Technophobia 4: Massive Quizbowl Overdose
Caltech Packet Full of Kryptonite: Tossups
- In August 1999, the British government demonstrated its lack of
familiarity with C.S. Lewis by launching the National Institute for
Clinical Excellence, or N.I.C.E. In this Lewis book, the same acronym
is used by the National Institute for Co-ordinated Experiments, an
evil scientific agency that tries to take control of the Earth. The
novel's title is an allusion to the Tower of Babel. For 10
points--identify this sequel to Out of the Silent Planet and
answer: That Hideous Strength
- Her works include abstract paintings such as Fire Fan and
Bird Red Slice, as well as a still life of flowers and a stream,
titled Pink Pink Stink Nice Drink. Since she was born on the Fourth
of July, 1971, her full name is Japanese for "Fireworks-Child." In 1972,
she began working with Penny Patterson and Ron Cohn to learn American Sign
Language. For 10 points--identify this gorilla.
answer: Koko or Hanabi-Ko
- Their radial light profiles are commonly represented by the de
Vaucouleurs law, as the log of their surface brightness falls off as
the radius from the center to the one-fourth power. They primarily
contain old, low mass stars. For 10 points--identify this type of
galaxies, one of the three primary types in Hubble's system of
classification, early types of which are nearly circular, while late
types have a long major axis and shorter minor axis.
answer: elliptical galaxies
- With the province of Castile, this barren, elevated plateau
constitutes one of Spain's "autonomous regions." Taking its name from
the Arabic for "Dry Land" or "Wilderness," during the Middle Ages it
was an intermediate zone between the Christian and Moorish forces.
For 10 points--name this region, most famous for being the setting for
Miguel de Cervantes' novel Don Quixote.
answer: La Mancha
- "Take 'myself,' subtract 'movies,' and the remainder is zero," wrote
this failed painter, known as "The Emperor" for his perfectionism and
extravagance. His first film, The Judo Saga, was a hit with the
public but not the military and he never won fame abroad until his Academy
Award for Best Foreign Film in 1951. For 10 points--name this director of
Shadow Warrior, Throne of Blood, and The Seven
answer: Kurosawa Akira
- Warning: two answers required. In computer science, one term refers
to machines such as Motorola microprocessors which store the most
significant byte of a word at a lower address than the least significant
byte. The other term refers to machines such as Intel processors which
use the opposite convention. The terms also refer satirically to
Catholicism and Protestantism, or to any bitter dispute over trivial
differences. For 10 points--identify these two political factions
Gulliver encountered in Lilliput, who fought a civil war over the end at
which one should break a soft-boiled egg.
answer: big-endians and little-endians
- He organized a commune called Campeche at the present-day site of
Galveston, Texas, which he governed briefly in 1819 until his lieutenants
attacked U.S. ships in 1820. The following year he gathered a crew for
his ship, the Pride, burned the town, and sailed off to plunder along the
Spanish Main. For 10 points--name this privateer and smuggler who, in
exchange for James Madison's pardon, led the Baratarian pirates in defense
of New Orleans during the War of 1812,
answer: Jean Lafitte
- At the age of nine, she fell in love with Tarzan, and believed she
would make a better mate than the wimpy Jane. After leaving high
school she became an assistant to Louis Leakey in Africa, and
eventually obtained a Ph.D. from Cambridge without ever having been an
undergraduate. For 10 points--name this author of In the Shadow of
Man, famous for being the first to observe meat-eating, cannibalism,
warfare, and tool use among chimpanzees.
answer: Jane Goodall
- Chapter titles in this work include "Brute Neighbors," "Higher Laws,"
"Bread," and "The Village." Amidst discussion of these, many important
details of the author's life are left out, like his brother's
death of lockjaw, his miserable failures in love and at schoolteaching,
his accidental burning of 300 acres of woodland and the night he spent in
jail in 1846 to protest slavery and the invasion of Mexico. For 10
points--name this book subtitled "Life in the Woods," written by Henry
- His "mother" was a male god who assumed female form in order to seduce
his father, Svadilfari, and prevent a giant from completing a building
contract on time. His owner was partly associated with the
underworld, and according to one theory, he represents the four
pallbearers who carry a coffin, which explains why he has eight legs.
For 10 points--identify this magical horse, the steed of Odin.
- It implies the existence of a quantum fluid formed by quasi-particles
resulting from the combination of electrons with magnetic flux quanta.
At low temperatures, under high magnetic fields, an increase in the
strength of an applied field causes the change in the voltage of the
deflected current due to this effect to occur in a series of steps
proportional to integral numbers or fractions thereof. For 10 points--what
Nobel Prize-worthy effect suggests that a current's charge carriers can
carry exact fractions of an electron's charge?
answer: fractional quantum Hall effect
(do not accept or
on "Hall effect")
She not only acted in, but also designed the costumes for the 1997
film Gummo. More famous roles were as Debbie in Steve Buscemi's
Trees Lounge and opposite Kate Beckinsale in The Last Days of
Disco. For 10 points--name this actress, currently playing the object
of Hilary Swank's affections in Boys Don't Cry, who made her debut
as Jennie in 1995's Kids.
answer: Chloë Sevigny
- The title character does not appear in any of the five sequels. He
doesn't even appear very much in the original movie, since he is
missing, in fact murdered. A wealthy inventor with an estranged wife,
a money-hungry mistress, and a crooked accountant, his body is buried
in someone else's clothes to confuse the police. For 10
points--identify this victim in the first of a series of movies
starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, based on a novel by Dashiell
answer: The Thin Man (accept: Wynant)
- He believed that paintings should exist for their own sake, not to
convey any political or moral message, and in order to compare painting to
the abstract art of music, he often gave his paintings musical titles,
such as Symphony in Flesh Colour and Pink: Mrs. Frederick R.
Leyland, or Miss Cicely Alexander: Harmony in Grey and Green.
For 10 points--identify this artist who painted Nocturne in Black and
Gold: The Falling Rocket, and Arrangement in Grey and Black, No. 1:
The Artist's Mother.
answer: James Abbott McNeill Whistler
- He often tried to distribute "intergalactic drivers licences" and
turned down a prestigious professorship at Chicago, saying he was slated
to become emperor of Antarctica. When asked how he could believe he was
being recruited by aliens, he said that the ideas came to him the same way
his mathematical ideas did, so he took them seriously. For 10
points--name this schizophrenic "Phantom of Fine Hall" who won the 1994
Nobel Prize in Economics for his studies of game theory.
answer: John Forbes Nash, Jr.
- In the early 20th century in America, this substance was defined as a
harmful drug: its sales were restricted to licenced shops and it was
heavily taxed and often bootlegged. In Europe, however, full-scale
production began soon after Hippolyte Mege-Mouries developed it to win an
1869 contest sponsored by Napoleon III to find a synthetic edible fat.
Named for the Greek for pearl--for 10 points--what is this mixture of fat,
oil and water which finally gained respectability during World War II as a
- He fought with distinction at Fort Donelson and Shiloh, and his
oft-quoted strategy, "Get there firstest with the mostest," proved helpful
in his decisive defeat of a superior Union force at Brice's Cross Roads in
1864. Described as a "born military genius," the only blemish on his
record was his slaughter of more than 300 black men, women and children
after the surrender of Fort Pillow. For 10 points--name this Confederate
general, best known as the First Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
answer: Nathan Bedford Forrest
- Its name means "damp earth," perhaps because much of its territory is
covered by lagoons and swamps. Its principal cities include Frontera,
a port on the Grijalva (read: gree-HAL-va) river, and the capital,
Villahermosa (read: VEE-ya-air-MOH-sa). Bordered by Campeche
(cahm-PAY-CHEY), Veracruz, Chiapas, and Guatemala--for 10 points--name
this Mexican state, which shares its name with a well-known red chile
He contracted syphilis from a prostitute named Squint-eyed Sarah, whom he
celebrated in his early poems. An art critic at the Paris salons, he
encouraged painters like Delacroix to express "the heroism of modern
life." His most famous work includes sections such as "Spleen et
idéal," about angst, and "Revolté," about Satanism, and also
discusses death, drugs, and sexual depravity. For 10 points--who offended
Parisian morality with the 1857 publication of Les Fleurs du Mal?
answer: Charles Baudelaire
- A good example is the fluting on the columns outside a modern bank,
which shows that the concrete pillars are trying to look like Greek
marble columns, which were trying to look like carved wooden beams,
which in turn were trying to look like bundles of reeds. Other
examples are bowsprits on motorboats, horseheads on early automobiles,
and woodlike grain on plastic mouldings. For 10 points--give the name
for these traces of an earlier technology, from the Greek for "shadow
- The first empire of this name flourished in the 10th century under
Tsar Simeon but was forced to accept Byzantine domination in 1018. The
second, with its capital at Turnovo, ruled much of the Balkan Peninsula
but in 1396 was taken by the Ottoman Turks, who destroyed its nobility and
enslaved its peasantry. For 10 points--name this nation created anew by
the 1878 Treaty of San Stefano and declared independent in 1909, currently
led by Petar Stoyanov from the capital at Sofia.
- The title was taken from a painting by Marc Chagall which depicts an
oval-eyed violinist dangling in space over a peasant village, a painting
which also influenced the scenery. The circle was used as an important
symbol, becoming the basis of the wedding celebration, "To Life," the
Bottle Dance and "Tradition." For 10 points--name this 1961 musical, the
setting of three of Sholem Aleichem's Tevye stories.
answer: Fiddler on the Roof