1. American Literature


Which writer had one of his characters ask, “Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it—every, every minute?” He first gained fame while he was a French teacher at the Lawrenceville School, where he wrote The Bridge of San Luis Rey. Name this playwright of “The Skin of Our Teeth” and “Our Town”.


ANSWER: (Thornton) Wilder


2. Chemistry (10 Seconds)


Give a two-word answer. These are sometimes used in near-vacuum conditions and have recently been used to analyze solar wind. Often combined with gas chromatographs, they are also used in carbon dating and searches for toxins. Name these devices which can separate out different isotopes of an element.


ANSWER: Mass Spectrometer(s) (or Mass Spectrograph(s))


3. World History


Which city of about two hundred thousand people was taken over on August 13th, 1521? Surrounded by Lake Texcoco, it was on an island with several floating gardens. Founded where the inhabitants saw an eagle perched on a cactus devouring a snake, it thrived until Hernando Cortes took it from the Aztecs.


ANSWER: Tenochtitlan


4. Technology


These were invented by Robert Adler, who is now ninety years old and living in the Chicago area. The first one, which came out in 1956, was known as the Zenith Space Command, and came in two-button and four-button models. The average American household now has four of them, and some of the expensive models include the Sony Navitus, Home Theater Master MX-800, and Radio Shack 8-in-1 Kameleon. Name this device associated with couch potatoes.


ANSWER: Remote (Controls)


5. Language Arts


Spell the twelve-letter noun based on the French word for undertake. It can refer to a middleman, but it usually refers to somebody who organizes, owns, manages, and assumes the risk of a business.


ANSWER: E N T R E P R E N E U R (prompt if word is said but not spelled)


6. Algebra (30 Seconds)


How much money will you end up with if you invest $100 at 10% interest compounded annually for three years?


ANSWER: $133.10


7. Astronomy/Earth Science/Geography


When Jocelyn Bell and Antony Hewish first detected these indirectly in 1967, they called them Little Green Men because they could not imagine a natural cause. They are detectable when the rotation axis and magnetic pole axis in a star do not line up and the star rotates rapidly. Name this classification of neutron stars.


ANSWER: Pulsar(s) (prompt on Neutron Star)


8. Music


Who made a brief appearance in the movie Blazing Saddles, performing ‘April In Paris’ and shaking hands with the new sheriff? Often associated with Jo Jones, Lester Young, and Buck Clayton, his famous recordings include “Jumpin’ at the Woodside” and “One O’Clock Jump”. Name this pianist who was also known as a bandleader. Even though he died in 1984, his namesake orchestra still exists.


ANSWER: (William Allen ‘Count’) Basie


9. Religion/Mythology


Knowing that a flood was coming to punish mankind, who convinced his son Deucalion and niece Pyrrha to stay in a wooden chest that saved their lives? This Titan helped Zeus conquer the other Titans, but he later incurred Zeus’ wrath for giving fire to humans.


ANSWER: Prometheus


10. Biology


These contain no Golgi complex or mitochondria but are usually distinguished by the lack of a membrane around their nuclear area. What are these cells found only in bacteria? This term is used for cells that are not eukaryotes.


ANSWER: Prokaryotic (Cell(s)) (or Prokaryote(s))






11. Calculus/Combinatorics (30 Seconds)


What is the second derivative of the function natural log of x?


ANSWER: -1/x2 (or –x-2)


12. Nonfiction


(Note to moderator: Pensees is pronounced Pensay.) After surviving an accident in 1654, which famous scientist wrote only about philosophy and religion? His Provincial Letters were published in 1660, but King Louis the Fourteenth ordered them shredded and burnt. The Pensees were published posthumously and not organized until the twentieth century. Name this man who argued that it was a good wager to believe in God.


ANSWER: (Blaise) Pascal


13. Pop Culture


Book series include The New Adventures, In Action, Sweet Sixteen, So Little Time, and Two of a Kind. Albums include Give Us A Mystery, Brother For Sale, and I Am the Cute One. Movies include To Grandmother’s House We Go, How The West Was Fun, and Billboard Dad. Name the duo who became stars at the age of nine months on the sitcom Full House.


ANSWER: Mary-Kate & Ashley (or Olsen (twins) or equivalent)


14. Physics (10 Seconds)


The first widely-accepted theoretical explanation for this phenomenon was proposed by John Bardeen, Leon Cooper, and John Schrieffer. They shared the Nobel Prize in 1972, but their theories were largely overthrown in the 1980s. A combination of Mercury, Thallium, Barium, Calcium, Copper and Oxygen works at 138 Kelvins, but nothing has been found that works near room temperature. What is the name for the flow of electrical current without energy loss?


ANSWER: Superconductivity (accept different forms of the word)


15. British Literature


Listed in the Dramatis Personae as the Prince of Norway, this character’s few lines come in a brief appearance in Act Four, Scene Four and at the end of the play. At the end, he with sorrow embraces his fortune. In his final line, he instructs captains to carry off several dead bodies, including Hamlet.


ANSWER: Fortinbras


16. American History


His first company went bankrupt because he was more interested in engineering than sales. He was forced out of his second company before it became successful. His third company, named after him and now one hundred years old, is the fourth largest corporation in the United States. Name this man whose first device was a buggy frame mounted on four bicycle wheels. His famous sayings include, “Thinking is the hardest work there is” and “People can have the Model T in any color - so long as it's black.”


ANSWER: (Henry) Ford


17. Art/Architecture


Which famous 1851 painting is 21 feet by 12 feet? It was painted in Germany using the Rhine for a model, though the artist did spend much of his childhood and his later years in the United States. Name this work which depicts a famous action in the American Revolution just before the Battle of Trenton.


ANSWER: Washington Crossing the Delaware


18. Geometry/Trigonometry (30 Seconds)


Include units in your answer and simplify completely. What is the length of the altitude to the long side of a triangle if the sides are of length 7 centimeters, 7 centimeters, and 10 centimeters?


ANSWER: 2 Root 6 Centimeters


19. Current Events


Give the full name in your answer. Who was probably born during his father’s exile to Siberia despite official reports that he was born in a log cabin on a high mountain top under a double rainbow? Despite estimates that three million of his countrymen starved in the late 1990s, his net worth is four billion dollars. Name this national leader who in April paid an unofficial visit to China. He is now in the possession of a few nuclear bombs.


ANSWER: Kim Jong-il (accept Yuri Kim)









20. World Literature


Many characters in this story do not have names, so they are known by titles such as the General Manager, the Chief Accountant, and the Brickmaker. Though it starts on the Thames, most of it takes place in or near another river. The action follows Charlie Marlowe and his eventual meeting with Kurtz. Name this Joseph Conrad work.


ANSWER: Heart of Darkness


Tiebreaker #1


Give your answer in Italian. What is featured prominently in Benjamin Britten’s Simple Symphony and Bela Bartok’s String Quartet Number Four? Usually, its end is signified by the term ‘arco’. Often used in jazz to play the double bass, what term refers to playing a stringed instrument by plucking?


ANSWER: Pizzicato


Tiebreaker #2


Where can you find Queen Maud Land, Graham Land, Wilkes Land, Victoria Land, and Marie Byrd Land? It is partially surrounded by Weddell Sea, Ross Sea, and Amundsen Sea. Parts are claimed by Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway, and the United Kingdom. Name this continent.


ANSWER: Antarctica


Tiebreaker #3 (No Time Limit)


Unscramble the following letters to get a last name shared by two Presidents: SONRRHAI


ANSWER: (William and/or Benjamin) Harrison