Thursday, December 5, 2013

Knowledge Bowl away!

As nerd-in-chief at the school where I teach, one of my official duties is to host the annual knowledge bowl.  Several years ago, our school decided to follow the lead of Hogwarts and break the students into competing houses.  While this plan has many administrative and pedagogic benefits from the teacher end of things, from the students' point of view, it's all about the annual House Cup.  The Knowledge Bowl is clearly a favorite competition for many.  I get to be snarky to the nervous kids on stage, and everyone has a good time in the most intense assembly of the year.

Just for kicks, I'm posting this years' questions below.  Many questions are about life at Germantown Academy, where I teach, but I hope the other questions will be fun for the world at large.

A shot from last year's Knowledge Bowl.  I'm the smug ball of rage behind the piano in the lower right hand corner.

ROUND ONE
          In the first round, Dr. Rabuck will ask a question.  Once he is done reading, your team will have fifteen seconds to write the correct answer on the marker boards in front of you.  If you gave a correct answer, your team will earn five points.  House reps will be behind you to verify your answers.  There are seven questions in this round. 
1)  In the German folk song we all know and love, what is the seventh word?  Spell it correctly.  (zwei)
2) Into what body of water does the mighty Wissahickon Creek flow? Spell your answer correctly. (Schuylkill)
3) What is the capital of the South American country known for oil, socialism, beauty pageant winners, and the world’s highest waterfall? (Caracas)
4) What is the name of the school from which Holden Caufield was expelled at the beginning of Catcher in the Rye (Pennsey Prep)
5)What winter Olympics event has been in existence since the first winter games in 1924, but will be a medal event for women for the first time in Sochi in 2014? (Ski Jumping)
6) If you add the number of children raised by Mrs Negro, Ms Ayres, Mr Mattern, and Mr. Rheam, how many will you have? (10) 
7) What is the heaviest naturally occurring noble gas? (Radon)

ROUND TWO
          The second round is like the first, only there will be more than one correct answer to each question.  In the thirty seconds after Dr. Rabuck finishes reading the question, you must write down as many correct answers as your team can come up with.  Your team will earn two points for each correct answer, to a maximum of ten points per question.  House reps will provide judging for each team.

1)   In this year’s contests on GA/PC day, GA won five events.  Name the head coaches of those sports teams.
(Dence, Krouse, Rader, Hoffmann, Fehrle)
2) As stated earlier, the winter Olympics have been around since 1924 and have convened 21 times.  Only six nations have medaled at all 21 winter Olympics.  Name them.
          (Austria, Canada, Finland, Norway, Sweden, the USA)

3) GA has established good relations with a school in Krakow. Name the countries that border the nation in which Krakow is located.
          (Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Germany)

4) Every manly man knows the novels of Jane Austen.  Now is your chance to show your regency awesomeness by doing the same.
          (Emma, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey, Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, and the unfinished Sanditon)


ROUND THREE
This is the buzzer round.  Dr. Rabuck will begin asking a question.  At any time, your team may ring in and attempt to answer the question.  Dr. Rabuck will stop reading at that point.  If you are correct, you earn ten points for your team.  If you are incorrect, you score nothing but your team may not ring in again.  If necessary, Dr. Rabuck will begin reading the question from the beginning.  There are eight questions in this round, followed by ten rapid-response buzzer questions built around a theme.  At the end of this round, the teams with the two lowest scores will be eliminated from the competition.
1) Our upper school head is distantly related to this 12th president of the united states.  A member of the Whig party, he was famous for leading the US to victory in the Mexican-American War. Shortly into his presidency he died after eating a meal of raw cherries and ice milk, to be succeeded by his fellow Whig Millard Fillmore. To this day, his legacy lives on, as his last name is the first name of the pop singer and songstress whose album “Red” topped the charts in 2012.

          (Zachary Taylor)


2) This novel, published in 1964, has twice been made into a major motion picture, once as a musical.  The idea for the book came from the author’s experience with the rivalry between the Rowntree’s and Cadbury’s companies, which often sent spies to investigate each others’ products.  In 2010, an operatic version titled “The Golden Ticket” premiered in St. Louis.  In this book, Violet Beauregarde and Veruca Salt meet untimely ends because of their particular vices, but Charlie Bucket achieves his heart’s desire at the end. What children’s novel by Roald Dahl features the oompa-loompas and chocolatier Willy Wonka?

ANSWER: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (do not accept WW and the CF)
3) She attended orientation at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and took classes at Hawaii Pacific, North Idaho, and Matanuska-Susitna before graduating from the University of Idaho in 1987. In 2003 and 2004, she chaired an Oil and Gas Conservation Commission following an election loss. She has been investigated by Steven Petumenos and Stephen
Branchflower for her firing of Walt Monegan, who had refused to fire Mike Wooten, her former brother-in-law. Her daughter appeared on dancing with the stars, and she briefly starred in her own reality show chronicling her life in Alaska.  Name this Governor who was John McCain’s running mate.
ANSWER: (Sarah) Palin (accept Heath)



4)) This battle’s outcome was due in part to Marshal Ney’s reckless charge. The losing side was also harmed by a delay caused by strong rains the day before and by their General’s reluctance to use the Imperial Guard. This allowed the British to hold their position until Prussian support joined them, and the combined forces eventually
broke down the French Army. The fighting took place on June 18th, 1815 in what is now Belgium. Name this victory by the Duke of Wellington over Napoleon.
ANSWER: Waterloo


5) When his name is spelled in English, this legendary figure from Greek mythology has a name that is nine letters long.  The first and third letters are the same, and the 7th and 9th letters are the same.  His brother was Menelaus, and he was king of Mycaenae, the most powerful of the Greek city-states at the time.  He led the expedition to recover his sister-in-law from the Trojans.  Upon returning from that war, he was murdered at the command of his cheating wife Clytemnestra.  His name is one of the three parts of Aeschylus’ trilogy, The Orestia.
ANSWER: “AGAMEMNON”

6) This is the value of the definite integral from x equals 1 to x equals infinity of dx over x squared. It also completes the square for the expression that starts off four x squared plus four x. It equals the sum of the infinite geometric series one-half plus one-fourth plus one-eighth, etcetera. Find this positive number equal to its own factorial, its own square root, and its own reciprocal.
ANSWER: 1

7) It is one of five niyama—the other ones describe seasons, seeds, norms, and the mind. This niyama is associated with intentional actions and is associated with the actions of everybody except for those who are enlightened, who are not impacted by cause and effect. This concept exists in Jainist, Sikh, Buddhist, and Hindu belief systems. Give this
term that refers to the idea that people are responsible for their own outcomes and future lives.
ANSWER: Karma


8) This book contains the sentence, “And so on a January evening in 1991, my wife of fifteen months and I ate a quick dinner together and headed off to answer a classified ad in the Palm Beach Post.” Since it came out in 2005, there have been different versions, including a children’s book and a picture book. The subject loves to steal grilled cheese sandwiches, hates thunderstorms, and is a Labrador retriever. Name this book by John Grogan that has inspired a movie starring Owen Wilson, Jennifer Anniston, and a big, clumsy dog.
ANSWER: Marley & Me

XXXXX
For the next five questions, I am going to give the abbreviation for an element.  You give me the atomic name.  For instance, if I say “He” you need to say “helium”, since Helium is abbreviated “He”.  Got it? Don’t care..
          1) NA  (sodium)
          2) Pb (lead)
3) Mn (manganese)
4) Kr (krypton)
          5) Hg (mercury)

I give the superhero, you tell me whether the rights to that hero are owned by Marvel or DC.  So if I say “Batman”, you say “DC.” Got it?  Still don’t care.
          1) Wonder Woman (DC)
          2) Wolverine (Marvel)
          3) Cyclops (Marvel)
          4) Doctor Octopus (Marvel)
          5) Nightcrawler (Marvel)




Tie Breaker
Historians and rhetoricians have noted the similarities between this and the funeral oration of Pericles, which was delivered in the first year of the Peloponnesian war, thus belying the author’s claim that he had a rustic, homespun education.  It followed an address by Edward Everett, who spoke for over two hours, or over sixty times longer than this event. While its primary purpose was to dedicate a new cemetery, it also made a strong case for both emancipation and preserving the Union. What historic speech delivered by Abraham Lincoln had its 150th anniversary this month?
(Gettysburg address)

Another tie breaker

This country has substantial populations of Tadjikis and Hazari, but the largest ethnic group is the dominant Pashtuns.  Invaded by the British, Soviets, and Americans in recent centuries, this country has proven incredibly difficult to govern.  It is the setting for Khaled Hosseini’s the Kite Runner and until 2003 was governed by the religious fanatics known as the Taliban.  What is this central Asian country, whose president just asked all American forces to leave by 2014?

(Afghanistan)


ROUND FOUR—
This is the second buzzer round.  Once again, each team that answers a question correctly scores ten points.  However, after each correct answer, the team which gave that answer has the exclusive right to attempt an answer to a follow up question worth five points. There are ten questions in this round.  Once again, the two teams with the lowest scores will be eliminated from the competition.
1)   What is the name of the dangly bit of flesh at the back of the throat (uvula)
b. What member of the GA arts faculty has two uvulae (Masters)

2) What member of the GA class of 1993was signed to play professional basketball with the Portland Trailblazers.
(Alvin Williams)
b. Though Williams signed by the Trailblazers, Williams spent most of his professional career with this franchise  (Toronto Raptors)

3) The next-to-last word of GA’s alma mater.
Answer: cannot
For five points, in what year did the composer of the alma mater graduate?
Answer 1900

4) For ten points, name this US President, vice president under Eisenhower, owner of a dog named checkers, and the person who normalized relations with China in 1972?
Answer: Nixon
 [5] Nixon resigned in disgrace after it was revealed that he had a role in a political scandal named after this Washington hotel.
Answer: Watergate

5) This NFL Franchise, currently in the AFC West, played in Los Angeles from 1982 to 1995 before they moved back to their original city.
Answer: Oakland Raiders
The Raiders currently play in a stadium named for this discount online retailer.
Answer: overstock.com

6) The nemesis of this semi-aquatic egg-laying mammal of justice comes from Gimmelstup, according to his backstory.
ANSWER: Perry the Platypus
For five points, what is the last name of the brothers who act as owners of Perry in his non-secret agent identity?
ANSWER: Flynn-Fletcher

7) This 17th century French mathematician and philosopher is known for both his “discourse on method” and for the coordinate system named after him.. 
ANSWER: Descartes
For five points, what famous five word phrase summarizes Descartes’ belief that his own doubt was the most certain proof of his own existence?
ANSWER: I think therefore I am.

8) The First Crusade ended when Western European Christians captured this city in the middle east, sacred to Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
ANSWER: Jerusalem
8a) For five points, what Christian empire, with a capital at Constantinople, did the Crusaders have to march through to reach their goal?
ANSWER: Byzantine Empire

Tie Breaker
This French river rises in the Langres plateau and travels 776 km before it empties into the English Channel at Le Havre.  It has been painted by Monet, Matisse, and Seurat.  Vikings sailed up this river in the 9h century to sack the city of Paris, which lies on its banks. (Seine)


ROUND FIVE
Red, Blue, Black.  The three remaining teams each select a color-coded envelope which contains ten questions.  The team has two minutes to answer all of the questions, which are worth ten points each.  Only answers from the team captain will be scored. A team can choose to pass and try the question later.   The team with the lowest score goes first.




Red
Black
Blue
Sports
This three time NBA Player of the Year once scored 100 points for the Phialdelphia Warriors (Wilt Chamberlain)

Name the 1980 Phillies first baseman nicknamed “Charlie Hustle”who spent most of his career with the Reds.
(Pete Rose)
With 124 sacks, this Minister of Defense is the all time Eagles leader.
  (Reggie White)
GA History
What is Alexander Calder, who attended GA in 1910, best known for?.

Sculpture
Of Alcott, Truesdell, Kershaw, and Osborne, the one who was not Headmaster.

(Truesdell)

GA Students nicknamed this poet of Leaves of Grass “Santa Claus” when he visited GA in the 1870s.

(Walt Whitman)
Pop Culture
This British sci-fi show just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Dr Who
 In the Hobbit,
Bilbo Baggins tangles with a dragon of this name.

(Smaug)
In the recent star trek movies, Simon Pegg plays the engineer known by this name.

Scotty 
Science

What was the second of the three geological periods in which the dinosaurs lived?
(Jurassic)
This elementary particle is the quantum of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation.
(Photon)
This term refers to a community of living organisms in conjunction with the  nonliving components of their environment like air and soil, interacting as a system
(Ecosystem)
History
Last week, this Asian country scrambled fighter jets to assert its claim over formerly neutral airspace.
(China)
This Middle Eastern country just agreed to inspections of its nuclear facilities.
(Iran)
This island nation off the southern coast of India used to be known as Ceylon and Serendip.
(Sri Lanka)
Pop Culture
Katy Perry’s song “Roar” is the first track on this 2013 album
(Prism)
Last year, the megastar marriage of Beyonce and Jay-z produced a child by this name.
(Blue Ivy)
A question posed by Norwegian pop duo Ylvis wants to know what vocalization this animal says.
(Fox)
Geography
This northwesternmost PA county is named after the lake which it borders.

Erie
The Morris Road bridge over the wissahickon was recently named in honor of this former GA coach.

Turner
Of Ocean City, Sea Isle City, or Atlantic City, which one is furthest north?
(Atlantic City)

Current Events
Which NJ Governor just won reelection?
(Christie)
Of Walnut Street, Cherry St., and South Street, the one that is furthest south?
I-476 the toll road between Plymouth Meeting and Scranton, used to be known as what?
GA Culture
Name the high school theatrical awards dominated in recent years by the Belfry club

(Cappies)
What GA alum is the library named after
(Roberts)
What is the name of the head of the Middle School
(Rogers)





red
This three time NBA Player of the Year once scored 100 points for the Phialdelphia Warriors (Wilt Chamberlain)

What is Alexander Calder, who attended GA in 1910, best known for?.

Sculpture
This British sci-fi show just celebrated its 50th anniversary.

Dr Who
What was the second of the three geological periods in which the dinosaurs lived?
(Jurassic)
Last week, this Asian country scrambled fighter jets to assert its claim over formerly neutral airspace.
(China)
Katy Perry’s song “Roar” is the first track on this 2013 album
(Prism)
This northwesternmost PA county is named after the lake which it borders.

Erie
Which NJ Governor just won reelection?
(Christie)
Name the high school theatrical awards dominated in recent years by the Belfry club

(Cappies)



BLACK
Name the 1980 Phillies first baseman nicknamed “Charlie Hustle”who spent most of his career with the Reds.
(Pete Rose)
Of Alcott, Truesdell, Kershaw, and Osborne, the one who was not Headmaster.

Truesdell
 In the Hobbit,
Bilbo Baggins tangles with a dragon of this name.
Smaug)
This elementary particle is the quantum of light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation.
(Photon)
This Middle Eastern country just agreed to inspections of its nuclear facilities.
(Iran)
Last year, the megastar marriage of Beyonce and Jay-z produced a child by this name.
(Blue Ivy)
The Morris Road bridge over the wissahickon was recently named in honor of this former GA coach.
Turner
Of Walnut Street, Cherry St., and South Street, the one that is furthest south?
(South Street)
What GA alum is the library named after
(Roberts)
Name the 1980 Phillies first baseman nicknamed “Charlie Hustle” who spent most of his career with the Reds.
(Pete Rose)




BLUE
With 124 sacks, this Minister of Defense is the all time Eagles leader.
  (Reggie White)


GA Students nicknamed this poet of Leaves of Grass “Santa Claus” when he visited GA in the 1870s.

Walt Whitman
In the recent star trek movies, Simon Pegg plays the engineer known by this name.

Scotty 
This term refers to a community of living organisms in conjunction with the  nonliving components of their environment like air and soil, interacting as a system
(Ecosystem)
This island nation off the southern coast of India used to be known as Ceylon and Serendip.
(Sri Lanka)
A question posed by Norwegian pop duo Ylvis wants to know what vocalization this animal says.
(Fox)
Of Ocean City, Sea Isle City, or Atlantic City, which one is furthest north?
(Atlantic City)

I-476 the toll road between Plymouth Meeting and Scranton, used to be known as what?
(The Northeast Extension)
What is the name of the head of the Middle School
(Rogers)



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