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Re: 2008 QU NAC discussion and comment

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:44 am
by insaneindian
dunno if anybody else has posted this but it's on the NAC site.
We Love the Pyramid, but Don’t Worship It

A Vermont school turned down our invitation last spring to join us at Nationals, saying, “We prefer tournaments that use pyramid-style questions.” It seems that a bit of misinformation has been spread about the kinds of questions we use at Nationals. Pyramid-style questions – three- or four-sentence tossups that start with the difficult or obscure and end with the easy and accessible – are our favorite kinds of questions, and always have been. Almost all of our tossups-leading-to-bonuses are pyramidal. On the other hand, to insist that all tossup questions must be pyramidal is narrow-minded and fatuous. Math calculation questions, of course, make great tossups, and can only be made pyramidal artificially. Questions starting with “why” make great tossups; e.g., “In 1174 King Henry II walked barefoot from London to Canterbury. Why?” (Ans. He was doing penance for having ordered the murder of Thomas Becket.) Audio music questions make terrific bonus-round tossups.
:roll:

Re: 2008 QU NAC discussion and comment

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:45 am
by Matt Weiner
Chip Beall is an idiot and so is anyone who likes his tournament.

You can make vacuous statements about "civility" or "dialogue" but you can never present an actual argument against the truth of the above.

Also, the number of pyramidal tossups at the 4 NAC games I saw was zero. There were 1 or 2 questions per game that were LONG, but they were not arranged in descending order of difficulty.

Chip is a liar, among his many other moral failings.

Re: 2008 QU NAC discussion and comment

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:48 am
by evilmonkey
insaneindian wrote:dunno if anybody else has posted this but it's on the NAC site.
We Love the Pyramid, but Don’t Worship It

A Vermont school turned down our invitation last spring to join us at Nationals, saying, “We prefer tournaments that use pyramid-style questions.” It seems that a bit of misinformation has been spread about the kinds of questions we use at Nationals. Pyramid-style questions – three- or four-sentence tossups that start with the difficult or obscure and end with the easy and accessible – are our favorite kinds of questions, and always have been. Almost all of our tossups-leading-to-bonuses are pyramidal. On the other hand, to insist that all tossup questions must be pyramidal is narrow-minded and fatuous. Math calculation questions, of course, make great tossups, and can only be made pyramidal artificially. Questions starting with “why” make great tossups; e.g., “In 1174 King Henry II walked barefoot from London to Canterbury. Why?” (Ans. He was doing penance for having ordered the murder of Thomas Becket.) Audio music questions make terrific bonus-round tossups.
:roll:
How many falsehoods can you spot in that statement? About the only thing true might be that a vermont school turned them down for nationals, although I highly doubt that. Oh yea, the artificiality of pyramidal MATHCOMP also is true.

Re: 2008 QU NAC discussion and comment

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:52 am
by BuzzerZen
evilmonkey wrote:About the only thing true might be that a vermont school turned them down for nationals, although I highly doubt that.
Actually, there have been some posts about after-school tournaments in upper New England on the boards. I think there's a nascent circuit up there.

Re: 2008 QU NAC discussion and comment

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:11 am
by The Logic of Scientific Disco
I love that his example of a question starting with "Why?" does not, in fact, start with "Why?"

Re: 2008 QU NAC discussion and comment

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:26 am
by AKKOLADE
Chip wrote:We Love the Pyramid, but Don’t Worship It

A Vermont school turned down our invitation last spring to join us at Nationals, saying, “We prefer tournaments that use pyramid-style questions.” It seems that a bit of misinformation has been spread about the kinds of questions we use at Nationals. Pyramid-style questions – three- or four-sentence tossups that start with the difficult or obscure and end with the easy and accessible – are our favorite kinds of questions, and always have been. Almost all of our tossups-leading-to-bonuses are pyramidal. On the other hand, to insist that all tossup questions must be pyramidal is narrow-minded and fatuous. Math calculation questions, of course, make great tossups, and can only be made pyramidal artificially. Questions starting with “why” make great tossups; e.g., “In 1174 King Henry II walked barefoot from London to Canterbury. Why?” (Ans. He was doing penance for having ordered the murder of Thomas Becket.) Audio music questions make terrific bonus-round tossups.
HIYO!

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:34 am
by First Chairman
:chip: says
... To insist all questions be pyramidal is narrow-minded and fatuous. ... Questions starting with "Why" make great tossups.
:w-hat: :w-hat: :w-hat:

Why did the chicken cross the road? should enter the pantheon of great tossups.

I think now that we have enough people who have reported on Chip's questions, we can come up with a very nice collective set of examples of Chip's pyramidality and publish a nice response in the QBWiki on this. He's thrown down the gauntlet, so all you narrow-minded and fatuous people... represent!

As for Matt's challenge: the statement regarding math calculations tossups can only be made pyramidal artificially... haven't we argued that here?

So I think two maybe three "truths" are embedded in the quote.

Michael Bentley has a couple of audio-recorded rounds from last year's NAC from me. The legions of NAC observers this year at all sites can report. I think we have enough witnesses from this year that Chip now feels obligated to respond.

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 8:56 am
by evilmonkey
Hey, yea, can we get the reports of the PACE fieldtrip, now that NAC is over?

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:27 pm
by Howard
Questions starting with "Why" make great tossups.
:w-hat:

Yeah, no. Questions with "why" make terrible questions because it's difficult to hold them to a constraint of one plausible answer.

Coming to a tournament near you:

"Why is the sky blue?"

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 12:43 pm
by Louis XIV and Twenty Million Henchmen
:w-hat:

…He seems to think that if a question includes a reference to less widely-known stuff first and something easy at the end, that makes it "pyramidal", not getting that that's not enough. Like I'll bet he'd call a question that went something like this "pyramidal": "For early performances of Porgy and Bess, they had a hard time finding opera houses that would let African-American performers on stage. What lullaby from Porgy and Bess is the most famous song in the opera?" Obviously that isn't the exact wording (I heard the question two weeks ago and wasn't taking notes) but those were the clues. It seems that a bit of misinformation is held by the NAC about what "pyramidal" means…

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:19 pm
by Down and out in Quintana Roo
Everytime we're playing in our Comcast Academic Challenge, and there's a "why?" question (there have been several) there are always blank stares from my team and confused looks, while the other teams ends up getting it because every other team in Delaware - besides Charter, us, Mt. Pleasant, and a couple other northern private schools - doesn't play quizbowl at all, so it's like they're just answering questions during class... with buzzers.

I hate those questions.

Almost as much as i hate "Spell ___________." questions.

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:23 pm
by Mechanical Beasts
mcn46 wrote:…He seems to think that if a question includes a reference to less widely-known stuff first and something easy at the end, that makes it "pyramidal", not getting that that's not enough. Like I'll bet he'd call a question that went something like this "pyramidal": "For early performances of Porgy and Bess, they had a hard time finding opera houses that would let African-American performers on stage. What lullaby from Porgy and Bess is the most famous song in the opera?" Obviously that isn't the exact wording (I heard the question two weeks ago and wasn't taking notes) but those were the clues. It seems that a bit of misinformation is held by the NAC about what "pyramidal" means…
The only "answer space" in NAC is the void between Chip's ears...

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:06 pm
by Maxwell Sniffingwell
Howard wrote:"Why is the sky blue?"
[buzz] Rayleigh scattering.

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:29 pm
by evilmonkey
cornfused wrote:
Howard wrote:"Why is the sky blue?"
[buzz] Rayleigh scattering.
I'm sorry, thats not what I have on my paper. The correct answer is (what he said, in terms that I could understand).

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:48 pm
by Captain Sinico
cornfused wrote:
Howard wrote:"Why is the sky blue?"
[buzz] Rayleigh scattering.
You're aware there's not a single, unitary reason for the sky being blue (just as with, say, everything), right?

MaS

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:16 pm
by Stained Diviner
What other color could it be?

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:48 pm
by NoahMinkCHS
Of course the sky is blue -- we should all be sad and blue that so much misinformation has spread about the NAC and its obvious love for pyramidial questions. Clearly :chip: loves them so much, he keeps them all hidden away for himself and only lets out a few per tournament.

Why oh why can't you people see that?!

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:56 pm
by First Chairman
I'm sorry... the correct answer to "Why is the sky blue" is "because God is a Carolina fan."

I'm still waiting for the reports from the NAC observers.

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:03 pm
by evilmonkey
ILoveReeses wrote:I'm sorry... the correct answer to "Why is the sky blue" is "because God is a Duke fan."

I'm still waiting for the reports from the NAC observers.
Fixed

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 4:09 pm
by First Chairman
evilmonkey wrote:
ILoveReeses wrote:I'm sorry... the correct answer to "Why is the sky blue" is "because God is a Duke fan."

I'm still waiting for the reports from the NAC observers.
Fixed
Well, it's no secret I am a Duke alum and fan, so I didn't make that original response (Carolina fan) without some measure of :roll: . But the point is made that "why" questions are just dumb to ask at a quiz bowl tournament to decide a national champion.

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:02 pm
by Matt Weiner
I'm waiting to get some of my notes back from the owner of the notebook, but I will have a detailed report on the NAC activities I saw later on. From memory, top events included:

*Chip failing to secure enough staffers to run a tournament of six rooms, forcing two rooms to be run by a single person
*Playing extremely loud train horn noises at sixth-graders who got questions wrong
*Forfeiting a game because a team arrived "late" due to a combination of their previous moderator giving them bad directions and the clock in the room being fast, then playing the whole game anyway as a scrimmage (isn't the point of time-based forfeits to avoid delaying the tournament?)
*A team who appeared to have never played quizbowl before stopping the moderator in between questions to ask what the rules were
*Questions with completely made-up answers, questions where the player gave the only possible correct answer but was ruled wrong because the wrong answer was on the paper, questions with multiple possible answers and only one arbitrarily selected answer on the paper
*Zero good questions
*Teams who couldn't identify what country the word "ninja" is from and other "national championship" contenders who could have lost to a decent team of fifth-graders (congrats again on finishing 43rd in the Bykowski ratings and getting 0 votes in the poll, Booker T Washington!)
*A moderator pausing in the middle of tossups to offer commentary about the subject matter of the question

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:35 pm
by Tegan
Matt Weiner wrote: *Teams who couldn't identify what country the word "ninja" is from
Matt,

Can you confirm that this was the HS NAC and not the middle school (not that it makes a big difference), because that was the very first word that came up in the etymology 60 second round in the 11 am round in Chicago.

This sounds like a pretty gross example of recycling questions when the questions can very easily be forwarded to teams later in the competition.

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:50 pm
by cdcarter
Tegan wrote:
Matt Weiner wrote: *Teams who couldn't identify what country the word "ninja" is from
Matt,

Can you confirm that this was the HS NAC and not the middle school (not that it makes a big difference), because that was the very first word that came up in the etymology 60 second round in the 11 am round in Chicago.

This sounds like a pretty gross example of recycling questions when the questions can very easily be forwarded to teams later in the competition.
Did Matt imply it happened later in the competition? IT could have also occurred in that 60-second 11am round at the DC site. It is known that some questions are reused between sites.

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:12 pm
by Tegan
cdcarter wrote:Did Matt imply it happened later in the competition? IT could have also occurred in that 60-second 11am round at the DC site. It is known that some questions are reused between sites.
I thought Matt had stated that he heard this at the DC site.

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:15 pm
by cdcarter
Tegan wrote:
cdcarter wrote:Did Matt imply it happened later in the competition? IT could have also occurred in that 60-second 11am round at the DC site. It is known that some questions are reused between sites.
I thought Matt had stated that he heard this at the DC site.
Oh, I see. I thought you were thinking that the same question was heard at some other point in the day. Yea, there is a big overlap between DC/Dallas/Chicago sites.

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:04 am
by samer
Howard wrote:Coming to a tournament near you:

"Why is the sky blue?"
Obviously, the answer is "ozone." :lol: :roll:

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 3:09 pm
by rjaguar3
Reading through Chip's summaries, I found yet another Beall steal:

From Nationals (Cooper v. St. Mark's at Dallas):
"Hawaii as the only state name that, when spelled officially, includes a diacritical mark"

From Jeopardy! a few months earlier (February 11, 2008):
"It's the only state name that when spelled officially contains a diacritical mark."

When will people stop supporting the disintegrity that Beall espouses?</rhetorical question>

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:48 pm
by Mike Bentley
rjaguar3 wrote:Reading through Chip's summaries, I found yet another Beall steal:

From Nationals (Cooper v. St. Mark's at Dallas):
"Hawaii as the only state name that, when spelled officially, includes a diacritical mark"

From Jeopardy! a few months earlier (February 11, 2008):
"It's the only state name that when spelled officially contains a diacritical mark."

When will people stop supporting the disintegrity that Beall espouses?</rhetorical question>
Yeah I seem to recall when I was playing in the NAC hearing some questions taken verbatim from Jeopardy, although I can't name specific questions as it's been a long time.

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:19 am
by harpersferry
Scene: Chip plotting to take over for Alex Trebek

:chip: "Ok Tanya, how about this. He'll suddenly become "ill" from some seafood donated from the mysterious C.A.B Foundation. NBC won't know what to do. It's not as if they tape all of the shows for the year in a month. They'll need to bring someone in with extensive game-show style hosting experience. Who better for the job than I? After all, I have a connection to Brad Rutter, who beat :kenj: , who works for the Junior National Tournament.

Tanya: "Oh, you're so smart, Chippy-poo"

:chip: In the meantime, I should practice for my new job by reading questions just like Alex (sighs like a 6th grader in love). I've got it! Why not just use real Jeopardy! questions in my tournament? It's not like any of the kids at this tournaments watch that show, or that that top-notch practice service Patrick's Press publishes Final Jeopardy questions every week. Not to mention, Jeopardy! questions are such "significa," just like my tournament. Like today, that category on 12-letter words that start with 'ill'! Such a blast. My favorite clue was that free publicity: 'Adjective that describes the NAC.' And that kid from a school I've never heard of...was it Thomas Jefferson?..he knew it right off the bat: illegitimate! I wonder why his team doesn't come to my tournament...

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:30 am
by Quantum Mushroom Billiard Hat
rjaguar3 wrote:Reading through Chip's summaries, I found yet another Beall steal:

From Nationals (Cooper v. St. Mark's at Dallas):
"Hawaii as the only state name that, when spelled officially, includes a diacritical mark"

From Jeopardy! a few months earlier (February 11, 2008):
"It's the only state name that when spelled officially contains a diacritical mark."

When will people stop supporting the disintegrity that Beall espouses?</rhetorical question>
Not that I support :chip: in any way, but there is a point when similar questions might not actually be copying. This might have been stolen; it might not have. The CBI copy found earlier this year was really obvious. One-liners are harder to tell. If you had Matt Weiner, for instance, write 1000 bad one-clue tossups, I'm sure some of them would be similar to things asked on Jeopardy! by pure chance. We QB players should be careful with what we consider to be plagiarism and what is not, to make sure that we have a strong argument.

Re: Chip's Love of Pyramids! (renamed from NAC legitimacy)

Posted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 12:39 am
by Tegan
squareroot165 wrote:Not that I support :chip: in any way, but there is a point when similar questions might not actually be copying. This might have been stolen; it might not have. The CBI copy found earlier this year was really obvious. One-liners are harder to tell.
I see what you mean, but this has been ongoing ..... with some claims of virtual word-for-word copies from the same sources. I think that is what makes it far to easy to believe that there is plagiarism going on.
squareroot165 wrote:If you had Matt Weiner, for instance, write 1000 bad one-clue tossups,
File this with faster-than-light-travel, time travel, bigfoot, the Roswell aliens, and the Loch Ness Monster. We can write about such things because of the limitless human imagination ...... but not going to happen :wink:
squareroot165 wrote:I'm sure some of them would be similar to things asked on Jeopardy! by pure chance. We QB players should be careful with what we consider to be plagiarism and what is not, to make sure that we have a strong argument.
I agree! I think that the answer selection would have the possibility of significant overlap. However, I think the chances of seeing word-for-word similarity would be much smaller than what we have been seeing coming up with Mr. Beall.

It might be interesting one day to pick a limited, yet common, answer space, and compare questions from web-published sites, to other questions that have popped up, compare them to various tournament uses.