Archive for April, 2011

2011 NDT Quarters: Oklahoma GW vs Michigan LZ

Posted in Beating K Affs, College, elimination round with tags , , on April 22, 2011 by Scott Odekirk

This is most certainly one of the debates of the year! These are two of my favorite teams ever and it has been a privilege to watch them both progress and innovate throughout the years. Thank you so much to both teams. Michigan won this debate on a 4-1.





Space Explorations by Legendary Former Coach Michael “Bear” Bryant: Part 1

Posted in 2011-2012 High School Space Topic with tags , on April 22, 2011 by Scott Odekirk

Michael “Bear” Bryant is the current chair of the General Education Department at Sullivan University System. Bear once earned 4 first round at large bids to the NDT and was known as a prolific and powerful debater. He was also a highly successful at the college level where he coached multiple first rounds. I was once coached by Bear when I was a sophomore in college during which I spent a lot of time with him. I can honestly say that Bear is one of the most interesting people I have ever known. One of his many interests is the universe. This is a reposting of a bunch of Bear’s “Space Posts” from facebook. Thanks a lot Bear.

The spiky stars in the foreground of this sharp cosmic portrait are well within our own Milky Way Galaxy. The two eye-catching galaxies lie far beyond the Milky Way, at a distance of over 300 million light-years. Their distorted appearance is due to gravitational tides as the pair engage in close encounters. Cataloged as Arp 273 (also… as UGC 1810), the galaxies do look peculiar, but interacting galaxies are now understood to be common in the universe. In fact, the nearby large spiral Andromeda Galaxy is known to be some 2 million light-years away and approaching the Milky Way. Arp 273 may offer an analog of their far future encounter. Repeated galaxy encounters on a cosmic timescale can ultimately result in a merger into a single galaxy of stars. From our perspective, the bright cores of the Arp 273 galaxies are separated by only a little over 100,000 light-years. The release of this stunning vista celebrates the 21st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit.In Memory of Yuri Gagarin: On April 12th, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alexseyevich Gagarin became the first human in space. His remotely controlled Vostok 1 spacecraft lofted him to an altitude of 200 miles and carried him once around planet Earth. Commenting on the first view from space he reported, “The sky is very dark; the Earth i…s bluish. Everything is seen very clearly”. His view could have resembled this image taken in 2003 from the International Space Station. Alan Shepard, the first US astronaut, would not be launched until almost a month later and then on a comparatively short suborbital flight. Born on March 9, 1934, Gagarin was a military pilot before being chosen for the first group of cosmonauts in 1960. As a result of his historic flight he became an international hero and legend. Killed when his MIG jet crashed during a training flight in 1968, Gagarin was given a hero’s funeral, his ashes interred in the Kremlin Wall. Twenty years later, on yet another April 12th, in 1981, NASA launched the first space shuttle.

 Using the prolific planet hunting Kepler spacecraft, astronomers have discovered 1,235 candidate planets orbiting other suns since the Kepler mission’s search for Earth-like worlds began in 2009. To find them, Kepler monitors a rich star field to identify planetary transits by the slight dimming of starlight caused by a planet crossin…g the face of its parent star. In this remarkable illustration, all of Kepler’s planet candidates are shown in transit with their parent stars ordered by size from top left to bottom right. Simulated stellar disks and the silhouettes of transiting planets are all shown at the same relative scale, with saturated star colors. Of course, some stars show more than one planet in transit, but you may have to examine the picture at high resolution to spot them all. For reference, the Sun is shown at the same scale, by itself below the top row on the right. In silhouette against the Sun’s disk, both Jupiter and Earth are in transit.

 I’ve spent this vacation week delving into several books from Alastair Reynolds” “Revelation Space” universe. Imagine my shock when I read the article below and realized that fiction is quickly becoming fact.
More Great “Space Posts” from Bear to come!
 Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its exploration and/or development of space beyond the Earth’s mesosphere.

Critical Issues in Debate: A Conversation with Dr. Ryan Galloway

Posted in Critical Issues in Debate, Podcasts with tags on April 21, 2011 by Scott Odekirk

Dr. Ryan Galloway is the director of the Samford University Debate team who recently cleared to the octos at the National Debate Tournament. Everyone who listens to this will be smarter after listening. Dr. Galloway provides insights on this year’s topic, succeeding in the contemporary college debate environment as a small school, what we should look for in next year’s topic, the purpose of the activity, what debaters should be doing in the off-season, and why the affirmative should have to defend a topical plan. I have been wanting to get Dr. Galloway on the podcast for over a year now and I feel lucky to have had him on. Enjoy!

Click here to download the podcast for media devices ciid dr galloway

here is the link to the podcast by Repko and Paul that Galloway refers to.

2011 NDT Octos: Loyolla EM vs Northwestern BK

Posted in Battles, College, elimination round, Ks on the Aff, Video with tags , , on April 20, 2011 by Scott Odekirk

This was a great debate between Jack Ewing and James Mollison from Loyolla and Layne Kirshon and Ryan Beiermeister from Northwestern. Don’t miss the order for the 1ac, by the way, it is 3 off! 3 off for the 1ac! Northwestern would go on to win this debate on a 3-2 decision.




Critical Issues in Debate: Paul Mabrey on the Madison Cup

Posted in College, Critical Issues in Debate, Podcasts with tags , , on April 20, 2011 by Scott Odekirk

Imagine a tournament where policy teams and parli teams meet to compete for prizes worth up to 5,000 dollars. Paul Mabrey, assistant director of the James Madison University Policy Debate Team, explains just such an event being hosted this week by JMU entitled the Madison Cup. Paul discusses the unique format of the tournament, the prize money, the debate space and also the intersection between live music and live debate. This is one of my favorite things I have done with the website. This year’s Madison Cup takes place this thursday.

click this link to downlaod this podcast in a format suitable for media players and devices mabrey on the madison cup

Click this link to watch the “final table” from the 2010 Madison Cup.

Thanks so much to Paul Mabrey. We will certainly be involving Paul in many more things with Putting the K in!

Critical Issues In Debate: End of the Season College Debate Roundup

Posted in College, Critical Issues in Debate, Podcasts with tags , , , , , , , on April 19, 2011 by Scott Odekirk

click this link for a downloadable version for audio players end of the year college season roundup 2011

I thought this weekend was a great time to talk with some great coaches around the country about what they thought about the past season and the visas topic. This conversation involves four coaches and goes in a lot of different directions. If you participated in the past college season, are a student of debate, or are interested in what we do at all this should be very educational and entertaining. Guests include:

Lindsey Shook is getting her PHD at Kansas University and is one of the coaches that helped Kansas earn two first rounds to the NDT this past season during which she worked closely with Kansas KQ who won the Wake Forest Tournament. In this podcast Lindsey explains why she liked the visas topic, the counterfactual aff Kansas KQ broke in quarters of the NDT, and what it means for her to participate in the activity.

Jeff Buntin is one of the main argument coaches and lead researchers for the 2011 NDT Championship debate team at Northwestern University. He is known for his fantastic research and his strong work ethic. Jeff talks about the parts of the 2010-2011 college topic that he really enjoyed, including the human trafficking portion of the topic. He also describes what it was like to coach two teams in semifinals of the NDT. He discusses the strategic utility of the H1-B affs this year and a number of important counterplan strategies that occured this year. 

Lawrence Grandpre is a coach for the Towson Debate Team. Lawrence is a great judge and very wel researched on contemporary theory on race and critical theory. He explains the unique perspective those on his debate team had on this year’s topic and and some of the arguments they made this year. Lawrence discusses the work of Frank Wildersen and a few other key authors that one could read to learn more about the history of race politics in America. 

 Jarrod Atchison is one of the best debate coaches in the country and just completed his first year as the directer of the Wake Forest Univesity Debate Team. He is one of the most highly preferred judges in the country and one of the brightest people in the community. Jarrod discusses what he loves about debate, judging, Wake Forest Debate, and the most recent class of college seniors in debate. Jarrod explains what he liked about the visas topic, specifically the ways that affs innovated throughout the season. He also suggests some things that debaters can do in the offseason to get better.

Thanks to all those that participated! Look for another installment of the these end of the year round ups soon.

2011 CEDA Quarters: The Rematch! Kansas KQ Breaks a New Aff Against Towson CK!

Posted in Beating K Affs, College, elimination round, Video with tags , , , on April 18, 2011 by Scott Odekirk

This could be the debate of the tournament! Thanks to both teams, I enjoyed judging Kansas and Towson all year. Sean Kennedy and [deleted] from Kansas were on a roll throughout the tournament and beat Towson in the prelims (see it here). And so a large crowd began to gather to see how Ben Crossan and Fernando Kirkman from Towson would respond. Ben seemed like he was an intense trance before the round, and he only lightly prepped until right before the round. I was later told by a member of the Towson coaching staff that he had be thinking about this debate for over a month. Towson would go on to win this debate on a 3-0. Decisions included. Don’t miss the 2nr.



Decisions: Odekirk, Taylor, Thorpe