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August 15th, 2009

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11:49 pm - i need a reminder to look at my reminder
I finally wrote something for a quiz bowl tournament.

Placeholder photo of the Trivia Club:

Top row is Kevin, Aaron, Pamela, and Zeeshan.
Bottom row is me, Thea, Katie, and Ben.

My team had Aaron, Pamela, and Thea. The editors for the tournament took out pretty much everything we wrote, so I will show it off here. I mostly got asked to do history and current events. I also filled a Canadian-content requirement.

You can play along at home, if you scroll slow.


A toss-up is read to both teams at once. The teams race to buzz in and answer, so the toss-up gets easier on every sentence.

1. This conflict involved ABC reporter John Scali carrying secret letters between two world leaders. Adlai Stevenson, Theodore Sorenson, Dean Rusk and Robert McNamara all guided the President through it as members of Ex-Comm. It happened around the same time as the Sino-Indian War, and it started when a U-2 spyplane took photos of a base near San Cristobal. The President resolved this conflict by implying that he would remove U.S. missiles from Turkey, but he never actually did. For ten points, name this thirteen-day event from October 1962, which probably killed the career of Nikita Khrushchev and centered on a U.S. naval blockade in the Caribbean.

A: Cuban Missile Crisis

3. It's the nation where John Yettaw, an American interested in religion and heroism, was arrested on charges of illegal swimming. It used to be the world's leading exporter of rice, but things have gone downhill since the 1962 junta. The head of state is currently General Than Shwe, but the government-in-exile is led by Aung San Suu Kyi, who is on trial for violating her house arrest. FTP, Name this country which borders Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand, where the capital is Naypyidaw and not Rangoon.

A: Burma (accept Myanmar)

7. Jesse Ventura called this man a coward and a chicken-hawk for never serving in Vietnam. He appears to support gay marriage, though he recently said that Rush Limbaugh would make a better Republican leader than Colin Powell. He was the sole congressman from Wyoming for six terms before becoming the Ford administration's chief of staff, and he went on to be secretary of defence during the Gulf War. He was in the news recently for challenging President Obama's plan to close Guantanamo and put terrorists in domestic prisons. For ten points, name this former Vice-President with a gay daughter who did once shoot a man in the face.

A: Dick Cheney

13. Adolf Hitler renamed the city of Hamburg to diminish this group's legacy. It was formed to defend ships against pirates in the 1280's, and it won a war over Valdemar IV of Denmark. Its branch in Novgorod was closed down by Ivan III, and its branch in London -- called the Steelyard -- was closed down by Elizabeth I. It brought raw materials from Russia to England and manufactured products from England to Russia, and its only central authority came from sporadic assemblies called diets. For ten points, name this mercantile organization founded in Lubeck, Germany, which controlled trade across Northern Europe in the 14th and 15th century.

A: Hanseatic League
14. The Afar people of Ethiopia practice a version of this called absuma. In history, it was done by Sir John A. McDonald, Queen Victoria, Napoleon Bonaparte, Charles Darwin and Albert Einstein. Living practitioners include Rudy Giuliani and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It was done twice by Jacob in the book of Genesis, although according to the Westermarck hypothesis, it's not very interesting. Jerry Lee Lewis did it with a thirteen-year-old girl, but it is now illegal in 24 U.S. states. FTP, name this practice which is completely legal in Canada and most other countries.

A: marrying your cousin (accept common sense variations)
I was so proud of this one, but it's not very academic. Plus a lot of it is Wikipedia knowledge.

15. H.G. Wells called him the first individual in all of history. He came to power in 1379 B.C., and his rule produced a hymn that sounds suspiciously like the 104th Psalm. He built a new capital at Tell-El-Amarna and crossed the name "Amen" off a whole bunch of monuments. All these decisions were reversed shortly after he died by his co-regent Smnekhkare and his son Tutankhaten. For ten points, name this pharaoh who converted Egypt to monotheism, worshipper of the solar disk and husband of Nefertiti.

A: Akhenaten -- or Amenhotep (IV)

16. This film was originally titled Silent Night, and in one memorable scene a man rides around town in a carriage and throws Christmas gifts into the snow and mud. The man speaks only English and generally ignores all his employees at the asbestos mine. The protagonist is a young teenager who works at the title character's general store. For ten points, name this 1971 National Film Board production set in Maurice Duplessis' Quebec where Benoit and his uncle lose a coffin somewhere in the snow.

A: Mon Oncle Antoine

This was too obscure to be used, but it's considered the great Canadian movie. People should know about this.

18. On a June episode of CBC's the National, pollster Allan Gregg called this MP the most underrated in Canada. This MP proposed bills in March to renew free trade with Peru and Colombia, assuring the House that Colombia was making progress on human rights. Representing Okanagan-Coquihalla, this MP urged Americans to repeal the "Buy American" policy and urged Canadian municipalities not to strike back at the Americans. He used to be Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, but now he wears two hats as the Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway and for International Trade. For ten points, name this Evangelical former leader of the opposition, a leader of the former Canadian Alliance, who refused to campaign on Sundays.

A: Stockwell Day

My only toss-up that made it into the tournament. In the room I was watching, no one buzzed in until the end.

22. In one story, this character keeps the big fish for his wife and gives only the small fish to his brother. He is punished for this when he has to carry a load that gets heavier every time he drops it. In another story, he creates mankind by releasing all the men from a giant clamshell. He has one angry voice and one beautiful voice, and he refuses to give anyone a second life because he loves eating the eyes of corpses. Best known for disguising himself as a baby in order to steal the Sun and bring it back to Earth, this exceptionally greedy creature is a god to the Makah, Tlingit, Kwiakutl, Tshimshian and Haida peoples. For ten points, name this Pacific coast trickster god, friend of Mink and arch-rival of Coyote.

A: Raven

J-Stor did not have much about Raven. I thought he was known in Canada.


When your team gets a toss-up right, you get to answer a three-part bonus question together.

3. On April 30 this year, Joe Biden told the Today Show that he had advised his family to stay out of confined places -- including planes and subways. He was overreacting.

[10] What public danger was he so worried about?
ANSWER: swine flu

[10] You can't get swine flu from eating pork. Pig farmers and the WHO both used a more appropriate, generic name for the virus. What was it?
ANSWER: H1N1 (accepted Influenza A H1N1)

[10] In Israel, the deputy minister of health was offended that the term "swine flu" involved saying the name of an unkosher animal. He gave the virus a new name, which turned out to be more offensive. What was it?
ANSWER: Mexican flu

"Mexican flu" is more common now than it used to be. But I guess no one was too offended by "Spanish flu".

4. In 1941, Congress forced the U.S. Army Air Corps to start an all-black unit. Now George Lucas is making a movie about them.

[10]Give the common name for the 332nd fighter group.
ANSWER: Tuskegee Airmen

[10] Thanks to the efforts of the Tuskegee Airmen, Executive Order 9981 called for de-segregation of the armed forces. What President signed this order in 1948?
ANSWER: Harry Truman

[10] The Tuskegee Airmen were all trained at the Tuskegee Institute. Name the first president of the Tuskegee Institute, who was accused of selling out black America in his Atlanta Exposition speech.
ANSWER: Booker T. Washington

9. This was the first company ever to issue stock.

[10] Name this trading company that colonized Indonesia and fought constantly with the British East India Company.
ANSWER: Dutch East India Company

[10] The Dutch East India Company expelled the Portuguese and killed thousands of native people on the Banda islands to protect their monopoly on what valuable spice?
ANSWER: nutmeg

[10] This poet and Member of Parliament wrote a scathing indictment of Dutch naval power in "The Character of Holland". He also wrote some pretty good poems about a mower and a fly.
ANSWER: Andrew Marvell

12. Sir John A. McDonald seems kind of creepy. Let's do a bonus about another Father of Confederation.

[10] This Grit leader formed a coalition with Conservatives like McDonald and George-Etienne Cartier. He quit the coalition a year later but still supported their Confederation plans.
ANSWER: George Brown

[10] George Brown can be considered the founder of this newspaper which is still published today. It has columns by Jeffrey Simpson, Margaret Wente and John Doyle.
ANSWER: The Globe and Mail

[10] When McDonald and Cartier got caught trading a federal contract for some campaign money, this protege of George Brown became the second Prime Minister of Canada.
ANSWER: Alexander Mackenzie

18. FTPE, answer these questions about works of art that are related somehow.

[10] His painting The Metamorphisis of Narcissus includes a man's head turning into an egg. In his Geopoliticus Child, the Earth takes the form of an egg and a man hatches out of Atlantic.
ANSWER: Salvador Dali

[10] A Russian billionaire bought fifteen of these objects to give them back to his country, but one of them might be a fake. They were originally made to be presented to Alexander III and Nicholas II of Russia.
ANSWER: Faberge eggs

[10] In a painting by Jean-Baptiste Greuze, a girl is hanging her head, a little boy looks confused and some adults look very angry. The titular objects symbolize the loss of virginity. What is the painting called?
ANSWER: Broken Eggs

This last bonus was Pamela's idea. The way I wrote the last two parts, they're more about puzzle-solving than actual art knowledge. That's usually frowned upon.

20. I will describe a school of philosophy in plain English. You will tell me what I am talking about.
[10] This school of thought says that life is unique and specific to every individual and we all make choices in our own contexts and situations. We are especially defined by how alive and real we all are.
ANSWER: existentialism

[10] This school of philosophy rejects any speculation about reality, instead prizing logic and mathematics as pure and formal sciences. Any idea worth writing about must all be supported by thorough evidence.
ANSWER: positivism or logical positivism
[10] This third school teaches us that pleasure is good and pain is bad. Unlike hedonism, it sees a great deal of pleasure in modest and virtuous living. It recognizes friendship as one of the best things in life.
ANSWER: Epicureanism

This one took forever to write. I thought it was valid; probably someone could say it's arbitrary.

22. I'll tell you how a war started and how it ended. If you can give me the name of the war, you'll get ten points.

[10] This war started when Saladin took control of the Holy Land. It ended when all the Christians gave up and went home.
ANSWER: the Third Crusade

[10] This war started with the Defenestration of Prague, which means throwing men out a window. It ended with the Peace of Westphalia, which means splitting Germany into small pieces.
ANSWER: the Thirty Years War

[10] This war started when Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI died and left the empire to his daughter Maria Theresa. It ended with the Treaty of Aix-La-Chappelle and Prussia taking control of Silesia.
ANSWER: the War of the Austrian Succession

I guess you could go back and check your score, and then we'll all keep score in the comments or something.

Mostly I just liked the one I wrote about marrying your cousin.

It was fun, but I still have some things to learn.

Here is the packet my team wrote. It was not really used in the tournament so I'll show it off here.
Current Music: Kleerup ft. Lykke Li - Until We Bleed

[4 comments | what do you think?]


[User Picture]
Date:August 16th, 2009 05:46 am (UTC)
Question number 7 i would've buzzed in after the first sentence, and said "JOHN KERRY". I don't know how you handle awkward moments like that in trivia bowls.

14 is a good one to be proud of. I lol'd.

1, 15 and the Swine Flu questions are the only ones i would've actually answered correctly. After those though i said "This is stupid. I hate this. I want ice cream" and didn't answer any more, so i'm not sure how i would have fared overall.
[User Picture]
Date:August 16th, 2009 06:03 am (UTC)
We traditionally use alcohol instead of ice cream.
[User Picture]
Date:August 27th, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
can't look can't look can't look

(after almost two weeks of scrolling past lj-cut, still have to finish present first)
[User Picture]
Date:August 28th, 2009 03:43 am (UTC)
Is there anything I can say to help you not care about this present? I really just want to show off some gimmick questions I wrote.

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