I wrote the following questions and would like feedback on them.
- bonus on databases (packet 1)
- tossup on statins (packet 2) — I had no idea that there was also a tossup on cholesterol, and wouldn't've written this if I had noticed it. Without knowing much about the details, this sounds to me like something NAQT's repeat-checking tools and/or editors should've caught.
- tossup on David Hilbert (packet 2)
- tossup on countability (packet 6)
- tossup on [algebraic] fields (packet 12)
- bonus on film censorship/ratings (packet 12)
- tossup on compactness (packet 16)
All of those were quite good with the exception of statins, whose leadin was vague enough to apply to several other drugs (like COX-2 inhibitors, whose effects on colon cancer were also the subject of research at the University of Michigan). In general, picking a random study for a leadin, even one that's been published in popular press, has to be done carefully to exclude other answers. Simply hearing "this class of drugs may help colon cancer"is not a good way to reward knowledge. Furthermore, the thing about grapefruit juice applies to several other drugs; the first uniquely identifying clue is about muscle breakdown, which is a weird side effects of statins no one will tell you.
-Trees: Stylistically, it makes more sense to just have a tossup on trees in either Greek or Norse myth, esp when you're character-confined. The Welsh leadin was quite hard if you're someone not named Rob Carson, and it would have created a better gradient if you lead in with the Heliades, maybe go to Melampus, then end with Baucis and Philemon.
-Countee Cullen: Why on earth was "The Ballad of the Little Brown Girl" not in this tossup?
-Periodic: I liked this one. This is not a complaint (ILTO. TINAC)
-Hilbert: For all future reference, just say "He's not Peano, but he names a space-filling curve". Not that this was a problem since you mentioned the axiomatization of geometry before that, which is his second most famous thing.
-Ohio: Why not just make this a tossup on school vouchers? If you've been following that, you'd have heard of Zelman v Simmons-Harris.
-Shahnemah becomes transparent pretty damn fast.
-Phase transitions: Is there any reason to put Ehrenfest classification scheme after order parameter?
-Ortho-para directors are also activating groups, generally speaking (halides are the exception). You could make this way less obtuse by saying "The methyl group directs to these two positions blah blah blah"
-Norman Mailer: don't clutter up an already short tossup with biographical details. I don't care that he went to Harvard.
-Koch snowflake: You're going to write about the 5th most famous fractal? Who's bright idea was this.
-Cholesterol: ILTO. TINAC
-Rhee: ILTO. TINAC
-Cherokee: I don't know if the point of this was to fulfill a general knowledge distribution. But pretty much everyone's buzzing on Sal.
-Syncretization was not accepted for Syncretism. Fuck you, name-redacted moderator from this match.
-The MG bonus started out great, then took a HUGE turn for the worse. The mercury bonus part isn't relevant in the least. There are several better third parts (end-plate potential, neuromuscular junction, Lambert-Eaton syndrome, ptosis, neostigmine, plasmapheresis, thymus even) that would have rewarded people who have helped cut out thymuses of MG patients.
-Why is "refrigerator mothers" in power for Bettelheim?
-Babinet's principle is a strange thing to ask about.
- Round Table: ILTO. TINAC
-Balder: Stupid overdone leadin.
-Circadian Rhythms: Spending a line talking about how they work in Cyanobacteria is worthless. Talking about Benzer, BMAL, or entrainers would have been much more knowledge-rewarding.
-The Calvin cycle question was an absolute hose for Pentose Phosphate pathway. It doesn't just sound like it, you're actually describing a step in the pentose phosphate pathway.
-You could have mentioned that the M2 protein is inhibited by amantidine. Generally this questions'fine though
-Racemic mixtures: This is completely unpowerable
-You could say that Alpher was on a paper with Bethe and Gamow.