ICT Discussion

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Birdofredum Sawin » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:40 pm

cvdwightw wrote:Did Air Bud count as a sports question?

There were decent tossups on Chuck Noll and manager of the Cubs and less-decent tossups on Colt Brennan and NL Rookie of the Year. There was also a Connie Mack tossup and something on the Arena Bowl, so I didn't feel any subdistribution of sports was unfairly unrepresented.

In general, a lot of pop culture/sports bonuses felt like they were either an easy 20 or a difficult 10 depending on how much you knew about the thing being asked. For instance, we 30'd the non-NFL careers bonus, although I'd imagine a lot of teams would zero it.
Air Bud was film.

Of these sports tossups, I wrote the "manager of the Cubs," "NL Rookie of the Year," and "Arena Bowl." I also did some substantial editing on the Colt Brennan and Connie Mack tossups. In my own opinion, these were all roughly equal in quality -- none especially inspired, but all decently pyramidal, well-stocked with clues, and on gettable topics.

Even more than most categories, I think it's really hard to write PC and sports bonuses for a regular tournament which break down into easy/middle/hard parts. At a trash tournament, it's easier to sort out the bonus difficulty in these categories, because you can presume that the teams will have a minimum of knowledge. At a non-trash tournament, it's much more difficult. A bonus asking for something as banal as three current NFL coaches is going to be a bagel if the team doesn't happen to feature a football fan; on the other hand, it'll probably be an easy 20 or 30 if even one person on the team follows the sport. On the other hand, a bonus which is written to be challenging for a fan of the sport is probably going to be completely impossible for anyone else. I don't know that there's any really good way of handling this problem, assuming that you're going to have pop culture and sports in the distribution.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Birdofredum Sawin » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:46 pm

Matt Weiner wrote:
Birdofredum Sawin wrote:Um, what? Are all trash questions required to have parts on things which came out in the last few
years? There were plenty of questions in this set on post-2000 trash topics (e.g. Air Bud). There were also questions on older trash topics. Unless you're seriously claiming that "there cannot be questions on trash-related things which happened before I was sentient," this critique doesn't make any sense.
Someone who likes football today probably knows who Jim Kelly is. Does someone who watches movies today know about an unremarkable Sandra Bullock movie from 1993 that has no connection to anything in the last fourteen years? What skill is being rewarded by testing that knowledge?
I don't agree with this. You can watch football today, even avidly, while having only a vague sense of stars of yesteryear. I probably started following pro football in the early '90s, which was of course Jim Kelly's heyday; I have no memory of stars of the previous decade. I know about them in exactly the same way I would know about Connie Mack or Otto Graham, i.e. through reading about the game.

I don't see how knowing about film is any different. You can watch TV and movies today while having only a vague sense of TV and movies that came out before your time. Or, if you take an interest in some particular actor/director/genre, you can learn about and even (through the magic of DVDs) watch older stuff.

If you're saying that "asking about three Sandra Bullock things from the '90s" is just too hard, because each of them is too obscure, then fine; but that's a different criticism from "they are old and hence not askable." For what it's worth, Maryland 30'd that bonus rather easily, but maybe Charles Meigs is notorious (among other things) for his passionate devotion to the minor works of Sandra Bullock.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by AuguryMarch » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:54 pm

My friend Brick Barrientos (who you may know from his longstanding service to this great nation of ours in the SEC) was deeply saddened at the historical revisionism rampant on this board. Maryland's 1981 title was the only ray of light that sustained players like Ramesh Kannappan, John Nam, and Dave Hamilton through the dark days endless second place UMD finishes. Out of respect for him, I have reposted his original refrain below:
grapesmoker wrote:First, let me congratulate Maryland on their first ever national title. The spirits of Maryland players past must surely be rejoicing. Pleasantries out of the way, I'll move on to the discussion.
When they stole my CBI title in Jerry's post
Let's look back at my whole career
Cuz y'all musta forgot! ....
The "best QB player alive" is mine
Hit Don Windham with four buzzers at one time
Y'all musta forgot! ....
When I beat Tom Waters, and won the CBI
The thumb was hurt, so buzzed with my cock and made him cry
Y'all musta forgot! ....
You remember the stain on Carol Guthrie's smock
Sucka move that I stole from a Jim Dendy's sock
Y'all musta forgot! ....
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Mon Apr 14, 2008 11:57 pm

AuguryMarch wrote:Maryland's 1981 title
This happened before I was born and is therefore not askable.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:21 am

Birdofredum Sawin wrote:
I don't agree with this. You can watch football today, even avidly, while having only a vague sense of stars of yesteryear. I probably started following pro football in the early '90s, which was of course Jim Kelly's heyday; I have no memory of stars of the previous decade. I know about them in exactly the same way I would know about Connie Mack or Otto Graham, i.e. through reading about the game.

I don't see how knowing about film is any different. You can watch TV and movies today while having only a vague sense of TV and movies that came out before your time. Or, if you take an interest in some particular actor/director/genre, you can learn about and even (through the magic of DVDs) watch older stuff.
I think your logic is absolutely valid, in that if it requires an equal pursuit of both subjects to learn more about them and get more points on them, it's okay for them to take an equal role (so movie history is as valid as sports history). I take issue with a few of those presuppositions, however.

First, I don't know if it does require equal pursuit. Watching ESPN a few hours a day during hours when they're not showing actual competitions for a week and you'll see specials on the history of various sports. That's not true, to my knowledge, of film: I can't turn on the TV and see a Sandra Bullock retrospective. At best I might get an E! special about who she's been seen with over the last few months. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

Second, I don't know if TRASH's philosophy--testing recall about strange happenings, yes?--is about sitting down and studying as much as academic quiz bowl. I feel like in name alone it implies that your passion for strange happenings, primarily ones in pop-culture categories, ends up with you recalling facts about them. You don't necessarily go out of your way to read about them, though surely it takes that to become a top player. I especially feel that trash-lowercase, in an academic packet and competition, should require players to pay it specific heed. I'll memorize historical Oscars and Grammys and Emmys and Tonys... but only reluctantly.

Third, I don't know if Sandra Bullock and Connie Mack are equivalent topics in terms of before-your-time-but-it's-okay. Connie Mack is like Citizen Kane. He's one of the best managers in history; he's won the most games; he was around for over fifty seasons; he was an incredible personality. He's a giant of baseball history. Asking about Sandra Bullock would be like asking about Bobby Cox. He's been around for a while and won a championship, but you couldn't make me care about him as much as about Connie Mack. Even though he's still around, he's not nearly as important.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by yoda4554 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:32 am

Kyle wrote: I'm proposing only that choosing a Sandra Bullock movie from, say, the last ten years might give me some reasonable chance of getting 10 points. I don't care about 30; I just want a chance at 10.
As a college-age male, you have a moral imperative to be able to answer any and all questions on Demolition Man.
everyday847 wrote:I can't turn on the TV and see a Sandra Bullock retrospective...Asking about Sandra Bullock would be like asking about Bobby Cox. He's been around for a while and won a championship, but you couldn't make me care about him as much as about Connie Mack.
No, but you can turn on the TV just about any weekend and see some dumb movie from ten years ago in which she featured (or Working Girl, which is a pretty decent, oft-aired movie without Sandra Bullock and the true subject of that first part, so it seemed). I understand this is how the Williams guys, as well as Mr. Meigs, 30'd that bonus. Is it Serious Film? No, but there were actual good movies asked about elsewhere in the set, and so I don't see why each needs to fall into that category. Also, Bobby Cox has been fair game for tossups for quite a while, from what I've seen, and likely shall continue to be.
cvdwightw wrote:In general, a lot of pop culture/sports bonuses felt like they were either an easy 20 or a difficult 10 depending on how much you knew about the thing being asked.
Is that the definition of an appropriate bonus? That is, if you have some substantiative knowledge of the topic, you should get the easy and middle parts and then try to pull out the hard one, and if you don't, you try to work out what the easy part's supposed to be and take your 10? For all the examples pulled up of supposedly impossible trash bonuses (none mine; in the whole set, I think I'm only responsible for Joni), I think all of them have at least one part that would be a reasonable tossup answer at a normal trash event (Warren Moon, Demolition Man, Blood on the Tracks, etc.), with giveaway-level clues provided for them. I would be very surprised if, across the field, these had a lower conversion rate than the academic; perhaps if those q-by-q bonus stats ever get compiled we'll know for sure. It does mean that if you're a team without a good trash player you might get some zeros--but if you're a team without a decent lit or science player at ICT, you'll zero a bunch of those bonuses too; I don't see why there should be a difference.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Kyle » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:43 am

Ok, maybe Sandra Bullock movies are easier than I thought. I will go watch Demolition Man and let you all know what I think of it.

EDIT: Nevermind, I read the plot description and it looks stupid.
Last edited by Kyle on Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:47 am

Kyle wrote:Also, I'm not usually one to complain about the geography, but Qattara Depression / Tobruk / Gulf of Sidra was extremely hard. Gulf of Sidra is a much more obscure easy part than, for example, coming up with "To His Coy Mistress" after Marvell has already been the first part.
Precisely because Sidra is fairly obscure, I thought that would have been the hard part, if anything. Although these three are closer to even difficulty than most other bonuses, and gauging difficulty is probably confused by the history middle part (see, surreptitious reduction of the geography distribution with genuinely academic content!).
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Kyle » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:55 am

bt_green_warbler wrote:Precisely because Sidra is fairly obscure, I thought that would have been the hard part, if anything.
Really?

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:57 am

Eh, perhaps I overestimate people's knowledge of the Qattara Depression.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by vandyhawk » Tue Apr 15, 2008 12:58 am

Kyle wrote:Ok, maybe Sandra Bullock movies are easier than I thought. I will go watch Demolition Man and let you all know what I think of it.

EDIT: Nevermind, I read the plot description and it looks stupid.
You'll be missing a couple of the best movie quotes ever though.

"He lost his head." and "Take this job and shovel it." Plus, aren't all restaurants Taco Bell, or am I blending this one and Judge Dredd?

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:19 am

yoda4554 wrote:For all the examples pulled up of supposedly impossible trash bonuses (none mine; in the whole set, I think I'm only responsible for Joni), I think all of them have at least one part that would be a reasonable tossup answer at a normal trash event (Warren Moon, Demolition Man, Blood on the Tracks, etc.), with giveaway-level clues provided for them.

It does mean that if you're a team without a good trash player you might get some zeros--but if you're a team without a decent lit or science player at ICT, you'll zero a bunch of those bonuses too; I don't see why there should be a difference.
The reason I believe there should be a difference is because I don't see ICT as TRASH regionals lite, now with 80% academia. I see it as an academic tournament that, for flavor, includes some trash. I don't see the trash as something that ought to mandate passing up a science maven for a good science player who knows movies; rather, it's a gut check to make sure that we're experiencing reality and culture instead of locking ourselves in a room with resources until we've written 50/50 Celtic myth and 100/100 Croatian social history. If we're not exposed to the memes of the day and to a fun movie and to good music (Chocolate Rain, noteably, qualifies as all three), then we're not thriving.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Lapego1 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:31 am

vandyhawk wrote:Plus, aren't all restaurants Taco Bell, or am I blending this one and Judge Dredd?
Taco Bell indeed. Pretty awesome movie, especially the Simon Phoenix character played by a blond Wesley Snipes.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:49 am

everyday847 wrote:locking ourselves in a room with resources until we've written 50/50 Celtic myth and 100/100 Croatian social history
My secret plan for the 2009 ICT has been exposed?!?
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by geekjohnson » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:50 am

My team, Alabama, was able to 30 the Bullock bonus, and we had one of the lowest bpcs out there. I honestly thought it was pretty easy, at least the parts on the Net and Demolition Man. The Love Potion part was the hard part, though our team got it b/c of mine and teammate's knowledge of celeb nudity, which, if I recall correctly featured Mrs. Jessie James nude. I thought the set was pretty decent, the only thing I can remember disliking was the TU on the American Revolution, which confused the hell out of me. I just did not think that was what they were looking for, as I buzzed and said patriotism. Oh, btw, the Ric Flair TU was way too easy, as I had not watched wrestling in about 7 years and was able to power it within the first 5-8 words.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Tue Apr 15, 2008 1:57 am

everyday847 wrote:The reason I believe there should be a difference is because I don't see ICT as TRASH regionals lite, now with 80% academia. I see it as an academic tournament that, for flavor, includes some trash. I don't see the trash as something that ought to mandate passing up a science maven for a good science player who knows movies; rather, it's a gut check to make sure that we're experiencing reality and culture instead of locking ourselves in a room with resources until we've written 50/50 Celtic myth and 100/100 Croatian social history. If we're not exposed to the memes of the day and to a fun movie and to good music (Chocolate Rain, notably, qualifies as all three), then we're not thriving.
I am intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:00 am

Ukonvasara wrote: I am intrigued by your ideas and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
That's two people today. I need email addresses so that I can start sending it out. And also so I can refer y'all to a certified professional to heal you after prolonged exposure.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by dtaylor4 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:02 am

vandyhawk wrote:You'll be missing a couple of the best movie quotes ever though.
All of the good quotes from that movie come from the mouth of Mr. Edgar Friendly, played by Denis Leary. I mean, who doesn't want to smear green jello all over themselves and run nude reading Playboy on a whim?

For the record, I do not count myself among such people.

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by cvdwightw » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:35 am

I think there's a significant difference in between the trash and academic sides of any well written question. For instance, if I wanted to write a bonus on muscle proteins, I'd guess something like actin or myosin would be converted by most people with cursory knowledge, titin by some but not as many, and nebulin or desmin or some other minor protein by only a few; the important part being that almost no one is going to get the hard part without either getting the easy part or brainfarting on it. Now, to take the Sandra Bullock example, I would have 10'd that bonus by myself (we thirtied the bonus thanks to Brendan). The part I would have gotten? Love Potion No. 9.

I don't think it's right to say that trash has no canon. However, it is far, far more difficult to write bonuses well in trash because you are never going to get an ideal 90-50-10 structure; probably something more like a 60-60-30.

Similarly, I thought the Colt Brennan tossup was easy, but perhaps that's because the dude played a year at the local CC; "former Mater Dei player kicked out of Colorado" would resonate more with me than anything he did at Hawaii, but I'd assume I'm in the vast minority. This happens occasionally in academic areas (for instance, when I write something related to a tossup-worthy answer as the middle or hard part of a bonus and that's the only clue I can remember about that answer), but is much more prevalent with trash. I guess I'm trying to say that trash is much more vulnerable to the phenomenon of "I got this question, but I would not get this question if its entirety consisted of everything after FTP". On trash questions, what may look perfectly pyramidal to one person may look the exact opposite to another, whereas this rarely happens on academic questions.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled discussion of Demolition Man.

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:56 am

cvdwightw wrote:I guess I'm trying to say that trash is much more vulnerable to the phenomenon of "I got this question, but I would not get this question if its entirety consisted of everything after FTP". On trash questions, what may look perfectly pyramidal to one person may look the exact opposite to another, whereas this rarely happens on academic questions.
Gasp. That's EXACTLY right.

Back when I was a true n00b, before this year, when assigned to write some questions to prove that I was conscious, I wrote something on many different subjects. One of my tossups was on Empedocles, and I didn't realize that the whole "O HAI I AM A GOD IM IN UR VOLCANO KILLIN UR-- OKAY, KILLIN ME" event was widely known. I thought that a neat story would qualify as a good leadin, and his actual philosophical works were better middle-clue fodder. I managed to write a tossup that was literally anti-pyramidal, but only because I had little to no subject knowledge.

When I get trash at all, I power it. I don't know non-academic things except to an inappropriately intimate level. I could probably power "Never Gonna Give You Up" because I've memorized the lyrics for a karaoke night, watched the video hundreds of times, and have read about it repeatedly. That's not the best example because I would probably get the "quack quack name this song by Rick Astley, revived by YouTube" too. But, while I can identify the woman who made Princess Leia's belt, I can't identify the actress who played Leia without looking her name up. (It helps that my mom's roommate in college did it.)

So I'd answer "Her belt was made by Valerie Lastname, and" but I couldn't get "FTP, name this princess played by _____." (I'd at least need to have Star Wars after FTP.

Trash inherently leads to "I remember this obscurity for this odd reason."
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by silverscreentest » Tue Apr 15, 2008 9:40 am

I am pleasantly surprised at the defense made in my name. I have made my congratulations in another thread. Comparing the 2008 championship Maryland team to my 1981 championship Maryland team is like comparing today's Olympic track and field athletes to those guys in Chariots of Fire. I am in no way implying that today's players have pharmaceutical enchancements, only that I am a British upper-class twit.

I never actually played against anybody in that version of "Y'all Must've Forgot". I watched Tom Waters play, but never played against him in an actual game. The CBI Nationals were single-elimination then and we never faced each other. I did beat Lorin Burte of Three Boys and a Goy, then of Chicago. Do any other colleges stack up to Maryland and Chicago in terms of being a team that qualifies for nationals year after for 25+ years? It's hard enough to keep a program running continuously for that long.

I also beat Richard Cordray who played for Michigan State and has run for U.S. Congress. I never played against, but made the acquaintance of Greg Proops during the 1981 tournament. Proops is famous for Who's Line is It Anyway, as the voice of Bob the Builder in some North American versions and as the voice of one head of the two-headed pod race announcer in The Phantom Menace. All my Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon connections go through him.

When can I buy the championship t-shirts? I need to add it to my collection along with the Mens Basketball, Womens Basketball and Mens Soccer championship t-shirts.

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by yoda4554 » Tue Apr 15, 2008 10:23 am

cvdwightw wrote: I guess I'm trying to say that trash is much more vulnerable to the phenomenon of "I got this question, but I would not get this question if its entirety consisted of everything after FTP". On trash questions, what may look perfectly pyramidal to one person may look the exact opposite to another, whereas this rarely happens on academic questions.
I think this is much more common in academic questions than people realize, and I don't think there's any problem with it. For instance, I am not a huge expert on Wassily Kandinsky, but occasionally tossups on him refer early to The Yellow Sound, which I had to read for a theater class, and so I get them. And I should get such tossups early, because that's a relatively hardcore thing to know, and it isn't just based on having having heard seven million Blue Rider tossups. Similarly, if you get some random trash question from some bizarre clue, more power to you.

The same goes for bonuses; for all our efforts toward that rigid easy-middle-hard hierarchy in well-written bonuses, in practice we've all seen teams do stuff like miss the Of Mice and Men part of a Steinbeck bonus and convert the part on The Moon is Down. People often learn things in eclectic orders instead of neat progressions through a canon. In fact, I suspect that this sort of thing on average makes bonuses fit the desired point distribution better, rather than worse, because they tend to keep teams with decent general knowledge from getting zeros and, to a lesser extent, can prevent guaranteed thirties for canon masters.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Brian Ulrich » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:15 am

The bonuses on the ISS and NASA priorities were part of "Science Current Events," and I wrote them. I recognize they were imperfect, but ran into the same problem as the regular science distribution: No one else was writing anything.

I thought "Canada Hand" might be gettable because of the "Canadarm." And frankly, I'm convinced New Horizons was gettable - I've heard quite a bit about it, and know it has come up before.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by vcuEvan » Tue Apr 15, 2008 11:50 am

Brian Ulrich wrote:The bonuses on the ISS and NASA priorities were part of "Science Current Events," and I wrote them. I recognize they were imperfect, but ran into the same problem as the regular science distribution: No one else was writing anything.

I thought "Canada Hand" might be gettable because of the "Canadarm." And frankly, I'm convinced New Horizons was gettable - I've heard quite a bit about it, and know it has come up before.
I know pretty much nothing about space or probes or both, but I've heard of New Horizons and Canada Arm.

Overall I thought the set was good. I had fun playing it and the humanities questions did seem to show marked improvement. I can't really comment on science, but I'm sure most science players would prefer something learned in a class to army ants or antlers.

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by setht » Tue Apr 15, 2008 5:39 pm

gkandlikar wrote:It was an ok tournament. The most frustrating part I thought was the lack of real science which was taken over by a whole bunch of fake science, but I've been crying out loud about that for a while now, and I'm just quitting. It's really not worth it to continue to harp on about a bad product when I can see no visible improvent in the very best of NAQT's efforts.

I thought there were too many bonuses that either lacked an easy part or were just impossible to get even 10s or 20s on.

It was probably worth it to sacrifice D2 eligibility to play DI. Overall it was an ok experience for a first truly national tournament, but eh, it could have been better.

Gautam
I thought this was a good tournament; in particular, I think it compares favorably with the FICHTE set. I think the science in the FICHTE set was stronger overall, but that set did have some science issues (really hard bio, some lapses in chem). Anyway, I'm very surprised to hear Gautam calling the ICT set a bad product, and claiming to see no visible improvement in the very best of NAQT's efforts: as I said, I felt this was a good product, and I think there's been a very clear improvement in NAQT's ICT sets over the past 4 years.
Eärendil wrote:let's not forget the lovely tossups on "soil" and "bird songs."
I can't speak to the bird song tossup, but what's your objection to the soil tossup? I don't remember what clues showed up, and I don't have the questions handy, but soils are an important topic in earth science, they're often covered in introductory collegiate courses on earth science, and there are lots of good clues for a tossup on "soil." If you feel the question didn't do a good job of choosing clues, I'd be interested in hearing more; if your only objection is that the answer was "soil" and you don't think that's an okay topic for a tossup, I disagree.
vandyhawk wrote:I suppose some of us at or near the end of our playing days could actually do something about that and write some questions for future events. From a brief conversation with R., it sounds like they would really like some new science writers.
Please do--you did a solid job with the science for Regionals, and it's a shame to have the science at ICT lag in quality behind the rest of the distribution.

On Zorn's lemma: I sympathize with wanting to test for Zorn's lemma knowledge; axiom of choice comes up plenty often, and well-ordering shows up occasionally as a bonus part, but Zorn doesn't get much love. However, I think the only fair ways to reward Zorn's lemma knowledge (without accepting axiom of choice/well-ordering) are to have a bonus part on Zorn from its definition, or using it as a clue in a tossup on a related topic (like chains, or "maximal").
Wall of Ham wrote:The "8" question in particular described the eightfold way through most of the question, so why couldn't it be a TU on that? Perhaps it was thought too difficult, but if the "top soviet biologist" is tossupable, then so is the eightfold way.
I don't have the questions, so I'm not sure of this, but I think the DI version of the 8 tossup didn't just describe the 8-fold way for most of the question--perhaps in the process of converting the question for the DII set, the editors changed some of the harder early clues on other stuff to clues on the 8-fold way. In any case, as other people have pointed out, Lysenko is probably more acceptable as a tossup answer in DII than the 8-fold way.
grapesmoker wrote:First, let me congratulate Maryland on their first ever national title. The spirits of Maryland players past must surely be rejoicing. Pleasantries out of the way, I'll move on to the discussion.
Yes, congratulations to Maryland for an impressive performance. Didn't Maryland win the DII title last year?
grapesmoker wrote:Why are we answering tossups on "Systems of Geology" and "The Skeptical Chemist?" And is NAQT getting some NASA funding on the side, because half the science distribution in this set was pimping various NASA missions. I am funded by NASA and I've never heard of the New Horizons mission until this weekend. Maybe that's a fine thing to write a tossup on in isolation, but it's incredibly frustrating to be a good science team and watch your potentially game-winning advantage just eliminated in several games. I don't even think it would have helped us in the games we lost (two of those were against teams with great science players of their own, namely Chicago and Illinois, and the two others weren't even close) but it's preposterous to see an entire category totally undermined in several packets. Why are we being asked which country made the Dexter module for the ISS?! Is that some sort of weird way of working Canadiana into the set or what? I honestly don't understand this at all. There were also just a couple of clunkers (the dark matter, Joule-Thompson, Zorn's Lemma questions come to mind), but those by themselves wouldn't be so bad if the rest of the questions made up for it. I'm not a bio expert, but I understand from talking to various people that many of the bio questions were likewise deficient. Things like "army ants" and "ivory-billed woodpecker"(!) appear to me to be a dubious selection of answers. Anyway, as a whole the science part of the distribution was very poor in quality, far below the humanities part of the set, and I think that's regrettable; I don't know who does the science editing for NAQT, but whoever those people are, they really need to get on the ball and stop writing and letting through these generally awful questions.
I don't know about "The Skeptical Chymist"--I've heard it come up before in (m)ACF tournaments, including ACF Nats 2006, but I'm not sure how well-known/important it is--but Lyell's "Principles of Geology" seems fine: it's probably the best-known earth science text, and it was a major influence on Darwin, enough so that I think I heard about Lyell in AP Bio. I'd rather hear an earth science tossup on something else, because I'd probably do better on other stuff, but that's not a legitimate objection to the idea of a tossup on "Principles of Geology."

There was a large amount of NASA/space mission type stuff in the set, but based on Brian Ulrich's post in the survey thread, I think much of that was put in under current events, not science. That said, I think the science-related current events could stand to move away from space missions (and similar stuff like particle accelerators--this wasn't a huge thing in this set, but I think there have been some sets in the past with more of this stuff). This may not be a great example, but what about having a tossup on gamma ray bursts that starts with clues about GRB 080319B? I don't think it would be possible to have more than a sentence or two on recent stuff related to GRBs (there could be a mention of NASA's SWIFT satellite; I realize this is yet another NASA thing, but the question would be on GRBs, rather than on the SWIFT mission), then there'd be a sentence or two of clues on the science of GRBs. Is this "science question with some early clues based on recent stuff" acceptable as a model for a science current events question? I think this kind of question would be much easier for a science writer to produce than a question where all the clues are based on recent events. I think New Horizons is better-known than Jerry thought, but it would be easy to convert the question into a tossup on Pluto or the Kuiper belt with some clues about the New Horizons mission thrown in, and I think this would boost the conversion rate.

I agree with Jerry that the Joule-Thomson question was weak--in particular, I thought the lead-in was too easy. Jerry, what are your objections to the dark matter and Zorn's lemma questions? I thought the Zorn's lemma question should have had a different answer line, but I thought the clues were fine, and all I remember of the dark matter question was that you buzzed early on MOND, which seems like a fine early clue.

While I may disagree with Jerry on some of the specific questions he called out, I do agree with him that the quality of the science in general was clearly lower than the quality of the humanities in general.
grapesmoker wrote:Finally, a comment on the trash. I realize that my team is probably the weakest trash team at the whole tournament, but I think the trash bonuses were inordinately hard. We found it nearly impossible to even get 10 on these bonuses, many of which had the form of "show we've never heard of, obscure actress who played some role on show, more obscure role for same actress." I think the academic parts of the distribution tried to give most decent teams a reasonable 10; I think it's not too much to ask for trash questions to meet the same minimal level of accessibility.
Jerry, I'm not sure the trash bonuses were systematically harder than the academic bonuses. I played on a team with a good trash player and he didn't seem to have issues with converting decent numbers of points on those bonuses. In any case, the only way to figure this out is to look at conversion statistics.
grapesmoker wrote:Anyway, to cut this short, I think this was on balance a much better ICT than that of one or two years ago, but not as good as it could've been. The science needs substantial improvements, and the distribution should be ironed out to prevent bizarre rounds that tend to screw teams by overwhelmingly playing to one or another team's strengths. None of this prevented the best team from winning, but these are legitimate problems with the set that should be fixed in the future.
I agree with pretty much everything Jerry says here: at this point, the science is the main category holding the set back from being really good. I actually didn't notice huge variations in the round-by-round distribution, but given how many people have commented on this I figure I'm just oblivious. Having said that, I think the way to continue improving the ICT set is to get more circuit people involved in helping write questions, especially in areas like science.

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:03 pm

setht wrote: I don't know about "The Skeptical Chymist"--I've heard it come up before in (m)ACF tournaments, including ACF Nats 2006, but I'm not sure how well-known/important it is--but Lyell's "Principles of Geology" seems fine: it's probably the best-known earth science text, and it was a major influence on Darwin, enough so that I think I heard about Lyell in AP Bio. I'd rather hear an earth science tossup on something else, because I'd probably do better on other stuff, but that's not a legitimate objection to the idea of a tossup on "Principles of Geology."
I'm very much in favor of keeping Principles of Geology. In DII, the tossup asked for Lyell, and I negged in the middle with Wegener, because whenever I think the tossup is about Lyell, I end up finding myself saying Wegener. But it was one of the better science tossups I remember, very nicely paced. And it's significant enough that I definitely think it belongs.
setht wrote: I agree with Jerry that the Joule-Thomson question was weak--in particular, I thought the lead-in was too easy.
I think the DII question brings up an issue I have with giveaways being too easy. I tuned out once I realized that I knew nothing about it, then tuned back in for the giveaway in time to hear "named for the namesakes of a unit of energy and one of temperature." I buzz and get ten points for "Joule-Kelvin." I don't even know if that should have been accepted, but one way or another, it turned a question into a buzzer race that really should have gone dead. Those points were assigned randomly, because the giveaway was so easy. It's just like creating a buzzer race anywhere else, but I think it's more serious because it affects everyone--not just everyone who knows a middle clue that's becoming stock, but everyone who has taken a high school science course.

The mantra has been for a while: make your giveaway really easy, since it's a giveaway, and 90% of teams should be able to get it. I think there's a point where you have to have some set difficulty minimum. Tossups shouldn't be gettable without knowledge.

I can also believe that the lead-in was too easy, but I'll be honest, I might as well not have heard it.
setht wrote: Having said that, I think the way to continue improving the ICT set is to get more circuit people involved in helping write questions, especially in areas like science.
If I don't qualify next year, and if the circuit will have me, I'm all for it. (I know that a sophomore teammate of mine wrote a Round 8 music question, so the precedent exists.)

EDIT: I can close parens. No, really, I can! I'm just used to a syntax error yelling at me.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Apr 15, 2008 6:52 pm

setht wrote:Yes, congratulations to Maryland for an impressive performance. Didn't Maryland win the DII title last year?
Oh yeah...
I don't know about "The Skeptical Chymist"--I've heard it come up before in (m)ACF tournaments, including ACF Nats 2006, but I'm not sure how well-known/important it is
I believe that when it came up at ACF Nats 2006 it was a bonus answer, which is ok; as a tossup, particularly as one of a series of tossups that focused on various works of scientists that were all 200 years old or older, it's really annoying.
--but Lyell's "Principles of Geology" seems fine: it's probably the best-known earth science text, and it was a major influence on Darwin, enough so that I think I heard about Lyell in AP Bio. I'd rather hear an earth science tossup on something else, because I'd probably do better on other stuff, but that's not a legitimate objection to the idea of a tossup on "Principles of Geology."
I don't know if I would do better on a real earth science question; I'm not that great of an earth science player. But really now, I seriously doubt that "Principles of Geology" is the best-known earth science text. I'm pretty sure it's not part of the earth science curriculum at most institutions, and it really has nothing to do with anything that anyone in science actually studies. I guess my point is that the science distribution should reflect actual science topics rather than historical curiosities that no one actually reads. If there were a huge history of science constituency in quizbowl, maybe that would make things different, but there isn't.

By the way, since apparently historical curiosities like the 2nd most famous Galilean dialogue are now apparently all the rage, I think NAQT should start having questions on actual science textbooks. I expect a tossup on Jackson's "Classical Electrodynamics" or Sakurai, or Rudin's "Principles of Real Analysis."
There was a large amount of NASA/space mission type stuff in the set, but based on Brian Ulrich's post in the survey thread, I think much of that was put in under current events, not science. That said, I think the science-related current events could stand to move away from space missions (and similar stuff like particle accelerators--this wasn't a huge thing in this set, but I think there have been some sets in the past with more of this stuff).
It seems to me that there's a separate category for Current Events - Science, and that's where those questions went.

I don't understand the obsession with space missions, to be honest. It's a recurring feature of many NAQT sets, but I'm not sure what makes them so damn fascinating. Sure, a major mission like the Mars landers is remarkable, but I feel that most of the time these questions boil down to "have you read the story of the day?" I don't follow the NASA news feed religiously, and if that costs me one tossup, that's ok; it shouldn't be the focus of 5 or 6 questions throughout the tournament.
This may not be a great example, but what about having a tossup on gamma ray bursts that starts with clues about GRB 080319B? I don't think it would be possible to have more than a sentence or two on recent stuff related to GRBs (there could be a mention of NASA's SWIFT satellite; I realize this is yet another NASA thing, but the question would be on GRBs, rather than on the SWIFT mission), then there'd be a sentence or two of clues on the science of GRBs. Is this "science question with some early clues based on recent stuff" acceptable as a model for a science current events question?
I think this is a good idea, and that's how these questions should be written. I would have a much easier time going from SWIFT to GRBs than going from GRBs to SWIFT (of which I'm only dimly aware).
I think this kind of question would be much easier for a science writer to produce than a question where all the clues are based on recent events. I think New Horizons is better-known than Jerry thought, but it would be easy to convert the question into a tossup on Pluto or the Kuiper belt with some clues about the New Horizons mission thrown in, and I think this would boost the conversion rate.
I don't know; New Horizons sounds to me like something that you would know about if you either worked in planetary sciences or you read a lot about various NASA satellites, but not otherwise. I would not have converted that tossup even if it had gone to the end, since, as I said, I'd never heard of this mission (and can't think of any reason why I would have). In any case, science knowledge would probably be better rewarded by having tossups on the actual stuff being studied with current events clues rather than vice-versa.
I agree with Jerry that the Joule-Thomson question was weak--in particular, I thought the lead-in was too easy.
Yes, that's what I was referring to.
Jerry, what are your objections to the dark matter and Zorn's lemma questions? I thought the Zorn's lemma question should have had a different answer line, but I thought the clues were fine, and all I remember of the dark matter question was that you buzzed early on MOND, which seems like a fine early clue.
The MOND clue was ok, but to be honest, I was already buzzing before I heard that. The first clue of the question was talking about detecting this substance, and I was thinking, "what's a typical substance that we might be interested in detecting? Why, dark matter!" It just seems like it's very easy to "figure it out." By the way, I believe I wrote a tossup on dark matter for FICHTE in which I mentioned the Bullet cluster; that's exactly the kind of current events type stuff that scientists are likely to hear about.

As for the Zorn's lemma question, I thought it was silly to write a seemingly tricky question that was trying to get you to say "Zorn's lemma" instead of the obviously equivalent "axiom of choice." As Mike pointed out, this is clearly a correct answer; in fact, any equivalent of AC is obviously correct, so what's the point of the question? I buzzed with AC, was prompted, said "well-ordering," and was negged; did I really fail to show that I understood the underpinnings of the proof of Tychonoff's theorem?
Jerry, I'm not sure the trash bonuses were systematically harder than the academic bonuses. I played on a team with a good trash player and he didn't seem to have issues with converting decent numbers of points on those bonuses. In any case, the only way to figure this out is to look at conversion statistics.
I think I didn't make my point as clearly as I should have. What I'm trying to say is that citing a team with good trash players to support the notion that the trash was not that hard (as a couple of people seem to be doing) is mistaken; the question isn't whether good trash players will get any points on the bonuses but whether bad ones will. It was my opinion that the easy parts of those bonuses should have been easier, since I think the easy part of the academic bonuses were generally more friendly towards players who weren't able to get the other 20 points than the trash bonuses.

Speaking of trash, one welcome feature in this set was the increased representation of video games that people actually play. This is a good thing.
I agree with pretty much everything Jerry says here: at this point, the science is the main category holding the set back from being really good. I actually didn't notice huge variations in the round-by-round distribution, but given how many people have commented on this I figure I'm just oblivious. Having said that, I think the way to continue improving the ICT set is to get more circuit people involved in helping write questions, especially in areas like science.
I think the distribution issue is a serious one; I can't think of any compelling reason to not have a packet-centered distribution, especially since this is what's done by every other tournament. More to the point, I think there should be an explicit distribution for the first 22 questions, as often that is all that teams get to hear. Shunting geography towards the front and academic topics towards the rear results in an unbalanced packet even if you keep the overall distribution per packet identical.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by cvdwightw » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:10 pm

I plan on playing at ICT next year and for a few years to come, assuming we qualify; however, if we bid on next year's SCT and I am staffing that tournament then I will try to write lots of juicy bio and chem for people (I know I'm not the best science writer in the world, but a lot of the clunkers were probably things R. and others tossed up at 5 AM Thursday morning). I would encourage other science writers to do the same (that is, if your team is already getting an autobid for hosting, go ahead and write part of the SCT science instead of play. I'm sure both NAQT and the circuit will be thankful). I'm not sure how many people have already started doing this, but if we can fill in the gaps in the SCT science quality, then perhaps ICT science quality will follow.

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Apr 15, 2008 7:58 pm

grapesmoker wrote: The MOND clue was ok, but to be honest, I was already buzzing before I heard that. The first clue of the question was talking about detecting this substance, and I was thinking, "what's a typical substance that we might be interested in detecting? Why, dark matter!" It just seems like it's very easy to "figure it out."
The DII question felt the same way. There was an early clue on DAMA, and I thought to myself--this either has to do with dark matter or with dark energy, and I've only heard about it in the context of the former. Even though I'm 99% sure it's the former, since we're not really physically looking for the latter, I'll sit until I get another clue. Great idea, Andy. Next clue: 25% of the universe, buzzer race, ten points to our opponents.

I don't know how to avoid transparency for questions on things like dark matter when ultimately you have to admit physicists are looking for it. At this level, if it's not the Higgs, then it's dark matter. Starting a question with the Bullet Cluster is a smart way to prevent the lead-in from becoming transparent, but though I didn't go to FICHTE and don't have the tossup in front of me, I feel like it's inevitable that there will be transparency sooner or later.
grapesmoker wrote: I think I didn't make my point as clearly as I should have. What I'm trying to say is that citing a team with good trash players to support the notion that the trash was not that hard (as a couple of people seem to be doing) is mistaken; the question isn't whether good trash players will get any points on the bonuses but whether bad ones will. It was my opinion that the easy parts of those bonuses should have been easier, since I think the easy part of the academic bonuses were generally more friendly towards players who weren't able to get the other 20 points than the trash bonuses.
Right: ICT should be intended for bad trash players, or at least not specifically intended for good ones. I'd hate to see a day where you have a player for each of the Big Three--science, lit, history--and they divide up the spoils--social science, arts, RMP--and then the natural choice for a fourth player is someone who knows trash. (Oddly, if you go by percentages, this is almost the right thing to do for NAQT, with what, a nearly 20% tournament-wide CE/trash/GK distribution? If someone can find that thread, that'd be wonderful, since I can't.)
grapesmoker wrote: I think the distribution issue is a serious one; I can't think of any compelling reason to not have a packet-centered distribution, especially since this is what's done by every other tournament. More to the point, I think there should be an explicit distribution for the first 22 questions, as often that is all that teams get to hear. Shunting geography towards the front and academic topics towards the rear results in an unbalanced packet even if you keep the overall distribution per packet identical.
However much I like this proposal, it's also unbalanced to shunt geography towards the rear and force academic topics towards the front, especially when mods get you through only 20 questions. I think a better solution is to keep it timed, but increase the time, so that you play out the packet more often.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Eärendil » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:37 am

setht wrote:
Eärendil wrote:let's not forget the lovely tossups on "soil" and "bird songs."
I can't speak to the bird song tossup, but what's your objection to the soil tossup? I don't remember what clues showed up, and I don't have the questions handy, but soils are an important topic in earth science, they're often covered in introductory collegiate courses on earth science, and there are lots of good clues for a tossup on "soil." If you feel the question didn't do a good job of choosing clues, I'd be interested in hearing more; if your only objection is that the answer was "soil" and you don't think that's an okay topic for a tossup, I disagree.
I don't have the question in front of me, either, so everything that follows is from memory (by all means correct me if I'm wrong). So, from what I remember:

The lead-in was something along the lines of "it was the subject of Darwin's last book," which for some reason made me think of earthworms. I might have buzzed in with that if the next few clues were biological, but what followed were a series of classifications or grades of soil, on both national and international levels. I don't remember the details, but the clues sounded more commerical than scientific. The question ended with something like, "FTP, name this substance involved in leaching, nitrogen fixation..." etc., at which point it descended into a buzzer race in our room.

I believe you that soils are important and tossup-worthy; however, if that's the motivating factor for including it as a tossup, then the clues in that tossup should reflect its relevance. I'm sure there are tons of important stuff on soil composition, formation, chemistry, and so forth, but, to the best of my memory, none of that actually appeared in this particular tossup.

Moreover, I don't know whether this tossup was part of NAQT's science distribution or general knowledge distribution. If it's the latter, then it might be an okay question at the SCT or DII level, but in DI, where the probability of having someone well-versed in earth science is fairly likely, the clues should at least favor someone who has real knowledge of soil. If it's the former, then it was a pretty weak science question and should have either been rewritten so as to remove the focus on soil trivia, or it should have been replaced altogether. Given the recent discussion on the paucity of good science writers, I can understand why it might have been left in.

On another note:
setht wrote:I don't know about "The Skeptical Chymist"--I've heard it come up before in (m)ACF tournaments, including ACF Nats 2006, but I'm not sure how well-known/important it is--but Lyell's "Principles of Geology" seems fine: it's probably the best-known earth science text, and it was a major influence on Darwin, enough so that I think I heard about Lyell in AP Bio.
grapesmoker wrote:But really now, I seriously doubt that "Principles of Geology" is the best-known earth science text. I'm pretty sure it's not part of the earth science curriculum at most institutions, and it really has nothing to do with anything that anyone in science actually studies. I guess my point is that the science distribution should reflect actual science topics rather than historical curiosities that no one actually reads.
We read Lyell's "Principles of Geology" in my history of science course, so I'm guessing this was part of the history distribution.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Important Bird Area » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:44 am

Both soils and Principles of Geology were listed as tossups in Earth Science.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:57 am

Questions about books that were at one point foundational to their field but are no longer read by people who are actually in that field are something that I am surprised people do not complain about more.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by setht » Wed Apr 16, 2008 12:04 pm

everyday847 wrote:
yoda4554 wrote:For all the examples pulled up of supposedly impossible trash bonuses (none mine; in the whole set, I think I'm only responsible for Joni), I think all of them have at least one part that would be a reasonable tossup answer at a normal trash event (Warren Moon, Demolition Man, Blood on the Tracks, etc.), with giveaway-level clues provided for them.

It does mean that if you're a team without a good trash player you might get some zeros--but if you're a team without a decent lit or science player at ICT, you'll zero a bunch of those bonuses too; I don't see why there should be a difference.
The reason I believe there should be a difference is because I don't see ICT as TRASH regionals lite, now with 80% academia. I see it as an academic tournament that, for flavor, includes some trash. I don't see the trash as something that ought to mandate passing up a science maven for a good science player who knows movies; rather, it's a gut check to make sure that we're experiencing reality and culture instead of locking ourselves in a room with resources until we've written 50/50 Celtic myth and 100/100 Croatian social history. If we're not exposed to the memes of the day and to a fun movie and to good music (Chocolate Rain, noteably, qualifies as all three), then we're not thriving.
I think I'm with Dave on this one. If you want to make sure that teams don't care about knowing trash when selecting players, you need to cut the percentage of trash questions way down (and similarly with geography and current events). I don't think there is such a thing as a pool of trash topics that lots of strong-academic but weak-trash players know well, that lots of strong-trash players don't know better. Personally, I'd like to see somewhat less trash, geography and current events, but I'd probably still leave in enough that it's not worth ignoring unless you can really dominate the other categories, and honestly, if you can really dominate history/literature/science/a little more academic stuff, you should be able to crush every team at ICT already.
everyday847 wrote:I think the DII question brings up an issue I have with giveaways being too easy. I tuned out once I realized that I knew nothing about it, then tuned back in for the giveaway in time to hear "named for the namesakes of a unit of energy and one of temperature." I buzz and get ten points for "Joule-Kelvin." I don't even know if that should have been accepted, but one way or another, it turned a question into a buzzer race that really should have gone dead. Those points were assigned randomly, because the giveaway was so easy. It's just like creating a buzzer race anywhere else, but I think it's more serious because it affects everyone--not just everyone who knows a middle clue that's becoming stock, but everyone who has taken a high school science course.

The mantra has been for a while: make your giveaway really easy, since it's a giveaway, and 90% of teams should be able to get it. I think there's a point where you have to have some set difficulty minimum. Tossups shouldn't be gettable without knowledge.
Joule-Kelvin is fine, because the Thompson in question is William Thompson, Baron Kelvin. Honestly, I don't think that giveaway is too easy: suppose you know literally nothing about the Joule-Thomson effect, and that giveaway comes up. I can imagine that people would immediately figure out Joule (what other namesake energy units could it be?), but there are at least 3 good possibilities for the temperature part. Anyway, I think the real issue is that Joule-Thomson may not be known well enough at the DII level to warrant a tossup, if it made it to the giveaway in multiple rooms. If this was an isolated event in your room, then I'd say the question, including the giveaway, was fine--except that the lead-in was too easy for DI.
everyday847 wrote:If I don't qualify next year, and if the circuit will have me, I'm all for it. (I know that a sophomore teammate of mine wrote a Round 8 music question, so the precedent exists.)
Go for it. I think you have some unorthodox ideas about difficulty, but there'll be editors looking over your questions.
grapesmoker wrote:
I don't know about "The Skeptical Chymist"--I've heard it come up before in (m)ACF tournaments, including ACF Nats 2006, but I'm not sure how well-known/important it is
I believe that when it came up at ACF Nats 2006 it was a bonus answer, which is ok; as a tossup, particularly as one of a series of tossups that focused on various works of scientists that were all 200 years old or older, it's really annoying.
Fair enough, I guess. I remember tossups on Skeptical Chymist, Principles of Geology, and Dialogues Concerning Two New Sciences; were there others? If not, is 3 tossups out of ~90 that crazy? I think it's more than normal, but not a ridiculous amount.
grapesmoker wrote:
--but Lyell's "Principles of Geology" seems fine: it's probably the best-known earth science text, and it was a major influence on Darwin, enough so that I think I heard about Lyell in AP Bio. I'd rather hear an earth science tossup on something else, because I'd probably do better on other stuff, but that's not a legitimate objection to the idea of a tossup on "Principles of Geology."
I don't know if I would do better on a real earth science question; I'm not that great of an earth science player. But really now, I seriously doubt that "Principles of Geology" is the best-known earth science text. I'm pretty sure it's not part of the earth science curriculum at most institutions, and it really has nothing to do with anything that anyone in science actually studies. I guess my point is that the science distribution should reflect actual science topics rather than historical curiosities that no one actually reads. If there were a huge history of science constituency in quizbowl, maybe that would make things different, but there isn't.
I've thought about it some more, and I'm more convinced that Principles really is the best-known earth science text--I literally can't think of another candidate (maybe Turcotte and Schubert's Geodynamics, and that's a pretty ridiculous competitor). I'm not aware of any single widely-known text by Hutton or Richter or anyone like that that could possibly be more widely-known (can anyone else think of a candidate?). My introductory earth science book calls it "one of the first and most influential geology textbooks," and I think it's very widely-known via Darwin. It's certainly not part of the current earth science curriculum in the sense that no one reads it directly, but it gets mentioned in intro/survey courses, and it gets mentioned in bio classes. Aside from its influence on Darwin, who in turn influenced earth science disciplines like stratigraphy, I think there is an argument that it has been relevant to recent earth science: the Principles popularized the theory of uniformitarianism, and uniformitarianism was the dominant paradigm in geology until fairly recently, when the Alvarezes managed to get the earth science community to accept the impact hypothesis for the K-T boundary. Since then, I believe there's been more work on fitting catastrophic events into a uniformitarian background. It may no longer be cutting-edge research (or it might be, I really don't know), but it's certainly not stuff that was figured out 200 years ago and hasn't been touched since then.

Of the three tossups I can remember on science texts, I would say that Principles is the most justified as a tossup topic, but perhaps Skeptical Chymist and Two Dialogues have been similarly influential in recent scientific thought. Jerry, like you I prefer tossups on currently-relevant science concepts, but a) I think Principles fits that paradigm reasonably well, b) I think it's okay to have occasional science questions on older stuff that was important to the development of science.
grapesmoker wrote:By the way, since apparently historical curiosities like the 2nd most famous Galilean dialogue are now apparently all the rage, I think NAQT should start having questions on actual science textbooks. I expect a tossup on Jackson's "Classical Electrodynamics" or Sakurai, or Rudin's "Principles of Real Analysis."
I'd enjoy that, you'd enjoy that, and a few other people would enjoy that, but I don't think there are enough people to warrant such questions. Which is a shame, because I'd really enjoy that.
grapesmoker wrote:I don't understand the obsession with space missions, to be honest. It's a recurring feature of many NAQT sets, but I'm not sure what makes them so damn fascinating. Sure, a major mission like the Mars landers is remarkable, but I feel that most of the time these questions boil down to "have you read the story of the day?" I don't follow the NASA news feed religiously, and if that costs me one tossup, that's ok; it shouldn't be the focus of 5 or 6 questions throughout the tournament.
I agree.
grapesmoker wrote:
Jerry, what are your objections to the dark matter and Zorn's lemma questions? I thought the Zorn's lemma question should have had a different answer line, but I thought the clues were fine, and all I remember of the dark matter question was that you buzzed early on MOND, which seems like a fine early clue.
The MOND clue was ok, but to be honest, I was already buzzing before I heard that. The first clue of the question was talking about detecting this substance, and I was thinking, "what's a typical substance that we might be interested in detecting? Why, dark matter!" It just seems like it's very easy to "figure it out." By the way, I believe I wrote a tossup on dark matter for FICHTE in which I mentioned the Bullet cluster; that's exactly the kind of current events type stuff that scientists are likely to hear about.

As for the Zorn's lemma question, I thought it was silly to write a seemingly tricky question that was trying to get you to say "Zorn's lemma" instead of the obviously equivalent "axiom of choice." As Mike pointed out, this is clearly a correct answer; in fact, any equivalent of AC is obviously correct, so what's the point of the question? I buzzed with AC, was prompted, said "well-ordering," and was negged; did I really fail to show that I understood the underpinnings of the proof of Tychonoff's theorem?
Fair enough on the dark matter question; I'd have to look at the text again to see whether the wording ruled out things like dark energy, neutrinos, WIMPs, MACHOs, axions, magnetic monopoles, the Higgs boson... If it narrowed things down too fast, that's a shame, because the following clue (on MOND) seemed nice and hard.

I think we can all agree that the answer line to the Zorn's lemma tossup was less than ideal, which is again a shame, since the clues all seemed pretty good.
grapesmoker wrote:
Jerry, I'm not sure the trash bonuses were systematically harder than the academic bonuses. I played on a team with a good trash player and he didn't seem to have issues with converting decent numbers of points on those bonuses. In any case, the only way to figure this out is to look at conversion statistics.
I think I didn't make my point as clearly as I should have. What I'm trying to say is that citing a team with good trash players to support the notion that the trash was not that hard (as a couple of people seem to be doing) is mistaken; the question isn't whether good trash players will get any points on the bonuses but whether bad ones will. It was my opinion that the easy parts of those bonuses should have been easier, since I think the easy part of the academic bonuses were generally more friendly towards players who weren't able to get the other 20 points than the trash bonuses.
You might be right about this, but to some extent it depends on just how weak your team is on trash--if, like me, you know almost nothing about TV shows, and almost all teams know at least a little, I don't think you're justified in saying your team should be able to pull 10 on TV questions. If you feel like you were the weakest trash team in the field, perhaps it's okay that you guys 0'd several trash bonuses. Chicago wasn't very strong on history (or geography, or a couple other subjects) and we 0'd a goodly number of those bonuses, and I think that's fine.
cvdwightw wrote:if we bid on next year's SCT and I am staffing that tournament then I will try to write lots of juicy bio and chem for people (I know I'm not the best science writer in the world, but a lot of the clunkers were probably things R. and others tossed up at 5 AM Thursday morning). I would encourage other science writers to do the same (that is, if your team is already getting an autobid for hosting, go ahead and write part of the SCT science instead of play. I'm sure both NAQT and the circuit will be thankful). I'm not sure how many people have already started doing this, but if we can fill in the gaps in the SCT science quality, then perhaps ICT science quality will follow.
Please do this. I wrote some stuff this year for SCT in the same situation (we bid to host, and I knew I was going to be staffing). My experience with writing questions for NAQT has been that almost every science question I write is immediately used in a packet set, while questions I write in other areas aren't always used immediately, tying in with what people have said about low science production. If people write SCT science, presumably this will keep NAQT's stores of high-level science questions from being depleted right before ICT, and this will help avoid situations where R. and others have to scramble to write a bunch of science questions at the last second.
Eärendil wrote:I don't have the question in front of me, either, so everything that follows is from memory (by all means correct me if I'm wrong). So, from what I remember:

The lead-in was something along the lines of "it was the subject of Darwin's last book," which for some reason made me think of earthworms. I might have buzzed in with that if the next few clues were biological, but what followed were a series of classifications or grades of soil, on both national and international levels. I don't remember the details, but the clues sounded more commerical than scientific. The question ended with something like, "FTP, name this substance involved in leaching, nitrogen fixation..." etc., at which point it descended into a buzzer race in our room.

I believe you that soils are important and tossup-worthy; however, if that's the motivating factor for including it as a tossup, then the clues in that tossup should reflect its relevance. I'm sure there are tons of important stuff on soil composition, formation, chemistry, and so forth, but, to the best of my memory, none of that actually appeared in this particular tossup.
I don't remember the question well enough to correct anything. The Darwin clue sounds all right but not great to me (his last book was indeed on earthworm bioturbation). The classification/grades stuff might be juicy for earth scientists: pedalfers, pedocals, and laterites are all good buzz words. Humus and leaching should be pretty good later clues. Gelifluction, horizons and regolith would also make nice clues. I would say that all these things (well, the stuff after Darwin, at least, and the Darwin clue might be fine) count as real ultimate soil science, not soil trivia. I don't know how much of this stuff made it into the tossup. In any case, the main point I wanted to make is that an earth science tossup on "soil" is not a ridiculous idea--it's not like writing a history tossup on "the past."
Eärendil wrote:On another note:
setht wrote:I don't know about "The Skeptical Chymist"--I've heard it come up before in (m)ACF tournaments, including ACF Nats 2006, but I'm not sure how well-known/important it is--but Lyell's "Principles of Geology" seems fine: it's probably the best-known earth science text, and it was a major influence on Darwin, enough so that I think I heard about Lyell in AP Bio.
grapesmoker wrote:But really now, I seriously doubt that "Principles of Geology" is the best-known earth science text. I'm pretty sure it's not part of the earth science curriculum at most institutions, and it really has nothing to do with anything that anyone in science actually studies. I guess my point is that the science distribution should reflect actual science topics rather than historical curiosities that no one actually reads.
We read Lyell's "Principles of Geology" in my history of science course, so I'm guessing this was part of the history distribution.
History of science gets lumped in with science, although my impression is that history of science is taught more often through history departments than through science departments. In any case, I think Principles has a claim to more recent relevance, as I said above.

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:37 pm

setht wrote:I've thought about it some more, and I'm more convinced that Principles really is the best-known earth science text--I literally can't think of another candidate (maybe Turcotte and Schubert's Geodynamics, and that's a pretty ridiculous competitor). I'm not aware of any single widely-known text by Hutton or Richter or anyone like that that could possibly be more widely-known (can anyone else think of a candidate?). My introductory earth science book calls it "one of the first and most influential geology textbooks," and I think it's very widely-known via Darwin. It's certainly not part of the current earth science curriculum in the sense that no one reads it directly, but it gets mentioned in intro/survey courses, and it gets mentioned in bio classes. Aside from its influence on Darwin, who in turn influenced earth science disciplines like stratigraphy, I think there is an argument that it has been relevant to recent earth science: the Principles popularized the theory of uniformitarianism, and uniformitarianism was the dominant paradigm in geology until fairly recently, when the Alvarezes managed to get the earth science community to accept the impact hypothesis for the K-T boundary. Since then, I believe there's been more work on fitting catastrophic events into a uniformitarian background. It may no longer be cutting-edge research (or it might be, I really don't know), but it's certainly not stuff that was figured out 200 years ago and hasn't been touched since then.

Of the three tossups I can remember on science texts, I would say that Principles is the most justified as a tossup topic, but perhaps Skeptical Chymist and Two Dialogues have been similarly influential in recent scientific thought. Jerry, like you I prefer tossups on currently-relevant science concepts, but a) I think Principles fits that paradigm reasonably well, b) I think it's okay to have occasional science questions on older stuff that was important to the development of science.
Part of the problem with these kinds of things is that you're now opening up the field for virtually any book whatsoever that was ever important to a subfield of science. I mean, why not Harvey's "On the Circulation of the Blood" (or whatever it's called) or maybe De Revolutionibus? How about Aristotle's Physics as part of the science distribution? It's even got physics right there in the name! And if we're using foundational importance as a criterion, then there obviously should have been questions on Einstein's 1905 papers, or Maxwell's "Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism." After all, not only were these foundational works, the stuff in them is actually still right, unlike the stuff in "The Skeptical Chymist" or "Principles of Geology," and people actually read Einstein's papers sometimes.

I don't question the importance of Lyell's book to the development of geology as a science, any more than I would question the importance of "Origin of Species" to evolution. But neither of those things, in my opinion, really constitutes something that is key to science or is a test of scientific concepts. One can be a fine geneticist or physicist without ever having read Darwin or Newton. If there is such an overriding demand for tossups on outdated science texts, they should probably go into the miscellaneous category; I suspect, however, that these questions were actually just used to fill space in the science category, and were not written because people really wanted to hear tossups on these things.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by btressler » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:39 am

grapesmoker wrote:If there is such an overriding demand for tossups on outdated science texts, they should probably go into the miscellaneous category; I suspect, however, that these questions were actually just used to fill space in the science category, and were not written because people really wanted to hear tossups on these things.
Once upon a time, when CBI attempted to rule to the world, we had humanities players writing science questions. The humanities players really liked history of science because they understood it. So lots were written.

Recently, the science players rebelled and demanded science questions about science and not history. So now the pendulum has swung the other way. And of course, they had a valid point.

As someone who does enjoy history of science, is there no place in the distribution for history of science? Like 1/0 or 0/1, even if it's every other round. As part of the history questions?

Part of this comes from the fact that my best categories are math, computer science, astronomy, and history of science. Some tournaments I can count the number of questions in these categories on one hand, or two if I'm lucky.

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Thu Apr 17, 2008 9:08 am

If you're going to move these questions to the history distribution, I hope that you reformulate them so that they are about the historical impact of the books rather than about the science in the book.

I haven't really taken any college-level history classes, but I imagine that if these books are taught in those classes, it's more like "look at how this book is indicative of social change trending towards greater freedom of thought/right to disagree with the Catholic Church" rather than "Hey, let's learn what this book actually says about Science".

(As Seth Teitler should know, because Jared Sagoff and Kannan Mahadevan both major in it, at Chicago they teach "History of Science" as a separate [and cult-like] major. Perhaps they do that elsewhere too?)
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by grapesmoker » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:14 am

Stat74 wrote:As someone who does enjoy history of science, is there no place in the distribution for history of science? Like 1/0 or 0/1, even if it's every other round. As part of the history questions?
With the current NAQT distribution, 1/0 or 0/1 every other round would still result in something like 5/5 history of science, which is actually more than the current tournament had. I'm personally not a fan of this distribution because I'm not convinced that there's anything contained in it that's not adequately covered by some combination of other subdistributions already. For example, taking the hint from Bruce, I checked out the courses at the Fishbein center at UoC. There are a bunch of courses covering anthropology (which is already part of social sciences), a course on Foucault (already in philosophy), a course in the history of modern psychology (also already present), two history of medicine course, and a smattering of other topics. There's a class on evolution of cosmology, but are we really going to have a Galilean dialogue in every tournament? That's not feasible, and beyond that, you're going to start digging into Babylonian astronomical systems and whatever, and no one is going to like that. By the way, the Greek astronomers already get covered anyway, as do the various pioneers of modern cosmology and dudes who discovered planets, so it's not like they need more space in the distribution.
Part of this comes from the fact that my best categories are math, computer science, astronomy, and history of science. Some tournaments I can count the number of questions in these categories on one hand, or two if I'm lucky.
I think the solution to your plight is to increase the number of math and CS questions in the distribution. I tried to do that with FICHTE, but I never heard back from anyone as to whether they thought that was enough or too much or what.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:31 am

grapesmoker wrote:
Stat74 wrote:As someone who does enjoy history of science, is there no place in the distribution for history of science? Like 1/0 or 0/1, even if it's every other round. As part of the history questions?
With the current NAQT distribution, 1/0 or 0/1 every other round would still result in something like 5/5 history of science, which is actually more than the current tournament had. I'm personally not a fan of this distribution because I'm not convinced that there's anything contained in it that's not adequately covered by some combination of other subdistributions already. For example, taking the hint from Bruce, I checked out the courses at the Fishbein center at UoC. There are a bunch of courses covering anthropology (which is already part of social sciences), a course on Foucault (already in philosophy), a course in the history of modern psychology (also already present), two history of medicine course, and a smattering of other topics. There's a class on evolution of cosmology, but are we really going to have a Galilean dialogue in every tournament? That's not feasible, and beyond that, you're going to start digging into Babylonian astronomical systems and whatever, and no one is going to like that. By the way, the Greek astronomers already get covered anyway, as do the various pioneers of modern cosmology and dudes who discovered planets, so it's not like they need more space in the distribution.
Part of this comes from the fact that my best categories are math, computer science, astronomy, and history of science. Some tournaments I can count the number of questions in these categories on one hand, or two if I'm lucky.
I think the solution to your plight is to increase the number of math and CS questions in the distribution. I tried to do that with FICHTE, but I never heard back from anyone as to whether they thought that was enough or too much or what.
I think NAQT has a decent enough CS distribution, usually being a lot more than the shaft it gets (usually no more than 2/2) in many (m)ACF tournaments. The actual quality of the CS at NAQT has been a bit sketchy in the past, but in terms of distribution it's probably fine.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by btressler » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:52 am

grapesmoker wrote:I think the solution to your plight is to increase the number of math and CS questions in the distribution. I tried to do that with FICHTE, but I never heard back from anyone as to whether they thought that was enough or too much or what.
What was there was appreciated. I powered Cauchy and got pointers off of "dangling". I buzzer raced Dan Schafer on a few more. And I foolishly negged myself out of the accretion disk tossup.

I could have powered the endlessly-asked four color map theorem, but alas the moderator did not reach that tossup in our room.

I do agree that NAQT makes an effort to include these categories. But many open events do not and we get "big three" almost all day.

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by samer » Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:46 pm

ToStrikeInfinitely wrote:the chemistry distribution in particular was divided into "elements" and "non-elements".
No, it's actually more complex than that, and elements are strictly limited to a small percentage of that distribution.

As others have pointed out, the production did lag behind schedule this year, and nowhere more so than in science. Needless to say, I'm hoping that doesn't recur in the future.

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Gautam » Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:48 pm

samer wrote:
ToStrikeInfinitely wrote:the chemistry distribution in particular was divided into "elements" and "non-elements".
No, it's actually more complex than that, and elements are strictly limited to a small percentage of that distribution.

As others have pointed out, the production did lag behind schedule this year, and nowhere more so than in science. Needless to say, I'm hoping that doesn't recur in the future.
What percent is "a small percentage"?

I counted tossups on "platinum" "barium" and "liquid oxygen" (eh, oxygen is an element anyway). Assuming those are the only 3 elements tossups in the 18 (?) rounds, and assuming there's 1 chem tossup per round, that's still 16.7% of the chem distribution, which is unacceptable.

And I say this is unacceptable because the platinum and the liquid oxygen tossups absolutely blew. The platinum tossup babbled about it being an expensive metal, and a catalyst for a bunch of things, and I don't think any part of that tossup distinguished Platinum from palladium. If you're writing tossups on elements, make sure the clues are not vague like "it's expensive" or "it's inert" or "it's shiny" and that the clues allow one element to be easily distinguisable from other similar ones!

On the other hand, the "liquid oxygen" tossup mentioned something about paramagnetic properties very early in the question, and for the rest of the time, just forced you to play chicken.

Tossups on elements are ok, but they can be written much better.

That's all.

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Apr 17, 2008 4:47 pm

setht wrote: I don't think there is such a thing as a pool of trash topics that lots of strong-academic but weak-trash players know well, that lots of strong-trash players don't know better.
Eric and I both know chem well, though he's much better than I am. But I'm fairly sure that, at least in the way that they're treated in the organic chemistry canon, there are tossups shallow enough that we're equally good on them. It's very possible that we know an equal proportion of all possible Diels-Alder clues, to beat a dead horse. Similarly, you can write a good tossup on a recent movie, and there's less of a disparity between myself and a trash god. Granted, the god might know it on the leadin, but at least we'll both know the answer. (Lots of trash tossups went dead in my rooms, and in those situations one could wish that you had brought someone for the trash: that shouldn't be happening.) Hence, I say go for, since you're going to have some, have more accessible trash--a narrower canon--and while strong still beats weak, there will be fewer blank stares.

I'm just concerned that more teams felt like mine. While when we zero a history bonus, we might think "Oh, I didn't know THAT was something Margaret Thatcher did. Cool, I'll write that down." "The Falklands? Huh, I thought that war was fought between Chile and Argentina. D'oh!" "Can't say I'd ever heard of the Isabella incident." When we zero a trash bonus, we sit there sullenly, unable to connect to the material in any way, because I never have cared about Julia Roberts and couldn't imagine taking an active effort to learn trash just to be better at NAQT. I think that zeroed trash bonuses shouldn't happen much at all. Perhaps the target should be the same PPB, but perhaps there should be less variation--many more 10s and 20s. (This would even reward particularly hardcore trash players.)

The best solution, obviously, is less trash.
setht wrote: Joule-Kelvin is fine, because the Thompson in question is William Thompson, Baron Kelvin. Honestly, I don't think that giveaway is too easy: suppose you know literally nothing about the Joule-Thomson effect, and that giveaway comes up. I can imagine that people would immediately figure out Joule (what other namesake energy units could it be?), but there are at least 3 good possibilities for the temperature part. Anyway, I think the real issue is that Joule-Thomson may not be known well enough at the DII level to warrant a tossup, if it made it to the giveaway in multiple rooms. If this was an isolated event in your room, then I'd say the question, including the giveaway, was fine--except that the lead-in was too easy for DI.
I don't know about that. The other temperature possibilities are a minor astronomer and an unremarkable physicist. They're famous for squat outside of their temperature scales; Kelvin wouldn't STOP doing interesting things. Even if the giveaway left you guessing between three exactly equivalent options, it's still guessing. Guessing isn't any better than a buzzer race. Better to have infinitely many good possibilities--which actually is enough to discourage guesses--so better to have ended the tossup on the previous clue.

Having looked it up, I don't know why I didn't know it. I bet other DII rooms got it earlier.
setht wrote: Go for it. I think you have some unorthodox ideas about difficulty, but there'll be editors looking over your questions.
What ideas are those? The only idea that I know I've presented about difficulty has to do with giveaways, and I don't know if it's any more than disliking the "put the words together" or the NAcutie ("FTP, name this rearrangement that could probably 'deal with' a lot of stress."). I'm open to arguments suggesting that those are good, or maybe I'm strawmanning the position--or maybe I don't know what you meant.

I value your opinion, especially as your bonus writing guide rocks my socks.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:07 pm

Also xenon (lower bound now 22%).

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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by theMoMA » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:27 pm

It's been shown that tossups on elements can be really good, especially when they stick to one theme (in the past year, tossups on magnesium in biology, hydrogen in astronomy, and palladium in organic chemistry stick out as particularly interesting and well-written). It does seem like NAQT's elements tossups are more likely to be on unimportant elements with more trivial clues, especially the ones that are in the chemistry distribution. I usually pay attention when I hear chemistry tossups, because I find the subject very interesting even though I'm less likely to get the tossup than Gautam, and it's very disheartening to start hearing clues about smoke detectors, catalytic converters, etc. instead of clues about the proton-proton chain, or organopalladium catalysts, or what have you.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:32 pm

SELENIUM!!!!!!!!!!
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Mechanical Beasts
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:49 pm

Deesy Does It wrote:SELENIUM!!!!!!!!!!
NAQT should take its element questions and their style from Hometown High-Q.

Up until my junior year, there were element tossups. They would show us a periodic table with a red square covered. I missed one sophomore year because I negged (the "uniquely identifying" leadin: it's magnetic quack quack quack--I got antsy). This made me angry. So I memorized the damn periodic table, which led to me buzzing on "neodymium" on the second word of the question. Needless to say, those questions didn't come back my senior year.
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by dschafer » Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:27 pm

everyday847 wrote: Having looked it up, I don't know why I didn't know it. I bet other DII rooms got it earlier.
Speaking for our DII room, I got that tossup on the final "name a namesake of units of energy and temperature" clue by saying "Joule Kelvin", with no idea what the Joule-Thomson Effect was.
everyday847 wrote: I'm just concerned that more teams felt like mine. While when we zero a history bonus, we might think "Oh, I didn't know THAT was something Margaret Thatcher did. Cool, I'll write that down." "The Falklands? Huh, I thought that war was fought between Chile and Argentina. D'oh!" "Can't say I'd ever heard of the Isabella incident." When we zero a trash bonus, we sit there sullenly, unable to connect to the material in any way, because I never have cared about Julia Roberts and couldn't imagine taking an active effort to learn trash just to be better at NAQT.
I agree with this, and I think it applies to tossups as well. I don't know why this discrepancy in my reactions exists, but if an academic tossup dies, I feel like it is something I probably should have known. If a trash tossup dies, I feel like it is something that probably shouldn't have been asked.
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Thomas Jefferson '06

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Jeremy Gibbs Paradox
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Paradox » Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:21 pm

Birdofredum Sawin wrote:
cvdwightw wrote:
Even more than most categories, I think it's really hard to write PC and sports bonuses for a regular tournament which break down into easy/middle/hard parts. At a trash tournament, it's easier to sort out the bonus difficulty in these categories, because you can presume that the teams will have a minimum of knowledge. At a non-trash tournament, it's much more difficult.
A good example of an easy/middle/hard trash bonus would be the Joni Mitchell one in round 8. The first part was a song that's been covered many times, most recently on the Grammy winning Album of this year, "River." The second was asking for the artist, which required more knowledge than just basically familiarity with a common song. The hard part required the album in 1971 "River" first appeared on, which is something few are going to get. I however own the album, and was ecstatic it was being asked.

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Mechanical Beasts
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Thu Apr 17, 2008 10:42 pm

allythin wrote:
Birdofredum Sawin wrote:
cvdwightw wrote:
Even more than most categories, I think it's really hard to write PC and sports bonuses for a regular tournament which break down into easy/middle/hard parts. At a trash tournament, it's easier to sort out the bonus difficulty in these categories, because you can presume that the teams will have a minimum of knowledge. At a non-trash tournament, it's much more difficult.
A good example of an easy/middle/hard trash bonus would be the Joni Mitchell one in round 8. The first part was a song that's been covered many times, most recently on the Grammy winning Album of this year, "River." The second was asking for the artist, which required more knowledge than just basically familiarity with a common song. The hard part required the album in 1971 "River" first appeared on, which is something few are going to get. I however own the album, and was ecstatic it was being asked.
Wait. There was Joni Mitchell trash in the round I didn't play?

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
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Re: ICT Discussion

Post by samer » Fri Apr 18, 2008 9:28 am

ImmaculateDeception wrote:Also xenon (lower bound now 22%).

MaS
The elements "quota" in Chemistry is not the problem here; the problem is the "miscellaneous science" category, which can theoretically be all elements (or all astronomy or all biochemistry or all quantum mechanics, etc.).
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