1. World Literature

He had a domineering father and very rocky relationships with women, both of which came out in his writing. He published little during his lifetime and left instructions in his will to destroy his notebooks, but these instructions were ignored. Which writer’s most famous characters are Joseph K and Gregor Samsa? Joseph K is arrested and interrogated for uncertain reasons in one novel and tries to contact a castle in another. Gregor Samsa becomes a giant insect in the story Metamorphosis.

ANSWER: (Franz) Kafka

2. Algebra (30 Seconds)

It takes Abigail nine hours to mow a lawn. Abigail and Brittany working together take three hours to mow the lawn. How long would it take Brittany working by herself to mow the lawn?

ANSWER: 4.5 hours (or 9/2 or 4 1/2 hours or 4 hours, 30 minutes or 270 minutes)

3. Biology

It encloses the fourth ventricle and contains nuclei associated with most of the cranial nerves. Identify this part of your brain that contains regulators that control breathing and blood flow. It is located in front of the cerebellum at the bottom of the brain stem.

ANSWER: Medulla Oblongata (prompt on medulla, oblongata, brain stem, and/or stem)

4. United States History

Before breaking up, this organization had over two thousand members, including a man who later became a member of Congress. It called for the release of all African Americans from jail and the arming of all African Americans. Formed in Oakland in 1966, which group’s original purpose was to patrol ghettos to protect African Americans from police brutality?

ANSWER: Black Panther(s) (Party)

5. Pop Culture

Who won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1988? Many of his recent columns have mentioned his baby or the Rock Bottom Remainders, a band he plays in. He often suggests names for other rock bands. Identify this author of twenty-three books and humor columnist for the Miami Herald who is syndicated in over five hundred newspapers.

ANSWER: (Dave) Barry

6. Technology

Your answer should be a five-letter abbreviation. When you want to shut down a Windows-based computer, you are given a few options. One option is to restart the computer in a mode that does not involve Windows. What five-letter abbreviation is used for this mode, which was a major operating system before Windows was developed?

ANSWER: MS-DOS (the hyphen is not necessary, the abbreviation stands for Microsoft Disc Operating System)

7. British Literature

Which Shakespeare character says: "And I, of ladies most deject and wretched, That sucked the honey of his music vows, Now see that noble and most sovereign reason, Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh; That unmatched form and feature of blown youth Blasted with ecstasy: O, woe is me To have seen what I have seen, see what I see!" She is the daughter of Polonius who is treated rudely by Hamlet.

ANSWER: Ophelia

8. Calculus (30 Seconds)

Find the derivative of the quantity x+7 end quantity divided by 5. [ ]

ANSWER: 1/5 (or 0.2)

9. Language Arts

What word beginning with the letter E can refer to a military formation, diffraction grating, arrangement of geologic features, or the form of a matrix? It comes from the French word for rung of a ladder.

ANSWER: Echelon

10. Chemistry (10 Seconds)

This can be found by dividing the shear stress by the shear strain and mass density for a liquid, and it is measured in stokes. What is the reciprocal of fluidity and measures opposition to flow? Identify this term beginning with the letter V.

ANSWER: (Dynamic, Absolute, or Kinematic) Viscosity (do not accept viscous)

11. World History

Who was known as the hero of Montevideo, though at one point he was exiled to New York City and worked as a candlemaker? This general was aided in his greatest success by the politicians Giuseppe Mazzini and Camillo Cavour. While he had no part in taking over Rome, he did unite the rest of Italy in 1861.

ANSWER: (Giuseppe) Garibaldi

12. Music

(Note to moderator: No singing, please. Nothing personal.) “Hey, don't write yourself off yet. It's only in your head you feel left out or looked down on. Just try your best, try everything you can. And don't you worry what they tell themselves when you're away. It just takes some time, little girl.” These are the lyrics from which of this summer’s hit songs? It is by Jimmy Eat World.

ANSWER: (The) Middle (prompt on Jimmy Eat World)

13. United States Literature

In which play is Betty Parris caught dancing in the woods by her father? Other families in the drama are the Putnams, the Nurses, and the Proctors. Though the play's actions took place 261 years before it was first performed, it was seen as a direct comment on then-current events. Identify this drama by Arthur Miller about the Salem Witch Trials.

ANSWER: (The) Crucible

14. Physics (10 Seconds)

This value on Jupiter is about 38 miles per second, on the Moon it is about one-and-a-half miles per second, and on Earth it is about seven miles per second. It is proportional to the square root of the quantity mass divided by radius for an object. Identify this two-word phrase for the speed you would have to start out at if no forces were to act on you other than gravity for you to never come back down.

ANSWER: Escape Velocity (or Escape Speed)

15. Current Events

Who was supposed to run for re-election against Doug Forrester but dropped out when he fell behind in the polls? He fell behind because he accepted illegal gifts from David Chang and leaked classified information to the media. Identify the man who was replaced on the ballot by Frank Lautenberg in the race for New Jersey Senator.

ANSWER: (Robert) Torricelli

16. Geometry/Trigonometry (30 Seconds)

For any angle, what does the following six-term expression equal: sine squared of theta plus cosine squared of theta plus secant squared of theta plus cosecant squared of theta minus tangent squared of theta minus cotangent squared of theta? [ ]


17. Religion/Mythology

At the age of sixteen, he married a princess named Yasodhara, and at the age of twenty-nine his only child Rahula was born. Who then spent six years studying and the next forty-five years after that teaching? His last words were, "Transient are conditioned things. Try to accomplish your aim with diligence." He lived in the sixth century BC, and his teachings are now followed by over five hundred million people, most of whom live in Eastern Asia.

ANSWER: Siddhartha 'Buddha' Gautama (accept any of the three parts of name as correct)

18. Astronomy/Earth Science/Geography

Which city is located at the delta of the Neva River, which is frozen over for about one-third of the year? It was founded in 1703 and had a different name from 1924 through 1991. Identify this city on the Gulf of Finland that used to be home to the Russian Tsars.

ANSWER: Saint Petersburg (prompt on Leningrad)

19. Nonfiction

Which journalist’s three-volume set of memoirs is called Twentieth Century Journey? He also wrote Berlin Diary, The Collapse of the Third Republic, and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich.

ANSWER: (William Lawrence) Shirer

20. Art/Architecture

Which painting used the artist’s sister and dentist as models? It is supposed to show a farmer-preacher and his daughter in front of their farmhouse. This 1930 painting is one of the most recognizable images in American art and was painted by Grant Wood.

ANSWER: American Gothic


What plot failed because one of the conspirators warned a friend to stay away from Parliament House? It was led by Robert Catesby, though popular history has associated it with its head technician Guy Fawkes. Name this 1605 attempt to blow up Parliament and King James the First.

ANSWER: Gunpowder (Plot or Rebellion)

His father fought in Napoleon’s army while his mother was a royalist, which was a part of their general incompatibility. This author, however, gained almost universal acclaim during his lifetime. Identify the man who wrote Hans of Iceland, The Slave King, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Les Miserables.

ANSWER: (Victor) Hugo

TRUE OR FALSE: There is a girl in Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing named Hero.