The Herbert Spencer Memorial Singles Tournament

Playoff Round 4


Editing and non-science questions by Matt Weiner

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


1. Ending on Simchat Torah, this festival requires the building of a structure with at least three walls and a porous roof. It commemorates the makeshift booths used during the wandering in the wilderness. FTP, name this eight-day Jewish holiday which doubles as the fall harvest festival.

ANSWER: Sukkot [accept Sukkos]


2. It joined with France and Spain in the League of Turin and was a signatory to the Treaty of Paris which ended the Crimean War. In 1848, it unified with Venice and Lombardy and fought a war with Austria, from which it had been given to the House of Savoy in 1720. FTP, name this island from which its king, Victor Emmanuel II, and Count Cavour engineered Italian independence.

ANSWER: Sardinia


3. They can be predicted by functions describing the summation over a given volume of dipole interactions such as London forces, Van der Waals forces, and hydrogen bonding. Examples include osmotic pressure, vapor pressure, and melting and boiling points. FTP, identify this class of properties which are a result of the number of molecules present, not composition.

ANSWER: colligative properties


4. When the public library in her Pennsylvania hometown opened, she received the first card and James Thurber the second. Aspects of the Present collects her Redbook articles from the 1970s, while her last major work was Culture and Commitment. FTP, name this author of Sex and Temperament in Three Primitive Societies and Coming of Age in Samoa.

ANSWER: Margaret Mead


5. Their pinnae are grouped symmetrically, usually in pairs, around the elongated rhachis which corresponds to the midrib and extends from the petiole.  They generally develop from repeated duplication of the stipules, and there is evidence that they arise when the KNOX homeobox gene is expressed.  FTP name the structures found on ash, hickory, locust, chestnut, and mimosa trees, consisting of between three and several dozen leaflets.

ANSWER: compound leaves


6. The roots of this modern country lie in the kingdom of Au Lac. After the Trung sisters were overthrown in 39 CE, foreign occupation lasted nine hundred years, was intermittently expelled, and finally vanquished until the nineteenth century when Le Loi drove out Ming dynasty forces. FTP, name this country which was eventually colonized by France until again gaining independence at the battle of Dien Bien Phu.

ANSWER: Vietnam


7. The iron 2+, 3+ and 4+ lines all fall in its range, as do five water lines. Thulium bromide, potassium bromide, or mineral oil, depending on the index of refraction of the test material, is used as a medium. A source known as a "glo-bar" is shown through the medium, into which the test material has been crushed into a fine powder. FTP, identify this method of chemical identification, used to view crystal lattice modes in the range of 20 microns, considerably longer than the wavelength of visible light.

ANSWER: infrared spectroscopy [or equivalents]


8. He sponsored the bill which created the HMO system in 1979. Now, he’s a vociferous spokesman in the effort to transform the HMO system. Not only are conservative editorial pages holding him up as a hypocrite, they are re-examining an incident from his past in light of the Gary Condit scandal; namely, his recovery from the Chappaquidick drowning affair. FTP, name this drunken Massachusetts Democrat.

ANSWER: Edward “Ted” Kennedy


9. At first, the ill will between the protagonist and Jean is more important than the substance of the pair’s disagreement. Once the affliction over which the two were arguing begins to affect more and more individuals, the protagonist tries to use reason, then considers whether becoming affected is actually the correct position. Daisy is the last one to change, at which point Berenger picks up a gun and resolves to fight. FTP, name this play about people turning into a certain animal, written by Eugene Ionesco.

ANSWER: Rhinoceros


10. Shortly after a show at the Agnew Gallery, he destroyed his early work and lived outside the art scene until Three Studies for Figures at the Base of a Crucifixion appeared in 1945. In the prime example of one of his series, he added a distorted cage and an expression of anguish to his version of a Velasquez portrait of Innocent X. FTP, name this artist who created a punk band name waiting to happen with his Screaming Popes series, who shares his name with a philosopher.

ANSWER: Francis Bacon


11. This group has declared support for human rights efforts in the 1971 Singapore Declaration and 1991 Harare Declaration. The second Monday in March is a holiday honoring this association, which was established by the 1931 Statute of Westminster and modernized by the 1949 London Declaration. The sixteen members called “realms” still recognize a common head of state. FTP, name this international governmental association mostly of former British colonies.

ANSWER: Commonwealth of Nations [prompt on British Commonwealth]


12. It produces a curve with two inflection points, one for each ionization. It is derived from the definitions of the acid constant, pH, and pKa. FTP, name this cornerstone of protolysis theory, which gives the pH of a buffer.

ANSWER: Henderson-Hasselbach equation


13. It can be computed by taking the matrix that represents the edges in a directed graph, then taking successive Boolean powers and combining to form all of the direct paths between 2 points seperated by 2 or more paths. Warshall's algorithm is faster. FTP, name this condition, one of three for an equivalence class.

ANSWER: transitive closure


14. The minority report on this bill has been summarized as an objection to “outlawing the rights of employers.” It forbade management discrimination against union workers, banned the enforcement of yellow-dog contracts in federal courts, and restricted the use of court injunctions against strikes. FTP, name this bill sponsored by a Nebraskan and a New Yorker.

ANSWER: Norris-LaGuardia Anti-Injunction Act


15. His only album is worth the same as the Ultimate Pog; however, Sax on the Beach is apparently good enough to make listeners forget about a cloud of poisonous gas. In the days before his death, it was strongly insinuated that he is the long lost brother of Julius Hibbert. He played his last notes in the form of a cloud. FTP, name this jazzman who got his moniker due to a lifelong avoidance of dentists, a hero of Lisa Simpson.

ANSWER: Bleeding Gums Murphy [either name or the full name is acceptable]


16. The pause for breath, which drastically affects the overall rhythmic division, originally occurred after the second line but is now placed after the third. The last line is often redundant or summarizing. This form is cast as courtly and feminine as opposed to the common and masculine haiku. FTP, name this five-line Japanese poetic form in which the lines respectively contain five, seven, five, seven, and seven syllables.

ANSWER: tanka


17. Soon after publishing a book inspired by an 1879 lecture about the Poncas, she traveled to California. There, with the assistance of Don Antonio Coronel and Abbot Kinney, she completed a commission by Hiram Price, studying the Saboba and Mission. The result was a work originally called In the Name of the Law, which described the murder of Alessandro and other abuses. FTP, name this Native American rights activist, the author of Ramona and A Century of Dishonor.

ANSWER: Helen Hunt Jackson


18. Residents of this city include Dannik Jerriko, Figrin D’An, and Wuher. The wreckage of the Dowager Queen still stands in the plaza. Famed as a “wretched hive of scum and villainy,” it is the largest city, but not the capital, of Tatooine. FTP, name this spaceport at which Ben Kenobi and Luke Skywalker met Chewbacca and Han Solo.

ANSWER: Mos Eisley


19. His experiences on the Russian front in World War I inspired his verse collection The Day of Judgment, and he inserted himself as narrator into his last novel, The Star of the Unborn. Earlier, he had warned of the threat of the Nazis in a work describing the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. His other major work was the result of a vow made by this Jewish author after escaping from the Nazis at Lourdes. FTP, name this writer of The Song of Bernadette.

ANSWER: Franz Werfel


20. During Chiang Kai-Shek’s headmastership at Whampoa Military Academy, this man was a political director there. He represented the Chinese Communist Party in negotiations with the Kuomintang during World War II, and he was the head negotiator at George Marshall’s conference on ending the Chinese civil war. FTP, name this politician who signed the Shanghai Communiqué with Nixon and re-opened relations with Japan, becoming a popular figure second in stature only to Mao before his 1976 death.

ANSWER: Zhou Enlai