Between the Lines

Between the Lines By David Lias Just how smart do you think you are?

One way to find out is to take a stab at some of the questions printed below.

A number of Vermillion High School students, and thousands of other students in 50 states and 12 countries competed Dec. 2 in the 31st Knowledge Master Open Academic competition.

Students faced their competitors and 200 tough questions to vie for top scores based on accuracy and the speed of their answers.

A team of 19 students at Vermillion High School scored 1,412 of a possible 2,000 points to place first in South Dakota and 183rd contest-wide.

Their coach, Mary Lea Hennies, was particularly impressed with the dedication of the students who came in after school to practice and the organizational skills students used to analyze the questions.

Congratulations to VHS's Jon Rusch, Greg Rinehart, Mike Paulson, Zeb Lang, James Clark, Corey Novak, Wes Christensen, David Jensen, Todd Stephens, Mark Rusch, Jon Hoadley, Melissa Gale, Landon Morse, John Ring, Seth Nesselhuf, Lyz Baranowski, Chris Hays and Vani Ramakrishnan for doing so well in the Knowledge Open.

Here are some sample questions from the competition. Test your brain power.

(And don't peek at the answers at the bottom of the column until you've answered them all).

1. Richard Nixon approved the creation of a special investigations unit within the White House which became known as the: A. roofers; B. painters; C. plumbers; D. carpenters.

2. Anything that is cumbersome or that causes deep concern is said to hang around one's neck like a(n): A. emu; B. pelican; C. dodo bird; D. albatross.

3. Most minerals are: A. oxides; B. sulfates; C. silicates; D. carbonates.

4. Which are contractile proteins? A. actin and myosin; B. insulin and ACTH; C. collagen and keratin; D. casein and interferon.

5. Place names of symbolic heroic resistance include Masada, Marathon, the Alamo, and: A. the Dardanelles; B. the Warsaw ghetto; C. the Plains of Nazca; D. the Valley of the Kings.

6. One Mesopotamian king's most enduring legacy is an inscription carved on a diorite column at Susa. This set of laws is known as: A. Morse Code; B. Draco's Code; C. the Napoleonic Code; D. the Code of the Hammurabi.

7. In 1998, underground nuclear tests raised fears and increased tension between India and Pakistan. An uneasy relationship has existed between these two nations since: A. 1947; B. 1066; C. 632 B.C.; D. the 1850s.

8. Which is the capital of a country that belongs to the OAU? A. Amman; B. Pyongyang; C. Montevideo; D. Addis Ababa.

9. Which substance decomposes with heat, is a crystalline solid that sulfuric acid turns black, and consists of oxygen, carbon and hydrogen? A. salt; B. alum; C. sugar; D. calcite.

10. Which story begins with this line? It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking 13: A. 1984; B. Cat's Cradle; C. Fahrenheit 451; D. The Time Machine.

11. The equator does not pass through the: A. Andes; B. Zaire Basin; C. Indian Ocean; D. Deccan Plateau.

12. According to geologic evidence, which plant emerged most recently? A. bryophytes; B. thallophytes; C. angiosperms; D. pteridophytes.

Here are the correct answers:

1. Richard Nixon approved the creation of the: C. plumbers.

2. Anything that is cumbersome or causes deep concern is said to hang around one's neck like an: D. albatross.

3. Most minerals are: C. silicates.

4. Which are contractile proteins? A. actin and myosin.

5. Place names of symbolic heroic resistance include Masada, Marathon, the Alamo, and: B. the Warsaw ghetto.

6. One Mesopotamian king's most enduring legacy is a set of laws known as: D. the Code of the Hammurabi.

7. In 1998, underground nuclear tests raised fears and increased tension between India and Pakistan. An uneasy relationship has existed between these two nations since: A. 1947.

8. Which is the capital of a country that belongs to the OAU? D. Addis Ababa.

9. Which substance decomposes with heat, is a crystalline solid that sulfuric acid turns black, and consists of oxygen, carbon and hydrogen? C. sugar.

10. Which story begins with this line? It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking 13: A. 1984.

11. The equator does not pass through the: D. Deccan Plateau.

12. According to geologic evidence, which plant emerged most recently? C. angiosperms.

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