Search found 2114 matches

by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:36 am
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Your Worst Moment In Quizbowl
Replies: 16
Views: 9532

Re: Your Worst Moment In Quizbowl

The angriest I have ever gotten at a quizbowl tournament was Oxford Open 2011, in the semifinal round. My team was in "we are mathematically guaranteed to win if we don't neg" territory and there was a literature tossup. It was clearly about a character from "The Devil and Daniel Webster". My teamma...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:15 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Use of the Term "Trivia"
Replies: 4
Views: 2720

Re: Use of the Term "Trivia"

"Academic Trivia" should be a good compromise that leaves all semantic extremists unhappy and makes your activity understandable to the general population. If people ask "what's academic trivia?" you can reply "you know, stuff about history, literature, science, art, mythology, etc." Anyone who woul...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:51 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: How to not get overwhelmed by the college canon
Replies: 8
Views: 4073

Re: How to not get overwhelmed by the college canon

All the way back in 2004 when I was a college freshman, I felt exactly the same way. After being a big fish in a small pond in high school, I was suddenly attending UChicago practices where not only were the questions much harder and full of things I had never heard of, but the room routinely contai...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:25 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Chicago Open Discussion
Replies: 32
Views: 18194

Re: Chicago Open Discussion

Ike Jose used to be one of my favorite people in quizbowl. I honestly really enjoyed that one Illinois Open he edited that nobody else liked. There was something pure about him, he was this big kid having fun learning things and having fun sharing the things he was passionate about with people who p...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:56 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Tiebreaker Distro
Replies: 6
Views: 3281

Re: Tiebreaker Distro

teams have already heard 20 TUs to differentiate themselves I think this is a very powerful rebuttal to a lot of nitpicks about tiebreakers. Over a pretty decent sample size of questions these two teams have proven to be evenly matched: there's not really a "wrong" outcome so long as the question m...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Jul 23, 2017 10:41 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Tiebreaker Distro
Replies: 6
Views: 3281

Re: Tiebreaker Distro

I'm not aware of any deep theory that's been written on tiebreakers. Below, I will talk a bit about the approach that I took to tiebreakers back when I was writing and editing lots of questions (which was a long time ago, but I like to think some of the ideas might still apply today). In my opinion,...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Jul 13, 2017 1:30 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Good books for studying history
Replies: 7
Views: 5429

Re: Good books for studying history

Definitely read the "books for quizbowl" thread, a running 198+ post affair where many different quizbowl players give their recommendations for good books to read, many of which are history books. You can find it here: http://www.hsquizbowl.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8159 The reality is that th...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jul 11, 2017 10:26 am
Forum: New Collegiate Teams
Topic: The overwhelming lack of knowledge for the initiate
Replies: 11
Views: 9929

Re: The overwhelming lack of knowledge for the initiate

To summarize, if you have no knowledge outside of a bare-bones STEM education from high-school, where should you start as a new collegiate player? You're going to school in Florida, you say? Stick to STEM, and you'll score plenty of points against most teams here. The rest of quiz bowl subjects wil...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:28 am
Forum: New Collegiate Teams
Topic: The overwhelming lack of knowledge for the initiate
Replies: 11
Views: 9929

Re: The overwhelming lack of knowledge for the initiate

Expose yourself to as many questions as possible. Ideally, attend tournaments as often as you can and attend practices as often as you can. If that can't happen, read packets in your spare time. Have a notebook and write down any answers you have not heard of, then look them up online. You can reall...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Jun 30, 2017 10:12 am
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Would You Recommend Working for NAQT? Revisited
Replies: 41
Views: 27315

Re: Would You Recommend Working for NAQT? Revisited

Is it possible that NAQT's leaders dislike you for some reason unrelated to your work for its competitors, and they're using your NHBB connections as an excuse? I no longer moderate NAQT events (I think I still get invited to almost all of them), but when I look at pictures of NAQT events all the mo...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:43 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: What tournaments are "must-attend" events, and why?
Replies: 16
Views: 9078

Re: What tournaments are "must-attend" events, and why?

As a player, I always liked variety. Playing the same teams over and over again in the same buildings got boring: it was cool when we traveled to a different part of the country and got to see new cities and new teams.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:27 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: Giveaways for "lesser-known" stuff about common things
Replies: 17
Views: 7732

Re: Giveaways for "lesser-known" stuff about common things

I think it's been a few years since we've had an argument about this, but I think (and hope) that quizbowl theory's general position is still that you should make giveaways as easy as possible: at that point it's simply better for the long-term health of the game to increase tossup conversion rates....
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:52 am
Forum: New High School Teams
Topic: Books "for Quizbowl"
Replies: 217
Views: 160677

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

https://www.amazon.com/Flayed-God-Mesoamerican-Mythological-Tradition/dp/0062507494 The Flayed God was recommended to me in 2004 by one of the greatest myth players in quizbowl history when I asked him how to get better at Mesoamerican mythology. The book was a decade old then and is now over two de...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jun 05, 2017 1:46 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Limits of the "Back to the Classroom" Movement
Replies: 33
Views: 9828

Re: Limits of the "Back to the Classroom" Movement

As a historian, there's a lot of history tossups I can't convert...I think we have to be somewhat more specific here. I would go so far as to say that if you plucked a tenured academic historian out of his or her ivory tower and forced them to play an all-history packet against a slightly above ave...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed May 31, 2017 4:06 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Writing common link tossups (especially history)
Replies: 1
Views: 2016

Re: Writing common link tossups (especially history)

Disclaimer: I haven't really played or written quizbowl in the last few years, so I'm not up on the latest trends, but I wrote hundreds of history tossups, including entire history-only tournaments, in the years 2007 - 2013 and perhaps not everything I know is obsolete. Also a lot of the sample clu...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri May 19, 2017 11:40 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Different types of clues in the same tossup?
Replies: 5
Views: 2678

Re: Different types of clues in the same tossup?

This would be totally uncontroversial in most subjects outside of music. It's really common in literature, as Chris pointed out. In history, it would be nothing out of the ordinary if you, for example, put a clue like "Hannah Arendt called this battle the birth of the 19th century" at the beginning ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue May 09, 2017 5:11 pm
Forum: Databases and Quizbowl Software
Topic: Help us map answer lines to Wikipedia pages!
Replies: 6
Views: 3690

Re: Help us map answer lines to Wikipedia pages!

Wait I don't get it. So right now for example "Caesar Rodney" is listed as an answerline, and "Julius_Caesar" is listed as the wikipedia article. Should I be deleting the entire row, or should I be changing the Wikipedia article to Caesar_Rodney?
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon May 08, 2017 2:10 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Subject-specific player polls
Replies: 29
Views: 13268

Re: Subject-specific player polls

My Science Rankings 1. Josh Alman (while cheating) 2. 2010 Eric Mukherjee 3. Andy Watkins (while cheating) 4. The Apocalyptic Figure that Results when peak Seth Teitler and peak Selene Koo do the Fusion Dance 5. 2012 Eric Mukherjee 6. 2014-5 Eric Mukherjee 7. Billy Busse 8. 2017 Eric Mukherjee 9. A...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Apr 28, 2017 12:57 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: João - Myth Shootout (HSNCT)
Replies: 58
Views: 26780

Re: João - Myth Shootout (HSNCT)

need a ruling on porkpie hats
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:55 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Difficulty Consistency in Finals Packets
Replies: 19
Views: 8593

Re: Difficulty Consistency in Finals Packets

I'll admit as somebody who has worked on ACF Nationals in the past, when you write an Editors tossup that is perhaps a tad bit hard, you feel a temptation to just sneak it into the finals packet, since you can figure that the best teams in the field will play it there and surely one of them might kn...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:07 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: The Buzzer Dilemma
Replies: 20
Views: 8244

Re: The Buzzer Dilemma

If ACF owned buzzers where would they be stored and who would take care of them. This is a serious question. ACF has much less turnover and institutional buildout than NAQT or NHBB. There's not a Dave Madden or R. Hentzel type figure who will always be there; the closest ACF ever had to such a Heimd...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:35 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Outreach for schools that play "bad" formats
Replies: 10
Views: 3897

Re: Outreach for schools that play "bad" formats

what's a good response to "our school doesn't take quizbowl very seriously", an excuse you do hear from schools who don't want to change what format they play
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:35 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Documenting plagiarism
Replies: 20
Views: 9069

Re: Documenting plagiarism

Might not be plagiarism. Might just be a mistake. I know that when I was actively writing, I had a big MS Word file filled with tossup, and sometimes I just pasted stuff from that Doc into a packet I was writing. I tried to immediately delete anything I pasted into a packet, but I'm sure somebody do...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Apr 11, 2017 9:41 am
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Travel to HSNCT
Replies: 5
Views: 2560

Re: Travel to HSNCT

I attended HSNCT once as a moderator. I had never been to Atlanta before. I was able to easily take the MARTA (public transit) from the airport to just a few blocks away from the HSNCT hotel. I would recommend it. I don't think you even have to transfer trains. Apparently, the local population in At...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:56 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Easy Parts
Replies: 19
Views: 8007

Re: Easy Parts

One thing that's cool to do in an easy part (and, more commonly, in the bonus prompt) is to have harder clues in there alongside the easy stuff so people learn from it.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:19 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals Planning
Replies: 9
Views: 4311

Re: ACF Nationals Planning

In the past, large groups of quizbowl players have stayed in hotels in Secaucus, NJ for tournaments held at Columbia, and then taken the commuter rail from there into New York City. My knowledge of New York City area geography is hazy, but I believe this is on the same rail line as Newark Internatio...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Feb 28, 2017 10:40 am
Forum: Trash
Topic: "Let's Remember Some Guys"
Replies: 44
Views: 21069

Re: "Let's Remember Some Guys"

If anyone needs help remembering MLB players from this era, I am linking to Frank Thomas's Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech. Scroll to the bottom and he gives a "verbal montage" of seemingly every middling player he was ever teammates with http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/chi-fra...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:47 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Pronunciation Guides in College
Replies: 9
Views: 4343

Re: Pronunciation Guides in College

I really want to second the idea of breaking up syllables of long science words. One of the greatest moments of my quizbowl career was when I realized that long names for chemicals are generally just the same few suffixes, prefixes, and short names strung together in different patterns, and that my ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Feb 26, 2017 11:57 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Pronunciation Guides in College
Replies: 9
Views: 4343

Re: Pronunciation Guides in College

If you're bragging on Facebook that your tournament is finished 3 weeks ahead of time, adding this kind of stuff to the set might be a fantastic use of that remaining time.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Feb 23, 2017 10:39 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: State of tournament criticism
Replies: 5
Views: 3414

Re: State of tournament criticism

Perhaps it might help to think of what is actionable feedback for the writer. Much of the feedback we see in tournament threads (and this is unchanged since like 2009) is stuff like "dude, you put the Battle of the Gates of Trajan way too early in that tossup about Basil the Bulgar-Slayer, it's supe...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Feb 16, 2017 10:35 am
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: Frustrations
Replies: 7
Views: 3703

Re: Frustrations

There can only be one. Well, OK - so actually there can only be three (for high school) and two (for college) national champions each year in quizbowl, not counting subsidiary titles like DII, UG, Small Schools, etc. Two is not a winner, and three nobody remembers. Your odds of being one of those wi...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Feb 15, 2017 10:41 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2017 ICT bids
Replies: 157
Views: 43745

Re: 2017 ICT bids

An ICT bid is one of the few levers that NAQT can pull when it comes to convincing teams to do what NAQT wants (in this case, edit tournaments or host tournaments). Jeff Hoppes has more or less said in this thread that NAQT has had trouble convincing people to edit SCT/ICT or host SCT unless they ge...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Feb 07, 2017 5:03 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion
Replies: 131
Views: 46014

Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

Insofar as the opinions of an undergraduate president of a 12-person club in a podunk circuit matter, here are mine. Insofar as the opinions of an undergraduate president of a different 12-person club in the same podunk circuit matter, here are mine and some of my teammates who I asked about the is...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Feb 07, 2017 3:11 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion
Replies: 131
Views: 46014

Re: SCT, autobids, and ICT size discussion

I feel compelled to briefly resurrect from quizbowl death to support the idea that neither NAQT nor other quizbowl organizations should rush to create rules that deal with unlikely scenarios. I think other posters have laid out solid, credible arguments for why the current rules are unlikely to be w...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Jan 27, 2017 8:55 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Saving the IRC
Replies: 26
Views: 12987

Re: Saving the IRC

Back when I hung out in the quizbowl IRC channel every night (like 2009 - 2010), whenever somebody started talking politics everyone else would quickly start a waffles vs pancakes debate. It was more of a way to shame the people politicking than anything else: if people started talking about waffles...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Jan 15, 2017 10:05 am
Forum: New High School Teams
Topic: Books "for Quizbowl"
Replies: 217
Views: 160677

Re: Books "for Quizbowl"

The English Civil War: A People's History by Diane Purkiss is described by one of its reviewers as "extraordinarily popular" and is the book I read about the English Civil War for quizbowl purposes. Also I once had a wild bird fly into my parents house, and of the hundreds of books I own (and left ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Jan 12, 2017 3:14 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: Tournament Structure: Why Not Swiss?
Replies: 2
Views: 2591

Re: Tournament Structure: Why Not Swiss?

Swiss pairing is used for very large quizbowl tournaments. It is not used in smaller tournaments in part because shortening the tournament is NOT seen as good: people enjoy the act of playing quizbowl and would prefer to play 10 - 15 rounds while also getting to see all of the other teams there. Ind...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Jan 09, 2017 11:44 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: What keeps you doing quizbowl?
Replies: 25
Views: 11997

Re: Quizbowl?

I do not think you have identified issues unique to quizbowl. Instead, I think you have identified issues that are a fundamental part of the human condition. Humans are fallible beings. None of us have achieved perfection at anything. Even those of us who work hard typically end up failing to accomp...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Jan 08, 2017 1:39 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: Is there a Harvard club?
Replies: 3
Views: 2208

Re: Is there a Harvard club?

Harvard's quizbowl team has almost certainly received more press coverage than any other college quizbowl team in history. I'm surprised she was not able to find google results confirming its existence...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Jan 04, 2017 4:55 pm
Forum: Miscellaneous High School Quizbowl
Topic: NAQT player and team highlights
Replies: 22
Views: 11607

Re: NAQT player and team highlights

I'm sure lots of people will think this sounds silly or frivolous, but I predict it will do a lot of good raising quizbowl awareness. Imagine each time a player gets honored by NAQT, it gets picked up by the school newspaper, maybe by a local paper, posted to social media by relatives, etc. That mig...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Fri Dec 30, 2016 9:46 am
Forum: New Collegiate Teams
Topic: How to Study Quiz Bowl at the College Level
Replies: 4
Views: 6724

Re: How to Study Quiz Bowl at the College Level

Buy a big notebook. Take it to every practice and tournament you attend. Write down all of the answers that come up: tossup answers, bonus answers. Then go back through the notebook and look up anything you've never heard of or are curious about. Definitely read books too, and not just old packets. ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:17 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Continuing to rethink the distribution
Replies: 54
Views: 18318

Re: Continuing to rethink the distribution

As an ancient being who has seen generations of quizbowl players come and go I ask this: is "some veteran players have heard questions about this thing lots of times and are sick of it" ignoring the fact that at any one time there are new people entering the college quizbowl world to whom whatever ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:20 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: IRC Festivus 2016: Still Not Dead Yet
Replies: 120
Views: 52226

Re: IRC Festivus 2016: Still Not Dead Yet

Tonight somebody gave me a copy of the Rukhnama as a Christmas present. I am going to try to put together a small packet of questions based on my soon-to-be-real knowledge of the Rukhnama. I won't be able to attend Festivus so if you'd like to read this on my behalf please let me know. Edit - yes I ...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Dec 19, 2016 2:17 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: Continuing to rethink the distribution
Replies: 54
Views: 18318

Re: Continuing to rethink the distribution

As an ancient being who has seen generations of quizbowl players come and go I ask this: is "some veteran players have heard questions about this thing lots of times and are sick of it" ignoring the fact that at any one time there are new people entering the college quizbowl world to whom whatever i...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:00 pm
Forum: Quizbowl History Forum
Topic: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History
Replies: 58
Views: 42947

Re: Greatest Upsets in Quizbowl History

Chris Ray at Terrapin 2016 is a pretty legendary upset notwithstanding its recency. Great moments involve Chris literally licking his lips as the science tossup in finals 2 was being read before he completely shafted Max on that question, Chris beating John Lawrence to a music question using his "t...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Sun Dec 04, 2016 11:05 pm
Forum: Theory
Topic: On Note Taking
Replies: 6
Views: 3890

Re: On Note Taking

What you do is exactly what I did during my playing career. However, I believe the more common approach, which I've seen most elite players do, is writing down only the answer to every single question you hear. Then they go afterwords and look up everything that came up (or at least the stuff that t...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Wed Nov 16, 2016 11:15 am
Forum: Theory
Topic: Contesting Statistics After a Tournament
Replies: 11
Views: 6878

Re: Contesting Statistics After a Tournament

If you look at post-tournament discussion threads on this forum, there are often one or two people asking for corrections. Moderators and stats people are fallible creatures who often make mistakes. My attitude is: if you care so much about your personal statistics that you are willing to expend the...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:03 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: How to be a Good College History Player + other stuff
Replies: 6
Views: 3250

Re: How to be a Good College History Player + other stuff

20% of all the questions in a given game of quizbowl are going to be history questions. That is a significant chunk: no other subject gets more than that, and only two other subjects get that much. If all you can do is reliably nail down the history questions in a given packet, then you will be a ve...
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:04 am
Forum: New High School Teams
Topic: Studying Social Science and Philosophy
Replies: 3
Views: 6629

Re: Studying Social Science and Philosophy

Use question archives to find out which philosophers and social scientists are common asked about in quizbowl. Then do what Ankit says to learn them deeply.
by Skepticism and Animal Feed
Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:55 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: 2016 ACF Fall general discussion
Replies: 49
Views: 19220

Re: 2016 ACF Fall general discussion

Ben has (thankfully) covered almost all of the points that still stick out in my mind, but I would also like to reemphasize the lack of alternate answerlines and prompts, for example on the Republic of China question, where a member of my team was negged on Kuomintang (I think) on the first couple ...