Thursday, November 02, 2006

College bowl 

I really could forgive Judi Dutcher for not knowing what E-85 is, but there's no need to besmirch the great College Bowl (actually Quiz Bowl) questions of the world. The form is all wrong. Here's an example question (imagine suspenseful music playing in the background):
It began in the party platform of winning prime minister Daniel Malan in 1948, and the Department of Home Affairs began classification of all citizens into one of three groups. It was strengthened by the 1951 Bantu Authorities Act, which established ethnically or tribally based homelands near population centers. It was weakened in the 1970s by the enactment of the Sullivan Rules, urging non-discriminatory hiring for American businesses, and in the 1980s by mass disinvestment by Western corporations. Repealed completely by 1991, FTP what was this policy of racial segregation in South Africa?
(Taken from the Stanford Quiz Bowl practice questions.)
Now by the end of the question it is obvious to most of the audience what it is; College Bowl questions have this crescendo to them that gives them their beauty. "What is E-85?" is about as poetic as a Howard Dean scream.