I am talking about the Western Canadian Skeptical Smackdown which was held last night in Edmonton and Vancouver.
Desiree Schell of Skeptically Speaking was the Edmonton host, and I was the quiz-master in Vancouver.
There was definitely some learning on the organizers' part... for example, I discovered that the two or three trick questions were not a good idea... particularly when one of the rules is that the "Quiz Master is always right, even when they are wrong." The rule is in place so that we don't lose a bunch of time quibbling about answers that are almost right; or having to go on the internet to double check answers. A lot of time was put into getting the answers right, but I feel admit that there was one answer right at the end that was debatable... it came across as a trick question to those who really knew their stuff, resulting in 'wrong' answers that were still really good answers. My bad... but, c'mon - there were 88 questions! Having one debatable one seems pretty solid to me. :-P
If anyone wants me to send them the questions so that they can run their own quiz - by all means! I'll even tweak the language on the debatable question, so that there is no debate. Fair warning... while there are some questions that should be easy for any skeptical/scientific crowd & every question was answered correctly by someone... there are some really tough questions. Even the top scoring team only barely cracked 75% and roughly one third of the teams didn't get more than 50%. (Indeed, one answer sheet - from a team that placed in the top 5! - came back at the end of the night with the message "WTF guys?!? This is Hard. SRSLY!" And so it should have been - everyone had to work for every point.
There were three different cross-provincial challenges going on, as well as one in each city.
Boasting privledges go to:
- The top scoring team.
Speaking of being represented by a champion...
At the end of the first round, Big Wang Theory was ahead of all teams.
By the end of the second round (a misleading name as there was a paper-round between the two rounds) an Edmonton team had pulled into the lead by 1 and 1/2 points.
When all was said and done, the final standings (out of 88 points) from both cities were as follows:
- (VAN) Goats on Fire (The CFI Team) - 60.5
- (EDM) Climate Cover Up - 53.5
- (VAN) Radio Free Thinkers - 51.5
- (EDM) Skeptically Speaking - 49.5
- (EDM) The Shock Collars - 49
- (VAN) Still Thinking - 45
- (VAN) Pacific Spirits - 44.5
- (VAN) Funky Debunkers - 43
- (VAN) 3 Girls and a Dummy - 40.5
- (VAN) Psychic Energy - 40.5
- (VAN) Can We Have a Minute? - 37
- (EDM) The Far Table - 35.5