TTGT 11 Discussion

Old college threads.
mcalmvp
Lulu
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:47 am

TTGT 11 Discussion

Post by mcalmvp » Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:17 am

I assume all mirrors are done? If not..I'll sit idly and wait for them to be done.

Though I do want to say that I seriously loved the Harry Potter packets. Unfortunately, it also wasn't hard enough for the "experts" (you know..the Pottermaniacs..like myself). I mean at least on the west coast..all the Pottermaniacs corralled into the rooms with the Potter packets...with at least 1/2 of the questions powered on the West Coast mirror. Again..I loved the packet, even if I did wish for a lil more difficulty.

User avatar
btressler
Tidus
Posts: 614
Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2004 7:23 pm
Location: West Chester, PA
Contact:

Post by btressler » Sun Dec 02, 2007 6:29 am

My personal best on the day was the "water, water, everywhere" packet, so I'll thank the author(s) of that one.

The Harry Potter packet was the easiest of the day by far. I think more powers were scored in that round than all of the other academic rounds I played combined. Most bonuses were 30ed, causing some match scores to total more than 800.

On the other end of the scale, I would put the Biology and Geography packets. We appreciated the subjects, but did they have to be that hard?

I'd never thought I'd see the day that I appreciated having three lit rounds.

On balance, I thought this was a really neat tournament, and I hope that there will be a Mid-Atlantic mirror again next year. If somebody can promise there will be, one packet for it will get written next summer (when I have the most time to do so).

User avatar
Leo Wolpert
Rikku
Posts: 309
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2003 1:37 pm
Location: Henderson, NV
Contact:

Re: TTGT 11 Discussion

Post by Leo Wolpert » Sun Dec 02, 2007 9:13 am

mcalmvp wrote:Though I do want to say that I seriously loved the Harry Potter packets. Unfortunately, it also wasn't hard enough for the "experts" (you know..the Pottermaniacs..like myself). I mean at least on the west coast..all the Pottermaniacs corralled into the rooms with the Potter packets...with at least 1/2 of the questions powered on the West Coast mirror. Again..I loved the packet, even if I did wish for a lil more difficulty.
It must be impossible to make a packet on something like Harry Potter difficult enough to satisfy hardcore obsessive fans (i.e. just about everyone who would even consider playing said packet) while making it accessible to others. I defy someone to write a poker theme packet that I wouldn't put up 500+ points on, for example.

I suppose that's a gripe with themed packets in general when the themes aren't super broad ("American Lit" is broad; "this one really popular series of novels" is not).

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Auron
Posts: 5781
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:05 am

Yeah, the Harry Potter packet should have had at least a few harder questions and probably some harder parts of the bonuses. I think the big problem there was that the editors weren't really Harry Potter fans so it would have been too hard to change.

In regard to having 3 lit (and a Harry Potter packet), I would have preferred not to have that many at our tournament, but we made the decision to use the better packets rather than the weaker packets that would have made the distribution more even.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
walter12
Lulu
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 1:49 pm
Location: Iowa City, IA

Post by walter12 » Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:07 am

We did as much as we could editing the Harry Potter packet. But, as you said, it's nigh impossible to come up with lead-ins that eight people (most of whom have read the book multiple times) would fail to immediately recognize.

A single possible exception was the tossup on Oliver Wood, whose lead-in was: "During a lull in the Battle of Hogwarts, this person along with Neville Longbottom carries the corpses of Colin Creevey and others into the Great Hall."

I seriously hope that the extreme ease of the questions didn't detract from anyone's enjoyment of the round.
Paul Drube, University of Iowa

mcalmvp
Lulu
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:47 am

Post by mcalmvp » Sun Dec 02, 2007 3:53 pm

walter12 wrote:We did as much as we could editing the Harry Potter packet. But, as you said, it's nigh impossible to come up with lead-ins that eight people (most of whom have read the book multiple times) would fail to immediately recognize.

A single possible exception was the tossup on Oliver Wood, whose lead-in was: "During a lull in the Battle of Hogwarts, this person along with Neville Longbottom carries the corpses of Colin Creevey and others into the Great Hall."

I seriously hope that the extreme ease of the questions didn't detract from anyone's enjoyment of the round.
heh..a question which would actually powered in one room on the West Coast (and the person actually buzzed in knowing only the lead in). Granted, yes the Oliver Wood question was probably the hardest tossup in that packet.

I did also like the Law and Border packet..however I thought there was a bit too much on Russia and not enough on Mexico. (and if we're stretching the 'border' side of the packet to include Russia...I wonder why there were no questions on Cuba or the Bahamas)

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Auron
Posts: 5781
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Post by Mike Bentley » Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:14 pm

Russia was included in that packet to make it more accessible. Canada, Russia and Meixco each had 3/3 questions in the packet, although Mexico may have seemed like less because a few of the questions sort of bordered on US history (like Gadsden Purchase). I probably could have included Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Phillipines and some other stuff, but it was mostly a case of me not thinking about going in that direction when writing the packet.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
Bigfoot isn't the pr
Wakka
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:37 pm
Location: Newark, DE

Post by Bigfoot isn't the pr » Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:10 pm

I would like to personally thank Mike (and anyone else who contributed) for the Pokemon round (atleast, I think he said he wrote it). It was a very enjoyable round for me despite my team loosing. I would also like a link to the podcast site (once that round is up, that is). Even though I haven't played the 3rd/4th generation games I did find it accessible for anyone who once enjoyed it.
Rob Poirier
CSW 07'
President of University of Delaware Academic Competition Club

User avatar
Auks Ran Ova
Forums Staff: Chief Administrator
Posts: 4042
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Sun Dec 02, 2007 11:27 pm

I would like to personally thank Mike (and anyone else who contributed) for the Pokemon round (atleast, I think he said he wrote it). It was a very enjoyable round for me despite my team loosing. I would also like a link to the podcast site (once that round is up, that is). Even though I haven't played the 3rd/4th generation games I did find it accessible for anyone who once enjoyed it.
Quentin Roper (formerly of Drake) wrote the Pokemon round; I helped with playtesting and some minor editing.

Edit: I have since learned that apparently Maryland wrote a Pokemon packet too.
Rob Carson
University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??
Member, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer and Editor, NAQT

User avatar
walter12
Lulu
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 1:49 pm
Location: Iowa City, IA

Post by walter12 » Mon Dec 03, 2007 12:10 am

We actually received two different Pokemon packets for the tournament. The version that appeared this weekend drew from both Quentin's packet and a packet written by Mike & Jeremy Eaton.
Paul Drube, University of Iowa

User avatar
ecks
Wakka
Posts: 248
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:03 am
Location: Springfield, IL / Kirksville, MO

Post by ecks » Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:18 am

First off, I'd like to say that I really enjoyed the packets overall. The questions were well-written and fun to play on. I had the most fun I've ever had on a quizbowl packet on the Boards & Games packet, so special kudos to the St. Olaf/Mac alums who wrote that packet.

My only gripes are with the distribution of some (2) packets. The Movies/Videogames packet seemed to emphasize console games over computer games, rather than having a more balanced distro between the two. It wasn't as ...well, surprising, as the "Psych" packet, which really would have better named "Biopysch". I was surprised that even run-of-the-mill psychology topics weren't touched (William James, Stanford Prison Experiment, Walden II, operant conditioning, etc.), especially with tossups like "hunger" and "aorta" that have tenuous connections at best to either psychology or neuroscience. I can't remember how many questions were relating directly to brain physiology, but it seemed to make up the majority of the packet.

Other than the distros of those two packets, I don't have any problems with the packets. They had all obviously been edited by thoroughly competent editors, which is certainly always appreciated.
Christopher Stone
Truman State University '09

geekjohnson
Wakka
Posts: 180
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2005 7:10 am
Location: Flomaton, AL
Contact:

Post by geekjohnson » Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:00 am

hey, is there anyway that I might get a look at the set? princeps.caesar@gmail.com

DakarKra
Wakka
Posts: 150
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:58 pm
Location: Piscataway, New Jersey

Post by DakarKra » Mon Dec 03, 2007 3:38 am

geekjohnson wrote:hey, is there anyway that I might get a look at the set? princeps.caesar@gmail.com
I too like free packets. dakarkra [at] yahoo [dot] com.

User avatar
Sima Guang Hater
Auron
Posts: 1849
Joined: Mon Feb 05, 2007 1:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon Dec 03, 2007 5:41 am

ecks wrote:My only gripes are with the distribution of some (2) packets. The Movies/Videogames packet seemed to emphasize console games over computer games, rather than having a more balanced distro between the two.
Yeah, sorry about that. It was originally going to be an all video games packet with 10/10 console and 10/10 PC, but then I ran out of time and Mike Bentley [correctly and wisely] decided to fuse it with Chris Ray's movie packet.
Eric Mukherjee, MD PhD
Washburn Rural High School, 2005
Brown University, 2009
Medical Scientist Training Program, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, 2018
Intern in Internal Medicine, Yale-Waterbury, 2018-9
Dermatology Resident, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, 2019-

Member Emeritus, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer, NAQT, NHBB, IQBT

"The next generation will always surpass the previous one. It's one of the never-ending cycles in life."

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Auron
Posts: 5781
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Post by Mike Bentley » Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:25 am

Yeah, I would have changed a few things about the videogame packet (some of the bonuses were too difficult, and there was the obvious distribution problem between consoles and PC games), but it was sort of a last minute thing and there were other packets that needed more work.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
QuizbowlPostmodernist
Wakka
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2003 12:22 am

Re: TTGT 11 Discussion

Post by QuizbowlPostmodernist » Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:29 pm

Leo Wolpert wrote: I defy someone to write a poker theme packet that I wouldn't put up 500+ points on, for example.
There's chance of it happening for TRASHionals. (If it happens, I plan on giving away the worst poker-related book I ever had the misfortune to buy as a "prize".) Actually, I was thinking of something like an 80-or-so tossup round to be played on by 8-10 people as a giant singles match, since most theme packets there seem to devolve into read the tossups first then the bonuses. How many tossups would you expect to answer on something like that?

As for Harry Potter theme rounds, the more difficult clues would be extra-textual ones, such as suggestions that Gilderoy Lockhart was based on Philip Pullman or slash fiction writers being outraged because the last book throughly heterosexualized Remus Lupin and closed off possibilities for their silly fan fic efforts.

User avatar
cvdwightw
Auron
Posts: 3446
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Southern CA
Contact:

Post by cvdwightw » Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:46 pm

ecks wrote:It wasn't as ...well, surprising, as the "Psych" packet, which really would have better named "Biopysch". I was surprised that even run-of-the-mill psychology topics weren't touched (William James, Stanford Prison Experiment, Walden II, operant conditioning, etc.), especially with tossups like "hunger" and "aorta" that have tenuous connections at best to either psychology or neuroscience. I can't remember how many questions were relating directly to brain physiology, but it seemed to make up the majority of the packet.
Um, yeah, sorry about the misrepresentation of the packet. Essentially, it was intended to be a neuroscience packet, and then I realized I couldn't feasibly do 20/20 neuroscience without (a) making it even more difficult than it already was and (b) focusing even more on brain physiology. So I slowly moved into biopsych, and then when I got hard-pressed for stuff went into straight psych (By my characterizations, I think there was something like 11/8 "pure" neuroscience, 4/5 "pure" psychology, and 6/8 combo/biopsych out of the 21/21). Also the tossup on "aorta" was actually a tossup on arteries of the brain where the aorta clue must have gotten thrown in to make it easier. FWIW, about 80% of the clues came from 1 neuroscience, 1 neuroanatomy, 1 psychology, and 1 biopsychology book (I used a couple of other books in small doses) because that's what I had when I was writing it, so given that it was about equal distribution between the books that's where the probable distribution problem came.

Phil Castagna
Lulu
Posts: 21
Joined: Fri Apr 21, 2006 2:07 pm

Theme Packets in General

Post by Phil Castagna » Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:40 pm

For years, I skipped the theme packet Saturday night at TRASHionals, even if there were packets on subjects I liked, because without the "built-in" idea of losing to keep people from negging all the time, they were no fun to play.

When I did play, there were usually six words read before someone would buzz in and 1)give a correct answer and say the question was too easy, 2) give a wrong answer, and start arguing with the moderator/author over question structure, or start using the kitchen sink approach, or 3) (my favorite) buzz in after 6 words and start with "omygod, omygod, it's from that episode entitled "Stonecutters Ferengi Rodenberry Groening MST3K Cigarette-Smoking Man Hellmuth Dumbledore", but I can't remember the guy's name........."

Maybe Anthony is onto something with a tossup-only format with each person playing for himself/herself, to prevent the "crop duster", "Quick-Draw McGraw" syndrome...

User avatar
Bigfoot isn't the pr
Wakka
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:37 pm
Location: Newark, DE

Re: Theme Packets in General

Post by Bigfoot isn't the pr » Mon Dec 03, 2007 5:58 pm

Phil Castagna wrote: Maybe Anthony is onto something with a tossup-only format with each person playing for himself/herself, to prevent the "crop duster", "Quick-Draw McGraw" syndrome...
I firmly support this idea. While I did enjoy the themed rounds I did play, I do think they would have been better with some structure/reason to actually win.
Rob Poirier
CSW 07'
President of University of Delaware Academic Competition Club

ieppler
Rikku
Posts: 479
Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2006 7:38 pm
Location: Bethesda, MD/Providence, RI
Contact:

Post by ieppler » Mon Dec 03, 2007 7:16 pm

May I have the packets, as well? ian AT eppfam.com
Ian Eppler from Brown University

powellmaniac
Kimahri
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:49 pm

Post by powellmaniac » Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:51 pm

I just want to say that I seriously loved the Dance to the Music of Time packet. Unfortunately, it wasn’t hard enough for the “expertsâ€
I LOVE ANTHONY POWELL!

User avatar
Jeremy Gibbs Lemma
Rikku
Posts: 370
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 6:49 pm
Location: Kirksville, Missouri
Contact:

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Lemma » Tue Dec 04, 2007 7:14 pm

Any thoughts on the World Lit and/or the Indie/Emo/Alt packets ?

User avatar
Bigfoot isn't the pr
Wakka
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:37 pm
Location: Newark, DE

Post by Bigfoot isn't the pr » Tue Dec 04, 2007 8:40 pm

Kent B wrote:Any thoughts on the World Lit and/or the Indie/Emo/Alt packets ?
Didn't play World Lit, but I think the Indie/Emo/Alt packet was nicely put together. It had bands I have on my ipod and ones I've never heard of. I didn't score during the round, but then again I am not a big fan of the aforementioned genres. I thought it was pretty fair as far as accessibility goes.
Rob Poirier
CSW 07'
President of University of Delaware Academic Competition Club

User avatar
Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat
Rikku
Posts: 435
Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:16 pm
Location: Midland, MI

Post by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat » Tue Dec 04, 2007 10:42 pm

I greatly enjoyed the questions in the world lit packet. I knew a lot of the answers, which means that the answer selection was very reasonable. However, we didn't really get to play an actual game on it, since the opposing team did not include anyone interested in the subject. I'm not sure if the player who didn't fit in the other room even buzzed.

BobGHHS
Rikku
Posts: 427
Joined: Fri May 02, 2003 3:59 pm
Location: Garfield Heights, Ohio

Post by BobGHHS » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:50 am

I too would like to see the packets: TheAmazingBobbo <at> aol <dot> com.
Bob Kilner
Kent State '06 - Boise State '10
Former Coach, Garfield Hts (OH) (2001-2008)
Coach, Eastlake North HS (OH) (2015-)

"I'd sooner fail than not be among the greatest." - John Keats

User avatar
walter12
Lulu
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Apr 18, 2004 1:49 pm
Location: Iowa City, IA

Post by walter12 » Wed Dec 05, 2007 1:28 pm

I've sent out a free copy of the question set to all those who requested it above. If anyone else is interested, I plan to submit the entire set to the Stanford Archive by the end of the week.
Paul Drube, University of Iowa

ihavenoidea
Rikku
Posts: 304
Joined: Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:05 am

Post by ihavenoidea » Wed Dec 05, 2007 8:53 pm

Could you please send a copy to wonderworm10k@gmail.com? I would like to see how my high school team would do on this harry potter packet

Magister Ludi
Tidus
Posts: 677
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 1:57 am
Location: Washington DC
Contact:

Post by Magister Ludi » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:29 am

Could someone please email me the set at tedgioia[at]starpower[dot]net

User avatar
BuzzerZen
Auron
Posts: 1517
Joined: Thu Nov 18, 2004 11:01 pm
Location: Arlington, VA/Hampshire College
Contact:

Post by BuzzerZen » Thu Dec 06, 2007 2:14 am

If only there were a repository where quiz bowl questions could be collected for posterity, and from which interested parties could download the questions...an archive, if you will.
Evan Silberman
Hampshire College 07F

How are you actually reading one of my posts?

User avatar
ecks
Wakka
Posts: 248
Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 4:03 am
Location: Springfield, IL / Kirksville, MO

Post by ecks » Thu Dec 06, 2007 6:10 am

walter12 wrote:If anyone else is interested, I plan to submit the entire set to the Stanford Archive by the end of the week.
BuzzerZen wrote:If only there were a repository where quiz bowl questions could be collected for posterity, and from which interested parties could download the questions...an archive, if you will.
If only...
Christopher Stone
Truman State University '09

User avatar
First Chairman
Auron
Posts: 3875
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 8:21 pm
Location: Fairfax VA
Contact:

Post by First Chairman » Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:09 am

Archive??? We don't need no stinkin' archive...

I do want to see the packets too if it can be sent to me. e t c h u c k yahoo!
Emil Thomas Chuck, Ph.D.
Founder, PACE
Facebook junkie and unofficial advisor to aspiring health professionals in quiz bowl
---
Pimping Green Tea Ginger Ale (Canada Dry)

User avatar
cornfused
Auron
Posts: 2160
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:22 pm
Location: Des Moines, IA

Post by cornfused » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:38 pm

Me too. cornfusedATcomcastDAUGHTnet.

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Auron
Posts: 5781
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Post by Mike Bentley » Thu Dec 06, 2007 1:51 pm

http://www.doc-ent.com/qbc/TTGT11.zip - no more e-mails needed
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

User avatar
cornfused
Auron
Posts: 2160
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:22 pm
Location: Des Moines, IA

Post by cornfused » Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:30 pm

Sueet.

wd4gdz
Tidus
Posts: 739
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2004 5:40 pm
Location: Tallahassee

Post by wd4gdz » Thu Dec 06, 2007 8:37 pm

Magin wrote:17. Answer the following about a genre of colonial literature, FTPE:
[10] Cotton Mather’s Good Fetch’d Out of Evil and Humiliations Followed With Deliverances are examples of this genre, in which a lone figure, usually a woman, is abducted from colonial society into a life of bondage among Native Americans.
ANSWER: Indian captivity narratives
I have a new favorite genre of colonial literature

User avatar
swwFCqb
Rikku
Posts: 490
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 7:30 pm
Location: Lancaster, Ohio

Post by swwFCqb » Thu Dec 06, 2007 9:04 pm

Nudity on the Big Screen (movie theme packet)
This solidifies my opinion that college quizbowl is so much sweeter than high school quizbowl :grin:
Steven Wellstead
Fisher Catholic High School '07
Case Western Reserve University '11
NAQT writer

User avatar
Auks Ran Ova
Forums Staff: Chief Administrator
Posts: 4042
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:55 pm

Actually, that packet sounded like it was written by a giggling twelve-year-old. Note the eighty-seven uses of the word "bush".
Rob Carson
University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??
Member, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer and Editor, NAQT

User avatar
Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN)
Chairman of Anti-Music Mafia Committee
Posts: 5640
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2006 11:46 pm
Location: Columbia, MO

Post by Sen. Estes Kefauver (D-TN) » Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:25 am

My hypothesis is that the author had just watched Knocked Up.
Charlie Dees, North Kansas City HS '08
"I won't say more because I know some of you parse everything I say." - Jeremy Gibbs

"At one TJ tournament the neg prize was the Hampshire College ultimate frisbee team (nude) calender featuring one Evan Silberman. In retrospect that could have been a disaster." - Harry White

User avatar
Jeremy Gibbs Lemma
Rikku
Posts: 370
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 6:49 pm
Location: Kirksville, Missouri
Contact:

Post by Jeremy Gibbs Lemma » Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:30 am

wow ... the whole concept for that packet is pretty ridiculous

User avatar
Bigfoot isn't the pr
Wakka
Posts: 130
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:37 pm
Location: Newark, DE

Post by Bigfoot isn't the pr » Fri Dec 07, 2007 12:47 am

It was a very polarizing packet to say the least. On my team two players did all the scoring while the others did none (and we are normally a balanced team).

I'd like to protest the lack of male nudity. That seems a lot easier to memorize (due to a general lack-there-of).
Rob Poirier
CSW 07'
President of University of Delaware Academic Competition Club

User avatar
Gautam
Auron
Posts: 1413
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:28 pm
Location: Zone of Avoidance
Contact:

Post by Gautam » Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:08 am

So I looked through some of the theme packets, and I felt it necessary to address the issue of answer choice/transparency/variety in some of the packets. First of all, I didn't play at the tournament, but I heard most of these questions in practices recently, so I was more carefree when playing. So, my analysis may be skewed that way. Also, I only looked at tossup (I haven't even seen the bonuses) so those can be considered later some time. I don't intend to pick on individuals who wrote these questions. It can be a difficult job writing Qs, let alone entire packets, but some simple measures can be put into What I want to say is summarized up at the end.

Anyway, Let's look at the tossups from the "water water" packet.
ANSWER: Waterboarding
Power clue: Its use dates back to the Spanish Inquisition, where it was known as toca, while a Washington Post photograph led to the court martial of an American soldier who performed it during the Vietnam War. CIA officers who have undergone this as part of their training last an average of 14 seconds
Comment: Hey, a torture technique, which has something to do with water. Buzz Buzz?
=========
ANSWER: River Styx
Power Clue: According to Dante's Inferno, it is the destination for the wrathful and sullen as they enter the 5th circle of hell.
Comment: The first four words narrow the answer space down to like 4 options. It could have used better leadins, I guess.
========
ANSWER: Water intoxication
Power clue: Sports drinks are used to reduce the risk of this condition in endurance athletes, who are somewhat ironically at risk as well as those suffering from diarrhea or vomiting. Hyponatremia is often a cause for this, where sodium becomes (*) overdiluted in the bloodstream
Comment: Umm, yeah. Is it possible to write a tossup on water intoxication with obscure biology leadins? I mean, it's really obvious from the first phrase where the question is headed.
========
ANSWER: Hurricane Rita
Entire Tossup: Though its effects were far milder than anticipated, there were concerns that it would cause up to 5 inches of rain in New Orleans as well as storm surges in Houston and Galveston. During evacuation, many people died as a result of overheating while packed in their cars. Eventually making landfall at the Texas-Louisiana border, it had dropped to category 3 by that time with 115 mph winds. For ten points, the fourth-most intense hurricane in Atlantic history was what 2005 storm that made landfall on September 24, just weeks after hurricane Katrina?
Comment: Yea.... it's either Rita or Katrina from the New Orleans clue, and induces unnecessary buzzer race at the Sept. 24 clue. Also, of what use is any clue in the question, because none of it uniquely identifies Rita, does it?
==============

Other ones I didn't like for similar reasons: the ones on Hydrogen bonding, acid rain, and heavy water. The science answers in this packet could have been, let's say, xylem, amphoteric, surface tension, and oxbow lakes (or anything that is more SCIENCE)
========

Moving on to the packet on Dogs.
ANSWER: Argos/Argus
Power clue: One character by this name was a son of Zeus and Niobe who succeeded Apis as king of Phoronea. Another had the labors of freeing Arcadia and killing Satyr, while a third is seen "lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung" (*) and could not get up to greet those entering.
Comment: Greek myth + dog = Argos/Argus. Are there really more dogs that are tossupable?
========
ANSWER: Michael Vick
Power Clue:A plaintiff who had previously sued Skittles Candy and the Magna Carta also sued this man for sixty three quintillion dollars for hurting the plaintiff's feelings. In October 2007 the Royal Bank of Canada sued him for $2.3 million to prevent real estate defaults, and an Indiana bank sought repayment of loans for rental cars. In 2005, Sonya Elliot sued him, claiming he (*)gave her genital herpes
Comment: Ok, dogs + current events + man who is being sued for multiple hilarious things. I just can't think of any reason why people wouldn't buzz off these clues.
========
ANSWER: pH
Tossup: . One version of it, denoted SWS, focuses on fluorine, while a total version of it uses solutions with low strength. IUPAC uses, as a reference point, an aqueous solution of potassium hydrogen penthalate at a molality of 0.05, and then defines it in terms of the Faraday constant, molar gas constant, and the natural log. It was proposed after work at Carlsberg Laboratory via studies into the effect of ion concentration on proteins, and in the original paper this "ion exponent" was denoted with a subscript by its developer S. P. L . Sorenson. In their blood, dogs maintain a value for this between 7.32 and 7.42. For 10 points, name this scale that measures acidity.
Comment: Wtf. I don't really see why pH is being tossuped here. It could have been a doggy biology tossup and it would have been much better.
=======

Other tossups I didn't really like: the ones on Dogberry and Dogs playing poker. The latter narrows down to series of paintings with dogs in it pretty quickly; it could have been about Venus of Urbino or Burial at Ornans or Arnolfini Wedding or some other paintings which have dogs in them. The former is just a lame tossup on minor character in a shakespearean work.
=======

Other minor issues

Packet on California: Most of the answer choices and tossups were good. However, the one on Governor of California seems like a lame answer choice, especially considering the theme of the packet is Cali/SD. If it isn't the mayor of SD or like Governor/Senator/Rep. from Cali, then it's plain ridiculous. Also, what is up with 2/0 whale's vagina distribution albeit they're questions 21 and 22 respectively?

But yeah, I really like the way in which the theme was implemented in this packet.

Packet on British things: The science Qs in this packet were weird, in retrospect. I mean 4 things on "[things named after] famous scientists" is just too much. There also seems to be a disproportionate number of History TUs on things from the 1500s and 1600s, such as: Francis Bacon, Anne Boleyn, and Cavaliers.

Packet on German things: Has too little science (2 tossups), and too much of composers (3 tossups) and History (6 tossups).
========

So yeah, what I guess I am saying is, if you are writing a theme packet, first make sure the answer you have chosen isn't a really unique answer in that category. Nobody likes buzzer races and tossups which boil down to two answers in the first line (haha, get it?). It's ok if some of your answer choices only address the theme in only a cursory manner. It makes the editor's job a hell of a lot easier, and it's not like the people playing on the Qs are going to dislike you for writing a better tossup. It is also important that the answer choice be varied with respect to time and place and style of choice (person, concept, group, event, etc.). If you aren't able to write about a particular subject (history or science or whatever) then I think you really should ask for help from someone who won't be playing. I don't think it's wise to leave it to the editors, especially when they have to deal with 25 different packets.

I like the concept of theme packets, and it seems enjoyable to play them if implemented well, but it also seems that considerable thought needs to be applied to ensure a quality packet. Again, I don't mean to point people out and call them terrible people, but I do request you to, consider the points from the previous paragraph the next time you write a packet. Maybe I will submit a theme packet to TTGT11 next year.

If I was exaggerating any topic in this post, I apologize in advance. I really don't know why I stayed up late thinking about this, but it seemed interesting.

--Gautam
Gautam - ACF
Currently tending to the 'quizbowl hobo' persuasion.

User avatar
naturalistic phallacy
Auron
Posts: 1358
Joined: Tue May 01, 2007 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Post by naturalistic phallacy » Fri Dec 07, 2007 4:35 am

gkandlikar wrote:
ANSWER: Water intoxication
Power clue: Sports drinks are used to reduce the risk of this condition in endurance athletes, who are somewhat ironically at risk as well as those suffering from diarrhea or vomiting. Hyponatremia is often a cause for this, where sodium becomes (*) overdiluted in the bloodstream
Comment: Umm, yeah. Is it possible to write a tossup on water intoxication with obscure biology leadins? I mean, it's really obvious from the first phrase where the question is headed.
Why not just write a tossup about hyponatremia? Water intoxication isn't exactly a condition that doesn't have an underlying cause.
gkandlikar wrote:
ANSWER: Hurricane Rita
Entire Tossup: Though its effects were far milder than anticipated, there were concerns that it would cause up to 5 inches of rain in New Orleans as well as storm surges in Houston and Galveston. During evacuation, many people died as a result of overheating while packed in their cars. Eventually making landfall at the Texas-Louisiana border, it had dropped to category 3 by that time with 115 mph winds. For ten points, the fourth-most intense hurricane in Atlantic history was what 2005 storm that made landfall on September 24, just weeks after hurricane Katrina?
Comment: Yea.... it's either Rita or Katrina from the New Orleans clue, and induces unnecessary buzzer race at the Sept. 24 clue. Also, of what use is any clue in the question, because none of it uniquely identifies Rita, does it?
Agreed. Nobody memorizes specific effects of natural disasters such as the exact amount of rainfall that occurred. And, really, Katrina was as worse as expected, so it's getable after the mention of New Orleans.
Bernadette Spencer
University of Minnesota
MCTC
Event Manager, PACE

Father, among these many souls / Is there not one / Whom thou shalt pluck for love out of the coals?

User avatar
cornfused
Auron
Posts: 2160
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2006 3:22 pm
Location: Des Moines, IA

Post by cornfused » Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:00 am

gkandlikar wrote:Also, what is up with 2/0 whale's vagina distribution albeit they're questions 21 and 22 respectively?
I have to admit: I've never heard the term "whale's vagina" used as slang for a bad question before... so I looked at the packet in question. And... um... wow.

User avatar
Auks Ran Ova
Forums Staff: Chief Administrator
Posts: 4042
Joined: Sun Apr 30, 2006 10:28 pm
Location: Minneapolis
Contact:

Post by Auks Ran Ova » Fri Dec 07, 2007 5:42 am

Okay, so it's an Anchorman joke...but why are there two of them?
Rob Carson
University of Minnesota '11, MCTC '??
Member, ACF
Member, PACE
Writer and Editor, NAQT

mcalmvp
Lulu
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:47 am

Post by mcalmvp » Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:01 am

gkandlikar wrote:
Other minor issues

Packet on California: Most of the answer choices and tossups were good. However, the one on Governor of California seems like a lame answer choice, especially considering the theme of the packet is Cali/SD. If it isn't the mayor of SD or like Governor/Senator/Rep. from Cali, then it's plain ridiculous. Also, what is up with 2/0 whale's vagina distribution albeit they're questions 21 and 22 respectively?

But yeah, I really like the way in which the theme was implemented in this packet.
--Gautam
As the writer of that packet I would like to say none of the questions about Anchorman were by me (and there were 3 of them). They were solely the creation of the editor (when I saw the packet I was, to say, a bit disappointed in that). Much of my packet was edited well though, adding some good science (as Im well..naturally not very good at that) as well as adding some decent art (decent relative to the theme considering well...the San Diego Museum of Art just isn't a very good art museum).

I also didn't like the total rewrite of my Colorado tossup (mainly because it totally took out all references to San Diego), however that's a minor quibble.

BTW..in my original packet the original extra tossups were on McDonald's and Scott Peterson. Is it really better than 2 extra questions on "whale's vagina"? I think so..but I guess it's debatable.
Last edited by mcalmvp on Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
The Time Keeper
Auron
Posts: 1541
Joined: Sat Apr 19, 2003 9:26 pm
Location: Michigan

Post by The Time Keeper » Fri Dec 07, 2007 6:32 am

mcalmvp wrote:
BTW..in my original packet the original extra tossups were on McDonald's and Scott Peterson. Is it really better than 2 extra questions on "whale's vagina"? I don't think so..but I guess it's debatable.
Here's a list of things better than tossups on whale vaginas:

User avatar
Gautam
Auron
Posts: 1413
Joined: Sun Feb 11, 2007 7:28 pm
Location: Zone of Avoidance
Contact:

Post by Gautam » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:22 am

oh noes. I have to decipher the invisible ink now :razz:
Gautam - ACF
Currently tending to the 'quizbowl hobo' persuasion.

mcalmvp
Lulu
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 12:47 am

Post by mcalmvp » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:47 am

haha..my reply was supposed to say "I think so" (in response to my other 2 questions that got editted out for 2 whale's vagina questions). So ya..I agree with ya. But I suppose the editor saw fit to ax McDonald's and Scott Peterson (which are also pretty damn trashy)...oh well. Thank God we never had to read those questions at least on the west coast!

User avatar
dtaylor4
Auron
Posts: 3733
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2004 11:43 am

Post by dtaylor4 » Fri Dec 07, 2007 7:55 am

gkandlikar wrote:
ANSWER: Argos/Argus
Power clue: One character by this name was a son of Zeus and Niobe who succeeded Apis as king of Phoronea. Another had the labors of freeing Arcadia and killing Satyr, while a third is seen "lying neglected on the heaps of mule and cow dung" (*) and could not get up to greet those entering.
Comment: Greek myth + dog = Argos/Argus. Are there really more dogs that are tossupable?
There is this dog that has three heads that resides in the underworld. If they wanted to go more obscure, they could have used Orthus, the dog that guarded the cattle of Geryon and a brother of Cerberus.

EDIT: Also, Argus should not be acceptable, as he is a completely different figure.

User avatar
Mike Bentley
Auron
Posts: 5781
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:03 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Post by Mike Bentley » Fri Dec 07, 2007 10:36 am

The Whale's Vagina thing was a joke by Charles. That's why they're extra tossups. I mean, having 3/0 Anchorman in the packet is a little ridiculous, but almost every team sees 1/0.

We were well aware of the problems in the Water Packet, which is why we did not use that packet (except as a replacement) at the Maryland site. If we had more time I would have definitely edited many of the troublesome tossups in that one.

I don't have too much of an issue with the pH tossup. Arnolfini Wedding or something would probably be better for Dogs Playing Poker, but I had some more glaring problems to fix than that tossup. Overall I thought that packet was one of the better of the theme packets in the tournament.

The British history packet was not edited for the most part.

Germany did have a weird distribution. Again, it was an issue of, "well, this is a decent packet, there are more important things to work on". Due to needing at least 22 packets to play in this tournament meant that things like that happened a good bit.
Mike Bentley
VP of Editing, Partnership for Academic Competition Excellence
Adviser, Quizbowl Team at University of Washington
University of Maryland, Class of 2008

Locked