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Graduate student appears on ‘Jeopardy,’ places second

first_imgMarika Kuspa, a Notre Dame graduate student in biological sciences, competed in a Jan. 9 episode of the iconic game show “Jeopardy,” placing second and beating the previous day’s champion.Courtesy of Marika Kuspa Kuspa said she was neck and neck with her competitors during most of “Double Jeopardy,” but fell slightly behind going into the final question. Unfortunately, her answer was not correct.“I was very excited to see the ‘Foreign Words and Phrases’ category in the ‘Jeopardy’ round and the ‘Two-Word Science Terms’ category in the ‘Double Jeopardy’ round,” she said. “I split that category with the other scientist.”As the “fun fact” she used to introduce herself on the show, Kuspa said she referenced her prior scientific research.“I said that I worked in a tuberculosis biosafety level three facility, which requires wearing a full suit, respirator and three pairs of gloves for protection,” she said. “I thought it would be interesting for people to get a glimpse of scientific research in real life.”Kuspa said she began the audition process with an online assessment and was one of more than 100,000 people who took the test that year.“About 2,500 people are called to in-person auditions in a major city,” Kuspa said. “I drove up to Detroit. During the in-person audition you take another written test and then play a mock game of ‘Jeopardy’ against your fellow opponents.“At this point, the producers know that everyone is pretty smart, so they’re looking for people who are TV-friendly.”The production crew tapes two weeks worth of shows in two days and requires contestants to bring several changes of clothing for filming, Kuspa said.In addition to shopping for outfits, Kuspa said she prepared for the taping by watching episodes of “Jeopardy” and reading 74-game champion Ken Jennings’ book “Secrets of the Jeopardy Champions.” Jennings’ winning streak ran during the 2004 season, when he won over 3 million dollars.“Basically I would peruse lists of facts and just see if any of it stuck in my head,” she said. “I also started doing crossword puzzles because those are a great way to learn random facts and they’re fun. Also, I try to stay up on more current events by listening to [National Public Radio] in my car.”Before the taping, producers explained the rules about contestants’ buzzers, Kuspa said.“You can’t buzz in on ‘Jeopardy’ before the question is over or the computer system will lock you out for a fraction of a second in which your opponent can ring in and score,” she said.Although she did not win, Kuspa said she was pleased with her performance on the show and was especially prepared for certain categories.“It was a really great game overall and it would have been even better to win, but I’m not disappointed by my performance.”Contact Tori Roeck at vroeck@nd.eduTags: Jeopardylast_img read more

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Colombia Seizes 2.5 Tons of Cocaine in Colombian Pacific

first_imgBy Dialogo June 06, 2012 Colombian authorities seized around 2.5 tons of cocaine on June 4, in an operation that had U.S. collaboration, President Juan Manuel Santos announced. The president did not offer further details about the operation, although he noted that drug trafficking “is a good part of what nourishes criminal gangs, crime” in the country. A Colombian Navy spokesperson indicated that information about this case would be provided later and added only that arrests were probably made. Santos also congratulated the Navy and the Police for the arrest of 16 alleged members of the ‘Los Urabeños’ criminal drug-trafficking group, in Santa Marta (in northeastern Colombia), and for another seizure of more than 300,000 dollars on a speedboat found 10 km off the island of San Andrés (in the Caribbean). Colombia is the largest producer of cocaine, with a potential of around 350 tons in 2010, almost equal to Peru, according to UN figures.last_img read more

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