t want to say “wave” because that would be transparent. Also, caves are a shoreline feature, so this sort of jives with what I was thinking for the leadin.” Buzz.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by 1.82 » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:46 am

I'm curious about this answerline from Packet 4:
5. Descriptive answers acceptable. One book by Eugen Weber studied a 34-year period in which these people, originally “savages,” were nationalized into citizens of their country. These people attacked the homes of their oppressors during the Great Fear. According to one 18th century conspiracy theory, these people were the target of the Famine Pact. Charles the Bad of Navarre defeated an army of these people led by Guillame Cale in 1358 at (*) Clermont-en-Beauvaisis. After pillaging by mercenaries during the Hundred Years’ War, these people rose up in the Jacquerie. The first article of a decree by the National Assembly on August 4, 1789 “completely abolished” the feudal system that disproportionately imposed duties on these people. For 10 points, name these people, agricultural labourers [sic] at the bottom of feudal society in a country led by kings such as Louis XIV.
ANSWER: French peasants [or French serfs; or French farmers; accept anything that mentions these are lower-class French people who don’t live in cities; prompt on anything that mentions that they are French or farmers]
It's not obvious to me why this answerline is French peasants and not French peasants, especially since the question starts dropping the names of French things fairly early. After all, French peasants are not a distinct organization but rather merely peasants who happen to live in France. I'm reminded of a discussion that took place over the summer concerning a MYSTERIUM answerline being Chinese Muslims and not Chinese Muslims. Rob Carson's post in that thread provided, I thought, a fairly good explanation of how to handle these sorts of answerlines:
Auks Ran Ova wrote:Yeah, the difference between the 08 ACF Nats Chinese Muslims question and the modern one is that the trend then was for the answerline to require "Chinese Muslims" (or, in harder tournaments, "Brazilian Muslims" or "Japanese fascists" or whatever) whereas now quizbowl in general tends to be a little smarter and writes questions looking for "Chinese Muslims", which is much more playable. [...] ometimes bad and/or new teams are confused by multi-part answerlines, or answerlines more complicated than a single noun--which is why requiring only "Muslims" in the discussed example is the preferred way to write things now, since it cuts down on prompt-related confusion and allows people to express knowledge without being confused by slightly unfamiliar game mechanics.
I'm curious as to whether the authors of this set disagree with Rob's conclusion in that thread or whether there were some special circumstances that led to the answerline being treated the way it was.

My comment on this tossup from Packet 10 is more about quizbowl in general than it is about this specific tournament, but it deals with this tournament so I'll put it here:
3. A former leader of this country was unseated in a plot engineered by Sumner Welles that brought together a coalition ABC green shirts and the radical Antonio Guiteras group. The Pentarchy of 1933 was assembled in this country by the leader of the Revolt of the Sergeants. A leader of this country massed a huge fortune through weapon sales to men like Lucky Luciano, whom he helped meet with the Costa Nostra in an historic 1946 conference. After leading an attack on the (*) Moncada Barracks on July 26, a later leader of this country declared “history will absolve me.” Various attempts to unseat that leader of this country involved tobacco-based bombs,and an invasion by a unit of dissidents at the Bay of Pigs. For 10 points, name this last Communist country in the western hemisphere, formerly led by Fidel Castro.
ANSWER: Republic of Cuba
I remember the first time at practice that Jordan buzzed on the clue "Revolt of the Sergeants." I expressed bewilderment that the coup d'état that brought Ramón Grau to power had a name that I didn't know, whereupon he replied that it had a name in quizbowl. It does indeed have a name in quizbowl, most notably having shown up as the answer to a bonus part at 2015 ACF Nationals, but having shown up in places as disparate as the second line of a middle-school tossup. Most instances refer to "Revolt of the Sergeants" in quotes, acknowledging that it is not in fact a universally-accepted name, but several tossups, like this one, do not do that.

If we search "Revolt of the Sergeants" (in quotes) in JSTOR, we get six distinct results, four of which refer not to an event in Cuba in 1933 but rather an event in Spain in 1836. Similarly, when we search the same term in Google Books, the first result, again, refers to Spain. After that we do get a few results related to Cuba, although it is difficult to tell how many since most of them are not distinct. Searching without quotes yields somewhat more results, but the ones that refer to Cuba generally refer to the sergeants' revolt in lowercase as a common noun and not a proper noun. It seems clear to me that the "Revolt of the Sergeants" is not in fact a reified thing, despite quizbowl writers treating it as such, and referring to it in a tossup will in every instance lead to someone who has read a lot of packets getting the question over someone who has non-quizbowl knowledge of Cuban history.
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Re: PB 2016: Specific Question Discussion

Post by Amizda Calyx » Wed Oct 26, 2016 12:09 pm

Our Lady Peace wrote:It's not obvious to me why this answerline is French peasants and not French peasants, especially since the question starts dropping the names of French things fairly early. After all, French peasants are not a distinct organization but rather merely peasants who happen to live in France.
I'll note that in our game against Princeton, one of the two quite unfortunate negs Jason had was buzzing in with "peasants" on an early clue, being prompted, and not getting anywhere with it. Luckily for him (and immensely exasperating for us), one of my teammates buzzed in before the end with "serfs" and then also couldn't figure out what specificity it was asking for. The other neg by Jason was on the leadin to the "exorcisms" tossup, which he answered with "possessions". If we had power-vulched the peasants question we would have won and then presumably Jason would have gotten his powers back.
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