Question-specific requests and discussion

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Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by marianna » Sat Mar 22, 2014 8:40 pm

If you'd like to see and discuss a specific question or two, this is the relevant thread. We'd like to hear your feedback or concerns about any requested questions. That is, instead of a request to see a question, it's much more helpful for us to hear why you are requesting to see it.

EDIT: Let me be more explicit. When you request a question, we would like to hear why you are concerned about that question or why you want to see the question. This is not just a question request thread, but a question-specific discussion thread.

EDIT EDIT: Conversion stats per question and per category are now available from the main site.
Last edited by marianna on Mon Apr 07, 2014 3:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by czheng0708 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:06 am

Can you post the Chinese New Year question?
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by marianna » Sun Mar 23, 2014 12:10 am

Prison Bowl VII, Round 8, Tossup 6 wrote:Trash is not thrown out until the fifth day of this festival. Prior to this festival, an effigy of the Kitchen God is smeared with honey and torched, and an inverted fu and couplets are hung beside doors. A legend associated with this festival warns of a child-eating monster that is scared by loud noises and a specific color. Lantern Festival marks the end of this festival that begins with a family reunion dinner of glutinous cake and dumplings. Associated with lion dances, firecrackers, and red envelopes, for 10 points, name this fifteen-day festival, the first in an Asian lunar calendar.
ANSWER: Chinese New Year [or Spring Festival; or chunjie; or yuandan; prompt on Lunar New Year] <MZ>
We'd love to hear your concerns and feedback on questions as you request them!
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by Rudolf Volz's Hamlet In Rock » Sun Mar 23, 2014 11:31 am

Can I please see the music tossup on Finland? I believe there was a typo in the middle of the question, in which the thing it was asking for changed to "This city", rather than "This country".
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by marianna » Sun Mar 23, 2014 1:16 pm

Prison Bowl VII, Round 8, Tossup 19 wrote:One composer from this country wrote a concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra named after The Trial. His orchestral L.A. Variations was premiered in 1997, during which he was under tenure conducting for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. Another composer from this country included a march-like “Intermezzo” in his Karelia Suite. In addition to writing The Swan of Tuonela and Valse triste, a notable composer from this country wrote a symphonic poem which was later reworked into an eponymous nationalistic hymn. For 10 points, name this Scandinavian country home to such composers as Esa-Pekka Salonen and Jean Sibelius.
ANSWER: Finland [accept Suomi] <BM>
The "his" pronoun is misleading and will be corrected, but otherwise pronouns are correct.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by samus149 » Sun Mar 23, 2014 4:03 pm

My comments:

Round 1:
- Not straight up accepting "integer" seems a little cruel to me

Round 2:
- Whenever there's a force that acts on lights and stars in space, it pretty much has to be gravity
- My translation of Crime and Punishment used "ubermensch" instead of "superman", so I think that should be prompted at least

Round 4:
- "Spectral lines" seems like an abnormally hard answerline
- Calling "The West Wing" a TV show instead of a work would probably work better here
- Lichens seems like a more difficult way of writing a tossup on fungi, which would have probably worked just as well

Round 5:
- I realize it's probably not going to happen, but calling the protagonist of Invisible Man "yam-eating" opens up a buzz for a Things Fall Apart buzz, so removing that would be a good idea
- What even is this Chinese performing arts bonus. I really hope this is trash, and even so, this should probably be a bit easier
- "Cloud chamber" and "brehmsstrahlung" in the same bonus is two hard parts, even if you describe clouds as a "namesake mist"

Round 6:
- I know nothing about sports, but calling a football team's strategy an "iron curtain" just lends itself to a buzz for the Steelers
- You ruled out both Loki and Thor as possible answers in this Heimdall tossup by the second line. Switching that line with the next would probably work better
- I know I complained about jazz, but this jazz bonus doesn't have an easy part, and the bebop part just begs to be answered with scat

Round 7:
- Moving a microscope closer to a sample does not change the focal length of the lens, that is an intrinsic property of the lens

Round 8:
- Kirchoff's first law is more commonly taught as the "conservation of current" into and out of a node, so that should at least be a promptable answer, even though it is charge actually being conserved
- This astronomy bonus has no easy part. At least change the first part to "white dwarfs" or give some clues about Johannes Kepler in the second part
- Superoxide is way too hard, unless you add something more specific like that it's the "one electron reduction of diatomic oxygen"

Round 9:
- That's a whole lot of clues that nobody's gonna know for English
- This aspirin question's got a whole lot of hard stuff right before the cliff to "salicylic acid"

Round 10:
- I answered "orbitals" for this crystals question based on the first clue, which I believe is correct, because the Jahn-Teller effect also describes deviations from VSEPR theory
- There should be a prompt/anti-prompt on verdigris for this patina bonus, since most of the question describes copper and the Statue of Liberty
- Some of the answers only promptable for "economic inequality" (like "wealth gap") should be accepted outright, because they're all essentially describing the same thing
- This comics bonus follows the same easy-easy-super hard convention

Unrelated comment: The 4th person on our team is Sharan Kumar
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:36 pm

samus149 wrote: - I know nothing about sports, but calling a football team's strategy an "iron curtain" just lends itself to a buzz for the Steelers
I'm not sure where that clue was placed since I got the question on the 2nd clue, but thats the whole point of the nickname. :lol:
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by iloveGod » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:44 pm

Can you please post the John the Baptist tossup? I forgot which round it was in.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by marianna » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:57 pm

Again, since the goal of this thread is to discuss questions, we'd love to hear *why* you're requesting a question, not just can you post question x.
Prison Bowl VII, Round 4, Tossup 12 wrote:Josephus described this man’s death as occurring at Macherus. This man’s famous acts were said to happen at either Ænon or Bethabara. When the father of this figure disbelieved his infertile wife was to conceive, the father was left mute by the angel Gabriel. This man is described in the gospels of Mark and Matthew as a “voice crying out in the wilderness”. This man was killed by the request of Salome at the urging of her mother, who held a grudge against him. For 10 points, name this man, whose title was derived from a process in which he would ritually bathe people, including Jesus Christ.
ANSWER: Saint John the Baptist [accept John the Forerunner; prompt on John] <AM>
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by marianna » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:09 pm

Thanks Sean, for those detailed comments! As the literature and philosophy editor, I'll address those questions, as well as any misc questions I wrote.
samus149 wrote: - Not straight up accepting "integer" seems a little cruel to me
I don't understand how this is cruel. The difference between a primitive type (eg int) and an object (eg Integer) is fundamental to Java, and indeed, one of the very first concepts taught in AP Computer Science. The third part of the bonus, wrapper classes, hinge on this very distinction.
samus149 wrote: - My translation of Crime and Punishment used "ubermensch" instead of "superman", so I think that should be prompted at least
Thanks, this will be fixed. I think the C+P translation uses superman, so I didn't realize a translator would use the German word for a Russian-language text to explicitly reference Nietzsche (who comes later in time).
samus149 wrote: - I realize it's probably not going to happen, but calling the protagonist of Invisible Man "yam-eating" opens up a buzz for a Things Fall Apart buzz, so removing that would be a good idea
I don't have any sympathy for anyone who buzzed there since that clue is not specific enough for any reasonable buzz (yams are not some sort of exotic rare food), but that will be shifted down.
samus149 wrote: - What even is this Chinese performing arts bonus. I really hope this is trash, and even so, this should probably be a bit easier
This was shadow puppets/Beijing opera/xiangsheng, and was part of the other visual arts distribution. All three of these are academically studied subjects, and indeed, there are entire schools and programs dedicated to Beijing opera. Which parts in particular did you find hard?

EDIT: whoops missed a word
samus149 wrote: - There should be a prompt/anti-prompt on verdigris for this patina bonus, since most of the question describes copper and the Statue of Liberty...
- Some of the answers only promptable for "economic inequality" (like "wealth gap") should be accepted outright, because they're all essentially describing the same thing
These will be fixed, thanks.
samus149 wrote: - This comics bonus follows the same easy-easy-super hard convention
Gotham will be removed as a clue for Batwoman. I'll alert the section editor about Seduction of the Innocent.
samus149 wrote: Unrelated comment: The 4th person on our team is Sharan Kumar
This has been fixed.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by Lo, Marathon Ham! » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:29 pm

serasuna wrote:
samus149 wrote: - I realize it's probably not going to happen, but calling the protagonist of Invisible Man "yam-eating" opens up a buzz for a Things Fall Apart buzz, so removing that would be a good idea
I don't have any sympathy for anyone who buzzed there since that clue is not specific enough for any reasonable buzz (yams are not some sort of exotic rare food), but that will be shifted down.
samus149 wrote: - What even is this Chinese performing arts bonus. I really hope this is trash, and even so, this should probably be a bit easier
This was shadow puppets/Beijing opera/xiangsheng, and was part of the other visual distribution. All three of these are academically studied subjects, and indeed, there are entire schools and programs dedicated to Beijing opera. Which parts in particular did you find hard?
The Yam-Eating I thought was very misleading and thank god I did not buzz on it. It's typically best to avoid phrasing that is overused in tossups for a different thing as the first clue and then have a ton of people neg it. Also, the Chinese performing arts bonus was something I found stupid and an unnecessary ppb killer. I would be interested if there were conversion stats on this bonus. Other notes: Set had some really stupid random questions (can't remember which but I found myself frustrated frequently). Our science players on A and B team both had 3 negs ON THE SAME QUESTIONS in the SAME EXACT ROUND. After speaking with each other they found that they had been mislead by similar clues and even our mod said that those science questions were badly written (round 4 to be exact). If some of these science questions could be posted that would be great so that we can see what exactly was misleading (I think I remember one saying "this organism" first line and the answer being bacteriophage :mad: ).
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by tnalfalfa » Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:56 pm

Chunky Sean wrote:Our science players on A and B team both had 3 negs ON THE SAME QUESTIONS in the SAME EXACT ROUND. After speaking with each other they found that they had been mislead by similar clues and even our mod said that those science questions were badly written (round 4 to be exact). If some of these science questions could be posted that would be great so that we can see what exactly was misleading (I think I remember one saying "this organism" first line and the answer being bacteriophage :mad: ).
Bacteriophage question will be fixed.

Round 4 science tossups are as follows:
These organisms reproduce via soredia or isidia, which can be produced in pycnidia. The outermost layer of the thallus of a crustose type can include a polysaccharide layer produced within cephalodia, which may also contain cyanobacteria. These organisms may be endophloidic, endolithic, or leprose, and contain a type of cell that frequently penetrates the cell walls of others with haustoria. Members of the phylum Ascomycota comprise most of the mycobionts of these organisms. For 10 points, name these organism often the first to settle in soilless areas, which form a symbiotic relationship between algae and fungi.
ANSWER: lichens <SH>
I can see how the "thallus of a crustose type" clue for could also refer to algae, but the first line and "cephalodia" should have rendered the answer line unambiguous.
Material buckling must be equal to geometric buckling for this process to occur at a steady state. The product of thermal utilization factor and three other factors gives K, the effective neutron multiplication factor, which must be greater than one for this process to occur. This process may be halted by iodine pits or poisoning with xenon. More material is produced than consumed by this process in breeder reactors. It is sustained when a material has a supercritical mass, and it can occur when a neutron is absorbed by plutonium-239 or uranium-235. For 10 points, name this energy-releasing reaction in which the nucleus of a particle is split into smaller parts, used in atom bombs.
ANSWER: nuclear fission <AT>
The width of the distribution of these phenomena is proportional the square root of twice the natural log of temperature times the Boltzmann constant over atomic mass, and can be minimized with a dye laser. Their displacement equals magnetic quantum number times Bohr magneton times magnetic field. Their wavelengths are proportional to the difference of inverse squares of principal quantum numbers by the Rydberg formula, and they include hydrogen’s visible Balmer series and the sun’s Fraunhofer lines. Caused by absorption and emission of photons, for 10 points, name these bright or dark bands on a continuous spectrum.
ANSWER: spectral lines <SH>
This tossup is missing mod directions for "absorption lines" and "emission lines", which will be added, and a word was lost during the editing/compiling process in the second line (it should read "a tunable dye laser"), but if this was the misleading clue I can't imagine what for (a quick google search yields only clearly contextually unrelated dermatology results).
The norm of this function is one for certain operators that preserve inner products, and its derivative can be found via Jacobi’s formula or by summing the values obtained by differentiating one input at a time. Multilinear and alternating functions can be written as a constant times this value. A cofactor is a multiple of this value for its associated minor, and it is equal to the product of eigenvalues. Solutions from Cramer’s rule can be found by taking the quotient of two values for this quantity that can be found by expanding along a row. For 10 points, name this function of the rows of a matrix that, for a two by two matrix a b c d, equals a d minus b c.
ANSWER: determinant <SH>
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by marianna » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:21 pm

Chunky Sean wrote:The Yam-Eating I thought was very misleading and thank god I did not buzz on it. It's typically best to avoid phrasing that is overused in tossups for a different thing as the first clue and then have a ton of people neg it.
Again, I don't think it's the responsibility of the editor/writer if players choose to swing a word association strategy. Things Fall Apart, which features a yam-farming protagonist who does not narrate the book, is not a reasonable buzz here. If you buzzed before "narrator", I don't think "this novel's yam-eating" is a "significantly deep point in the question" (compared to the whole line which is specific) as mentioned in ACF protest rules. If someone lodged a protest on that clue with Things Fall Apart, I would deny it.
Chunky Sean wrote: Also, the Chinese performing arts bonus was something I found stupid and an unnecessary ppb killer.
Okay, I'm going to single this out as particularly unhelpful. What did you find "stupid" about the bonus, and what part(s) did you find hard? Why do you think this is "unnecessary"? I've reproduced the bonus below.
Prison Bowl VII, Round 5, Bonus 9 wrote: For 10 points each, let’s see what you know about Chinese performing arts.
[10] In this art form, performers move flat figures between a light source and a translucent panel to project images. It is popular in Shaanxi (“sha’AN-see”).
ANSWER: shadow puppetry [or equivalents like shadow theater or shadow play; also accept ying zi xi]
[10] This Chinese theater genre emphasizes choreography and costume. Named after a city in China, it utilizes the jinghu and features four major roles: sheng, dan, jing, and chou.
ANSWER: Beijing opera [or Peking opera; or jing ju; or guo ju]
[10] This comedic genre features rapid-fire banter between two performers. Famous comedians in this genre include Hou Baolin, Guo Degang, and Dashan.
ANSWER: xiang sheng [or crosstalk] <MZ>
Chunky Sean wrote: Set had some really stupid random questions (can't remember which but I found myself frustrated frequently).
Again, what specific aspects of the questions are you referring to "random" and "stupid"? Aspects I imagine you might be thinking about include use of interdiscplinary clues and difficulty gradation.

See Sarah's post above for your science concerns.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by tnalfalfa » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:42 pm

Sorry, Sean, I think I missed your post earlier.
samus149 wrote: - Whenever there's a force that acts on lights and stars in space, it pretty much has to be gravity
Agreed; I had commented something to this effect earlier in the editing process but I think it fell by the wayside by the time the primary physics editor came to it.
samus149 wrote: - Kirchoff's first law is more commonly taught as the "conservation of current" into and out of a node, so that should at least be a promptable answer, even though it is charge actually being conserved
This was also commented and missed; it will be fixed.
samus149 wrote: - "Spectral lines" seems like an abnormally hard answerline
Zeeman/Stark effect are frequently tossed up at ACF Regionals-level tournaments, so the more well-known/fundamental answer line of spectral lines, while on the hard side, seemed within the bounds of "regular high school difficulty." (Hunter, at least, teaches some very basic information on them in 8th grade physical chem, which is elaborated upon in 10th and in AP Chem. Perhaps the difficulty of the clues was excessive; I'll rework it.)
samus149 wrote: - Lichens seems like a more difficult way of writing a tossup on fungi, which would have probably worked just as well
Maybe, but considering that the majority of the clues used in the tossup pertained to lichen-specific structures (until "haustoria") and that lichens are taught in high school biology at least superficially, this answer line seemed reasonable to me. In retrospect, perhaps it could have used some more clues on ecological succession toward the end and a general reduction in difficulty, but I stand by the answerline.
samus149 wrote: - That's a whole lot of clues that nobody's gonna know for English
Here's the question in question:
This language has approximately sixteen fortis-lenis pairs of consonants. This language often features tense-lax neutralization before intervocalic r. The diaeresis mark is increasingly being replaced with hyphens or dropped entirely for non-loan words in this language, which marks unusually stressed past-tense suffixes with a grave diacritic in poetry. It formerly included the ligatures ethel and ash, and the letter thorn, and it borrowed many French words and structures after the Norman conquest. Subject to the caught-cot merger, for 10 points, name this language commonly spoken in the Bahamas, Australia, and the U.S.
ANSWER: English <SH>
The lead-in is on the difficult side, but the second clue refers fairly directly to the Mary-merry-marry merger (or at least as direct a reference as can be made without dropping English words). After that I think the difficulty checks out: dropping the diaeresis mark is reasonably well-known (publications like the New Yorker get a lot of flake for being "pretentious" and keeping it on words like cooperate), grave accents on "-ed" are notable (and present in the high school curriculum from reading Shakespeare), I remember talking about obsolete letters in 8th or 9th grade English (maybe this is also just Hunter), and after that it's solidly easy all the way down.

(the following is largely out of order)
samus149 wrote: - This aspirin question's got a whole lot of hard stuff right before the cliff to "salicylic acid"
- Moving a microscope closer to a sample does not change the focal length of the lens, that is an intrinsic property of the lens
- "Cloud chamber" and "brehmsstrahlung" in the same bonus is two hard parts, even if you describe clouds as a "namesake mist"
- This astronomy bonus has no easy part. At least change the first part to "white dwarfs" or give some clues about Johannes Kepler in the second part
- Superoxide is way too hard, unless you add something more specific like that it's the "one electron reduction of diatomic oxygen"
- I answered "orbitals" for this crystals question based on the first clue, which I believe is correct, because the Jahn-Teller effect also describes deviations from VSEPR theory
These will be fixed (looking at the crystals TU, you're absolutely right; I think a more specific pronoun will do the trick.)
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by Northern Central Railway » Sun Mar 23, 2014 8:54 pm

Could you post the bonus about paintings with bowls of fruit in them please?
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by marianna » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:01 pm

Again, it would be really helpful to hear why you're requesting a question!
Prison Bowl VII, Round 9, Bonus 7 wrote:Artists often paint fruit baskets to demonstrate their prowess at replicating everyday objects. For 10 fruity points each, name some things about artists who depicted them:
[10] This artist included fruit in many of his still life compositions, such as his The Basket of Apples. Another features pears, peaches, and a lemon alongside a skull.
ANSWER: Paul Cezanne
[10] The title figure in this artist’s Boy with a Basket of Fruit offers both himself and his basket to the viewer. In a more famous work of his, The Calling of Saint Matthew, a beam of light shines on the saint, illuminating the dark room he is in.
ANSWER: Michelangelo Merisi o Amerighi da Caravaggio
[10] This Caravaggio work also features a fruit basket, which teeters on the edge of a table. The resurrected Jesus reveals himself to his disciples over said table and the seat closest to the viewer is left empty to beckon them.
ANSWER: The Supper at Emmaus <AT>
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by Northern Central Railway » Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:45 pm

serasuna wrote:Again, it would be really helpful to hear why you're requesting a question!
Prison Bowl VII, Round 9, Bonus 7 wrote:Artists often paint fruit baskets to demonstrate their prowess at replicating everyday objects. For 10 fruity points each, name some things about artists who depicted them:
[10] This artist included fruit in many of his still life compositions, such as his The Basket of Apples. Another features pears, peaches, and a lemon alongside a skull.
ANSWER: Paul Cezanne
[10] The title figure in this artist’s Boy with a Basket of Fruit offers both himself and his basket to the viewer. In a more famous work of his, The Calling of Saint Matthew, a beam of light shines on the saint, illuminating the dark room he is in.
ANSWER: Michelangelo Merisi o Amerighi da Caravaggio
[10] This Caravaggio work also features a fruit basket, which teeters on the edge of a table. The resurrected Jesus reveals himself to his disciples over said table and the seat closest to the viewer is left empty to beckon them.
ANSWER: The Supper at Emmaus <AT>
I requested to see this because I couldn't remember the wording for The Supper at Emmaus part. If it had just described the fruit basket looking like it was going to fall off the edge of the table it probably would have been too hard, but since the part mentions what's happening in the painting, it's fine.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by armitage » Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:54 am

Chunky Sean wrote: The Yam-Eating I thought was very misleading and thank god I did not buzz on it. It's typically best to avoid phrasing that is overused in tossups for a different thing as the first clue and then have a ton of people neg it. Also, the Chinese performing arts bonus was something I found stupid and an unnecessary ppb killer. I would be interested if there were conversion stats on this bonus. Other notes: Set had some really stupid random questions (can't remember which but I found myself frustrated frequently). Our science players on A and B team both had 3 negs ON THE SAME QUESTIONS in the SAME EXACT ROUND.
I do not have any interest in the set itself, but I think that whatever problems it had, you are going overboard with these assertions. Nobody writes questions with the stated intention of "killing" your bonus conversion, neutralizing your science players, or whatever. Consider the possibility that some of these questions were written by well-intentioned people who made the effort to create something that they thought would be enjoyable or interesting. There are ways to positively criticize questions (and there are many criticisms to be made here, especially regarding the bonus in question), and they involve working from the assumption that the person who wrote the question you are criticizing is another human being and not a machine that malfunctioned and burped up a tossup with an ambiguous lead-in. Simply lashing out at the interests or efforts of the writers would more likely just discourage them from writing any more quiz bowl questions in the future, which is a bad outcome for all of us.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by samus149 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:38 pm

serasuna wrote:
samus149 wrote: - Not straight up accepting "integer" seems a little cruel to me
I don't understand how this is cruel. The difference between a primitive type (eg int) and an object (eg Integer) is fundamental to Java, and indeed, one of the very first concepts taught in AP Computer Science. The third part of the bonus, wrapper classes, hinge on this very distinction.
Fair enough, I guess I was just projecting my hatred of all things Java and AP Comp Sci onto this question
serasuna wrote:
samus149 wrote: - I realize it's probably not going to happen, but calling the protagonist of Invisible Man "yam-eating" opens up a buzz for a Things Fall Apart buzz, so removing that would be a good idea
I don't have any sympathy for anyone who buzzed there since that clue is not specific enough for any reasonable buzz (yams are not some sort of exotic rare food), but that will be shifted down.
Yeah, I just meant that an incredibly cavalier (and misguided) person could buzz on this and annoy someone with a protest. For what it's worth, I loved this question.
serasuna wrote:
samus149 wrote: - What even is this Chinese performing arts bonus. I really hope this is trash, and even so, this should probably be a bit easier
This was shadow puppets/Beijing opera/xiangsheng, and was part of the other visual arts distribution. All three of these are academically studied subjects, and indeed, there are entire schools and programs dedicated to Beijing opera. Which parts in particular did you find hard?
I think what I and other people felt about this bonus is that it's one of those bonuses with an incredibly hard part for those uninitiated to Chinese theater (crosstalk, at least for the teams I talked to), and the middle part is gettable more off of naming a city than knowing what it actually is.
Chunky Sean wrote: Other notes: Set had some really stupid random questions (can't remember which but I found myself frustrated frequently).
That's helpful.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by marianna » Mon Mar 24, 2014 8:47 pm

samus149 wrote:
serasuna wrote:
samus149 wrote: - What even is this Chinese performing arts bonus. I really hope this is trash, and even so, this should probably be a bit easier
This was shadow puppets/Beijing opera/xiangsheng, and was part of the other visual arts distribution. All three of these are academically studied subjects, and indeed, there are entire schools and programs dedicated to Beijing opera. Which parts in particular did you find hard?
I think what I and other people felt about this bonus is that it's one of those bonuses with an incredibly hard part for those uninitiated to Chinese theater (crosstalk, at least for the teams I talked to), and the middle part is gettable more off of naming a city than knowing what it actually is.
Thanks for the feedback. Crosstalk will definitely be cut. I'll discuss this question with Albert, our visual arts editor, to determine whether we should replace this bonus entirely.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:19 pm

Chunky Sean wrote: The Yam-Eating I thought was very misleading and thank god I did not buzz on it. It's typically best to avoid phrasing that is overused in tossups for a different thing as the first clue and then have a ton of people neg it. Also, the Chinese performing arts bonus was something I found stupid and an unnecessary ppb killer. I would be interested if there were conversion stats on this bonus. Other notes: Set had some really stupid random questions (can't remember which but I found myself frustrated frequently). Our science players on A and B team both had 3 negs ON THE SAME QUESTIONS in the SAME EXACT ROUND. After speaking with each other they found that they had been mislead by similar clues and even our mod said that those science questions were badly written (round 4 to be exact). If some of these science questions could be posted that would be great so that we can see what exactly was misleading (I think I remember one saying "this organism" first line and the answer being bacteriophage :mad: ).
To clarify, Mohan's post/tone does not represent the views of the Charter team. Personally, I enjoyed the History in the set, with one critique being a "somewhat" variable lead-in difficulty. I can give you some specific critique's in a few days, although I'm not sure what can be changed at this point, and it's not too big of an issue. Regarding the Chinese Opera, I think it was probably more esoteric than you originally thought. All of the parts seem hard, and I don't really see an easy part that most teams will pick up. I am not sure how this can be adjusted, maybe adding some easy part asking for "China" or something. Regarding science, specifically both the Charter A and B team science players buzzed on the lichen tossup after the first 5 words and negged with fungi. Both also negged the spectral lines tossup somewhere, thinking it was too hard to be tossed up. I think there were generally other situations in the set where they negged science, and both players are extremely neg averse, so they were sort of annoyed. A general critique for the SS/Philosophy tossups: one player on our team (whose knowledge is pretty much all legit/not quizbowl-y) negged some of those conceptual questions with things that were very similar/related but not accepted, and she thought that they were correct. I think some more thought should be given to those questions to verify the specificity of the clues and/or appropriate alternate answer-lines.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by Northern Central Railway » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:30 pm

shady jawn wrote: Regarding science, specifically both the Charter A and B team science players buzzed on the lichen tossup after the first 5 words and negged with fungi.
For what it's worth, Ridgewood negged this tossup at the exact same point when I read this tossup in their game against Bergen A, and I can also tell you that Dorman negged this tossup against Mountain Lakes A.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by marianna » Mon Mar 24, 2014 9:39 pm

Thanks for your comments! I'll address the parts I'm qualified to address, ie Chinese performing arts along with social science and philosophy, and leave science/history to Sarah and Jonathan respectively.
shady jawn wrote: Regarding the Chinese Opera, I think it was probably more esoteric than you originally thought. All of the parts seem hard, and I don't really see an easy part that most teams will pick up. I am not sure how this can be adjusted, maybe adding some easy part asking for "China" or something.
I had considered that when writing the question, but unfortunately we have "China" as an answer-line too frequently (tossup in painting/sculpture, easy part in literature bonus, easy part in history bonus) in other distributions for that not to be anomalous. We'll likely just cut this bonus in future iterations.

We're still crunching conversion per question, but in the meantime, let me elaborate on my intentions and thoughts as the writer of this question. I thought the description of shadow puppetry - figures getting projected onto a panel by lighting - was general enough for players to convert it. To my knowledge, shadow puppetry isn't just a Chinese tradition, but exists in other cultures as well. Personally, my elementary school's 3rd grade performing arts curriculum involved an entire trimester of adapting a picture book of our choice (this wasn't taught in the context of Chinese art) into a shadow play, so I thought this would be accessible to most players.

As for Beijing opera, my judgment is probably skewed by my own Chinese heritage, but since Beijing opera performers (especially the elaborate costumes and makeup) are often featured on the cover of China tourism books, guide maps, commercials, etc, I thought it was iconic and convertible, especially with "named after a city in China".

As for crosstalk, I thought that since it's almost universally known in mainland China and annually featured on the Spring Festival gala, by far the most-watched program on CCTV and I think in the world too, it would be appropriate as a hard part. This will definitely be cut, and I'm sorry that all these judgments were off the mark.

EDIT: whoops a word
shady jawn wrote:A general critique for the SS/Philosophy tossups: one player on our team (whose knowledge is pretty much all legit/not quizbowl-y) negged some of those conceptual questions with things that were very similar/related but not accepted, and she thought that they were correct. I think some more thought should be given to those questions to verify the specificity of the clues and/or appropriate alternate answer-lines.
We had a lot more common-links/conceptual questions this year in an effort to boost convertibility while maintaining our distribution. Do you remember what alternate answer-lines or specific questions you had concerns about? I've listed all our Social Science and Philosophy answer-lines here.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by jlin5005 » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:45 pm

Personally, I enjoyed the History in the set, with one critique being a "somewhat" variable lead-in difficulty. I can give you some specific critique's in a few days, although I'm not sure what can be changed at this point, and it's not too big of an issue.
Thanks for that. As history editor I tried tot incorporate some non-canon creative answer lines and I'm genuinely curious to see how they were received. I do apologize to readers and players for the plethora of typos, weird structure (such as the Berlin Wall being considered a building), and the like. I've now learned not to schedule an all day activity the day before Prison Bowl, as it means that you'll spend the night before frantically editing and inevitably, many mistakes end up falling through the cracks. Our set is being mirrored at other sites, so any critiques that you can pass on would be very useful as it can affect the changes that we make in the questions themselves.

I'm more than happy to post questions if you have any concerns or queries about them, but overall, I'm happy that you enjoyed the history for me and my fellow history writers (credit to Douglas Wong, Rohan Nag, Zack Pace, Alex Moschetti, and Zihan Zheng) worked really hard on turning out a good set. If you (or anyone else) have more specific criticism at certain questions, I'll try to address your concerns and then fix questions as necessary
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by atai » Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:13 pm

As arts editor, I was originally thinking of cutting the Chinese performing arts bonus, but felt that it was appropriate as those things are all quite important in Chinese culture. But then again, I am an Asian-American and have received much overexposure to said topics, and in hindsight, realize that some things are simply too far removed from the quiz bowl canon.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by The Polebarn Hotel » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:36 pm

I'm starting a very in-depth grammatical analysis of each tossup, but I'd like to know if it would actually be worthwhile. Uh, would it? I was also going to do interpretation and stuff like that, but there were many nitpicky mistakes that I noticed.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by marianna » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:55 pm

Crazyflight wrote:I'm starting a very in-depth grammatical analysis of each tossup, but I'd like to know if it would actually be worthwhile. Uh, would it? I was also going to do interpretation and stuff like that, but there were many nitpicky mistakes that I noticed.
Wow, thanks. Feel free to email/PM me with the results of your grammatical crusade. Particular trends (eg inconsistent pronouns, misplaced modifiers, etc) would be helpful to note either privately or in the general discussion thread. If there are any particularly egregious questions, those can be discussed in this thread.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by marianna » Sun Mar 30, 2014 12:57 am

Chunky Sean wrote:Also, the Chinese performing arts bonus was something I found stupid and an unnecessary ppb killer. I would be interested if there were conversion stats on this bonus.
Conversion stats for the Hunter site have been crunched.
This bonus averaged 18.13 ppb in 16 rooms. The 0/10/20/30 spread was 1/6/4/5.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by The Polebarn Hotel » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:28 pm

serasuna wrote:
Chunky Sean wrote:Also, the Chinese performing arts bonus was something I found stupid and an unnecessary ppb killer. I would be interested if there were conversion stats on this bonus.
Conversion stats for the Hunter site have been crunched.
This bonus averaged 18.13 ppb in 16 rooms. The 0/10/20/30 spread was 1/6/4/5.
Honestly, this bonus wasn't that difficult. The easy part was shadow puppetry - it was made very clear what they were asking for, and that's something that people are not only exposed to in Asian culture. That was perhaps the easiest clue. The Beijing opera is also fairly well-known. Our team 20'd this bonus because we couldn't pull out cross-talk. But if those stats for the bonus are correct then it seems reasonable to leave it in there; describing it as a "ppb killer" isn't all that accurate, and questions aren't specifically meant to boost your ppb. They're meant to be challenging, but within reason, and I believe that this was within reason.

Some of the grammar is pretty straightforward, so I will PM those to you. There are also some concerns that could require discussion, and those I will post in this thread. This might take a while, though.

EDIT:
I personally loved the Invisible Man tossup. I believe I got it on the next line - admittedly, after resisting the urge to buzz in on yam-eating). However, I don't believe that the tossup would suffer all that much if "yam-eating" was taken out altogether. It's not a particularly determining clue for the novel. The same thought process would occur between someone thinking of Invisible Man and someone thinking of Things Fall Apart - the two main characters both eat yams! Taking the clue out of the tossup would alleviate the issue, and the question quality would stay pretty much the same.
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Re: Question-specific requests and discussion

Post by Schmidt Sting Pain Index » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:31 pm

serasuna wrote:
Chunky Sean wrote:Also, the Chinese performing arts bonus was something I found stupid and an unnecessary ppb killer. I would be interested if there were conversion stats on this bonus.
Conversion stats for the Hunter site have been crunched.
This bonus averaged 18.13 ppb in 16 rooms. The 0/10/20/30 spread was 1/6/4/5.
I guess we need to brush up on Chinese Opera then :lol:
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