2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

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2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by adamsil »

List any questions you want to see again here: I'll do my best to post them on demand.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by pajaro bobo »

I'll just list the stuff that I wrote. Thoughts on any of them (if you want to say stuff like "It was good", "It was bad", "It was easy", etc. then I'd like to hear why) would be appreciated.

1: X-Files/Doctor Who/River Tam
2: Carroll/Walrus and the Carpenter/acrostic
3: Alexander Pope (Tiebreaker)
5: The Hound of the Baskervilles, Led Zeppelin/Stairway to Heaven/Heartbreaker
7: Washington Irving
8: Death of a Salesman, Around the World in Eighty Days, Pheonix Suns/Coen brothers/Oasis
10: Sibyl Vane/The Picture of Dorian Gray/Caliban
11: Frankenstein, Borges/Argentina/Wallace, Bogart/Casablanca/La Marseillaise (this was art, in case anyone was wondering)
12: The Stranger
13: Edna Pontellier, Marilyn Monroe (Kind of? Adam suggested it, I wrote stuff, he more or less rewrote it so that it wouldn't suck)
14: As I Lay Dying, Grangerford/Huck Finn/The Royal Nonesuch
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by adamsil »

Since nobody has anything to say, I'll be happy to assume that this set was perfect with no flaws whatsoever. But, to add actual substance:

I apologize for not following Canadian politics more closely, since as I finally catch up to my Economist reading this week, I learned that Rob Ford has cancer and is no longer running for mayor. Apologies to anyone who was misled by this clue, and now I feel rather bad for implicitly mocking him. In addition, I intend to add some more recent stuff to the NYC tossup about the climate change summit. If there's any other issues with CE questions--they were mostly written in July, so I imagine there are things that are out of date no matter what happens--this is another place to post them. I won't pretend to being a news junkie and I do miss things that happen in the world.

The only other factual error I've been told about was the Hamiltonian vs. Eulerian path screw-up, which is completely my fault since I thought I'd cross-checked that clue. Tristan also mentioned that "dimethyl ketone" was accepted for the acetone answerline even though it was in the question, so I'll change that as well.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by heterodyne »

In the round 5 Rodin bonus, isn't The Three Shades also nude and actually at the top of The Gates of Hell, above The Thinker? The University of Louisville thing obviously rules it out as correct, but it apparently confused our art player.

EDIT: It says above the door panels, not above the whole thing. I see it now.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by no ice »

Some people took issue with the usage of the term "nation" or "country" in the Ottoman Empire tossup in Round 3 (I think). Could I see it please?
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by adamsil »

Henry Eckford moved from the US to build ships for this foreign nation. The pirate “Redbeard”, or Hayreddin Barbarossa, sailed for this nation and dominated at the Battle of Preveza. Controversially, Francis I allied with this power during the Italian Wars. The Eastern Question asked what to do about this polity. It allied with France and Britain against (*) Russia in the Crimean War. Pius V organized a Holy League to oppose this empire, beating it back in 1571, at Lepanto. Its advance into mainland Europe was stopped at Vienna, but it dissolved after siding with the Central Powers in WWI. For 10 points, name this empire in modern-day Turkey.
ANSWER: Ottoman Empire [or the Ottomans; prompt on Turkey before it is read]

I opposed the use of "empire" early in this tossup, due to transparency, but I justified using "nation" for two reasons: first, it had been done before (check Quinterest), and second, a nation is not the same thing a a country, and I think the Ottomans qualify as "large group of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, or history" to borrow Wikipedia. Did it really throw people off? That was the main reason I prompted on Turkey in this tossup in case the nouns did confuse anybody. If I used empire, do you think that would make it obvious?
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Santa Claus »

Could I see the tossups on "planets", "edges", and "substrates"? I had some comments on those.

The tossup on "planets" opened up with a clue on the Nice model, which is a pretty wide-reaching model that could technically be applied to almost any astronomical objects found within the Solar System, depending on how it was phrased.

The tossup on "edges" was quite a bit harder than some of the other science found in the set, both in terms of answer line and by its clues; the first line on the big O run time of Prim's and Dijkstra's on a Fibonacci heap is something that I don't think many players under the college level would really know. It wasn't badly written, at least I don't think, but boy was it difficult.

That tossup on "substrates" referred to them as species, which I don't think is inaccurate, but I felt it implied a more specific answer than the one given, so it the answer came out of left field. Probably more my fault than the question's though.

Overall I liked the set, though there was a trend of very late power marks and some very odd distribution coverage.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by pajaro bobo »

I'll let Adam respond to your comments, but in the meantime, here are the TUs.
Round 8, Tossup 5 wrote:The Nice model explains the migration of these objects. The Chamblerin-Moulton hypothesis explained the formation of these objects from “infinitesimals” after a molecular cloud collapses into their namesake “proto” accretion disc. The square of the period of these objects is proportional to their semimajor axis cubed according to the “harmonic law”. These objects must be in hydrostatic equilibrium, and also must clear the (*) neighborhood of their orbits, according to criteria formulated by the IAU in 2006. Kepler formulated three laws governing their motion. For 10 points, name these objects which include Mars and Jupiter.
ANSWER: planets [or protoplanetary disk; accept dwarf planet before “IAU”, but not afterwards; prompt on satellites]
Round 11, Tossup 5 wrote:The number of these objects is the linear term in the big O complexity of Prim’s algorithm and Dijkstra’s algorithm using a Fibonacci heap. A Hamiltonian circuit, but not an Eulerian circuit, visits each of these objects once. Valency is defined as the number of these objects at a given node.The number of these objects is subtracted when calculating the Euler characteristic. On the first-ever (*) graph, the Bridges of Konigsberg served as these objects, which can be weighted or unweighted. Both cubes and octahedra have eight of them. For 10 points, name these objects which connect vertices on both graphs and polyhedra.
ANSWER: edges [or paths]
The tossup on "substrates" was technically a tossup on reactants, with substrates being an acceptable alternate answer.
Round 11, Tossup 15 wrote:The rate of disappearance of this species is rapid under the pre-equilibrium approximation but slow under the steady-state approximation. Competitive inhibitors usually resemble this species. Differential rate laws contain all of these species raised to exponential powers. The concentration of these species is in the denominator of a (*) mass action expression. The difference between their energy and the transition state is called activation energy. Dividing these species’ concentrations by their stoichiometric coefficients determines which one is “limiting.” For 10 points, name these species written on the left side of a chemical reaction.
ANSWER: reactants [or reagent; or substrate; or starting material]
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by adamsil »

Santa Claus wrote:Could I see the tossups on "planets", "edges", and "substrates"? I had some comments on those.

The tossup on "planets" opened up with a clue on the Nice model, which is a pretty wide-reaching model that could technically be applied to almost any astronomical objects found within the Solar System, depending on how it was phrased.

The tossup on "edges" was quite a bit harder than some of the other science found in the set, both in terms of answer line and by its clues; the first line on the big O run time of Prim's and Dijkstra's on a Fibonacci heap is something that I don't think many players under the college level would really know. It wasn't badly written, at least I don't think, but boy was it difficult.

That tossup on "substrates" referred to them as species, which I don't think is inaccurate, but I felt it implied a more specific answer than the one given, so it the answer came out of left field. Probably more my fault than the question's though.

Overall I liked the set, though there was a trend of very late power marks and some very odd distribution coverage.
I agree that the Nice model is basically "evolution of Solar System", but to my uninformed research it seems like saying "migration" points pretty specifically to the gas giants; I haven't seen anything that says that asteroids "migrated", for instance. This is not a topic I know too much about, so let me know if you think this is still ambiguous.

I don't disagree about edges--this was the only tossup that I can recall which used CS clues, which are characteristically the hardest for this difficulty level. That said, I've seen HS level tossups on graphs before, and this doesn't seem any harder to me. What's more, there were some cross-disciplinary clues about geometric edges, so I thought it was justified. Anyone who has any clue what was going on (in terms of, these are algorithms used in graph theory) in the first half of that tossup should have earned power, since it must be edges or vertices from the first sentence, and the word "node" is mentioned midway through.

I agree that the noun used in the reactants tossup was a bit of a stretch, but I'm not sure what else to describe those as, and I was looking for a way to ask about kinetics without the standard Arrhenius equation/activation energy nonsense. This tossup struck me as very easy, but I've no idea how it actually played out in most rooms.

Several of the power marks in this set were pretty late, though I think elite teams are generally putting up relatively low power/10 ratios, so perhaps it's justified? I'd be curious to know what your conceptions of distributional skew were. I know there's certain areas that I know very little about (military history, classical history, computer science, astronomy, etc.) and I'm sure I generally write fewer of those categories. I also skew my writing toward things that I've taken classes on, which is why the math had more calculus/statistics-type hard clues, rather than number theory or topology-hard clues. I'd think that most HSers are going to know more about the former topics than the latter ones, since unless you're a math major, it's pretty unlikely you'd ever have to learn about Riemann manifolds or whatever.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Santa Claus »

To my understanding of Nice model, which is mostly focused around its usage in Quiz Bowl, it is used to describe everything from individual planets to the asteroid belt and Oort cloud. I think it was a great clue, just a bit misleading, especially considering its past usage.

I agree that the answer line for "edges" was very gettable; I imagine one would be hard pressed to not know what an edge was. My main qualm was really the first clue, which was just... hard. Prim's algorithm would only really be heard in tossups on trees or their more difficult cousins minimum spanning trees, while Dijsktra's is a bit more well-known, but even then knowing the big O of an algorithm on a Fibonacci heap is a pretty daunting task. Granted, just knowing it concerned minimum spanning trees (and knowing what those were) would limit your options pretty quick, but it's a bit hard to differentiate between whether the answer line was edge or vertex without knowing the big O specifically.

The "reactants" question caught me off guard is all. Makes a lot of sense looking back at it now.

My statement that the power marks tended to be early was one made mainly off of my experience with the set, which is probably a bit different from the norm. The main reason I thought powers were long was that many questions went into recognizable clues, the kind I associated with the end of power, but would still be in power. Of course, this could just be me not knowing what a recognizable clue actually is, so take it with a grain of salt. But in regards to your statement that high level HS teams were having low power/10 ratios, we ended the tournament with a 100:49 ratio.

My thoughts behind the distribution were that there were a few subjects that felt over-represented - namely, Greek myth. To my count, there were three Norse myth questions (1/2), one Japanese myth (0/1), and... I kind of forget the rest. Point being, there was a lot more Greek than other myth. There was also quite a few questions (mainly bonuses, if I recall correctly) that were inter-disciplinary. More or less, they covered history, art, science, literature, etc., all in one question. This was actually pretty cool; I was just confused how it fit into the distribution.

Could I also see the questions on the 2nd Punic War, the name Erik, Washington, and globalization, and the bonus on ir-future tense-some German thing?
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by pajaro bobo »

Round 11, Tossup 12 wrote:At a battle in this war, the winning general used a pincer movement from a crescent of alternating Spanish and French soldiers, which retreated and reversed orientation. The Fabian strategy originated during this conflict. A siege of the Spanish city of Saguntum triggered this war. Flaminius was ambushed at Lake (*) Trasimene during this war. At the decisive battle in this conflict, skirmishers placed in gaps between infantry mowed down war elephants on the plains of Zama. Scipio Africanus beat down Hannibal by this war’s end. For 10 points, name this second in a series of wars between Rome and Carthage.
ANSWER: Second Punic War [prompt on Punic Wars; prompt on Carthaginian Wars]
Round 10, Tossup 15 wrote:The first historical Swedish king had this first name, and the epithet “the Victorious”. An explorer with this first name abandoned an expedition after he fell off his horse on the way to the boat. A king of this name, the successor of Margaret I, was the first king of the Kalmar Union and eventually ruled Pomerania in old age. A pagan with this name got banished from Oxney for murder but built a church for his Christian wife Tjodhilde at Brattahlid. The (*) son of a man with this first name founded Vinland on Newfoundland. For 10 points, give this first name of an explorer of Greenland nicknamed “the Red”, the father of Viking Leif.
ANSWER: Eric [or Erik; or Erik the Red; or Erik XIV; or Eric of Pomerania]
Round 4, Tossup 10 wrote:This man responded to praise from Moses Seixas in his “Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport.” This man said that “overgrown military establishments” are hostile to liberty in a speech explaining that North and South, and East and West, were in “unrestrained intercourse.” This man shamed rebellious officers in his Newburgh Address. This man warned (*) America against meddling in foreign affairs and dividing into factions in his Farewell Address. In a eulogy, Henry Lee called him, “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” For 10 points, name this first US president.
ANSWER: George Washington
Round 1, Tossup 10 wrote:This process is a consequence of market, resource, IT, and ecological imperatives in a book contrasting it with retribalization, by Benjamin Barber. Joseph Stiglitz criticized the IMF in a book titled for this phenomenon and “its discontents”. The N30 in Seattle in 1999 kicked off a protest movement against this phenomenon. Ten factors, including (*) insourcing, outsourcing, Netscape, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall resulted in this process, according to Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat. McWorld is a criticism of how this phenomenon is driving the spread of fast food. For 10 points, name this process by which the world is gradually becoming more homogeneous.
ANSWER: globalization [or word forms; prompt on commercialization; prompt on free trade until “Friedman” is read]
Round 5, Bonus 4 wrote: In the preterite, this verb is conjugated identically to ser [pr. “SAIR”]. For 10 points each:
[10] Name this irregular Spanish verb which, in the present tense, is conjugated as “voy”, “vas”, “va”, “vamos”, and “van.”
ANSWER: ir [pr. “EAR”; prompt on “to go”]
[10] Using the word ir with the preposition a [“AH”] generates this tense in Spanish. It’s a similar construction as the phrase “going to” to represent this tense in English.
ANSWER: future tense
[10] To form the future tense in German, you must conjugate this verb, which roughly means “to become.” This verb should only be used for potentially uncertain actions or to describe actions far away in the future.
ANSWER: werden [something like “VERD-EN”]
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by adamsil »

Santa Claus wrote:
My statement that the power marks tended to be early was one made mainly off of my experience with the set, which is probably a bit different from the norm. The main reason I thought powers were long was that many questions went into recognizable clues, the kind I associated with the end of power, but would still be in power. Of course, this could just be me not knowing what a recognizable clue actually is, so take it with a grain of salt. But in regards to your statement that high level HS teams were having low power/10 ratios, we ended the tournament with a 100:49 ratio.

My thoughts behind the distribution were that there were a few subjects that felt over-represented - namely, Greek myth. To my count, there were three Norse myth questions (1/2), one Japanese myth (0/1), and... I kind of forget the rest. Point being, there was a lot more Greek than other myth. There was also quite a few questions (mainly bonuses, if I recall correctly) that were inter-disciplinary. More or less, they covered history, art, science, literature, etc., all in one question. This was actually pretty cool; I was just confused how it fit into the distribution.

Could I also see the questions on the 2nd Punic War, the name Erik, Washington, and globalization, and the bonus on ir-future tense-some German thing?
You're also a good team--you should be powering more than 10ing on a regular difficulty HS set. :)

Greek myth was exactly one-half of the myth distro. The myth distro was:
Greek: Fates, Oedipus, Hector, Crete, Poseidon, Cronus, Heracles' bow//Prometheus/Sisyphus/Lycaon, Giants/herbs/Athena, Charon/coins/Psyche, Jason/Argo/Peleus, Eris/Aeneas/birds, Apollo/Telemachus/rosy-fingered, Icarus/Callisto/xenia
Non-Greek: Loki, Guinevere, Fenrir, Egypt, elephants (Indian myth), Sigurd, bones (common link)//Krishna/Vishnu/hair, buffalo/Coyote/Milky Way, king of Rome/Romulus/Lucrece, Gilgamesh/Merlin/Wandering Jew, runes/eyes/skalds, Amaterasu/sun/necklace, Cu Chulainn/Ireland/Tara

The interdisciplinary traded off with SS for a combined total of 1/1. These tossups were the ones on violinists, butterflies, coffee, phoenixes, light bulbs, and flies. (Hmm. Three flying animals. Odd).
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Santa Claus »

adamsil wrote: You're also a good team--you should be powering more than 10ing on a regular difficulty HS set. :)
I guess I... forgot?
light bulbs
I actually had a problem with this question, just because the first clue seemed to fit in *fairly* well with the answer line "plasma". It mentioned Irving Langmuir, who did a lot of work with plasmas, and then mentioned his namesake layer of hydrogen ions, which seems appropriate for a plasma. I mean, of course the answer was pretty far from plasma, but I think it's worth noting that.
Round 11, Tossup 12 wrote:At a battle in this war, the winning general used a pincer movement from a crescent of alternating Spanish and French soldiers, which retreated and reversed orientation.
I had some problems with this clue in particular, because neither France or Spain were really countries at the time; if you check the Wikipedia article (never the best idea, I know, but bear with me) for battle of Cannae, the battle in question, they specifically use the terms Iberians and Gauls rather than the modern day equivalents. This clue seemed to imply that the war happened after the founding of the two countries of Spain and France, which it didn't.
Round 10, Tossup 15 wrote:The first historical Swedish king had this first name, and the epithet “the Victorious”. An explorer with this first name abandoned an expedition after he fell off his horse on the way to the boat.
Nothing really bad here, but I think it's worth noting that it is pretty easy to guess. King of Sweden puts it firmly in Scandinavia, and even if you don't know his name, Erik really pops out at the explorer clue. I mean, I suppose it could have been King Fridjof or King Leif or something, but King Erik seems much more likely.
Round 4, Tossup 10 wrote:This man responded to praise from Moses Seixas in his “Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport.” This man said that “overgrown military establishments” are hostile to liberty in a speech explaining that North and South, and East and West, were in “unrestrained intercourse.” This man shamed rebellious officers in his Newburgh Address. This man warned (*) America against meddling in foreign affairs and dividing into factions in his Farewell Address. In a eulogy, Henry Lee called him, “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” For 10 points, name this first US president.
ANSWER: George Washington
I only include this because a teammate of mine said that it could be confused with Thomas Jefferson; I have no idea whether that's true, but it'd be great if I could get something to tell him.
Round 1, Tossup 10 wrote:This process is a consequence of market, resource, IT, and ecological imperatives in a book contrasting it with retribalization, by Benjamin Barber. Joseph Stiglitz criticized the IMF in a book titled for this phenomenon and “its discontents”. The N30 in Seattle in 1999 kicked off a protest movement against this phenomenon. Ten factors, including (*) insourcing, outsourcing, Netscape, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall resulted in this process, according to Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat. McWorld is a criticism of how this phenomenon is driving the spread of fast food. For 10 points, name this process by which the world is gradually becoming more homogeneous.
ANSWER: globalization [or word forms; prompt on commercialization; prompt on free trade until “Friedman” is read]
This tossup sounded a lot like a few other things, civilization and colonialization especially. The "and its dicontents" clue especially seemed misleading, though I'm sure if someone actually knew anything about "Civilization and its Discontents" they'd be silly to buzz there. Do you have any comments on that?
Round 5, Bonus 4 wrote: [10] To form the future tense in German, you must conjugate this verb, which roughly means “to become.” This verb should only be used for potentially uncertain actions or to describe actions far away in the future.
ANSWER: werden [something like “VERD-EN”]
Oh boy, this third part. The first two were reasonable, maybe a tad hard if one hadn't quite gotten there in Spanish yet (though if I'm not mistaken you learn the future tense of "ir + infinitive" in Spanish 1). But this last part, that all of a sudden asked for the future tense in German, I don't understand. I'm sure it's probably a pretty easy German verb, comparable to "ir", but it seems a stretch to require people to know two languages well, especially when one isn't even offered at some schools. I feel like a part on perhaps the etymology of peculiar Spanish words like "izquierda" or "usted" might have been better.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Oh No You Didn't »

Santa Claus wrote:
Round 1, Tossup 10 wrote:This process is a consequence of market, resource, IT, and ecological imperatives in a book contrasting it with retribalization, by Benjamin Barber. Joseph Stiglitz criticized the IMF in a book titled for this phenomenon and “its discontents”. The N30 in Seattle in 1999 kicked off a protest movement against this phenomenon. Ten factors, including (*) insourcing, outsourcing, Netscape, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall resulted in this process, according to Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat. McWorld is a criticism of how this phenomenon is driving the spread of fast food. For 10 points, name this process by which the world is gradually becoming more homogeneous.
ANSWER: globalization [or word forms; prompt on commercialization; prompt on free trade until “Friedman” is read]
This tossup sounded a lot like a few other things, civilization and colonialization especially. The "and its dicontents" clue especially seemed misleading, though I'm sure if someone actually knew anything about "Civilization and its Discontents" they'd be silly to buzz there. Do you have any comments on that?
dude it literally GIVES you the author's name. If someone's buzzing with civilization then they clearly haven't listened to any part of the question!
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by RexSueciae »

Santa Claus wrote:
Round 4, Tossup 10 wrote:This man responded to praise from Moses Seixas in his “Letter to the Hebrew Congregation at Newport.” This man said that “overgrown military establishments” are hostile to liberty in a speech explaining that North and South, and East and West, were in “unrestrained intercourse.” This man shamed rebellious officers in his Newburgh Address. This man warned (*) America against meddling in foreign affairs and dividing into factions in his Farewell Address. In a eulogy, Henry Lee called him, “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” For 10 points, name this first US president.
ANSWER: George Washington
I only include this because a teammate of mine said that it could be confused with Thomas Jefferson; I have no idea whether that's true, but it'd be great if I could get something to tell him.
Uh...no, it really can't. I'm not sure why one would confuse the two.

I'm pretty sure everything there was said by or about George Washington. The only possible point of contention would be that Alexander Hamilton once used the phrase "unrestrained intercourse" in the Federalist Papers, although in this case it's being used as part of a clue about Washington's Farewell Address, after at least three other Washington-specific clues.

That being said, I agree with everything you said about France and Spain.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by adamsil »

To reply to each of those:

You're right about the Punic War clue; I think it's probably kosher to say Spanish for that point in history (everyone always says "Spanish city of Saguntum' after all), but not French. It'll get changed for future mirrors after this weekend.

For light bulbs and "globalization": I have no idea why you think something that's "close to being right because these two things often get mentioned in parallel" should be acceptable. Yes, Langmuir did things with plasmas. He also did a lot of stuff with light bulbs--he worked at GE at the very beginning and a lot of his research into surface chemistry was done to try and make light bulbs work better. Similarly, I mentioned Joseph Stiglitz because that book is pretty famous. If you buzz in with a book by Freud, then how is that confusing? I'm not going to lead in with "It's not Sigmund Freud, but..." here---it's totally unnecessary.

I won't argue that Erik is pretty easy to figure out.

As far as German goes--I don't speak a word of German, and I do speak Spanish pretty well, but I thought it'd be unfair to have an entire bonus on Spanish grammar when, as you point out, if you're not studying that language, you've got no prayer of answering this bonus correctly. I ran it by somebody who knows German and he thought it was fine; in my experience (i.e., at my HS), lots of people study German and expecting them to know how to conjugate verbs doesn't seem outside the realm of possibility for the hard part of a bonus? Or is it just illegitimate to have bonuses like this? I was trying to experiment with the "foreign language" aspect of SS that HSAPQ writes for a few of our sets, since it's a lot less stupid than asking HSers about Noam Chomsky or Saussure or the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Santa Claus »

The Man Whose Pharynx Was Bad wrote: dude it literally GIVES you the author's name. If someone's buzzing with civilization then they clearly haven't listened to any part of the question!
adamsil wrote: For light bulbs and "globalization": I have no idea why you think something that's "close to being right because these two things often get mentioned in parallel" should be acceptable.
I guess the point I was trying to make wasn't that "plasma" or "civilization" or any of those should have been acceptable, because they really shouldn't. It was intended to be more an observation that someone who didn't really know the clue could think it was something else. That could probably be applied to every clue ever, but I thought it was worth bringing up.
adamsil wrote: I thought it'd be unfair to have an entire bonus on Spanish grammar when, as you point out, if you're not studying that language, you've got no prayer of answering this bonus correctly.
I suppose it was unfair of me to think a bonus was unfair just because in my particular area it was unlikely someone knew German. Maybe a better suggestion would have been to have a more general question on tenses, with examples from different languages.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by JKHtay »

Can I see the tossups on constants, "s", Richelieu, Don Quixote, Magritte, and PM of Japan? Also the triangle bonus, specifically the part on perpendicular bisector?

What tossup number was that Ottoman Empire one? I don't remember hearing it and I would have almost certainly buzzed on Barbarossa.

The 1984 bonus made us all facepalm because of the jokes in it.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by pajaro bobo »

Round 7, Tossup 9 wrote:PDEs solved using separation of variables assume that each side of the equation is equal to one of these terms. These terms make up the kernel of the linear differential operator. The difference between all the solutions plotted on a direction field is one of these terms. These terms appear in the numerator of partial fractions of linear terms. Boundary conditions and initial (*) values are used to solve for these values, since one of them is generated each time you take an indefinite integral. If x and y vary inversely, then x times y is one of these. For 10 points, name these monomials which have degree 0, which, unlike variables, don’t change.
ANSWER: constants [or integration constants]
Round 4, Tossup 17 wrote:According to Hund’s first rule, a quantity symbolized by this letter should be maximized when placing electrons in orbitals. This letter describes a stereocenter where the groups are arranged counterclockwise in priority. The epitaph on Boltzmann’s tombstone reads “<this letter> equals k log W”. A physical quantity symbolized by this letter is quantized by one-half h-bar for electrons. This (*) block on the Periodic Table contains the alkali and alkaline earth metals. This letter symbolizes entropy. For 10 points, name this letter which is the atomic symbol of a yellow, smelly element with atomic number 16.
ANSWER: S [or s]
Round 5, Tossup 1 wrote:This man popularized the sarabande dance in a failed attempt to impress Anne of Austria. This leader financed mercenary Ernst von Mansfeld against Spain, then made peace with the Spanish in the Treaty of Monzón. Gaston, the Duke of Orleans, nearly engineered this man’s downfall on the Day of the Dupes. He personally led a force at La Rochelle that withstood the Duke of (*) Buckingham and eventually defeated the Huguenots. This politician is often called the world’s first Prime Minister. For 10 points, name this French statesman known as the “Red Eminence”, an advisor to Louis XIII [13th] who preceded Cardinal Mazarin in office.
ANSWER: Armand-Jean du Plessis Cardinal de Richelieu
Round 4, Tossup 13 wrote:Samuel Putnam and John Ormsby translated this book. The second part of this novel mocks a fake sequel to the first part published by Avellaneda. This novel, which famously opens by describing a town “whose name I do not wish to recall”, is allegedly based on a manuscript by Cide Hamete Benengeli. The author of this book drew on his experience being captured by (*) pirates to write a scene where the protagonist frees some galley slaves. Amadis of Gaul and other books of chivalry are mockingly torched by concerned citizens of La Mancha in this novel. For 10 points, name this book in which an errant knight charges at windmills, written by Miguel de Cervantes.
ANSWER: Don Quixote [or Don Quijote]
Round 8, Tossup 19 wrote:In the background of one of this artist’s paintings, three men on a balcony watch a man in black listening to a gramophone, unaware of the men holding a net and a club just outside the room. In a painting inspired by Giorgio de Chirico, this artist attempted to depict “time stabbed by a dagger”. This painter of The Menaced (*) Assassin depicted a train coming out of a fireplace in another painting. A giant, green apple covers all but a bowler hat in another painting by this artist of Time Transfixed. For 10 points, name this Belgian Surrealist artist of The Son of Man who claimed “this is not a pipe” in his The Treachery of Images.
ANSWER: Rene Magritte
Round 2, Tossup 8 wrote:The man who held this political office at the end of the “Lost Decade” shockingly died of a stroke in office in May 2000. George HW Bush infamously vomited at a dinner given by a man with this political office. Except between 1993 and 1994, and 2009 and 2012, this office has continuously been held by a member of the Liberal Democratic Party. The man who currently holds this office proposed the (*) “Three Arrows” of economic stimulus and resigned the office in 2007 because of stomach trouble. This person is elected from the Diet’s members. After the Fukushima disaster, Yoshihiko Noda resigned this office. For 10 points, name this position now held by Shinzo Abe.
ANSWER: prime minister of Japan [or Japanese PM; or obvious equivalents; prompt on leader of Japan; don’t accept or prompt on mentions of “presidents” or “emperors” though]
Round 6, Bonus 16 wrote:These lines converge at the circumcenter of a triangle. For 10 points each:
[10] Name these lines. For a given line segment, one can be constructed by drawing an arbitrary arc that passes through the line from both endpoints of the segment, connecting the arcs, then connecting the points of intersection.
ANSWER: perpendicular bisectors [prompt on partial answer]
[10] In this specific type of triangle, the circumcenter lies outside of the triangle. These triangles have an angle with measure greater than 90 degrees.
ANSWER: obtuse triangles
[10] The diameter of a triangle’s circumcircle equals the product of all the side lengths divided by twice this quantity. It equals the square root of quantity “s times s minus a times s minus b times s minus c”, where s is the semiperimeter.
ANSWER: the triangle’s area [that’s Heron’s formula]
The Ottoman Empire tossup was the very first tossup of Round 3.

I'm glad you realized the jokes in the 1984 bonus were pure garbage because Adam makes the worst jokes ever because Adam is not funny at all
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by ndikkala »

Can I see the Die Hard tossup? We didn't have powers so I wasn't sure if I would have gotten it early.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by pajaro bobo »

Round 6, Tossup 7 wrote:This film’s villain enters a parking garage in a Pacific Courier truck, but gets rammed by a limousine when he’s trying to escape in an ambulance. During a discussion of a Lakers game in this film, a villain shoots a security guard, while another shouts, “Boom! Two points!” This movie’s protagonist writes, “I have a machine gun, ho ho ho” on a corpse’s shirt, then (*) jumps from the roof of the Nakatomi Tower. That character takes the pseudonym “Roy Rogers” while talking to Los Angeles cop Al Powell, and killing off German terrorists. For 10 points, name this 1988 film starring Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber and Bruce Willis as John McClane.
ANSWER: Die Hard
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by ndikkala »

Thanks, I had it after "ambulance," so it would have been power. Interestingly enough, I've never seen the movie.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by a named reaction »

If I recall correctly, the bonus part on Waterloo in round six said that Marius Pontmercy's father died there, which isn't correct.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by adamsil »

Apologies--he nearly dies there, then dies a bit later after telling Marius about what a great guy Thenardier is, of course. :)
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by Santa Claus »

Santa Claus wrote:
adamsil wrote: I thought it'd be unfair to have an entire bonus on Spanish grammar when, as you point out, if you're not studying that language, you've got no prayer of answering this bonus correctly.
I suppose it was unfair of me to think a bonus was unfair just because in my particular area it was unlikely someone knew German. Maybe a better suggestion would have been to have a more general question on tenses, with examples from different languages.
I was randomly thinking about this question again, and I realized that making the first two parts about Spanish and the third German means that more people will get 10's or 20's if they know about either language, but it's incredibly difficult to get a 30 on the bonus. This was a thought that I had while brushing my teeth a while back, so it may not be the most relevant, but I felt it was something to consider.
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Re: 2014-2015 BISB Specific Questions Discussion

Post by adamsil »

To be fair, the intent was for the bonus to be Spanish/English/German, since there was a pretty big hint in the "going to" piece of the "future tense" part that was made as an easy part. But yes, point taken; I'm not sure I'd write a bonus of this sort again without giving it a fair bit of thought so that each piece of the bonus does not require fluency in one language.

Though I have a perspective admittedly skewed by geography and personal interest, when writing, I reckoned that every team playing this set would have at least one person who had studied Spanish at one point. Thus, preterite/imperfect would be the middle part. Sounds like, in many areas of the country, this is not the case.
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