Question Specific Discussion

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Nine-Tenths Ideas
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Question Specific Discussion

Post by Nine-Tenths Ideas »

Go to town.
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Brian McPeak
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Brian McPeak »

As requested

12. Corticated outgrowths of these organisms’ thalli that are used in reproduction are called isidia, and soredia are another of their reproductive structures. Spore body types found in these organisms include apothecia, perithecia, and pycnidia. One genus of these organisms with a porous thallus is Parmelia. Different types of these organisms have either leafy, flat and painted, or branched growth forms. Those describe the fruticose, foliose and crustose types of these organisms. They consist of a mycobiont and a phycobiont, the latter of which may be cyanobacteria but is more commonly an alga. For 10 points, name these symbiotic organisms that consist of a fungus and a photosynthetic lifeform.
ANSWER: lichens [prompt on “fungus”]


16. An idealized distribution of this substance is modeled using a potentiometric surface. The Dupuit–Forchheimer approximation accurately models its movement in two dimensions. A solid form of this material is converted into its liquid form below the so-called “active layer.” It is responsible for the creation of travertine structures and produces structures called speleothems. This material’s fluctuations in shape leads to a characteristic cone of depression. This substance feeds into gaining streams, and it percolates from the zone of saturation. It moves against gravity to rise above its initial level in artesian set-ups. The amount of movement of this material is typically expressed by the hydraulic head and formally described by Darcy’s law. For 10 points, identify this substance that can be found in aquifers.
ANSWER: groundwater [prompt on “water”]


19. In spin-charge separation, electrons split into three quasiparticles: spinons, holons, and a particle carrying information about this function. The Roothaan–Hall equation extends one method of calculating these to the case of a non-orthonormal basis, and a theorem that states that the first ionization energy is equal to the energy of one of these is named for Koopman. The spectrochemical series orders ligands based on the degree to which they split energy levels of these functions. A common method for finding them involves approximating the wavefunction as a single Slater determinant and using the variational method; that is the Hartree–Fock method. Atomic ones have shapes that are entirely given by the quantum numbers, and s ones are spherical. For 10 points, name these regions where electrons are likely to be found around a molecule or atom.
ANSWER: (molecular or atomic) orbitals [accept specific types; accept orbitons on the first clue; prompt on “wave function”]
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women, fire and dangerous things
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by women, fire and dangerous things »

I buzzed on the second sentence of the lichens tossup with "fungi," and I said Ascomycota when I got prompted. It seems like fungi should just be outright accepted on that clue, because players can't be expected to figure out that you want lichens instead of, say, Ascomycota.

I was also going to complain about getting negged for saying "molecular orbitals" off the Koopmans clue, but apparently our moderator just didn't pay enough attention to the answerline.
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Muriel Axon
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Muriel Axon »

women, fire and dangerous things wrote:I buzzed on the second sentence of the lichens tossup with "fungi," and I said Ascomycota when I got prompted. It seems like fungi should just be outright accepted on that clue, because players can't be expected to figure out that you want lichens instead of, say, Ascomycota.
This is correct. I think the second clue in the tossup is true of lots of ascomycetes that aren't lichens.

I wrote TUs on Shostakovich and van der Waals forces. I also wrote the following bonuses: The first two parts of Winterreise / Schubert / Death and the Maiden, Gibbs free energy / Hammond's postulate / Curtin-Hammett principle, and trophic cascades / keystone species / food webs (which I heard came off easier than I intended). Kvetch away.
Last edited by Muriel Axon on Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Shan Kothari

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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Euler's Constant »

Could you post the price index toss up
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Masked Canadian History Bandit
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Masked Canadian History Bandit »

I thought that the chess bonus part on Kasparov needs to be better written to differentiate him from Karpov. Sure you could say, "go learn more things," but to someone with some basic knowledge of chess, getting Kasparov was harder than naming the Dragon variation of the Sicilian Defence because of how the question fails to distinguish the two players' careers. I don't think Kasparov was intended to be harder than Sicilian Defence, Dragon Variation.

Both of them are Russian. Both of them were "supergrandmasters" since they're among the best chess players ever, both players being undisputed world champion for a decade and are still 1 and 2 in # of months spent ranked as World #1 . Both of them played Viswanathan Anand to defend their title: Kasparov in 1995 in the PCA cycle and Karpov in 1998 in the FIDE cycle. From 1993-2006, there were two world champions: Karpov was the FIDE world champion from 1993-1999, and Kasparov was the PCA/Classical world champion from 1993-2000, both of them losing that title to a Russian grandmaster within a one year period.

So unless you know what opening Kasparov used against Anand, the specific year of that title defence, or more about Kramnik, you could easily mix this up with Karpov (which is what I did).

The bonus could be improved without sacrificing difficulty by adding something like "classical world chess champion", "most week at #1 ranking", or even mentioning his history with Karpov.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by cruzeiro »

Euler's Constant wrote:Could you post the price index toss up
I'll second this request, and also request the tossup on exchange rates.
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Brian McPeak
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Brian McPeak »

6. Meese and Rogoff published an article that finds random walk models of these quantities are as accurate as empirical models of them, such as the sticky-price one. Fisher’s open hypothesis suggests that changes in nominal interest rates correlate to changes in these quantities. Rudi Dornbusch developed the overshooting model to explain the volatility of these quantities when the money supply increases or decreases. The theory of purchasing power parity seeks to normalize these quantities by following the law of one price. Undervaluation leads to an increase of these quantities, which bolsters economic growth. The Bretton Woods Conference set them by using the dollar as the standard of reference. For 10 points, name these quantities that relate the values of different currencies.
ANSWER: exchange rates

5. Carruthers and Sellwood developed a method of calculating them using the harmonic mean, and the one named for Konus attempts to incorporate the substitution effect. For real estate, one of the most commonly used forms of these entities is the Case-Shiller one. Two methods for calculating these quantities differ only by scaling quantities from the end of a period or scaling quantities over the beginning of a period and are known as the Paasche and Laspeyres methods. In the U.S., the most commonly used one is computed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which fixes a basket of goods and then checks it against the cost of living. For 10 points, identify these measures of the overall cost of the goods and services purchased by a consumer.
ANSWER: price indices or price indexes [prompt on “price(s)”]
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by Tees-Exe Line »

Brian McPeak wrote:6. Meese and Rogoff published an article that finds random walk models of these quantities are as accurate as empirical models of them, such as the sticky-price one. Fisher’s open hypothesis suggests that changes in nominal interest rates correlate to changes in these quantities. Rudi Dornbusch developed the overshooting model to explain the volatility of these quantities when the money supply increases or decreases. The theory of purchasing power parity seeks to normalize these quantities by following the law of one price. Undervaluation leads to an increase of these quantities, which bolsters economic growth. The Bretton Woods Conference set them by using the dollar as the standard of reference. For 10 points, name these quantities that relate the values of different currencies.
ANSWER: exchange rates
This is a pretty damn good exchange rate tossup, and I don't want to become the Economics mafia. But I'll just note a few minor things for pedagogical purposes.

1. It's not really right to refer to an exchange rate as a "quantity," because they are prices (as you imply in the giveaway), and in general observable objects in economic models are either quantities or prices. I understand why you might not have a better quiz-word with which to refer to exchange rates, but using "quantities" serves to direct attention away from the correct answer. Might I suggest "objects" or "variables."

2. This statement is not quite right: "The theory of purchasing power parity seeks to normalize these quantities by following the law of one price." Rather, the theory of purchasing power parity holds that exchange rates are determined by the Law of One Price, or getting deeper into the methodology, the theory assumes the Law of One Price as the mechanism that determines exchange rates. FYI: the theory fails; hence the Dornbusch model.

3. "Undervaluation leads to an increase of these quantities, which bolsters economic growth." It's a classic matter of confusion in international economics what an "increase" in the exchange rate means. Since the exchange rate can be expressed in terms of the foreign or domestic currency, an "increase" can refer to both a depreciation and an appreciation of the domestic currency. As to whether an undervalued currency bolsters economic growth, that's definitely up for debate. What it does is improve the balance of trade.

As an overall point, the tossup takes clues from the theory of both fixed and floating exchange rate regimes, and that contributes of bit of confusion. An "undervalued" currency only makes sense as a concept in a fixed exchange regime. On the other hand, the Dornbusch model was conceived to explain excessively volatile exchange rate fluctuations in the aftermath of Bretton Woods.

Again, please don't take this as a negative critique: all of the clues here pertain to actual economic concepts of extrinsic importance which everyone would do well to learn, so congratulations on a good tossup.
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Re: Question Specific Discussion

Post by naan/steak-holding toll »

I don't know if it's just me thinking this, but I think dropping Case-Schiller that early in a tossup on price indices is a bad idea; I have no idea what other people's knowledge of the subject is, though. I liked the exchange rates tossup, too, and in general thought the economics at this tournament was quite good.

I'm definitely a fan of this trend of asking chess questions at quizbowl tournaments, and I liked the chess bonus at this tournament. I didn't get confused like Patrick because I didn't even consider the FIDE title, so I just said Kasparov immediately; I guess that's just the knowledge problem for you. Regardless, his criticism definitely makes sense.

EDIT: After playing some more of the packets, I can say that the "Persian army" tossup was my favorite of the tournament, because it asked about things from military history that aren't wars or battles.
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