Quiz Team dominates at Northmont
The St. X Quiz Team once again participated in the Northmont Academic Challenge Tournament. We defeated several good teams personally and beat out a number of other schools by pointage. I attended and participated in the matches for the last time, and I have some vital Quiz Team trivia for you (oxymoron intended).
Read on for the good stuff…
(We were team 44, for all of you keeping track. That means none of you, of course.)
By this morning, I wasn’t even sure if I should go to this tournament, especially because of the distance: supposedly one hour away. Between the ice that was falling from the sky and the impending layer of snow, the weather made this tournament a risky affair. Because I insisted, my father reluctantly drove me there.
It took us about 1½ hours to get there, but the weather cleared up completely by the time we reached Dayton, and we arrived a bit early: shortly after I got there, the staff announced, “We’re on our way to being on time!”
I’m not sure all of you appreciate how much that statement meant to us, and to the staff there.
I didn’t go with the Varsity team today, so all I know is that they had a perfect record and ended up winning the entire Varsity bracket. They’ll therefore advance to state. The Varsity team consisted of Melson, Barber, Seifried, Kiger, and possibly one other member (I can’t remember), and was supervised by Mr. Seifried, since Mr. Hussong could not attend.
Junior Varsity starts out well
We played our first match against the Northridge JV team. We beat them 38–55.
I answered a few questions, including these:
- Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat. These computer programs are made—
Answer: Adobe Systems Inc.
- What is the highest digit in the hexadecimal number system?
This question was also notable:
- Nowadays this disease is treated by taking antacids. It is caused by H. pylori. In the past, drinking large quantities of milk would be recommended. Name this disease.
Answer: Stomach ulcer (peptic or gastric ulcer). I knew the answer all along, but hesitated.
…and continues against a familiar team
Then came a surprise: I came to the tournament with the understanding that few teams would come from our neck of the woods, but apparently the Cincinnati area sent quite a few of its teams up to Northmont. So we played Loveland for the second round.
At this point, the Math Round questions started getting overly contrived. Here’s an example, which we obviously got wrong. I don’t even know the answer (I never bothered to try it out…):
For this problem, let set A equal all the odd numbers from 50-99, let set B equal all the multiples of 3 from 60-90, and let set C equal all the multiples of 7 from 60-90.
Now find the union between sets B and C; then find the intersection between that and set A.
You get 15 seconds to answer this problem.
Answer: How should I know?
There was one I knew though:
- Integrate x4 + 4x for the variable x from 1 to 0. (But did they mean “from 0 to 1”? I’ll never know…)
It’s just that I didn’t get enough time to answer it.
For this round, we decided to start letting AJ Arand play during the Lightning Round (which was 20 questions long this year, thankfully). Unfortunately we got a question that nobody knew, except me, but I had to sit out anyways:
- In what language does the past participial form of a verb always end in -ado or -ido?
Answer: Spanish. For some reason, the reader decided that she didn’t need the pronunciation guide, so she pronounced the suffixes as “adieu” and the English word “ado.” So naturally, we answered “French,” the other team answered “Belgium” (I suppose they meant “Belgish”?), and no one had a clue. And no one challenged the question.
Nevertheless, we won the game, scoring 56 points against their 21. Then our Varsity team came in to visit us. Apparently we had beaten them significantly in terms of pointage, even though both the Varsity and Junior Varsity tournaments were apparently using the same questions.
…and rolls along
We next played against Piqua. I was particularly pleased that the Physical Science round was filled with questions on SI units used in physics. For all these questions, we were given what units each unit was derived from:
- What is the unit for joules per second?
Answer: The watt. I had Ed Kelly answer this correctly.
- What is the unit for coulombs per volt?
Answer: The farad. I must’ve told Ed this 70 times, but each time he heard me wrong, a different way each time. So it ended up that they couldn’t accept our answer.
- What is the unit for kilogram meters per second squared?
Answer: The newton. Since this was a tossup question, I got this correct immediately.
During the Lightning Round, I again sat out and got frustrated over the lack of answers:
- What German philosopher co-wrote the Communist Manifesto with Karl Marx?
Answer: Friedrich Engels.
- Charles II took over the throne of England after what ruler abdicated?
Answer: Richard Cromwell, the son of Oliver Cromwell. After the match, I told someone that there was only ever one dictator of England, but I was wrong: his son ruled for approximately one year, from 1658–1659.
We won the match 61–23.
…and keeps going…
We defeated Greenville 69–22. AJ was particularly happy about answering this question correctly:
- Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell)’s job is the same as the title of this 2004 film.
Answer: Anchorman. He wants to point out the apparently hilarious scene when the reporters get in a brawl. Well, I haven’t seen the movie yet – I suppose it’s funny, though.
…and stops a bit for lunch
They served the Walking Tacos again today, but this time they called them “Travelin’ Tacos.” Whatever. They still taste good. But since we pre-ordered pizza for the entire team, those tacos had to travel into someone else’s stomach. (I hope that’s not too disgusting; I can’t tell because I’m writing this late at night.)
Some students were collecting the tops of people’s pop cans, for a project that the Northmont students are engaging in: they’re filling a big N-shaped bin with those tops, to raise money for a charity. I contributed – Mr. Kemper would be proud.
Junior Varsity just keeps on buzzing…
We headed back to the classrooms and competed against Tri-County North. It was here that I answered my most questions – some right, some wrong, and some that I timed horribly:
- According to the Pythagorean identity, sin²x +cos²x is always equal to what number?
Answer: One (1). I knew I had to answer this one quickly, because the trap is to hear “Pythagorean” and think a² + b² = c² – which is true, but wasn’t a Pythagorean identity. So answering soon was a benefit this time around…
- What type of paint is made by mixing powder—
Answer: Tempera; not to be confused with tempura, a Japanese type of fried fish. I answered this one correctly; thank goodness I didn’t have to spell it.
- What term do meteorologists use to describe the temperature at which cooled air condenses into water vapor?
Answer: Dew point. For some reason I answered “humidity,” which always appears right above the dew point. Argh.
AJ was frustrated that Ed got this one wrong:
- In English, what does the German word hund mean?
Answer: Hound. Ed answered with “hat,” but if we’d’ve at least written the question down, we would’ve probably gotten it right.
We defeated TCN, 51–18.
When I found out that the moderator was a Spanish teacher, I asked her what a particular sign on the chalkboard was all about:
- The sign reads, “
No se ganó Zabora en una hora.” What’s it mean?
Answer: I could easily tell that it would literally translate to “Zabora wasn’t won in an hour,” but I still wasn’t sure what that was all about. She explained to me that she had been posting common Hispanic idioms on the board for students to earn extra credit. This particular phrase is akin to the phrase “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” as used in English-speaking countries worldwide.
Not done yet…
At the end of these five rounds, St. X beat out the rest of its bracket, scoring a total of 292 points. This meant that we were to advance to the semifinals. We got another suprise: everyone who advanced to the semi-final level came from the Cincinnati area.
We could’ve just done the whole thing at Cincinnati State, where we usually hold GCAL. (By the way, Mr. Sunderhaus, director of the GCAL was present, as with every year.)
Learning how to play tough
We played Milford next. They were an excellent adversary, keeping about even with us throughout the entire match, to the point that one measly little technicality meant win or lose for each team. See if you can answer this question correctly:
- On a piano with two pedals, what does the petal on the right do?
Answer: I shouldn’t’ve buzzed in so quickly, but I play piano, so I was sure I’d get it. One problem, though: how would I describe what the pedal actually does? “Echo,” I responded. The other team then responded, “When you press the pedal, it keeps the note going?”
Apparently the answer sheet accepted neither answer, instead going for “makes it loud.” Fortunately, our reader for this round plays piano, and she has an old two-pedal piano, and she wanted to accept Milford’s answer as being correct. I still think “echo” works.
- This wartime conference decided that … [I can’t remember the rest…]
Answer: Casablanca. This was the replacement question that determined the outcome of this match. I was just about to buzz in with “Yalta.” Fortunately, the other team beat me to it with the same answer, and got it wrong.
The question that started all the challenging turns out to possibly be false. It established that someone had ascended to the peak of Mt. Everest just before Sir Everest, but that Sir Everest had gotten credit for the ascent. But it looks as if Everest himself never climbed the mountain. Please correct me if I’m wrong about this…
We defeated Milford 45–43, after a harrowing and overly-stressful match. My late-night synopsis cannot express how close this match was, but afterwards Breyer had to step out and get a drink of water, just to cool down!
And how to relax
Compared to the previous round, the finals were incredibly relaxed. So much so that I can’t think of much to say other than our score: 57–41 . We won the entire tournament!
But is it worth it?
Nope. Northmont still isn’t worth the drive, and I have a feeling that, unlike this year, people won’t be lining up to participate. Despite the Walking Tacos.