The Herbert Spencer Memorial Singles Tournament

Playoff Round 3


Editing and non-science questions by Matt Weiner

Science by Edmund Schluessel, Mike Davies, Jon Misurda, and Matt Weiner


1. It’s the name of Pandion’s son, who was defeated by Theseus in an attempt to usurp the throne of Athens. In one version, another person with this name is killed by his daughter after attempting incest; in another, he is a she, the daughter of Triton, who is killed accidentally. FTP, give the common name for these mythological characters, which was adopted as an epithet of Athena.

ANSWER: Pallas


2. He’s not Pallas, but he too was accused of having an affair with his daughter. He also attempted to murder the consuls after losing an election, which took place after his return from Africa. After yet another incident, his supporters criticized the fact that he did not receive a trial but was simply hunted down by the army after a certain politican gave four orations against him. FTP, name this man whose conspiracy to overthrow the Roman Republic was thwarted by Cicero.

ANSWER: Catiline [accept Lucius Sergius Catilina]


3. The most important one allowed the judicial system and church of one party to continue but dissolved the parliaments into one. The name is given to the bill which joined Upper and Lower Canada in 1840, the 1800 revocation of Irish independence, and a 1536 law affecting Wales. It is most commonly applied to a 1707 act affecting Scotland. FTP, name these acts which created Great Britain.

ANSWER: Act of Union


4. Monsieur Le Quoi’s offer to buy maple sugar is rebuffed, Judge Temple fails to shoot a deer, and Captain Hollister and Hiram Doolittle fall down hills. Most of these events cause Billy Kirby to laugh. This work opens with Elizabeth’s return from school and closes with new sheriff Richard Jones leading a raid against the protestor of hunting laws, Natty Bumpo. FTP, identify this first work in the Leatherstocking Tales.

ANSWER: The Pioneers, or The Sources of the Susquehanna [prompt on Leatherstocking Tales before “sheriff”]


5. He lived in New Orleans during his exile from Santa Anna-controlled Mexico, returning to become Minister of Justice in the Ignacio Comonfort administration. In that capacity, he issued a namesake law revoking the privileges of the Catholic clergy. Succeeding Comonfort as president, he first ruled from Veracruz before returning the government to Mexico City in 1860. FTP, name this man who ruled Mexico before and after the French occupation.

ANSWER: Benito Pablo Juárez


6. Forty-one years after his death, his writings on love and marriage were collected as Cooperation Between the Sexes. He found that a sense of belonging and independent achievement lessened a certain neurosis, which he thought drove psychology, rather than the Freudian libido. FTP, name this Austrian whose The Practice and Theory of Individual Psychology discussed the inferiority complex.

ANSWER: Alfred Adler


7. Consider a cubic lattice in three-dimensional space with unit charges located at integer lattice points <i,j,k> not equal to <0,0,0>, and of sign (-1)^(i+j+k). The total electrostatic potential at the origin, therefore, is the sum over all space of the ratio of the charge to the magnitude of the position vector. FTP, this defines what pure number, designated alpha and equal to approximately 1.748 for sodium chloride, a factor in the potential energy of a crystal?

ANSWER: Madelung's constant


8. Their name is ultimately derived from an Old Turkish verb meaning “to dig out.” They organized themselves into village assemblies, and ownership of land existed at the village level. Declared an ethnic group by a 1992 act of legislation, attempts to eradicate their culture had been suspended during World War II, when their use in the military was revived. FTP, name this group from the Russian steppes which was also employed as internal police and border patrolmen during czarist times.

ANSWER: cossacks


9. One government’s violation of a twenty-five year tax exemption for companies mining a certain natural resource led to the occupation of Antofagasta, beginning this war. President Hilarión Daza’s partner nation continued alone after the Battle of Point Angamos, resulting in the occupation of Tacna and Arica. The Treaty of Ancón transferred control of Tarapacá, and the next year, Atacama was also given to Chile. FTP, name this 1879 to 1883 war which saw the defeat of Peru and Bolivia.

ANSWER: War of the Pacific


10. First developed at Washington University in St. Louis in 1975, it uses a radiopharmaceutical, usually a variant of a common molecule like Oxygen-15 water or Flurorodeoxyglucose. The chemical is inahaled or injected into the bloodstream as the body performs some activity. FTP name this process, whose advantage over MRI and CT scans is its ability to show the location of metabolic function rather than just details of anatomy.

ANSWER: Positron Emission Tomography scan


11. His first work was a play about James I entitled The Regicide. In the aftermath of the Cartagena expedition, in which he served, he was imprisoned for libel when he contested Admiral Knowles’s claims of blamelessness. He went on to write The History and Adventures of an Atom, The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom and Travels in France and Italy. FTP, name this author, tossups on whom should not start by mentioning his creation of such characters as Humphrey Clinker, Roderick Random, and Peregrine Pickle.

ANSWER: Tobias George Smollett


12. In this work, the protagonist’s name is a multi-lingual play on words, sometimes interpreted to mean “an apostle—a Russian—a son of whom?” It begins, “A small, rather smart, well-sprung four-wheeled carriage with a folding top drove through the gates of an inn of the provincial town of N.” Plyushkin, Korobochka, Manilov, and Sobakevich are potential sellers in the scheme which makes up the plot of this work; namely, Pavel Ivanovich Chichikov’s plan to buy serfs who have died since the last census and mortgage the serf tax to buy real estate. FTP, name this novel by Nikolai Gogol.

ANSWER: Dead Souls [or Myortvye dushi]


13. Its similarly named "phenomenon" is secondary to other diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and scleroderma. Apart from young women it is often suffered by those who operate equipment which damages the arterial structure of the extremities, leading to vasospactic attacks. The affected areas turn blue for a while, then revert to near-normal coloration. FTP name this incurable but rarely dangerous disorder named after a French physician of the 19th century.

ANSWER: Raynaud’s disease


14. The guardadamas at the central right appears slightly transparent due to a botched restoration. The dwarves Maribarbola and Nicolasito are arriving to entertain the central figure. The background includes copies of two Rubens paintings which show the folly of challenging the artistic gods. In a white dress with an enormous flower on the chest, the Infanta Margarita is at the center, not wishing to stand for another portrait by the artist on the left. FTP, name this painting by Diego Velasquez.

ANSWER: Las Meninas [or The Maids of Honor]


15. An early proponent of atomism, he helped create the problem he later solved, having proposed the tetravalent carbon atom. When one substance seemingly evaded this explanation, he began to have a recurring dream about snakes swallowing their own tails. FTP, name this German chemist who proposed the ring structure of benzene.

ANSWER: Friedrich Kekulé von Stradonitz


16. It included the soldier Nicholas Longford, the bishop Henry Beaufort, and the regent John, Duke of Bedford. Composed of the descendants of the duke of its namesake area, John of Gaunt, all of its kings had the same name. FTP, identify this English dynasty which included Henry IV, Henry V, and Henry VI and fought the War of the Roses with the House of York.

ANSWER: House of Lancaster


17. First translated into English by John Florio, they include “Of Glory,” “Of Vanity,” “Of Repenting;” “It Is Folly to Refer Truth or Falsehood to Our Sufficiency,” “A Custom of the Isle of Cea.” “That to Philosophize is to Learn How to Die,” and “Upon some Verses of Virgil,” while the longest is  “Apology for Raymond de Sebond.” They were published in two books in 1580, with a third added in 1588. FTP, identify these works which lend their collective name to a genre of writing, written by Michel de Montaigne.

ANSWER: Essays of Michel Eyquem de Montaigne [or Essais de Michel Eyquem de Montaigne]


18. Born in Silesia in 1906 and educated at Göttingen, she moved to the United States after marrying a theoretical chemist. While at Johns Hopkins, she wrote what would become the standard handbook of statistical mechanics. Enrico Fermi suggested that she predict the structures of the as-yet undiscovered transuranium elements. In 1963 she shared the Nobel prize with Hans Jensen, becoming the second woman to win that award. FTP, name this physicist, who discovered the "magic numbers" of nuclear stability.

ANSWER: Maria Goeppert-Mayer


19. As specified by this treaty, one side’s territory was halved, and the other paid fifteen million dollars in reparations. The tenth article went unratified by one side, while the fifth settled the nominal original controversy of the war which led to this treaty by setting the border between the two countries at a certain river. FTP, identify this treaty negotiated by Nicholas Trist which ended the U.S-Mexican War.

ANSWER: Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo


20. Moonbeams and rising stars trigger dreams of this person, who was killed when “the winged seraphs of heaven” caused a chilling wind to blow out of a cloud, then buried by her “highborn kinsmen.” Feeling an eternal bond with her soul, her beau apparently lies at the side of her corpse “in her tomb by the sounding sea.” FTP, identify this maiden, title character of a poem by Edgar Allan Poe.

ANSWER: “Annabel Lee