Technophobia 4: Massive Quizbowl Overdose
Tossups by UC Irvine X-Men Fan Club (Willie Chen, Jun Tokeshi, and Matt Adams)

  1. This man befriended Leonardo DiCaprio while they were making the TV series "Parenthood." Now, ignorant girls refer to him simply as "Leo's friend." His first lead role was in the TV sitcom "Great Scott!" He played a hitchhiker in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Harvey Stern in Deconstructing Harry, and Paul Hood in The Ice Storm. For 10 points--identify this talented young actor who starred opposite Reese Witherspoon as Bud Parker in Pleasantville.

    answer: Tobey Maguire

  2. In one of her novels, this author tells the story of Whittman Ah Sing, a San Francisco hippie who tries to stage an epic production of interwoven Chinese novels and folktales. In another novel, subtitled "Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts," this author retells the stories of Fa Mu-Lan and the woman who killed herself by jumping into a well. For 10 points--who is this Chinese-American author of Tripmaster Monkey and The Woman Warrior?

    answer: Maxine Hong Kingston

  3. The northern part of this country contains many hot springs and has its highest peak at Mt. Ruapehu. The southern part contains many glaciers and mountain lakes in the Southern Alps, with the highest point at Mt. Cook. For 10 points--identify this island nation composed of the world's 12th and 15th largest islands, which are separated by the Cook Strait.

    answer: New Zealand

  4. He was the alternate US representative to the United Nations General Assembly and a member of the US delegation to the UN Human Rights Commission. He was originally President Clinton's ambassadorial nominee to Fiji. A recess appointment to fill the post of Ambassador to Luxembourg--for 10 points--who is this man, the first American ambassador to be openly gay?

    answer: James Hormel

  5. WARNING: TWO ANSWERS REQUIRED. One was a grad student at the University of Chicago. The other was a famous geochemist. Together, they conducted an experiment in 1953 by mixing methane, ammonia, water vapor, and molecular hydrogen in flasks, which they sparked with powerful electric discharges. The walls of the flasks became coated with a sticky, brownish substance containing amino acids--hence, a possible explanation to the origin of life was discovered by--for 10 points--what two scientists?

    answer: Stanley Miller and Harold Urey

  6. This author created Lieutenant Shinji Takeyama, a man who commits ritual suicide after finding out that his closest colleagues are mutineers. After writing that short story, "Patriotism," this founder of the Shield Society performed the hara-kiri himself in 1970 to protest Japan's "spineless" military posture. Author of such novels as After the Banquet and The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea--for 10 points--who was this writer of the tetralogy, Sea of Fertility?

    answer: Yukio Mishima

  7. Most of the people given this pejorative nickname never favored the secession of Confederate states, and some were opponents of slavery based on principles. However, they were reviled for their opportunism during Reconstruction. For 10 points--name these white Southerners who cooperated with occupying federal forces and joined with the black freedmen and Carpetbaggers in support of Republican party policies, whose name is often applied to a worthless person.

    answer: Scalawags

  8. "Dim through the misty panes and thick green light, / As under a green sea, I saw him drowning. / In all my dreams, before my helpless sight, / He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning." This passage comes from an anti-war poem probably written to Jessie Pope, who was enlisting young people to fight in World War I. Written when poet Wilfred Owen was in the Craiglockhart War Hospital--for 10 points--what is this poem, whose Latin title is taken from "Horace's old lie" and precedes the words "pro patria mori?"

    answer: "Dulce et Decorum est" [Dulce = DULL-kay]

  9. He originally studied sculpture at Academie de la Grande Chaumire in Paris, but he later switched to architecture at Yale. In 1937, he collaborated with Charles Eames to win the 1940 furniture-making competition at The Museum of Modern Art. He subsequently designed furniture for Knoll International, and also designed the TWA terminal at New York's JFK Airport. For 10 points--identify this Finnish-American architect, who designed St. Louis' Gateway Arch.

    answer: Eero Saarinen

  10. You might know it as the duration of 9 billion, 192 million, 631 thousand, 770 periods of the radiation emitted in a transition between two specified energy levels of hyperfine, ground-state cesium-133 atoms. Formerly defined as one over 86 thousand 400 times the mean solar day, its current definition is the basis of universal time. For 10 points--what SI unit is simply one-sixtieth of a minute?

    answer: a second

  11. After Jo's father dies, she takes over the family bank, the only one in the title town. Sheriff Chappy Dent is one tough cop who's just a little confused. Ms. Schaefer teaches little girls how to walk the plank for a beauty pageant. Two escaped convicts--Harry Sawyer and Wayne Wayne Wayne, Jr.--must assume the identity of a gay couple and hide out in the title town. These are some of the wacky characters in--for 10 points--what recent independent film starring William H. Macy, Steve Zahn, and Jeremy Northam?

    answer: Happy, Texas

  12. This concept similar to the Coriolis effect explains the asymmetric pattern of the large-scale gyres in the subtropical oceans and the differences between eastern and western boundary currents. Thomson's theorem states that if this fluid property is zero initially, it remains zero as the fluid moves, but Prandtl proved that it can be introduced to the system through the fluid's interfaces. For 10 points--what is this "tendency" of a fluid to undergo rotary motion?

    answer: vorticity

  13. It had no streets, so its inhabitants had to climb ladders to enter each house through the roof. Located near present-day Konya, it had a population of around 5,000 and showcased spectacular cult fittings of wall paintings, plastered reliefs, and bull's head effigies. It covered 32 acres and contained 12 successive levels packed with rectangular mud-brick houses, irregular courtyards, and shrines. It had the earliest farmers, as 14 different crops were cultivated here 8,500 years ago. For 10 points--name this riverside settlement in present-day Turkey.

    answer: Çatal Hüyük [pron. cha-TAL HOO-yook, but accept garbled variants]

  14. The acute form of this disease can worsen over months instead of the usual 5 to 25 years. Occuring mainly in the Northern Hemisphere, it causes the gradual degeneration of the myelin covering, or sheath of nerve fibers. By interrupting or disordering transmission of nerve impulses--for 10 points--what debilitating disease of the brain and spinal chord especially impairs vision, sensation, and use of limbs?

    answer: Multiple Sclerosis (prompt on "MS")

  15. He was trained as a classical musician under composer Darius Milhaud, but his interest was jazz. In the 1940s, he formed various experimental jazz bands, and, in 1951, collaborated with a famous alto saxophonist for the first time. He and the saxophonist had many hits together, including the 1958 album "Time Out," in which he played "Blue Rondo a la Turk." For 10 points--name this jazz pianist, bandleader, and composer, famed for his collaboration with Paul Desmond.

    answer: Dave Brubeck

  16. This Native-American tribe drew influence from the Montagnais, Naskapi, and Ojibwa tribes. Primarily hunters, they cultivated little maize and were nearly wiped out by European diseases and Iroquois invasions, leaving only about 2,000 members which survived into the twentieth century. Scattered in the dense forest regions along the bank of the upper Ottawa River in Canada--for 10 points--name this tribe, identified by its language, whose name was appropriated by a famous New York hotel.

    answer: Algonquin Indians

  17. When he was 16, he was wrongly expelled from school, but he continued his education at a local library. At age 23, he founded the Black Horizons Theatre Company in St. Paul, Minnesota. He is famous for a cycle of plays, each set in a different decade, which tell the story of the black American experience. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize in 1990--for 10 points--who is this playwright of Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Fences, and The Piano Lesson?

    answer: August Wilson

  18. In 1944, the Germans intercepted an American convoy in German lines during the Battle of the Bulge, the last German offensive of the war. Among the convoy lay eighty-two Americans. Eighty of these Americans were executed in perhaps the most atrocious war crime of World War II. For 10 points--in what Belgian town did this tragedy occur?

    answer: Malmady

  19. In antiquity he was known as the Obscure because of the difficulties involved in deciphering his aphorisms. He defined "logos" to mean that the world exemplifies a rational order, but that only the wise realize that the world is always in a state of change, which he termed "flux." He also held the monistic view that all opposites are essentially the same, a concept he called the "Unity of Opposites." For 10 points--name this Greek philosopher who thought the universe was composed of fire.

    answer: Heraclitus

  20. Born in 1534 in Nagoya, he ruled from his base at Nagoya Castle. He destroyed opposing clans in brilliant campaigns against superior forces, being the first daimyo general to adopt tactics using newly imported Western muskets. He gained control of the region around the capital Kyoto, which he took in 1568, but was assassinated soon thereafter. For 10 points--name this Japanese general, whose dream of uniting Japan was realized under his subordinate, Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

    answer: Oda Nobunaga

  21. On the last night of this festival, families gather to share a meal called the karamu and light the last candle in the kinara. Umoja, kujichagulia, ujima, ujamaa, nia, kuumba and imani, which represent unity, self-determination, faith, creativity, purpose, collective work and cooperative economics are its guiding principles. For 10 points--name this non-religious holiday created by Dr. Maulana Karenga, whose name is Swahili for "first fruits" and is celebrated from December 26th through January 1st every year, mainly by African-Americans.

    answer: Kwanzaa

  22. This ruler died after Babylon fell without resistance to the Persian general Gobyras in 539 B.C. He was the son of Nabonidus, although Biblical sources claim that he was the son of Nebuchadrezzar. The Bible also tells of the famine and economic setbacks which occurred late in his reign and a feast he held at which an exile from Judah foretold the distruction of his city. For 10 points--name the leader of Babylon who invited Daniel to read the writing on the wall.

    answer: Balshazzar or Belshazzar

  23. This monster was killed by the flaming firebrands of Iolaus and the swift sword of Hercules. Its poisonous blood can be applied to arrows, making them fatal. The offspring of Typhon and Echidna, this gigantic monster had the ability of multiple regeneration as two heads grew where one was severed. For 10 points--identify this monster, one of the twelve labors of Hercules, identified by its nine heads.

    answer: Hydra