Category Archives: Humor/Amusing

More Mentally Stimulating (Debate) Diversions on Sporcle

The 3NR has produced two new quizzes on Sporcle that provide debate geeks with difficult trivia challenges (and mentally stimulating diversions). The Famous Debate Cards quiz—our first contribution to Sporcle—has proven quite popular (over 780 plays as of this writing) and extremely challenging (only five percent of quiz takers have achieved perfect scores). Want to test your mettle? Give these tests a try:

If you have an idea for a quiz, post it in the comments.

Winning a Coin Flip

For when you need that added elim edge

If you’re looking for a way to randomize your choices in a given dilemma, put away that quarter. It’s useless. (Sorry, Two-Face.)

But if you’re trying to game the game, flip away. Researchers at the University of British Columbiaproved it can work.

After an argument about how to divide patients randomly into groups for a clinical trial (some wanted to use a coin toss, others argued that coin tosses could be manipulated), they tested their theories on a group of medical residents. When given some basic pointers and five minutes of practice, the subjects could intentionally show heads as much as 68 percent of the time. Here’s how they beat randomness.

dDebate SaDermetrics: Advanced Weather Patterns and Elim win Percentages- A regression analysis

I am sure you are all in orange alert prep for the Tournament of Champions, but I thought I would post this now anyway as a bit of a distraction. I am sure you have all read the Zarefsky, Mitchell, and Perkins article from the Winter 1990 issue of The Annals of Arcane Debate Statistics that showed, scientifically, that the likelihood of Westminster winning the TOC was heavily correlated with weather patterns:

Interesting Diagram

It is my hope to advance the statistical study of debate by looking at something often ignored by people who spend their time cutting cards or interacting with other people: How do changes in the temperature of the Mesosphere affect elim winning percentages when broken down by side, and accounting for number of times the word substantially is in the topic.

For those of you who are novice climatologists, I have included a basic chart of the atmosphere to clarify what we are looking at before moving on:

Legit Science

In order to be scientific, we must first design an experiment- a crucial part of which is a control group. So below we can see the average winning percentages for each side when ignoring weather, Blue is neg, Red is Aff, there is a 5% margin of error:

Chart of SP’s chances of beating Tristan in a debate

Next we need to generate a list of variables that we need to control for. Things that could effect the percentage that we want to limit include:

-number of new affs

-skill disparity between the teams

-% of the judging pool made up of MSU alums who vote neg regardless of what happens in the debate

-% of Harvard judges who do the opposite

– (Number of hours the debaters spend reading the3NR)(Amount of time they spend cutting cards)/((1 million -#of dates they have been on)(number of minutes spent in the sun)), also known as the “no value to life” coefficient , abbreviated as “no life”, first established in the article “You seriously posted a comment to nitpick about that?” in the Journal of Habitual Nitness by Anton Uchi and Anon.

Next I am going to include a bunch of huge blocks of quoted text so that my relatively short post, such as “that zimmerman card sucks” will actually seem quite long.

Scott Phillips writes:

It is really hard to use grammar and punctuation when your fat fingers are focused exclusively on making jokes and references that 99% of your readers won’t get because they haven’t watched every episode of Seinfeld 50 plus times, have not yet read all the books you skimmed looking for quotes you could later dish out to appear smart, and don’t watch Woody Allen movies. Seriously, kids today just do not work as hard at debate as I did despite the fact that I then brag about how I always went for the same argument and how crappy it was.

Roy Levkovitz had this to say”

I mean, I’m not gonna lie, I don’t know much about these statistic type things, or math type stuff. But on the other hand, I definitely know more about everything than these jokers. Sure I get sat on a lot of panels, but I chalk that type stuff up to blatant anti-semitism. I mean, sure I don’t start flow type stuff until the rebuttals cause I am too busy dropping G’s playing 1c-2c heads up limit 5 card stud, but I mean come on, don’t these guys know how substantial my skills are? They are way more than 3%.

In a previous article, Batterman 2008 wrote

Heidegger asserted that working for Roy, combined with the eclipse of being, threatens the relation between being and human Dasein. Loss of this relation would be even more dangerous than a nuclear war that might “bring about the complete annihilation of humanity and the destruction of the earth.” This uncontroversial claim is widely acknowledged by most people in debate. Heidegger apparently thought along these lines: it is possible that after a nuclear war, life might once again emerge, life without Roy, but it is far less likely that there will ever again occur in an ontological clearing through which life could manifest itself.

And by using my hot tub time machine, I will now quote an article from 2012 by Miles and Kirshon

Dude, I can’t believe we brought about the Mayan apocalypse by IMing Phillips so many debate questions, and then no matter what he said immediately arguing with it even when he agreed with us.

Just when you thought it was safe to ask about Tickner…

Next I had to rank tournaments according to a formula designed to maximize both participation in regional debate, and the quality of the tournaments themselves. The forumla I used was:

(Number of states represented)X(Number of teams)(Number of key coaches present)(zero) + (number of TOC bids awarded)= X.

Then I took X and subtracted X and just used the results packet from the 1912 Galway NY Invitational where the resolution debated was ‘ Resolved: Nothing substantial enough will happen this year that will later be turned into the highest grossing movie of all time despite it sucking substantially and/or blowing substantially and/or then being beaten by dances with all or nearly all smurfs”. I had recently uncovered this results packet at a garage sale where I was purchasing vintage T-shirts from BBQ restaurants.

Since there were only 7 teams at this tournament, and no elims, I had to use the central limit theorem

With which I was able to scientifically prove the following:

1. There is a 1 to 1 relationship between flipping aff and later on in life having crushing regrets.

2. Baseball Sucks

3. At any point where the temperature is high enough such that hell is not freezing over, the neg has a better elim win percentage.

Next, I used the complex computer modeling techniques of Rocky 6 to figure out what would happen if Roy came back and debated today

This should be a Tae Kwan Do Kick above the head

The results are here:

  1. Roy Levkovits (29.9, however many rounds it would be to win every tournament)
  2. Layne Kirshon—Kinkaid (28.86216216, 37 rounds)
  3. David Mullins—Westlake (28.85625, 32 rounds)
  4. Ellis Allen—Westminster (28.83025641, 39 rounds)
  5. Will Thibeau—Glenbrook South (28.75263158, 38 rounds)
  6. Andrew Arsht—Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s (28.73684211, 19 rounds)
  7. Thomas Hodgman—Pembroke Hill (28.73538462, 13 rounds)
  8. Matthew Pesce—Woodward (28.69210526, 38 rounds)
  9. Daniel Taylor—Westminster (28.69179487, 39 rounds)
  10. Alex Miles—St. Mark’s (28.66666667, 18 rounds)

The computer also simulated Roys wiki page.

Randomly, the simulation also produced this:

Interesting data to say the least.

Famous Debate Cards Quiz at sporcle

Are you a debate geek? Want to test your level of geekery? Check out the new Famous Debate Cards quiz at sporcle and see how you stack up.

Here’s how it works: you are presented with brief quotations—one or two lines—from twenty of the most famous pieces of evidence (cards) in debate. Once you click the start button, you have six minutes to correctly identify the author’s last name and year of publication for each of the cards.

You do not need to provide your answers in order—feel free to skip around. If you type a correct answer, it will be displayed next to the appropriate quotation. If you type an incorrect answer, nothing happens… delete and keep guessing. Answers must be entered as last names and four digit years only (e.g. Levkovitz 2009—not Levkovitz ‘9 or Roy Levkovitz 12-10-2009).

If this proves popular, I’ll continue creating debate sporcle quizzes and sharing them here on The 3NR.

Dodge ball Results

The first annual Glenbrooks Dodgeball Tournament could not have been a more resounding success. We held a 64-team, elimination styler tournament. After a grueling six matches, the Glenbrook South debate dads (Zimmer, Thibeau, McLeod, Day) and Harvard bound full-back Michael Hirsch**** were crowned champions.
With this honor, they became the first ever winners of “The Saltzman”. We hope this trophy will become a goal of future dodgeball participants.
Because of many of you, we were able to raise upwards of $1000 dollars for the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues and the Lincoln-Douglas charity, The Voices Foundation.
Yes, the refereeing wasn’t perfect and there were some inconsistencies, but you better believe the tournament will be back next year. We hope to have even more of you in attendance.

Thanks again,
Will Thibeau,

Official Dodge Ball Rules

First Annual Glenbrooks Dodgeball Tournament- Rules and Regulations

–          Five on five format

–          Single-elimination bracket style tournament.

–          To start, each team will be lined up at either end of the court. The dodgeballs will be lined up on the midline.

o    At the whistle, each team will have to race to the center to grab the dodgeballs.

o    Before any player is allowed to throw a ball, he or she must touch the endline of the court.

–          If a player is hit ANYWHERE on his or her body, he or she is now eliminated.


–          If a player throws a ball and it is caught by the other team, the player who threw the ball is now out.

o    Once the player catches the ball, one of that person’s teammates who was out, can now come back in to the game.

o    If the ball is deflected off of one player, or a ball that one player is holding, the same rule applies.

§  However, Once a ball is deflected, it is not possible for someone to be eliminated from that ball.

–          A player is eliminated if he or she steps across the midline at any time.

–          Players who are eliminated are allowed to retrieve balls that are OUTSIDE the boundaries for their teammates.

It's greater than the world cup, world series, and world war 2 combined


Many of you may have heard, but I’m thrilled to formally announce that this year will mark the 1st annual Glenbrooks Dodgeball Tournament. My hope is for this tournament in a tournament to become a tradition at the Glenbrooks. Even more importantly, 100% of the profit from your team’s tournament (the dodgeball one) entry fees will go to the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues and an LD charity that will be chosen soon.

Here’s the deal.
Location: Glenbrook South High School Fieldhouse. Finding it will be easy once you get to GBS. Maps will be available.
For Varsity CX, Public Forum and Student Congress participants, this will mean you stay at your location.
For Novice/JV CX, LD and Speech participants, this will mean you need to manage to make your way over to GBS. This is a three-five minute drive from Glenbrook North and 15 minute drive from New Trier.

Time: ASAP following the conclusion of events on Day one (Saturday, November 21st). At the latest, this means around 8pm. Thankfully, the events that traditionally end sooner are the ones where participants will have time to make there way over to GBS. Varsity CX, SC and PF teams obvioulsly don’t have a long trip.

What: Dodgeball! (no wrenches allowed). The format is five players against another five, single elimination round tournament. Just like the one’s that will take place on Sunday and Monday. Each school can enter as many teams as they wish as long as each Dodgeball team has five players.

How to sign up: Two options. You can email me at with your school name, the number of teams that will be entered, and the roster for each of those teams. Note, if you are entering more than one team, please specify which players are on what team. This will mean we have your team on record so at registration all you have to do is check in and pay your entry fees (will be explained later). This option is easiet for you as well as the dodgeball tournament staff.
Second option. Simply sign up your teams and pay your tournament entry fees at the debate tournament registration on Friday night. Note: This means those teams will not receive premium placement in terms of first round byes.

What is required: A fifteen dollar entry fee for each dodgeball team. Not each school, each dodgeball team that is entered. Again, the Glenbrooks are making no money from these proceeds. 100% of the profit will go to the charities mentioned above.

I hope you all will consider this excellent opportunity to have some fun in the midst of heated competition while supporting the activity we all enjoy. If you have any questions/comments/suggestions or want to sign up, please don’t hesitate to email me at

See you in a few weeks,

New Scanner

Tired of that Cannonscan thing taking so long?  Using the copier still takes too long?  Here’s the newest scanner, oh how easy it makes scanning books.

Probably a more hopeful idea then paperless debating