Thursday, 20 November 2014

Top 10 Most Useful Reference Books 2014 #7

7.
Historical Atlas of the World



First thing worth mentioning here....I am not entirely sure what is going on with the above link which suggests this book is close to £40 in price. I picked it up from The Works for £7.99 I think and it seems to be doing the rounds in similar book shops.

Secondly, it happens to be one of the best purchases I have made books-wise. This was recommended to me by a few quizzers on good old facebook and I have hardly put it down since. The book is more than an Atlas so don't let that word in the title put you off. The book does indeed contain a wide range of maps but they tell a story of the history of the world. An ideal book for your collection, excellent quizzing reference, generally a great read and also, with Santa Claus on his way, a great gift.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Online Quizzing

In the past year, I have been taking part in two online "quiz leagues". Initially, the concept of taking part in head to head online quizzes has some obvious flaws but in both 2020quiz and LearnedLeague I have found a new avenue of quizzing which has become an enjoyable aspect of my day.

Before I go over some points, a quick introduction to the quizzes to which I refer...

2020quiz is the site which got things started for me in the realm of quizzing online. It is run by the British Quizzing Association, the same company who run the monthly GP's around the country and organise European and World Events. Hence, you know you are in good hands. Quizzers from across the world compete in a series of leagues that last 20 days each. There is a monthly subscription to play and it appears you do have to have attended a GP in the past few years (or indeed come on the back of a solid recommendation from a current player).

It works with 8 questions being issued every day in your "match". You play against another player in your league, 2 points for a win 1 for a draw etc etc. There is also a "defensive" system in place where you allocate points based on your opponents knowledge (you can see their stats from previous games). The questions cover a range of subjects and if you have ever been to a GP you will know the variation of difficulty to expect.  Thrown into the week are daily "specials", a lot of which are written by league players, (in which you compete against every player registered on 2020)giving you 20 questions every weekday to tackle.

LearnedLeague, which I have only just began, has been around a lot longer, has far more players as a result of that and is American based. The same principal applies however you only get 6 questions per day, specials are ran "Out of Season" and there are mini leagues to compete in. The site is much better with a wider range of stats, message boards and everything runs smoothly.

Both quizzes have made my commute to work more enjoyable but the idea of Online Quizzing may not appeal to all. Is their a future in this? Will this remain an area for dedicated quizzers or is there room for more on the market? If you don't like the sound of online quizzing, what puts you off? If you do play in these competitions what are your opinions? All of this I would be interested to know from readers.

Personally, I never thought I would enjoy the quizzes as much. The idea of quizzing online obviously brings its own problems. There have been people removed from the league and banned for cheating, both companies do their best to stamp out cheating and apart from some "odd results" here and there and some "exceptional performances" shall we say, I am convinced the leagues are cheat-free on the whole. The fact that most people playing are known in quiz circles, have attended many GP's and been involved in leagues etc, makes it much more honest. Suspicious results and standings soon become obvious and as said, the admins of both companies are not afraid to crack down on it.

Doing only a small number of questions per day for the league matches also means they tend to be testing, a good quality and above all else interesting. Straight after the quizzes the answers are shown and more often than not it leads to me taking to the internet to read more around the subjects. Perfect for improvement and of course, a great resource for expanding quizzing knowledge.

I am happy enough to pay the small fees for the questions I get in return. As I said, everything seems to be above board and that's the main thing. I hope to continue in online quizzing leagues for some time. I would love to know the views of others and discuss online quizzing in general so feel to leave a comment.

Top 10 Most Useful Quiz Books 2014 #7

7.

 



Bamber Gascoigne's Challenging Quiz Book


I imagine quite a few people reading this will have come across Bamber Gascoigne's Challenging Quiz Book before. In essence, the book aims to challenge even the finest quizzers with a range of well-written, original and fun questions. Plenty to be learned and a wide range of testing questions. In a book of this size you can normally discount 30-50% of the questions as mere filler, but the opposite is true here with very few "chestnuts". In all an excellent title!

Monday, 17 November 2014

Mastermind 2014/2015 Standings




With 13 heats completed in this years Mastermind and 52 people having sat in the chair here are the current standings from the series so far...

Mark Eaves - 30 (Q)
Ian Clark - 30 (Q)
Hazel Humprheys - 28 (Q)
Will Howells - 28 (Q)
Peter Russell - 26 (Q)
Chris Grandison - 26 (Q)
Brian Davies - 26 (Q)
Stuart Jenkins  - 25 (Q)
Andrew Teale - 24 (Q)
Hywel Morgan - 23 (Q)
Nigel Tomlinson - 22 (Q)
Mike Foden - 21 (Q)
Paula Keaveney - 21 (Q)
--------------------------------------------------------
Gareth Kingston - 28 (2nd)
Diane Hallaghan - 28 (2nd)
Alice Mennel - 26
Sarah Millard - 25 (2nd)
John Benyon - 25 (2nd)
Susan Sworn - 25 (2nd =)
Jeremy Renals - 25  (2nd =)
Julia Hobbs - 25 (2nd)
Stuary Skelly - 24
Les Morrell-  24
Ciaran Ward - 23 (2nd)
Howard Towner - 23
Darren Topping  - 23
Cliff Morgan - 21 (2nd)
Louise Boradbent - 21 (2nd)
John Carrington - 21 (2nd)
Neil Crockford - 21 (2nd)
David Love - 21
Jamie Potton - 20
Neil Madle - 20
Martin Roebuck - 20
Derek Heyes - 20
Jack Young - 20
Sally Mabey - 20
Sarah Lake - 20
Lena Gazey - 19 (2nd)
Tim Allison - 19
David Gregson - 19
Patricia Gardener - 19
Kevin Quinn - 19
Stephen Peter - 17
Andy Crane -17
Diana Muri - 16
Graham Howarth - 16
Sidin Sunny - 15
Graham Gowland - 15
Mark Roman Gold - 15
Rod Allday - 15
John Boyle - 14

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Suggested Twitter Feed

Just a quick update. Some of you may already follow my Twitter blog @quizaddictblog (...and a big thanks to those who do as I reached 1,000 followers recently).....but the main reason for this post is to recommend a feed from Mastermind winner and former World Quiz Champion Jesse Honey. The title of the feed @nonfictionlover will give you an idea on the them of the feed. Already I have picked up a few useful reads and when a quizzer who has achieved as much as Jesse Honey talks about reading material, its worth a look!

Friday, 14 November 2014

Top 10 Most Useful Quiz Books 2014 #8

8.






Mastermind Quiz Book


Featured last year but due to being used a heck of lot in the early part of 2014 I cannot ignore this in my countdown. A great batch of GK and Specialist (but not too specialist) questions from the TV series. Plenty of questions, the only down side being the format is poor with the answers being at the back and being a huge book its often a faff on getting to the answer page. Other than that, if you take into account the mini-interviews with Mastermind winners, and you have a great quiz book that will keep you busy for some time.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Mastermind Standings 2015/2015

With 12 heats completed in this years Mastermind and 48 people having sat in the chair here are the current standings from the series so far...

Mark Eaves - 30 (Q)
Ian Clark - 30 (Q)
Hazel Humprheys - 28 (Q)
Peter Russell - 26 (Q)
Chris Grandison - 26 (Q)
Brian Davies - 26 (Q)
Stuart Jenkins  - 25 (Q)
Andrew Teale - 24 (Q)
Hywel Morgan - 23 (Q)
Nigel Tomlinson - 22 (Q)
Mike Foden - 21 (Q)
Paula Keaveney - 21 (Q)
--------------------------------------------------------
Gareth Kingston - 28 (2nd)
Diane Hallaghan - 28 (2nd)
Alice Mennel - 26
John Benyon - 25 (2nd)
Susan Sworn - 25 (2nd =)
Jeremy Renals - 25  (2nd =)
Julia Hobbs - 25 (2nd)
Stuary Skelly - 24
Les Morrell-  24
Ciaran Ward - 23 (2nd)
Howard Towner - 23
Darren Topping  - 23
Cliff Morgan - 21 (2nd)
Louise Boradbent - 21 (2nd)
John Carrington - 21 (2nd)
Neil Crockford - 21 (2nd)
David Love - 21
Jamie Potton - 20
Neil Madle - 20
Martin Roebuck - 20
Derek Heyes - 20
Jack Young - 20
Sally Mabey - 20
Sarah Lake - 20
Lena Gazey - 19 (2nd)
Tim Allison - 19
Patricia Gardener - 19
Kevin Quinn - 19
Stephen Peter - 17
Andy Crane -17
Diana Muri - 16
Sidin Sunny - 15
Graham Gowland - 15
Mark Roman Gold - 15
Rod Allday - 15
John Boyle - 14