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Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 12:33 am
by magin
Feel free to discuss the Gaddis Experiment now, since the tournament is done.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 9:42 am
by BuzzerZen
All tournaments should be like Gaddis. We'd have to abandon the conventional competition-based paradigm of quiz bowl, but it'd be no great loss. Gaddis was like quizbowl qua art form. Magin and co. composed the score to a buzzer symphony that the players performed. Every tossup I got made me joyful, because finally, finally, there was a tossup about that. I superpowered Reconstructionist Judaism, Calvinball, "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses", and Netherlandish Proverbs. I was elated about each one. Matt Weiner was thrilled when Victory over the Sun was a tossup, and we all got to hear about how ridiculous that was. Gaddis was not about winning or losing. It was quizbowl optimized for joy.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 12:11 pm
by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
I loved this tournament, and I'm with Evan. At times it seemed very self indulgent by the writers, but honestly I enjoyed that aspect of the game since the writers still picked very interesting things to fill the tournament up with. I would love to have a more tournaments like this one where writers can just go nuts and write about whatever they want. Thanks guys.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 12:49 pm
by First Chairman
Well, that is what the summer tournaments are for.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 1:28 pm
by Birdofredum Sawin
Hey, I also really enjoyed the tournament. But I do have a couple of pieces of constructive criticism, which might be worth noting for whenever someone next attempts one of these (as I hope they will).

1. There was a problem, with some categories, of having the possible answer space narrow too quickly. That might seem like a weird objection to this event, but I think it's accurate. I'm thinking here of the history questions in particular. There seemed to be a effort to make a lot of the history answers be anything but people's names. But that resulted in a lot of the tossups being on things like the Sykes-Picot Agreement, or Jack Cade's Rebellion, or the Thermidorean Reaction. I have no problem with any of these as answers. The problem with them, at this tournament in particular, was that the answer tended to become too obvious from the opening sentence. So on Sykes-Picot, the first sentence (as I dimly recall) indicated that the question was looking for an agreement of some sort, which involved the Middle East (as some proper noun hinted), and which took place in the 20th century. If you know of Sykes-Picot at all, you should just buzz right there and guess it; either you'll be right and get 20 points, or it'll be something even more obscure than Sykes-Picot, in which case nobody will be likely to know it and you lose nothing. I'm pretty sure that kind of guesswork is not what the authors of this tournament were aiming for, so this seemed like a flaw worth pointing out.

It would actually be better, I'd suggest, for a tournament like this to take something like "Roger Taney" as a tossup answer. In such a question, most of the clues would be on really obscure judicial decisions of the 1840s which you couldn't immediately recognize as "obscure judicial decisions of the 1840s" without actually knowing the subject (like his work on admiralty law, rather than cases involving slavery), with the giveaway being something like "Name this justice who also wrote the majority in the Charles River Bridge decision."

2. There was another problem with writers asking about their favorite categories too often. One of the real charms of this event, in some categories, is that it felt like anything could be an answer: "this really is a tossup on Imperium in Imperio" is a fun thing to realize, halfway through a question. But other categories seemed much more constrained. Take the philosophy, for instance. I know that Ahmad, in the past, has frequently complained about the dearth of Continental philosophy in quizbowl. But the response to that probably shouldn't be to write an entire tournament's worth of questions that are almost entirely "things that people who like Continental philosophy will know about." God knows this predilection helped me rack up lots of points, but it was also a little disappointing to have so many questions in that category be predictable, if you knew Ahmad's personal bias ("I guess this is Kristeva," "I guess this is Of Grammatology," "I guess this is The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," etc.). I can only remember one philosophy tossup on anything before the year 1900, and that was a tossup on "Pensees" which had one of the easiest first clues in the tournament ("Cleopatra's nose"). I thought other categories did a much better job of mixing things up. The music, for instance, comes to mind as something which was really nicely varied across genres and periods, and also did a good job of blending things which are standard ACF answers (e.g. Lieutenant Kije) with things which aren't but should be (e.g. Alkan).

Anyway, as I said I did enjoy the tournament, and it's cool to see that at least some of the high school players also found it interesting and worthwhile.

Andrew

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 1:50 pm
by Lagotto Romagnolo
I thought the tournament was very good; and my special thanks to whoever wrote the Turangalila-Symphonie toss up.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 1:54 pm
by Gautam
I am happy that people have liked this set. I hope to write for many such tournaments in the future, as it really requires deep exploration of everything, and it is great fun. Most of what I wrote was Science, and I hope that was well liked. Obviously I didn't have a great grasp of everything I wrote, (particularly in physics), and I hope that people point out what could have been improved in those categories. Also, I really have to thank Eric Mukherjee for all the changes he suggested and implemented that improved a bunch of the questions, and for writing many himself at the last minute.

Gautam

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 2:33 pm
by yoda4554
I'll second what Andrew said about pet subjects as basically being the only thing that bothered me at the tournament (I'm not a good enough history player to say anything there). I was playing way too conservatively, and was not nearly awake enough, to actually take advantage of this, but a lot of the lit. questions were things that were clearly identifiable as pet subjects of Jonathan's--that is, it's not a good situation when people are thinking "Oh, this is what Jonathan was writing about in his Facebook group for Charles Brockden Brown," "this is the book Jonathan was reading at ACF Nationals," "this is the thing Jonathan read on his radio show," "this is a fake-sounding country, Shantanu can't keep a straight face as he's reading, and one of Jonathan's favorite books is Pale Fire," and so on. I would add that I got a little tired of the national epics of North African and Middle Eastern cultures too. But there was enough really good stuff to make up for it-- I've been waiting for a good Joplin tossup for a while, and, as mentioned, there needs to be more questions on Victory Over the Sun.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 2:35 pm
by grapesmoker
I really enjoyed this set, subject to the same caveats that Andrew mentioned. There were many times when I was able to figure out who wrote what question, and a couple where I was able to get the question based on my knowledge of the writers' personal preferences; I don't think that's a particularly good thing, even if the questions themselves were solid. Other than that though, it was a very educational tournament with lots of awesome questions (the Greg Graffin tossup was one of my favorites) and I'd like to thank Jonathan, Ahmad, Gautam, Eric, Dennis, and Shantanu (I think that's everyone) for putting it together.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 3:08 pm
by SnookerUSF
Birdofredum Sawin wrote: I know that Ahmad, in the past, has frequently complained about the dearth of Continental philosophy in quizbowl. But the response to that probably shouldn't be to write an entire tournament's worth of questions that are almost entirely "things that people who like Continental philosophy will know about." God knows this predilection helped me rack up lots of points, but it was also a little disappointing to have so many questions in that category be predictable, if you knew Ahmad's personal bias ("I guess this is Kristeva," "I guess this is Of Grammatology," "I guess this is The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction," etc.). I can only remember one philosophy tossup on anything before the year 1900, and that was a tossup on "Pensees" which had one of the easiest first clues in the tournament ("Cleopatra's nose").
This is a fairly accurate assessment, and after looking over the set, the other two arguably pre-1900 philosophy tossups were ones on Nagarjuna, and Isis Unveiled and both might be counted under religion. The preponderance of Continental philosophy in Gaddis is mostly my fault, and I will seek to make amends in future tournaments, but I hope that the tossups themselves had transparency issues only in the light of my interests rather than structural issues with the tossups themselves. The critique is always appreciated-and will no doubt lead to a better 2009 HSNCT Experiment.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 3:13 pm
by cornfused
grapesmoker wrote:Other than that though, it was a very educational tournament with lots of awesome questions (the Greg Graffin tossup was one of my favorites) and I'd like to thank Jonathan, Ahmad, Gautam, Eric, Dennis, and Shantanu (I think that's everyone) for putting it together.
Well, actually, Jerry, I think that Mike Bentley wrote that Greg Graffin question.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 3:19 pm
by SnookerUSF
So in an attempt to gather some productive suggestions going forward, how can a team of writers produce a set of questions written at this level without resorting to this "vanity of selection," while simultaneously avoiding transparency and pyramidality issues? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 3:26 pm
by theMoMA
I really enjoyed this tournament a lot. The only real issue I had was sort of a similar issue to what Andrew is talking about. There seemed to be a handful of tossups that were not only on easy answers, but had very easy clues early in the tossup. I feel like some of our early games were turned based on me not being able to stomach buzzing with "Tammany Hall" or "The Waste Land" on fairly easy early clues. I'm not going to say that tossups on easy answers aren't appropriate for sets like this, but I'd prefer to see easy answers like "Catherine the Great" where there are more opportunities for hard clues, as opposed to easier works or easier concrete things where the clue space is much more limited.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 3:56 pm
by Mike Bentley
cornfused wrote:
grapesmoker wrote:Other than that though, it was a very educational tournament with lots of awesome questions (the Greg Graffin tossup was one of my favorites) and I'd like to thank Jonathan, Ahmad, Gautam, Eric, Dennis, and Shantanu (I think that's everyone) for putting it together.
Well, actually, Jerry, I think that Mike Bentley wrote that Greg Graffin question.
Yeah I did write that tossup and that was probably the #1 example of "vanity writing" for this tournament. I viewed this as something of a novelty tournament (it was called an "experiment", remember), so having a distribution that was a little skewed towards the writers' interests didn't seem to be the biggest deal ever to me. If the tournament was billing itself as a tournament on the importance scale of a regular season event or something, I think vanity questions would be much more problematic.

I did enjoy writing for this tournament, though, as it let me write on some unusual things that I've jotted down over the past year that maybe couldn't fit in other tournaments (things like the False Neros or Grover's Algorithm, for instance).

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 4:11 pm
by Birdofredum Sawin
To expand a bit on my earlier post: I take it that a lot of the allure of a tournament like this is the sense that all bets are off, and we're really going to see what people know. That means, for instance, that the lit tossups might be on anything, and they'll have a lot of really obscure clues; if you're getting a bunch of them, then you really do know more about lit than the other people at the tournament. But for that to be true, it has to be the case that the lit tossups really "might be on anything." You shouldn't be getting the questions because you're Facebook friends with one of the writers, or because you happen to have read another writer's posts to this forum; instead, you should be getting them because you know more about literature.

There's one very easy first step to take: If you are known to the community as an enthusiast for a particular author/work, you probably shouldn't be writing questions on them. So if you have a Facebook group called "I Heart Zembla" which you've invited a bunch of your quizbowl Facebook friends to join, maybe it's not a good idea for you to be writing tossups on Pale Fire. That's relatively easy. It's harder to know whether you're covering a wide-enough array of topics in a given category, but there are things you can do. For instance, if you're writing a category like philosophy and almost all of your questions are from the same century, it's probably time to pick some random scholastic philosopher or Platonic dialogue and write on them. (For SCT and ICT, I've set crude temporal quotas for the philosophy distribution -- a certain percentage have to be pre-1800, another percentage have to be post-1800 -- to ensure that there is at least a bare minimum of variety.)

Andrew

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 4:58 pm
by SnookerUSF
As an aside:
So one of those infamous Facebook friends, the estimable Travis Vitello, has directed me to a website where one, assuming they have a spare $250, can purchase a VHS of Victory over the Sun otherwise for a rather fuzzy but free silent clip one can go here. It takes a little while to load, but it is worth it.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 5:47 pm
by Eärendil
gkandlikar wrote:Most of what I wrote was Science, and I hope that was well liked. Obviously I didn't have a great grasp of everything I wrote, (particularly in physics), and I hope that people point out what could have been improved in those categories.
I'll comment on the biology, as that's what I mostly payed attention to. On the whole, the questions were top-notch and an absolute joy to play on. There were only two issues I can remember off the top of my head, both having to do with clue ordering. In the NF-κB tossup, I thought the NES/NLS clue (can't remember which) came too early in the question. I don't know much more about NF-κB than its nuclear localization properties, so as soon as I heard that clue I sat on it until the end of the question, just to make sure. It would seem better placed as middle-to-late clue.

The other issue involved the Dobzhansky tossup, in which Muller definitely came up too early. Dobzhasky-Muller incompatibilities are really famous and are one of the things Dobzhansky is known for. I didn't hear the rest of the question after that point, but some other clues that, I think, could have come earlier are his essay "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" (extremely hard) and stuff about his book Genetics and The Origin of Species (hard, but certainly canonical). The fact that there was even a tossup on Theodosius Dobzhansky, though, made me really glad I played in this tournament.

On, and a big thank you to whoever mentioned Azotobacter in the Rhizobia tossup. I just wrapped up three weeks of experimenting on Azotobacter and was happy to see them come up.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 6:55 pm
by No Rules Westbrook
Well, I will agree with everyone on some stuff being a little indulgent and benefitting people with inside knowledge, which is probably not for the best. On the issue of trqansparency, I didn't notice it being a problem that often, but there's no question it's a sticky issue with these really hard events...you want to write on "really cool and really hard thing X" but it's tough to give any clues about it without making it transparent to anyone who knows of the existence of X (who, as Andrew says, will buzz thinking it's either X or something I'm not getting).

I think what Andrew's forgetting is that - yeah, these events are about seeing what people "really know," but they're also about being perversely absurd. That's part of their allure - which isn't present in tourneys like ACF Nats or Chicago Open - the craziness factor. I think it's good that these tourneys allow people to go nuts, even if that nutsiness sometimes results in stuff that's a little transparent or indulgent (or create distribution issues). I did it with my tournament too. Could a tossup on Roger Taney have been technically better than that Sykes-Picot one (or some other tu way harder than Sykes-Picot)? Of course. But, your instincts say "eh, I'll write that Taney tu for a more serious event, let's find something nutty to write for this one," and that's fine too.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 7:21 pm
by Deckard Cain
I really enjoyed the tournament as well. I do agree with much of what has been posted above, but it really didn't detract from the experience, and it was fun to play with and against a lot of people who are infinitely better players than myself. Much thanks to everyone involved for putting on a good show.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 7:56 pm
by Gautam
Eärendil wrote: The other issue involved the Dobzhansky tossup, in which Muller definitely came up too early. Dobzhasky-Muller incompatibilities are really famous and are one of the things Dobzhansky is known for. I didn't hear the rest of the question after that point, but some other clues that, I think, could have come earlier are his essay "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" (extremely hard) and stuff about his book Genetics and The Origin of Species (hard, but certainly canonical). The fact that there was even a tossup on Theodosius Dobzhansky, though, made me really glad I played in this tournament.
I guess I just wrote an antipyramidal tossup on Dobzhansky. This is how the tossup went
Tossup wrote: This man developed a model for epistatic selection which assumes an initial set of fixated alleles and eventually leads to clustering of genotypes. A theory which describes the occurrence of post-zygotic isolation in split populations was independently developed by Hermann Muller and this man. Mark Adams compiled a series of 16 essays about his work titled The Evolution of [this man]. He also wrote a series of papers titled Genetics of Natural Selection and the 1937 work Genetics and the Origin of Species though he is better known for an essay which discusses the geocentric beliefs of a sheikh and accuses creationists of blasphemy for "accusing God of absurd deceitfulness." For 10 points, identify this Ukrainian-American Biologist, best known for coining the phrase ► "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.”
I didn't know what people exactly know about Dobzhansky. I realized Dobzhansky-Muller incompatibilities are famous because they came up in a lot of papers. Moving on to "Nothing in Biology...." I remember reading a couple of bonuses where that was basically the clue for Dobzhansky. Also, when I was looking around, a lot of websites and stuff seemed to refer to that paper or phrase, so I thought it was really famous and worthy of a giveaway. I guess I learned something today, and since this tournament was all about learning, I am happy about that.
Eärendil wrote: On, and a big thank you to whoever mentioned Azotobacter in the Rhizobia tossup. I just wrapped up three weeks of experimenting on Azotobacter and was happy to see them come up.
That was all Mike Bentley.

Gautam

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 9:18 pm
by magin
Thanks for all the feedback. I think that the tournament's transparency issues stemmed from some topics being ones the writers/editors didn't know very well; I wrote the tossups on Sykes-Picot and Jack Cade's Rebellion, for instance, knowing very little information about them beforehand, and playtested those questions on people with more history knowledge than I have to attempt to correct any possible transparency issues. I don't know if there's a possible way to correct this problem for future tournaments, though, since people who know little about a topic will be prone to writing possibly transparent questions on that topic. In order to learn about new things, I tried to write mostly about answers I knew very little about, which probably caused any transparency problems which arose.

Also, I should note that I wrote the tossup on The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, not Ahmad, and that none of the writers consciously decided to write so-called "indulgent" tossups in order to give players an unfair advantage. I agree that it's a bad idea to write about one's favorite topics to the detriment of other material (for example, always writing British literature tossups on New Grub Street), and I don't think it's a good thing if players got the New Grub Street tossup just because I founded a Facebook group about it as a joke, but (as an explanation, not a defense) I wrote that tossup, and the tossups on Wieland and Zembla, because they seemed like interesting and important literature topics to me, and I had never written tossups on them before.

After I make the questions publicly available (sometime tonight, hopefully), I hope that people will provide more constructive criticism about specific tossups in order to allow the writers to improve for future tournaments.

Edit: The tossups on "The Fixation of Belief" and The Subjection of Women were also counted as pre-20th century philosophy.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 9:45 pm
by Gautam

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 9:50 pm
by magin
Out of interest, I'd like to know what questions people considered well written and why, and vice versa.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 11:33 pm
by grapesmoker
magin wrote:Out of interest, I'd like to know what questions people considered well written and why, and vice versa.
I was not a fan of the "How To Do Things With Words" tossup. From the very beginning, it was obvious that this was a book about speech acts, and then I had to think whether I should buzz and say the obvious thing, or whether this was going to be a tossup on something like "Sense and Sensibilia" or John Searle's book. Then I got beaten to the buzz.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Mon May 26, 2008 11:55 pm
by Sima Guang Hater
Eärendil wrote:In the NF-κB tossup, I thought the NES/NLS clue (can't remember which) came too early in the question. I don't know much more about NF-κB than its nuclear localization properties, so as soon as I heard that clue I sat on it until the end of the question, just to make sure. It would seem better placed as middle-to-late clue.
This one was mine. It read as follows:

20. The YopJ factor from Yersina pestis inhibits the protein responsible for inhibiting this factor in the cytosol, and some members of this family mature after degradation of their C-terminal ankyrin repeats. The Relish protein in drosophila is one member of this family. It is phosphorylated via the ZAP70-Protein Kinase C cascade, and the activation of Akt by Toll-like receptors has the same effect. Usually bound to Ik-beta-A in the cytoplasm, all proteins in this family are homologous to the Rel oncogene. Initially discovered as an enhancer-binding protein in B cells, its phosphorylation allows it to be taking up by nuclear pores. For fifteen points, name this "master regulator," a transcription factor and oncogene responsible for cellular responses to stress, disease, and a million other things.

I think I managed to keep the "nuclear" part of it towards the end. Was there some other clue that tipped you off?
Eärendil wrote:The other issue involved the Dobzhansky tossup, in which Muller definitely came up too early. Dobzhasky-Muller incompatibilities are really famous and are one of the things Dobzhansky is known for. I didn't hear the rest of the question after that point, but some other clues that, I think, could have come earlier are his essay "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution" (extremely hard) and stuff about his book Genetics and The Origin of Species (hard, but certainly canonical). The fact that there was even a tossup on Theodosius Dobzhansky, though, made me really glad I played in this tournament.
Hmm, I guess I have a different perspective on the guy - the only thing I know about him is the "Light of Evolution" essay. It might be because I haven't taken an evolutionary biology class that I didn't catch on. Time to read more.

EDIT: I'd also like to hear comments on the stuff I edited/wrote: Ward-Takahashi identities, Tanabe-Sugano diagrams, NFkB, glycosylation, and Overhauser effect. Probably some other stuff too.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 4:58 am
by QuizBowlRonin
The YopJ factor from Yersina pestis inhibits the protein responsible for inhibiting this factor in the cytosol,
Tremendous numbers of proteins are regulated by nucleo-cytoplasmic localization - including equally known members of the Jak/Stat pathway and APC/B-catenin pathway.

and some members of this family mature after degradation of their C-terminal ankyrin repeats. The Relish protein in drosophila is one member of this family. It is phosphorylated via the ZAP70-Protein Kinase C cascade, and the activation of Akt by Toll-like receptors has the same effect.
This last sentence is an excellent clue - why? Because it identifies at least two members of immune system signaling for which NFkB is important - ZAP70 and TLRs.

Usually bound to Ik-beta-A in the cytoplasm, all proteins in this family are homologous to the Rel oncogene.
Folks with any knowledge about NFkB should buzz at IkB or Rel. In addition, it's not Ik-beta, its I-kappa-B-A, because its the "inhibitor of kappa B". Incidentally, this gives away 50% of the answer.

Initially discovered as an enhancer-binding protein in B cells, its phosphorylation allows it to be taking up by nuclear pores. For fifteen points, name this "master regulator," a transcription factor and oncogene responsible for cellular responses to stress, disease, and a million other things.
Unfortunately, the problem with these high level questions is that one cannot find a good giveaway, simply because nonspecialists will have no earthly idea of what the tossup is talking about (c.f. c-myc, 2008 ACF Nationals).

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 5:30 am
by QuizBowlRonin
Morava et al. discussed defects in this process in kids suffering from Cutis Laxa, and tunicamycin is used to inhibit one form of this process in laboratory tests. The Walker-Warburg syndrome and Jaeken syndrome are both caused by defects in enzymes which are important to this process.
Oh brother. None of these were covered in my medical school classes. In general, it's very easy to write questions where one essentially name-drops rare syndromes, which not even the "experts" will know or care about.

This process' variation between species is responsible for the specificity of interactions between the sperm and zona pellucida.
Could deserve fleshing out, as this is an important subject of study, especially for infertility.

The addition of GlcNAc at serine and threonine in the nucleus and the cytoplasm is one example of this process,
People who know GlcNAc will know its glycosylation based on GlcNac being a sugar and being attached to a protein. Incidentally, nucleocytoplasmic glycosylation is an entirely different process than that that occurs in the Golgi and ER. This could merit mentioning - that this is an alternate post-translational modification that participates in cellular signaling (in a yin-yang manner with phosphorylation).

while in another, dolichol ► oligosaccharide precursor is added at aspargine residues. Those are the O-linked and N-linked types of this process. FTP, identify this post-translational modification which results in a sugar being bound to a protein.
The process of glycosylation within the ER or Golgi could provide a segue in clue difficulty between dolichol and O-linked and N-linked, or could be used to flesh out the O-linked/N-linked difference.

========

One type of these found in frog oocytes has an NES between residues 108 and 117 that localize it to the cytoplasm, and type T of these facilitates interactions between Tat and human TAR. Meriolins are a class of compounds that inhibit the growth of enzymes with which they associate, and a double knockout of type E of these inhibits the endoreplication of trophoblasts and prevents polyploidy. The MPF is a complex containing type B of these, which is degraded after a cell begins ► mitosis, and phosphorylating PRb results in translation of one type of these proteins which initiates the S phase. For 10 points, identify these compounds that form a complex with certain kinases that "depend" on them and regulate the cell cycle.

The difficulty here will be parsing the difference between CDKs and cyclins. In addition, at least for mammalian cyclins, cyclin type "any letter" is an immediate clue-in to the answer. I would prefer mentioning that cyclin E1/E2 knockout leads to embryonic lethality because of a cell cycle defect (I wouldn't say "cell cycle", but I would say something like it"), instead of description of a specific phenotyp. pRb leads to increased of transcription of Cyclin E through E2F - no evidence to my knowledge exists that shows pRb to control translation of Cyclin E directly. However, pRb is phosphorylated by Cyclin E/cdk2 in a feedforward manner.

=======

A 2000 study discussed the possibility of an exchange factor involving the plasma membrane and this molecule in chromaffin cells. A version of this molecule with four attached phosphate groups is an alarmone that regulates the stringent response in E. Coli. Hoogsteen bonding stabilizes the square arrangement of these molecules in a namesake quadruplex than can be found in vitro in telomeres, and its deamination results in the production of ► xanthine. Attached to a ribose, its phosphorylation results in a molecule that acts as a substrate for synthesizing RNA, and proteins involving them act as regulators involved in second messenger cascade reactions; an example of the latter is stimulating the use of ATP in producing cyclic AMP. First extracted from sea bird excretions, this is, FTP, which purine, one of the five nucleotide bases which base pairs with cytosine?

"Exchange factor" is far too early in the question - google "exchange factor". Also, you will have difficulty parsing GTP vs. guanine, especially since exchange factors normally refer to GDP/GTP.

=======

The thromboxane A2 synthase is the only member of type 5 of this family of proteins, though it lacks their most distinctive function, where as isoform 24A1 these proteins aids in the degradation of vitamin D3. The nuclear pregnane X receptor is known to regulate it, while drosophila strains resistant to DDT overexpress type 6g of these proteins. Some members of this family of proteins catalyze the rate limiting step in the biosynthesis of steroids and prostaglandins, while some others help rid the body of toxins by hydroxylating them at the heme cofactor found at their active sites and are the sites of drug metabolism. For fifteen points, identify this large family of monooxygenase proteins so named for their characteristic absorbance peak, and are found in large quantities in the smooth ER of the liver.

This topic is of great importance in pharmacology, but of relatively little importance in introductory and midlevel biology courses. Clinically, polymorphisms in cytochrome p450 enzymes are associated with great differences in drug metabolism. Certain substances also activate or deactivate this pathway (such as grapefruit), and taking multiple drugs that are metabolized by this complex will significantly change the dosages of the those drugs. As such, this should be the giveaway. Also cytochrome p450 should be acceptable alone (monooxygenase is not commonly used when describing this topic).

=======

18. Zenker’s diverticulum occurs in Killian’s dehiscence, lying above the CPM found in this organ of the body. The Gothenburg and Richter criteria are less often used than the Castell criteria to characterize the “nutcracker” disorder of this organ. Boerhaave and Mallory-Weiss syndromes both affect this organ, and its dilation can be caused by Chagas disease, a less common form of achalasia, which affects the motility of this organ. Chronic exposure to ►acid results in Barrett’s syndrome, which affects this organ, while stratified squamous epithelium are found in the mucous layer that forms part of its inner lining. Peristalsis is the contraction of muscles in, FTP, which organ of the body that moves food from the pharynx to the stomach?
ANSWER: esophagus [accept "CPM" until mentioned] (1)

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 8:16 am
by trphilli
SnookerUSF wrote:So in an attempt to gather some productive suggestions going forward, how can a team of writers produce a set of questions written at this level without resorting to this "vanity of selection," while simultaneously avoiding transparency and pyramidality issues? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

One way to conqueror the "vanity of selection" problem in a house written tournament is to vigorously monitor your sub-distributions as you're writing. When I was co-writing the history section of a high school tournament many years ago, I monitored answer selection by geographic area. I then took both America and Europe and broke it down into historical periods to make sure we had balance. You can see our analysis at netfiles.uiuc.edu/trphilli/shared/HistoryBreakdown.xls

Edited once to remove extraneous pronoun.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 8:47 am
by ValenciaQBowl
I look forward to getting home tonight and reading this set, as the topics from it commented on in this thread, coupled with all the praise, tell me it's going to be good fun.

In the meantime, I understand both the players' comments and writers' difficulties regarding transparency when trying to write on less well known subjects. I'm struggling with some of that in finishing my CO packet this week. Though I haven't yet read the "How to Do Things with Words" question, I imagine that if I were playing on it my thinking would go something like what Jerry described (especially since I just got done writing a bonus on it for CO, which obviously now I will scrap and replace, as Jerry managed to mention all three parts--has Austin become that well known in the game?). However, I'm not sure that's necessarily such a bad thing. I mean, did that question get answered in every room? (I understand that with this field, it may have). I'd imagine that that work is still obscure enough in the QB canon that its transparency would only be obvious to players of the caliber of Jerry and the other top players at the tournament. And even it is transparent to that group, one could argue that if the question has any kind of uniquely identifying clue to "How" early on, then a top player either would have to know that clue cold (that is, to know enough about "How" and "Sense and Sensibilia" to differentiate them in a way more sophisticated than just knowing that they're both about speech acts), or, if not, then be willing to pull the trigger on a hunch. To me that's part of the game, too: gauging when to take risks. There are works even beyond those of Searle and Austin that analyze speech acts, obviously, though as players we might assume those guys/works won't come up, but that assumption is part of the way we play: both knowing stuff on its own merits and also playing hunches based on the QB canon as we have experienced it.

But that subject of Austin can also connect to the other part of this thread regarding pet topics for writers. In preparing for the 2006 CO, which Zeke Berdichevsky edited (or co-edited; sorry if I'm leaving anyone out), I went back and carefully read the Auspicious Incident and Manu sets, trying to learn more about stuff in there I hadn't heard of, on the hunch that some of it might turn up. Two things that I saw with which I wasn't familiar were Austin/"How to Do Things with Words" and "Three Exemplary Novels" by Cervantes. Sure enough, both came up at Chicago that summer, and I was able to get them. Now I don't know if Zeke wrote those questions for either or both of those sets, but I learned something about those topics by making a reasonable guess. And surely avoiding topics with which one is familiar and interested is harder if one is editing than if one is just writing one packet. But I guess the point (if I have one) is that one runs into a Hobson's choice in writing for such a tournament level and field: either one has to write about something with which he's perhaps unfamiliar so he may not be knowledgeable enough to avoid transparency or giveaway issues, or one ends up writing about something he likes that others may be able to prepare for based on their knowledge of his predilections.

The good news for me personally is that I got to learn about Austin's work, which subsequently I've found interesting enough to read more about, and in 2006 I also got a library copy of Cervantes's short novellas, though I only read "The Colloquy of the Dogs." That's still my favorite thing about this game.

PS--since I may not get there for a while, was the "Imperium in Imperio" question that Andrew mentioned about the Griggs novel (which I've never heard of despite my focus on American lit) or the concept or what? It's hard to tell from a Googling.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 10:16 am
by grapesmoker
ValenciaQBowl wrote:Though I haven't yet read the "How to Do Things with Words" question, I imagine that if I were playing on it my thinking would go something like what Jerry described (especially since I just got done writing a bonus on it for CO, which obviously now I will scrap and replace, as Jerry managed to mention all three parts--has Austin become that well known in the game?). However, I'm not sure that's necessarily such a bad thing. I mean, did that question get answered in every room? (I understand that with this field, it may have). I'd imagine that that work is still obscure enough in the QB canon that its transparency would only be obvious to players of the caliber of Jerry and the other top players at the tournament. And even it is transparent to that group, one could argue that if the question has any kind of uniquely identifying clue to "How" early on, then a top player either would have to know that clue cold (that is, to know enough about "How" and "Sense and Sensibilia" to differentiate them in a way more sophisticated than just knowing that they're both about speech acts), or, if not, then be willing to pull the trigger on a hunch. To me that's part of the game, too: gauging when to take risks. There are works even beyond those of Searle and Austin that analyze speech acts, obviously, though as players we might assume those guys/works won't come up, but that assumption is part of the way we play: both knowing stuff on its own merits and also playing hunches based on the QB canon as we have experienced it.
Sorry for sabotaging your bonus dude.

Anyway, my point wasn't to say that I'm some sort of Austin expert or that I'm so awesome at speech act theory. I was just making the point that if you're a somewhat experienced quizbowl player and you have some philosophy knowledge, it isn't all that hard to logic a tossup on an Austin work from clues. The very first clue of that question was an example of someone performing a speech act, so I started racking my brain for what could be a possible answer, and I came up with a very short list. While I haven't read "How to do Things With Words" in its entirety (only excerpts), I have read S&S, but off the top of my head I couldn't differentiate the two from a single clue. S&S is a collection of lectures, while "How" is a more formal text, but that won't be obvious from the start.

The problem with this transparency is not that Austin's works are so well known, but rather that once you understand where the question is going, there are really only a few possible answers. The entire difficulty consists of being aware of the answer rather than knowing all that much about it. A good example of this was the tossup on "Victory Over the Sun." Hey, it's an opera of sorts, with some kind of insane nonsense happening on stage, might as well buzz. Sure, it could have been some other modernist opera, but the chances of that are pretty slim, to the point where the gamble is worth taking.

I don't want to give the impression that I didn't enjoy this tournament, or that most of the questions were problematic. I just want to point out some examples that could have been better constructed. I think some of these problems would have slipped by our attention if the field wasn't as strong, and in any case, it affected a small subset of the questions.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 10:26 am
by No Rules Westbrook
Yeah, I think all or most all rooms probably got it, Austin's become way more canon-friendly lately. It was basically a huge game of chicken for me between Sense and Sensabilia and "How," and then I finally mustered the courage to buzz correctly.
If we're talking about other tus that may have been iffy, that Uzume tossup implies that we're in Shinto land and dealing with a female known for a "notable action" - at which point, I just gambled with Uzume since she's pretty known for dancing...I don't mind getting 20 for that, but it was kind of a silly buzz. Some of the common link tossups were strange, like dung and disease in that same packet, but that's fine.

So many questions I did love though: Clarice Lispector, who should come up every tournament. The Overhauser Effect, which is just a fantastic thing to think to write about (I tend to appreciate the thought process by which one decides to write on a topic...that seems like one of those ideas which would come to you out of nowhere..."wait, the Overhauser Effect!...kick ass"). Isis Unveiled ditto. And so on.

You know, I find it really funny to look at the answer selection here, as someone who is pretty experienced in writing harder questions. It's amazing how many of these answers I had also thought about writing on - or was planning to write on at some point in the future (as in, I had listed several of them in the list I keep of possible things to write on) - I think there's a funny phenomenon with people who know the canon pretty well and are looking to go outside of it for hard stuff (people like me, Magin, Jerry come to mind)...very often we seem to settle on the same ideas to write about, which isn't that suprising, I guess, just interesting to me.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 10:55 am
by Mechanical Beasts
This tournament was a delight in a number of ways. Most of the tossups I remember taking some issue with have already been mentioned, as well as Andrew's issue with not being able to stomach buzzing off what sounded like an easy clue kind of early on. (I thought of "The Waste Land" roughly at the same point as Ted and Andrew Yaphe, for example.)

Something that's probably going to be inevitable at a tournament like this is a jump from middle clues to giveaway, like in the Julius tossup. Everyone in our room hesitated for a second even after we heard "first name of a dude killed by Brutus;" during that time, I searched my brain for non-JC assassins named Brutus.

I'm not sure if this is something that will just work better in my head once I've played more tournaments of this difficulty, and I'll simply be willing to buzz whenever I seem to know the answer, or if there's something that can be improved in the questions. I found the set fantastic, either way.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 11:13 am
by ValenciaQBowl
Sorry for sabotaging your bonus dude.
No worries. I'm glad to know where the collective knowledge is heading. As I play so rarely, and even more rarely against a fully elite field, I'm often behind on the expansion of the canon. Reading packets on your own can only take you so far. Besides, now I can write on something further out there without guilt!

I understand exactly the points Jerry and others are making about the questions (which, again, I've yet to read), and I'm sure these suggestions are both valid and also not in any way indicative of dissatisfaction with the set. Some transparency, however, strikes me as unavoidable when the best players are in the field. I have yet to see the "Uzume" TU that Ryan referenced, but I'd be interested in learning how one could get more than two sentences into a toss-up on her without alluding to something Japanese sounding or gender specific or about her best known act (I know very little about that deity and could probably only get that TU at the end, anyway). I know one way is to try to use lots of stand-in abstractions and avoiding names, but then you run the risk of not being uniquely identifying or having the question get really confusing to listeners.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 4:36 pm
by naturalistic phallacy
I brought this up in the IRC last night, but I want to hear others' reactions to it.

There needs to be a different mindset when considering a tournament like Gaddis. It seems as if it were really about learning, the writers instructing the rest of us about certain topics, some being their obscure favorites and some being quite canonical, and yet enlightening us further regarding every answer regardless of previous frequency. I don't see this is a bad thing, but it does make it a different game of quizbowl than a standard (m)ACF tournament.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 5:05 pm
by BuzzerZen
WeekendatBernadette wrote:There needs to be a different mindset when considering a tournament like Gaddis.
I agree wholeheartedly. This is sort of what I meant when I said that Gaddis was like artistic/performance quiz bowl. Things that would be distribution problems in normal tournaments I think are of less concern. I think even the question of self-indulgence may be a non-issue—why not buzz in on something because we know Magin loves it? It's ESP, but it's the good kind.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Tue May 27, 2008 7:44 pm
by Mechanical Beasts
BuzzerZen wrote:I agree wholeheartedly. This is sort of what I meant when I said that Gaddis was like artistic/performance quiz bowl. Things that would be distribution problems in normal tournaments I think are of less concern. I think even the question of self-indulgence may be a non-issue—why not buzz in on something because we know Magin loves it? It's ESP, but it's the good kind.
I like this perspective. For the first time in eight (okay, fourteen, counting baseball) years, I competed in something without worrying about winning, because the competition itself was so damn fun and because winning was really mostly out of my hands. Even mistakes that I made that I'd otherwise be mad about weren't so tragic--on the alcohols leadin, I thought "the other two reactants in the DEAD reaction, besides the carboxylic acid, are triphenyl phosphine and an alcohol, and it's reasonably possible that PPh3 would have some kind of sterically-induced stereochemistry, so we'll buzz with that instead of alcohols because that's too easy for this tournament" and of course my stupid thought was wrong. But getting the tossup wasn't the important thing.

But enough of me waxing poetic about the tournament. In summary--any problems with the questions, or problems with my inability to play the questions smartly, didn't detract from the experience.

And, in the future, I'd love to contribute.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Wed May 28, 2008 10:52 am
by BobGHHS
I fulfilled my promise to Mike Sorice to uphold my end of being picked to his team by answering exactly one question on something really trashy. I have entirely too much knowledge of averyenterprises.com.

I barely knew anything all day and the things I did know I got beaten to the buzz by someone, and I still had a blast. I was really entertained by the inter-match conversations between opposing players and the neg reactions of certain people... it made playing even more worthwhile.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Wed May 28, 2008 11:46 am
by powerplant
As someone that score kept in the tournament, I have to say that the questions were pretty awesome. I knew maybe four or five answers over the course of the whole event, but the stuff that I did not know was very interesting, and it was cool to see the game played on that level.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 2:03 am
by Gautam
QuizBowlRonin wrote: Stuff
Jason, I appreciate the comments on the questions. I am sorry I didn't see them earlier. I wrote the Cytochrome p-450, the cyclins, and the glycosylation tossup, and I think a couple more for the biology in this set. To be honest, I had never heard of cytochrome p-450 prior to writing that question, and neither did I know anything more about cyclin or glycosylation than what was covered in my freshman biology last semester. So, I can definitely understand that you would have a very different perspective about the clues used in these questions. On the other hand, the questions appeared fine to me, because, well, the little that I knew didn't tell me if the question allows one potential answer to be distinguished from another, and so on.

One of the main issue I had was that I wasn't able to differentiate between good sources and bad sources for my clues, so I ended up using facts/ideas that showed up at a few papers/reviews and which seemed to fit the answer. The field itself is very vast, and obviously, it is next to impossible to have a good grasp of a lot of broad topics. Could you suggest good sources that I can use for future writing?

I did make some silly mistakes (translation of Cyclin E instead of transcription, etc.) and I hope they didn't have an adverse effect on the people playing. I will try to keep in mind the suggestions you made, but it is highly possible that I may inadvertantly commit the same mistake in the future, simply because I don't know enough!

If you have any other tips for me or any others who aspires to write more questions, please, please convey them to us. I would love to hear them and implement them in the future.

Thank you,
Gautam

EDIT: grammar

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 8:27 am
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
I've noticed that neither the official thank-you for this tournament nor any of the thank-yous in this thread mention Charles Meigs, who wrote a substantial part of the history and geography at this tournament. I just feel he should be recognized along with the other co-authors for doing a good job.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 3:47 pm
by QuizBowlRonin
Jason, I appreciate the comments on the questions. I am sorry I didn't see them earlier. I wrote the Cytochrome p-450, the cyclins, and the glycosylation tossup, and I think a couple more for the biology in this set. To be honest, I had never heard of cytochrome p-450 prior to writing that question, and neither did I know anything more about cyclin or glycosylation than what was covered in my freshman biology last semester. So, I can definitely understand that you would have a very different perspective about the clues used in these questions. On the other hand, the questions appeared fine to me, because, well, the little that I knew didn't tell me if the question allows one potential answer to be distinguished from another, and so on.
Cytochrome p450 is important in pharmacology, and as such probably won't be seen in lower level undergraduate biology courses. The specifics of glycosylation and cyclins should be covered in a 300-level cell biology class.
One of the main issue I had was that I wasn't able to differentiate between good sources and bad sources for my clues, so I ended up using facts/ideas that showed up at a few papers/reviews and which seemed to fit the answer. The field itself is very vast, and obviously, it is next to impossible to have a good grasp of a lot of broad topics. Could you suggest good sources that I can use for future writing?
General: Campbell (ANYTHING in here is fair game)
Anatomy: Moore/Persaud
Biochemistry & Cell Biology: Voet, Stryer, Lodish, Alberts
Genetics: either Griffiths
Immunology: Janeway
Microbiology: ?
Neurobiology: Kandel
Plant: ?
Evolution: ?

Many old editions are found on the NIH bookshelf:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=books

In my opinion, primary literature is of limited value only because the only people who would know it are those who by chance read the abstract or the paper. In all of quizbowl that might number 0 or 1 of current players. I also find limited utility in review articles because they are not that much better than textbooks.
I did make some silly mistakes (translation of Cyclin E instead of transcription, etc.) and I hope they didn't have an adverse effect on the people playing. I will try to keep in mind the suggestions you made, but it is highly possible that I may inadvertantly commit the same mistake in the future, simply because I don't know enough!
It is impossible to know everything, which is why it is important to use multiple reliable sources. Comparing what is summarized by a particular topic versus the details can help you order clues in a pyramidal manner. However, to understand many of these topics, a strong background in biology may be required, and as such there is no substitute for more classes and more studying.

Writing a question from the perspective of a Yaphe-method player will also help cut down on answer-parsing errors - preferably as early as possible in the question, the answer can only be one thing. If something can't be parsed based on your clues (i.e. GTP vs. guanine), the question needs to be rewritten or thrown out.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 4:11 pm
by roth
Although I was volunteering at HSNCT (I scorekept on Saturday), I didn't find out about this tournament until afterwards. I've read through the packets though, and let me just say, wow! They were an absolute blast to read through, and to peruse relevant information on Wikipedia while trying to figure out the answers. I can't help but wonder, though - where was the Earth/Atmospheric Science? It seems to be a neglected field in the upper-echelons of quiz bowl, but there are most definitely players out there who study a related field, and it might be interesting throwing some difficult questions from those fields in to the mix. Personally, as a student of meteorology, I know that many of the physics I deal with crosses over to more mainstream fields of science and would be eminently "gettable" topics if they were to come up in an elite tournament.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 9:38 pm
by fleurdelivre
DJ Shadow wrote:I've noticed that neither the official thank-you for this tournament nor any of the thank-yous in this thread mention Charles Meigs, who wrote a substantial part of the history and geography at this tournament. I just feel he should be recognized along with the other co-authors for doing a good job.
I'll second this postscript. As another of the "two questions and change" contributors, I certainly don't wish to see the entire geography distribution go unrewarded when everyone else gets mentioned.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 11:31 pm
by No Rules Westbrook
Roth (Philip or Henry? Doesn't matter to Dan Passner),

Though this tourney was light on earth science, it's not that underrepresented at higher levels of qb. There are various and sundry qb personalities who light up at mere mention of earth science.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Thu May 29, 2008 11:39 pm
by Mike Bentley
There was an effort to write some earth science, but we were pretty behind on science so we went with what was easier to write quickly. Essentially I wrote a 3rd CS tossup rather than researching some Earth Science subject.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Fri May 30, 2008 1:59 am
by BuzzerZen
Bentley Like Beckham wrote:3rd CS tossup
Was the "waterfall development" TU CS or GK? I was thinking XP early on in that question but then the question mentioned design documents or something.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Fri May 30, 2008 10:21 am
by grapesmoker
I really enjoyed the tossup on floating-point numbers.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Fri May 30, 2008 6:51 pm
by Mechanical Beasts
BuzzerZen wrote:
Bentley Like Beckham wrote:3rd CS tossup
Was the "waterfall development" TU CS or GK? I was thinking XP early on in that question but then the question mentioned design documents or something.
I think I negged it before hearing anything about design documents, though that was notably one of the games that I played half-asleep, so I can't really tell what I negged with, but I'm pretty sure it was extreme programming.

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Fri May 30, 2008 10:34 pm
by Jeremy Gibbs Sampling
Gaddis was a real blast. I am hardly qualified to pick apart much of the writing, but I'm definitely in the consensus of those who think it was well done. The answer selection was overall good, with what I found an entertaining and appropriate level of whimsy, which I really wish there were more of a place for in the game overall.

Gautam, I thought the physics in particular was very good, despite the lack of depth on the subject that you claim. It's not coincidental to that perception that I didn't get much of the physics. There was a time (2005) when I definitely felt physics was behind the other sciences and the rest of the distro generally in difficulty at the top level, which meant I could go 'round grabbing a lot of toss-ups at ACF Nationals on things like the magnetic moment. If what you wrote is the state of the art, it's certainly caught up -- difficulty has gone up to where it's not in my rusty knowledge base, but I still recognize it all for correct.

Reconstructionist Judaism and the uniform distribution were among my favorite toss-ups there. My congratulations to everyone who was involved in writing.

Also surprise wikigroan:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Auspicious_Incident 428 words
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manu_Ginobili 4347 words

Re: Gaddis Discussion

Posted: Sat May 31, 2008 9:59 am
by No Rules Westbrook
To be fair, though, there's not a whole lot more you can probably say about the (historical) Auspicious Incident.