One Cool Thing...

Quizbowl is about more than rote memorization.  At its best, it's a game that encourages and rewards intellectual curiosity.  What you learn in quizbowl, whether from a tournament, a class, study guides, or quizbowl camp should just be the starting point for your research.  We want to encourage you to take something that you learn and dive deeper!  That's what One Cool Thing... is all about.

After you attend a Virtual Qwiz C.A.M.P. class, we want you to pick anything that you learned and dive deeper.  Search the Internet.  Read something.  When you've learned something cool, click the button above to tell us One Cool Thing... that you've learned! 


We’ll pick the coolest answers and send those Qwizzers a prize from our Warehouse O’ Swag™.  We’ll also post those cool things below, so check back for bonus knowledge!  


WINNER - Shourjo Ganguli (Beavercreek High School)

"Kierkegaard saw a marriage proposal as contractually the same as a marriage, so when he died, he bequeathed his books to Ms. Regine Olsen even though she had married someone else years before.  She did not accept the possessions. 

HONORABLE MENTION - Danny Peelen (Cedar Crest High School)

"David Hume, a Scottish philosopher, nearly wasn't saved from drowning one time since he was an atheist. The story goes that a lady found him stuck in a bog and wouldn't help him unless he recited the Lord's Prayer. He, surprisingly, agreed and recited the prayer."

HONORABLE MENTION - Matthew Yang (Centennial Lane Elementary School)

Once, a Greek philosopher named Diogenes gave Plato a plucked chicken and said that the chicken was a "man". This was because Plato had earlier said that a man was “a featherless biped.”This made Plato to change the description by adding "broad flat nails".


WINNER - Tanay Bodducheria (Winston Churchill Middle School)

"Scientists have found that in the next few centuries, there is a small chance of a mega-tsunami that will wreak havoc on the east coast of North America and the Caribbean. If it happens,  it would be caused by the collapse of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the island of La Palma (part of the Canary Islands, Spain). When the island collapses into the Atlantic Ocean, it will cause huge earthquakes in the region, and generate waves that will eventually crash into the eastern US, with waves of around 150 feet!  This event is unlikely, but there is a small chance that it will actually happen." 

HONORABLE MENTION - Davis Hamley (Simmons Middle School)

"There is a superstition around Hawaii that the goddess Pele will bestow bad luck to anyone who takes natural objects from Hawaii such as stones, sand, rocks, sticks. After people take these items from Hawaii, many of them will experience bad luck, so there is usually a constant stream of these items being mailed and shipped back to the parks in Hawaii, because people are hoping to return Pele's Curse to her by returning items of nature that they had taken."

HONORABLE MENTION - Ethan Hsu (Beavercreek High School)

"Volcanic lightning occurs mostly within the cloud of ash during an eruption, and is created by the friction of the ash rushing to the surface. Roughly 200 accounts of this lightning have been witnessed live."


WINNER - Matthew Yang (Centennial Lane Elementary School)

"In the opera Rigoletto, the Duke of Mantua surprisingly escapes punishment. This was because the Austrians, who ruled Vienna at the time, had censored the libretto to make the governing figure remain unpunished."

HONORABLE MENTION - Shourjo Ganguli (Beavercreek High School)

"Fidelio is an example of a 'rescue opera', a type of opera which was popular at the time. The hero (or heroine) has to fight against cruel people in order to rescue a lover. It was written at the time of the French Revolution. At this time, ideas about freedom and peace were being talked about by everyone, and this led to wars all over Europe. The famous Prisoners’ Chorus is a song for freedom, just like the last movement of his Ninth Symphony."

HONORABLE MENTION - Madelynn Green (Russellville High School)

"Jonathan Miller wrote a mafia inspired version of "Rigoletto" that was set in the 1950s."


WINNER - Claire Wang (Burleigh Manor Middle School)

"John Quincy Adams got up at 5 AM each morning to swim naked in the Potomac River. This became so well known that Ann Royall, a female reporter, stole his clothes and sat on them until he agreed to be interviewed. She became the first woman to interview a US president."

HONORABLE MENTION - Danny Peelen (Cedar Crest High School)

"Rutherford B. Hayes' wife, Lucy, was nicknamed 'Lemonade Lucy' due to her refusal to serve her husband and his friends alcohol, instead serving them, unsurprisingly, lemonade."

HONORABLE MENTION - Mackenzie Ensley (Smiths Station High School)

"Thomas Jefferson really liked collecting things, specifically books and Mammoth bones. After the British raided the Library of Congress in 1814, Jefferson donated all 6,500 books in his personal collection (but he kept the mammoth bones). His book collection was considered one of the biggest in the US at the time."


WINNER - Oyujin Damdinsuren (Burleigh Manor Middle School)

"Mozart joined the Freemasons in 1784. In The Magic Flute, he incorporated many of their ideals. Mozart died nine weeks after the opera’s premiere, and some say he was killed because his opera revealed the society’s secrets."

HONORABLE MENTION - Claire Wang (Burleigh Manor Middle School)

"When Puccini was first starting to compose La Bohème, another composer named Leoncavallo was composing his own version of it, called exactly the same name. They got into arguments, and Puccini might've stole the idea for the opera from him. They both completed their own versions, but Leoncavallo's is now rarely performed."

HONORABLE MENTION - Ephrem Stewart (Copley Middle School)

"Verdi's last name became an acronym, 'Victor Emmanuel Rei Di Italia,' among the Italian people.  They saw some of Verdi's operas as helping to unify Italy, and Victor Emmanuel II became the first king of a unified Italy on March 17, 1861, the first time that Italy was united since the 6th century.  Go Verdi!"


WINNER - Madelynn Green (Russellville High School)

"Warren Harding had an illegitimate daughter with his secretary, Nan Britton.  His paternity was proven in 2015 using DNA testing."

HONORABLE MENTION - Tanay Bodducherla (Winston Churchill Middle School)

""At 340 pounds and with a BMI of 42.3 (for comparison, a BMI of over 30 is classified as obese), William Howard Taft was by far the fattest president in US History. One time, he got stuck in the White House bathtub, and had to install a new 7 foot wide tub. He later went on a personalized wait loss plan, stating that "no real man weighs more than 300 pounds". His diet worked well, and he ended up losing 60 pounds."

HONORABLE MENTION - Eddie Cooper (Jefferson High School)

"Harry Truman's daughter was a classically trained singer.  Once, Paul Hume, a music critic for the Washington Post, gave her a negative review, and Truman wrote Hume a letter, saying, '"Some day I hope to meet you. When that happens you'll need a new nose, a lot of beefsteak for black eyes, and perhaps a supporter below!"'


CO-WINNERs - Ethan Hsu (Beavercreek High School) / Aatreyo Bhattacharyya (Winston Churchill MS)

"At the southern end of Palk Bay lies a chain of low islands and reef shoals that are collectively called Adam's Bridge, but are also popularly known as "Ram Setu", meaning ‘the Bridge of Rama’. This is so called because in Hindu mythology, the epic Indian poem the Ramayana, written thousands of years ago recounts how Rama, aided by an army of vanaras, assembled a bridge of stones stretching across the sea to Lanka to rescue his wife Sita from the Asura King Ravana." 

HONORABLE MENTION - Krish Nathan (Deer Valley Elementary School)

"Socotra, Yemen, has dragon trees that produce red dye, that can be sold worldwide."

HONORABLE MENTION - Matthew Yang (Centennial Lane Elementary School)

"Legend has it that Bab -El Mandeb is named the Gate of Tears because of the cries of drowned souls that died during an earthquake that tore Asia from Africa."


WINNER - Jonathan Mehrotra (White Station Middle School)

"Humans aren't the only species who can get Down Syndrome, animals can get it too. The condition was observed in a common chimpanzee in 1969 and a Bornean orangutan in 1979, but neither lived very long. The common chimpanzee Kanako (born around 1993, in Japan) has become the longest-lived known example of this condition. Kanako has some of the same symptoms that are common in human Down syndrome. A tiger named Kenny also got it."

HONORABLE MENTION - Yaduraj Choudhary (Downingtown STEM Academy)

"President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who advocated strongly for a polio vaccine, died from polio exactly 10 years to the day before the first polio vaccine was licensed in the US."

HONORABLE MENTION - Archit Kaira (Carmel High School)

"The original Salk vaccine was developed by culturing Rhesus monkey kidneys with poliovirus. However, as NIH virologist Bernice Eddy later found, the vaccines could be contaminated with the simian virus SV40. Although the virus has been seen to cause cancers in hamsters, there wasn't definite proof that it could cause cancer in humans. Nevertheless, multiple studies of human brain cancer patients have found large DNA footprints of SV40 viruses, and 60% of human mesothelioma-damaged lung tissue biopsies in a certain study had the SV40 virus actively replicating."


WINNER - Andrew Minagar (Caddo Parish Magnet High School)

Apparently, Le Corbusier and his cousin designed a futuristic minimalist car called the Voiture Minimum.  Although it was never produced, it might have been the inspiration for the Volkswagen Beetle.

HONORABLE MENTION - Mackenzie Ensley (Smiths Station High School)

"Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater inspired Alfred Hitchcock's Vandamm House (located atop Mt. Rushmore) in his movie North by Northwest."

HONORABLE MENTION - Claire Wang (Burleigh Manor Middle School)

"When it was first built, the exterior of Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Concert Hall was covered in so much steel that it reflected sunlight into the rooms of neighboring condominiums, making them unbearably hot and causing air conditioning costs to skyrocket. The metal also created hot spots on the sidewalk that reached up to 140°F. The risk of traffic accidents increased too because blinding sunlight reflected off of the polished metal panels. Thankfully, in 2005, the panels were dulled to stop these problems."


WINNER - Charlie Martin (Athens High School)

"Only two things are not considered commodities in the US: Onions and Movie Tickets. A bill was passed (The Onion Futures Act) banning the sale of futures for Onions after two men in Chicago bought up futures for 98% of the area's onions. The prices rose greatly and the brothers made millions, but local farmers took a big hit and there were tons of shortages. Then Congressman Gerald Ford sponsored the bill to fix the issue, which was signed into law in August of 1958."

HONORABLE MENTION - Joseph Chambers (Douglas Freeman High School)

"At the age of 20, John Stuart Mill became depressed and sought out music for comfort, but soon he became obsessed with the idea of running out of melodies. Eventually, he pulled himself out of his two-year-long funk by reading the poetry of Wordsworth and Coleridge."

HONORABLE MENTION - Charles Heydt (Inman Middle School)

"Economist John Maynard Keynes joined a group called the Bloomsbury Group, a society of intellectuals based in the London neighborhood Bloomsbury. This group was founded by Virginia Woolf, a renowned author, and Vanessa Bell, Woolf's sister, and a painter. According to a famous quote by Dorothy Parker, the group ¨Lived in squares, painted in circles and loved in triangles,¨ for they were always having affairs with one another. Leonard Woolf, a member of the society as well as Virginia Woolf's husband said that Keynes had ¨An imaginative way of looking at economics, which seems almost impossible, but he did,¨ as Keynes was one of the most prominent members of their society, and a towering figure in the field of economics. Keynes continued to be a loyal member of the group until his 1946 death."


WINNER - Srihari Gurugubelli (Franklin Middle School)

"Apparently, Cyrus the Great was supposed to have died as a baby because of a vision Astyages had that his grandson would usurp him. Harpagus was ordered by King Astyages to take Cyrus to the forest and kill him, but he gave baby Cyrus to a family and let him live. Eventually, King Astyages found out about this. He acted chill, but was furious on the inside. He had his chefs cook a feast to show good feelings, and later told Harpagus that he had eaten his eldest son during the feast. Yuck. Harpagus was chill though, and eventually befriended Cyrus when he was brought to the castle. He told Cyrus about Astyages's plans to kill him and helped Cyrus escape. After his escape, Cyrus mustered the Persian Army and, although he was outnumbered 10 to 1, he defeated his grandfather thanks to valuable information from Harpagus along the way. So one of history's greatest figures would've died as a baby if not for the kind heartedness of one man."

HONORABLE MENTION - Ruth Mathew (Auburn High School)

"After the death of Bindusara, Ashoka had many brothers ready to take the throne. But with the help of Radhagupta, a minister, Ashoka becomes the king.  A story is that Ashoka killed his 99 brothers except for one of his brothers, Tissa, to become the king."

HONORABLE MENTION - Oyujin Damdinsuren (Burleigh Manor Middle School)

"When Aten - the god that Akhenaten worshipped - was portrayed, each of its rays ended with a tiny hand to touch the rulers and offer them life."


WINNER - Neha Kodali (White Station Middle School)

"For Passover, houses must be free of chametz and there can be no benefit derived from it. This includes pet food. In keeping with this, there are Passover-friendly pet foods out there, and some Rabbinical authorities propose switching out your pet's diet for a few days—such as giving dogs straight meat or herbivores a variety of approved vegetables. If a pet must have a specific type of food—or you can't get Passover-friendly pet food—some observant Jews follow the rabbinical authorities who give the option to sell the pet to a gentile for a few days and then get it back after Passover has ended."

HONORABLE MENTION - Ethan Hsu (Beavercreek High School)

"Major League Baseball pitcher Sandy Koufax was Jewish. He decided not to pitch in game 1 of the World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur."

HONORABLE MENTION - Matthew Yang (Centennial Lane Elementary School)

"The traditional Hamantaschen pastry eaten on Purim is probably in the shape of Haman's pockets, which were filled with bribe money."