BUZZERFEST: General Discussion

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Re: General Discussion

Post by Batsteve »

Captain Sinico wrote:Here's the text of the questions of mine SteveJon wasn't sure about as submitted (I seem to have lost the edited set):

[Questions!]
With the questions in front of me, I can't really find anything to complain about them. Actually, cross section appears quite a bit more specific than I thought I remembered, noting integrating the transfer matrix over all orientations, and it being a solid angle integral. I guess my recollection is in error, or was colored by everything else going on that day.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Mechanical Beasts »

Kunle, I knew that we were going to have similar problems with T-Party (because, for inexplicable reasons, I always experience a wave of work a couple of weeks after the term starts). I also knew that, for example, Rob had Winter to work on immediately before. So I suggested we write, and we were sure to write, eight editors packets--and we were able to start work on them well before [INSERT THREE-WEEK-BEFORE-TOURNAMENT OBSTACLE] hit. That made editing a whole lot easier.

So yeah: I'm mostly on Chris's side re: having a mixed feeling of "well, they DID have fewer quality submissions than most tournaments" and "there's a pretty close to uniform obligation for a set be at or above a certain quality"; that said, the workaround for the first thing (writing a million editors packets, which can be cannibalized if you get a lot of mostly good submissions or used as is if you get a lot of golden submissions and a lot of shitty ones) is nontrivial.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by olsb25 »

Illinois packet, tossup 8 wrote:It begins with the same exact dedication to Theophilus as does Luke’s Gospel, and contains many of the same elements as the synoptics and John, particularly emphasizing the massacre of the innocents, Christ’s ability as a fisherman, the death of John the Baptist, and Jesus’ ministry. Despite these similarities, it is set apart by the controversial suggestions of a completely human Christ, a non-virgin birth, a conflict between an avaricious God and a compassionate, reluctant Christ, and a sympathetic Devil, as well as by an account of the death of St. Joseph, and multiple references to Portuguese culture. For 10 points, name this controversial satire by the 1998 Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago, which ends with Christ submitting himself to death, hoping to downplay his significance to come.
ANSWER: The Gospel According to Jesus Christ [or O Evangelho Segundo Jesus Cristo]
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Papa's in the House
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Papa's in the House »

DumbJaques wrote:(Mark assures me that his Van Buren question did not claim that VB ordered the Trail of Tears).
Delaware packet, question 19 wrote:19. The burning of a ship that had been supplying rebels by Canadian loyalists caused this man to protest to Great Britain, to no avail. His second running mate, the grandson of a previous president, was Charles Francis Adams, Sr. He first proposed the establishment of an independent treasury in response to a crisis brought on in part by the demise of the Second Bank of the United States, although his proposals were defeated in Congress. In addition to sending Cherokees from Georgia to present-day Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears, this man had to deal with Caroline affair and the Panic of 1837. A candidate for President in 1848 under the Free Soil banner, for 10 points, who was this eighth President of the United States?
ANSWER: Martin van Buren
Except, it was van Buren who sent the Cherokee to Oklahoma from Georgia; in fact, he was the person to order Winfield Scott to carry out the move. If need be, I'll quote you the section from the textbook I learned this from.
Jeaton1 wrote:Stating that it "like Luke, begins with an introduction to Theophilus" is super neg-bait for "The Book of Acts", which also begins with an introduction to Theophilus.
Notre Dame made that same neg after only that clue. I can only assume Jeff forgot that the introduction was in all three of the works.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

That question could have just started with the words "this novel." That ought to dissuade anyone from buzzing with Acts.
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mpellegrini
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Re: General Discussion

Post by mpellegrini »

Papa's in the House wrote:
DumbJaques wrote:(Mark assures me that his Van Buren question did not claim that VB ordered the Trail of Tears).
Delaware packet, question 19 wrote:19. The burning of a ship that had been supplying rebels by Canadian loyalists caused this man to protest to Great Britain, to no avail. His second running mate, the grandson of a previous president, was Charles Francis Adams, Sr. He first proposed the establishment of an independent treasury in response to a crisis brought on in part by the demise of the Second Bank of the United States, although his proposals were defeated in Congress. In addition to sending Cherokees from Georgia to present-day Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears, this man had to deal with Caroline affair and the Panic of 1837. A candidate for President in 1848 under the Free Soil banner, for 10 points, who was this eighth President of the United States?
ANSWER: Martin van Buren
Except, it was van Buren who sent the Cherokee to Oklahoma from Georgia; in fact, he was the person to order Winfield Scott to carry out the move. If need be, I'll quote you the section from the textbook I learned this from.
Jeaton1 wrote:Stating that it "like Luke, begins with an introduction to Theophilus" is super neg-bait for "The Book of Acts", which also begins with an introduction to Theophilus.
Notre Dame made that same neg after only that clue. I can only assume Jeff forgot that the introduction was in all three of the works.
I double checked and, as originally written, the question described the trail of tears as happening under his tenure but without saying he ordered it: As originally submitted, the question said: The Bank Safety Act was passed during the nine weeks he spent as Governor of New York, before resigning to become Secretary of State. A close ally of his predecessor, he retained all-but-one of that predecessor's cabinet secretaries. Early in his tenure, he had to deal with the Caroline Affair, and the forced relocation of the Cherokee from Georgia to Oklahoma. Other than Thomas Jefferson, he is the only man to serve as Secretary of State, Vice President, and President. He was the first president born after the American revolution, and the only one who did not speak English natively. Andrew Jackson's hand-picked successor, this is for ten points what eighth president of the United States?
ANSWER: Martin van Buren
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Papa's in the House »

mpellegrini wrote:
Papa's in the House wrote:
Delaware packet, question 19 wrote:In addition to sending Cherokees from Georgia to present-day Oklahoma on the Trail of Tears...
ANSWER: Martin van Buren
Except, it was van Buren who sent the Cherokee to Oklahoma from Georgia; in fact, he was the person to order Winfield Scott to carry out the move. If need be, I'll quote you the section from the textbook I learned this from.
I double checked and, as originally written, the question described the Trail of Tears as happening under his tenure but without saying he ordered it: As originally submitted, the question said: Early in his tenure, he had to deal with... the forced relocation of the Cherokee from Georgia to Oklahoma
ANSWER: Martin van Buren
Well, saying that Martin van Buren had to "deal with" the "the forced relocation of the Cherokee" implies he had nothing to do with the Trail of Tears, when, in fact, he did. Without his command (of Scott and others), the Trail of Tears would not have occurred.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by grapesmoker »

This debate should serve as a valuable lesson in saying what you mean. Constructions like "he had to deal with," are horrible weasel words that confuse people; just say, "this president ordered Winfield Scott to relocate the Cherokee."
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) »

The burning of a ship that had been supplying rebels by Canadian loyalists caused this man to protest to Great Britain, to no avail.
I will use this as a chance to get up on my high horse about how I don't believe there is a single hypothetical question in the world that can't incorporate the pronoun designating the answer within the first 5 words of the tossup, and probably within the first. If this statement were reworded as "This man was prompted to protest Great Britain in response to the burning of a ship..." that makes the opening sentence much clearer, and does not create half a sentence that is only buzzable if players want to take their guesses about what kind of thing the answer might be, which I do not find to be ideal at all when you can instead just get that pronoun out of the way and more purely reward knowledge instead of lucky divining. Also, I don't understand why questions need to include phrases like the "to no avail," since that phrase seems to not really add much beyond dead space in terms of clues.
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Captain Sinico
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Captain Sinico »

Yeah, I was thrown by that phrase, too, as I was about to neg with the Caroline or maybe the Aroostook War. I then stupidly sat around... but still, that can be written better in exactly the way Charlie suggests.

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Mike Bentley
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Mike Bentley »

Can someone send me the set - [email protected].
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Re: General Discussion

Post by tiwonge »

The tournament has been posted, and I haven't looked through the other packets yet, but I wondered how the 1/1 "Your Choice" turned out. I used this opportunity to write two cross-disciplinary questions, which I enjoyed. What was this used for in other packets?

Our packet was combined with Notre Dame's packet, but my two "Your Choice" questions were kept. They are:
13. This was predated by the First System run by the Iberian nations and was a closed system closely controlled by the state. Sometimes called the Maafa, V.S. Naipul wrote of its aftereffects in a book named for it. The last known ship to participate in it was the Clotilde, which sailed to Mobile, Alabama. Another ship that sailed it was depicted by J. M. W. Turner in a painting, and Robert Hayden wrote a poem with its name. The actions of the captain of the Zong became notorious in it, and proved a catalyst for people including William Wilberforce to help outlaw it in Great Britain. Another participating ship, whose “cargo” was freed by an 1831 Supreme Court case, was La Amistad. For 10 points, name this leg of the Atlantic triangular trade, which used manufactured goods from Europe to buy slaves and sold them for raw materials in the Americas.
ANSWER: The Middle Passage (accept trans-Atlantic slave trade before “slaves”)
and
16. Answer the following questions about the Seven Hills of Rome, for 10 points each.
[10] The seven hills of Rome are contained by a wall named after this 6th king of Rome and second Etruscan king. His mother was a Vestal Virgin who was impregnated when a phallus arose from the flames she was tending and penetrated her.
ANSWER: Servius Tullius (accept Servian Wall)
[10] Capitoline Hill was populated by the participants in this neighborly event in early Roman history, which provided a motif for several artists, like Nicholas Poussin and Giambologna.
ANSWER: Rape of the Sabine Women (accept reasonable equivalents involving abduction of Sabine females)
[10] The city of Rome outgrew the original seven hills, and added the Pincian Hill, whose residents included this historian who wrote The Conspiracy of Catiline in addition to an account of the Jugurthine War.
ANSWER: Sallust (or Gaius Sallustius Crispus)
(This one was edited from what I submitted, but the idea is still there.)

In general, how did this category go? Did most packets have a cross-disciplinary question, or did they just add another academic question?
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Red-necked Phalarope »

So we're going through this set in practice, and I just wanted to make a few comments about the linguistics bonus in Editors 1:
6. For 10 points each, answer the following questions about linguistics.
[10] This group of languages found in southern Africa includes Shona and Zulu, as well as Swahili.
ANSWER: Bantu languages
[10] The Bantu languages form part of the Niger-Congo language family, which is one of the few not included in this hypothetical over-arching language family that encompasses nearly all Asian, European, and northern African languages, and whose name means “northern”.
ANSWER: Borean language family
[10] The Borean language family was proposed by this Russian linguist who attempted to reconcile Japanese and Austronesian languages and whose online database “The Tower of Babel” includes lexicons of nearly all Eurasian language families.
ANSWER: Sergei Starostin
So first off, I really like the first bonus part here. I'd love to see language families come up as answers more often, actually, especially in lieu of "name the language" questions. I think that they test pure linguistic knowledge better, it's easier to write them pyramidally (since knowledge of a language's linguistic features, in my experience, is rather binary at the difficulty level tested in quizbowl), and you're more likely to get better conversion rates amongst folks with linguistic knowledge. The downside, of course, is that these may be harder to convert amongst non-linguists, but if you took out the "name this language spoken by O-Zone"-type giveaways from language tossups, I strongly doubt that would be the case.

The second part I'm not so happy with. I'm not a historical linguist, but I've had my share of experience with the field, and I've never come across Borean before in my life. A quick search reveals that Borean is noted to "not have widespread acceptance in scholarship" by Wikipedia--and when Wikipedia says that about a language, you know you're pretty far out there. What this is, however, is a good hose for Nostratic, which is both much better-known and fits all the clues in that part except for the last.

I didn't recognize Starostin, either, but upon looking him up I realized, "oh, that's the guy who proposed Altaic" (which isn't that universally-accepted itself). This isn't quite the equivalent of tossing up Anatoly Fomenko, but there are plenty of better answer choices for contemporary historical linguists out there. That said, I like the effort to write a question on recent linguistic theory; maybe once a year do I hear an answer on something that gained notability since 1970--which, given that that's about 40% of the time that modern linguistics has existed as a field, is sort of unfortunate.

Those are just my thoughts; naturally, I'd love to hear if other linguists or non-linguists agree or disagree.
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Re: General Discussion

Post by women, fire and dangerous things »

Yeah, this bonus seems to lack a middle part, and Borean especially is really hard (I wouldn't have pulled Starostin either, but it's a fine hard part).
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Re: General Discussion

Post by Nicklausse/Muse »

It seems like the middle part would actually be easier for non-linguists; people with knowledge of the field might, as Brice said, answer "Nostratic," which fits nearly all the clues, but someone who's never even heard of Bantu languages can fraud "Borean" based on the last clue.
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