MUT 2010: General discussions and thanks

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MUT 2010: General discussions and thanks

Post by Gautam » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:37 pm

Hello all,

Welcome to the MUT 2010 discussion forums.

I hope you enjoyed playing the tournament. I felt that it did a good job overall of catering to the advertised difficulty and with other things such as avoiding repeats. I know the set was not perfect, and I caught many grammar/spelling errors when I was reading. We're planning on fixing these errors soon, so if you caught any ambiguous clues/factual inaccuracies/any other undesirable content, please let me know at quizbowl@umn.edu so that we can make the necessary fixes.

The Minnesota contingent wrote about 10 packets worth of questions. Mike Cheyne wrote almost all of the lit, Andrew Hart wrote most of the history, and I wrote most of the Science. Rob, Bernadette, and Brendan contributed significantly to the RMP, Fine Arts, and other categories.

We'd be remiss if we didn't thank participants who submitted packets. We'd particularly like to thank Ike Jose for writing a whole packet in the last couple of weeks, as it helped us tremendously whenever we needed to fill holes. The packets we received were generally pretty good, and we didn't have to spend hours working on them; it is always pleasant to have such submissions.

Please feel free to make comments on the set as you find necessary. Do keep in mind that harping on the relative clue order in individual questions or the reasonableness of an individual bonus part does very little to contribute towards good discussion. Please do bring up issues like "things Minnesota likes came up too much" or if "the hard parts in science were consistently harder, and here are some examples" if they diminished your experiences at this tournament.

Fire away,
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Cheynem » Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:00 pm

I want to apologize for some of the bonuses I wrote that were inappropriately hard. They snuck in mostly in the first few days of when I was writing for this as I was still in a T-Party/Regs state of mind and kind of fell through the editing cracks. The biggest offender here was Look Back in Anger (with no "Angry Young Men" clues")/John Osborne/Cliff, which is way too hard. The Romney/Hersey/Kerner Commission also seems sort of hard to me, but generated far less complaints.

Regarding the literature, I tried to reasonably distribute the type of material that came up. I also tried to write on things I hadn't written on before, so I don't think the lit really seemed too vanity. I tend to enjoy short stories and plays far more than poems, so I think poetry may have been less represented that it should have been.

In terms of the other categories, I wrote a lot of the "Geo/Current Events/Misc." category, which tended to not be geography, which did prompt some complaints at our site. I apologize for this, but we never did promise at least one geo question. I will say this--while I like writing geo (writing for Geo Monstrosity was a joy), I don't like writing geography in a crunch and since I wasn't writing the history, it was also hard to write on stuff not covered in the history. Thus, I mostly chose the sort of "Your Choice" stuff like current politicians or oddities like Son of Sam. They seemed to play well at our site anyway.

I wrote a chunk of the trash and tried to use the model for T-Party in which the trash made an attempt to hit up various levels of the "trash" distribution and sub distributions. Let me know how that went.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by ValenciaQBowl » Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:00 pm

I think this set was very good for its target undergrad audience, with appropriate answer selection and clue progression. At Valencia we read the numbered Minnesota packets and then (I think) the Tony and Gaurav packets.

One very, very minor diction quibble: a small number of toss-ups, seemingly all in literature to my best recollection, use "where" when "in which" is clearly meant.

An example is this lead-in to the toss-up on Eco: "This man wrote a novel where a nobleman . . . ." Certainly, this is no serious impediment to players working to get the content of the question, but I found it mildly annoying.

One other note: I wonder if the "oceanic feeling" clue was too early in the Freud toss-up. But hey, no worries with rewarding that, I suppose.

Anyway, I just wanted to toss out those two trivial issues. If that's the worst one can say, then the set must be pretty good!
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Cheynem » Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:05 pm

Sorry about that, I have a tendency to do that in my sentence construction sometimes.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Papa's in the House » Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:00 pm

From what I saw (numerous grammar/spelling problems aside) this tournament seemed like it hit the target difficulty relatively well. I liked a lot of the answer lines I saw and the myth/history I know and saw in the packets was executed pretty well.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Terrible Shorts Depot » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:01 am

I really liked this set. My lone general complaint is that the tossups seemed more difficult than the bonuses. There were a fair amount of bonuses where my reasonably superficial quizbowl based knowledge could earn me 20 or 30 points with no trouble, while tossups seemed to be rather lead-in heavy. Did anyone else feel this way? I'll certainly provide more specific examples when I either get my hands on the set or I find my notebook.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Cheynem » Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:21 am

I read over the questions I wrote again. Some general comments I had about my stuff:

-There's always a challenge when one has to create a bonus where the easy part is basically just a "what country are these authors/filmmakers from" part. I think I did it well in the Japan/Kawabata/Endo part, not as well in the La Dolce Vita/Fellini/Italy part. If I had to do it again, I would either lead off with Italy or do an answer line of _bicycle_ about The Bicycle Thief and something else. The Neo-Nazi bonus with the answer of France was sort of odd too and maybe should have asked for Sarkozy.

-The Dirty Dozen/Jim Brown/Cassavetes was pushing it too, as this is an old film, an old athlete, and a really out there filmmaker. I may have exaggerated the fame of the original Dirty Dozen.

-It's a pretty deep Dr. Seuss bonus (Sneetches and Marvin K. Mooney), but I think these are at least somewhat familiar to people.

-I wondered while writing it if Grendel's Mother was just negbait for Grendel, and sure enough it was when I was reading. Not sure what others thought--I tried to only use clues that applied to the mother.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:13 am

Cheynem wrote:I wondered while writing it if Grendel's Mother was just negbait for Grendel, and sure enough it was when I was reading. Not sure what others thought--I tried to only use clues that applied to the mother.
I don't think this is such a problem, partly because it was answered quickly and confidently in my room and partly because it's only negbait if you don't really know much about Beowulf (though a player could certainly make a mistake out of confusion or what have you). To my knowledge all of the clues are unique.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Charbroil » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:00 pm

Cheynem wrote: -It's a pretty deep Dr. Seuss bonus (Sneetches and Marvin K. Mooney), but I think these are at least somewhat familiar to people.
Speaking of which, did Dr. Seuss count as literature? I was just wondering since I didn't know that he had any particular merits which made him worthy of being counted as serious literature, though I also don't know much about him.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:05 pm

Charbroil wrote:
Cheynem wrote: -It's a pretty deep Dr. Seuss bonus (Sneetches and Marvin K. Mooney), but I think these are at least somewhat familiar to people.
Speaking of which, did Dr. Seuss count as literature? I was just wondering since I didn't know that he had any particular merits which made him worthy of being counted as serious literature, though I also don't know much about him.
That was trash, of course.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Cheynem » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:07 pm

I included "trash literature" in the trash distribution, which irks some, but I think it's a reasonable thing to come up--the Roald Dahl tossup was also included as trash (the Saki tossup was lit).
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by sds » Mon Mar 15, 2010 12:11 am

This was pretty enjoyable overall!

I believe there was a typo referring to poor Nadine Gordimer as "he" in the round 3 (?) tossup.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by goblue16 » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:00 am

I had an awesome time at this tournament and here are some of my general impressions that might help improve this tournament in the future:

Surya and I both felt that the myth answer selection was overly dominated by Greek myth. I understand that this tournament is geared towards newer players, but I believe that you are underestimating the knowledge base of this demographic. This may be because I only heard 11 of the packets, but I cannot recall any purely Irish, Aztec/other Native American, or Finnish myth, and I believe that newer players could answer easier tossups or full bonuses on these; furthermore, the proportion of Greek to Norse/Indian/Egyptian was simply too large. If mut had had a more equitable balance in the myth distro it would have made our experience a little better. On a myth side note, the Jade Emperor/Taoism/China bonus was really much too easy even for this level and was essentially a free 30 points gift.

Also, I believe the only anthropology I heard was the Benedict tossup and the only linguistics was the vowel tossup. This seems a little low for these two subjects in the overall social sciences distro, although I would be receptive to an argument that these two topics are not taught extensively in high school.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Edward Elric » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:04 am

Yeah this was a great tournament to get me back into the "swing of things." I realized what i needed to learn (SCIENCE) and what I can expand on. Overall very enjoyable and kudos to the writers for producing a great set.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Charbroil » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:05 am

Cheynem wrote:I included "trash literature" in the trash distribution, which irks some, but I think it's a reasonable thing to come up--the Roald Dahl tossup was also included as trash (the Saki tossup was lit).
Cool--that trash literature was quite enjoyable; thank you very much!
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Boeing X-20, Please! » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:25 am

I also felt like Scott in that the myth was too heavily-G/R influenced. Obviously you're not going to be putting a TU about Mari & Sugaar in there, but some more world myth variety would have been nice. As MUT is targeted for a newer audience, I think it should also be a learning experience and introducing us to a more accurate view of the college myth canon would have been very nice. The myth I did hear was for the most part very good, and I thought the norse (esp. the Odin TU talking about the Mead of Suttungr) was excellent.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by sds » Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:59 am

Utahraptor wrote:I also felt like Scott in that the myth was too heavily-G/R influenced. Obviously you're not going to be putting a TU about Mari & Sugaar in there, but some more world myth variety would have been nice. As MUT is targeted for a newer audience, I think it should also be a learning experience and introducing us to a more accurate view of the college myth canon would have been very nice. The myth I did hear was for the most part very good, and I thought the norse (esp. the Odin TU talking about the Mead of Suttungr) was excellent.
Common link tossups seem to me to be especially well suited for adding some variety without sacrificing the target difficulty; I might have liked to see a few more (we had the one on mirrors, but I believe that was it). Or, alternately, are people opposed to common link themed bonuses?

The American folklore bonus was pretty cool, especially as that seems to be a relatively untapped area despite the fact that it's fairly familiar to most people. Did you count that under myth, or as trash?

Cheynem wrote:I included "trash literature" in the trash distribution, which irks some, but I think it's a reasonable thing to come up--the Roald Dahl tossup was also included as trash
Keep it coming, please!
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Cheynem » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:06 am

I wrote the folklore bonus and counted it as myth.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by itsthatoneguy » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:52 pm

Cheynem wrote:
-I wondered while writing it if Grendel's Mother was just negbait for Grendel, and sure enough it was when I was reading. Not sure what others thought--I tried to only use clues that applied to the mother.
I negged this with Grendel on the first clue.

I thought the majority of the Fine Arts was well done. Good distribution over time / geography and no big difficulty cliffs (except that Haydn one...). None of the tossups were too easy either. Here are some other things that hit me in a good or bad way:

-Not enough opera. I don't think I heard one opera tossup (although the Orff and Vivaldi ones did have some good opening opera clues). I didn't write down the bonuses, but I probably heard maybe 2 max throughout the day.

-The Resurrection Symphony tossup was, in my opinion, too hard for the targeted level.

-I liked the bonuses a lot. The hard parts were pretty difficult, but definitely gettable.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Cheynem » Tue Mar 16, 2010 11:38 pm

If I recall (and I don't have the tossup in front of me), the first clue was about a warrior that the mother specifically kills, although I can see how just hearing about a being killing dudes with that sort of name could lead to a Grendel buzz. Sorry if you feel you got hosed.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by itsthatoneguy » Wed Mar 17, 2010 4:25 am

Cheynem wrote:If I recall (and I don't have the tossup in front of me), the first clue was about a warrior that the mother specifically kills, although I can see how just hearing about a being killing dudes with that sort of name could lead to a Grendel buzz. Sorry if you feel you got hosed.
Oh no, I don't feel bad about it at all. I thought it was a good tossup because the distinctions were distinct from the beginning. It was my fault because I got them confused.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by tiwonge » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:44 pm

I enjoyed this tournament, and I thought, for the most part, that it did what it wanted to do.

I do have a question about comp. sci., though. We brought a new player who has some background in compsci, and I was hoping that he'd be able to buzz in on a CS question, but I don't remember hearing any tossups. There was one bonus, but the other team had it. Were there any computer science tossups?
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Gautam » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:48 pm

I believe the only Csci tossup was in Finals 2. It just so happened that we had written 5 math tossups, 6 tossups on crossover Chem/Bio/Physics, 3 on Earth sci/astro, and only had room for one Csci Tossup when we realized that we didn't have Csci.

I do think that at this level, writing Csci can be a pain, and I've never really been satisfied with how questions on csci are converted. I guess I wouldn't mind seeing future ACF-Fall level tournaments resort to a couple of Csci questions and explore more of Stats and/or crossover bio/chem/physics stuff instead.

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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:08 pm

Yeah, while I'm a computer science partisan re: people really do learn it and it is important, I'm willing to acknowledge that the canon of askable answers in a quizbowl format is frustratingly small. I wouldn't be surprised if you could make it a full quarter of the other sci in every single tournament you ever write--but it would tax you, and that effort's better spent elsewhere.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by tiwonge » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:20 pm

The climatology bonus that we got was certainly appreciated as a different category of science question. One of our players is taking that and was excited to see it, and I don't think we'd ever seen one of those before. (Well, maybe an El Nino/Southern Oscillation question, but other than that, I can't remember seeing much climatology or meteorology.)
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:56 pm

Can someone post the literature tossup on Arabic? Brittany claims that the first clue probably also applied to Persian.

Anyway, the set overall was pretty good. Playing by myself I had the continual feeling that the science was a bit harder than the rest of the stuff, but that's probably just because I've acquired less basic science knowledge through quizbowl osmosis than other subjects.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Strongside » Sun Apr 25, 2010 9:15 pm

Bentley Like Beckham wrote:Can someone post the literature tossup on Arabic? Brittany claims that the first clue probably also applied to Persian.
Works in this language called "Assemblies," in which strangers use their eloquence to get rewarded by large gatherings were popular in the middle ages, and another poet drew upon the Indian Panchatantras to write fables involving jackals in Kalila and Dimna. An early thinker who wrote in this language described a cohesive force called "assabiya." An author who wrote in this language described the homosexual adventures of Kirsha and the descent into prostitution of Hamida, and another trilogy which traces the life of the al-Jawad family. For 10 points, identify this language which Ibn Khaldun used to write the Muqaddimah, and which Mahfouz used to write Midaq Alley and the Cairo Trilogy .
ANSWER: Arabic [do not accept or prompt on Egyptian or any such wrong answers]

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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Dan-Don » Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:52 pm

That tossup was probably ill-advised for many reasons.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by endersdouble » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:09 pm

As I recall, I got negged for "mass" on "molecular weight" which I think is crazy.

I think there was a small factual error in the Blah Blah Blah TU, could someone post that?

I was able to steal the "Delft" tossup from a far superior fine arts opponent due to the tossup having a very early clue on "a famous "view of" this city" or something like that--perhaps I'm just unhindered by knowledge, but it would seem that clue came far too early.

I went through an entire semester on special relativity without hearing the term "rapidity" and question its notability--there are better hard parts that test SR knowledge, not vocab.

Could someone post the CS bonus? I got the second part wrong stupidly due to a terrrrrrrible reader, but would love to know what was actually said as I found the words I could understand quite confusing.

I felt that the bonuses had a number of easy parts that were far too "are you awake?" for my taste. Italy? "The Inca messengers traveled on these?" Really, guys?

I'm probably being incredibly picky. I liked the set for the most part, though the trash skewed away from my favorites. :)
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by endersdouble » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:10 pm

Cheynem wrote: -I wondered while writing it if Grendel's Mother was just negbait for Grendel, and sure enough it was when I was reading. Not sure what others thought--I tried to only use clues that applied to the mother.
I negged this way, but it was pure stupidity--I buzzed, thought "don't neg here by saying Grendel", and then, well, did. I think this is somewhat likely with any tossup on her, but a quick reminder somehow that THIS IS NOT GRENDEL early might be nice!
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Strongside » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:13 pm

In the music video to this song, the singer is disgusted to find out that a man is wearing a toupee, which the singer promptly stuffs in its owner's mouth, while an earlier scene shows singer sending text messages such as "TOOLBAG ALERT!" and "What a mega douche MASTER!!!" The singer asks the subject to "cut to the chase kid" and claims "I wanna be naked and you're wasted." The line "I don't care who you are in this bar" is sung by 3OH!3 in this song. The singer claims that the subject won't get lucky "in the back of my car" and requests men to stop talking in the titular fashion. For 10 points, identify this song with a repetitive title, the second single off of Animal for Ke$ha. 
ANSWER: Blah Blah Blah
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by endersdouble » Mon Apr 26, 2010 11:28 pm

Strongside wrote:In the music video to this song, the singer is disgusted to find out that a man is wearing a toupee, which the singer promptly stuffs in its owner's mouth, while an earlier scene shows singer sending text messages such as "TOOLBAG ALERT!" and "What a mega douche MASTER!!!" The singer asks the subject to "cut to the chase kid" and claims "I wanna be naked and you're wasted." The line "I don't care who you are in this bar" is sung by 3OH!3 in this song. The singer claims that the subject won't get lucky "in the back of my car" and requests men to stop talking in the titular fashion. For 10 points, identify this song with a repetitive title, the second single off of Animal for Ke$ha. 
ANSWER: Blah Blah Blah
OK, that's correct. Wasn't sure if they had quoted the text messages right.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Gautam » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:16 am

endersdouble wrote:
Strongside wrote:In the music video to this song, the singer is disgusted to find out that a man is wearing a toupee, which the singer promptly stuffs in its owner's mouth, while an earlier scene shows singer sending text messages such as "TOOLBAG ALERT!" and "What a mega douche MASTER!!!" The singer asks the subject to "cut to the chase kid" and claims "I wanna be naked and you're wasted." The line "I don't care who you are in this bar" is sung by 3OH!3 in this song. The singer claims that the subject won't get lucky "in the back of my car" and requests men to stop talking in the titular fashion. For 10 points, identify this song with a repetitive title, the second single off of Animal for Ke$ha. 
ANSWER: Blah Blah Blah
OK, that's correct. Wasn't sure if they had quoted the text messages right.
I watched the video 4 times to make sure I had the correct quotes, man. Even the caps are correct, I think, but obviously I cut down on the exclamation points.

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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Gautam » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:32 am

endersdouble wrote:As I recall, I got negged for "mass" on "molecular weight" which I think is crazy.


14. [GK] The ratio of two bulk forms of this quantity is given by the polydispersity index, which describes the width of the distribution of this property for certain compounds. In size exclusion chromatography, a negative relationship is obtained between the logarithm of this quantity and the elution volume, while in gel electrophoresis, "ladder molecules" with known values for this property are used as reference compounds. The highest peak corresponding to this property is possessed by monoisotopic particles in mass spec. For 10 points, identify this quantity which is usually expressed in Daltons for biological molecules, and which describes the total number of AMUs present in a compound.
ANSWER: molecular weight [or molecular mass; accept molar mass]

I guess the answer line was kind of suboptimal, but a decent moderator surely should have prompted you if you simply said "mass."
I was able to steal the "Delft" tossup from a far superior fine arts opponent due to the tossup having a very early clue on "a famous "view of" this city" or something like that--perhaps I'm just unhindered by knowledge, but it would seem that clue came far too early.
13. One scene in this city shows a broom and a bucket in the lower right corner of a canvas that depicts a woman in blue holding the hand of a child wearing yellow. Another depiction of this city shows two women apart from a group of five other people who stand next to a boat moored on a brown embankment. A painting of this city omitted a large gap created by the explosion of a gunpowder store. A courtyard in this city was depicted by Pieter de Hooch, and another depiction made use of an inverted Galilean telescope to render this city, which is shown on the banks of the Schie canal. For 10 points, name this city, a “View” of which was painted by Jan Vermeer.
ANSWER: Delft

ummmm, If you buzzed in on "the View" then you buzzed in on the giveaway. Either that, or there was a terrible moderator error.
I went through an entire semester on special relativity without hearing the term "rapidity" and question its notability--there are better hard parts that test SR knowledge, not vocab.
Fair enough. I have had 0 hours of instruction on SR, and I really can't claim to know much about it. I'll keep it in mind for future events I edit.
Could someone post the CS bonus? I got the second part wrong stupidly due to a terrrrrrrible reader, but would love to know what was actually said as I found the words I could understand quite confusing.
17. One algorithm for performing this task begins by comparing elements separated by large gaps and is named for Donald Shell, while so-called “turtles” in the “bubble” method of doing this can be solved by switching to an algorithm called “cocktail”. For 10 points each:
[10] Identify this common task in computer science which involves ordering a given set of data. Tony Hoare invented an especially “quick” algorithm for doing this.
ANSWER sorting algorithms
[10] An adaptive version of heapsort called “Smoothsort” was invented by this Dutch computer scientist who also developed both semaphores and reverse Polish notation.
ANSWER Edsger Wybe Dijkstra
[10] Dijkstra’s namesake algorithm can be used to find one of these on any graph with nonnegative edge weights. If the graph in question has negative edge weights, the Bellman-Ford algorithm can be used to find one of these.
ANSWER finding a shortest path [accept “a shortest path tree” or even “the shortest path problem”]
I felt that the bonuses had a number of easy parts that were far too "are you awake?" for my taste. Italy? "The Inca messengers traveled on these?" Really, guys?
Eh, after having edited 5 tournaments like these, I'm more than convinced that it's reasonable to have many easy parts which are extremely easy. If I was writing with the aim of significantly improving my knowledge base of every question I was writing on and challenging players somewhat, I'd surely tweak the parts so that there weren't free 10 points anywhere. I think I speak for all editors of this set when I say that we'd much rather see people average 10 on the bonuses than 0s for the intended audience and the advertised difficulty level.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by grapesmoker » Tue Apr 27, 2010 12:14 pm

endersdouble wrote:I went through an entire semester on special relativity without hearing the term "rapidity" and question its notability--there are better hard parts that test SR knowledge, not vocab.
I've gone through an entire graduate career in cosmology without hearing that term. When I looked it up, I recognized a quantity that had come up in my classes before, but I never realized it had a name. Seems like a poor idea.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Mechanical Beasts » Tue Apr 27, 2010 1:31 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
endersdouble wrote:I went through an entire semester on special relativity without hearing the term "rapidity" and question its notability--there are better hard parts that test SR knowledge, not vocab.
I've gone through an entire graduate career in cosmology without hearing that term. When I looked it up, I recognized a quantity that had come up in my classes before, but I never realized it had a name. Seems like a poor idea.
Yeah. The first time this was asked of me (I don't remember when it was) I said "phi" excitedly and got no points. The second time I got it, because a million high school physics questions later, I had read the Wiki article on special relativity a ton.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by The King's Flight to the Scots » Sun May 02, 2010 12:11 pm

So, will this set be posted soon?
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by tiwonge » Fri May 07, 2010 4:07 am

(It's posted now.)

We were going through one packet in practice today (DanDon + Minnesota), and were surprised to learn about the presence of glaciers in the Persian Gulf. :)
Bonus 1 wrote:It runs parallel to the Clarence Strait, and to its south is the United Arab Emirates. For 10 points each:
[10] Twenty percent of the world’s petroleum passes through what strait that borders Iran and serves as an entrance to the Persian Gulf?
ANSWER: Strait of Hormuz
[10] A town called Kumzar juts into the south end of the Strait of Hormuz. Kuzmar is on this rocky, glacier-covered peninsula.
ANSWER: Musandam
[10] Musandum is an exclave of this country with capital Muscat. The Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of this sultanate, which lies to the east of Yemen.
ANSWER: Sultanate of Oman
Edit: as long as I'm on it, I guess I might also mention the next one that confused us in practice today.
Bonus 2 wrote:Wave-function collapse does not obey it. For 10 points each:
[10] Give this basic principle of quantum mechanics that states that the sum of all probabilities of all possible outcomes of any event is one.
ANSWER: unitarity
[10] Unitarity is thought to impose an upper bound on the mass of these particles. It is a Standard Model particle with spin-0, and this hypothetical boson is theorized to give particles their masses.
ANSWER: Higgs boson
[10] The problem with the Higgs boson’s mass is theoretically solved by this model, which states that, for every boson, there is a fermion with equivalent mass and internal quantum number and vice-versa.
ANSWER: supersymmetry
The "these particles" in the second bonus part lead me to think that the question was looking for a class of particles, and not a single one.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by cchiego » Tue May 11, 2010 2:27 am

I can assure you, having visited the Musandam Peninsula and sailed near Kumzar not too long ago, that there are no glaciers there. Cool little fishing villages and coral reefs, but no glaciers.

I wanted to commend the authors of the economics in this set for not only representing it well in the distribution, but actually tying in modern economic people. The Acemoglu bonus made me do a double-take- interesting, gettable, and very important in current developmental economics. Please, folks: more relevant, current economics (and focus on the micro as well as the macro aspects)!
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Gautam » Tue May 11, 2010 8:27 am

Swank diet wrote:I can assure you, having visited the Musandam Peninsula and sailed near Kumzar not too long ago, that there are no glaciers there. Cool little fishing villages and coral reefs, but no glaciers.

I wanted to commend the authors of the economics in this set for not only representing it well in the distribution, but actually tying in modern economic people. The Acemoglu bonus made me do a double-take- interesting, gettable, and very important in current developmental economics. Please, folks: more relevant, current economics (and focus on the micro as well as the macro aspects)!
I'm pretty sure I was the one who let the musandam glacier thing slip through. It was one of the last bonuses that made the cut and I probably just forgot to verify the clues.

Thanks for the compliments about the Econ! I think Andrew wrote theTU on taxes and I wrote remainder. I felt pretty happy writing the questions, and I'm glad it was interesting.

About Colin's post on the Higgs Boson part, I'm not really sure why the given wording is so confusing. It is clearly referring to higgs bosons in plural. What do you suggest be done to make it less confusing?
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Susan » Tue May 11, 2010 9:53 am

Gautam wrote:About Colin's post on the Higgs Boson part, I'm not really sure why the given wording is so confusing. It is clearly referring to higgs bosons in plural. What do you suggest be done to make it less confusing?


It actually switches back and forth between referring to them in the singular and the plural, which is at best inelegant and at worst could confuse people (and, given Colin's post, seems to have done so).
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by tiwonge » Tue May 11, 2010 12:18 pm

Yeah. I should have known from the latter part of the clue that it was referring to just the Higgs boson, but sometimes I latch on to a certain phrase when trying to decipher what it's asking for. When I heard "these bosons" I thought it was asking for a class (i.e., bosons plural suggest more than one type of boson), and that initial thought shut out the possibility from later clues that it was just Higgs, although if I were paying attention, when it mentioned "hypothetical," clearly that's just Higgs.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by mattreece » Tue May 11, 2010 10:09 pm

grapesmoker wrote:
endersdouble wrote:I went through an entire semester on special relativity without hearing the term "rapidity" and question its notability--there are better hard parts that test SR knowledge, not vocab.
I've gone through an entire graduate career in cosmology without hearing that term. When I looked it up, I recognized a quantity that had come up in my classes before, but I never realized it had a name. Seems like a poor idea.
Rapidity (or, more often, pseudorapidity) is a concept that's second nature to collider physicists (at least if they're familiar with hadron colliders) and probably to no one else.
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Re: General discussions and thanks

Post by Down and out in Quintana Roo » Fri May 14, 2010 11:01 am

gkandlikar wrote:
Swank diet wrote:I can assure you, having visited the Musandam Peninsula and sailed near Kumzar not too long ago, that there are no glaciers there. Cool little fishing villages and coral reefs, but no glaciers.

I wanted to commend the authors of the economics in this set for not only representing it well in the distribution, but actually tying in modern economic people. The Acemoglu bonus made me do a double-take- interesting, gettable, and very important in current developmental economics. Please, folks: more relevant, current economics (and focus on the micro as well as the macro aspects)!
I'm pretty sure I was the one who let the musandam glacier thing slip through. It was one of the last bonuses that made the cut and I probably just forgot to verify the clues.
I was looking up this glacier thing, since we actually read this packet in practice yesterday. Here's what i found on this website: http://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/1 ... arabia.htm
Glaciers in Arabia? Glaciers in what is now a vast and stony desert? No, it's not impossible. There were glaciers in Arabia - one in the vicinity of Qasim in the north-central part of the kingdom - and last year the Aramco geologist who first wrote about it came up with, well, rock-solid evidence to prove it.

According to that geologist, Hal McClure, the glacier moved across what is today's Saudi Arabia several hundred million years ago - before the world's land masses broke up into separate continents. Back then, he says, the South Pole was in Africa and the fringes of its ice cap reached into the Arabian Peninsular.

To Aramco geologists of the 1950's, this would not have been quite as startling as it seems to laymen today. While prospecting at Khasm Khatmah and Jabal Ghiran in southwestern Saudi Arabia in 1950, S.B. "Krug" Henry, one of the 1933 pioneers who launched the Aramco venture, and R. A. "Dick" Bramkamp, who became Aramco's chief geologist in 1951 (SeeAramcoWorld, May-June 1984), reported the discovery of granite boulders "... as large as three feet across (one meter)" that could not be traced to any nearby outcrop, and theorized that they had been "rafted" to the site by glaciers.

But it was not until 1977 that McClure, quite by accident, came across traces of the Qasim glaciation - and even then he wasn't at all sure what he had found.

However, investigation showed striking similarities between the curious Qasim rocks and those that showed glaciation in North Africa. Further, McClure's evidence pointed to glaciation in Arabia about 435 million years ago, near the end of the Ordovician period and roughly the same time that the giant ice sheets had scraped their way across Algeria and Libya. Excited about his discoveries, McClure contacted Columbia University geologist Rhodes W. Fairbridge, one of the first men to identify signs of glaciation in North Africa.
Interesting.
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