Search found 1121 matches

by No Rules Westbrook
Thu May 14, 2015 7:49 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: two styles of writing: a close reading
Replies: 77
Views: 25174

Re: two styles of writing: a close reading

Every time we have this discussion, though, 80% of the posters are wildly unrealistic about what material (and how much of that kind of material) can reasonably be worked into a quizbowl question. Certainly, we all know that lit criticism and historiography and similar topics can be worked as clues ...
by No Rules Westbrook
Thu May 14, 2015 8:28 am
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: two styles of writing: a close reading
Replies: 77
Views: 25174

Re: two styles of writing: a close reading

You're not wrong, Derek, but this game isn't even close to being a perfect mirror of academia. In practice, there is usually a significant difference between regular "pursuit of academic interests" and specifically trying to get better at this game. The most obvious thing to point out is that a lot ...
by No Rules Westbrook
Wed May 13, 2015 9:34 pm
Forum: Collegiate Discussion
Topic: two styles of writing: a close reading
Replies: 77
Views: 25174

Re: two styles of writing: a close reading

I'm kind of sorry I didn't get around to reading this thread until now, so humor me in my mini-attempt to resurrect it. I think Jerry does a pretty fair job of pointing out the basics of these two "styles" - and it is clear that no editor really uses just one style, but rather certain editors lean m...
by No Rules Westbrook
Fri May 08, 2015 7:26 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

double p.s. - Here's a brief post which will express some appreciation for where Ted comes from. This year, I had a slightly shorter window of time for researching and writing my questions than last year - and I do think those kind of time constraints limit how dynamic, thoughtful, and creative your...
by No Rules Westbrook
Fri May 08, 2015 7:20 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

p.s. That was my Walter Lippmann tossup, Ted!
by No Rules Westbrook
Fri May 08, 2015 7:14 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Okay, what are we really talking about here? It's already been empirically established that only the last non-finals packet ("Editors Six") suffered from a lower ppg or tossup conversion rate. So, we're talking about one packet here (on which many important games were played, of course). I'm still n...
by No Rules Westbrook
Fri Apr 24, 2015 5:02 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: My Personal Story about ACF Nats
Replies: 2
Views: 1720

Re: My Personal Story about ACF Nats

Jerry once found his respite at Lord Weary's Castle, and Ike has now built his sanctuary on Amorphous Island. I sincerely hope I am able one day to settle upon such a blissful resting spot.

In greater seriousness, this post is inspirational for all the right reasons.
by No Rules Westbrook
Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:57 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Just one more quick note - the editors of ACF Nationals will shortly be having a meeting to discuss what went well and what could be improved for next year. Thanks to everyone for the discussion in this thread. While my writing will always have a particular style to it, I think I've gained several i...
by No Rules Westbrook
Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:50 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

This is probably the last thing I'll say on this matter, or maybe not. Like absolutely everyone else in qb, I have my own intuitions about what is hard and what is not. If someone like Jerry expresses an opinion that conflicts with mine, I don't automatically change my opinion, nor do I automaticall...
by No Rules Westbrook
Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:03 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Well, Andrew, here's the thing...this tournament got created a lot differently than tournaments in 2007 got created (or at least a lot differently than I was creating tournaments back then). We had these packets in Google Docs and no less than 12 really knowledgeable ACF veterans commented on the qu...
by No Rules Westbrook
Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:48 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Now, to respond to JR's concern about lack of coverage for "World War I, World War II, and Cold War eras" among other key events... What about these tossups: foreign affairs, bela kun, metaxas, estado novo, cambridge five (spying! cold war!), pierre laval, willy brandt, black and tans. Whenever I wr...
by No Rules Westbrook
Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:30 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Sure, you can withhold info or provide more info to harden or soften a bonus, and I do that all the time. But, I'm saying Victual Brothers from all clues and Agricola from all clues - if you're really gonna die on the hill trying to say they're a smidge too hard for 20 but a smidge too easy for 30, ...
by No Rules Westbrook
Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:23 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

I mean, I'd ask "what are the Victual Brothers (from all clues about them) if not a 20 point part?". Are they really a 30-point part, still? Are they just too easy for 30, but too hard for 20, so they can't ever come up? What the heck are they? Same thing with Mikael Agricola. If I made that the 30 ...
by No Rules Westbrook
Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:06 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Well, since Andrew is going out of his way to be hostile to me in particular, I will say this much... I've always considered myself to be among the more diligent editors about going through bonuses to make sure that none are blatantly unfair - that is, that none of them seem to be unreasonably diffi...
by No Rules Westbrook
Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:01 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Yeah, let's just be clear - I'm not gonna give anyone flack for arguing that finals should not throw difficulty into overdrive mode like that. I've always been a fan of ultra-hard Finals, but it's always a gamble. I certainly think there's a very cogent argument against it. Any editors six complaint...
by No Rules Westbrook
Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:44 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

You don't think I wrote that c-myc tossup, do you? Someone else did, and I had no idea how hard it was. I'd certainly retired from science writing by then, after the Great Diol Incident of Nationals.
by No Rules Westbrook
Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:06 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Okay, I have no sympathy for a very good quizbowl team whining about Editors Six. Here's the tossups in Editors' Six: Fifth Column, Candida, Baudolino, malaria, Oberlin College, Black and Tans, Licinius, Abydos, cross section, arrythmia, metric space, coupling reactions, the Seven Sages, Baba Yaga's...
by No Rules Westbrook
Tue Apr 21, 2015 8:04 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

I just did a calculation - in the team packets, 78% of the questions used were submitted, 22% were by me. The history tossups in those packets written by me are: Costa Rica, New Jersey, Chakri Dynasty, Know-Nothing Party, Goa, Alben Barkley, Metaurus River, Pontiac's Rebellion, Pierre Laval, Pope Ur...
by No Rules Westbrook
Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:28 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Sure, but a reasonable editor could also take a common link submission on "Pendleton" in American history and decide not to turn it into a tossup on a fourth tier Civil War general that largely went unanswered. I'm certainly not going to die on the hill defending that tossup idea. It's super hard a...
by No Rules Westbrook
Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:59 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Double also, on Max's post, while I'm no math wizard... I have taken time to run the Nationals stats from 2012 to 2015 just about eight ways from Billy Sunday, and I don't think you can make any kind of convincing empirical argument that this Nationals was harder (not that more tossups went dead, or...
by No Rules Westbrook
Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:26 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

As to the differences in style between my history and Marshall's history, that's not a debate that's going to get solved here. As people well know, my writing style is all about coming straight at you with a succession of discrete clues that can be memorized, if you want to memorize them. That certa...
by No Rules Westbrook
Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:06 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Well, here's what I was trying to argue with my post. If you want to look at a packet where 8 questions went dead in a round in the third bracket and say "that's too many" - then I'm pretty sympathetic to your argument. I was reading in the top bracket, but I do know what it's like in the other brac...
by No Rules Westbrook
Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:54 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Also, just to be clear, if you felt the tournament was on the too-difficult side, I'm not gonna tell you you're wrong - that's a perfectly reasonable opinion. But, it does agitate me a little when people keep citing - as a defense for that - the same 6 or 7 tossups. Unlike most editors today, I will...
by No Rules Westbrook
Tue Apr 21, 2015 7:44 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Yeah, you certainly should've received points for Chi Daily Tribune. I hope that you protested. I'd have certainly upheld your protest. Sorry about that.
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:57 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Well, let's save the discussion of what the ideal PPG or PPB number is - that's a fine question, but it's not really relevant to what we're discussing. Ike and I are just making the point that, empirically, the numbers for this tournament compare very favorably to the numbers in 2014 and 2013. ...An...
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:25 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Well, my argument is that difficulty's a purely relative concept that makes no sense apart from the skill of the teams playing. I'm not sure there's any objective scale of difficulty. You certainly can't objectively compare teams in 2007 with teams today. So, it seems to me that it's the ideal case ...
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:41 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Since we're all about empiricism, let me support my point that I've made about the finals coloring perception. All you math-minded folks, compare the stats for the last three years of Nationals. This year: http://www.hsquizbowl.org/db/tournaments/2976/stats/playoffs/standings/ 2014: http://www.hsqui...
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:19 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Oh, and I think John Lawrence's post above is quite reasonable. I don't really disagree with anything in it. How about those apples?
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:14 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

I'll also add just one more thing - and probably move on to watch some baseball tonight... I think relatively few people would be here complaining about difficulty if it weren't for the balls-hard Finals packet. I think that packet has colored perception of the rest of the set. And, people need to k...
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:53 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Heh, as if to prove Andrew Hart's theorem about the subjectivity of difficulty assessments, noted "person who loves Palenque more than life itself" Doug Graebner pops into the discussion. Sure, Doug, here's the tossup (note: I won't hang my hat on this being anywhere near the greatest Palenque tossu...
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:33 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Is it wrong of me that I kind of yawn anymore when I see tossups on Xipe Totec or Dictionary of the Khazars? I guess it's wrong. They've just been done so many times at this point; they seem almost pedestrian. Whatever, I've gone too far afield - I'll let Rob and Ike speak to literature and social s...
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:15 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

If Omar Bongo or Hastings Banda has now risen to greater quizbowl fame than Dave Dacko, something is very wrong in the land of Oz. Maybe that means Dave Dacko is now "shadow canon"? If so, I'm glad I wrote on him.
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:00 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

If you want to just get down to brass tacks, take a look at these Editors Packets (not including Finals and not including science): #1: Hairy Ape, Horatian Ode, Tolstoy, Sailor Who Fell From Grace..., Foreign Affairs, Abdulhamid , Ching Dynasty, John Wilkes, Senegal, Cattle Raid of Cooley, epoche , ...
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:40 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Let me try and lay out a more rigorous, though brief, exposition of what I'm arguing for. Let's suppose that buzzes in this game can be broken down into three categories: 1. "Pure Real Knowledge" Buzz: One where you buzz on a clue that you have encountered by reading some primary or secondary source...
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:10 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Here's the rest of the history tossups in the non-finals packets - which of these are really "taking middle clues and turning them into tossups"? New Jersey, Bela Kun, Anarchy, Umar Thurlow Weed, Estado Novo, Miltiades, Chakri Dynasty Chinese Gordon, people with the last name Reed, Arsaces, War of t...
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:02 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Yeah, I'm not really that interested in tooting my own horn about how much effort I expend...and I'm in the middle of adding a post to the "Burnout" thread right now that will cover this ground anyway...but, quite frankly (sorry if this sounds brash): I don't think there's ever been a single editor ...
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:37 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

Re: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

For the record, I will say that we were pretty careful to have the finals packet have consistent difficulty across the three big subjects. Each topic had two pretty flipping hard tossups - My Brilliant Career and A High Toned Old Christian Woman in lit, Old Court/New Court and Guizot in history (I r...
by No Rules Westbrook
Sun Apr 19, 2015 6:45 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion
Replies: 227
Views: 93041

ACF Nationals 2015 Discussion

Please feel free to post your thoughts, tirades, and ruminations regarding anything related to this year's ACF Nationals in this thread. I'm sure I'll have more to say at some point, but I was personally very pleased with this set. I will also say that I really liked the way that the schedule turned...
by No Rules Westbrook
Sun Apr 12, 2015 9:02 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thread
Replies: 89
Views: 57556

Re: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thre

The parking structure on Maynard Street between Liberty and William is the one to shoot for.
by No Rules Westbrook
Thu Apr 09, 2015 7:57 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thread
Replies: 89
Views: 57556

Re: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thre

I'm pleased to announce that I have received packets from all teams required to submit, and all 48 teams have confirmed their attendance at Nationals.

I anticipate we will be releasing a schedule soon.
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 06, 2015 7:34 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thread
Replies: 89
Views: 57556

Re: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thre

One more post on packets:

My recent email snafu has led me not to see a couple of packets that I received yesterday. I've now fully updated the list of packets received. Please ensure that I've included you in the appropriate spot.
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Apr 06, 2015 4:03 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thread
Replies: 89
Views: 57556

Re: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thre

NOTICE: If you're an experienced quizbowl team playing this tournament and I don't see your packet in my inbox by the time I wake up tomorrow, I'm upping the daily fee to an extra $30/day. Your unreasonable procrastination is preventing the orderly completion of this tournament. (This notice does no...
by No Rules Westbrook
Sat Apr 04, 2015 9:54 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thread
Replies: 89
Views: 57556

Re: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thre

Be aware that, if I do not have your packet by tomorrow, I absolutely will charge your team $10 per day thereafter. Please get those packets in, if you're required to submit one.
by No Rules Westbrook
Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:47 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thread
Replies: 89
Views: 57556

Re: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thre

Yeah, I actually think it's a fantastic idea to have one room at Nats (and other important events) always be video recorded. That's something that maybe we can make a point of emphasis going forward. It's not like it would take a ton of effort.
by No Rules Westbrook
Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:19 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: CO History 2015
Replies: 139
Views: 66971

Re: CO History 2015

In a shocking turn, Matt Lafer and I will play this on the same team.
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Mar 30, 2015 11:59 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thread
Replies: 89
Views: 57556

Re: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thre

Has anyone in the last three days tried to send me a packet? If so, I haven't received any. As most of QB knows, my inbox was apparently hacked and it's been acting wonky lately (I've tried sending myself messages and they don't appear). CORRECTION - I've received packets from Columbia, MIT A, and M...
by No Rules Westbrook
Wed Mar 25, 2015 9:15 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thread
Replies: 89
Views: 57556

Re: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thre

Just popping in to say that there's still somewhere in the neighborhood of 21 Teams who have yet to submit their packet. Hopefully, we get a very high percentage of those by the upcoming Sunday deadline.
by No Rules Westbrook
Mon Mar 09, 2015 11:07 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thread
Replies: 89
Views: 57556

Re: ACF Nationals - Ann Arbor, MI, 04/18-19/2015 - main thre

I have received the following packets for the early deadline of February 1st, 2015: Ottawa VCU A Harvard Minnesota WUSTL Illinois A McGill Penn A Penn B UCF Rice Berkeley A Dartmouth Received by second deadline of February 15 2015: Penn C Waterloo William & Mary Washington Received by third deadline...
by No Rules Westbrook
Wed Mar 04, 2015 2:16 am
Forum: College area archives
Topic: ACF Nationals 2015: 4/18-19 at the University of Michigan
Replies: 54
Views: 41087

Re: ACF Nationals 2015: 4/18-19 at the University of Michiga

The only packet that I see in my inbox for the Sunday, March 1st deadline is Toronto. Please let me know if anyone out there believes they have sent me a packet, and it isn't reflected in the list of packets received in this thread. There are obviously a lot of teams out there, especially many of th...
by No Rules Westbrook
Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:58 pm
Forum: College area archives
Topic: COTTAGE BOWL at the University of Maryland (2/22)
Replies: 19
Views: 11793

Re: COTTAGE BOWL at the University of Maryland (2/22)

Hey, I think I'm gonna be kicking around on Sunday. So, if anyone needs a barely-useful teammate for this, let me know. Or I'm happy to moderate, if needed.