Sunday, May 30, 2004

Guys unveiling the log for crossStyx - figuring out a way to add it to the template



As the date for the organization of QUEST's much awaited 'college quiz for schools' draws nearer i draw myself to think about the pre-requisites and the points to be taken into consideration as regards the setting of the quiz with respect to scoring, question setting and so many small nuances that can be included to make this quiz much more successful in achieving its objectives. It would be very unfortunate that if in the logistical details the big picture (read objectives) of the quiz are forgotten. Hence this effort to jot down what all can be done in achieving this objective.

For the uninitiated QUEST is organizing a quiz aimed at introducing college level quizzing to school children i.e. 9th /10th std. students who are soon going to be in the college scene. It is going be called "Chanaksha" and will be held around 2nd/3rd week of July. Following are a few of the points that can be included in this quiz to help in achieving this goal:

Scoring System:
Well since the norm is IR in college quizzing, undoubtedly this should be the system in this quiz. There have been a few arguments that school children will not 'understand' it. I think now that we are all supposedly 'grown up' we should make the mistake that some of our elders made that of under rating school children. I also think that a general consensus has been reached on this issue. However this method should be properly explained to the audience, maybe when the checking of the papers is going on.

Team Names:
Definite yes! Give them examples, tell them what team names are, tell them how they are supposed to be. While registering we can ask them to think of something beforehand instead of telling them at the last moment. This should definitely be done. Maybe 3 excellent team names from the innumerable good ones that we have should be put up somewhere in the hall. Maybe a poster comprising what makes a good name, and etc etc should be put up somewhere.

Again a definite yes, i don't know if the QM is going to include connects but i think it should definitely be done but albeit in a small way. There shouldn't be a barrage of connects nor should there be a special connect round. They can be slipped in between, as regular questions, and maybe even a picture connect should be included. This will help a long way.

Familiarizing Trivia:

School children don't know what trivia is. Quizzing is thought of to be rattling away already known facts rather than working out questions etc etc. The concept of workable questions needs to be introduced. I think a good way of doing this will be through the quizmaster himself. There are going be some really workable questions and therefore if no one gets it right the QM should explain the process of working out a question. Not every time but at least once this should be done.

Round Formats:

I think the concept of Rapid Fire must be done away with. Rounds might be content based or format based. This is left to the discretion of the QM and really does not matter. I personally prefer content-based rounds like sports, music etc.


Thursday, May 27, 2004

Sorry guys for the recent lack of posts,
The dry up has been due my being extremely busy rather than a dry up in my well of ideas, - so expect something good by the weekend as the master will get some time to come and appease his audience !!!

PS : How long a minute is depends on which side of the toilet door u are !!

Friday, May 21, 2004


I know a lot of you guys there are involved in computers/ programming etc. I have a project here regarding testing various quizzing models etc etc. I have written all the specific requirements which are basically too long and are probably deviating from the interests of a lot of my readers.

Anyway please mail me at : immediately if any of you is interested in developing this idea forward and i will mail all of you my proposal. Let me assure you this is not another KBC but it is a serious program regarding testing of various quizzing models. All you guys have to do is put my ideas into code to make it to work. This can be developed further and can be used as an idea for your college projects etc. So be quick and mail me !!

Monday, May 17, 2004

|| A Question of Fun ||

As i celebrate the crossing of the hundred hits on my blog (not to mention searching franctically for that absconding scoundrel who was my hundredth eyeball - we two hundreth actually unless i had some one-eyed donkey also.) we pay a tribute to one of the founding fathers of compting, computing morality and of course philosophy. This 'enigmatic' persona has continued to haunt historians for a long time for his brilliance , eccentricity, and gayness.
Anyways this excellent article from the annals of the WWW is excellent in content as well as conciseness. As they say Enjoy !!

Alan Turing's short and extraordinary life has attracted wide interest. It has inspired his mother's memoir (E. S. Turing 1959), a detailed biography (Hodges 1983), a play and television film (Whitemore 1986), and various other works of fiction and art.
There are many reasons for this interest, but one is that in every sphere of his life and work he made unexpected connections between apparently unrelated areas. His central contribution to science and philosophy came through his treating the subject of symbolic logic as a new branch of applied mathematics, giving it a physical and engineering content. Though a shy, boyish, man, he had a pivotal role in world history through his role in Second World War cryptology. Though the founder of the dominant technology of the twentieth century, he variously impressed, charmed or disturbed people with his unworldly innocence and his dislike of moral or intellectual compromise.

Alan Mathison Turing was born in London, 23 June 1912, to upper-middle-class British parents. His schooling was of a traditional kind, dominated by the British imperial system, but from earliest life his fascination with the scientific impulse — expressed by him as finding the ‘commonest in nature’ — found him at odds with authority. His scepticism, and disrespect for worldly values, were never tamed and became ever more confidently eccentric. His moody humour swung between gloom and vivacity. His life was also notable as that of a gay man with strong emotions and a growing insistence on his identity.

His first true home was at King's College, Cambridge University, noted for its progressive intellectual life centred on J. M. Keynes. Turing studied mathematics with increasing distinction and was elected a Fellow of the college in 1935. This appointment was followed by a remarkable and sudden d├ębut in an area where he was an unknown figure: that of mathematical logic. The paper "On Computable Numbers…" (Turing 1936-7) was his first and perhaps greatest triumph. It gave a definition of computation and an absolute limitation on what computation could achieve, which makes it the founding work of modern computer science. It led him to Princeton for more advanced work in logic and other branches of mathematics. He had the opportunity to remain in the United States, but chose to return to Britain in 1938, and was immediately recruited for the British communications war.

From 1939 to 1945 Turing was almost totally engaged in the mastery of the German enciphering machine, Enigma, and other cryptological investigations at now-famous Bletchley Park, the British government's wartime communications headquarters. Turing made a unique logical contribution to the decryption of the Enigma and became the chief scientific figure, with a particular responsibility for reading the U-boat communications. As such he became a top-level figure in Anglo-American liaison, and also gained exposure to the most advanced electronic technology of the day.

Combining his ideas from mathematical logic, his experience in cryptology, and some practical electronic knowledge, his ambition, at the end of the war in Europe, was to create an electronic computer in the full modern sense. His plans, commissioned by the National Physical Laboratory, London, were overshadowed by the more powerfully supported American projects. Turing also laboured under the disadvantage that his wartime achievements remained totally secret. His ideas led the field in 1946, but this was little recognised. Frustrated in his work, he emerged as a powerful marathon runner, and almost qualified for the British team in the 1948 Olympic games.

Turing's motivations were scientific rather than industrial or commercial, and he soon returned to the theoretical limitations of computation, this time focussing on the comparison of the power of computation and the power of the human brain. His contention was that the computer, when properly programmed, could rival the brain. It founded the ‘Artifical Intelligence’ program of coming decades.

In 1948 he moved to Manchester University, where he partly fulfilled the expectations placed upon him to plan software for the pioneer computer development there, but still remained a free-ranging thinker. It was here that his famous 1950 paper, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence," (Turing 1950b) was written. In 1951 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for his 1936 achievement, yet at the same time he was striking into entirely new territory with a mathematical theory of biological morphogenesis (Turing 1952).

This work was interrupted by Alan Turing's arrest in February 1952 for his sexual affair with a young Manchester man, and he was obliged, to escape imprisonment, to undergo the injection of oestrogen intended to negate his sexual drive. He was disqualified from continuing secret cryptological work. His general libertarian attitude was enhanced rather than suppressed by the criminal trial, and his intellectual individuality also remained as lively as ever. While remaining formally a Reader in the Theory of Computing, he not only embarked on more ambitious applications of his biological theory, but advanced new ideas for fundamental physics.

For this reason his death, on 7 June 1954, at his home in Wilmslow, Cheshire, came as a general surprise. In hindsight it is obvious that Turing's unique status in Anglo-American secret communication work meant that there were pressures on him of which his contemporaries were unaware; there was certainly another ‘security’ conflict with government in 1953 (Hodges 1983, p. 483). Some commentators, e.g. Dawson (1985), have argued that assassination should not be ruled out. But he had spoken of suicide, and his death, which was by cyanide poisoning, was most likely by his own hand, contrived so as to allow those who wished to do so to believe it a result of his penchant for chemistry experiments. The symbolism of its dramatic element — a partly eaten apple — has continued to haunt the intellectual Eden from which Alan Turing was expelled.

Thus ends an insight into one of the greatest philosophcal minds of the 20th century - A.M.Turing.

NOTE : Small well known trivia, Apple Computers logo of an half eaten apple has been derived from the incident of Turing's death.

Friday, May 14, 2004


Well after some deliberations with Salil and a few others and a few after thoughts, i have decided to present the final,general and toned down version of my idea for a quizzing league in Pune. The general and major difficulties with my earlier proposal were
a)what if partners are changed
b)money needed to be paid ??
c)Difficulty in attending
d)ppl getting rewarded just for turning up

Now i see points a) and d) as important points that need to be resolved. As for people not able to attend all the quizzes, i re iterate that this system will be used only for MAJOR quizzes and i have brought down the number to eight quizzes only. So i don't see a problem with that as these people can atleast try and attend these quizzes. A tentative list will include ;

b)BG Joshi (AIT)
c)BJ Quiz
e)VIT quiz (which one pls notify me and tell which when where ?)
f) Shyam Bhat quiz
g)AFMC quizzes

I might have missed a few quizzes and there might be some important ones coming up newly. Anyways i will be floating a sort of official application for membership of Pune Quizzing Circuit soon after some discussion.

Modified Scoring System :

After taking into consideration the faults of the previous scoring system main modifications include ,

1) Only those getting half the cut off points will be considered for point addition. This ensures that just turning up will not guarantee u points.

2) As for the teams thing, viz. partner changing i accept that is a major problem. The solution is that points are maintained for individual players and not for teams though they may compete as teams. Now for example A & B and C&D form a team for a quiz. The first team comes 1st and the other does not get any points. Then both A and B get the specified points while C and D get nothing. Now if in the next quiz A and D team up and get say 10 points then - these 10 points are added to A's previous total and D in total gets 10 points. I think is a very acceptable system.

The rest of the scoring system remains as it is that is:


Points in Elims = 10 X (Score in Elims + (10 - rank) for all teams qualified for the final).

i.e if a team scores 15 points in the elims and comes 2nd overall thereby qualifying for the finals then they get a score of 10 x (15 + (10 - 2)) = 230 points.

if a team scores 9 points in the elims and does not qualify for the finals then they get only 90 points.


Number of points = (Number of Correct answers X 20) + bonus points as following :

1st 50 points
2nd 40 points
3rd 30 points
4th 20 points
NOTE - another important change to be noted is that instead of score in finals - we get total number of correct answers X 20 (not 10). This ensures that even if IR is not followed(very very unlikely) then also we score via IR.

The individual tile and the team title will be decide as previously stated. However one imp. change to the team title is that instead of the top two teams - the scores of the top three players will be noted for the final score.


The board might be toned down to two members only but the board will have a panel of 5 observers. These will ensure that atleast two of them is present at each specified event to oversee proceedings, to note down scores and other formalities. These observers will see the standard of the quiz and rate them and suggest improvements. They might also visit quizzes whose membership will be considered for the next year.

The board will be totally honourary and quizzers will not have to pay to take part. But they will have to register. There might be a small fee that night have to be paid by the member quizzes so that out of this money at the end of the year we can reward the best quizzers, team and the best organized quizzes. There might not be cash prizes for the winners as this will be a totally voluntary exercise, but i think the praise itself will be enough.

The member quizzes will have to register with the board and will have to follow certain guidelines like allowing the observers to the see scores of individuals in elims etc. These rules remain same as previous.

The year ending quiz event remains a dream for me and lets see as the season goes on if we can make it a reality

As for the website where to host the scores and table i think a message board like the fergie one will do, - so that's where all this will be put up.

FC Quiz Society (someone remember the name ?)

Monday, May 10, 2004

NOTE for ppl:

This idea presented below of having a quiz boards may require a lot of planning etc,

However it can be toned down by someone just keeping all the results and all the scores of ppl at the quizzes and then formalize the results,
Anyways check it out, i seriously think with a little bit of organization it might work !


Was just reading something about quizzing leagues somewhere. When i heard of the idea of a league - an idea developed in my mind, but when i proceeded to actually read the details i found that it was radically different from the actual idea that i had in my mind. However my actual idea can be actually tweaked a litle bit here and there to actually fit the Pune Quizzing Circuit as i like to call it . We have number of quizzes round the year and some most of the teams coming are common to all the quizzes. Some quizzes have a rotating audience which comes to only a particular quiz, but say 15 teams do try and make it to every quiz. It is for these teams that this idea of quizzing league will be extremely important/useful.

Now my idea is influenced by the Formula1 scoring system to some extent. There is a concept of College/Company (equivalent to teams) and teams(equivalent to drivers).Following is an exact description.



Points in Elims = 10 X (Score in Elims + (10 - rank) for all teams qualified for the final).

i.e if a team scores 15 points in the elims and comes 2nd overall thereby qualifying for the finals then they get a score of 10 x (15 + (10 - 2)) = 230 points.

if a team scores 9 points in the elims and does not qualify for the finals then they get only 90 points.

Ambiguity no 1: What if two teams gets equal rank and both qualify :
Then both get equal number of championship points.

Ambiguity no 2 : What if two teams get equal points and only one qualifies via a tie breaker:
Then the team which does not go through does not get the bonus points for qualifying for the finals.


Number of points = Score in the final + bonus points as following :

1st 50 points
2nd 40 points
3rd 30 points
4th 20 points

Now if the winner is decided via a tie break - then both the teams get equal no of base points and different number of bonus points. Now if two teams are tied on 4th place and since there is no need to resolve a tie breaker the total number of points they get will remain equal.


The teams which gets maximum amount of champioship points at the end of a season will be declared the winner with subsequent runners-up etc.


For calculating the total points of a particular institution the top two teams of that instituion will be chosen and their points will be added up to decide the best team score. That institution willbe given the winners title.


A certain board of avid quizzers will be chosen most probably comprising of 5 members. This board will have a Chairman and Chief Scorer. It will be sole jurisdiction of the Chairman to resolve any disputes or for the interpretation of rules. All disputes regarding the scoring pattern etc will be resolved by the chief scorer. This committee shall be divided into two parts. One comprising of the Chairman and the Secretary. This legislative committee will look after all the rules/regulations interpretations etc. etc. The other will be the executive committee consisting of the Chief Scorer, Scorer and Administrative Officer(AO). The Chief Scorer and the Scorer will have the responsibility of documenting all the results and preparing tables, scores and announcing results. In case of any ambiguity they will consult the Chairman for any interpretation of rules.It will be the duty of the AO to ensure that all the participants get a regular update of their positions and if possible to maintain an online document of the same. It will be his duty to notify changes in itenerary and to look after the finances of the board.

All the teams will register with the Board before the start of the quizzing circuit with all necessary information. Teams will be allowed to join the league at any time during the season.

The board can try and have an observer present at all the quizzes to rank the quizzes, in terms of organization etc. etc.

Qualifying Quizzes :

It must be noted that it will not be possible to accomodate all the quizzes to be a part of the Quizzing circuit. It would be much better if we had a list of reputed quizzes say about 12 in number which will be members of this league. Various institutions can be asked to organize one event a year(as most already do ). Therefore it can pre-released before the start of the year and an itenerary can be drawn up of all the participating quizzes and approx. dates.
This will lend a sort of formalization to various quizzes.


The PCQ Board will prepare a timetable of events, and a list of participating institutions. The following rules must be followed by participating institutions.

1. They must make available the scores and ranks of atleast the participating teams in the elims.

2. They must make available the final scores of all the teams to the Board.

3. They must fix an approx. date of their event and notify the board of any change whatsoever.

The participating quizzes must ensure that their quiz is of a particular standard. They must ensure that the whole process is fair and every effort must be made to ensure the best standard possible.

The board reserves the right to add new rules and regulations for participating teams and reserves the right to add/expel new quizzes etc from the itinerary.


At the end of the quizzing season the Board can organize a final quizzing nite/afternoon. This will be for declaring the winners of the individual and the team titles. The Board will also give suggestions regarding the organizing of various quizzes and will suggest improvements. The Board may also give a Best Organized Quiz of the Year to a particular quiz.

On this quizzing siesta on the last day the board will organize a quiz on its own behalf. This may be in a different format to the normal for eg. knock out etc. Lots of fun things can be done before end on season on this last day.


Every participating team will pay a pre decided amount to the Board. Also the participating teams must pay a pre-decided amount to the board to be a part of the quizzing circuit. The members of the board may have the right to be paid a certain honourarium for their invaluable services.The Board fund will be utilized for the organization of the finalquiz. All the relevant logistics regarding finaces will have to be discussed in person.


This is a general idea and a final draft can be drawn once a general consensus is reached. I think this is extremely feasible idea provided all of us co-operate. We can have a website of the PCQ on which this league can perform. This can spawn a number of other ideas. We can have fictional betting on the teams, fantasy leagues, fantasy teams, etc etc. I see some problems like team changing will not be possible as in i cannot team up with person A in one quiz and person B in another quiz. However the number of plusses are huge, this will ensure a general regular attendance at various quizzes - loyalty will be increased, people will be encouraged for organizing quizzes well.There will be direct competition amongst quizzes and those a part of this circuit will get a reputed name. Suppose someone is organizing a quiz for the first time he will do it properly hoping that next time they might be included in the circuit. Also suppose i am coming 5th in a particular quiz then i will not give up, as in there will still be something to play for. Competitiveness will increase and the element of fun will be enormous. Hoping that next year this league will be a reality ---

FC Quiz Society - QUEST (did anyone know it had a name!!)