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TechTatva’16: Questionable Intelligence

QI was a breath of fresh air for those chosen few with an aptitude for deductive reasoning beyond technical ability. Though it might seem like a test of textbook facts, trust us when we say that these quizzes were more Marty singing Johnny B.Goode and less “Why exactly is this flux capacitor sparking?”

SciEnt Quiz
Pranav Iyer

Picture credits: The Photography and Videography Department

Picture credits: The Photography and Videography Department

The Ampulex ______, which is a species of wasp, injects a toxin into its prey’s neural nodes, leaving it alive but unable to co-ordinate its movements, as if its soul has been sucked out, leaving it an empty body. Which fictional creatures are these wasps named after? If you recalled and guessed ‘Dementors’ from the Harry Potter series then the Science and Entertainment quiz was just the event for you.

On the 13th of October, Thursday, the first quiz of the Questionable Intelligence category i.e. the Science and Entertainment quiz, was conducted at the AC Seminar Hall. The event attracted a large turnout of forty-five teams of three from seasoned quizzers and science fiction aficionados, including a large number of participants from KMC and NIT Surathkal. The prelims which was delayed by half an hour, consisted of twenty-five questions, from topics related to Science, Science-Fiction or Entertainment, including a delightful question pertaining to the origins of the Vulcan salute from the Star Trek series. The questions kept the participants interested as they racked their heads trying to figure out the answers. At times, some even objected to additional hints whenever it was offered by the quizmaster.

When the answers to the preliminary round were announced some of the participants were left disappointed and the top eight teams were chosen to battle it out in the final round. The finals of the quiz began at 6:00 PM and had four rounds, a clockwise round, a written round, a “list it” round, and an anti-clockwise round. In the written round, the participants had to guess which person an organism was named after based on their characteristics and behavior while the list it round had the participants list down all the elements in the periodic table which were named after scientists. Despite the fact that there was a clear winner and a runner up even before the quiz ended, the remaining teams continued quizzing with a fiery intensity and showed no signs of letting up despite the event going on all the way to 8:15 PM.

The event’s organisers were pleasantly surprised at the large turnout for the quiz and hoped the trend would continue for the general quiz and the BizTech quiz as well. All in all, the event was well received by the sci-fi buffs in attendance.

General Quiz
Pranav Iyer

Picture credits: The Photography and Videography Department

Picture credits: The Photography and Videography Department

After the substantial participation for the Science and Entertainment quiz on Day Two of TechTatva, the second quiz of the Questionable Intelligence category, The General Quiz, continued drawing large crowds, with over forty teams occupying the AC Seminar Hall for the first round. Conducted by MIT alumnus and Conclave speaker Akhilesh Oberoi on the 14th of October, the preliminary round of the quiz began twenty minutes late, at 4:00PM, allowing ample time for teams to arrive and take their seats. The overwhelming response was not restricted to teams from MIT, as participants from KMC also turned up in large numbers.

Consisting of twenty-five questions, the preliminary round covered a wide range of topics. From a quote about the RSS changing their uniform, to the inspiration behind the Olympic flag for Independent participants, the questions made the participants think outside the box to deduce the answer. When the answers were revealed, seasoned quizzers and beginners alike were left in awe. “The questions were very interesting and I liked that every answer could be worked out from the clues”, said Ninaad Rajeev, a participant from MIT.

After close competition, with two teams missing out on tie-breaker questions, the top eight progressed to the finals of the quiz which began at 5:45 PM after a long delay. It comprised five rounds of gruelling quizzing. From a round with print advertisements of cities by Absolut to an interesting long visual connect about the NATO military phonetics, the quiz was as fun and engaging as it could get. The finals went on for over two hours, with the competition coming down to a battle between two teams. The quiz was won by a cross-collegiate team from KMC, MIT, and PESIT in Bangalore, and a team from MIT finished in second place.

For any quizzing enthusiast, this event was an evening well spent as the highly accomplished quizmaster showcased the essence of the increasingly popular genre of mind games.

BizTech quiz
Pranav Iyer

Picture credits: The Photography and Videography Department

Picture credits: The Photography and Videography Department

After two spectacular days of quizzing, the Business and Technology quiz aimed to live up to the high bar set by the previous events of the Questionable Intelligence category, with nationally acclaimed quizmaster Mr. Thejaswi Udupa conducting the proceedings. The preliminary round was held on the 15th of October at NLH 203 at 2:00 PM, as opposed to the advertised 3:30 PM at Sir MV Hall owing to logistical difficulties. Unexpectedly, the quiz had a relatively low turnout of twenty teams.

The preliminary round consisted of twenty-seven questions and the quizmaster announced that contrary to usual norm of selecting eight teams to the finals, nine teams would go through. The questions spanned the vast fields of business and technology with questions on the Phoenix web-browser that was named so because it ‘rose from the ashes’ of NetScape, and on Project Bleep, a device used to detect and prevent cars from honking. Though the questions seemed vague, plenty of clues were provided, both in the question as well as by the quizmaster himself as many of the participants worked out the answers from whatever information they had.

The finalists were left surprised by the delightful references and cleverly hidden clues in the questions set by Mr. Udupa as they tried to make calculated guesses, even at the risk of negative points. The questions included one about the increase of sales of a brand of bicycles after it was featured in the ET movie and a print advertisement by the automobile company Fiat pertaining to texting while driving, regarding which Mr. Udupa remarked, “Some of the guesses are better than the actual answer”. The quiz went on until 5:15 PM and was dominated by a cross-collegiate team from three colleges.

Overall, the quiz was an enriching experience especially for those that had never attended a quiz by such a highly acclaimed quizzer, and is a testament to the ever growing popularity of quizzing in Manipal.

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