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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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On Sanders’ home turf, Biden has plenty of supporters too

first_imgLussier, who works in environmental protection, said he was not yet ready to give up on a Sanders candidacy but said he would back Biden if he wins the nomination.He considers Biden a “career politician” and is hesitant to trust him, but admits there is something about Barack Obama’s vice president that is appealing.”I think he is very charming, I can understand why he has a lot of support. “He has a really amazing story,” added Lussier, referring to the death of Biden’s first wife and daughter in a car crash in 1972 and the death of son Beau from brain cancer in 2015.Less conciliatory is 28-year-old Melanie G, who is fiercely pro-Sanders and continues to denounce the “status quo” that Biden represents.’Experience’ But Melanie, who did not disclose her last name, concedes she would still vote for him against Trump.”He is  the lesser of two evils,” she told AFP.Shawnna Lea Zeranek, a 41-year-old project coordinator for a software company, said she voted for Biden on Tuesday.”I was really happy with the Obama administration and so as much as there has been some complaints about Joe Biden himself, I have faith he spent eight years with a man who did a really good job and I think he could continue that,” she told AFP.Thirty-eight-year-old Scott Gale, who runs an internet advertising company, has also come to terms with the idea of voting for Biden. Gale would have preferred Pete Buttigieg, the young former mayor from Indiana, but he pulled out of the race on Sunday and backed Biden after a poor result in the South Carolina primary.”He is not a fantastic orator,” Gale said of Biden, who has appeared confused at times on the campaign trail and made several odd remarks.”I’d love to have someone who doesn’t have these gaffes. But I think he has the right heart for the job. He has a lot of experience and I think he would be capable of trying to pull the country together.”As many voters do, Gale also likes that Biden regularly smiles.”When I see Trump touring factories and stuff, he is always very serious. I like seeing a smile on the president’s face from time to time,” he said. Topics : Sanders easily won on his home turf, as expected, but he did so by a much smaller margin than in 2016. He took 50.7 percent of votes, down from 86.1 percent four years ago.Across the 14 states that voted on Tuesday, Biden won 10 of them, with Sanders picking up just three. The race in California was still up in the air, with Sanders leading.”I am personally disappointed,” said Bobby Lussier, a 22-year-old Sanders voter.”But I kind of have to accept that the rest of the country is coalescing around a different candidate,” he told AFP. In Bernie Sanders’ Vermont stronghold, leftists say they could vote for once-again Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden, backing him as a “charming” guy capable of reducing tensions in America.From the Green Mountain State, self-described democratic socialist Sanders has spent 40 years denouncing the Democratic establishment — including Biden, who he links to Wall Street billionaires and other interest groups.But Super Tuesday voting suggested many in Vermont feel that the pragmatism of Biden has a better chance of defeating Donald Trump in November than the progressive idealism of Sanders.last_img read more

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Suarez plays down speculation

first_imgLiverpool striker Luis Suarez insists “nothing is going to happen” to him in regards to his future at the club as he focuses on making a dream come true by winning the title. “Now we have to win the next two games and it is not going to be easy.” Suarez, who in December 2011 was banned for eight matches after being found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra, was pictured with team-mate Philippe Coutinho earlier in the week showing his support for Dani Alves after the Barcelona defender had a banana thrown at him during the match at Villarreal. “The picture with Coutinho was because I didn’t like what happened,” he added. “So we had to do something with Phil. I felt I had to do something for my friends.” While Liverpool will watch events at Goodison Park with keen interest this weekend, they have to wait until Monday to play their penultimate match at Crystal Palace as they remain in the hunt for a first title since 1990. The club have taken the step of issuing a specific warning to travelling fans about counterfeit tickets. “Liverpool Football Club has been contacted by a number of fans voicing concerns over supporters who intend to travel to Selhurst Park for Monday night’s sell-out fixture against Crystal Palace without tickets,” said a statement. “The club is reminding its supporters to be aware of counterfeit tickets and to only travel to Selhurst Park if they have an official ticket. “The club is working closely with Crystal Palace to ensure that fans with official tickets can access the stadium, with extra LFC stewards on hand to assist with security at Selhurst Park. “Merseyside Police will also be supporting the Metropolitan Police with any illegal ticketing issues around the stadium prior to kick-off. “All tickets purchased are the responsibility of the supporter whose name is on the ticket. “Any breach of regulations may be subject to further investigation that could ultimately result in the club pursuing a ban for each person involved for future LFC games.” Press Association When Suarez was asked in an interview with Uruguay television station Canal 10 whether they should be contacting him in England or Spain next season he replied: “I’m very happy here and my family is happy here. “Don’t worry nothing is going to happen to me. If we could win the Premier League and bring the trophy home it would be incredible, a dream come true.” That dream may rest with this weekend’s visit of Manchester City to Liverpool’s near-neighbours Everton. Should Manuel Pellegrini’s side drop points then the Reds’ destiny would be back in their hands, having let it slip with a 2-0 defeat at home to Chelsea last Sunday. “I’m still upset, it was so frustrating, we couldn’t find spaces and we made a mistake and it was hard to deal with,” said Suarez of the defeat. “We knew the game was going to be hard and tight but it was frustrating when they were using up time. “I was upset because of our mistake; we all got nervous and lost control. It was impossible to find spaces to get in. “We are hoping Man City loses some points but in the Premier League you never know, anything is possible. The newly-crowned Professional Footballers’ Association’s player of the year has scored 30 league goals this season and that has only enhanced his reputation as one of the world’s best players. Despite only signing a new lucrative contract at Anfield in December the 27-year-old is still being linked with the likes of Real Madrid. last_img read more

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