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Posts Tagged ‘eqc’

Look behind you

Happy new year one and all! Let’s hope 2012 holds as much quizzing fun as 2011 did.  For a final moment though, let’s look back at the highlight of 2011, our trip to the European Quizzing Championships, one last time.  Mike and myself have already had our say.  Now it’s David’s turn.

And so, late to the party I arrive and whether I’ve brought the finest wine or the cheapest bottle of generic vodka will be in the eye of the beholder. The entrées have been provided by John and an intriguing little number supplied by Mike but enough of tortured party metaphors and let us talk of Bruges.

Looking back after this length of time, it is even more obvious to me that there are fundamental failing within Irish quizzing that mean that Ireland as a nation is a long way from ever appearing in the finals of the EQC. John and Mike have made most of the salient points on this issue but there are a couple more I’d like to throw into the mix

I think Mike nailed it on the head by challenging quiz setters to no longer pander to their audience. Something I’ve been accused of more than once is setting table quizzes that are far too hard and I did write half the questions for the supposed quiz from hell (see Don’t work… too hard; however, the shocking round was written by the silent-but-deadly Michelle) but I honestly believe that a) it wasn’t that hard a quiz and b) that making it a quiz where the scores are higher, the central premise of it being a GK quiz, i.e. the display of more general knowledge than your opponents, would have been lost. This is not the Special Olympics, not everyone “can be a winner” so why not accept that and reward ostentatious outbursts of intellectualism?

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Now that the dust has settled

Guest blog from Mike

Though John’s covered our participation in the European Quizzing Championships in Brussels thoroughly (and then some), I thought it might be of interest to share our observations on different quizzing styles/cultures and what have you. It was a fairly different kettle of fish there, to be honest. I was glad to find a Wiki entry on Belgian Quizzing to refresh my memory somewhat this morning.

First up, the venues. Irish pub quizzes are as they say on the tin. They traditionally start at 8-for-9pm Irish time, and often run on quiet nights (football-free, usually) to bring a crowd that might otherwise stay at home. Since the longer a quiz goes on the more drinks that are served, we’ve experienced quizzes run at glacial pace, with unnecessarily long breaks. But I digress. Drink is intrinsic to the experience, in short. You can choose not to drink, or else get nominated as the designated driver, but  a pint or two certainly helps the night go by. Although Belgian beer is quite delicious, their quiz scene is typically focused around school halls or other indoor sports venues – dry venues, in other words. Every Saturday afternoon, we were told, were the norm, with quiz results monitored and competitors ranked (check out John’s Audioboo from the venue for more). A 500-team ranking ladder suggests a highly-organised sport, rather than the ramshackle ‘let’s hold a fundraiser… how about a quiz?’ tradition here.

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Mmm, tasty.

Are you ready for some answers? In a moment, I will give you the solutions to those (pretty hard) questions from the Pairs event at the European Quiz Championship that I posted yesterday.

First though, I’d like to point out that, with all the excitement over the weekend, I’ve only just gotten around to putting up the podcast of last week’s After the Fact radio show.  The theme of the show is fire and you can listen to it at this address: www.mixcloud.com/claremorrisfm/after-the-fact-fire/

Anyway, back to those questions.  Click continue reading to see the answers.

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Norway and Finland face-off in the Nations Cup final

Our weekend of quizzing is over and I have returned home from the land of expensive tea*. Tired I may be, but I’m also slightly wiser and delighted to have made a slew of new friends.

Sunday morning offered no respite for those with fragile heads as the Pairs event kicked off at 10am. David and myself entered this ‘Duo quiz’ with one aim in mind – try and break the 40 point barrier that had bedevilled our two previous team performances. Big news: we did it! In fact, we scored 52. 🙂

This quiz was more akin to the Individual qualifier than the team quizzes. At the start of each round, we received a sheet with 12 questions.  One of these was usually linked to an audio clip which would be played on the PA. The sheets also included small, black-and-white versions of pictures related to (on average) three or four of the questions. Whilst, these pictures were also displayed on the big screen, I did find it surprising throughout the weekend that, at such a well-organised event, no-one was able to find a colour photocopier for the question sheets.

As I’m now back at home, I will return to traditional form and include some of the questions from this quiz at the end of the post. You better get your game face on though!

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In the midst of Quiz

Yesterday afternoon I borrowed Mikey’s iPad with the intention of writing another blog post on how we’d done in that morning’s Individual Quiz. However, I noticed that several people were heading in the direction of the competition hall. So I wandered that way and inquired of the nearest quizzer as to what kind of event was about to start.

As I said yesterday, quizzing is almost constant at this event. Anyone who wants to can bring along a laptop, some answer sheets and take over the main stage. Yesterday afternoon’s event was called the ‘Totally Subjective Quiz’ and it followed the Belgian model. Before each round you were handed an answer sheet that was specific to that round. For example, round 1 featured a list of eleven European monarchs. The quiz master then proceeded to call out facts about 10 monarchs and we simply had to match E with 1, J with 2 etc.

I ended up forming an impromptu alliance with the man I asked about the quiz, Stijn, and I’m opening up this post talking about it as we went on to win the quiz! So there, I’ve won a quiz at the European Quiz Championship. 🙂
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The sum of our parts?

It’s lunchtime on day two of the European Quiz Championship in Bruges.

The Nations Cup qualifier last night was possibly the hardest quiz I’ve ever seen, let alone taken part in. Questions ranged from obscure to the impossible. The one that sticks in my mind opened with a picture of a lady sitting at a keyboard, with her back to the camera. ‘Ok, it’s going to be about a pianist’ I thought.

“This Polish harpsichordist contributed to the harpsichord revival of the mid-twentieth century. What is her name?”

Now, I don’t know about you, but the harpsichord revival of the mid-twentieth century must have slipped under pay radar as I wasn’t aware anyone did anything noteworthy on the harpsichord since the end of the Baroque era. 😦
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On the set of In Bruges

It’s been a mad, mad 24 hours since we took off from Dublin Airport yesterday. Let’s put it like this: the most normal thing we’ve done was to get our photos taken standing at the lectern in the European Parliament chamber.

That occurred during a tour of the Parliament given to us by our old college buddy Brian, who works in the building as an MEP’s research assistant. Brian was also our host for the evening, a role he filled to an impeccable degree: feeding us, showing us the sites and losing to us in cards. He was very thorough in that last one, actually.

The cards filled up most of our evening. They were played in Bar des Halles, a very cool Brussels spot which not only provides free decks of cards but chess boards too. Our marathon game was given a little extra spice by our deciding half-way through that the spare bed in Brian’s apartment was on the line! Mike held his nerve better than I held my Baileys and he prevailed. I did manage to finish in second though and thus claimed the couch ahead of David.

We were lucky to get home to those sleeping spots, mind you, as the journey home from the pub felt more like a deleted scene from the French movie Taxi. About a third of the way home, our driver encountered a colleague at a red light. Some banter through the open window ensued before an impromptu race kicked off with traffic lanes, other cars and even a red light being ignored in favour of his effort to keep up with his mate. Mike, who had been in the ‘launch position’ in the middle of the back seat, felt most alive after this experience was over!

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