1. American Literature
Like many authors, he is reclusive. Unlike other authors, however, he voiced himself on a Simpsons episode which showed him wearing a bag over his head. Name this writer who worked as a technical writer for Boeing, giving him access to historical V-2 rocket documents he used to write his famous 1973 work. He wrote V, The Crying of Lot 49, Gravity’s Rainbow, Vineland, and Mason & Dixon.
ANSWER: (Thomas) Pynchon
2. Chemistry (10 Seconds)
Which quantity is measured on an arbitrary scale but can be used to easily calculate the percentage of ionic character of a bond? Defined as the attraction of an atom for the shared electrons forming a bond between it and another atom, this quantity is higher for nonmetals than metals. Name this quantity which is highest for fluorine.
3. World History
(Note to moderator: Machetes has three syllables.) Some people blame what happened in this country on Radio One Thousand Hills, which reported a lot of rumors after the death of President Habyarimana. Unfortunately, these rumors came a year after the government had given away machetes to all peasants. Many Hutus, fearing a new takeover by the Tutsis, went on a killing spree that left eight hundred thousand people dead. Name this small African nation that experienced horrors in 1994.
The first prototype was developed at the University of Illinois in 1964. The basic process used in this device is similar to the one in fluorescent lights, but these use hundreds of thousands of cells with xenon and neon atoms. Name this household appliance which is making cathode ray tubes obsolete.
ANSWER: Plasma Television(s) (accept similar answers, prompt on Flat or Flat-panel Television or similar answers)
5. Language Arts
Which word can refer to the transient or accidental factor in an event or experience as distinguished from that based on personal character? This word taken from Greek can also refer to an element in experience or artistic representation evoking pity or compassion. Name this six-letter word beginning with the letter P.
6. Algebra (30 Seconds)
(Note to moderator: The ‘’ signs are just there to make it easier for you to know when to pause.) Give your answer as a single number. What do you get when you divide ‘four raised to the tenth power’ by ‘two raised to the seventeenth power’?
7. Astronomy/Earth Science/Geography
Which specific asterism, or part of a constellation, is formed by Alnilam, Alnitak, and Mintaka? The larger constellation includes Rigel and Betelgeuse and represents a famous hunter. The three stars form a particular part of the hunter’s clothing.
ANSWER: Orion’s Belt (prompt on Belt, do not accept Orion)
There is one memorial to him in Florida even though he never went there and another one in Kentucky where his cousin lived. Name this songwriter who spent much of his life in Philadelphia. He is famous for Uncle Ned, My Old Kentucky Home, Swanee River, and Oh! Susanna.
ANSWER: (Stephen) Foster
According to mythology, this was created to lift up the ashes of King Sagar’s sixty thousand sons. Sites at Varanasi and Allahabad are considered especially holy, and it is often the site of cremations or scatterings of ashes. Name this 1500 mile long geographical feature holy to Hindus.
ANSWER: Ganges (River)
Types include ependymal cells, oligodendrocytes, and astrocytes. They release calcium, which is one of many ways in which they assist neurons. Identify these brain cells.
ANSWER: (Astro)Glia(l Cells) (prompt on brain cells)
11. Calculus/Combinatorics (30 Seconds)
How many handshakes will take place if everybody in a room shakes hands with everybody else once and there are twenty people in the room?
Name the writer who moved with his mother, Lucy Elizabeth, and his sister from Virginia to New Jersey after his father died. He won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary and then wrote an autobiography describing his youth during the Great Depression. Name this author of Growing Up and The Good Times.
ANSWER: (Russell) Baker
13. Pop Culture
Who won her first round match at Wimbledon this year over Catalina Castano before getting beaten by Gisela Dulko? Those were her first singles matches there since 1994, when she reached the Finals. From 1978 through 1990, she won the Championship nine times. Name this native of Prague who also played doubles this year for the US Olympic Team, losing in the quarterfinals.
ANSWER: (Martina) Navratilova
14. Physics (10 Seconds)
(Note to moderator: Joule is pronounced like jewel.) In 1774, who teamed up with Matthew Boulton to manufacture steam engines? This engineer introduced the horsepower as a unit, which is ironic because the unit named after him has in many places replaced the horsepower. The unit named after him equals a kilogram meter squared per second cubed, or a Joule per second.
ANSWER: (James) Watt
15. British Literature
Whose first work of published fiction was a short story collection titled Scenes from Clerical Life? Better known for novels, this author created the characters Maggie Tulliver, Felix Holt, Dorothea Brooke, and Adam Bede. Name this author of Middlemarch.
ANSWER: (George) Eliot (or (Marian) Evans)
16. American History
Which event led our Secretary of State to say, “We went eyeball to eyeball, and the other fellow just blinked”? In fact, we worked out a secret deal which was fair to both sides, leading to our removal of major weapons from Turkey and Italy. Name this world scare which lasted from October 15th to October 28th, 1962.
ANSWER: Cuban Missile Crisis
Between 1971 and 1985, which artist secretly painted 240 portraits of his neighbor Helga Testorf? Often associated with the state of Maine, he also painted Christina’s World.
ANSWER: (Andrew) Wyeth
18. Geometry/Trigonometry (30 Seconds)
Ignore units. For triangle ADE, point B is on AD and point C is on AE. Segment BC is parallel to segment DE. Find the length of segment AE if AB is 10, BD is 6, and AC is 15.
19. Current Events
After serving two terms as a Governor, who was appointed to the United States Senate by Roy Barnes in 2000? He then won a special election in 2000, but he did not run this year to keep his seat. He recently wrote the book A National Party No More: The Conscience of A Conservative Democrat, and he gave the keynote address at this year’s Republican Convention.
ANSWER: (Zell) Miller
20. World Literature
The characters in which play include a former journalist, a former postal clerk, a baby killer, and a representative of the devil? First performed in 1944, three of the characters are stuck in the same room together for eternity. Name this work by Jean Paul Sartre.
ANSWER: No Exit (or Huis Clos)
Which landlocked country contains Lake Ngami? In addition to a corner boundary with Zambia, it borders Zimbabwe, Namibia, and South Africa. This nation includes much of the Limpopo River and Kalahari Desert.
Tiebreaker #2 (30 Seconds)
There are no parentheses in this problem. Give both solutions to the equation: ten times x squared equals one thousand. [10x2=1000]
ANSWER: -10, 10 (both answers in either order)
Tiebreaker #3 (No Time Limit)
Unscramble the following letters to get the last name of a President: TTFA
ANSWER: (William) Taft