Month: September 2009 Page 1 of 2

Extemp Questions for the Week of September 29th-October 5th, 2009

1. How much economic reform will the next German government be able to achieve?questions
2. Is Hamas making Netanyahu’s job easy?
3. Will South Korea’s offer of a “grand bargain” significantly change the way the international community handles North Korea?
4. Is Zelaya’s return a diplomatic coup for Brazil over Chavez?
5. In light of a recent GAO report, does the US need to rethink the border fence?
6. If Copenhagen fails, will the U.S. be to blame?
7. Will McChrystal get his troops?
8. Is California’s attempt at tax reform DOA?
9. Should Latin American anti-poverty measures be widely adopted in the United States?
10. Has the left become disenchanted with Obama?

Topic Brief: 2009 German Federal Election Results

Several days ago, Germany’s federal election took place and voters gave Chancellor Angela Merkel another term in office.  The major change from the election result was that the period of Germany’s “grand coalition” between Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), and the Christian Social Union (CSU), and the Social Democrats (SPD) is finished.  Instead, Germany will now be governed by a coalition of Merkel’s CDU/CSU and the Free Democratic Party (FDP), which last governed Germany together in 1998.

The German election result may pose a major re-alignment in German politics, as the major parties become more polarized in opposition to each other and there is a clearer ideological split between minor parties.  Also, much of the new government’s work will be focused on improving the national economy, which barely climbed out of recession at the end of the second quarter.

To discuss these issues, this week’s brief will explain the German federal election.  To do so, we will examine the run-up to the election, how the election turned out, and what the new governing coalition of the CDU/CSU and the FDP will be able to accomplish in their new term.

Short Answer News Quiz for September 28th-October 2nd, 2009

quiz-01Here’s the third installment of the Extemp Central news quiz. This is the short answer version of the quiz for experienced extempers and can be utilized by coaches for their squads. The questions are the same as the multiple choice version.  The answers for the quiz will be revealed on Friday.



Multiple Choice News Quiz for September 28th-October 2nd, 2009

Here’s the third installment of the Extemp Central news quiz. This is the multiple choice version of the quiz for novice extempers andquiz-01 can be utilized by coaches for their squads. The questions are the same as the short answer version.  The answers for the quiz will be revealed on Friday.


AGD: The Economist Releases “Did You Know” 4.0 Video

One of the most important skills for an Extemper to master is gaining an understanding of the global landscape.  We certainly can’t be experts on all topics at all times; however, it’s important to not only see but also recognize the shifts in the big picture.

The above clip is the latest video in the “Shift Happens” video series by The EconomistXPLANE and visualizes in beautiful fashion a “Did You Know” 4.0 summary of the way media in converging in 2009. If you’ve not seen the previous videos, there is Did You Know 3.0, Did You Know 2.0 and Did You Know 1.0.

From The Economist’s Media Convergence Forum page:

The surge of new technologies and social media innovations in today’s environment is significantly altering the future media landscape for marketers. Consumer behavior is changing and the way marketers reach their audience must also change. Marketers are searching for new ways to not only reach their customers, but to understand them, to peer inside their minds. As the level of consumer understanding increases, so can the knowledge of how best to reach them. However the plethora of tools at a marketers disposal is not easy to navigate and real learning comes from a real understanding of the future of media convergence.

An enjoyable watch.  If nothing else, the video has some useful stats to pepper in AGDs, speeches, or polite conversation on elevators.

News Quiz Answers for September 21st-25th, 2009

It’s time for the answers to this week’s extemp news quiz.quiz-01

Before the answers are released, here is a quick recap of the quiz this week:

1. Barack Obama changed plans for what type of defense system last week?
2. Which two countries were supposed to house this defense system?
3. Which politician cried last week when warning the U.S. public about the possiblity of political violence?
4. Which city, that experienced violence in the 1970s, did this politician reference?
5. Noordin Top was the most wanted terrorist in which country, where he was killed last week?
6. Afghan election alphabet soup: what do the IEC and ECC stand for?
7. Which European country re-elected a centre-left government last week and likely killed a possible EU bid in the process?
8. Last week, Congress moved to cut off funding for which community organizing group?
9. President Obama recently decided to impose a 35% tariff on what Chinese produced good?
10. Which Latin American nation is pushing forward a media bill called the Audio-Visual Communication Law? Its creators say it is needed for increasing voices in the media, while critics say it is trying to shut down criticism of this nation’s government.

Topic Brief: Missile Defense Adjustments in Europe

Last Friday, President Barack Obama opened a new chapter in U.S.-Russian relations by decided to adjust plans to place missile interceptors in Poland and an advanced radar system in the Czech Republic.  Obama’s policy was likely fuelled by advice from the Defense Department, who had argued that such a system was not capable of meeting the defense needs of America or its allies in the region, and a belief that cooperation with Russia was needed to resolve pressing world problems, notably nuclear proliferation.

Despite this backing and these strategic calculations, proponents of a missile defense system have argued that President Obama has greatly weakened the security of U.S. interests in Eastern Europe and the Middle East.  They also argue that the President sold out countries in Eastern Europe who have been very loyal to the United States to Russia, for whom they wish to receive protection from.

Since extempers will be faced with answering questions pertaining to this issue in the weeks ahead, it is timely to have a topic brief lay out the history of missile defense, the new defense plans the Obama administration is adopting in Eastern Europe, and what major changes in American foreign policy may be realized by this defensive shift.

Extemp Questions for the Week of September 22nd-28th, 2009

1.  Does the tea party movement significantly threaten Obama’s presidency?questions
2. Should the UN sanction Venezuela if it undermines stronger sanctions on Iran?
3. Does healthcare legislation need to do more to restrict access by illegal immigrants?
4. Is U.S. policy pushing Israel closer to attacking Iran?
5. Why is violent crime declining in the United States?
6. Is the DPJ’s stimulus enough?
7. Have American’s lost confidence in the mainstream media?
8. Is Obama playing with fire in deciding to slap import tariffs on Chinese tires?
9. How much of a possibility is a double dip recession for the U.S. economy?
10. Will Noordin’s death make Indonesia safer from terrorism in the long-term?

Extemp Central News Quiz for September 21st-25th, 2009

This is the latest news quiz from Extemp Central.  There are ten questions consisting of domestic and international issues that arequiz-01  eant to help extempers check and/or broaden their knowledge base. Although last week’s quiz had multiple choice, this week’s is all short answer/recall. Extemp Central will release two versions of the quiz next week, one multiple choice and one short answer, which coaches can use at their discretion to help students on a case-by-case basis.

September 14th-September 18th, 2009 Quiz Answers

This week saw the debut of the first ever Extemp Central news quiz.  Extemp Central hopes that this resources will be of great use toquiz-01 the extemp community and can aid extempers to all ability levels.

A quick recap of the quiz questions:

1. Who was the House member who called Obama a liar during his address to Congress on healthcare?
2. What state was this House member from?
3. What is the name of the Obama czar who had to resign last week?
4. Which European country will hold an election at the end of this month?
5. The U.S. has recently cut forms of aid to this nation after it deposed its president last June…
6. Who is the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee that is pushing a bipartisan health bill?
7. What is the central issue in the Supreme Court case of United v. FEC?
                             a. Prison overcrowding c. Campaign finance restrictions
                             b. Media censorship d. Freedom of religious expression
8. Mexico recently saw a goverment shakeup that led to this official losing his job. What official lost their job?
                             a. Defense minister c. Prime minister
                             b. Attorney general d. Interior minister
9. Which nation announced last week that it will be giving Iran free gasoline?
10. What is the name of Colombia’s rebel group (full name not abbreviation)?

Eager to find out or confirm your answers to the first ever Extemp Central news quiz?  Click “continue reading” to discover them!

2009-2010 National Points Race: Post-Wake Forest Standings Released!

Epointsraceheader-01xtemp Central is proud to start the second official year of the Extemp Central National Points Race,  a competition that awards competitors who have succeeded prestigious tournaments throughout the year.  Unlike last year, the National Points Race standings will be updated shortly after one of the tournaments in the standings takes place.  The role of The Ex Files will be to provide a detailed summary of changes in the standings and will present other data such as wins, top three finishes, and the number of final rounds for competitors. 

The first standings for this year’s Extemp Central National Points Race and Extemp Central National Team Points Race have been released!  Click here to check out who’s where after the Wake Forest National Early Bird!

Extemp Questions for the Week of September 15th-21st, 2009

1. Will Wilson’s outburst cost him re-election?questions
2. Has China lost control of Xinjiang?
3. Will the Megrahi situation cause the Obama administration to be more hesitant to release prisoners at Gitmo?
4. Did Uribe beat Chavez on U.S. military bases in Colombia?
5. Is the U.S. budget deficit hurting the country’s economic competitiveness?
6. Does Japan need to patch up its economic safety net?
7. Is the Obama administration overselling the stimulus?
8. Has the ECC recount discredited the Afghan election?
9. Is the Malay government doing a poor job managing the country’s ethnic disputes?
10. How can Palin learn to “howl like the wolves”?

Extemp Central News Quiz for Week of September 14th-18th

quiz-01As a new service, Extemp Central will be providing a weekly news quiz for all extempers around the country.  The quiz will be posted on Monday and the answers will be revealed on Friday.  We hope that this will be a welcome addition to what Extemp Central currently offers.

Also, starting in November we will increase our number of offered extemp questions from ten to twenty. On Tuesdays, Extemp Central will unveil ten U.S. extemp questions and on Wednesdays, Extemp Central will unveil ten International questions. What will likely occur is that U.S. and International questions will swap days every other week so International extempers who are in states that split the event are not put at a day’s disadvantage all the time. Extemp Central may also begin providing a weekly topic brief on the website over a current event issue, but that is not definitive at this time. Stay tuned for further updates on that.

Click on the heading to access the quiz!

The Ex Files: From the Publisher

exfilesept09-01With the Wake Forest National Early Bird less than two weeks away, extempers across the country are preparing for the beginning of the 2009-2010 season.  Last season saw California emerge as a stronger extemp power, with Bellarmine College Prep’s impressive showing at NFL Nationals and saw Stacey Chen of North Allegheny Senior High School emerge as the first official Extemp Cental National Points Race champion.  North Allegheny Senior High School also managed to narrowly edge out Bellarmine College Prep for the National Team Points Race.

At Extemp Central, we look forward to another great season and questions have been posted on our site since the first week of August.  In a similar fashion, the staff of this year’s Ex Files looks forward to providing coverage of this year’s events in the extemp community.  We look forward to providing detailed coverage from the Montgomery Bell Extemp Round Robin, with pairings and results released as they happen, and the possibility exists of live coverage from the Wake Forest Early Bird, the Glenbrooks, and the Extemp Tournament of Champions as well.

This year’s Ex Files staff is also seeing some new additions.  We welcome Stacey Chen, Evan Larson (last year’s NFL United States Extemp national champion), Nicholas Cugini, Gilbert Lee (2000 NFL International Extemp national champion), Austin Wright (2009 NFA extemp national champion), and Rob Warchol to the staff this year.  Aside from staff turnover, there are also new features to the magazine including Editor’s Corner, where I will break down trends and strategies in extemporaneous speaking, and Extemp Roundtable, where members of our staff will evaluate an extemp question that extempers could see at a local or national tournament.

In this issue, The Ex Files has an interview with Chen, reveals the changes in the points structure of this year’s National Points Race, and provides a topic brief on the size of America’s budget deficit.  The staff of The Ex Files wishes everyone good luck who is competing at Wake Forest, Yale, St. Mark’s, and at local tournaments in the weeks and months ahead.  The next edition of The Ex Files will be released prior to the Glenbrooks tournament in early November.

Logan Scisco

Wake Forest Edition (Vol. 2, Iss. 1)
All links below are to PDFs of the original articles.

Complete Wake Forest Edition (.pdf)
From the Publisher
by Logan Scisco
Editor’s Corner: The Grand Slam
by Logan Scisco
2009-10 Extemp Central National Points Race
by Logan Scisco
Catching the Worm at the Wake Forest National Early Bird
by Max Webster
National Points Race Champion Interview with Stacey Chen
by Logan Scisco
Extemp Roundtable
with Nicholas Cugini, Mark Royce, Logan Scisco, and Rob Warchol
Topic Brief: Budget Deficit Politics
by Logan Scisco

Wake Forest Live Update: Martin Captures One for the Ladies; Jackson High School (OH) Gets Two in the Top Four

wakeThe first national circuit tournament of the year at the Wake Forest National Early Bird has concluded and saw Emily Martin of Boone County High School in Kentucky, the lone female extemper in the final round, capture the championship.  Meanwhile, Jackson High School in Ohio had a strong showing, with two extempers in the final round, both of which placed within the top four. Matt Meeks appearance in the final round also gave the state of Ohio, who had a string of strong finishes at the end of last season, half of the finals field.

The final round topic area was U.S. foreign policy.

Final Results

Champion: Emily Martin (Boone County High School, Kentucky)
2nd: Rohan Bhargava (Jackson High School, Ohio)
3rd: Matthew Alonsozana (Loyola-Blakefield High School, Maryland)
4th: Aaron Strickland (Jackson High School, Ohio)
5th: Karthik Sastry (Montgomery Bell Academy, Tennessee)
6th: Matt Meeks (Perry High School, Ohio)

As was stated earlier in the day, all of the extempers above have earned the first points of the year for the Extemp Central National Points Race. The current standings will be posted on the site by the end of the week so keep checking in for details.

Page 1 of 2

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén