2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Partido Galeguista » Mon May 07, 2012 12:07 am

After finally looking through the questions this looked like a pretty well written tournament. I think, in places, it may have suffered from excessive underlining though, but I'm interested to know if I'm wrong. For example:

- requiring "plant" in the tossup on the cell wall. If someone were to buzz in halfway through or before with "cell wall" and not be sure what you are prompting them for (as I don't think I've ever seen this prompt required) you would be severely punishing them and basically handing the tossup to the other team.
- I'm also wondering about the underlining in the Titanic bonus that required "S.S." in the name of the Californian, given that whenever a question on, say, ships like the Merrimack or Virginia come up, they almost never require anything beyond the name of the ship. Is there some other super-important famous Californian that I don't know about?

These are only two examples but I'm sure I could come up with more. I'm just unsure what excessive underlining really adds to a tournament when you are trying to differentiate between teams.

(Am I nitpicking? On the contrary, I've seen this occur in other tournaments too and I think it needs to be addressed)
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Susan » Mon May 07, 2012 12:38 am

fourplustwo wrote:After finally looking through the questions this looked like a pretty well written tournament. I think, in places, it may have suffered from excessive underlining though, but I'm interested to know if I'm wrong. For example:

- requiring "plant" in the tossup on the cell wall. If someone were to buzz in halfway through or before with "cell wall" and not be sure what you are prompting them for (as I don't think I've ever seen this prompt required) you would be severely punishing them and basically handing the tossup to the other team.
- I'm also wondering about the underlining in the Titanic bonus that required "S.S." in the name of the Californian, given that whenever a question on, say, ships like the Merrimack or Virginia come up, they almost never require anything beyond the name of the ship. Is there some other super-important famous Californian that I don't know about?

These are only two examples but I'm sure I could come up with more. I'm just unsure what excessive underlining really adds to a tournament when you are trying to differentiate between teams.

(Am I nitpicking? On the contrary, I've seen this occur in other tournaments too and I think it needs to be addressed)


The "plant cell wall" question was a submitted question that I thought was interesting and worth using.

Harvard wrote:The presence of rhamnogalacturonan II in this structure is thought to mark a major evolutionary shift, while Peter Albersheim investigated the biological impact of the presence of oligogalacturonans in this structure. The EXPA and EXPB genes code for proteins that reside in this structure, one of whose components is attacked by EPG. Xyloglucan also plays a major role in this structure. It is made up partly of pectins, which are particularly prevalent in the middle lamella. The apoplast lies immediately inside of it. This structure can make up a Casparian Strip and is the location of expansin, which is influenced by auxin and mediates acid growth. These structures, which have been modeled using the diffuse layer model and the covalent cross-link model, also make up tracheids and often are interrupted by plasmodesmata. For 10 points, identify these structures, secondary types of which contain a lot of lignin, that make up xylem and are composed of hemicellulose and cellulose.
ANSWER: plant cell wall (prompt on cell wall)


I would be a bit surprised if people buzzed with "cell wall" here and weren't able to come up with plants, just by the nature of the clues--there really isn't anything here that could be construed as dealing with general features of cell walls. If someone buzzes in the middle of the question with "cell wall", is prompted, and can't come up with "plant" even after hearing "specific kinds of pectins, pectin, pectin pectin pectin", I'm not going to lose sleep over negging them.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Auroni » Mon May 07, 2012 12:53 am

Isn't it kind of self-evident that all that stuff is going on in plants (thus making the "plant" part not necessary for the answer)? It reminds me of that "operas by Smetana" question, which was bad because it's pretty trivial to deduce that all those works were operas.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Partido Galeguista » Mon May 07, 2012 1:25 am

Tokyo Sex Whale wrote:Isn't it kind of self-evident that all that stuff is going on in plants (thus making the "plant" part not necessary for the answer)? It reminds me of that "operas by Smetana" question, which was bad because it's pretty trivial to deduce that all those works were operas.


Yes this was what I was getting at.

Its almost like (but not quite, but I am exaggerating for effect) writing a tossup on "human livers".

The "plant" part is so obvious to anyone who has enough knowledge to buzz in that early that they might not say it just because they are so confused as to what they could need when they hear "prompt". (just like the example of "operas by Smetana" that was given above - its not the fact that they can't pull it but that they are absolutely dumbfounded as to what more information they need to give - people aren't going to get this question wrong and say "fungal cell wall" if they are buzzing with that level of knowledge - they will either figure out that the question wants "plant" or they won't, and 100% of the ones that don't will know that the question is referring to the plant cell wall but it won't strike them to verbalize it)

And in a question like this (that wasn't even answered in one of the youtube'd games between two top teams) it is essentially taking points away from someone with good knowledge of the subject and giving it to the other team for something trivial. I don't see how this furthers the goal of "making sure the best team wins the game".
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Susan » Mon May 07, 2012 9:25 am

Okay. It seems like my opinion of this question doesn't jibe with the mainstream one. I hope the question wasn't too much of a problem for people overall.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Vernon Lee Bad Marriage, Jr. » Mon May 07, 2012 10:41 am

For what it's worth, I don't think the team we were playing that round had any trouble coming up with the answer.
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Re: 2012 ACF Nationals Discussion Thread

Postby Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon May 07, 2012 11:24 am

fourplustwo wrote:- I'm also wondering about the underlining in the Titanic bonus that required "S.S." in the name of the Californian, given that whenever a question on, say, ships like the Merrimack or Virginia come up, they almost never require anything beyond the name of the ship. Is there some other super-important famous Californian that I don't know about?


What I suspect happened here is that I highlighted "Californian", and MS Word automatically highlighted the S.S. as well. I hit control-u, and moved on to the next bonus part without noticing what happened. MS Office, especially the version I have on my work computer, often highlights additional text I did not ask it to highlight.

Had it mattered, I would have accepted "Californian".
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